The lavish VIP lounge at the newly renovated El San Juan Hotel.

The lavish VIP lounge at the newly renovated El San Juan Hotel.

Meetings & Events: What's New

Don’t call it a comeback: more than a year after hurricanes Irma and María, Puerto Rico is open for business (and you might even say better than ever.)

The island is making major investments in the hospitality and meetings infrastructure, and Q4 of 2019 and going into 2020 promises to be the most exciting season yet. Here’s a roundup of new properties on the horizon, plus some familiar names that are welcoming meeting and convention guests.

Shoppers enjoy the luxurious offerings at the Mall of San Juan.

Shoppers enjoy the luxurious offerings at the Mall of San Juan.

Hotel Openings & Expansions

In 2019, Puerto Rico’s hotel capacity continued to grow, bringing the total number of rooms back to pre-María levels — around 15,000 island-wide opening and accepting reservations. With a combination of new developments and reopenings, meeting guests and planners alike will have a more diverse and stylish selection than ever before.

Q4 2018/Q1 2019 brought new rooms and expansions at The Resort at Coco Beach, a Hyatt Affiliated HotelEl Conquistador, Resort; and Caribe Hilton.

The new ALOFT Hotel at El Distrito in San Juan – set to open early December, will feature 175 loft-like rooms on more than seven stories, plus a bar, infinity pool, and state-of-the-art fitness center. With competitive rates and a modern vibe, this Marriott property will make an attractive new addition to the Convention Center District. ALOFT Hotel Ponce is also set to open will be opening its doors later this year.

Other hotly anticipated developments for 2019/2020 include the J.W. Marriott Dorado Beach, located west of San Juan, Hyatt Hacienda del Mar, The Ritz Carlton San Juan, Zafira St. Clair, and Las Casitas Villas.

An outdoor table is set for guests at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort.

An alfresco dining space at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort.

A New Era of Luxury

Signaling a new chapter in Puerto Rico’s hospitality industry post-recovery, several luxury resort properties opened (or reopened) their doors in 2019 — many of which have been envisioned with large-scale events in mind.

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is once again welcoming guests after the 110-room resort expanded its facilities with a new spa and improved tropical landscaping.

St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Río Grande has recently reopened its doors following the completion of a $60 million renovation that includes a seaside pool, Iridium Spa, and oceanfront golf course.

The legendary El San Juan Hotel, a Curio Collection by Hilton property, is back open after a top-to-bottom restoration encompassing everything from its 388 upscale guest rooms and oceanfront villas to the hand-carved mahogany ceiling in its historic lobby.

Also on the horizon, Four Seasons Cayo Largo will be a five-star addition to Fajardo, with luxurious guest rooms, a golf course, and abundant indoor and outdoor meeting space.

An artist rendering of District San Juan at the Puerto Rico Convention Center.

An artist's rendering of District San Juan at the Puerto Rico Convention Center.

New District on the Block

There’s no clearer sign of Puerto Rico’s investment in its meetings industry than the opening of El Distrito San Juan. This five-acre hospitality and entertainment district promises to be the Caribbean’s most dynamic setting for conventions and events of every kind.

Located adjacent to the Puerto Rico Convention Center and set to open February 2020, El Distrito will feature a 6,000-attendee performance venue and a pedestrian mall offering retail, dining, and nightlife options, including a rum micro-distillery.

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