|February 25, 2016|
Meet Puerto Rico Offers Planners More Options For Meetings Of All Types
|With more than 1.3 million square feet of meeting space and 15,000 guest rooms throughout the Island, a world-class convention center, an increasing range of accommodation options, a menu of social media offerings and a growing list of awards and accolades, Puerto Rico continues to offer meeting planners a wide variety of meeting and event options, from city-wide's to luxury CEO board meetings while ensuring a distinctive and memorable experience. |
Meet Puerto Rico can accommodate large groups through a wide variety of hotels, including many new builds from some of the top global brands, the Caribbean's largest, and most technically advanced Convention Center, and destination offerings of food, culture and activities that make Puerto Rico a memorable experience.
"Puerto Rico continues to add top-quality products to accommodate large city-wide conventions, as well as new luxury properties to address that growing market," stated Milton Segarra, president & CEO, Meet Puerto Rico. "Adding new properties, services and amenities that are of great benefit to meeting and convention groups, in addition to our new and more frequent airlift and expansion of the Convention Center district, demonstrates our strength and vitality within the tourism and convention sector."
New Properties, Renovations And Upgrades
The past fiscal year showed hotels and other tourism entities having completed, or are undergoing major renovations that totaled more than a $100 million investment. This year that growth continues with these new additions (by region):
Old San Juan:
The Sheraton Old San Juan & Casino will invest in excess of $15 million during 2016 to renovate all 240 guestrooms (including hard and soft goods), all public spaces including the lobby and a new coffee grab & go outlet (including lighting, floors, furniture, etc.). The Sheraton Old San Juan's business center Link has also been renovated, as well as a complete renovation of all nine meeting rooms and pre-function spaces. A new flag restaurant will be announced and Wi-Fi bandwidth will be upgraded. Completion date is scheduled for August 2016.
Hotel El Convento, the historic AAA Four-Diamond property and former Carmelite Convent situated in the heart of Old San Juan, recently completed a $300,000 update of Salon Paoli, one of the hotel's venues for hosting intimate ceremonies and receptions for up to 80 people. The refreshed 1,500 square-foot space features crystal chandeliers, oak-framed mirror-lined walls and new flooring to go along with the updated décor.
Wyndham Hotel Group recently openedTRYP by Wyndham Isla Verde, representing a nearly $8 million investment in the lifestyle brand's first opening in both the Caribbean and in Puerto Rico. The boutique cosmopolitan hotel boasts 109 rooms, anoutdoor pool, a business center, a well-equipped fitness center, and three daily meals in its hotel lobby in Emigrante Gastrobar, A pizza place, room service, and guest laundry facilities complete the list of any traveler's needs. It also offers five meeting rooms totaling 2,000 square-feet of space for up to 175 guests. Its chic vibe is enhanced by murals decorating the property as part of an alliance with the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC).
El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel, the 387-room hotel, overlooking two miles of pristine beach in the Isla Verde district of San Juan, was recently acquired by Aimbridge Hospitality Fundamental Advisors LP along with partners León, Mayer & Co. from an affiliate of Blackstone. According to the new owners, plans are now in place to "...significantly enhance the property's offerings and revitalize the resort to its original splendor by capitalizing on the investor group's expertise in the hospitality sector and experience in the region. As part of a planned revitalization of the property, the investor group is committed to significantly upgrading the resort's facilities through a substantial capital expenditure investment in an effort to create a true luxury lifestyle property."
The 260-room Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde just finalized a $10 million investment including renovations of the main entrance and pool, which now includes a new terrace Tapas restaurant and bar near the pool and of the Salón del Mar with new soft goods and improved acoustics, as well as upgraded Wi-Fi and expanded complimentary Wi-Fi in the common areas, exteriors and the beach. The 260 rooms and 21 suites completed an update as well.
The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan announced a planned multimillion dollar renovation to its lobby lounge and surrounding area. The award-winning oceanfront resort's vibrant new lobby design will display gold tones contrasted with watery teal details and sophisticated natural wood furnishings punctuated by elegant hues of white and eclectic arts, all to enhance the comfort and lifestyle experience. The complete redesign and remodeling of the hotel's lobby lounge and area are currently on track to be completed in March 2016.
Puerto Rico Convention Center District
The Hyatt Place San Juan, the fourth property flying the Hyatt flag on the island, officially became the newest resident of the District this January, through a nearly $30 million investment. The 149-room property includes more than 3,000 square feet of meeting space, an 11,000 square-foot resort-style pool and a Hyatt "Pool Shack", which offers light food and beverage options.
The Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, recently announced a comprehensive project that will be focused on providing entertainment to meeting delegates and all visitors alike called District Live! This 76,000 square feet entertainment center will be situated near the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino and will include the following; a theater for medium sized events with capacity for 8,000 people, 8 movie theaters with special effects, green areas and open spaces for entertainment events, as well as restaurants and shops.
Plans to link the Puerto Rico Convention Center district to Old San Juan are under way. The Paseo Puerta de Tierra project is a $29 million investment in a boardwalk linking historic Old San Juan with other popular tourism areas nearby that would give pedestrians and cyclists safer and easier access to the Convention Center District. Near Bahía Urbana, a luxury marina and a hotel are in the planning stages.
Best Western Plus Condado Palm Inn & Suites features 151 rooms, of which 33 are suites featuring a kitchenette and are currently under a complete overhaul in renovations. Located on the Penthouse floor, Salón Vistamar, a 2,000 square feet ballroom offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Condado District. This ballroom, ideal for corporate activities, welcome receptions and weddings can accommodate up to 116 people and was recently renovated.
The 917-room Caribe Hilton has just renovated their signature Caribar -- a destination bar and lounge that blends Puerto Rico's culinary influences with the resort's heritage to deliver some of the most creative craft cocktails on the island. Also the Oasis Bar, the Atlantic Bar and the Breakout Meeting Space were renovated. This year all guest rooms in the main building, Garden Wing & Villas will be upgraded, including Wi-Fi enhancement.
The Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa, a 20 acre landscaped tropical resort with a half-mile-long beach along the Caribbean Sea, recently underwent an approximately one million dollar renovation, updated the arrival experience, pathways, pools and some of the 106 guest rooms.
Airports & Airlift
Puerto Rico continues to serve as the Caribbean region's leader in airlift with over 1,800 weekly non-stop and direct flights from the Mainland U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean. Recent airport announcements and increased air service updates include:
The Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport, managed by Aerostar Airport Holdings, has had an investment of almost $150 million during the past three years. The multi-million dollar investment includes modernization and renovation of Terminals A, B and C, opening of a new security checkpoint for passengers and carry-on luggage with 8 lines and capability to screen up to 1,800 passengers per hour, installation of a new baggage handling system and the acquisition of 22 jet bridges. During the past three years, Aerostar has improved the passenger experience by adding new amenities like Wi-Fi throughout the airport, as well as new retail shops and food and beverage concessionaries. The renovations, features and amenities have had a positive outcome over passenger growth rate, which is 10% higher in comparison with last year.
Sun Country Airlines started last May with nonstop service between Ft. Myers Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) with two weekly flights. In January 2016, during the height of the tourism high season, Sun Country added a third weekly flight to San Juan.
Volaris, a Mexican low-cost airline based in Mexico City, now serves Cancún-San Juan nonstop, Thursdays and Sundays. Volaris is Mexico's second largest airline.
Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA is the third largest low-cost carrier in Europe, the second-largest airline in Scandinavia, and the ninth-largest airline in Europe in terms of passenger numbers. Norwegian just started operating to SJU on a seasonal basis from November 2015 to March 2016.
We might be a tropical island in the Caribbean, but we're also a U.S. Commonwealth. That means U.S. citizens can travel overseas and not have to carry a passport; your flight is considered domestic, and with more than 1,800 weekly flights from the U.S and international destinations, Puerto Rico is undeniably a quick Caribbean getaway for Americans. We use U.S. currency and work within all of the U.S. laws governing meetings and travel, etc. And we are on a tropical island, in the Caribbean. It all adds up to a desirable destination.
Meet Puerto Rico
Meet Puerto Rico is a non-profit organization established in 1962 to drive meetings, conventions, trade shows and incentive groups to Puerto Rico. With offices in San Juan, Meet Puerto Rico strengthens Puerto Rico's competitive position in the Americas and abroad by increasing awareness of the Island's outstanding meeting facilities and services, and produces approximately $100 million annually to the local economy. Meet Puerto Rico can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at its website www.meetpuertorico.com. Meet Puerto Rico is accredited by the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) as an elite destination marketing organization (DMO). DMAI is the world's largest association of DMO's, representing more than 600 destination management organizations in more than 25 countries.