Both international and local guests are flocking to the San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino, as hotel renovations make it an even more dynamic destination.
The full-service hotel is currently remodeling its front entrance area. Also getting face-lifts are the hotel's 24-hour casino, featuring 26 gaming tables and 426 slot machines, and the Coffee Merchant and Bake Shop, a quaint, small cafe situated beside the casino.
The upgrades began with the Red Coral Lounge, the hotel's lobby that was formally reopened in January after a $2.2 million renovation. The lobby redesign includes a wooden sculpture that resembles a coral reef, free WiFi and a large centerpiece bar.
In early August, the bar was bustling with locals enjoying drinks and listening to live music.
"We have received numerous compliments on the new lobby and have also seen an increase in revenues," said Hans-Georg Roehrbein, general manager of the resort. "We are seeing further potential for the lobby/great room as we renovate the adjacent areas [of the] casino and Coffee Merchant."
Next on the revamp list are La Vista Latin Grill & Bar and La Isla Grill and Pool Bar, two of the hotel's onsite restaurants.
The restaurants underwent a $2 million restoration in 2010, but the resort is looking to join the two eateries to create Sea Level, a singular area of indoor and outdoor dining.
Sea Level will be open for all three meals and after-dinner cocktails and tapas.
To add a dash of warmth and romance, the restaurant will also feature a fireplace.
"We are combining [La Vista and La Isla], creating a seamless experience," Roehrbeinsaid. "We will have more lounge-style seating and a more varied and less structured dining table configuration."
Other renovation plans include the hotel's ballroom and meetings rooms. Beginning in October, Roehrbein said, these rooms will be updated in a way that continues the hotel's refreshed new look.
The property's 512 guestrooms and corridors will not be left out; they are the focus of the 2013 renovation agenda, coming six years after the resort spent $35 million on a complete 2007 upgrade of all the rooms.
Roehrbein said the hotel has been catering more to European travelers since January, when Condor, the international airline, began nonstop flights twice a week from Frankfurt to San Juan.
He also said Latin American guests have increased this year.
The hotel had a "great" first half of 2012, Roehrbein said. "We had excellent occupancies. August also came in great."