Room Key: Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino, San Juan
Address: 999 Ashford Ave., San Juan, PR 00907
Telephone: (787) 721-1000
Reservations: (877) LXR-XOXO (597-9696)
Managing Director: Raul Bustamente
Rates: From $139 to $329 per room, per night, double through Feb. 28.
Facilities: Redone guest rooms, public areas and lobby; Wi-Fi and Internet in all guest rooms and public areas; expanded casino; new look to ballroom and meeting areas; three pools; private beach; five restaurants and bars, including a Starbucks and a Tony Roma's.
Review: The guest rooms are refreshed, updated and modern. Pool and beach areas are a pleasant surprise in an urban part of San Juan. Navigating the two-building layout, joined by a pedestrian bridge, can be confusing to the first-time guest.
stayed in the 570-room Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino in San Juan
about a year and a half ago, just after the Wyndham flag was taken
down and right before LXR Luxury Resorts & Hotels, which took
it over (along with several other former Wyndham properties in
Puerto Rico and one in Jamaica), began its $60 million-plus renovation.
In fact, at that
point LXR had not so much as emptied a wastebasket or dusted an
It's a different
story now, although some of the renovation and expansion projects
remain works in progress.
The once-drab rooms
-- with their floral bedspreads, bulky furniture and showers with
no water pressure -- have been updated with cleaner, leaner
furniture lines; plush, white bedding; two telephones; flat-screen
TVs; and superior plumbing.
Web access will be available in all rooms by December and
throughout the resort, including the pool and beach, shortly
thereafter. The Royal Ballroom's new, three-tiered European
chandelier, floor-to-ceiling windows and vibrant colors were
unveiled this fall. And the casino reopened at the end of October
with new carpeting and an additional 90 slot machines.
The main lobby and
driveway entrance are slotted for completion in early December,
said Raul Bustamente, managing director.
The Condado Plaza
will not have a concierge floor. "We have a new culture of service
here," he said. "We treat every floor as if it were a concierge
floor and every guest as a VIP."
Bustamente, who was
general manager at the Caribe Hilton for 12 years, knows about
guest service. After his Hilton gig, he bought the 100-room San
Juan Beach Hotel, a few blocks from the Condado.
He sold that hotel
in February 2006 and started up at the Condado Plaza later that
Being acquired by
LXR, whose parent company is the Blackstone Group, "was very
important. There is a good market mix in Puerto Rico, and the LXR
properties tap into that mix very well. It's a good time to be a
hotelier in Puerto Rico, and with our new look, we are in a
position to capitalize on both the leisure and corporate business,"
He noted that the
nearby Marriott and InterContinental properties began their
renovations shortly after LXR did.
confidence in the destination and shows visitors a new face in the
Condado area," he said.
contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].