The groundbreaking ceremony for the first AC Hotel by Marriott in San Juan took place Wednesday for what will be a $45 million investment by Ashford 1369 Hospitality, LLC, an affiliate of Interlink, which acquired the former Ambassador Plaza & Casino property in Condado.
The investment includes a comprehensive renovation of the property to convert it into the Marriott brand. Banco Popular de Puerto Rico and the Hotel Development Corporation provided the project’s financing. The site’s upgrade will be led and performed by Interlink Construction.
The new hotel has established a long-term franchise agreement with Marriott International Inc. and a management operation agreement with Highgate, one of the leading operators in the industry. The hotel’s opening is scheduled for the first quarter of 2017, nearly two years after the Ambassador Plaza closed its doors on April 29, 2015.
“We’re very excited with this new venture, which continues to strengthen our special relationship with Marriott, Banco Popular and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company,” said Federico Sánchez-Ortiz, president of Interlink.
“We’re confident that the AC Hotel San Juan in Condado will be a key addition to the continued emergence of San Juan as a world-renowned tourism destination,” Sánchez-Ortiz said.
AC Hotel San Juan will offer an array of urban resort features including 233 new and modern guest rooms, all with balconies with ocean views, 48 of these rooms will be Suites. It will also feature a rooftop swimming pool and lounge, meeting rooms, a fitness center, a restaurant and the traditional AC Lounge, a co-working space by day and a hub of social buzz by night.
Presiding over the groundbreaking ceremony was Andrew Houghton, area vice president, Caribbean and Latin America for Marriott International Inc. and Sánchez-Ortiz. They — along with government officials — conducted the brand’s cornerstone ritual, inspired by its Spanish roots and European soul, which incorporates placing a handful of commemorative coins into the foundation plot with the hotel’s name and its opening date.
“We’re thrilled to announce the first AC Hotel for Puerto Rico, where there is a growing population of Gen X&Y travelers who prioritize design and value when choosing a hotel,” said Houghton. “This new hotel reaffirms the company’s commitment to Puerto Rico, the fastest developing market in the Caribbean.”
As all the other AC properties worldwide, the Condado property will embrace and convey the brand’s philosophy, which postulates that small details have big potential and purposeful design improves lives. Each space is built with a visionary spirit and a designer eye for an experience that feels stylish, yet efficient, alluring but purposeful.