The Courtyard by Mariott Isla Verde Beach Resort is turning 10 this year and to mark its anniversary, owner International Hospitality Enterprises is pumping a lot of metal into the property, $11 million to be exact.
During a meeting with members of the media at the beachfront hotel, General Manager José Padín outlined plans to revamp the 260 rooms, common areas and façade as part of an ambitious project that will begin in April and be completed by November, ahead of the official start of the high tourism season.
“We’re celebrating a decade of service to our visitors and of significant achievements for the Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde and the tourism industry in general,” he said. “We’re honored to have enjoyed the support of our guests and visitors, reaching an average occupancy of 90 percent in the past decade.”
Specifically, the improvements include: building an oceanfront boardwalk, upgrading the bar and furniture, expanding the activity room, remodeling the lobby to create a more open concept, designing a new main entrance, remodeling rooms and resurfacing the area around the main pool. The hotel has already spent $1 million of the budget on early improvements.
“We’re going to be investing between $12,000 and $15,000 per room. We’re going to be remodeling bathrooms, changing out rugs, reupholstering furniture, and swapping out curtains and mattresses,” he said.
The hotel Casino del Sol will also be “cosmetically enhanced,” but will not be expanded for the time being, Padín said.
The Courtyard by Mariott Isla Verde Beach Resort opened its doors Jan. 7, 2003 following a $28 million investment by IHE. Its pristine setting has drawn a steady stream of guests, which Padín said break down into 56 percent leisure, 33 percent corporate and 10 percent group reservations.
Furthermore, Puerto Rico residents comprise 10 percent of the hotels’ year-round occupancy. As part of its 10th anniversary celebration, the hotel will launch a special summer package for local residents, as well as quarterly events to keep the party going, Padín said.
The Courtyard by Mariott Isla Verde Beach Resort is one of seven IHE-owned properties, which company employees on Tuesday praised for being the launchpad for many careers. Many employees who have begun their careers at the hotel have moved on to management positions at other properties including El Convento in Old San Juan, by Hilton San Juan, La Concha A Renaissance Resort in Condado and the Condado Palm Inn that will open later this month near La Concha.
“The Courtyard served as a school to grow, learn, develop our talents and help us move to other hotels. It goes to show that locals have the potential to do the job just as well as management from other countries would,” said Luis Rivera, general manager of La Concha, referring to the place where he started out in the 80s.