Hilton Ponce marks 20th anniversary with $500K in upgrades
The Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort is marking two decades of operations in Puerto Rico’s second-largest town with some $500,000 in property upgrades — including a waterpark and upgraded pool facilities — that should be completed next month, José Caro-Cohen, business development director told News is my Business.
The waterpark, currently under construction adjacent to the hotel’s main pool, will include a 36-foot water slide and a 21-jet “sprayground” — a water playground that will double as an entertainment option for young kids during the day and a state-of-the-art light feature at night, Caro-Cohen said.
“As we enter our 20th year, we want to play up our ‘Younger than ever’ slogan by adding amenities that will cater to the families that have chosen our hotel for their stay. This hotel has become a favorite destination for locals, who account for 60 percent of our client base,” he said.
The project includes adding an infant pool with a “beach type entry” that will also be compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines for people in wheelchairs and living with other physical challenges, as well as building a second Jacuzzi. The poolside improvements also call for replacing the current sun deck furniture with new lounge chairs, tables and umbrellas, and installing new cabanas and daybeds for guests to gather or get massages.
But the list of upgrades is not limited to the pool area, as Caro-Cohen said there are plans to renovate the hotel’s basketball court, install new beach access gates and fencing, improve the children’s playground, expand the mini-golf area with the addition of 11 new holes, and create an “all-in-one” activity area that can function as tennis, volleyball or shuffleboard courts, two bowling lanes, hopscotch, and giant chess and checker boards.
The Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort was built in 1992 under the Rafael Hernández-Colón administration, as a 150-room facility meant to pave the way for the construction of other such properties in the southern region. The resort was picked up by Ponce’s Grupo Serralles in 2001, which subsequently added 100 new rooms and part of the golf course now known as Costa Caribe.
“When this hotel was originally built, few people believed it would be successful,” he said.
In November 2011, the company completed the $2.1 million renovation of 155 rooms in the hotel’s East and West towers, to “outfit them with more contemporary décor, including locally produced furniture,” Caro-Cohen said.
“For a 250-room hotel such as ours, we need to have enough facilities so that people of all ages find their place and enjoy their stay,” he added.