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San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino in midst of $28M renovation

The San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino, an iconic beachfront property in the Condado area of San Juan, is approximately 40% through a $28 million renovation, which has already included updated public spaces and guest rooms.

In an exclusive interview with News is my Business, Joaquín Cruz, the hotel’s marketing director, confirmed that the renovation added about 31 new rooms to the main tower, increasing the total to 531 rooms.

While the hotel still offers a total of 13 presidential and executive suites, as part of the renovation, the Marriott converted 18 existing rooms into studio suites, partly in response to a shift in the type of guest visiting the property.

“The pandemic brought a change in the type of guest that we’re seeing. We now have more families and fewer business travelers coming to Puerto Rico, which became a great destination to travel to during the pandemic,” Cruz said. “Discover Puerto Rico has done an exceptional job in promoting the island and opening that demand.”

The renovation of the main tower was delayed due precisely to the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in March 2020. The hotel had just completed renovating its second building — which is smaller — and cabanas and was about to start work on the main tower when the pandemic forced a halt, until resuming last year.

The new guest room design is described as “modern, spacious and elevated” by Marriott.

“It showcases wood look tile floors for a sleeker, more contemporary appearance, along with clean line furniture and a walk-in shower, giving each room a more spacious feel. Brilliant design accents include picturesque private balconies with chic seating, allowing guests to comfortably soak up breathtaking panoramas of the Atlantic Ocean,” Marriott stated.

The work on that part of the tower wrapped up about four months ago, Cruz confirmed.

The property’s public spaces, including the massive main ballroom and pre-function area, have been renovated to reflect lighter colors, evoking the beachfront and Puerto Rico’s tropical setting.

The Stellaris casino is also being spruced up and should be ready later this month. The area will add a new sports betting operation, which is still in negotiations, Cruz said.

A ‘pause’ for high season
The renovation work at the property will be put on pause during the holiday season through April, which is typically the busiest period for Puerto Rico’s hotels.

“We want to maximize our guest experience. They obviously come here to vacation and to hold their conferences and we don’t want them to run into construction,” Cruz said.

Renovations will pick up again with the planned changes to the main lobby, which will adopt the light color palette of blues and cream and feature an open floor plan that will do away with several non-structural columns, while the coral centerpiece that anchors the space will also be made smaller, Cruz added.

“We’re also going to reconceptualize all of the restaurants and other smaller areas,” he said.

The full unveiling of the renovations is expected by the end of 2024.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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