SAN JUAN – The historic Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan reopened its doors on Tuesday after 15 years thanks to an investment of $270 million that will provide employment to 250 people.
The owner of the almost 100-year-old hotel, U.S. citizen Hugh Andrews, stressed before a group of invited guests including Puerto Rican first lady Luce Vela “the reopening of the well-known establishment, one of Puerto Rico’s finest hotels.”
The Condado Vanderbilt Hotel was commissioned in 1917 by Frederick William Vanderbilt, a member of one of New York’s most prominent families, and inaugurated on Oct. 16, 1919.
The building was designed by the Warren & Wetmore architectural firm, which is also responsible for the artistic work at the New York Yacht Club, New York’s Grand Central Station and other buildings.
However, due to the Great Depression during the 1930s, the hotel was bought by Manuel Gonzalez, who changed its name to the Condado Hotel, although two decades later it began to be called the Condado Beach Hotel and was known in that way until it closed in 1997.
The remodeling of the hotel was handled by Andrews and Jorge Rossello, the latter – through his company – having remodeled a number of other hotels, including the historic El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan and the La Concha Hotel, which is next door to the Condado Vanderbilt.
Meanwhile, Jose Suarez, the president of International Hospitality Enterprises, the company that owns the old hotel, emphasized Andrews’ work saying that “he was given the task of rescuing” the emblematic building and “presenting it as a luxury product unique in its class.”
“We’re hoping that for spring of next year, approximately between March and April, the rooms in the main building will be available to receive guests,” Suarez said.
The Condado Vanderbilt will have a total of 323 rooms and 131 suites, divided between the main building and the two towers of newer construction located to either side of the central structure.
In addition, the executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Luis Rivera Marin, told reporters that the hotel will become a “symbol of an era of elegance that is reemerging as San Juan’s newest luxury property.” EFE