The historic El San Juan hotel, long one of the leading resorts in Puerto Rico, is now officially a Fairmont.
The Accor brand has officially taken over management of the beach resort, which recently completed a $65 million transformation project of the 388-room property.
El San Juan, which officially reopened its doors at the end of 2018 in the wake of Hurricane Maria, had been part of Hilton’s Curio Collection.
The hotel’s ownership said it would continue to own El San Juan, and that its franchise agreement with Hilton had ended on Jan. 2.
“El San Juan Hotel is proud to welcome the global hospitality group Accor and its luxury Fairmont brand to Puerto Rico,” said Andro Nodarse-León, CEO, LionGrove Capital and Co-Owner, ESJ Resort LLC, which owns the property. “Both El San Juan and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts share a distinguished international reputation and unparalleled history of service excellence. In joining together these iconic brands, we look forward to preserving and furthering the hotel’s extraordinary legacy, as Fairmont El San Juan Hotel.”
El San Juan, set in San Juan’s popular beach neighborhood of Isla Verde, was designed by renowned architect Morris Lapidus (who also, interestingly, designed what is now the Hilton Aruba) and first debuted back in 1958.
For years, it was one of the hotspots on the jet-set circuit, attracting boldfaced names from Sammy Davis, Jr. to Nat King Cole.
The 2018 renovation sought to tap into that glamour and reinvigorate the property into a new destination resort in Puerto Rico, with the design helmed by Jeffrey Beers.
“As the newest member of the Fairmont family, El San Juan joins a legacy which extends back more than 100 years, with landmark hotels, unrivaled presence, authentic experiences and unforgettable moments which have attracted visitors to Fairmont and its destinations since 1907. With its own incredible history as a timeless Puerto Rican icon and beacon of island hospitality since opening its doors in 1958, El San Juan is a perfect addition to the Fairmont family,” said Heather McCrory, CEO, for North and Central America at Accor.
McCrory said the Puerto Rico expansion was part of a period of “tremendous growth” ahead in the region for the company.
The resort becomes just the second Fairmond-branded resort in the Caribbean, joining the venerable Fairmont Royal Pavilion in Barbados. (Fairmont also counts two hotels in Bermuda in its broader Atlantic region portfolio).
“We are pleased to have worked together with the property’s current management and brand companies to restore the hotel for the benefit of the community, its guests and employees. As an exciting next step, we are truly thrilled for El San Juan Hotel to be a part of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts,” Nodarse-Leon said.
Fairmont said all existing reservations made prior to the change would be “honored by Fairmont.”
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