Rooms at the iconic Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in Puerto Rico will be ready by early 2014, says Jose M. Suarez, president of International Hospitality Enterprises, which represents such notable hotels in Puerto Rico as La Concha: A Renaissance Resort and the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel.
As part of a lunch hosted by the company Wednesday, Luxury Travel Advisor chatted with Suarez, who said financial issues were at the heart of the delays for the unveiling of the new rooms. They were originally slated to open earlier this year, but plans stalled when International Hospitality Enterprises’ bank in Puerto Rico closed.
“When the bank closed, two other banks had to get involved and having three banks all trying to get on the same page is not something that happens quick,” says Suarez. “Now that the mess appears to be clearing up, I think we are back on schedule for having the rooms ready by the first quarter of 2014.”
In October of last year, the Condado Vanderbilt opened up its signature restaurant, 1919, with hopes of having the rooms ready shortly after.
“When we opened the restaurant, the plan was to have the rooms ready about six months laters,” says Suarez, “but here we are still with a restaurant and no hotel rooms.”
The second phase of the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel includes 323 guest rooms. The hotel will offer clients a luxurious environment in an exclusive setting, filled with history and the nostalgia of past eras when the hotel was the social epicenter of San Juan.
Built in 1919 by Frederick William Vanderbilt, the Condado Vanderbilt’s lavishness attracted royalty, heads of state, Hollywood stars and industry icons to the hotel’s dramatic perch on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean for almost half a century. It has been shuttered for nearly 20 years.