International hotel chains invest in new hotels in Puerto Rico
All around Puerto Rico, new hotel developments are springing up. Landmark hotels that have attracted tourists to the islands for decades have received renovations and a new lease on life for the next waves of tourism coming to the islands. These developments show Puerto Rico is still an economic hotspot in the Caribbean for international hotel companies looking build new resorts and bolster the local economy.
In February 2017, the landmark El San Juan Hotel in Isla Verde reopened following a $60 million renovation. Michael Capponi and Eric Milon, designers of various nightclubs in Miami, assisted the multimillion-dollar redesign of the classic El San Juan Hotel in Isla Verde. The Hotel’s renovations were financed by the New York-based Jeffrey Beers International, the same firm responsible for renovating Miami Beach’s Fontainebleau resort.
Isla Verde, one of Puerto Rico’s most upscale resort/tourist communities will see Alvarez-Diaz & Villalón, a design firm with offices in the Miami area and San Juan, handle the design of two new hotels that will be built there. The new hotels will be part of a development in Isla Verde called the ESJ Collection Resort. Construction of Hotel Verde, the first of the two new hotels, has started and is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2018. The hotel is the first new hotel built in Isla Verde for 25 years. The second hotel, called Hotel Noir is currently in the design phase. Altogether the project on Isla Verde accounts for a $150 million project that includes the construction of Hotel Verde, the remodeling of the ESJ Tower, now called ESJ Blue, and the yet to be built Hotel Noir. As well as providing new business in Isla Verde, the hotels are expected to create 3,000 jobs. Once completed, the average daily rate for the new Hotel Verde is expected to be just under $200, about $250 for the remodeled Hotel ESJ Blue, and $600 for Hotel Noir. Isla Verde Group is considering expanding into the municipality of Carolina as well.
Aloft Hotels, a global hotel chain with 250 hotels, will soon be making its debut in Puerto Rico in The District San Juan, Puerto Rico’s $125-million entertainment destination that is being developed by PRISA Group. José Izquierdo, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company said of the project: “The arrival of Aloft will have a strong impact in the industry and the local economy. It will add more rooms to the island’s portfolio, appealing to a different kind of visitor who values the vibrant ambience it offers.” The debut follows the announcement early this year that Aloft Hotel Marriot would make an investment of $13.5 million into a hotel property in Ponce, that when operational will add 150 permanent jobs to the Puerto Rican economy.
These developments have been well received and publicized with Puerto Rico’s political leadership. Ricardo Rosselló, governor of Puerto Rico has welcomed the new projects, pledging the institutional support and collaboration from the Economic Development Department and the Tourism Company. “Our vision is to think big. If we want to get out of the crisis in Puerto Rico, we need to think big,” the governor said. Despite its fiscal situation, the many hotel investments being made in Puerto Rico show international recognition of the island’s future economic potential.