Bueno! Puerto Rico's Condado Vanderbilt Hotel Re-Opens Today
With all the emphasis on “new!new! new!” we like it when an old lady gets her groove back. That’s kinda what happened today. After being shut down for 20 years, Puerto Rico’s historic Condado Vanderbilt Hotel flung open her doors to San Juan’s awaiting public. We are crazy jelly of the party that's happening tonight, but they're not there to see the rooms, which aren't ready yet. More on that in a bit.
A $270 million reno was done on the grand dame hotel built in 1919 by Frederick William Vanderbilt, kin to one of America's wealthiest families. The property was designed by the architectural firm responsible for The New York Biltmore and Grand Central Station. It closed in 1997 under the name Condado Beach Hotel after a few changes of hands, names, and in a state of disarray. Now it's being restored to its former grandeur that once attracted the likes of Errol Flynn, Bob Hope, and FDR.
However, what’s being highlighted today aren't actual rooms, but the new banquet halls (probably to begin bringing in holiday revenue) and the 1919 Restaurant headed by Michelin-starred Executive Chef, Juan Jose Cuevas who's worked at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, Lespinasse, and Blue Hill in New York City.
The second phase of the restoration where the 323 rooms will be revealed and the hotel fully opens, is scheduled for Spring 2013.
[Photos: Condado Vanderbilt Hotel]