Big step in Condado Vanderbilt revamp
“We take great pride in the work of our founder, Hugh Andrews, who took on the task of rescuing this emblematic historic building and reshaping it as the only luxury product of its kind,” International Hospitality Enterprises President José Suárez during a ceremony Tuesday. “Thanks to the Andrews’ vision, we give new life to Puerto Rico’s tourism industry and cultural life 93 years after the Vanderbilt was first opened.”
Taking part in the inauguration activity were Andrews, International Hospitality Enterprises partner Burton Koffman, first lady Lucé Vela and Puerto Rico Tourism Co. Executive Director Luis Rivera Marín.
“The Hotel Condado Vanderbilt is one of the treasures of our tourism industry,” Rivera Marín said. “It is a symbol of an era of elegance that is re-emerging as San Juan’s latest luxury property that will restore Condado’s luster.”
The renovation of the Vanderbilt, which has been shuttered for some 15 years, is credited with creating 250 jobs during the construction phase and 150 direct jobs during the first phase of operations.
The first phase of the ambitious project was financed by the Government Development Bank. It includes banquet halls and the 1919 Restaurant, headed by Michelin-starred executive chef Juan Jose Cuevas, which are open and operating in time of the holiday high season.
The second phase of the restoration, when the rooms will be revealed and the hotel fully opens, is scheduled for completion in spring 2013.
The original 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.
The remodeling was spearheded by by Andrews and Jorge Rossello, whose previous hotel overhauls include El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan and the La Concha Hotel, which is across the Ventana del Mar seaside park from the Condado Vanderbilt.
The Condado Vanderbilt will have a total of 323 rooms and 131 suites, divided between the main building and the two new 11-story towers on either side of the central structure.
The current International Hospitality Enterprises portfolio includes El Convento, Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde, Hotel Pierre at Gallery Plaza and La Concha.