he Grande Dame of the Caribbean" is how the Caribe Hilton in San Juan has been known for years; as with any aging dowager, there came a time when she looked a bit saggy and tired.
Happily, the face lift she has recently completed has not only rejuvenated her, but has made her better than ever.
Not only have the guestrooms and public spaces been refreshed, but the brand new Olas Spa has been garnering rave reviews and the resort has added a "fantasy pool" with waterfalls.
he hotel rooms and public areas have been redone in a style reminiscent of the early 1940s, with a little touch of whimsy. Textures and furnishings meld beautifully with the natural wood in the rooms and the sweeping views and soaring glass of the structure.
Upscale bath amenities, deep tubs, an in-room coffee-maker, robe and slippers, warm-toned marble surfaces, plenty of closet space and a blend of contemporary and deco styles make the environment pleasing and functional. The work desk actually WORKS - it's perfect for laptops, and the hotel has thoughtfully provided an ergonomic work chair with wheels and a high back, a wonderful desk lamp, and a phone with dataport. What's really remarkable is that the convenience to the business traveler doesn't detract from the cohesiveness of the decor.
Not withstanding the fact that The Caribe Hilton provides meeting space for large and small conventions, the resort is a leisure traveler's dream. On a private peninsula with a secluded beach, a new swimming complex with waterfalls, the new spa and fitness center, several restaurants (including Morton's of Chicago), the resort is completely self-contained. Proximity to Old San Juan, the cruise docks, casinos, golf, and the airport help to make it an ideal destination in itself.
Photo ©Jána M. Jones 2000