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San Juan MarriottSeptember 29, 2008 By: Judy Bernhardt Travel Agent
This Puerto Rican property has experienced a massive renovation
The redesign creates a chic and stylish Caribbean resort that features state-of-the-art technology in all 525 guest rooms, as well as adding such creature comforts as Marriott’s new Revive bedding. Each bedroom features 300-thread-count sheets, down comforters, sheeted duvet covers, thick mattresses with plush toppers and fluffier pillows. All bathrooms were completely renovated to incorporate such features as rain shower-style heads and deep bathtubs. High-tech additions include ergonomically designed desks and chairs, wireless Internet in all the rooms and 36-inch, flat-screen LCD TVs.
All guest rooms, including the Standard King rooms feature new "Revive" bedding
For the best accommodations, the Presidential and Vice Presidential suites are the largest and offer great views of the ocean and pool. The Presidential Suite is located on the 20th floor while the VP suites are located on the 21st floor—the top floor of the resort and the location of the executive lounge. The 13 Junior Suites are also in-demand by families, as they have two bathrooms, larger balconies and offer a much larger sitting room than the standard room. Junior Suites are located from the third to the 21st floors. Tip: Book the Junior Suites on the 21st floor; not only are the pool and ocean views amazing, but these rooms provide easy access to the executive lounge (which has complimentary breakfast and snacks throughout the day).
Some families prefer the Cabana Rooms on the ground floor of the hotel. The location provides direct access to the pool, beach and the restaurants. Interconnecting ground floor Cabana Rooms are ideal for large families traveling together and for those older clients who prefer minimal walking time to and from the resort’s amenities.
The pool at the San Juan Marriott features a swim-up bar and grill
Agents can contact Director of Marketing Julian Cable-Treadwell ([email protected], 787-289-5036).
The hotel has hosted many celebrities, including Billy Joel, Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony, and continues to target the discerning traveler, as well as families.
High season—November through March—is the most difficult time to book rooms and reservations need to be made at least one month in advance. Rooms are bookable over the GDS (except Presidential and VP suites, which require a call directly to the hotel).
The concierge can book a number of activities in the area, including rainforest tours and aquatic sports adventure. For a real treat, families will love the Bioluminescent Bay Kayak Excursion, a moonlit guided trip into one of the most amazing natural phenomena in the world. Microscopic plankton produce natural light when disturbed, making the bay glow in the dark. It’s a favorite excursion for both parents and kids. Agents can contact Nancy Rosado ([email protected], 787-289-6195), the head concierge, for excursion bookings.
Other popular excursions that Rosado can book include El Yunque Rainforest tour with an extended hike to La Mita Falls. The tour includes an hour-long hike to waterfalls (participants must be physically fit), a guided tour of the rainforest and a chance to swim in sink holes. More than 240 varieties of plants live here, and a stop at Yokahu Tower will grant visitors a view of the entire northeast coast of Puerto Rico.
Horseback riding, canopy excursions, Bacardi Rum factory tours, catamaran sailings and city tours with shopping can all be arranged by Rosado.
Rosado also oversees the kids’ program. The Kids’ Club center is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and includes activities such as swimming, movies, basketball, ping pong, dance lessons, relays, beach volleyball, sand-castle building and face painting.
Dining at the hotel’s restaurants—La Vista and Ristorante Tuscany—is extremely popular with locals, with 50 percent of the clientele being non-hotel guests. Advance reservations for weekends are strongly recommended. Also, Manager Cesare Biancalini conducts cooking classes weekly at Tuscany. Guests will be able to cook one of the many signature dishes, pair it with wine and enjoy the meal and company for $30 a person.
The Spa has four massage rooms and one facial room with the most popular treatments being the Swedish and deep-tissue massages, and the most popular masseuse is Rafael Rodriguez. For moms-to-be, the prenatal massage is a wonderful way to combat jet lag. The spa uses the Pevonia product line and recommends booking for clients ahead of time. Agents can contact Spa Director Marcos Bustamante ([email protected], 787-722-7000, ext.6162).
Weddings at the resort are also quite popular. The resort hosts about 60 weddings a year and has created a website, www.sanjuanweddings.com, which includes information on everything from cuisine and flowers, to locations and facilities for the event. Although the resort’s certified wedding planners can take care of everything, the website provides a list of experienced local vendors such as cake makers, florists, photographers and videographers for those agents who wish to plan each element individually. Agents can contact Omar Negron ([email protected], 787-289-6027) for wedding plans.