El San Juan Hotel & Casino Upgrades

Set on 15 acres of prime beachfront real estate in San Juan's Isla Verde district, 15 minutes from Old San Juan, is El San Juan Hotel & Casino one of four LXR properties in Puerto Rico. Due to its location, 16,500-square-foot casino, vast pool complex and 15 bars, lounges and nightclubs, El San Juan is an ideal pick for clients wanting to experience the vibrant heart of Puerto Rico's beach culture and nightlife. With live music seven nights a week and salsa dancing Friday and Saturday evenings, the Lobby Bar is the place to see and be seen. Donatella Versace, Ving Rhames and Richard Gere are all frequent guests of the hotel, while Mariah Carey as well as several unnamed NBA stars from the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat and New York Knicks, have visited the casino. A poolside cabana at El San Juan Hotel & Casino, an LXR hotel

The San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) is just five minutes away; private jet landings can be arranged. LXR's transfer company can go directly onto the tarmac to pick up VIPs in a limousine, town car, deluxe minivan or bus fully stocked with premium beverages and snacks.

Beachfront Accommodations

Travel Agent stayed in one of the Ocean Front Lanais, the largest units on property, which we highly recommend. They are separate from the main hotel building and have balconies that open right onto the beach. Due to their privacy and ideal location between the pool area and the ocean, these units, which go for $1,200-plus per night in peak season, are the best rooms to book.

Other than these, the one- and two-bedroom suites in the main building and units in the La Grande Vista area have the best views. The poolsideGarden Lanais (featuring their own private Jacuzzis) and the property's 127 connecting rooms are most suitable for groups and large families traveling together. The Royal Suite and the Monarch Suite both have two bedrooms, a private terrace and a living area, and the Royal Suite also has a kitchen; these are the two best suites. The newlywed couple Christopher Knight (a.k.a. Peter Brady from The Brady Bunch) and Adrianne Curry (from America's Top Model) became engaged soon after staying in the Royal Suite.

A few of the 24 canopied, double-sided daybeds next to the pool, along the shoreline

All units can be booked over the GDS. Tip: For holiday periods, book one year out, especially for the Ocean Front Lanais. The property is pet-friendly, offering couture pet beds.

The property's Edouard de Paris Day Spa & Salon has five treatment rooms, plus one couple's treatment room. Outdoor massages are available in poolside cabanas. The spa's most popular treatments are the Four Hand Massage, the Deep-Tissue Massage and Le Grand Classique Facial. New to the treatment menu is the Plaisir des Sens Facial, which uses gemstones to align chakras and balance energy. If your clients are looking for a male aesthetician, request Laurent Saleres; for a female therapist and aesthetician, Marisol Soto; for a male therapist, Carlos Rosa; and for a yoga-on-the-beach instructor, Melba Soto. The salon, which is also open to kids, offers manicures, pedicures, haircuts and hair treatments using the new Kerastase Hair Treatment Line. SPA Edouard de Paris uses the Yonka Paris product line, which is exclusive to El San Juan Hotel & Resort.

Agents can book treatments for clients in advance when they secure rooms. Visit www.edouardparis.com for more information, or contact Spa Director Lydia Chevere at 787-253-1300 or 787-791-1000, ext. 1175.

The attentive concierge department can arrange helicopter service around the island, custom couture fittings with top local designers and private museum tours with art historians at famed local museums, including Museo de Puerto Rico. The head concierges are Tanya Sanchez ([email protected]) and Carla Negron ([email protected]); get in touch with either by calling 787-791-1000, ext. 4.

New Encanto Beach Club & Grill

The 130-seat La Veranda restaurant, which overlooks the pool, gardens and beach, was recently renamed the Encanto Beach Club & Grill after an extensive renovation that was conceived and created by club designer Stephane Dupoux, whose portfolio includes the Buddha Bar in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan. Dupoux redesigned the deck and poolside areas, creating a décor that blends bedroom, gaming and bar elements in the nautilus-shaped open-air lounge. The pool area has 24 canopied, double-sided daybeds along the shoreline, three private cabanas, hammocks, swings, a swim-up bar and stylish outside showers, overstuffed chaise lounges and cocoon chairs.

El San Juan has seven other excellent on-site restaurants, including The Bistro, a casual French-style café. The steaks at The Palm, the northern Italian cuisine at La Piccola Fontana and the sushi at Yamato are all popular with locals. There are secluded rooms at The Palm and La Piccola Fontana for a private chef's table or wine tasting. The Agave Ranch, a country-western-style bar and grill featuring casual dining and a tequila sommelier, is on the hotel's rooftop and has the best views of the sunset (Antoine Walker, Derek Jeter, Dennis Rodman, Lorraine Bracco, Jason Fabini, Jerome Bettis and Oscar De La Hoya have all been spotted there). Agents can make reservations for clients at the time of booking rooms. As for off-site fine dining, recommend one of the tasting menus at Chef Wilo Benet's Pikayo (787-721-6194), which serves gourmet international and local cuisine and is in the Art Museum of Puerto Rico (787-977-6277).

The on-property Galeria Shopping Mall is home to Godiva Chocolatier, as well as Hellenis Jewelers and Rheinhold Jewelry, which can design custom jewelry and watches for clients. The hotel is also close to the Condado area, which is lined with high-end stores.

For kids, recommend the Grand Plaza Las Américas shopping mall, about 15 minutes from the hotel. Another kid-friendly attraction is the Children's Museum (787-722-3791) in Old San Juan. The concierge can arrange transfers.

Gerry Farrulla (787-791-1000) is the hotel's wedding planner extraordinaire. For VIPs, agents can contact John Paul Oliver, El San Juan's general manager and managing director, at 787-791-1000, ext. 1051 or [email protected]. The property's travel agent liaison is Lisa M. Gelabert-Rivera (787-791-1000, ext. 1057 or [email protected]).