by Lisa A. Grimaldi | January 01, 2013
Sip This
Puerto Rico Fav Mojito

A favorite cocktail of locals and visitors alike is the mojito, a refreshing blend of white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), fresh lime juice, sparkling water and muddled mint leaves.

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Nearly 1,500 rooms are being added to San Juan's hotel inventory as part of the new Bahia Urbana mixed-use development, which includes the Convention Center District. Already open is the two-year-old, 503-room Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino. Four additional properties, including a 250-room Aloft hotel and a 214-room Courtyard by Marriott, are in the planning stages.

The 114-room Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, debuted last month at the former setting of the renowned Laurance Rockefeller estate in Dorado Beach. The hotel is a member of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Future Society Ambassadors of the Environment program, which incorporates eco-education with group activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, hiking and touring relevant sites such as an ancient Taino archaeological dig on the property's grounds. Event space includes a 4,558-square-foot meeting room, a boardroom and several private dining areas, including a colonial-style hacienda called Su Casa. The hotel also features a five-acre Spa Botánico, providing unique local treatments.

The 126-suite Hyatt House San Juan, the first Hyatt House hotel in the Caribbean, is slated to open in fall 2014. Stay tuned for details.

The 104-room Hyatt Place Manatí is expected to open in 2014 with an 11,500-square-foot casino, flexible meeting space, a 24-hour fitness center, and complimentary Wi-Fi and breakfast. Manatí, 40 miles west of San Juan, is headquarters to many multinational firms and pharmaceutical companies.

The 115-room Howard Johnson Isla Verde, a 10-minute drive from Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport, has completed a $1.2 million enhancement of its public spaces, guest rooms, lobby, pool area and fitness center.

The 371-room JW Marriott Hotel & Resort at Coco Beach will debut this year. The property will have nearly 21,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 12,000-square-foot ballroom, seven meeting rooms, two boardrooms and five hospitality suites. Other offerings include a 36-hole, Tom Kite-designed championship golf course, a spa and fitness center, and a casino.

This fall, the refurbished 450-room Condado Vanderbilt is set to reopen with 15,000 square feet of meeting space.

The 416-room Ritz-Carlton, San Juan, recently finished a multimillion-dollar renovation of all guest rooms and suites.

The 80-room San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel has completed a $2.5 renovation. Included in the project were the addition of new pillow-top mattresses, linens and towels, in-room safes, flat-screen televisions, iHome docking stations and Wi-Fi connectivity. The hotel's indoor and outdoor event spaces and two meeting rooms have also undergone fresh upgrades. The property is now part of Aimbridge Hospitality, which operates a total of 68 hotels across 12 brands in the United States and the Caribbean.

The 525-room San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino recently completed a $2.2 million lobby redesign, which followed a $35 million update of guest rooms and a $2 million refurbishment of the outdoor poolside dining areas.