Puerto Rico Destination Guide

Storied History
Until 1898, the island was under Spanish rule. In 1917, under the Jones Act, Puerto Rico's residents became U.S. citizens, and the island became a commonwealth of the U.S. in 1952.

Local Update
The 371-room JW Marriott Hotel & Resort at Coco Beach is slated to open in 2013. 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 17,775-square-foot spa and fitness center, and a 6,370-square-foot casino.

The 115-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve Dorado Beach Resort & Spa is slated to open late this year at the former setting of the renowned Laurance Rockefeller estate in Dorado Beach. Last fall, the resort's East Course golf facility reopened following an 18-month revamp. The layout originally was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., and the new work was overseen by his son, Robert Trent Jones Jr. The resort's West Course is set for renovation this year.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts also will open a Dorado Beach property. The 500-room hotel will open on the site of the former Hyatt Regency Cerromar in 2013.

The 450-room Condado Vanderbilt reopened last month following a complete renovation. The property, in the heart of the Condado tourist district, has 15,000 square feet of meeting space, a spa and four restaurants.

The 107-room Wyndham Garden at Palmas del Mar debuted this year. The property has 6,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as offerings such as a business center, a fitness center, a casino, a restaurant and a wine bar.

The 112-room Rincón Beach Resort has completed a $4.2 million expansion, adding a 3,440-square-foot ballroom and a 1,200-square-foot reception hall.

Long Island
Puerto Rico is 110 miles long and 35 miles wide. 

Meeting Hotels
 Meeting and incentive properties in Old San Juan include the 240-room Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel and 68-room Hotel El Convento.

The Convention Center District has the 503-room Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino.

On the beach between Old San Juan and Condado is the 910-room Caribe Hilton.

Condado has the 570-room Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza, 525-room San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino and 248-room La Concha, a Renaissance Hotel.

For more detailed information on Puerto Rico's hotels and resorts, visit the facility search at mcvenues.com.

Convention Center
Puerto Rico Convention Center; exhibit space, 152,700 square feet; ballroom, 39,500 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 15 (divisible into 28); (800) 875-4765

Airport Transit
Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport, about seven miles from downtown San Juan. Transfer cost by taxi, $15 to $20

Room tax, 11% at casino hotels, 9% at noncasino hotels; sales tax, 5.5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 11% or 9%

Group Venue
Puerto Rico celebrity chef Roberto Trevino's new eatery in San Juan, Casa Lola, features brilliant hues and the architectural style of a colonial-style hacienda. The restaurant specializes in criollo-Spanish cuisine, including flavorful dishes such as shrimp piononos and steamed candied calamari. Groups of up to 300 are accommodated. (787) 998-2918

Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, (800) 875-4765