The Condado Vanderbilt: Where Sleek Contemporary Design Compliments Spanish Revival Style with Superior Hospitality
Being an architect has its disadvantages, especially when it comes to attention to details. Our “critical eye” has been trained to focus on things that most people would never notice. This professional “handicap” often drives us crazy. But when we do see perfection, we can truly appreciate it.
Almost a century ago, in 1919, Frederick William Vanderbilt acquired an oceanfront property in the exclusive Condado District of San Juan, Puerto Rico. His vision was to transform the land into a hospitality pearl of the Caribbean, the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel. As a man of great taste, he handpicked one of the best architectural firms of that time, Warren and Whitmore (architects of the New York City’s Grand Central Station, Biltmore, Commodore, and Ambassador Hotels) to give his vision a form and face, applying the early Spanish Revival style. After its completion, the hotel was an instant success, attracting distinguished guests from all around the world, such as Charles Lindberg, President Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt, among many.
Today, after many extensive renovations and hotel additions, the hotel still breathes its original elegance and style, gracefully accompanied by new contemporary design elements. The original building has been restored to its former grandeur with graceful curving staircases located in the double-height entrance lobby, crossed arched hallways with French-style windows, granite floors and classic draperies and chandeliers.
With its two new towers of 11-stories each (the Beach Tower and the Spa Tower) that were erected on each side of the original building (east and west), the hotel now offers a total of 323 units, including 80 Commodore Suites ad 40 Biltmore Suites. The hotel also houses 7 exceptional restaurants and bars, event rooms, spa, fitness center and much more.
After enjoying two days at the Condado Vanderbilt, I would prefer to call it a resort hotel, since each new tower is complimented with resort-style swimming pools, decks and outdoor recreational areas overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The sandy beach below features exclusive cabanas and chaise lounges for hotel guests to enjoy.
The Condado Vanderbilt Hotel is a great place for a family vacation, wedding, business event or a simple weekend getaway to the heart of the Caribbean. It’s definitely the best hotel in Puerto Rico that elegantly blends history with superb quality and attention to detail in every aspect of its existence.