After 5 days spent in the east of the island in Fajardo, we travelled back to San Juan to experience the much talked about Fiestas de la Calle de San Sebastián,- a weekend of celebrations, food and drinks in the heart of the old town. The experience would not have been complete had we not stayed at the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in the chic District of Condado in San Juan. The hotel is everything you expect form a 5-star hotel and more. It was originally build by Frederick William Vanderbilt in 1919 and was the “it” destination for many. It recently went through major $200 million renovations re-opening it’s doors in 2014. As soon as you step through the lobby doors it takes you back in time to the glorious 1920’s with its style, sophistication and service that the Vanderbilt was and is known for.
The hotel is split into two towers: The Commodore and the Biltmore The one and two bedroom suites range from 750 – 1,500 square feet. Our upgraded suite consisted of granite counter tops, African mahogany wood detailing and custom-designed lighting elements. White Carrera marble floors, dove grey walls, and neutral-toned furniture accented with locally-sourced artwork, touches of turquoise and yellow, and the striking backdrop of the translucent Atlantic. The bathroom was configured with a rain shower and C.O. Bigelow bath amenities.
The hotel has two pools located on either side of the towers, one is family-friendly and the other is adults only. We got to experience both. The West Tower pool area features a 200-square foot mirrored pool with a waterfall, surrounded by chaise lounges and private cabanas – a perfect setting for sunning and socializing while taking in the warm breeze. The West Tower’s , infinity-edge pool is perched on the edge of the ocean, and lies adjacent to an intimate, wooden sun deck, located directly above the crashing waves with only two beach chairs. If you want these seats you have to get up extra early or have it reserved. Either way there is plenty of places to bask in the sun. The other pool located at the east tower was smaller but featured a large hot tub. From here there is also access to a small beach with loungers and service provided by the beach butlers.
There are several restaurants and bars located in the restaurant and although we didn’t get to try all of them I can attest to the 5-star quality and service of the buffet-style breakfast served pool-side at the Ola Oceanfront restaurant. After staying here for 3 short days we were pampered, rested and ready to head back to reality. However, the hotel quickly made its way to my top 5 hotels that I have ever stayed at. While its not a cheap place to stay, it is worth every penny.
* Condado Vanderbilt is part of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Group.