If you’re visiting San Juan for a Puerto Rico vacation or in town before leaving on a cruise around the Caribbean, look no further than Hotel El Convento.
A landmark monument to the Conquistador Age, this luxury hotel in Old Town showcases a timeless aura of Old World charm and splendor.
Befitting its origins as a Carmelite convent more than 350 years ago, this splendid hotel is a loving restoration of Spanish Colonial architecture and design.
It has 58 elegant rooms – each unique in its own way – adorned with rich wooden beams, handcrafted tiles, carved chairs, velvet settees, and antique chests.
A Stunning Oasis By San Juan Bay
Construction began on the Carmelite convent in 1646, through a petition by King Phillip IV of Spain. The convent was inaugurated as the Monastery of Our Lady Carmen of San José in July 1651 — and was situated across the street from San Juan Cathedral, the Western Hemisphere’s oldest cathedral.
As the first Carmelite Convent in the Americas, it housed the nuns for 252 years until closing a few days before Christmas in 1903.
Vacant for a decade, the abandoned building served as a retail store, a dance hall, and, for the next 40 years, a flophouse without running water, sanitary facilities, or electricity.
Under the auspices of Operation Bootstrap, Robert Frederic Woolworth – heir to the Woolworth fortune – began converting the convent into the El Convento Hotel in 1959. El Convento Hotel later opened on Jan. 27, 1962.
During the 1990s and 2000s, the property was renovated again and rechristened Hotel El Convento.
Since opening in 1962, the hotel has offered a tranquil, European-style alternative to the glitzy hotels lining the Condado strip. Since that time, the hotel has maintained a high standard of luxury and style – constantly improving its amenities and recreational services.
Notable present-day features of the boutique-style Puerto Rico luxury hotel include it being named the premier “Small Luxury Hotel” in Puerto Rico.
Each day there is a ‘Manager’s reception’, serving a variety of wine and international cheeses on its La Veranda terrace.
Walk up the stairs from this terrace and you’ll find its plunge pool and heated jacuzzi, which offers breathtaking views of San Juan Bay.
It has a library, business center and 24-hour fitness center with free weights, treadmill, elliptical trainer, and stair climber, offering guests unlimited use.
Hotel El Convento has its own restaurants, serving cuisine ranging from tapas to traditional Puerto Rican fare.
Want to hit the beach? Head to El Convento Beach Club, featuring beach and pool privileges at its sister properties, located on two of the best beaches in Puerto Rico.
Just outside the lobby you can wander the streets of colorful Old San Juan to experience the finest museums and attractions including stunning cathedrals and world-renowned historic forts.
When the sun goes down, you can indulge in the vibrant Puerto Rico nightlife scene just steps from the hotel.
Patio del Níspero
Enjoy the best elegant al fresco dining San Juan has to offer in the shadow of the hotel’s famous century-old nispero fruit tree. The open-air restaurant located at the center of the hotel, Patio del Níspero, offers a gourmet menu of delicious and authentic Puerto Rican food served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Breakfast is served from 6:30 am to 11:30 am, with its menu featuring options for every taste. From a juicy Continental Breakfast – which includes a Caribbean fruit cocktail, assorted pastries and your choice of toast served with butter, and freshly brewed coffee or tea – to a local favorite and delicious Mallorca Panini: egg, ham and cheddar cheese on a grilled mallorca bun, served with root vegetables with onions, peppers and aromatic herbs. It also has a classic Build Your Own Omelet offering prepared with regular eggs or white eggs and your choice of ingredients.
For lunch and dinner there is amazing comfort food. Lunch is served from 11:30 am to 4 pm, or enjoy a tasty dinner, served from 6 pm to 10 pm. Desserts cannot be left aside. For the sweet end, you can choose from our vanilla and almond signature “flan” to a Nutella crème brulee, and more.
Here’s a look at the various guest rooms and suites at Hotel El Convento:
Delightful accommodations with a Queen bed, beautiful Spanish furniture and Louver Doors that open to a Juliet balcony with limited view.
Luxurious accommodations with Two Twin Beds, Beautiful Spanish Furniture and Spanish Louver Doors that open to a Juliet balcony.
Queen Deluxe Garden Terrace
Elegant and spacious high ceiling, one Queen bed accommodation that combines beautiful Spanish furniture with a comfortable private terrace to enjoy natural sunlight.
These guestrooms provide one Queen bed, beautiful Spanish furniture and Louver Doors that open to a Juliet balcony overlooking the magnificent San Juan Bay. Very romantic!
Refined accommodations with two Full size beds, beautiful Spanish Furniture and Louver Doors that open to a Juliet balcony with a magnificent view of the San Juan Bay or the San Juan Cathedral, and a bustling town square.
One Bedroom Suite
Luxurious accommodations with a parlor and separate sleeping bedroom with a Queen or Two Full Beds, Beautiful Spanish Furniture and Spanish Louver Doors.
Pablo Casals Suite
Luxurious One Bedroom Suite with King size bed in the master room and a Full sofa bed in the parlor, Spanish louver doors that open to a Juliet balcony overlooking the Cathedral, Antique marble floors, and beautiful decorations. Perfect for Honeymooners!
Gloria Vanderbilt Suite
Luxurious Master Suite with King Size bed in the Bedroom, Living and Dining rooms with exquisite decorations, magnificent marble bathroom with Jacuzzi, Trompe-l’œil walls, and two sets of Spanish louver doors that open to a Juliet balcony overlooking “Plaza de las Monjas” and our historic city.
For more information or reservation, visit www.elconvento.com.