. El San Juan Hotel | Northstar Meetings Group

PARTNER CONTENT

Hotel Overview
For those who desire innovative meetings, meet the extraordinary El San Juan Hotel that brings together storied décor, inspired cuisine, high-touch service and culturally authentic experiences. The hotel is an inspired and inspiring enclave for meetings that embodies the best of Puerto Rico’s past, present, and future.

That is evident now more than ever, as this iconic hotel on the award-winning Isla Verde Beach has recently completed a $65 million renovation through which exquisite enhancements were made: to its guest rooms and villas, public spaces, cabanas, swimming pools, and more. 

New additions and design features have been masterfully incorporated so as to preserve the hotel’s classic character, aesthetic, and ambiance. Modern-day styling, comforts, and amenities mingle with sophisticated historic detailing, including a stunning signature Czechoslovakian crystal chandelier and architecturally rich Mahogany woodwork, that call to mind the property’s enthralling, decades-long history as a centerpiece of the San Juan social scene. 

That scene was nothing if not epic: Nearly thirty years following its 1958 opening in which some of the world’s most legendary entertainers took to the hotel’s stage. It will be easy for attendees to imagine the excitement of seeing such music icons as Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli, Nat King Cole, and Carol Channing up close and in person—especially when they’re enjoying vintage rums at the festive on-site bar named after the hotel’s debut year.

The El San Juan Hotel legend continues today, and meeting groups will feel a part of it as soon as they arrive—which will be quick and easy, as this timeless landmark is just 2.2 miles from Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport and minutes from the culture and entertainment district Old San Juan. They’ll be met by gracious, enthusiastic service and attention; a lively, convivial ambiance; and an environment that is truly, and uniquely, authentic with its sense of place.

The property is an immersive and extraordinary destination—one that is enriched by enchanting add-ons: a cultural ambassador and on-site cultural immersion activities, plus easily accessible excursions and adventures that highlight the island’s heritage, style, and breathtaking natural beauty.

But with all that the El San Juan Hotel has to offer, attendees will likely spend a lot of time on property. There are several enticing dining and entertainment spots, and amenities to cater to both relaxation and recreation. That the hotel has so much to do on site is a boon to business, too, as meeting delegates will continue to forge connections and cultivate conversations when they end up on adjacent lounge chairs by the pool or decide on a casual get-together at the sophisticated Chandelier Bar. 



Meetings
Effortless inspiration is around every corner at the El San Juan Hotel. Thoughtful elements are in place to facilitate the most creative to the most traditional business programs, from intimate board meetings to general sessions. The hotel’s nearly 40,000 square feet of meeting space comprises a recently redesigned 11,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom with 18-foot ceilings, an adjacent grand terrace overlooking the pool and beach, and unique pre-function space. Additionally, an elegant Gold Ballroom has as its centerpiece a Czech Bohemian Crystal Chandelier and offers its own entrance off the main porte cochere.

For an authentic Island background, there are 19,000 square feet of outdoor pool and beachfront options—and spectacular options they are. There’s space for groups of up to 150 to gather poolside under a 200-year-old Banyan Tree, an exquisite property landmark, or at Aquarelle, the on-property seafood restaurant that is an outdoor paradise for private parties.  

Cultural Connections
That planners choose Puerto Rico as their meetings locale is no surprise: The destination fascinates with its heritage, culture, and history—and at the El San Juan Hotel, there are myriad ways to reward attendees with experiences that allow them to engage with it.

At Chico Cabaret, the on-site club, groups can get festive during Salsa dance classes, or attend a performance from El San Juan Big Band and Charlie Sepulveda, a well-known musical artist. For a cultural experience that titillates the taste buds, groups can also gather at the Rum Bar for one of two experiences involving Puerto Rico’s signature liquor: a tasting of locally made rums, or a hands-on cocktail class with award-winning mixologists Yeye Ortega and Sergio Reyes in which they learn to mix luscious rum drinks.

Health and Wellness
Puerto Rico’s tropic climate and the resort’s stunning scenery give attendees a natural rejuvenation that’s reflected in energetic, enthusiastic discussions and collaboration. Helping to sustain that drive and enthusiasm throughout the day is the hotel’s focus on health and wellness, reflected in food and beverage options that both nourish and excite attendees.

Planners can select such items as Caribbean vegetable frittatas; yucateco egg white burritos with kale, salsa roja, quinoia, and avocado; organic baby kale salad with watermelon and marinated tomatoes; and grilled octopus with braised pineapple. Even meeting breaks are nutrient-packed when planners select the “Make Your Own Trail Mix” or “Power Juice” stations—or, for the the ultimate Caribbean treat, a “Fruteria,” set-up reminiscent of Latin street food stands with fresh, vibrant fruits and vegetables sprinkled with chili powder, lime, and salt.

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Accommodations
A sophisticated end-of-day retreat that replenishes and restores can be found in each of the El San Juan Hotel’s 388 redesigned guest rooms, suites, and villas. Their new island-inspired Jeffrey Beers design is both modern and sophisticated, and floor-to-ceiling windows spectacularly showcase views of the lush pool areas, city surrounds, or Atlantic Ocean expanse. Plush chaise lounges turn relaxation to an art form, and amenities such as sensor-activated air conditioning and complimentary WiFi make unwinding even more effortless, still.

There are eleven room categories in all, so it’s easy to cater to attendees who bring guests along or distinguish VIP delegates with an upgraded booking. These ultra-sumptuous enclaves—two specialty suites and spacious pool, Banyan, and oceanfront villas—will undoubtedly delight any executive board member, or award winner within the group. 

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Features in Focus
Beyond the meetings and formal agendas, the El San Juan Hotel gives attendees many ways to celebrate successes, from daytime organized team-building beach events to the relaxation of the Well & Being Spa located on the 10th floor of the Grand Tower.

Others may visit the new tri-level, 24-hour Well & Being Fitness Center, which has a Juice Bar and offers a robust and ever rotating class schedule that includes Wall Yoga, guided meditation, TRX, In-Trinity Board Class, and Beach Body Bootcamp. Or, for a fitness activity that also allows attendees to cool off in the pool, planners can schedule a Float Fit Workout. This unique, wellness-oriented team-building activity takes place on inflatable paddle boards that are tethered together on the water’s surface; it incorporates traditional conditioning movements like squats, lunges, and core work, and gets the heart rate up with a cardiovascular water workout.

After an exhilarating workout or electrifying brainstorming session, attendees will thrill at the on-site dining spots where they can indulge their appetites. Chef Juliana Gonzalez takes traditional San Juan tastes to new places with her internationally inspired Puerto Rican restaurant, CAÑA. There’s a special sense-of-place experience to be had at Aquarelle, with its exquisite “water-to-table” seafood dishes and stunning beachfront locale. Meat Market is a luscious on-site steakhouse from Chef Sean Brasel, and Trattoria Napoles is a casual spot for Italian cuisine. Attendees with people to meet or things to see and do will thrill at the gourmet grab-and-go offerings from El Bistro, conveniently located in the hotel lobby. 

There are four outdoor pools on property, with a large swim-up bar and luxury private cabanas with full food and beverage service available. Beachfront access is easy, and this stretch of sand is a particularly irresistible downtime destination: two stunning miles of Isla Verde Beach, which has been named the “Best Urban Beach” by Conde Nast Traveler.

Invigorating watersports experiences are available right there: jet-skiing and snorkeling, to start, with other options close by, including surfing, banana boat rides, waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing, and more. For sports enthusiasts, there’s also a bit of beach volleyball action—and back on hotel grounds, both basketball and pro-level tennis courts. Instructors are at the ready for attendees looking to improve their serve and swing during their stay.

Destination Delights
That stunning expanse of shoreline splendor that is steps from every hotel room isn’t the only easily accessible place where groups can intermingle with Puerto Rico’s extraordinary natural world. At El Yunque tropical rainforest, they can explore the lush landscape and awe at the exquisite waterfalls hidden within its realm. A nighttime kayak ride through one of the island’s unique bioluminescent bays is extraordinary in every sense of the word. And a catamaran charter that comes to rest on an uninhabited cay will feel like the ultimate afternoon getaway—and induce amongst attendees a clarity of thought that will benefit business discussions back in the hotel’s meeting rooms and beyond.

But Puerto Rico shows itself as an enclave of inspiration in other ways, too. Ideas may strike while attendees wind their way through Old San Juan’s cobblestone streets, captivated by the centuries-old buildings that line them. Landmark buildings such as the Castillo San Cristobal and San Juan Bautista Cathedral fascinate with historic appeal, too. Attendees can choose to tour the home that was built for explorer Ponce de León, view pre-Columbian-era artifacts at Museo de las Américas, or admire Puerto Rican art at El Museo de Arte de Ponce. San Juan’s shops and restaurants are irresistible leisure-time lures, too—and for those who really want to dazzle their taste buds, Casa BACARDI (just across the bay) offers visitors samples of the brand’s world-renowned rums. 

Start planning your next legendary meeting the El San Juan Hotel.