Arrival/Check-in: The Condado Plaza Resort & Casino is two hotels in one. The two stand-alone buildings, connected by a second floor covered walkway, meld into one uniform property. Still, each has its distinct advantages. We pulled into the circular drive in front of the waterfront building. At the time, it was a stark and rather unwelcoming arrival setting, but management had identified it as a problem area and was quickly working to warm it up with strategically placed lighting and landscaping. The other minus (again, corrections were on the planning board at the time of my visit) was the configuration of the entry door relative to the front desk. The expansive lobby offers a straight-shot view of the ocean — but the front desk and the entry door were tucked into a corner near the elevator bank. The result was initial disappointment followed by relief when we realized the full extent of the lobby. (25/30)
Guest Quarters: The décor of our spacious suite took us by surprise. Here we were in a tropical, albeit urban, setting, but the room was done in bold tones of red (lots of red) and white highlighted by dark wood accents. It took a bit to get used to the unexpected design, but we ultimately found it refreshing. A sofa, armchair and coffee table created a conversation setting in the large sitting area which had an adjacent guest bath. A spacious work desk faced the window. French doors opened to the bedroom and bathroom/dressing room with a giant whirlpool tub, a separate shower stall, double vanity and plenty of storage space. The only drawback: We pulled the curtains to check out the view and discovered the bedroom overlooked a lower-level rooftop and its various HVAC units. The living room opened to a small balcony, but it also offered a limited view of the adjacent building. (25/30)
Services/Amenities: The hotel’s second-floor casino sees lots of action, but its presence does not intrude on the plans of guests who choose not to indulge. The Strip House, an old-world steak house, is a delightful dining venue. Myriad bars and casual eateries create a social atmosphere. The hotel’s main swimming pool is a family affair, but landscaped nooks and crannies provide privacy for guests seeking a quieter setting. And those who truly want to escape can head across the street to the adjacent building’s swimming pool. It’s small but pretty — with a great view overlooking Laguna Condado. (39/40)
The Experience: Once the punch list following the hotel’s recent $67 million renovation is complete, this will be a high-scoring property.
Total Score: (89/100)
Condado Plaza Resort & Casino
999 Ashford Ave.
San Juan, PR 00907
tel 787 721 1000
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
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Cocktail culture is an integral part of the history of New Orleans. Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Orleans pays homage to classic cocktails with its Chandelier Bar. Opening in summer 2021, the lobby bar serves traditional and new cocktails under a stunning 15,000-crystal custom chandelier.
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