Palacio Provincial opened its doors last week in Puerto Rico's historic Old San Juan neighborhood. The property's 43 rooms are artfully tucked into an early 19th-century structure flaunting wood-beams and private courtyards that hosted a deputy-council meeting during the 1870s (plaques celebrating this moment were intentionally kept to reflect this history). The building served as a meeting spot for a mix of artists and politicians.
“While Old San Juan overflows with historic elements, Palacio Provincial features a fresh, modern twist in its design that still celebrates the heritage of the building,” said Sara Velez, the hotel’s manager, referring to it as “a perfect mixture of old and new.” Examples of the new twist, as a result of an extensive renovation, include a rooftop pool (where cocktails are served along with views of San Juan Bay) and glass-enclosed library (hosts afternoon tea).
In each of the rooms, original art curated from local artists hangs on the walls and high ceilings coax in natural light. One of the rooms, the Infanta Suite, was inspired by Spain’s Princess Eulalia. Guests are also greeted by the aroma of a custom scent (one of their choosing) created by Aroma360.
Despite being in the middle of a pandemic, when new businesses (including hotels) aren’t opening at the same pace as before, “the property sets an important milestone for Puerto Rico and Old San Juan as it is the first hotel to open in the neighborhood in decades,” Velez said.
Part of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts group, guests also receive access to daily complimentary receptions. Interactive QR codes posted around the property allow history and architecture buffs to dig deeper into the building’s bones and feel as though they are transported to another time, says Velez. Plus, guests can enjoy the rotating cocktail of the day at happy hour.
He says that Puerto Rico is still a hot spot for vacationers. “Travelers are coming to Puerto Rico for the impressive gastronomy and mixology scene,” says Velez. “In Old San Juan specifically, we're seeing travelers enjoy the variety of open-air dining concepts available, where they tend to feel safer right now.”
Room rates for this season start at $195. Book rooms here.