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Historic Old San Juan

Rich in Spanish Tradition and History

A landmark monument to the Conquistador Age and one of the most historic hotels in Old San Juan Puerto Rico, Hotel El Convento in San Juan, Puerto Rico showcases a timeless aura of Old World charm and splendor. Befitting its origins as a Carmelite convent more than 350 years ago, our splendid Puerto Rico luxury hotel is a loving restoration of Spanish Colonial architecture and design. Select from 58 elegant rooms - each adorned with rich wooden beams, handcrafted tiles, carved chairs, velvet settees, and antique chests. Walk in the footsteps of world leaders and international celebrities at this world-class Old San Juan luxury hotel. Our colorful past at El Convento in San Juan includes highlights such as:

The timeline

  • 1646 - Construction began on the Carmelite convent, through a petition by King Phillip IV of Spain.
  • July 1651 - The convent was inaugurated as the Monastery of Our Lady Carmen of San José -- and was situated across the street from San Juan Cathedral, the Western Hemisphere's oldest cathedral.
  • Dec. 9, 1903 - The convent was closed by the Archbishop of San Juan.
  • 1959 - Under the auspices of Operation Bootstrap, Robert Frederic Woolworth - heir to the Woolworth fortune - began converting the convent into the El Convento Hotel.
  • Jan. 27, 1962 - El Convento Hotel opened.
  • 1990s and 2000s - The property was renovated again and rechristened Hotel El Convento.

El Convento Hotel History in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Celebrate more than 360 years of tradition at our luxury old San Juan hotel in Puerto Rico. 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.
Opened on Jan. 27, 1962 as El Convento Hotel, it offered a tranquil, European-style alternative to the glitzy hotels lining the Condado strip. Since that time, we've maintained a high standard of luxury and style - constantly improving our amenities and recreational services. Notable present-day features of our boutique-style Puerto Rico luxury hotel include:

  • Named the premier "Small Luxury Hotel" in Puerto Rico
  • Oldest member of Historic Hotels of America
  • Daily Manager's reception, serving a variety of wine and a variety of international cheeses on La Veranda terrace
  • Plunge pool and heated jacuzzi, offering breathtaking views of San Juan Bay
  • 24-hour fitness center, with free weights, treadmill, elliptical trainer, and stair climber, offering guests unlimited use
  • One restaurant serving cuisine ranging from tapas to traditional Puerto Rican fare
  • Library, with access to our business center
  • El Convento Beach Club, featuring beach and pool privileges at our sister properties, located on two of the best beaches in Puerto Rico