Normandie Hotel gets $6 million face-lift
By : PROVIANA COLON DIAZ
Volume: 32 | No: 50
Page : 34
Issued : 12/16/2004
Hotel will feature terrace bar,
lobby lounge, and new restaurant
“The glamour is back!” With that slogan, the Radisson Normandie
opened its doors in 1989 after decades of abandonment. Now, it is the
Normandie Hotel, and General Manager Thomas Pauly is doing all he can to
revive the glamour and make the property Puerto Rico’s finest boutique
hotel, including a $6 million renovation that should be completed by
The hotel’s rooms, or “cabins,” are being remodeled using the color,
texture, and furniture that were typical of the French Art Deco period.
The Normandie Hotel, located in Puerta de Tierra, is considered by many
architects to be one of the Caribbean’s finest examples of Art Deco
Decor, however, will be the only thing from the past: All rooms will be
equipped with the latest technology, from high-speed Internet access to
plasma television sets.
In addition, the hotel will feature “CRU,” a restaurant serving a fusion
of seafood and Italian classics. The “N-Lounge” bar will turn the hotel
lobby into a meeting place and will serve a wide range of appetizers. It
will extend to the second-floor terrace.
To promote the hotel, Pauly signed an agreement with SRS-World Hotels, a
German organization that offers marketing, sales, and distribution
services to more than 450 hotels worldwide. The hotel has ended its
contract with Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, part of Carlson Hotels
Worldwide. Park Plaza has administered the hotel since 2001.
Its new affiliation with SRS-World Hotel will result in an estimated 20%
increase in nightly room fees, as the Normandie Hotel is now being
promoted in SRS-Hotel’s “First Class” category, which includes
properties offering superior accommodations, a sophisticated atmosphere,
and top services.
Increased prices aren’t making Pauly lose any sleep, however. Already
65% of the rooms have been booked for the high season, which started Dec.
15, even though renovations have yet to be completed. Pauly expects to
finish the first quarter of 2005 with hotel occupancy rates ranging from
89% to 91%. In addition, once the hotel is fully operational, Pauly
hopes to increase the number of
employees from 140 to 200.
Pauly is convinced the Normandie Hotel has potential and its location,
very close to the upcoming Convention Center District, will help it
become Puerto Rico’s No. 1 boutique hotel.
“We are very pleased with the hotel’s evolution and believe it will
become one of the top choices for travelers who are looking for modern
properties with a cozy, refined atmosphere and excellent service,” said
Pauly during the tour he gave to CARIBBEAN BUSINESS reporters.
This will be the first time since the hotel’s glory days in the 1940s
that it will be known by its original name, the Normandie Hotel.