Hilton HistoryCategory|

Expanding Beyond the Continental United States

This Week in Hilton History

In 1949, Hilton opened Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico, its first hotel outside of the continental United States. The Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. had decided to build a luxury hotel in the area, inviting seven American hotel companies to bid on the property. Conrad Hilton was chosen, and Caribe Hilton was born. The hotel quickly inspired a new wave of tourism that introduced many travelers to the island of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean at large. The beachfront resort, perched on 17 acres of lush tropical garden, immediately became an icon within the company’s portfolio of properties as well and became a go-to vacation destination for many celebrities and dignitaries. Admired as one of Puerto Rico’s most beloved resorts and the birthplace of the Piña Colada, Caribe Hilton recently reopened in May 2019. Marking the property’s 70th birthday, the resort re-opened and debuted a more than $150 million restoration following a 15-month closure precipitated by the devastation delivered to the island by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Browse the photos to see more of this ever-iconic resort.