This old convent is now converted into an upscale shopping, dining mall and hotel in this old convent dating from 1651. The Carmelite society ran this convent until 1903 when it was converted to an upscale hotel.
El Convento is the most famous hotel in San Juan, and probably the most popular as well although not everyone can afford to stay there. Even if you are not one of the lucky few, you can still take a look around the beautiful 17th century building. Located across the street from the San Juan Cathedral, El Convento was originally built from 1646 to 1651 as a Carmelite convent called the Monastery of Our Lady Carmen of San José. It remained a convent for the next 250 years, until it closed in 1903. A few decades later, Robert Frederic Woolworth (yes, "that" Woolworth) acquired the building and decided to turn it into a hotel. From its opening in 1962, El Convento has welcomed celebrities, honeymooners, and lucky visitors from all around the world. It's truly worth taking a quick look inside, or even stop for breakfast or lunch at the very nice Patio del Nispero, or have some wine and tapas at El Picoteo, two of the hotel's relatively affordable restaurants.