HOTEL MELIÁ STANDS AS THE OLDEST CONTINOUSLY OPERATED HOTEL IN PUERTO RICO
Don Bartolo Meliá was the founder of the Hotel Meliá in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He was a native Inca, Mayorca; an island in Spain. Around 1890 Mr. Meliá came to Puerto Rico to attend some business owned by spaniards in Ponce.
The History of the Hotel Meliá in Ponce, Puerto Rico
Don Bartolo Meliá was the founder of the Hotel Meliá in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He was a native Inca, Mallorca; an island in Spain. Around 1890 Mr. Meliá came to Puerto Rico to attend some business owned by Spaniards in Ponce. He liked the city of Ponce so much that he decided to stay. He established his residence here and started a business of his own. The first seeds of the Meliá business was a grocery store in front of Plaza Degetau; El Colmado Meliá.
The property in front of Plaza Degetau had two floors; the first floor was dedicated to the Colmado. The second floor contained a residence and a small restaurant. This prime business location on the Plaza was of great significance to the development of the Meliá business. Colmado Meliá was among the finest grocers in Puerto Rico. This was because Mr. Meliá insisted on importing the best products produced in Europe. El Colmado, which also had a bakery store was said to produce “the best mallorcas, ensaimadas, pastelillos de carne y de guayaba”. These are sorts of Spanish sweet breads and pastries stuffed with guava or meat. El Colmado Meliá was located where the Banco Santander stands today in front of the Main Plaza.
In 1895 Don Bartolo leased the building next to his residence and built about nine rooms to be used as a hotel. This was the birth of the Hotel Meliá in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Around 1900, Don Bartolo purchased a property on Cristina Street and started construction on a new hotel with 21 rooms. This is where the hotel stands today; the building was designed by Mr Alfredo Weichers, a renowned architect In Puerto Rico. In 1915, the Hotel opened its doors to the public and was considered as the best Hotel in Puerto Rico. The Meliá maintained its excellent reputation through its restaurant, bakery, modern facilities, and great hospitality. The Hotel catered to different functions for the most distinguished families and government officials.
Don Bartolo married Miss Teresa Cortés, also from Mallorca and had 4 children; Juan, Teresa, Magdalena and María. Juan would go on to run the Hotel with his wife, Mayi Torres.
In 1940, Don Bartolo added 26 additional rooms to the Hotel, designed by another prestigious architect Porrata Doria. In 1960 with Don Juan Meliá and Doña Mayi Torres in charge of the administration of the Hotel, another 26 rooms were built. This time the construction was designed by architect Enrique Soler Cloquell. These rooms offered a more modern style of architecture, typical of the time period.
At the present time the Hotel Meliá is managed by Prime Holdings Group and a group of excellent employees.
BUILT IN THREE STAGES, BY THREE ARCHITECTS, IN THREE DIFFERENT ERAS
.An architectural jewel considered a museum in itself for its intrinsic beauty
Hotel Meliá, a historic landmark surrounded by colorful and picturesque monuments, museums and the social night vibes. Located in the heart of downtown Ponce, walking distance to several touristic and cultural attractions such as: Ponce Art Museum, Serrallés Castle Museum, Ponce History Museum, the Fire House Museum and many others. Enclosed in the City are numerous culinary and entertaining destinations that are most popular in the Southern Region.
Founder Don Bartolo Meliá, native of Inca, Mallorca in Spain, came to city in 1890 to attend business with Spaniards in Ponce. He liked it so much; he decided to stay and established both his residence and business. Hotel Meliá stands as the oldest continuously operated hotel in Puerto Rico, since its foundation in 1895, where it began as a grocery store, restaurant and a nine room hotel.
NEOCLASSICISM AND ART NOVEAU
Alfredo Wiechers Pieretti was a Puerto RIcan Architect from Ponce, Puerto Rico. He was an expositor of the Neoclassicism and Art Noveau architectural styles, doing most of his work in his hometown of Ponce. Today Alfredo Wiechers' city residence, located in the Ponce Historic Zone and which he designed himself, is home to the Puerto Rico Museum of Architecture. After enriching his hometown city with some of the most architecturally exquisite buildings, he moved to Spain claiming political persecution by the authorities in the Island.
Since its beginning, the name Meliá has been symbol of excellence and quality in our products and services. Since then, the hotel experienced three significant eras of transformation; 1915, 1940 and 1960 adding a large amount of rooms along the Cristina Street and the Marina Street.
In 2013, the latest chapter began with renovations that include the makeover of 10 Historic Zone Suites and approximately 30 updated Standard Interior Rooms, as well as the creation of two innovative concepts, Panorama Sky Lounge and Mocha Coffee Bar and Bistro. The ongoing transformation will comprise a new Restaurant, the Grand Salon Venue and six Patio Boutiques. Due to popular demand of the local tourists and their need of high-end social events, Meliá Century Hotel has created fresh concepts that entertain such as: Spirits & Cigars Night, Art Soiree, World Rhythms, Meliá Intimo and many others.
Hotel Meliá has a total of 70 rooms, 5' depth swimming pool, 2' depth kiddie pool, 4 conference rooms with capacity for 12-75 persons, 2 venues for special activities with capacity for up to 150 persons, Bistro and Lounge for breakfast, lunch, brunch and tapas & cocktails. We also offer catering, room service, business center & services, parking, free Wi-Fi.
Airport Information: (From Hotel Meliá to)
- (PSE) Mercedita International Airport, Ponce- 3 miles (8 min.)
- (SJU) Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, San Juan- 72 miles (1 hr. 18 min
- (BQN) Rafael Hernandez International Airport, Aguadilla- 70 miles (1 hr. 27 min.)