–Award-winning chef and star of Iron Chef Puerto Rico takes the helm of San Juan’s sexy beachfront hotel–

Israel Calderon was named executive chef for the 78-room hotel, situated on Puerto Rico’s famed Isla Verde, just steps from the white sand beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. The announcement was made by the hotel’s General Manager, David Lopez.

As Executive Chef, Mr. Calderon will be responsible for overseeing the property’s culinary outlets which include its signature unique dining restaurant Tangerine, the super chic Wet Lounge & Sushi Bar, situated on the roof of the property overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The tapas fare will be decidedly international with emphasis on indigenous ingredients of local produce, seafood and meats. Chef Calderon will pay homage to the rich and diverse culture that is synonymous with Puerto Rico, inherited from ancestry such as the Taino Indians.

One of Chef Calderon’s favorite tapas dish is the Beef Madagascar, which is a delicious blend of shallots, garlic, white wine, beef stock, green peppercorn, heavy cream that is carefully poured on top of the finest tender beef top sirloin and served for two. Another must on the menu is the Tandoori Chicken, composed of more than 15 ingredients with highlights such has ginger root, garlic, onions, cumin seeds, lemon juice, paprika, coriander and much more to ensure the hot spices are pleasing to the palate. The menu would not be complete without the infamous El Pescador Seafood Paella with its delicious, multi-colored bell peppers, saffron, shrimps, muscles, scallops, cilantro and carefully cooked rice married with special brandy.

A native of Puerto Rico, Chef Calderon has more than 15 years experience in culinary arts. Recently, he was executive chef at the prestigious, five diamond, Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Resort in Cancun, Mexico where he was responsible for the five diamond restaurant, La Joya.

Prior to Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Resort, Chef Calderon held several executive chef positions including Executive Sous Chef for the Chicago Hilton and Towers where he implemented the widely successful motivational program increasing productivity and quality for the food and beverage operations totaling more than 5,000 people. He was also executive chef at Buckingham Restaurant in Chicago, creating dishes for high-profile personalities and political figures such as former President Bill Clinton. Chef Calderon has also held positions at Café Rumba in Chicago, establishing a new concept of Latin cuisine which was presented nationally and chronicled by ABC Network. Other positions include The Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel, Mundo Imperial, an 800-room resort where developed and executed culinary concepts for the property’s eight restaurants and opening A’Roma Restaurant, and Executive Chef at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Chef Israel Calderon

Chef Calderon studied at the “Instituto de Educación Universal” in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and the Culinary Institute of America in New York. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico. Professional studies include the prestigious Ecole en Lausana School in Switzerland. Teaching credentials include Professor of International Kitchen in the Institute of Universal Education in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

His work has been recognized locally and internationally with awards such as: People’s Show and Supervisor of the Year by the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association, Award for Best Presentation from the American Heart Association, six gold medals and Junior Chef of the Year by the American Federation of Culinary Arts; led the Puerto Rican team in the International Jack Daniel’s Bar-B-Cue Competition earning the gold medal, and the prestigious Toque de Oro (Touch of Gold) Lyon, France in 2003. He was also captain of the Puerto Rico Restaurant Show Competition in 2006 winning the Gold Medal for Best Culinary Team.

As Puerto Rico’s first beachfront boutique hotel, The San Juan Water & Beach Club offers casual chic but comfortable accommodations. Each of the spacious guestrooms and suites offer either full or partial ocean views or features custom-designed bedding allowing guests to take in the spectacular views. In-room amenities include H20 Aquafina bath products, a swivel entertainment center with TV, MP3 alarm/radio, “Munchie Basket” and a well-stocked mini bar featuring premium brands. During their stay guests are invited to enjoy the hotel’s two on-site restaurants including Tangerine, which is open for breakfast and dinner featuring traditional Puerto Rican fare. The ultra-cool Wet Lounge & Sushi Bar is situated on the roof and overlooks the coastline of San Juan. Decadent white-cushioned day beds, wood furnishings carved from local materials and inspired by the rich history of Taino Indians provides a uniquely exotic atmosphere for lounging and entertainment. The Wet Lounge & Sushi Bar, open for lunch and dinner, features a sizeable sushi bar in addition to its international tapas menu.

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Standard Rates available May – June 2009 (All rates include Continental breakfast daily) range from $179 through $199 per room, per night. Rates are subject to availability and not inclusive of taxes. For more information and reservations, please contact The San Juan Water & Beach Club Hotel at 888-265-6699 or 787-728-3666 or log onto

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Located in the heart of Isla Verde, a short drive from Marin International Airport, The San Juan Water & Beach Club is situated across from an expansive white sand beach. The hotel is just minutes from the historic sites of Old San Juan, Condado shopping district and upscale neighborhoods featuring world-class cuisine. Guests may also choose to enjoy authentic Puerto Rican culture at the numerous outdoor entertainment venues a short drive from the hotel. Natural wonders such as the Bio-luminescent Bay and the neighboring unadulterated islands of Vieques and Culebra are within easy access. The San Juan Water & Beach Club Hotel, located at 2 Tartak Street, Isla Verde Carolina PR 00979 is managed by Desires Hotels, the boutique division of Tecton Hospitality.

About Desires Hotels: From the neon lights of Ocean Drive in South Beach to the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, from the iconic Delmar Loop in St. Louis to the cobbled adoquine streets of Old San Juan, or right in the heart of Times Square, Desires Hotels is a unique collection of independently created modern boutique hotels. High in style, distinct and creative, each of these lifestyle hotels has one-of-a-kind architecture and interior design, allowing guests to expect just as much from their hotel as they do from their destination. Savvy travelers seeking a lifestyle-oriented experience will appreciate the “Your Desires” program that tailors a unique experience to every guest. Desires Hotels deliver unexpected amenities in stylish settings. For more information about Desires Hotels, and their locations, call 866-593-4330 or visit