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Caribbean

'Better than before': Puerto Rico's recovery is nearly complete

'Better than before': Puerto Rico's recovery is nearly complete

Hurricane Maria did a job on El San Juan Hotel, the storied property in Puerto Rico where Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli once crooned. Water seeped into the lobby and guest rooms, and high winds ripped off awnings and tossed around a stainless-steel sculpture like an inflatable beach ball.

The 60-year-old grande dame could have reopened quickly, but instead the staff took its time to meticulously restore the hotel's historic features. They removed and dried the hand-carved cherry mahogany panels on the walls and columns. They repainted the gold ceiling. And they cleaned each of the 7,000 pieces of crystal on the 4,500-pound chandelier that bedazzled the lobby....

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