I'd like to start this review off with the fact that we were married at The Gran Melia. Overall, we had an amazing experience. Maybe it was because we were on cloud nine, it being our wedding and all, but I really don't have anything to complain about. One of the scariest things when planning our wedding was coming home from Puerto Rico (after visiting tons of venues and deciding on the Gran Melia) to read negative review after negative review on here. I was ready to change the venue just based on these reviews, but the hotel was exactly what we wanted in terms of the style and decor of our wedding that we decided to stick with it. I was so concerned that I would check reviews like once a month to see if there was anything positive for a change!
We decided to stay at the Melia the summer before our wedding when we were meeting with vendors. I went into our stay on the lookout for all of the "cons" I'd read on here. I was looking for moldy rooms, smelly phones, rude staff, a long check in and check out process, you name it, I was ready to attack. Instead, we ended up having a great experience. Everyone was so warm and nice, our room that first trip was very basic (the cheapest room), but it was great. We literally had nothing to complain about. Bottom line is this hotel is a resort. Just like any resort, you have resort like food, resort like prices, and resort fees. We ate at the restaurants and yes, they're pricey - you are at a resort, but they were good!! The resort is beautiful and the grounds are gorgeous. We have some of the most beautiful wedding pictures thanks to the setting.
My family is from Puerto Rico and I have stayed at a number of hotels in Puerto Rico (El Conquistador, El San Juan Hotel, La Concha, The Water Club, and Wyndham Rio Mar) this hotel is just on par, if not better than some of the others I have listed. I honestly don't understand why people complain about the distance from San Juan, etc. Do you not look at a map when you travel? Puerto Rico is a big island with lots to see, but a lot of these sites are spaced out throughout the island. If you want to go to PR and don't want to rent a car, then stay in Isla Verde, Condado or Old San Juan. Hotels in any other area are not for you.
My biggest concern with having our wedding at the Melia was that our guests enjoyed their stay! We had a big destination wedding of 140 people. I knew that with that amount of people there was no way that everyone was going to be pleased. Something was bound to happen to someone and I wouldn't be able to control it. Overall, everyone had great experiences! A few of our guests arrived the day before us and by the time we got there they were already in heaven. Half of them were on first name basis with the staff and super friendly with their butlers (for those who had Red Level service). I couldn't have been happier. We chose a Red Level ocean front room for our wedding weekend (as did some of our guests) and it was the best decision we made! The beds were AMAZING!!! I'm not sure about the rooms that had sheets half on the bed and half off, but in the ocean front rooms, it was not like that. I've never slept in such a comfortable bed! It is true that the resort does not replenish the towels every day, but there is a sign in the bathroom stating that they don't in order to conserve energy, water, etc. Whenever, we wanted more towels or items, they brought them to us. Whenever we asked for something, it was granted! I personally didn't see our "butler" that often, but we were so busy running around and spent most of our time hanging out with family and friends at the pool that we didn't really need him. Other guests however were "buddy buddy" with the staff and had nothing but positive things to say. I know that a few people had issues with check in and check out, but overall we got positive feedback about the hotel. I'm sure most people would choose not to burden the bride with negative comments, but having stayed there myself on different occasions, I can trust that when people say they loved it, they truly did!
The beach is rocky, and is not really a swimming beach but the main attraction at this hotel is the pool. It is so wonderful! The in pool loungers are perfect!! However, the beach makes for gorgeous pictures and the sunset is just beautiful! Our guests weren't even eating their dinner the night of our wedding because they were all too busy taking pictures of the sunset! It was breathtaking! We heard over and over that our wedding was the best wedding they'd been to and that the hotel was gorgeous.
I've learned that some people will complain about anything just to complain. So bottom line, this hotel is beautiful, but I would not pay full price for it. Try to get a deal, and try to get a deal with Red Level, because we loooved the Ocean Front room and the hot tub on the balcony. If you are going to stay here, rent a car so you can get around and aren't forced to eat all of your meals at the hotel since the food is pricey and definitely try to get a deal with Red Level, it made our experience that much better!!
If you can budget for it, upgrade to Red Level Ocean Front!!!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.