We got a very good deal for 5 nights and flight from MPLS - it was about $650/person so I can't complain too much. We were at a wedding and didn't try other resorts in the area as this is where everyone was staying. I'll write a bit about our experience so you can be informed when you come.
Nothing is really open for food or drink during the day besides the pool area grill which has a lot of birds. We did most of our excursions early in the day or later in the night so grabbed food outside the resort for the most part. They alternate which restaurants are open each night. We tried both the Passion and Asian place. I'd recommend the Asian place - we had scallops and shrimp at the hibachi grill and the sushi roll was delicious. Expect to pay well over $60/person. If you want PR food, there are much better deals and food outside the resort - Passion was not worth the price).
Rent a car. It is $15/day to park there, but worth it to get to different sites and save money on transports to/from excursions and airport as you can rent a car for $15/day as well. It's not American driving, but it isn't Costa Rican driving either so you can get around without too much fear. Get directions from the sites you are going to visit - street signs are iffy at best.
We were also able to sneak in some food from Walmart for breakfast and snacks (there is a mini-fridge in the room) and some mixers and drinks. I think security cares, but our maids only helped us keep our beer organized and clean. I definitely suggest bringing a bag cooler (like on a golf car).
Things are a little hectic at the front desk and valet areas but if they saw you waiting they usually tried to get to you quickly. The grounds are beautiful and well kept. The maid service could use a little work, but we tipped our second day instead of waiting until the end of our stay and it was very clean after that. There was a musty smell in the room - our clothes were quite stinky by the time we left (even the clean ones). They weren't very helpful with late check out. I think they must have a deal for locals on the weekends if they are not full with other guests. It was suddenly completely overcrowded at the pool on Saturday and a noticeable change in the level of service towards everyone else.
There is a $100/day hold on your credit card to pay the $12/day resort fee (don't think it has been used much lately on actual updates to the hotel), your parking, and other charges. They do want you to charge drinks and food to your room - especially at the pool bar. However, the gals at the main bar were always agreeable to cash and debit cards.
We got a great deal on rooms. If we had to pay full price or what some other reviewers paid, I'm not sure my reviews would have been as great. We heard from others that the Wyndham actually recommends bringing in your own food and booze and is a little more updated as far as cleanliness than this resort was.
Rent a car, get off the resort, sneak in snacks and booze (and cups), enjoy the pool when you can, go with a group of friends, and relax about things. If you go with the flow and are cordial with the staff you will have a good time. Everyone we interacted with for the most part was helpful and friendly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With an idyllic location on Puerto Rico's northeastern coast in Coco Beach, Rio Grande, Gran Melia Puerto Rico brings the privacy and exclusivity you deserve and allows you the opportunity to escape from the rest of the world. From the moment you step inside this tropical oasis, you will be enveloped by the beauty and grandeur of Gran Melia Puerto Rico. Boasting a world-class YHI spa, the nearby Trump International Golf Club and the best pool on the island with four integrated whirlpools, Gran Melia Puerto Rico is the place to live the true resort experience in Puerto Rico. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Melia Golf Resort Puerto Rico Hotel Rio Grande
- Gran Melia Rio Grande
- Sol Melia Rio Grande
- Paradisus Puerto Rico
- Gran Melia Golf Resort Puerto Rico Rio Grande