I must say that we were pleasantly surprised with the excellent service that we received during our stay at Rio Mar.
We had car and drove from the airport to the resort-which proved to be a great move. The car rental was around $350.00 for a week, but we felt that it was well worth it. The traffic was a little daunting, but by using the navigator map on my I-phone, we made it with little hassle. It also afforded us the ability to run by the grocery (Amigo) store for a few drinks and snacks. These were vital- as a bottle of juice at the resort shop was almost $2.50.
We were amazed by how beautiful the resort was right from the beginning. You see a grand staircase, with helpful attendants as soon as we drove up. We immediately went right inside, and since it was a Sunday afternoon, did not have to wait at all. The front desk was exceptionally helpful, and very informative. The attendants helped us get our bags to the room, and a refrigerator to the room within 5 minutes. (The refrigerator was a must !!)
We will have to admit that our stay from Sunday-Thursday was nicer than towards the weekend, as we were looking for a very quiet stay. From Thursday afternoon thru our stay on Sunday at lunch- it was much more festive atmosphere, with people and children everywhere.
The beach was amazing-though not the white sand we thought, but there was hardly anyone on the beaches during the first part of the week. You truly felt as though you were alone in Paradise. The pools also looked inviting, though we did not use the pools any- we chose the beach instead. The grounds were amazing, and while they could have been a little more polished, they still exceeded our expectations. The facility was amazingly safe, and I only hope that we can bring our children back at a later date, because we felt that it would be a wonderful place from them to experience Puerto Rico.
We spent the first 3 days on the resort unwinding and relaxing, and then we ventured out in the car to surrounding areas- which we found charming, and not unsafe. We drove up and down #3 to see what was around. There were many places to eat, both authentic, and many things that you would see in the States (Burger King, Dunkin Doughnuts, McDonalds, Subway, Wendys).
We spent one entire day in Old San Juan- which was beautifully charming. We drove the car, and parked in one of the parking decks (the front desk can give you directions to the city, and to the parking decks). The buildings were beautiful, and it is a great walking city.
We also spent a morning on the horse back riding excursion, which was just wonderful ! We went on the Rain Forest tour, but it is my understanding that if you want the beach tour, that you need to ask specifically.
We had plans to take the Rain Forest hiking tour and the historical tours of San Juan to the fort and castle, but the government shut down started during our trip, and alas, we were unable to enter these areas.
In regards to food- yes it was expensive. Drinks ran from $5.00-$10.00. We were not upset by restaurants not all being open on every day. We just "worked" around them, and we found it suited us fine. We just ate at what was open, and they rotated it daily. All the food they served was fresh and very good, but again a little pricey, but not extravagant. On a negative note- the service was slow at Palios. There were only 3 couples in the restaurant, the service was almost non-existent. And breakfast was fairly expensive, so we only ate there once for breakfast, and chose to either eat fruit in the room, or go out-which was OK by us.
We have read others reviews, and I must say that we were almost dreading coming. We never once felt afraid, and we found the locals friendly, and helpful. I felt more comfortable here than I did at a high end resort in Jamaica. We drove all around the area, went shopping, ate in local restaurants, pumped gas, etc, and never once felt uncomfortable. We will be bringing our children back as I think that this is the best first out of country experience for the kids.
I do think that the Wyndham changes will be wonderful, still felt that the resort as it is, was very nice. We are already planning our return trip !! Thank you for one of the best vacations ever !!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled between El Yunque Rainforest and a mile stretch of secluded beach, the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa is Puerto Rico's most exotic beach, golf and spa resort destination. 500 magnificent acres with spectacular ocean, rainforest and lush tropical views serve as backdrops to 400 newly renovated guestrooms and suites and an exclusive renovated 48,000-sq.-ft. Oceanfront Conference Center. Located on the N.E. Ecological Corridor of Puerto Rico's shoreline, the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar is a haven for fun, sun and forging memorable experiences. The new guestrooms exude traditional Puerto Rican architecture and feature thoughtful indigenous touches. The resort boasts two championship golf courses & tennis center, Mandara spa, 10 lounges and restaurants with award-winning cuisine, an exciting casino, two nature reserves and a guest experience program that encompasses the beauty and nature of its magical surroundings. And since Puerto Rico is a US Commonwealth, no passports or visas are required for US Citizens. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, a Wyndham Grand Hotel Rio Grande
- Rio Mar Beach Resort And Spa, a Wyndham Grand Resort
- Wyndham Rio Grande
- Rio Del Mar Puerto Rico
- Rio Grande Wyndham
- Rio Mar Puerto Rico
- Westin Rio Mar Puerto Rico
- Wyndham El Yunque National Forest
- El Yunque National Forest Wyndham
- Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa Puerto Rico/Rio Grande