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Reviewed February 19, 2009

I recently stayed at the Rio Mar and had a terrible experience at the casino. After using the facility for 2 days and getting parking validated with no difficulty, the 4th morning I asked for validation I was treated so rudely by staff that I will never return. I was there with a large group and told at least 20 other collegues about the experience and we decided to spend the rest of our casino time and money at the El Con. We had a wonderful experience at that resort and even though we returned in the evenings to the Rio Mar and participated in the conference activities, we spent every moment we could at the El Con where the staff at the casino, cafes, restaurants, shops and general staff were the most helpful and friendly we have ever experienced. They happily validated our parking, provided the attention and service that was above exceptional. Consequently, word traveled fast through our group and found the rest of our group spent tons of money and time at their casino, shops and restaurants.
Great time by all, next time we visit this island we will avoid the rude, customer "unfriendly" staff at the Rio Mar.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank worlldtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2009

This resort delivered exactly what was advertised on the JetBlue getaway vacations page - and that's saying something, these days. As we live in Boston and only had 3 nights, Puerto Rico offered the shortest hop / greatest chance for 85 degree beach days with non-stops from Logan airport.

I've stayed at Ritz Carlton beach resorts in the carribbean and Hawaii, and if those come it at five stars clearly this resort comes it at four - especially for the price ($900 each 3 nights incl airfare - during highest season/school vaca).

Good:
Beautiful pools. Gorgeous grounds. Extremely friendly staff. Lots of lizards running around. Clean, good sized rooms. The beach is RIGHT THERE. The hotel's beach bar is RIGHT THERE, too. Plenty of activities. (Tiny) Casino was fun. We were looking for 4 days of sun and surf and some unique experiences and this place delivered over and over again. Richie's and Parilla restaurants (around corner) gave us great local cooking in fun environment outside of resort experience. Great Spanish restaurant in old san juan (Mirabueno) - walk up the hill away from the shops corner of Luna and Tanca.

Bad:
Meals/coffee/transportation = extremely expensive ($3.75 for large, weak coffee in 15 minute line at 8AM). $70 round trip van to downtown/siteseeing - $150 round trip if you take a cab (apparently). Room keys for consistently failed for not just us but seemingly everyone in front and back of me in line at check out. Also - the (expensive) restaurants all served the same food we can get at home - steaks, pasta, chicken fingers - where's the adventure, people!? BORING!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Wixomhead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2009

I stayed at the Rio Mar Beach resort for 2 nights in early February 2009. At first I was not too happy about the location--it is located about 40 min (a little shorter if you take the new Highway 66 after paying the $1.50 toll) east of Old San Juan, which necessitated renting a car. But I eventually had a great stay and think the pros far outweight the cons. The pictures on tripadvisor.com do not do this property justice. You have to see it in person. The beauty of this place will touch your soul. We visited InterContinental, El San Juan, and Ritz in Isla Verde afterwards and didn't think overall they would stack up to Rio Mar.

PROs: Immaculate and well-manicured grounds, uncrowded beach, uncrowded pool area, beautiful building with excellent interiors and quality finish, nice furniture throughout, knowledgeable and friendly staff, excellent restaurants including casual options, nice toiletries, close to El Yunque rain forest, plenty of space to walk around in the resort.

CONs: a little far from Old San Juan, 14% per day resort fee, $15 per day self-parking fee and you have to pay for parking at the lobby before going down to the garage which is a bit far, HVAC vents were rusting, shower head didn't have enough water pressure, bathroom door showed aged and did not close easily, key card did not work very well and required multiple trials before the door would optn

A little bit of reminder: When you drive on Route 3, remember to turn at mileage post 30.9km. Especially if you go from the east to the west, you won't see any signs pointing to the resort.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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6  Thank morniing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2009

My husband and I just got back from a wonderful trip to Puerto Rico where we stayed at the Wyndham Rio Mar. The hotel was in a perfect location for what we wanted to do. We aren't really into the night life scene, so this worked out perfect for us.

The room was very nice and had a very comfortable bed. We did rent a fridge for $25 from the front desk, which was plenty big. We ate out for dinner each night, but it was nice to have a fridge for breakfast and lunch. There were 2 pools (one for adults only) and 2 hot tubs. There was also a tiki bar near the pool with food and beverages. The hotel is right on the beach, and the view from our room was amazing.

The concierge at the hotel was extremely helpful. Nathaniel and Noel were our two favorites. Whatever you need to know, they can help assist you. They even ordered pizza for us from a local pizzeria because neither of us spoke spanish.

While we were there, we did take the timeshare tour. Even though we did not purchase, it is definitely worth hearing what they had to say. We weren't in a position to buy yet, but they give you a gift for taking the tour and they are not into pressuring you!

We would definitely recommend renting a car while you are there. You do have to pay $15/day to park (or $20/day valet) but it was nice to come and go as you please. We rented through enterprise on hotwire.com and they were awesome. Very organized! We paid $130/6 days. Good deal!

As far as what to do...there is plenty. While we were there, we hiked the rainforest (5 min drive from hotel); went to Luquillo Beach (10 min drive from hotel); toured Old San Juan (30-40 min drive from hotel depending on traffic); went to Fajardo (East on hotel on Rt 3) and did the bioluminescent bay tour with Kayaking Puerto Rico (www.kayakingpuertorico.com) which was awesome!! (25 min drive from hotel); and obviously just relaxed at the Wyndham. One thing about the rainforest, the signs will tell you how far the hike is, but my husband and I usually could do it in about half the amount of time, and we are not experienced hikers.

As for food, the first night we ate at Marbella at the Wyndham. The food was good and it wasn't terribly expensive. All the other restaurants in the hotel are a bit more expensive and they have a dress code. We took advantage of the Kioscos right off Route 3. There are a 30+ to choose from. As you leave the resort, go east (left) on route 3. They will be on the left hand side. Great prices and great food. Definitely go to El Jefe #12 and La Parilla #2. We also ate at Richie's up the hill. The service and food was good, but a little over priced.

All is all, we had a wonderful trip. The Wyndham was definitely a great place to stay, and we would highly recommend it!

  • Stayed: January 2009
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3  Thank kevlar11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2009

This was a big deal we have made trough Hotwire. This resort is simply wonderful. We stayed only in the hotel area; did not used the golf and other facilities they offer. The pool is great; they even have an adult exclusive pool. The beach in front of the hotel is nice. It is not that BRAZILIAN BEACH, but we can have some fun. The room is one of the most beautiful we have been in. The hotel is an old bulding but totally conserved and modern. The room is wide and cosy. The bed was wonderfully comfortable. The only thing you must be advised is that you have to pay to park you car (U$20,00 vallet and U$15,00 self per day) and that the food is a little bit expensive, but it is good. If you want to stay there, I recommend. It is a tranquil place to spend a couple of days. Now... it is just memories...

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LESIUS_LENHADUS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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