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Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort
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Reviews (7,366)
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6,138 - 6,143 of 7,366 reviews
Reviewed August 8, 2009

The Wyndham resort is 45 minutes from San Juan, PR. If you are visiting San Juan and you want to do more than lay around the beach and relax, then this resort is not the place to spend your vacation. It is a very beautiful resort in the middle of nowhere.

The food choices for vegetarians were simply awful and nonexistent. The staff however were very accommodating. The hotel had several different restaurants, all of which were overpriced. Each dining experience at the resort involved consultation with the staff and modifications of meals, and still the meal wound up not being very enjoyable. You would think that in 2009 that a resort the size of the Wyndham Resort, and its worldwide reputation would make an attempt to accommodate all guest. Not so.

The menu had lots of options for those who ate fish, beef, or chicken. But not even a vegeburger with fries, or pasta with stir fry vegetables was available. The Wyndham with its limited food selections has missed an ever growing portion of the vacationing public. The menu stated that the chickens and cows were fed a vegetarian diet. What about a vegetarian diet for guest of the resort? What about a chef to create a menu that would appeal to vegetarians? Is that to much to ask?

The other criticism of the Wyndham location had to do with the out of the way location to vacationers who wanted to see or do anything in Puerto Rico, other than lay around the beach. Old San Juan is again 45 minutes away. A cab ride is $80 one way. A tour to Old San Juan is $55.00 per person. It is a must to rent a car to see and experience the island, and get an opportunity to truly experience the island. My wife and I found Puerto Rico quite beautiful, with never ending rolling hills with gorgeous stucco homes where ever you looked.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2009

The hotel is isolated so it's definitely a good idea to rent a car. Taxis are expensive and you are going to need to one every time you want to go outside of the resort if you don't have a car. From the airport to the hotel is about a 45 minutes ride. And going to San Juan from the hotel is over an hour. El Yunque is near by and it's free and you can drive in on your own. The tours are expensive and especially so if you have young kids as they are being charged the same price. The hotel charges $15 for parking (every time you leave the site I think). The hotel has an airport shuttle but charges $75 per person roundtrip I think. I paid less than $150 for a weekly car rental (we needed for only 4 days). El Yunque was a nice day trip but down to El Mina Falls was a bit of a hike - not too difficult but a good 45 minutes on narrow rocky hill side roads. Only 2 (out of 5) resort restaurants were open when we were there in June (low season)- 1 of which were formal and expensive rmal and was not a good fit as we have 2 toddlers. The buffet dinners at Marcello restaurant ($15 weeknights and more on weekends) were great for us as young kids are free. We ended up eating there every night. There weren't alot of options outside and nearby. Antojitos Puertorriqueños right outside of the main road coming into the resort serves good Puerto Rican food (lunch about $20 per person). The few other restaurant on the main road looked like a hole in the wall and they close early (6pm I think). The hotel rooms, pool and beach are all nice. Services are fine. We spent 4 nights at the resort which was just right. Any longer I would be bored. Day 1 arrival, day 2 El Yunque, day 3 San Juan, Day 4 mostly hung out on resort pool and beach. The kids also went ponyback riding near Hacienda Carabali (offers great horseback riding on the beach).

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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Thank lexasmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2009

the resort is very beautiful, the beach is great and the atmosphere relaxing....why is it necessary to charge $100 a night deposit? and then they tell you you can charge the drinks and food to that and then deduct, but maybe you dont want to eat there? One lady told me she paid $40 for two hamburger platters, I guess they did not have a car. We did and I know the island a little and we explored, Antojitos near the corner of Rt #3 is nice, the skirt steak (churrasco) was good.and in old San Juan we went to El Jibarito, the food was great, especially the sancocho (soup) sadly the service wasn't the best and we also went to Raices which was great, try the chuleta kan kan!As for the resort we did not eat there but did enjoy the beach, the waves are big, do not expect a calm beach and they provide beach umbrellas and lounge chairs, and towels.plus the housekeeping staff was great.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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Thank xavierjulie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2009

We arrived at the Rio Mar on 7/02/09 late in the afternoon due to a 3 hour delay on Continental out of Newark. Picked up a rental car at Alamo at the airport upon arrival. I would highly recommend the service and pricing we received at Alamo. We were in rush-hour traffic leaving the airport so the trip to the resort took close to 60 minutes. Fine highway driving to the resort. Resort is very easy to find off of Route 3. One thing I find with other Rio Mar reviews that bothers me is the fact that other guests complain about the distance the hotel is from San Juan and then don't rent a car. When you see that the average one-way fare to the Rio Mar from the airport is around $70.00, it just seems that it would be much more advantageous than depending on costly cabs or as others state "being stranded at the hotel".
Upon arrival at the hotel, check-in was done in a smooth manner. We had booked an oceanview room. Upon arriving at the room, we felt that this room was not quite the one we really expected due to a lack of the oceanview. We then met, in our opinion, probably one of Wyndham's BEST worldwide employees, that being Zandra who is Head of Guest
Services. After a wonderful conversion with Zandra (who by the way is from the Rio Grande area and SO knowledgable), she re-assigned us to Ocean Suite 5046. Upon arrival in that room.....WOW....great accomodations, terrific view of the ocean, bathroom amenities galore.......just a great room! We did rent a refrigerator for the room. This is a great way to keep extra beverages, fruit, cheese, etc. for snacking. After unpacking, etc.,
it was time to tour the hotel. MAGNIFICENT GROUNDS, beautifully kept pools (both activity and adults only pool) and yes many "observant iguanas"! Absolutely nothing to be afraid of. In our next 10 days at the Rio Mar, we discovered fine dining abounds there at especially three restaurants that we dined at: Palio, Shimas, and Marbella. Very different menues among all three restaurants. Please realize that this is a resort and and resort prices are charged. To be honest, we ate breakfast every morning in the suite on the balcony with food we puchased at Amigo Market (approx. 3 miles away Rte. 3,
Wal-Mart about 8 miles away on Rte. 3 in Fajardo), as well as the Ishmar Bakery and Palmer Bakery, both within a 5-7 minute ride from the resort. EXCELLENT baked goods at both bakeries. When dining out of the resort, DO NOT MISS THE KIOSKS in Loquillo.
Some people really turn their noses up when they see this area...DON' T BE FOOLED!!!
We dined there for 4 evenings....La Parilla (#2)....Osso Bucco (#29).....and twice at El Jefe Burger Shack (#12). Great prices, great variety, and the best service. If you go to El Jefe, please tell Tim, the owner, that Don and John from Westwood, MA say "hello". Also sign his autograph wall...we did!!!!! Another fine restaurant very close to the resort is Dom Pepe serving delicious Puerto Rican/Mexican cuisine...we had some of both.
Liquor, beer and wine are easily bought at Amigo and Wal-mart...great prices. Pick up some mixers to complement your selections and stash them in your fridge. Beverages at the resort can run from $6.00 to $10.00 and can certainly "pack a punch"!!! Don't miss happy hour poolside at the Tiki Bar from 5-7pm...certain drinks are 2 for 1. The casino is decorated lovely...great selection of machines as well as tables....and it's NON SMOKING! Such an enjoyment not to inhale second-hand smoke. The casino staff was very friendly every night while serving complimentary beverages and snacks. Very clean casino....just like the entire resort. The ERL Cafe, beside the casino, open early to late, serves some great wraps and other goodies. Coffeemakers are available in your room with the most delicious packets of Puerto Rican coffee. Pick up some half and half at the store and keep it in your room. We did hear people rave about the breakfast buffet served at Marbella, but it's a bit too much food to start our mornings. And yes.....the beach has brown sand. I guess that bothers some people. We spent 9 terrific days on that beach in the most beautiful ocean water (great waves), sitting on nice lounges on the brown sand. Beach crew is very accomodating when you need a lounge or umbrella.
Hung out only at adult pool once during stay (we really love the beach). I really appreciate the fact that the adult pool is what it says it is...we did see children niceley escorted back to the family pool. Don't miss out on a fun daily activity...iguana feeding. Meet at the towel booth at about 10:45AM and then be guided to where all the iguanas hang out. You feed them lettuce (that's a treat for them). Don't forget the camera!!!! Oh by the way, they do not have teeth but razor-sharp tongues. You'll catch on to their habits real fast. Great for kids.
Please, as being so close in proximity, spend at least half-a-day at El Yunque Rain Forest. Stop at the visitors' center...$3.00 admission...take a short tour...don't miss the 17-minute film on the history of El Yunque....it is fascinating. Then decide if you want to walk up to the rain forest or drive. Being limited that last afternoon on time, we drove. Thoroughly enjoyed all the sights. Climbed a tower, some great vegetation (bamboo, etc)
and great waterfalls. Don't miss it! On an overcast day, we journeyed to Old San Juan for a few hours. Great buys on jewelry, artwork, gifts, etc. Great historical viewings also (San Juan Fort, San Juan Cathedral oh and Pigeon Park......you gotta check that one out!!!!!)
I cannot say enough about the staff at The Rio Mar...namely Bianca and Yalitze at the concierge desk, Rebekah and Ana from Marbella and Shimas and all so so many more that really made us feel "important" in this hustling world of travel as "true guests". I hope if you travel to the Rio Mar, you meet these people we've mentioned and especially Zandra who just seems to be the greatest "team leader at this Wyndham or any other in the world". We are planning a return trip to the Rio Mar in January, 2010. Already booked our flights and car....great rates are available ....so check them out. This is one destination, not only area but resort,,,,that will make you want to come back for more. Hope we didn't go on too much, but this place deserves every recommendation it good be given. P.S.
On certain evenings in the lobby beside the casino, certain vendors from the Rio Grande area exhibit beautiful crafts and artwork. Please look for Artesano Vincent Huertas and his breath-taking artwork which is quite affordable. Please tell him you read Don and John's review...he's a great person.....Thanks

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank DonandJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2009

We booked at the Rio Mar hoping that being out of San Juan would give us a restful weekend getaway. We were completely wrong. On the weekends this hotel seems to turn into a getaway for the locals. It seems as if the parents come and gamble and just let the kids entertain themselves by whatever means possible. To the tune of running up and down the hallways yelling and singing and banging on room doors before jumping on elevators. It took the hotel 2 hours to deal with this issue. When I went down to the front desk there were teenagers everywhere. It was like an amusement park. This was my only major complaint with the hotel. They seem to turn a blind eye to behavior you dont anticipate seeing in a resort lobby.

The minor stuff... When we walked in to our room the maintanence guy was there fixing the AC. As soon as he left, it stopped working. We went and told the front desk and they relocated us, no questions asked. However, the room they gave us was occupied, which we awkwardly discovered after opening the door to the room. After going back down to the front desk the put is in a room I would call a junior suite, which was nice. A little bigger t han a standard room and had a fullsize coucher and a bigger bathroom. Over all the Front desk staff was very helpful.

The room was clean and was as expected for a Wyndham reseort. However at certain times of day you would completely lose water and when it came back it would be brown sludge for the first minute or so. Also the cleaning staff never came until about 6pm. Made it kind of a pain to come back from being out all day to clean up for dinner and have the room just start being cleaned.

The restauraunts, Palio and The Grill Room were nice. A bit pricey but the food was good as well as the service.

The tour desk is useless unles you want to pay rediculous amounts of money for excursions you can book yourself. Get a rental car if you stay at this hotel. Also do the valet. Its $5 more a day and no hassles. We booked a helmet diving tour with them only to find out late that he booked us a regular snuba tour. Not what we wanted and we were very clear that we did not want a snuba tour, only the hemlet diving. He lied flat out to us just to book the tour. Then tried to give us a hard time about canceling when we verified with the tour guide (who was super nice about everything).

The Casino is a waste of time. On saturday night they had 1 blackjack table open with about 30 people standing around wanting to play. Same deal with roulette. Open another table already. The slots were decent for a small table but that was the only thing you could really play.

Overall I have to give the hotel average at best. The hotel is on a beatuful beach and seems to have potential to be great but needs a lot of work to get there. Pretty sure we wont be back.

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