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“Nice but Overpriced”

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Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rio Grande
Elgin, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Nice but Overpriced”
Reviewed February 15, 2010

The resort was very nice, but over priced. My biggest complaint (besides cost) was that they had those fancy showerheads that provide very little water pressure. The staff was always friendly & helpful. They had all the amenities one could ask for: golf, spa, fitness, beach, pools, casino, restaurants, & bars. There is no free internet in the room, but they do have computers located near the front desk. They offer a "Kids Club" that provides activities for kids. The kiddie pool area was nice & there is a large family pool, too. One of the bartenders at the pool bar even delivered our lunch to our pool chairs. Most of the restaurants are not what I'd call kid friendly, though. There are no microwaves or refrigerators in the room, but you can rent a frige for an extra charge. Parking is $15 per day extra as well. We really enjoyed the place & location, but we got a great deal on the cost & bought snacks and drinks at the local grocery store.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JeMar06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, manager at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 16, 2010
Thank you for your detailed review of our staff and property. Our mission is to provide service excellence and a memorable experience to our guests. We’d like you to know that you are valued by us and will look into the water pressure situation. We trust you will note an improvement upon your return, which we hope will be sooner than later.
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New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2010

This place is pretty standard for its star rating. Pretty grounds, pool, nice Hot hot tubs, a pretty and wide stretch of beach. Staff is friendly and helpful except the daytime front desk. Rec Ritchies up the hill for the view, and Antojito's Down the hill( near the intersection with rt3) for the whole Red Snapper in the criollo sauce :)

Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Metalox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 16, 2010
We thank you the nice comments regarding your stay at our resort. We appreciate the time you have taken to share your thoughts and look forward to the pleasure of welcoming back.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NorthernVirginia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2010

If you want Four Seasons consistency and quality, this is not your resort. If you want a nice resort on a great long stretch of beach, this is your resort.
How we got there: We weren't renting a car since we were staying for just three nights, and wanted beach beach beach, so we used Julien's Transportation (cell [--] office [--] ) For a party of five, it was $80 one way (without tip) and he stopped at the Wal Mart on the way for us for about 15 minutes while we stocked up on waters, juices, snacks. Highly recommend Julian.
The check-in staff was very helpful, and gave us rooms near each other, and upgraded us to ocean view since I had joined the Wyndham Member program. I had told them we were there for my mother's 65th birthday, and they sent a tray with red wine and fruits to her room.
There is inconsistent beach service. One day, a girl came around to take our orders, another, no beach service. The young men who put out the umbrellas were helpful in getting us a cushion for my 78 year old aunt, because the beach chairs are VERY uncomfortable.
I wanted a resort on a long stretch of beach, and this is perfect for that. You can walk miles. The beach staff needs to 'get on line' and pick up the garbage on the beach in front of the resort though. No excuse for wrappers and cups being there every day. They rake the sand, but don't pick up the litter.
The water was pretty and a perfect temperature, no big breaking waves when we were there but definitely a pretty strong undertow one day, and my sister and I, both former lifeguards, where getting ready to head in to help one mother whose son was having trouble with the undertow. The other days, especially in the morning, it looked calm enough for little kids. There was a neat little sandbar out about 1/2 mile that strong swimmers could swim to.
Restaurants were just ok-if you are a foodie, probably not going to be overwhelmed.
Spa: my mother had a wonderful balinese body polish and massage.
This is a nice, unpretentious, somewhat dated resort on a great beach, and if your expectations are set correctly, you can have a wonderful time.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank yggep1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 16, 2010
It was such a pleasure reading your detailed review with reference to your time at Rio Mar. We are delighted you chose our resort to celebrate your mother’s 65th birthday. Your comment regarding the inconsistency in the beach service has been addressed and we trust you will note an improvement upon your return.
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Atlanta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2010

My husband and I checking into the Rio Mar on Thursday, February 4th. Check in was fast and our bags arrived in our room shortly thereafter. First of all, let me talk about the beauty of the resort. When we turned into the resort grounds I was so happy. There was a beautiful lush golf course. In the distance you can see the azure waters of the ocean and lovely beach. To your right there are the mountains of the El Yunque rainforest. The grounds are so beautiful, lush and tropical. The inside the hotel didn't disappoint either. Upscale without being overly opulent. The colors and motif make you feel relaxed immediately.

We lucked out with the location of our room. If you are booking a trip and you want to have the easiest access to the adult pool/ocean and breakfast buffett then ask for rooms numbered from around 1030 down to 1000. We were right in the center of this hallway and the location was perfect. We were on the first floor but the balcony still sits up off the ground due to sub-basement underneath. The view from our room was beautiful-you looked out onto the pool through the trees to the ocean. The green and brown from the lawn,trees and pool furniture mixed with all the different shades of blue from the pool, ocean and even the beach umbrellas was so lovely to look at. I don't think there could have been a better view in the entire resort. To reach the pool we simply took a right out of our room, another quick right through the double doors and we were right down the path from the beach towel shack. This was very convenient since this was our first stop every day anyway. Plus it wasn't a big hassle to run back to the room if needed. We were also as close to the beach as anyone else in the hotel. Our room was very nice. IT wasn't dated or the least bit shabby. I wish they had a few throw rugs but every hotel I've stayed at in the Caribbean has tile floors. The air conditioner was mac daddy! Almost too cold for me but my hubby was in heaven. The bed was extremely comfortable. Down comforter (not too heavy), down pillows and quality sheets contributed to some of the best sleep I've had in awhile. The bathroom was fairly roomy for a resort with nice fixtures and products from Bath & Body works provided. (shampoo,conditioner, lotion, "cool it" for sunburn)

The breakfast buffet at Marbella was wonderful. My husband did complain that his scrambled eggs were cold one morning. I always got a made to order omelet followed by a large plate of tropical fruit. My husband ordered the Belgium waffle every morning which is cooked in front of you as well. Get one of these two things and you can't go wrong. Luisa makes the best omelets I've ever eaten. The buffet includes pretty much everything you can think of for breakfast, muffins, toast, yogurt, fruit, the usual eggs, bacon etc. They even had smoked salmon. The fresh cut up fruit was wonderful. The price is expensive however. We were on a companies dime so perhaps the food tasted even sweeter since we didn't pay for it out of pocket. The price for the breakfast buffet is over $20/person. I still would have eaten there if we had paid ourselves because it was so convenient to just wake up, walk straight down the hall and into the restaurant with hot coffee in front of you before you knew it. It was a wonderful way to start the day.

Like others have said, drink prices are high. Pina Colada was almost $11 and wasn't even that big. We were coming back from an excursion and asked the shuttle driver to stop at a convenience store for us to buy beer. I would definitely recommend doing this. A six pack is $33 at the hotel. For two days we ordered lunch from Seabreeze at the beach. It was good. My husband got a hamburger and I got a curry chicken salad sandwich both days. The waitress gave me fries instead of chips the second day and seemed more than happy to bring me the chips right away. Actually we received cheerful, good service the entire time we were there.

Someone else said the iguanas were a huge nuisance. We had a huge group and none of us had any problems with them. Yes, you see them everywhere, but I Tried to feed them and could hardly get one to come to me. I did see one fall (or jump) out of the tree at the pool, but it was more interesting than scary. As for being around the pool I only saw one or two and they were both lying on one of the big boulders that rim the pool just soaking up the sun. I Never saw them harass anyone. I would guess that if you had small children that were always wanting to chase them it could get annoying. To me they were way cool. Go around back of the hotel to the iguana pond if you really want to see them. Ask the attendant at the towel shack and they will point the way. I was able to feel a couple over there and it was cool.

Things I would do again or differently:

*If we went back I would rent a car at the airport and keep it for the entire trip.

*Eat at Richies again- this restaurant is close to the hotel. It is open air and sits high on a hill with a spectacular view. The food was really good-the best meal we had while we were in Puerto Rico. Richie himself came over and hung out with us. Ambiance is great. Priced around $25-$40 for entree.

*Bio-Bay Tour-this is a once in a lifetime, magical excursion. I could do this tour over and over! We booked through the hotel and paid extra which I wouldn't do again. Call around and set this up yourself-but definitely do it.

*El Yunque visit-a group of us called for a shuttle to take us over the rainforest. He took us to all the sites that the tour you can book through the hotel does-but we paid the driver a total of $150 (split between 4 couples) as opposed to the $90/person charged through the resort. Our driver told us all about the flora and fauna and history too. This is the way to go if you ask me. If you rent a car just drive yourself. The welcome center has the nicest elderly man sitting at the information desk. He will explain everything you need to know to see what you want to see. It is a straight shot in and out so you can't get lost. BIG TIP: If you are going to hike to Mina Falls start at the higher (further into the forest) point and hike DOWN to the falls. If you are in a rental car then it won't be too bad to start of the nearest entry and walk to and from that way. Unless you are in Great shape and are looking for a workout-you don't want to get caught having to hike UP from the falls back to the pickup point. (You will understand all this as soon as you see the map they will give you at the visitors center-El Portal)

Old San Juan-go into the city for dinner one night. If you have a group of people you can take a shuttle (around $130) ( If you are there with just your family or spouse I would suggest renting a car for the whole trip). Our group also went to San Juan during the day as well and toured the fort, which was beautiful and interesting. Be Very careful if you have kids with you because there are dangerously open areas high up on those fort walls that a person could easily fall over. The walls at these points are low and there is a drop off right before you get to them. We almost lost a guy in our group!

*ATV tour- this tour was a lot of fun. I wouldn't make it a huge priority to do again...but I thoroughly enjoyed it while we doing it. Again, we booked through the hotel and probably paid extra. We were working with a group so this was just easier at the time. If I did it again I would call ahead and book it myself. The ATV tour was just FUN. We saw a HUGE iguana..probably 6 feet long. I had no idea they grew that large. We got to drive fairly fast and went through some pretty landscape. The tour claims to be "in the rainforest" but I would say it was more at the foothills. But still beautiful. We drove through some streams and ended up at a clear river where we got to swim and jump off semi-high rocks into the pool. This tour wasn't as education-but I had fun every second.

Have Fun in beautiful Puerto Rico at the beautiful Rio Mar! I hope your vacation is as wonderful as ours was. I would definitely go back-to the island and to the resort!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank ljmac22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 16, 2010
We appreciate the time you took to write your very detailed and informative review which, we’re sure, has been very helpful to the readers. It’s pretty evident you enjoyed your time at the resort and in Puerto Rico and it would be our pleasure to welcome you back again to Rio Mar.
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new hope, pa
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2010

As most reviews will tell you: Nice big beach, plenty of chairs, private; very good clean rooms (We had a nice view of El Yunke mountain and listened to the frogs at night), food-well resort prices and meh; Parking $15 self-park but you'll need a car as very isolated resort, there is an Avis on site but very expensive. Some say go to Richie's to eat, but food not great and more $ than resort,but go there for an afternoon drink as the view is spectacular.
From the airport take route 187 for a lovely view, much better that rt 3.
The road from the resort leads straight to EL Yunke Cloud forest, passes thru a little arty town on the way.
The resort seemed very under-booked and this was the high season.
All in all I'd recommend if you looking for a quiet out-of-the-way place as opposed to San Juan.

Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank fitlastic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 16, 2010
Thank you for your feedback with reference to your stay at our resort. We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and look forward to your return.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nj
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2010

We stayed at the Rio Mar at the end of January. We had such a great time! The grounds were clean and very well kept. The rooms were very nice. We had an ocean view room on the second floor. One day they did not clean our room until that evening, but we were ok with that. The beach was very nice, warm water, plenty of chairs and umbrellas. The pool area was very nice and not crowded as well. The tiki bar was a great place to hang out. We would usually go there at happy hour for medella light beer buy one get one free. The food was very good but a bit pricey. At night we usually hung out in the casino. They had a live band on Friday and Saturday, we had so much fun. We rented a car from Avis for two days. We went to El Yunque one day, then we checked out El Conquistador and the Gran Melia hotels. This hotel is much better in my opinion. Overall a great hotel, beach, and atmosphere. I would definitely go back!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dgcg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 16, 2010
It gives us such great pleasure reading reviews such as yours because our mission to provide our guests with the level of service and facilities that they expect and deserve has been accomplished. We are so very excited that you were left with an enjoyable and memorable experience. We hope you come back soon!
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Sun Prairie, WI
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2010

The Rio Mar is a beautiful resort with a mile long ocean beach. It is a short drive to the rain forest, Luquillo, and Fajardo. We experienced friendly staff that weren't afraid to recommend restaurants outside the resort. If you have an endless supply of money, you could spend your entire stay at the resort. They have several restaurants and bars, a spa, a casino, a fitness center, family and adult pools and hot tubs, and their own beach with rentals available.
Since we don't have an endless supply of money, we did read reviews before going and were aware of the items they charge extra for but some items were still a shock. Parking for hotel guests is $15/day to park yourself or $20/day for valet parking. When we checked out there were fees and taxes added to it that added another $1.50/day. The pool side cabanas are $150/day. A six pack of beer in an ice bucket is $33 (the beers are 10 oz.). Mixed drinks are $10.50. The breakfast buffet is $22/person. A personal sized pizza is $14. A refrigerator in you room is $10/day. Kayak rentals are $33/hour.
As soon as you leave the resort prices are reasonable. We drove to Wal-Mart and bought a styrofoam cooler and stocked it with Bacardi and beer. We also picked up food to keep in our room. Almost daily you could find us drinking coffee on our balcony overlooking the mountains. We would then go for a walk on the beach looking for shells and crabs. We would then drive down the road and eat breakfast at Antoine's (sp?) for about $4 each. We then headed off on our excursion for the day.

Don't be fooled by the concierge desk tour prices:
- a visit to the rain forest is FREE, unless you pay the $3 to enter the visitors center or the $5 for a guided tour.
- the Bacardi distillery tour is FREE
- the beach in Luquillo is FREE
- snorkeling tours and the bio luminescent bay tours are about half the price if you book them yourself

-

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank CWoerp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 16, 2010
We thank you the informative comments regarding your stay at our resort. We appreciate the time you have taken to share your thoughts and look forward to the pleasure of your return.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa

Property: Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa
Address: 6000 Rio Mar Boulevard, Rio Grande 00745-4661, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Rio Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Rio Grande
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Rio Grande
#2 Luxury Hotel in Rio Grande
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 600
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 And Spa, a Wyndham Grand Resort
Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, a Wyndham Grand Hotel Rio Grande
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

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