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“Research paid off - we had a wonderful stay.”

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Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rio Grande
Reviewed April 4, 2010

We were looking for a beach destination where we could bring our teenage daughters on spring break, but still have a family atmosphere. The week we were there, (Mar. 29-Apr. 3), this hotel was perfect for our needs. The hotel is beautiful, and our room was very nice with an ocean front view. The beach was wonderful, and the weather was great all week. The employees were all friendly, with some going above and beyond - a special thanks to Carlos Rosa who brought us beach chairs and an umbrella from all the way at the other end of the beach when we came out late one morning. Because we'd read lots of reviews, we knew to rent a car and not eat at the overpriced restaurants on the property. As every review of this hotel mentions, the parking charges are ridiculous. But at least we knew what to expect, and the $90 we spent on parking for the week was well made up for by what we saved on food and sightseeing by having our own car. This was one of our favorite vacations as a family, we all had a great time and really enjoyed our stay at the Wyndham. We would definitely go there again.

Some tips:
*requesting a fridge in your room costs $10 per day. A cheap styrofoam cooler at Walmart costs under $5. Ice at the hotel is free. The breakfast buffet at the hotel is $19 per person, plus a $4 carafe of coffee. Just by using the cooler for milk, eating cereal in the room for four mornings, I estimate that our family of four saved around $400.
*When we were in the mood for a full breakfast, we went to Antojitos (right at the bottom of the hill) and spent only about $5 per person. The food was great.
*You will see lots of signs for Richie's Cafe up the hill from the resort. Having seen some TripAdvisor reviews, we went for the gorgeous view and kept our expecations reasonable for the food. Yes, the view is incredible, but even considering our lowered expectations, the food was barely average and the service was ridiculously bad. Cost for our family of 4: $85. Later in the week we learned that if you keep driving a few hundred more feet up the hill, you will come to a restaurant called Terrazzo Montemar. Same gorgeous view, with wonderful food - and half the price of Richie's- highly recommended.
*The Kioskos in Luquillo are not to be missed. They are a row of beachfront shacks right off Highway 3. We went twice for delicious lunches that cost our family of four less than $20. Yum.
*In our opinion, the $20 valet parking wasn't worth it. After arriving late the first night and using valet, we switched to $15 self park for the rest of the week. We actually preferred getting our own car (quick and easy) to waiting around for them to bring it.
*Do online research and reserve your rental car ahead of time. The hotel has an Avis desk, but obviously you'll spend more that way. We found the best deal by far with Thrifty in San Juan.

Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
1  Thank kingfamilytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2010

Thank you for your complimentary feedback with reference to your stay, our facilities, staff and cuisine. We are sure your detailed review will be helpful to many readers. We truly appreciate you taking the time to express your experience of your time both in Puerto Rico and at Rio Mar. We wait anxiously for your return!

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5,854 - 5,860 of 7,248 reviews

Reviewed April 3, 2010

The resort was beautiful with a lush tropical setting that was kept clean and beautiful.. the staff was attentive and courteous, the rooms were beautiful, very clean and was about as sound proof as I've ever found in a hotel. We ate in every restaurant and each and every meal was outstanding and the service

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank slip32174
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2010

We are pleased that you had an enjoyable and memorable experience at Rio Mar. Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and for choosing our resort and Puerto Rico as your vacation destination. We look forward to your return!

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Reviewed April 2, 2010

The people who work at the Wyndam are lovely, very friendly and warm. The grounds of the Wyndam Rio Mar are beautiful, so is the beach. They keep the lobby clean and attractive as well. However, don't be fooled. It took five room changes before we got a decent room. The first smelled of mold, although attractive looking. We changed to a second room and people were sleeping in it. The hotel computer was not up to date. The third room stunk of smoke, in a no smoking hotel. By this time, the fourth room was just ok but we took it because we were so tired. The next day I asked for a change. Finally got a decent room after 5 tries. Management did reimburse us a few dollars for our troubles.

Food is very expensive and the hotel is 40 minutes from San Juan. Breakfast buffet costs $25 p/p and if you don't want the expense, you can wait on line at the Express Kiosk and pay $20 for two coffees, two bagels, and one muffin. The length of time on the kiosk line is upwards of 25 minutes.

Therefore, you will need to rent a car. Here in is another story. Avis was going out and Enterprise was coming in. The hotel did nothing to ease the transition of the two companies. Therefore, we were unable to get a car at the hotel for two days. Then there is the $25 parking fee if the hotel parks for you. If not, there is a $15 parking fee which is the most cumbersome I have ever experienced. First you park. Then you get a ticket. When you are ready to retrieve your car, you have to to go outside to the valet desk, get the ticket validated, walk back into the hotel, go down three levels to the garage and retrieve your car. It turns out that the parking is outsourced, as is the food consession, as are most services in this hotel. So, the left hand does not know or care what the right hand is doing.

Now let's talk about the beach. You have to sign out for towels, so there is a line to get the towels and a line to bring them back. When you go to the beach, they give you a beach chair and an umbrella for free. That is great. However, you wait on a line, then you point to the spot you want. The beach chairs are brought over, then the umbrella never comes.

If you opt to pay for a cabana for $150 for the day, you receive a cooler filled with expired soda and water. Fruit is supposed to come, one small cup was given to us. Otherwise, we were completely ignored.

A young couple i met, booked the hotel online. They did not read the fine print and were charged a $32 daily resort fee in addition to the agreed upon price.

The hotel does not have wifi unless you pay for it. I was so tired of paying for everything, I refused to spend another dime on the internet.

All in all, if you think the Wyndam will give you quality and service, look for another place to stay. You think you have a pretty good deal and then you have to pay for everything that in most places is given to you.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank auroraadventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2010

Thank you for your feedback. Apparently we did not succeed in meeting your expectations and sincerely apologize for that. Please know that you are valued by us and hope that you will give us the opportunity to restore your confidence in us.

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Reviewed April 1, 2010

Just spent a week at Rio Mar with my husband , 9 yr old and 15 yr old. Enjoyed the beautiful beach, gardens, and iguanas. The pools are also really nice. They set up umbrellas and chairs on the beach for you and provide beach towels. Follow the advice of others and rent a car. It's well worth the 15.00 per day charge, even though it is annoying. Never been charged to park at a hotel except in downtown Chicago. I estimate that we saved about 500.00 on food and excursions after the cost of the rental car. The room was clean and the beds were comfortable, if in need of some paint and minor touchups like a towel bar barely hanging onto the wall. Loved the balcony with the ocean view. Food at the resort is good, but pricey. We also ate at Richies and enjoyed that as well. Beautiful views. Service ok, food good. Great food at the kioskos on Luquillo beach nearby. You can see them from highway three. Try Ceviche Hut and the fruit smoothie cart in front. Yum, that was our dinner one night. Antojitos and Ishmars bakery near the resort are great too. The rainforest is neat (and free), and hacienda carbali is neat to ride horses, rent atvs, or eat at the restraunt. It is just off Hwy 3, follow the well marked signs. Took a ferry from Fajardo to Vieques island, enjoyed, but heard Culebra is better. Get there way early to get on the ferry because the line is long. Glad we stayed at Rio mar vs the Conquistador because Fajardo seems kind of dumpy and it is a lot farther from the airport. All in all, loved Puerto Rico.

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Thank justamommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2010

We so much enjoyed the opportunity to be of service to you and your family. Thank you for having chosen our resort and Puerto Rico as your vacation spot. We appreciate you sharing your experience and tip on the web. Please come back and visit us again soon!

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Reviewed April 1, 2010

So it is with a heavy heart that I write this review because I think this COULD be a great hotel (and two years ago I wrote a glowing review) and honestly, our family had a great time, but there are some serious issues here that have only gotten worse in the last two years. The main issues are -
- the condition of the rooms - this goes from OK to atrocious. There has been clearly no upkeep over the past two years. We had to go to THREE rooms until there was one that was decent. The first one I was maybe a little picky about (our reservation was "partial ocean view" - fine, I expect to see just partial but in that room, you could see the ocean if the palm trees swayed just so and you stood at the edge of the balcony. And the worst part was when I called to complain the front desk told me "here, if you can even see a sliver of ocean it is considered partial". This, hotel management, is going to tick off your guests before they have even unpacked. A SLIVER frankly should be resort view - you make a few less bucks but your guests get what they thought they paid for.) I digress. So the second room was appalling. The smell of mildew was overwhelming, everything in the room was wet b/c clearly the dehumidification system was not working for some reason, and the curtain was torn and filthy. Really, I haven't seen a room like that in years. I thought about just crying uncle and asking for our old room back but when we went to get our luggage it was already occupied by a guy who said the door on their first room wouldn't lock no matter what they did! I was a little sheepish about asking for another room and tried to make the best of it for the night but when the adjoining room turned out to be loud honeymooners, I had to do something and I need to give credit where credit is due, the overnight front desk person gave us a spectacular room that was clean and had a lovely view. So it ends happily but based on the conversation poolside, SO many people were upset about their rooms that our first two rooms were likely more representative. But let me make this clear, the problem was not with housekeeping - they did fine, it was that nothing was being kept up or updated. It seemed like if something was dirty or torn, it was going to stay that way.

- the food (other than the ERL Café and the poolside cafes which had pretty good food with expected resort-level pricing) is really expensive. This can be handled by renting a car and eating your meals off-site. But woe is he who has no car and is trapped. We loved eating out and getting the car from the parking garage was no problem at all. You will have to pay for parking, but where don't you??

- the service - everyone is friendly but there is not one bit of pampering going on here. So not a big deal if that isn't important to you, as it wasn't to us, but if it is, this may not be the place for you. Like I said, it isn't a big deal to us - all we need is for people to be friendly and they were that without exception.

On the bright side, the waves are perfect for boogie boarding, the beach is lovely and the outdoor areas are pleasant and well-maintained. We rented Cabana #18 for two days and that made our vacation as the cabanas give you guaranteed shade, are stocked with snacks and drinks, have comfy chairs and #18 has the perfect vantage point to watch your kids and have privacy. Really lovely. Add to that the proximity to El Yunque and the great food a short drive away and it is a good vacation, but it is not for everyone. I THINK maybe that is why half the reviews are awesome and the other just awful. If you want to just spend a lot of time outside by the pool, playing in the perfect waves, seeing the rain forest, then you'll have a great time. If you want a luxurious experience with updated, beautiful rooms and VIP service (and there is nothing wrong with that on vacay!), this may not be the best choice.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Tink1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2010

Our apologies to you for the shortcomings you experienced during your stay. Please be assured that your feedback will allow us to become a better property in the future. It was a pleasure having you as our guest and we look forward to the opportunity to serve you in the future.

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Reviewed April 1, 2010

We've only been here for two days and already want to leave. The food is rediculously expensive. Every time you move your car (which costs $15 /day) you have to get your ticket validated. When we went for a moonlit walk last night two security guards stopped us and said it wasn't safe. This morning I called the concierge to ask about activities and she told me I had to walk to the pool to find out. Wouldn't you expect this to be coordinated? Weirdest of all is that the restaurants don't have much outdoor seating and are over air conditioned. Most of the problems with the resort would be easy to fix but you get a sense from the staff that Wyndham wants it like this.

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Thank Wfbtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2010

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry it was not what you expected and hope you’ll return and give us a second opportunity.

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Reviewed March 31, 2010

My husband, I and two young kids (ages 6 and 4) spent 6 nights at the resort. Although the hotel gave us a room with the worst view (facing the valet-parking garage entrance), we could care less. Not many cars were in and out (because valet parking is $20 per day??) so the noise was actually very minimum!!
Positive points of the hotel:
- great location: 10 minutes from the rainforest; 15 minutes from the Bio Bay; 30 minutes from Old San Juan.
- direct access to the beach. Plus, the hotel's swimming pool is 200 meters away. My kids were hopping between the pool and the beach. The kids loved it!!
- comfortable bed
- the air conditioning unit is not too noisy (my husband is a light sleeper. So, he was very pleased :) )
- friendly staff

Minus:
- High price:
I have read a lot of reviews before departure. Therefore, I was very prepared not to get heart attack when I saw the prices on food (i.e. cold cereal for kids is $6) or water/sightseeing activities (kayaking at the bio bay is $99 PER PERSON). Everything is EXPENSIVE!!! Unless you really really want to spend all the money you have, sincerely suggest that you go a supermarket ( a local one called "Amigo") or a drug store (Walgreens are everywhere) to buy cereals, milk, soft drink, etc. We never dined at the resort. Fast food chains (i.e. Sizzlers, Burger King, Subways) and the nearby Isamar Bakery were our main sources for meals.
- malfunction room keys: We had problems with the keys EVERYDAY!
- inconsistant housekeeping quality

Overall, we had great time in PR. So, enjoy your stay!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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Thank hsyu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WyndhamEXEC, Manager at Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2010

Thank you for your detailed comments with reference to your stay, our facilities, staff and cuisine. We’re sure this information will be helpful to many readers. We truly appreciate you taking the time to share your experience 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.
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Additional Information about Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar

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 Luxury Hotel in Rio Grande
#2 Spa Hotel in Rio Grande
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Rio Grande
Price Range: $222 - $388 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar 4*
Number of rooms: 400
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
Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar Puerto Rico/Rio Grande

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