Our family of four (Mom, Dad and two teens) stayed at the Westin Rio Mar for six nights last week. It was our first time in Puerto Rico but not our first to the Caribbean-or to the Westin Caribbean resorts. We are Starwood Preferred members.
Our flight landed at San Juan airport at 2:15 pm. We arrived at the hotel at 4pm-after renting a car at the airport. I would highly recommend renting a car as it came in very handy. The resort is in a remote area.
Check in was fairly quick although a bit confusing as the clerk did not have the correct dates for our stay. We were shown to our room (a fairly large ocean front room overlooking the pool area/beach). The room was nicely arranged but not recently refurbished. The bed spread was dirty, the TV looked as though it had fallen one too many times but otherwise, I was impressed by the clean floor and room. We asked for fresh bedspreads and were immediately given them. We always had maid service before noon each day. We never heard anyone in the adjoining rooms but could hear noise from the hall.
The hotel grounds are beautiful. The pool is a perfect temperature, uncrowded and very clean. We all loved the expansive beach and even liked the water with the waves. We were surprised by the lack of water sports offered at the beach (no parasailing, two jet skis, no banana boats,one sailboat) but not bothered by this at all. There were no vendors who came by while we were on the beach and this was nice. Umbrellas were available for free on a first come/first served basis. We did not have a drop of rain for six days although the rain clouds seem to hang over the rain forest. Be sure to tour the rain forest as it is a great but long hike. La Mina falls are beautiful.
My one real problem with this hotel is the lack of food options, lack of food quality and expense. Count on $10 for any drink you order. We ate every morning at the David’s Cookies in the lobby where we got bagels, muffins and coffee. This was a bit hectic as the women working it were much more interested in talking amongst themselves than helping customers. Every day we ate lunch at Club Coqui beside the pool. It was expensive-about $90 for the four of us- and not very good. What it lacked in quality it made up for in convenience as we all wanted to enjoy the water and pool all day. We ate at the hotel three nights. Marabella’s was AWFUL. Iguana Pub was good and had the nicest view. We wanted to eat at Pailo but we did not have long pants so we couldn’t. We had nice khaki shorts and nice collared shirts but we were told that shorts could not be worn. I think it is a silly rule for the Caribbean but no big deal.
Off the resort, we ate at Antojitos, Brass Cactus and Don Pepes. All were just okay. From the outside, the restaurants all look sketchy, but once inside the food was, for the most part, acceptable. However, we were a little shocked to find a bunch of dogs on the roof of the building next to Don Pepe’s. We wished we had found a nice restaurant but did not see any that fit that bill. Many other guests were complaining of the same problem as well and I feel that this issue is the main downfall for the hotel. The nearby towns of Luquillo and Fajardo are not very exciting and seemed poor and almost deserted to us.
We enjoyed our trip but would probably not go back. This resort is very remote and I can’t imagine being without a car here. The hotel itself is nice but it could be a much more desirable property if the food options were improved.
- 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