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“Westin is great for Starpoints” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa

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Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Rio Grande
upstate NY
Level Contributor
89 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“Westin is great for Starpoints”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2007

Just got back from Easter week at the Westin Rio Mar. We booked the
hotel on points thru Starwood which was great. I used Trip Advisor hints
extensively, so I wanted to report back on how it went.
We rented a car from Avis at the airport for about $200 for the week
which gave us flexiblitiy and savings. This was cheaper then using hotel
transport which is $75 pp/each way. When we got to the hotel we used
the open air "staff" parking across from the basement self park of the
hotel. Again this saved us $10 a night for self park or $20 a night for
valet park. When we arrived at the hotel at 2:30 our room was not
ready, as we knew to expect from previous postings, so we had bathing suits
and flip flops available, changed in the bathroom and hit the beach.
By 4:00 we really wanted to check in, so got back on line. (this hotel
does not have a starwood express line as it should) We were told our
room still wasn't ready. When I pointed out that check in was supposed
to be at 3, I was told that they have a "window" from 3 to 5. As I
found this unacceptable, I announced that we would now wait at the lobby
bar with complimentary drinks from them and that when the room was ready
they could call us at the bar. The clerk said just one moment - went
into the office for a minute- and came out announcing that our room was
now ready.
We asked for and received an upper floor with ocean view. The room was
a little shabby, with cracked floor tiles and chipped tub, not as
modern as the Westin in Cancun. But it was scrupulously clean and perfectly
acceptable. Especially as it was free. The safe was still locked from
previous guests, the refrigerator I had requested was not there, and
the room key did not work. I stopped a passing security man, who
apparently made a call for us and all was fixed within a half hour.
We had stopped at Rodriquez' market on the corner of 3 as you turn to
go on the road for the Westin as recommended on this site. This worked
out well. We stocked up on soda, juice, chips, cookies and milk. This
rounded out the hotel meals and meals out.
In the room is a snack/drink frdge that is locked. We never unlocked
it as I had read that the prices were ridiculous. There are 2 kinds of
water in the room, large bottles with a private label from a local
spring water company. These are free and I asked the maid to leave us
extra each day which she did. I stored these in the fridge, and brought
them down to the beach along with my insulated mug full of ice. This
This
worked out well. The bar refilled my mug with ice whenever I asked. Tere
are also small bottles of water labelled "Westin" in the room. These
are $3 each which you are not told. Most people were walking around
with the Westin water - I think they wrongly thought that was the free
one. There was a coffee maker with supplies (free) in the room as well as
bathrobes.
The hotel was full, and preferred seating at the pool and beach was
hard to come by. There are two pools. Only the "quiet" pool has chairs
with cushions. This was my biggest complaint. It is hard to sit all
day on fake plastic wicker beach chairs. So by about 9:00 the best
chairs at the pools (under umbrellas) and at the beach in the shade were
already reserved. My husband went down at 7 each morning to put towels
and magazines on the chairs in the shade that we wanted. At 8 you can
wait on line for a worker to set up an umbrella on the beach for you.
People who came down at 11 were out of luck for chairs or umbrella's.
We saw a lot of angry people. However, I will remind you that this was
Easter week and probably if you go at any other week it wouldn't be so
cutthroat.

  • Liked — The beautiful beach
  • Disliked — the sheets on the bed, lack of cushions on the beach chairs
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank robandlil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Washington DC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2007

I just returned from a stay at this resort and found it to be wonderful! The rooms were nice, the staff attentive, the beach, pools and weather were amazing! The golf was great! The resort was VERY family friendly with so many great things for the kids to do.

Yes, yes - the food and drinks were overpriced, but that is to be expected at a resort like this, in my opinion.

I attended a yoga class poolside and received a private one hour lesson because I was the only one who showed up. The instructer was awesome and what an incredible opportunity to learn about yoga.

After looking at some of the previous entries, I think there are some people who did not research their vacation plans very well and who are just looking for something to complain about.

The place was wonderful and I would recommend it to my friends and family.

  • Stayed April 2007
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank WMTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level Contributor
72 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2007

My fiance and I read the other reviews on TripAdvisor prior to booking our trip over Easter weekend to this venue. I would say that most of the other reviews on here give a reasonable portrait of the property. Nonetheless, there are a few things I'd like to point out that I think are important to booking a stay there.

The good:
- Grounds - The hotel is a lovely property. We found the room to be very spacious and very clean. A bit utilitarian (tile floors) but wise choices given the beach location. The beachfront itself is fantastic, some of the best in Puerto Rico. There are two pools which are very attractive. On both the beach and by the pools, there are always enough chairs.
- Drinks - As others have noted, the bartenders make fantastic mojitos, pina coladas, and frozen mojitos.
- Entertainment - Great tennis, golf, casino and lots of bars and restaurants. You certainly could have a pleasant vacation without leaving the grounds (though I would strongly advise going off grounds). The hotel can book virtually any activity for you (at their inflated prices, of course).
- Family friendly - For those that have kids, it seems to be a great place for kids, but....

The bad:
- Kids - Obviously Easter weekend is the worst of the worst in terms of there being crowds and lots of families. The hotel does a great job of providing things for kids to do and it is a safe environment for them, generally, though we did see the hotel serving extremely young minors alcohol on one occasion. We stayed on the beach and away from the pool, where most of the kids were (even the "quiet" pool was full of screaming kids) so it did not bother us. They didn't make too much noise in the halls, though i could see that being an issue.
- Service/Speed - I simply don't buy the concept of "Caribbean time" and as long as I am at an American-owned resort I consider extreme slowness and incompetence unacceptable. The hotel first tried to put us in an out-of-the-way room with two double beds until we complained and got the king we booked. Because the hotel is also the country club for wealthy locals, I repeatedly noticed that Puerto Rican locals were treated much better than out of town guests. The bartenders at the pool area were almost comically slow with drink service, to the point where other guests were yelling at them as they stood joking around, entering their tips into the computers, and otherwise not serving people.
- Restaurants - The breakfast at Marbella was fairly good. We also had dinner at Aqualuna, the seafood place. It was pretty mediocre. Prices are basically on the higher end of New York prices, but the quality is not there - typical of a beach resort. Even for New Yorkers, we got some sticker shock when we saw that the Italian restaurant was charging nearly $30 for plates of pasta.

There are several local places that are enjoyable, including Antojitos down the street. We also liked Las Vegas, just down the road, for dinner.

We stayed here on Starwood points over a very busy weekend and were generally pleased with how the hotel handled the crowds. It was of course annoying that service was sometimes slow, and I was irked, though not surprised, at how much they nickel and dime you (nothing is complimentary, including in room internet). If you want an easy place to stay, it's a good place, and I note that on the following Monday (our last day) it got much quieter and more relaxing. Overall, not much about the place surprised me.

  • Liked — Cleanliness, ease
  • Disliked — Crowds, slow service, many added costs
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank jlb3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern Virginia
Level Contributor
76 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2007

We stayed at the Westin with our kids (14/12) during Spring Break. Our room was clean, but it was a bit disappointing to walk the corridor to our room and see discarded room service left on the floor, sometimes for up to two days, without being taken away. It became a running joke with us to see when the trash would be picked up. I agree with most of the reviews about the staff and restaurants. The staff was friendly and accommodating, but service in most of the restaurants was slow. The food was fine. Although there are many restaurants on site, the menus in each are fairly limited. The pricing was about what you expect from a resort - very expensive. i could not believe they had the nerve to charge $45/person for Easter Brunch. We avoided that. The concierge staff was very friendly, but not as knowledgeable as I thought they should be. The beach was clean and we could always find a chair, even though the place was extremely crowded. The ocean at this location was very calm - no body surfing here. If you stay here and don't want to be stuck on the property, you have to rent a car. Don't rent a car at the hotel. When I called, they wanted to charge about $60/day for the smallest car. Instead, I rented a four-door at the airport for $200 for the week. The car came in very handy as we went to El Yunque (excellent), Hacienda Carabali (lots of fun for the kids) for horseback riding, Fajardo for the bioluminscent bay trip (a bit disappointing), and Old San Juan/El Morro (excellent). If you have a car, don't go through the concierge to arrange for these activities. They are extremely overpriced if you go through the hotel. Essentially, you are paying for the transportation. Plus, a car was necessary to go to Walmart (about 15 minutes away), Walgreens (about 10 minutes away), and the Belz Factory Outlet (about 15 minutes away). You need to stock up at these places rather than rely on eating at the hotel too often. But overall, this was a very good vacation spot.

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank LimitedTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scranton, Pa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2007

Family and I just back from 4 nts Easter Vacation spent at the Westin PR. Great Hotel!, in fact I enjoyed it so much I am signing up for the Starwood credit card and plan on visiting other Westins throughout the Caribbean. The room was upscale with nice bathroom. Lobby and grounds were beautiful, perfectly clean with a very professional, well-trained staff.

Beach area was clean with beach chairs available all days. We found shady spots under the palms available at noon each day. (instead of rushing for umbrellas in a.m. - typical in carib). Only guests were on beach, no beach vendors to bug you, good riddance! Nice, very light surf for bobbing around.

The food at the resort was very good and priced right. We found no significant delays in waiting for service anywhere. The staff was not "slow" and slothful like in some resorts, this is USA you know! I refuse to stay in prison at any resort, so our rental car took us to Don Pepe's and Mio's for very good meals in nice surroundings, the other two nights we ate at the resort. Also enjoyed local PR breakfast pastries each morning.

We had an A1 guide on our rainforest tour, worth the extra $$(instead of just driving up) for all the history and local color he brought to the tour. I don't golf but the golf course(s) were quite green and looked "up to par", not like the dried-out brown ones I've seen elsewhere.

I was worried after reading some of the reviews on this site, but had no real problems. I think some travelers just like to pick on everything, instead of realizing that things don't always work exactly right in the Caribbean and you just have to go with the punches. Can't wait to go back or to visit my next Westin resort. note: I have 20 Carib trips under my belt.

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Glenncz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2007

I was so apprehensive based on the reviews here, but I am glad I went and BOY were they wrong!!!! This was a great hotel. It's not a Four Seasons, but given that the rates were about 1/2 of a 4Seasons, I think it was a good value. We used SPG points for our room and we ended up with an Ocean view 1br suite (we paid for this with points - not an upgrade).

Pros: beautiful, gorgeous property with palm trees, a private beach, 2 pools, hot tubs, water slide. Very spacious rooms with comfortable beds. Contrary to the posters below, we had very good housekeeping, although they did forget turndown at least 2 nights (they came as soon as we called). The breakfast buffet was expensive - albeit no more than any other buffet in any other upscale carribbean hotel. They never even charged us for our kids! Not once! Room service was very fairly priced, and I thought the room service staff went out of their way for us - 1 day my kids wanted a vanilla doughnut and they actually went down to the buffet and got it for her and brought it to the room.

Cons: as stated here a million times, this hotel is drastically understaffed, which makes no sense, especially in PR with an unemployment rate of 20%, There is little organization, and getting chairs by the pool on a holiday week required a serious plan of action- umbrellas were generally gone by 6:45 am (NOT kidding!) and more than 2 chairs together were gone by 8am,. Having primarily stayed in 4 or 5 star hotels, I went down to the pool the first day with a $20 in hand thinking I would pick my chairs...hahaha. They weren't even interested! Lunch at the pool restaurant (Coqui) took 2 hours one day. As mentioned before, we only received turndown 2 or 3 nights out of our 5. Food is expensive, but again no more than the Ritz or the El Conquistador. Oh, but for an international management company...not ONE piece of Matzah during passover - and I heard many many tables asking for it!

All in all, my kids had a fabulous fabulous time. They had tons of activities for everyone from hairbraiding, to smores on the beach to iguana feeding, all free. The hotel was overrun with kids (school holiday week) but I thought they were pretty well behaved, considering.

BTW, as I am writing this, Westin has announced that they are resigning management of this property beginning May 10 and Wyndham will be taking over.

Would I go back? Absolutely. Would I pay $400 a night? Probably not.

  • Liked — Fabulous physical plant
  • Disliked — far from San Juan, no puerto rican influence
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank emmamax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New york
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2007

Just returned from a 5 night stay at The Westin Rio Mar Resort. We stayed here a few years ago. The hotel is nicely situated and has lovely grounds. Very relaxed atmosphere and generally staff were pleasant and motivated to please.The large stretch of beach, this property fronts is lovely. The water was clean and inviting. Yes, I do agree with some of the negatives regarding the limited, expensive food choices, but we made the best of it. We remembered this issue from our prior stay,but we wanted to give it another try-hoping for some inprovement. I must note that we stayed our last two nights at The Ritz Carlton, near Old San Juan area.Surprisingly, we preferred the Westin due to what we valued as important for our vacation stay. We liked the idea of being away from the city-more importantly-the airport.(the sound of airplanes/smell of fuel was disturbing) It was nice to just relax and not feel that we had to leave the property to dine. Some dinners were dissapppointing-but some were very good and enjoyable-despite the expense. We have stayed at other resorts where the meals were at least equal or more costly so we were not shocked. If you truly like to be out and about and have access to the nightlfe of Old San Juan area, then yes staying here might not be the best choice. But if you are looking for a relaxing beach resort experience without the need to have something to do every night then this might be what you are looking for. We did do a one day shopping/lunch in Old San Juan-which was enough for us.Some more adventurous people visit the Rain Forest nearby. The Casino is small(in comparision to the one at The Ritz) but adequate. They have a David's Cookies that has ice cream, cookies, desserts, and coffee. In the morning you can get coffee/ muffin for low cost breakfast. We mostly ate at the bar area which had a very nice delux continental breakfast for $15.00 including tax/gratuities. Thought this was a great deal and very good. Dinner at their main dinning room, Meres was very good. Lunch at Coqui was good-but do avoid dinner there. We ate twice at the Italian restaurant-Palio-which was very good. Service tends to be slower than what you would expect or hope for, but found that to be the tendency. I do have to say, though that the pleasant and accommodating staff made up for the slow service at times. We enjoyed our stay at the Westin and would return. Just need to know what you are looking for. Please email me with any questions.

  • Liked — Very comfortable bed
  • Disliked — Update furniture
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mandirae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Rio Grande
#2 Spa Hotel in Rio Grande
#2 Luxury Hotel in Rio Grande
#2 On the Beach 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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