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“Beautiful Hotel - Nothing To Do”

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Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rio Grande
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
170 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hotel - Nothing To Do”
Reviewed August 15, 2007

Beautiful hotel. Beautiful pool. Beautiful beach. There is nothing negative about this hotel except perhaps its location. It is too far away from everything. You are tied into their restaurants (expensive) and drinks (expensive) and entertainment (non-existent). We went to this hotel two years in a row, and both times came back thinking that while it was a beautiful place, it really lacked after hours entertainment. I would never bring a family here.

Stayed February 2005
Helpful?
1 Thank PippaXYZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Torrington, CT
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2007

We recently just returned from our stay at the Wyndham for a week - 8/2 - 8/9. This was a family trip that included myself, my spouse, my 17 yr old son and 12 yr old daughter. From a true resort perspective, I thought the resort was great - beautiful grounds, facilities and service! The employees were all friendly and helpful and very accomodating (although the only "issue" we had was that we waited quite a while for check in as we arrived around 1 pm and was told our room was not ready and each time we called to check they said it was too soon and when pressed for a time it was first 4, 4:30 and then 5 and stated that all times are approximate). Unlike some other reviews, we had an oceanview room that was quiet and cleaned on a timely basis (the only "noise" issue we had was that when the doors close they are heavy and very loud but other than that there was no other noise that was even remotely detectable.
I will agree that it was quite pricey for in house amenities and we did not rent a car as my husband does not like to drive so we were pretty confined to the in house dining options. But, I also will say that all of the meals were very good. We tried a variety of the restaurants and I can say we were not disappointed with the quality of the food. And, I will say that all of the servers were excellent!!
The real downside that we found was that there was really nothing for our 17 yr old to do. Thank goodness he brought his laptop to use each evening in the lobby - it saved our sanity. Additionally, even though our 12 yr old was pretty much tired every evening after playing in the ocean (truly beautiful) all day - there was not a lot for her either other than the water slide and hair braiding. The "dive-in" movie on Friday and Saturday was great and you may want to consider offering that on more evenings as it is helpful with the younger ones!!
Suggestion - may want to consider offering a more reasonable all-inclusive option, especially for families who appeared to be the majority of your visitors.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay here and I would come back again but without children. The beach was beautiful and the service was great!!

  • Liked — The service, facilities, and location
  • Disliked — Price of some amenities and lack of activities for teens
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank doodlebug13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White Plains, NY
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2007

Lets start with the positives: The place is absolutely beautiful. Exactly as advertised. The grounds are amazing and suprisingly the photos of the pools are exactly what is there. The pools are clean...the place is just incredibly well kept.

Contrary to the reviews early on, since the Wyndam has taken over perhaps, the staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. The people behind the desk (Jessica) and the concierge were great help and there was absolutely no problem with the bill. It was easy to check in and check out.

The drinks at the pool were great. We recommend the ziggy zaggy drink. They were a bit pricey but like any resort they were about ten bucks for a 8 oz cup. Its about right but they were great.

I would advise you to rent a car. Rent a car at the airport if you are smart since the cabs out to Rio Grande are 65 dollars to begin with and the hotel offers a shuttle but charge per person. Plus, the restaurants on site are incredibly pricey and quite ridiculous as they do not offer a midrange restuarant for the average joe. We chose to rent a car and drove down the road to Antojitos Restaurant whih has moderately priced meals and were fantastic. Plus, Fajarado is about ten minutes away and there are a ton of restaurants down there. The parking is only 15 bucks on site for self parking which I recommend since you often got your car before the valet parkers did.

Anyway, the place was a great resort. There are a ton a children there but there are areas of privacy. My advice is to also get a mountain view room as its away from the noise of the pool.

There were some negatives. The first thing and this may come off in a weird way but you never feel as though the hotel is giving you anything. You pay all this money for a resort and you would think, you may get a free drink or some attention from the staff, perhaps some organized fun perhaps but there is nothing. Once you check in and give your credit card, there is this feeling of you against the hotel financially. There are drinks that cost a fortune and they charge you for everything. For example, I had complimentary golf tickets from the American Cancer Society and the course was gorgeous. Really nice. But, they charged the two of us $110 for club rentals and refused to take it off our bill. Now, thats understandable but lets get real as this was something we got for charity. It's little things like that including the 15 dollars for parking, the 4 dollars for a muffins or even using the expensive spa, there is not this sense that the resort will grant anything to you. Maybe I am asking too much but they charge for everything.

There is one place called Davids cookies for breakfast which is decent as its somewhat cheaper and quick but the line is about a half hour. That is frustrating.

Overall, we are a patient couple who enjoyed the trip overall. the resort is gorgeous and to sit by the pool is great. We actually bought a twelve pack of beer at a local supermarket and some wine and brought it out to the pool and had an amazing time.

  • Liked — Pools, Cleanliness of Room, Serenity, Drinks were tasty
  • Disliked — Prices after check in, no internet in the room, nickel and dime
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank GCutter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2007

My wife and I just returned from a week in Puerto Rico. We stayed for 3 nights (7/29 - 8/1) at the Wyndham (formally Westin) Rio Mar. First off, I would really recommend renting a car if you're going to stay here. As others have mentioned, it's about an hour from SJU airport depending on how many signals you hit along the way. (Take the Hwy 66 toll road to cut about 20 min off your trip.) Taxis can be very spendy and in order to see anything outside the resort, you'll need to have a car - unless you're ok paying the marked up rates the hotel charges for their tours of Old San Juan, El Yunque Rain Forest, etc.

As for the hotel itself, the grounds were absolutely beautiful. Upon entering, you're taken away from the drab city of Rio Grande and transported into an oasis. After passing the guard house, drive slowly down road (to make sure you don't run over any iguanas!) We chose to self-park for $15/day instead of paying the $25/day for valet. I think self-park was actually quicker than valet as there was constantly a line at least 4 to 5 deep of people waiting for their cars.

Upon checking in, we were given a room with 2 beds (even though we requested a king bed). We told the manager and he quickly hooked us up with the correct room (and said it was our lucky day). According to him, only 20% of the rooms at the resort have king beds…so if you really want one, it might be best to call ahead and confirm. If you want a quiet room, pay less and go for the rooms with the rain forest/resort view (like we did). The ocean view rooms are above the pool – which can be noisy until late in the night.

Aside from the bagels and cookies from the bakery, we only dined once in the hotel at Marbella’s. It was on the expensive side, but that’s to be expected in any resort. The food was decent, but it’s hard to screw up a club sandwich. If you’re looking for great (authentic) Puerto Rican food, just drive down the hill to Antojitos Puertorriqueños. Our best meal in P.R. was at this place. Try the tostones stuffed with crab. They were awesome!

The hotel was just recently purchased by Wyndham, so I’m not sure if they’re planning any remodeling besides the casino (which was temporarily closed). The only real flaw we spotted was the worn out carpet in the hallways. Lots of stains. Also, as others have mentioned, the walls are pretty thin – so you can hear the TV and people next door, as well as the constant running/yelling/crying of children in the hallway. Our neighbor checked in at 3am and promptly woke us up by trying to open the door that connected our two rooms. Not sure why, but seriously…have you never been in a hotel room before??? Other than that, our room was perfect – spacious, well appointed, and clean.

When we weren’t in the room, we were at the “quiet” pool – which if you get down there early is just that. Get there before 8am and you’ll likely have the whole pool to yourself. Later in the day, it can get a bit crowded. A previous reviewer found the pool to be not so clean. We found the contrary during our stay. We saw the crew out there cleaning every morning and constantly washing/sweeping the pool deck during the day (as iguanas would tend to “leave their mark”). Overall, we found the Wyndham Rio Mar Resort to be a very relaxing and wonderful place to stay. Highly recommended! (Next time I’ll bring my golf clubs and review the courses.)

  • Liked — Pools, Views, Cleanliness, Service, Right on the Ocean
  • Disliked — Thin walls, new carpet needed in halls, expensive gift shop
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank dbm82705
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2007

We (husband and two children) stayed at the Rio Mar for 4 days in July. Overall, we had a wonderful time. We found the staff to be attentive and friendly. The pool and beaches were wonderful. Issues: food is very expensive - we did not rent a car so were captive, walls are thin - rude guests made for a long night or two - pool attendants did not even try to pick up old towels etc. Tours were very fun, but also expensive. Our daughter loved the hair braiding and the iguana feeding.

  • Liked — View, location, grounds
  • Disliked — Food cost, pool attention
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jbg123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2007

We just stayed for a week attending a conference and found the hotel to be not as bad as some of the reviews suggested.

The food was pricey, but no more so than at other resorts we have stayed at. The same goes for the quality of the food - not great but acceptable. The pool and beach areas are very nice, but it was difficult to get a chair in the shade by the pool

We joined Wyndham by Request before we went (thanks to the review on this site that suggested it) and so we received a couple of drinks and a plate of fruit and cheese when we arrived. We were given an ocean view room, I think because of the upgrade that goes with membership, but I'm not sure. The room and the view were beautiful and kept clean.

The price of the room was deceptive, with all of the added mandatory charges (for the conference rate they add on charges for bellman (which we did not use), and maid gratuity and resort charges. They also charged us for valet parking, but removed that when we complained that we did not have a car. We can confirm the advice in the previous reviews to definitely check your bill carefully at check out.

They offer complementary internet access in the lobby, but this was not working for a lot of the time we were there - some one else at the conference wondered if this was so that we would pay the extra to have internet access in our room!

In summary, this is a typical resort hotel with lots of choices of restaurants, a golf course, pools and activities. The grounds are large but there is not much outside the grounds that it would be worth renting a car to get to and nothing you could walk to.

To be honest, we didn't much like Puerto Rico - it was too dirty and crowded - but if you just want the Caribbean resort experience this would be fine.

Stayed July 2007
Helpful?
3 Thank Lord Fauntleroy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, CA
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2007

Just got back from Puerto Rico and we stayed the last three nights at the Rio Mar. I thought the place was great and worth the price ($159 through Travelocity - they upgraded me to an Ocean View Room). The room was huge and very well taken care of. The pools were great and very relaxing. The service was top notch. It was on semi private beach, so it felt very safe.

I would say that it wasn't the best beach on the island, as there was some small waves and it was filled with live sand dollars that my wife did not like stepping on, but the water was warm and they had two great pools anyway. Also, I would say that the restaurants are very expensive and not very authentic, but we had a car, and there is a great restaurant 5 minutes away at the bottom of the hill (cheap & authentic - Antohitos, or something like that).

I would highly recommend this place.

  • Liked — The quality
  • Disliked — The beach
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GGent16
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:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Rio Grande
#2 Luxury Hotel in Rio Grande
#2 Spa 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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