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“Beautiful Property, Beautiful Room, ok service”

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The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Rio Grande
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 25, 2011

I should start out by saying this property is amazing. My wife and I traveled here with our 8 month old, and our daughter could not have been happier, really enjoying looking at all of the trees, birds, lizards, etc. The grounds are impeccable, the room and bathroom were huge, and the amenities available (such as the use of bikes, with one of those kid-seats you can attach to the back) were really thoughtful.

The pool was great, service there was mostly what you'd expect, and my wife and I really enjoyed the food at seagrapes...We found the water was the right temperature for a pool in sunny puerto rico, and the beach was nice, although a bit rough due to the weather while we were there.

We weren't able to eat at Fern for dinner (scared to harass the other diners with screaming baby) but our breakfasts there were amazing (perfectly poached eggs--it's a big deal for me) and the coffee was great. By day three we smartened up and ate at the St. Regis Bar, which has some items from Fern, but was more manageable with the baby. The service here, like at the pool, was a little slow.

The hotel and staff were great with our baby. There was a little hiccup in the beginning (no crib in the room, even though we asked for one on the sheet they send you a couple of days before checking-in), but quickly sent one over. By day 2.5, housekeeping even brought over a diaper genie.

Now the service...i think the simplest way to put it is slow. Food at the pool, food at the bar, butler and then concierge not picking up the telephone, rides not showing up on time....these are all small things, but add up and get annoying. and then there was molasses. The food there was, i hate to say it, awful. The other downfall was the 22 dollars a day for valet parking. That should really be included in the 60 dollar a day resort fee, as starwood does in most of its other properties.

overall, though, we had a terrific vacation. we enjoyed the resort and accomplished our goal...lots of relaxing.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank desiblogger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 25, 2011

Do yourself a favor and find a different resort if you are traveling with your family. The St. Regis appears nice, but the rooms are not designed for families (not adjoining but share an entrance), the beach is unusable because of rough water and high winds most of the year and the food is unbelievably boring and overpriced. We spent 5 nights here and by the 2nd day I was wishing I was home even with the cold and in my own kitchen. I wish I had read the negative reviews and taken them seriously. They were right on the money! Don't be fooled by the St. Regis brand this is not up to snuff. The poolside restaurant is okay (though a weird collection of choices), but closes at 5:00 everyday and at that time the staff comes around to collect all the towels and covers for chairs regardless of whether you are leaving or not. They say the pool is open 24 hours but after being asked to get out of your chair and hand over your towel who is going to stay. Really disappointed. Even if you are using Starwood points the vacation is going to cost you thousands of dollars in food and mysterious "extra" charges. Amenities, the boathouse is really just a shed with bikes and kayaks on a very unattractive pond. Go the extra distance to St. John and stay at the Westin! While the some staff were great, the management of the resort is obviously lacking.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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10  Thank TallulahB2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2011

My husband and I stayed for 5 nights at the St Regis Bahia. It is a lovely property with beautiful grounds and very friendly, professional staff. The location is right on beach and the pool is perfect for children. Our room was very nice and clean but the lighting in the bathroom was very dark and not conducive for make up application. The cleaning staff did a great job cleaning our room each day and restocking the remede products, which are wonderful. The service was good but not great with a few kinks to be worked out such as concierge availability and request response times. The spa and gym are great facilities but my massage was average at best and extremely overpriced. The food was very good at fern but at molasses was barely edible due to being over salted. We also felt that the options for Dining were much too limited with only room service and fern available for breakfast and molasses and fern for dinner. Going into town is very expensive as a cab is at least $35 each way and the drivers are a bit crazy in puerto Rico. We took a cab from the airport which was $65 one way and much more reasonable than the $168 car service from the airport one way! Tennis facilities were fair with only 2 courts and appear to have had plans for more courts but have not expanded yet. The tennis house looks like a fema trailer but the pro, Carl was very nice and proficient as an instructor. Private tennis lessons run $100 per hour but the hotel offers tennis clinics for $40 per day and I was the only person who signed up on multiple days thus enjoying one on one instruction for the clinic price. The hotel does have a running map and it is pleasant to jog around the property but you really do not have space to run more than 3 miles without repeating your route multiple times.

Overall we enjoyed our stay but probably would not come back to puerto Rico. The st Regis always prove to be a lovely property but the bah beach is not one we would repeat.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Hel72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2011

I am 30 hours into a 5 night stay at the St. Regis Bahia Resort, Puerto Rico and far from happy. More like frustration after frustration. The hotel has “challenges” that seem systemic and I’ll provide a list below, but can’t see taking time to elaborate beyond this as the management just needs to get their act together, plain and simple.
- I spent a week emailing and calling the concierges trying to set-up dining reservations prior to arrival. After 7 days I had only one breakfast reservation. How does this happen anywhere? When I emailed and asked that the GM call me he did not. I did get my reservations squared away the next day when I, again, called the hotel, and spoke to the head concierge who was strong and helpful.
- Gate staff had trouble locating my name (which is straightforward / not complex) on their check-in registry.
- Gate staff’s assurances that the welcome staff were waiting for us at the valet circle proved wrong. Not only did the staff struggle with my name all over again, but we had a lengthy wait while the valets moved slowly with parties ahead of us rather than taking charge of the available space to pull our car forward and keep things moving.
- I realized at check-in that any hustle in the driveway would not have mattered as check-in was backed-up. I had a drink in the bar, while I waited. The staff knew I was waiting for a turn at check-in. Eventually, someone beyond the two staff members at check-in came over and checked me in at the bar. Could have bought me the drink for the wait, but apparently that was outside of their service mindset.
- The first of several keys did not work when we went to our room via a golf cart with a bell hop.
- By the way, I was not upgraded even though I am a Platinum and apparently had enough status to land the Presidential Suite the day prior at the Sheraton Old Town, St. John, PR. If you are wondering if you are going to be upgraded at this property I can summarize to: I always get phat upgrades with Starwood, case in point the day prior, if… they are not upgrading me, well, either something extraordinary is going on or there is no way you are getting upgraded here. We’ll never really know.
- Stopped by the desk to get the key fixed and moments later the key did not work at the health club. Yes I know to keep the key away from my phone.didn’t even have my phone on me on the way to the health club and I believe the bellman held the key packet on the way to the room the first time. Yes, this could happen at any hotel, but this was 2 of 5 non-working keys at this hotel, as I’ll explain.
- Meals at the property have been a disappointment. Ordered fish from the menu at Molasses only to find-out they didn’t have any that night. Ordered lobster instead and was given a knife and fork. Are they serving their first lobster at the St. Regis Puerto Rico? Folks come on now, a knife and fork? So when I asked for a cracker so I could get at the rest of the claw etc. the waiter returned to say there were no more available. He was most unapologetic about it, too. The restaurant was not full I pointed-out…his response…”they took them for a private function.”
- I would characterize the waiter as bad and unhelpful. When my 3 yo knocked over a water that was headed for my wife lap my wife and blotted-up the spill, removed the placemats, put the wet mess on the floor. You might be surprised to learn the waiter was at the table (taking our order) when this happened and then proceeded to leave the wet napkins and placemats on the floor next to our table. No one bussed these items the entire meal, they were still there when we left. Also, picking-up the check before we left the table just seemed tacky given that service had been slow during the meal.
- Breakfast at Fern was also disappointing. The staffing across both restaurants seems tense, too thin (more waiters are needed) and overwhelmed. As other reviewers have commented, the restaurants are a bit pricey, but I don’t think terribly out of line for a St. Regis. My issue is simply wanting a decent meal and service. I actually asked the waitress at Fern if the eggs were instant. They had the strangest texture and must have been sitting for sometime before being served as they had a dark yellow exterior and a more normal lighter interior color when I cut into them. Why else would scrambled eggs have a different color on their outside than inside. The waitress said they were real eggs and organic, actually. I believe her, but question the preparation….of their scrambled eggs?? We are not talking chateaubriand here folks.
- After the second lock-out I asked for 5 keys. We carried three to an off property dinner (we canceled our Fern dinner reservation based on our first two on property dining experiences) and found all three of the keys were not working upon return. Again, I did not make the mistake of putting them next to my cell. I spend 60 nights a year in hotels and would have gone straight to the desk if there was any doubt. Instead, my wife, 3 and 5 year old were left waiting outside (there are no house phones to be found) while I trekked the 10 min. roundtrip to the desk.
- Given that we have now had 5 non-functioning keys I asked, mind you for the second time, that the GM please call me tomorrow.

We’ll see what tomorrow holds, but my guess is someone from the desk will call, but not the GM…that would be way too straightforward for this property. I’ll try to report back.

Believe it or not the list above list is not complete…probably 2/3’s of our issues from the first 30 hours. Here is just one more:
- Forgot to go to an ATM before heading for my flight to Puerto Rico. I have my checkbook and the Starwood site states Platinums can cash checks for $300. Well, first the senior person at the property told me that they only cash Travelers Checks, not personal checks. I had to have someone from the Luxury Desk call the hotel to orient them to their own policy. Resolution? Well, kind of a catch 22…they now say I can cash checks up to $100 per day up to a total of $300 per stay. Basically a policy that makes it harder to stay longer. This is a classic situation where they could step-up and assist, but no, no accommodation for their frequent guest. Plus a little common sense would say that I’m trying to clear a check on a Sunday and don’t check-out until Friday…plenty of time to catch me before I leave if the check proves bad. I’m sure St. Regis’ must take a huge financial hit annually with customers writing bad checks, ha ha ha. I wonder if there was even one bad check across their 21 property chain all of last year. To that I say thank you for all of your accommodation on this matter….you have really wowed me by showing-off your ability to stick to your policy; once I pointed-out what the policy actually says. My guess is that they must throw guests in jail that lose their wallets on vacation…I mean they can’t take-on that kind of financial burden, right, or is that they just don’t want to be helpful?

In closing, I would like to think along the lines of other reviewers that this place just doesn’t have it together because it is still too new, but I have been there and done that with other properties and I feel this resort has a different feel. There is something wrong here, the challenges are too obvious and systemic…I bet this place changes management, brands or something big before it gets on the right track.

Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
4  Thank MysteryShopper27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2011

We were very excited to try the Bahia Beach resort and picked it over numerous others - we wish we hadn't. Ordering meant you had to call 90 minutes before you needed anything and trying to get someone on the phone to make a reservation at one of the restaurants took 4 – 5 calls on average.

The property is visually impressive but when you factor in the amount of time to get there by car along with the service I would strongly recommend that you consider another location. We were very disappointed with the vacation – so much so that this is my first ever review!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank polisci6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2011

I have traveled a lot for business and pleasure and enjoy staying at luxury hotels; I also love good food and have pretty high standards, particularly when I'm spending a lot of money; however, I am generally not a big fan of beach resorts because I tend to get stir crazy and I don't enjoy feeling exploitative of/resented by unfriendly staff. With the exception of an AWFUL family trip to Beaches years ago on the Turks and Caicos, the last beach vacation I had was at Little Dix more than ten years ago. With all that as preamble, I can recommend the St Regis Bahia Beach without any reservations whatsoever, save price. And on the question of price, I'd say that in order to enjoy a vacation of this sort, you have to enter an alternative reality and not think about what it's costing. Because of course it's ridiculous to pay $6 per glass of delicious, freshly squeezed oj (and when the waitress sweetly asks if you'd like a refill and you say just "half a glass," you can expect to see $12 on the bill...), but if you are able to suspend that little voice in your head, then you will have a fabulous time at the St Regis.

I had read all the reviews on TripAdvisor and was prepared for a highly imperfect experience. We had one glitch the entire four days/three nights we spent here (definitely the way to go to optimize the value for money equation): they neglected to deliver our complimentary French press coffees the first morning, but quickly agreed to comp us coffee at breakfast to make up for it. Otherwise, pretty much perfection. Service was friendly, genuine, expert, and enthusiastic - from the bartender who invented a fresh mango rum cocktail when asked for something different, to the beach attendant who happily chatted about his December trip to NYC for ten minutes as he set up the chaise, to the butler who came to the room to make our complimentary mojitios our first night there, to the marine biologist who took us on an informative one hour kayak trip around the lakes. Room was huge with ridiculously luxe bathroom, huge patio, great walk-in closet, and absolutely no a/c problems. The grounds were amazing - loved the 2.75 mile nature trail run, which can easily be extended to make a nice four miler. I was very surprised by how good the food was: we ate dinner twice at Fern on the wonderful screened in porch with cooling sea breezes; the menu is basically Jean George's more casual restaurant Nougatine from NYC with local flourishes - delicious grouper, red snapper, and homemade hot sauce - and better food. The wine list is pretty good, a little overpriced, but with some relative bargains if you know where to look. Breakfast at Fern was superb, and dinner one night outside at the more casual Molasses was lots of fun - get the whole fried red snapper! The pool was great, with every whim and need happily attended to. I enjoyed the ocean, even if the water doesn't have the amazing turquoise purity of the Caribbean, and the beach was kept very clean with wonderful vistas of El Yunque behind the resort.

A wonderful escape from reality...

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank undertone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2011

My Wife and I went for a 3 night stay. I have to agree that the grounds are very nice, clean, and the staff is friendly but that's where all the positives end! We checked in and we were expecting our personal butler to show us our room and offer us drinks. We didn't get any of that. Now I didn't want to be "that Guest" that complains so we didn't say anything about not getting that nice perk. The next day we went to the pool and after an hour my wife went back to the room to get something and noticed that someone went through her bag even though it was buried in a suitcase that was zipped up. $40 was missing! We then had to call the manager and secruity to come to our room to discuss what happened. They seemed concerned but not overly concerned considering how mad we were. They said they would interview the housekeeper and get back to us by the end of the day. Well nobody got back to us and I had to call them in the morning to get an update. They told me that they have to hire some outside help and this person was from an outside agency. They didn't find anything on her but she was no longer going to be used by the hotel anymore. I told them OK but what about our money? They said they would get back to me on that. In the meantime while they decide what should be done even though you would think it would be an easy decision we tried to enjoy the rest of our trip. I knew going there about the prices, with that being said you would expect amazing food. Fern is the biggest ripoff! Be prepared to spend $100 each for average food at best! In fact I ordered mashed potatoes with my steak and I swear it was instant. It was like soup! Seagrapes outside by the pool is also crazy! $20 for a burger that is average and Buffalo wings with barely any meat on them for $18! The staff is nice but have no clue how to handle a situation. For example: we ordered a drink for $18 but it had a huge black hair in the middle of it! We told the waitress and she just took it back and got us a new one. No apology or anything! I mean they could have comped us the drink like any resort would but because the staff is so inexperienced they didn't know how to handle it! Ok back to the theft still no word on so when we finallly checked out and got my bill I noticed they took $100 off the bill. I was fine with that but it would've been nice to hear it from the manager. The manager finally came out and said that he left me a message but I checked my voice mail with no message. Anyway to wrap this up. The grounds are amazing but it's overpriced in every way, Staff is nice but have no idea how to deal with issues. There are only two restaurants that are average and expensive and no other places anywhere. There are much better places to go and I would never go back!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank bdjerbaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico

Address: State Road 187 kilometer 4.2, Rio Grande 00745, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Rio Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Rio Grande
#1 Luxury Hotel in Rio Grande
#1 Spa Hotel in Rio Grande
Price Range: $547 - $1,049 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico 5*
Number of rooms: 139
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Designated as Puerto Rico’s first and only AAA Five Diamond resort and the leader in luxury on the island and in the Caribbean, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico has been designed with the entire family in mind, providing a variety of extraordinary services and activities that will keep all guests entertained from sunrise to sunset. Located on a former 483 acre coconut plantation, our Rio Grande resort in Puerto Rico sits between El Yunque National Forest and the sparkling Atlantic Ocean on the northeast coast. A Certified Gold Audubon Signature Sanctuary, the lush Resort features a tennis center, a golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., as well as 4 miles of nature trails, 70 acres of lakes and a boat house for water sports. The intimate St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico boasts suites where The St. Regis’ iconic Butler service is available. Most of the guestrooms overlook amazing ocean and garden views setting a new standard in luxury accommodations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Hotel Rio Grande
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico Rio Grande

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