Just returned from 5-fabulous nights at the St. Regis Bahia Beach in Puerto Rico. The property and rooms alone are great but the staff truly made the difference throughout our stay. Easily the best service I have received in the Caribbean and also of other St. Regis properties I have stayed. For reference, these include the St. Regis in Beijing, Princeville/Kauai, San Francisco, Monarch Beach and Rome.
Service is casual, not forced or over the top while extremely pleasant and effective. Entire team did a great job at anticipating needs and going out of their way to make our stay as pleasant as possible. This included the pool waitress (Clarissa) escorting my wife back to the room with an umbrella when it started to rain and another staff member running to fetch an umbrella for me and our son taking cover under a tree during passing showers near the lobby. Even on the couple of occasions that something was off, the alert staff was proactive to take action and do the right thing. As an example, our last breakfast was taking longer than usual that could have ended with us leaving on a bad note. But before we mentioned anything to the waiter, the manager came over to apologize for the delay and advise us that there was an issue with the waffle iron. When the problem persisted, he suggested other items and to our delight comped our entire breakfast. Thanks again, William. Despite the service in generally being great, the pool & beach waiter service seemed a little under staffed or visits not frequent enough.
As a SPG lifetime gold elite, no upgrade available at check-in but was advised one would open up on Sunday. No need however as the room was plenty big and we didn't want the hassle of moving rooms. Standard room is luxurious with an over sized bathroom, tub and double sinks. Room includes a wet bar and a very comfortable bed. Maid service and turn down service where great everyday, even folding our son's blanket from home in the crib and his many clothing items everyday. Two comments about the room - flat screen seems a little undersized for the space and there was not an internet connection to the Samsung blueray player/soundbar for the built-in Netflix/Pandora/etc streaming apps.
The property was near capacity but never felt crowded at anytime. The property is very large at over 400+ acres but the hotel shuttles you around in golf carts if the walk is too far. Grounds are beautiful and well maintained. Hotel buildings are small surrounded by the natural vegetation / forest.
Didn't golf at all but did take out a kayak from the boathouse which is included in the resort fee. They also provide complimentary bicycles, sailboats and paddle boards at the boat house.
For beach lovers, it is a little disappointing. The sand is dark and not fine. Rough surf flags out the entire time but I felt very comfortable in the water even with our 23-month old son.
We spent most of our time at the pools which are great. Three pools that cascade into each other with one considered a walk-in pool (gentle ramp) with no steps which was great for our son - hotel in general was very kid friendly. Biggest complaint throughout our entire stay was the condition of the pool cushions. Many are torn at the seems, apparently a result of the pool manager having the staff use bleach to clean them which seems to destroy the stitching (and also my wife's dress for that matter - the hotel offered to reimburse us for the cost of the dress). Not a big deal as the have chair towels to go over them but you would never see torn cushions at a Four Seasons or Ritz.
SPG members with kids can purchase meal plan for $25/day for each child. Works out to be a savings if eating at least a break even if eating 2-meals a day at resort.
We ate breakfast everyday at Fern, a Jean Georges restaurant. Fairly standard a la carte menu plus an optional buffet (weekend days?). Average breakfast was about $50 for 2 adults. No real standouts (except for the bacon) but nice start to the morning. Dinner menu is more of the Jean Georges signature items but didn't experience it. Some dishes from dinner menu available downstairs in lobby bar which we did one night to keep it more casual with our son. Free coffee available in the mornings also at the lobby bar.
Had several meals at the other restaurants, Sea Grapes (pool) and Molassas (golf house). Food in general was good, above average compared to other resorts in the Caribbean. Chicken Quesadillas, Mahi-Mahi Tacos and Watercress Salad seem to be the way to go at Sea Grapes. Ropa Vieja Mofongo, Prawns or Churasco at Molassas. Average dinner at Molassas is about $120/couple with a drink each.
The closest eats we found outside the hotel is a 15-min drive to kiosks (a strip mall restaurant row of sorts) east of the hotel in Loquillo on Highway 3. Otherwise your other option seems like driving to San Juan. In Loquillo we at La Parrilla (local food) and El Jefe Burger Shack. Both are good and considerably less expensive than the hotel food if you have a car. There is also an Amigo supermarket and several fast food chains on the way to Loquillo if you want to pick anything up.
- 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