More about Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa a Wyndham Grand Resort Hotel
I had stayed at the Westin Rio...
I had stayed at the Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort last November where I was delighted with the company of Peacocks on my balcony .
this resort is beautiful and located about 40 minutes from the San Juan area . this hotel offers transfers from the San Juan airport at an additional fee . the view as you pull into the entrance is breathtaking . the view from the top of the hill down to the resort complex is overlooking the beach . you really do need to take a picture .
Westin Rio Mar, Rio Grande Puerto Rico
We returned two weeks ago from the Rio Mar. It is a lush, plush resort. The only disappointment was the beach; the water was rough & somewhat dirty. Most of the carribbean water I have been in is clear, warm & placid. The hotel restaurants are above average but could be better. The staff is exceptionally friendlty as are the wait staff.
Island tours and excursions, Rio Mar dive center,
In Rio Grande you can visit El Yunque Rain Forest covering 30,000 acres, the finest preserve of native habitat on the Island. It has been preserved much as it was before Chrstopher Columbus discover. En el Yunque podras ver la majestuosidad de bellas caidas de agua, un bosque enano, la cotorra nativa, y un sin fin de bellezas nuncas vistas, es como transportarte a otro mundo. Also we have two beatifull hotels, The Westin Rio Mar and The Paradisus, and close to Rio Grande you will enjoy the favulous Catamaran Spread Eagle that transport you to varios small Islands around Fajardo Puerto Rico. We have some of the Island's most beautifull beaches of the Island.
Just returned from a stay at the Westin Rio Mar. I was very disapointed in my stay. The hotel is in need of some serious updating. Other then the "Heavenly Bed" the room was dated and stale. The hallways were dark and musty. The Spa is one of the worst hotel spas that I have ever been to. The excercise room is in the basement with a view of a concrete wall. The beach has no Caribean flair what so ever.
Perfect for rest and relaxation
My husband and I needed to get away and spend some quality time together in a somewhat luxurious setting--the Westin Rio Mar was perfect for us! The staff is so friendly and extremely accomodating.
The grounds are beautifully manicured, the pools perfect and the beach conveniently right there! (We wished the sand was white like Turks and Caicos and the water clear but that's not the fault of the hotel--that's just P.R.) There were a few restaurants to choose from--all top quality with great service (not worth eating at Cactus Jack's Tex Mex though--overpriced for average food.) The best restaurants were the Grill for steak and Palio for Italian. Our room was cleaned beautifully every day and it was so large and plush that we felt right at home. Everyone was so helpful. The hotel felt very new and renovated. I would highly recommend this hotel if you just need a relaxing getaway. And did I mention the Spa? It's worth getting a facial or mini-massage (not worth the $ for the salt scrub) but great to know it was there if I wanted to go for more treatments. Really, really nice place.
should have stayed at the el conquistador
I just returned from a 4 day / 3 night stay at the Westin Rio Mar.
Unfortunately, I do not have a lot of nice things to say about this resort. First off, our room was a bit on the small side and was not exactly the cleanliest room I've ever stayed in. The hotel staff definitely needs some training. I found the staff to be completely unprofessional and the concierge staff unknowledgeable about the area.
When asked about tours that they offered, they could barely provide any information. As for the grounds, something needs to be done about the bugs / ants that are around the pool area. I couldn't even leave my shoes on the ground as the entire ground area was infested with ants. I have the bug bites to prove it - so please bring insect repellant if you do stay at this resort. The pools are not well maintained - I realize there will be bugs in the pool but it would help if someone actually skimmed the pool occasionally. If you are going to go to the Spa do not get a manicure & pedicure as they will charge you a $100 for both, the woman will cut your fingers and toes, and they do not have a pedicure chair or nail dryer. You'll also be placed in a small room without air conditioning. Forget about getting a late check-out. Our flight did not leave until 6:30 so we stayed at the hotel until 4 - we were allowed to shower at the Spa prior to leaving but there is no water pressure and I cannot say exactly when the last time these showers were cleaned but it is safe to say it's been a long time. The only thing that I can recommend is the Old San Juan shopping trip as well as eating at Cactus Jacks. Skip the outside restaurant near the activity pool. If you're going to leave the resort, try Isaura's Pizza down the hill from the hotel - it's really good. Just be careful who your cab driver is as one of our drivers did drive like a maniac.
after being baffled by reading reviews here entitled everything from "hell on earth" to "complete paradise" we decided the heck with it and tried the rio del mar out. we spent 3 nights, 4 days and had a generally good stay. mid jan is a good time to go b/c it is not that crowded. we had a a nice clean room overlooking the ocean, friendly service, mediocre food. Let me address what most people complained about and give some honest feedback:
1) "the food was pricey": this is a resort, so naturally food and drinks will be expensive (NYC prices)..it shouldnt be a suprise. the food quality was decent, but not wonderful. i heard there are good resturants in the area, but we stuck with the 4 located in the resort and were satisfied, but not thrilled. the Asian place (Shimas) was not that great, but Palio and Maribella's were okay. if anything, nothing beats looking out at the ocean as you eat.
2) "the resort is isolated and far from san juan": first its not that far (35 min drive), and it was nice to be isolated and enjoy the the tropical paradise of the rain forrest than be in the heart of san juan and have planes come over every 2 min as most hotels are right near the airport. we saw awesome wildlife including 3 feet iguanas all over the place. hotel airport shuttle is a rip though.
3) "terrible service" : we were impressed by the warm service and had few complaints. when we couldnt get a later checkout they let us use the facilities the whole day and shower in the spa. waitstaff was pretty courteous too.
4) "BUGS": it wasn't too bad, but after it rains, a lot of biting nats come out so bring some bug spray and you'll be fine. it wasn't as bad as people here made it out to be
5) "nothing to do": 2 pools, golf, tennis, basketball, casino, fitness center...ARE YOU KIDDING?
6) "dirty beach": Beach was ok, but lacked that pure carribbean white sand and clear blue water. if you want that go to st. thomas or one of those islands.
7) "mean staff": the staff was pretty nice, helpful, and gave us lots of towels. can't complain.
overall we had a good brief stay. i hope my review is helpful to you people who were just as confused as us pre-trip. it was not cheap, but a well worth excursion from cold NY. I reccommend it.
nice, but not the best
The building and grounds were beautiful, also, it was great to have a nice balcony to relax on and a coffeemaker in the room, with a supply of coffee. However, the restaurants are only fair yet very over-priced and they are pretty much the only game in town. Not much else in the area. Also, they call themselves a golf resort yet closed the golf course for a private tournament which excluded hotel guests without any advanced notification. Don't know how often they do that. All in all, it was a nice vacation, but I wouldn't go back.
nusigma's new Puerto Rico page
"Puerto Rico hacia el futuro..."
I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and I have lived all my life here in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico definitely is a tropical paradise and a must see for the traveler. One day will not be enough. Puerto Rico has the biggest shopping center in the Caribbean and many states of the USA, it is Plaza Las Américas in Hato Rey, and it has the #1 sales producing stores for J. C. Penney, Sears, and Toys R'Us. In October of this year the first Macy's store out of the United States will open here in Plaza Las Americas. Over 250 stores, an office building and over 10,000 parking spaces.
Also you can find in Puerto Rico the number # 1 stores in the world for Sam's Club, Wal Mart, K-Mart, Walgreens, Home Depot, etc. We have a lot of shopping centers all around the island.
A lot of great hotels here in San Juan including the Caribe Hilton, the Marriot San Juan Hotel, the Radisson Ambassador Hotel, Ramada San Juan, Wyndham Old San Juan, El San Juan Hotel(Wyndham) the Ritz Carlton hotel in Isla Verde and in the eastern part of PR we have the Westin Rio Mar Hotel, Wyndham El Conquistador Hotel and golf club, Palmas del Mar in Humacao, the Ponce Hilton in Ponce, the Dorado Beach Hotel and Golf Club and the Cerromar Beach Resort Hotel and Golf Club.Our hotels all or most of them have casinos, roulettes, gambling which is legal in PR. Horse racing is a must see at El Comandante race Track in Canovanas, betting is legal. Still there a lot more hotels and we also have the Paradores which are small hotels all around the island on different towns and they are less expensive. Being built on the eastern coast is a 700 Sol Melia(Spain big hotel chain) with another hotel expected to be built next to this one plus golf courses.
Our golf courses are among the best on the world and the most recognized are the Conquistador Golf Club in Fajardo; Cerromar and Dorado Beach in Dorado;Westin Rio Mar in Rio Grande, the Palmas del Mar in Humacao and the Berwind Country Club in Rio Grande.
Puerto Rico is one of the most important ports in terms of cruise tourism in the world, our ports are served by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Cunard, Carnival Lines, etc. Our airport is one of the busiest in the Caribbean including the hub in the Caribbean for TWA and Continental. United, Northwest, American Airlines, COPA, ATA, DELTA airlines, Lufthansa, Avianca, LAN Chile, BWIA, US Airways are among the main airlines serving our SJ International airport.
Among sites to visit you have El Yunque Rain Forest in Luquillo; Las Cavernas del Rio Camuy on the Lares- Arecibo road; El Morro Fortress in Old San Juan; the old city of San Juan, Puerto Rico is a must; in Ponce you have Castillo Serralles, Hacienda Buena Vista or you can visit the Puerto Rico government web site at: http://www.prstar.net and loon Departamento de Turismo.
Transportation is improving a lot in Puerto Rico. The public bus system which is mostly run by the government is not the best as in the states but is good. Expected to be completed in two years is the Tren Urbano(Urban Train) which will run from Bayamon to Santurce and expansion into Carolina will follow.
Renting a car will make it easier for travelling around Puerto Rico. Some discount rental car companies are Charlie Car Rental, L & M car Rental, Target Rent a Car, we also have Alamo, Herts, Avis, National and Popular Leasing.
Food in Puerto Rico is delicious including our famous Arroz, habichuelas, tostones, and lechon asado(roasted pork). You will find a lot of good places to eat in PR, upon your arrival to Puerto Rico you can either obtain at the airport or at your hotel a book that is called QUE PASA, this will be your bible, your guide throughout Puerto Rico. You will find hotels, restaurants, sightseeing, everything to help your stay in PR as comfortable as possible.
Walking around the city in the evenings can be done in Condado and San Juan, always walk two or more persons and watch your belongings. In emergencies the local police department uses the 911 number like in the states and also the 343-2020.
Our biggest private hospitals are Hospital Auxilio Mutuo in Hato Rey, Hospital San Pablo in Bayamón and Hospital Pavia in Santurce and Hato Rey. Also we have the San Jorge Childrens Hospital in Santurce. The government runs the biggest public facility at Centro Médico(Medical Center) in Rio Piedras and next to it is the Veterans Administration Hospital.
Paradise if You can Find it
"Business is not Pleasure"
I traveled to the island over 3 years trying to sell distressed real estate for a bank at a resort project in the Southeast called Palmas Del Mar. It is a great view of the ocean and upscale luxury. The project never did take off as people hoped and it was foreclosed. If you rent there now it is expensive and not much around it.
Besides the main town, visit the rain forest, which is very nice and tropical; get wet. A number of resorts in the southeast part of the island can be a place to stay, but pricey. There is also old favorites called Rio Mar, and Condado, just north of town.
Traffic is a mess, and slow in the city. Get to Ponce for a different perspective of another life on the island.
"Look Over the City and Get Over It"
The traffic and activity can be frustrating and hectic. I did like to old city/town area though. The fort is nice to see. Not much other tourist stuff to do. Eating is relatively pleasant, and some local dishes okay. Influenced by Cuban ethnicity. Try the grilled pork with the hair still on it. Not bad.
The island is mostly populated in the northeast area, and it is packed. The outer area in the west is sparse and rustic, like going back to the old rural way of early 1900's.
traveling to Palomino Island, close to Fajardo P.R
Westin Rio Mar v. Palmas Del Mar
We are planning a trip to Puerto Rico in early June with 5 children aged 11 to 18 months. We are considering a villa at West Rio Mar or marabella Club at Palmas Del Mar. Am interested in the pros/cons of each, activities available, etc.
Question for Yanissepr
We will be in PR in 2 weeks. We will be staying for a total of 7 nights. So far, we are staying at the Wyndham Rio Mar for the 1st 3 nights (enjoy resort, do El Yunque, visit Laquillo beach), then to Vieques for the next 2 nights (do Biobay, see beaches,etc.) We will have 2 more nights...My question is this: What would you suggest doing the last 2 nights? We were considering flying from Vieques to Culebra and staying in Culebra for one night...then stay near Old San Juan the last night (at Hilton Caribe or Intercontinental). Is it worth the extra time and cost to visit Culebra after 2 days in Vieques? OR for the last 2 days should we just enjou our hotel and its surroundings 1 day, then the spend 1 day touring Old San Juan???
Re: Question for Yanissepr
I've had the same issue 2 weeks ago! my wife went online and met a taxi driver named paul! local guide also! he's perfect! we paid for him 200 USD for 2days and instead of that we went all over places with no extra cent!
if you would like to have some fun and visit hideen secrets! contact him
his name paul bent i guess he's email is
Re: Question for Yanissepr
if you are a beachlova= beach lover...u definitively should go to vieques or culebra...culebra is considered one of the prettiest beaches in the world.
Re: Question for Yanissepr
You are spreading yourself thin. Have you ever been to Puerto Rico? Many of the locations you have suggested are far distances to each other, not to mention that the traffice in Puerto Rico can be notorious, so you may not have as much time as you think. You'll be on the eastern shore of Puerto Rico and you may want to explore Fajardo as well. If you are going to Vieques you may want to skip Culebra.
My recommendation would be if you enjoy history and a bit more culture then maybe spend some time exploring Old San Juan.
I am staying at the Westin Rio Mar this coming August. I'm planning on proposing to my girlfriend during our stay. Does anyone have any ideas or areas that would be a great spot for this to happen. I was also going to call the hotel and see what services or ideas they have to offer. Thanks....
Re: PR vacation
Well what kind of scenery does she like? If you drive around the Westin Rio Mar property their is a fairly secluded beach East of the hotel near the villas. The island of Culebra is just a ferry ride away and has beautiful beaches with sugar white sand and crystal clear waters. Their are so many scenic spots in PR. Perhaps you ought to just keep the ring safely tucked away in your pocket and wait until you've found the perfect setting....Good luck with the big plans!!!!