Our trip was a quick getaway for 5 days, which was booked spontaneously few weeks prior to going. Had never been to this place or to Puerto Rico, had no expectations whatsoever, except what was read in the reviews here and on TripAdvisor. While we spent most of our time exploring the island, we did enjoy most of the time we did spend at the resort. Let me begin by describing things which I personally thought were downsides: 1. Food choices and pricing. I do understand that this is a resort, and prices can't be the same as on the corner hole in a wall. But still, bottom line is: Mediocre food (at best) at a very high price. Weak drinks at $15 and 10 oz beers at $8 apiece are ridiculous. 2. Hot tub and pool outside close at some point in the evening (never did learn what the time for that was) and closure is enforced fiercely! Not sure what the whole issue was, since all the hot tubs were on all night. I guess they don't want drunk people drowning in the middle of the night, Regardless, of the motive, I disliked being chased off the pool. 3. Parking procedure in the garage is this ritual of validations, which unnecessarily took away precious minutes of my vacation And now let's get to the pluses. Item 1 in the above "negatives" section is actually also an Item 1 on our "positives" list. 1. Places around Rio Mar. Local food is cheap and amazing. within a 5 minute ride, there are many amazing places to eat like La Verde BBQ, Kiosks, Don Pepes and La Familia bakery to name just few. So ridiculous food choices at Wyndham make you go out and enjoy amazing eats offered by locals. 2. Rio Mar Grounds are beautiful. Landscaping is pristine. Iguanas everywhere. Beach is public, but very nice and huge. Pools are clean and separated for adults and kids. Just great! 3. Staff were all nice and accommodating. All spoke English well. All were bending backwards to help with anything and everything. 4. El Yunque is just across the street and is worth it! And, I also wanted to touch on things I read in the other reviews, which I thought would be a problem, but turned out to simply be nothing to worry about. 1. people write about musty rooms. Yep, I confirm, but it wasn't that much of an issue, we are in Caribbean, where humidity is high. That's what happens. Deal with it. 2. Dirty carpets in hallways. Did not notice anything like this. Busted. 3. Someone in the review complained about beach sand "not being nice", well I gotta say to that person - stay home. This was one of the nicest beaches I've been on. It's no Culebra, but it aint no Gary Indiana by far. 4. Someone complained about casino being too small. I don't know, I had a blast playing blackjack there, and all you need for that is a table ;) To summarize, I am going back there in Spring, and will recommend to anyone.
Great resort in terms of the beautiful grounds and handsome beach. Ample seating around the beach and the pool area and great service bringing and installing their umbrellas. The grounds are immaculate and very well maintained you def feel as though you are in paradise. You don't get the noise and congestion of the Condado which, to me, was an asset. Now that could also be a downfall. The resort was about 40min from San Juan which if you don't have a car you're screwed. You will be at the mercy of the property and they overcharge for everything, even more so than you would think on a resort. A meal, for my friend and I, of cheeseburgers, fries, and two pina colada's (not strong) was nearly $60 and it was NOT fancy. Parking was $15 per day and internet was $15 daily also. As other's have mentioned the resort was a little "past it's prime" but the grounds were VERY nice and I had no problem with my room though it was a little worn. We had a balcony with a oceanview that could be seen if you were facing a certain way off the balcony. Could still see and hear it so no problems. We also had a flat screen LCD tv in our room and alarm music box with aux input. Service was cordial if not overwhelimg. Housekeeping bore no problems. For the night there is a casino and live entertainment in the lobby so it's pretty lively. My suggestion would be to book the least expensive room you can, rent a cheap car, eat all your meals off the resoert, and book all your tours on your own and not through conceirge. Pick up liquor and snacks from the grocery store prior to arriving at the resort.
After reading ALL the reviews you must realize immediately this is not an ALL inclusive; plain and simple. So for everyone wrote that the food is expensive then you should go to an all inclusive. With that said I went with my two daughters, 19 yo and 15 yo. The immediate emotion when we saw the hotel was "OMG this is gorgeous!" I am not a world traveler but have been to the Caymens, Cancun, Aruba, St. Thomas, Martinique, Barbados, Antigua, Bermuda etc. So I have seen many hotels and this truly was one of the most beatiful. The view from the lobby with the gorgeous ocean and pools and all the palm trees is breathtaking. We were very luck to have gotten there on a Thursday and were able to check in immediately at 11 am. The front desk were ALWAYS courteous as I visited them a few times. The bellman were from the US and were pleasant. We went right to the pool grabbed a lounge which are plentiful and relaxed. We then did our touring of the hotel. Yes many of the meals are expensive ( all menus are available on line under the hotels website) but they also have pool side food such as the tiki bar and the Sea breeze. We ate there everyday. Burgers 10.00 nachos 8.00 salad 9 dollars chicken sandwiches 10.00. The food was so tasty and filled us up all day. In the morning we went to the buffet once it was nice but we didn't really need it everyday. They had a snack; sandwich station near the lobby where we just bought a crossiant, bagel; smoothie etc yogurt each morning and was perfect because we loved the lunch. We went into San juan one evening and had dinner there; if you do not rent a car which we didn't you either take a cab or book with Dragon Fly. I paid 122 for all three of us to get to san juan and stay for 4 hours then ride home. It was perfect. I stayed 5 full days but honestly went there to relax, swim and read. But you can do so many things. REMEMBER this is a resort that is 40 minutes from SAN JUAN so if you want to be nearer to the city then do not go here. We wanted to just chill and the Atlantic ocean was perfect; waves were big some days which is what we love but all in all we swam an hour at a time. The pool did become very busy on the weekend; and seemed to have many locals. They do give you a bracelet to ensure that you are a guest. Other days the pool was less busy but the beach is gorgeous and you can get umbrellas and lounges for free. The sand is darker so a lot different then Long Island but we liked it. The pool has a slide and if you get down early enough book a lounge in the Adult section. They have their own pool and is very nice and relaxing. The hotel has activities at the pool: water aerboics; hair brainding; BINGO; iguana feeding etc. The El Yunque forest was our view from our room and i loved it. The rooms are nice and well cleaned; there may be a few water stains on the ceiling but is very nice. They also have a price fixed dinners at certain hours and dinner shows; if you go the dinner reservations they will help you. I enjoyed this trip very much; so again if you want to eat endlessly then go to an all inclusive but if you want to go to a beautiful location then you will enjoy this resort. I would definitely go back. I also want to add that I did not meet one nasty person but some of the tour drivers did not like to talk to much. Finally, drinks are 10.50 each but they have happy hour and give you water whenever you ask; they also have water near the TIKI hut with cups. I suggest bringing snacks from home which we did and they lasted us all week to eat near the pool and beach (chips; twizzlers; peanuts etc.). WE are big water drinkers and never once bought bottled they even give you lemon or lime. There are no soda machines so for 2.50 you can get a soda at the bars. We also did room service and bought quesidillas and sandwiches for only a 3.50 fee total plus 17% tip. We did this twice because we were out all day and wanted to relax in the room. LOVED that. The chocolate cake is to die for and feeds 2 ! ENJOY your trip..............
This was one of the best resorts ever. Really beautiful pools and landscaping right on the beach. Everyone in our group had a marvelous time. Food was awesome. We rented a car and enjoyed the surrounding area while we were there but we could have stayed at the resort the whole week. Can't wait to go back again.
We loved most everything about the beach resort. The view was astounding and we were right across the street from El Yunque and so close to the beach. The pool area was fabulous as well. There were however, two things that were big that we were unaware of before arriving. To park our rental car at the hotel, it costs $15.00 per day and if you want to use a refrigerator, it is $10.00 per day. So that adds up to an extra $25.00 per day. Otherwise it was a great experience. We included a picture of the beach right outside the hotel wall.
The hotel looks beautiful when you drive up.. and looks like there are many food choices. However, the restaurants were often closed at night and were quite expensive. As the hotel is very secluded, it costs at least $10 each way to drive to the nearest restaurant which makes it not worth it. There is a deli which kept running out of our food choice.. If you rent a car, you may enjoy the place more. The beach is OK and the pools are nice. As there were only 20 people in the resort, we had the large pool to ourselves most days. Not too much to do at the resort, but if you're looking to get away and do nothing, it's perfect. The rooms are a good size and clean.
This was our second time at this resort. Once again it did not disappoint. Friendly staff, beautiful grounds all add up to a relaxing and enjoyable trip.
GOOD: The beach was beautiful and private. The resort was so nice (The pictures don't do this place justice). They had two pools (a separate pool for adults only!), They provided towels at the pool. They provided chairs and umbrellas at the beach. Food and drinks were easily accessible. We got upgraded twice, finally to ocean view (took two hours, but we were happy with the room). The scenery was just awesome and relaxing. BAD: The inside staff was rude (front desk and casino). They tried to deny our food and drink credit (they said it doesn't apply to us). When we were about to call CheapCarribbean, they just magically fixed the system so we got the credit we deserved. Although we got upgraded twice it was because our room wasn't ready, the second room bathroom was being worked on. It took two hours to get us in a room. The dealer at the casino was not friendly at all and cashier threw the money at my girlfriend. REALLY BAD: The food and drinks are very expensive! WEATHER: 80*F every single day. The first two days were clear skies and amazing! The last two days it rained on and off the whole time with about 3 hours of clear skies to go sunbathing. Excursions: El Yunque Rainforest - overall it was fun! The driver/tour guide was the best part. He was so funny and personable. It rained the whole time we were there so we didn't get to take many photos. We did a lot of walking up and down the mountain, the average person will be able to do it but I wouldn't recommend it if you are really out of shape. Things to bring: Waterproof camera, poncho, bathing suit, towels, waterproof sneakers (something sturdy), money and a light snack. Go to the top of the tower! The view is breathe taking! Recommendations and things we found out: 1. Get everything you are owed (ie your room credit)! If they say no, tell them yes. 2. Extend your stay if you can. When booking this vacation you have the option to extend your stay at a very affordable price. All you do is drag the mouse onto one of the yellow spots on the calendar and click. So if it says "4 days 3 nights Package", you can actually customize it to any amount of days and nights you want!! We didn't know that, we would have extended 3 more days. 3. We got transportation which was cheaper than renting a car. If you are going to rent a car, do it from the airport - it is much cheaper. However it cost about $20 a day to park the car on the lot. I don't know if you need to pay that cost if you rent from the hotel itself. But if we were going to rent a car we would have just for one day to stock up on food and drinks (stuff that doesn't need to be cooked or refrigerated - a fridge is extra cost per night) and to see authentic Puerto Rico. 4. Try to find a NON-STOP flight! 5. STAY AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, because now I am sad that I am home and writing about this instead of enjoying it! 6. Try to spot a coque frog! - You will definitely hear them! (you will know what I mean when you get there). 7. ENJOY!!!! HOPE THIS HELPS
We stayed in 2011, returned this year. It's easy to get to from airport, close to other attractions--rainforest, beaches,tours, etc.-and reasonable cost for very nice rooms, pool, facilities. Most special again were the staff. Very accommodating--each time we asked for a room change and they were eager and friendly to do so. Other staff--waiters, cleaners,etc.--were all very welcoming and authentic. Meals continued to be an issue. On site restaurants are pricey for day after day use, but there are few light/snack options, and you must have a car if you want to eat elsewhere. This year, those options were more limited than last visit--fewer good kiosks at Luquillo--, although the old standbys like McDonalds are available.
My husband and I spent 5 days at this resort. I was a little nervous because after booking it I made the mistake of reading deep into some of the negative reviews I found online. We were there May 23-27, 2012. I am not sure what the people were expecting that wrote the poor reviews, all I can tell you is my experience. Upon checking in, the bellman took us on a complete tour of the resort, explaining where everything was, giving us suggestions. He was very friendly, helped us to our room, and explained everything in our room. Our room was gorgeous! All the linens were white, which proved to me that everything is changed and clean. We had a view of the ocean from our balcony even though I reserved the resort room view. We had a problem with the safe operating, but maintenance was quick to our room to fix it. Only slight issue with housekeeping was they kept shorting us on face cloths and it took them some time to get them to us...but considering the size of the resort....slight inconvenience. The workers were hand scrubbing the stone steps at 6:30 am in the resort. The only negative thing I can say about the room is the sound proofing between rooms is lacking. We could hear the couple next door to us coming in giggling and talking loudly late at night. And playing there music really loud one day. Maybe they were exceptionally loud people??? It was annoying anyways. Restaurants are pricey!! But I have to say, the food was all terrific. Here's how we saved money. We had burgers (which were excellant) at the Tiki bar (about $14/piece). There's a sandwich stand near the casino that also sells muffins, desserts, coffee that's more reasonable. We did have the breakfast buffet at Marabellas one morning. $24 per person, but it was worth it! Incredible selection, they have an omelet station that has everthing from spinach, salmon, veggies, all types of cheeses for your eggs. Waffle station, fruits, pastries. We were full for the rest of the day and ended up at the main bar eating appetizers for dinner. Drinks are pricey. $10.50/drink. Everything is Bacardi. If you buy a souvenier glass for $3, then you can refill it for $8.50 at certain bars. We ate our celebration dinner at Marabellas, the skirt steak is to die for! The bread in incredible! Worth the money. We stayed on the resort. There is nothing in walking distance. We did take the snorkel tour from Dragonfly adventures. It was great. They served a great lunch, all you can drink Pina Coladas. I highly recommend DragonFly adventures for your shuttle and tours. They are the most friendly, fun people. Very helpful. The boat was very clean, they were scrubbing the bathroom when we returned from snorkeling. The tour was very crowded. So if you want a spot in the shade on the boat, seating is limited in the shade so get on the boat and grab a spot. In summary, this resort was spotless, everyone was helpful and courteous. we didn't get asked once about timeshares (I read some negative reviews saying they were pushy with timeshares). I also read something about the beach being filled with trash. If you walk far enough down the beach, and I mean it's a good walk, you do encouter trash. This is well outside of the resort boundaries. The resort beach is HUGE, spotless, 3500 loungechairs and umbrellas that the cabana boys bring where you want, they dig a hole for the umbrella and will even bring you a little table if you want. So for all of the "negative nellies" out there that bashed this resort...I'm not sure what would make you happy.