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“Wonderful Location, Great Room, Terrible 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 18 October 2011

We enjoyed our stay at the The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, in spite of their terrible service. The beach is wonderful, The beachfront room perfect (large and luxurious). The butler making mojitos is a great perk.

However, getting anything out of the concierge or front desk staff is impossible. We tried to reserve a cabana on the beach but they weren't available. The next day, when seated on some beach chairs, we were told they were reserved for someone else but they would not help us with other chairs

It took almost 2 hours to rent a car. They tried to overcharge us by 200%, gave us a car with the gas on empty, and when we got to the airport we discovered it was rented by someone else according to avis.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GuavaMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
srbahiabeach, Manager at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2011

Dear Guest,

Greetings from St. Regis Bahía Beach!

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts regarding your recent stay at our resort.

We are extremely happy that you enjoyed your stay in spite of the service issues you detailed. We deeply apologize, and have taken the liberty of sharing your comments with the pertinent departments in an effort to avoid this type of incident from reoccurring.

On a positive note, our butler service is highly dedicated to your comfort and we are very pleased that they contributed to reversing your negative experience before departure.

We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back soon, so we may have the opportunity to showcase a truly flawless St. Regis vacation.

Warmest regards,

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Reviewed 18 October 2011

Stay there in October. Had wonderful one bedroom suite with luxury ammenities beautifully appointed. Everything excellent; very personalized and attentive service. Magnificient pool area with excellent pool side restaurant. Very clean and well maintained. The only area for improvement is the so-called gourmet restaurant "Fern" which is, at its best, a compilation of regular american cuisine combined with european touch and a wine list that does not complement the selection of dishes. Other than that, very recommendable! Need a rental car since the place is very remote.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank RHW1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
srbahiabeach, Manager at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2011

Dear Guest,

Saludos from St. Regis Bahía Beach!

Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts regarding your recent stay with us.

We are delighted that you indulged in our lavishly designed guest rooms, luxurious pool area, and Seagrapes restaurant. We sincerely apologize however, for your disappointment regarding Fern. We welcome any and all feedback and if you wish to share any further suggestions, please contact us directly at your earliest convenience.

We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to your home away from home, in the not too distant future.

Warmest regards,

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Reviewed 17 October 2011

My husband and I were given a trip to the St. Regis for our honeymoon. (My mother paid for the room/resort fees and we took care of the rest. Thanks mom!) Due to her relationship with the hotel she was given 3 nights free with breakfast, and the last 4 nights she purchased. This will be relevant, VERY relevant, shortly....

TIPS: Definitely rent a car if you plan on going anywhere outside the property. It will save you a great deal of money and give you flexibility. Stop at Ralph's for room snacks and drinks to save time/money. Breakfast at "Fern" is lovely. Try the french toast!! YUM! Visit the rainforest (see and swim at La Mina Falls). Do a bio-bay kayak trip to see the glowing water! Old San Juan is fun for shopping during the day but everything closes at 6pm so go early. Stay for dinner at SigloXX or splurge at Marmalade (tasting menu was fantastic!)

PROS: The property is gorgeous. Expansive and clean. We were nearly alone our entire stay, never encountering more than 15 other guests total the entire week. Breakfast at Fern was delicious every day. Free coffee is offered in the lobby/plantation house from 6-11am each day. (It's $6/cup in the restaurant). Spa is huge and a beautiful part of the property.

CONS: Kids are everywhere. I do not know why they don't keep them in the "Iguana Club" area but the pool was often overrun with screaming, splashing, running children most days. Keep an eye on your account or you may find yourself with unexpected/unauthorized charges! Room service food was generally OK but nothing to write home about. We do not understand what the $60/day resort fee is for as it does not include valet parking, coffee, newspaper delivery or any other noticeable amenities. (Yes, I know you can use their kayak for free.. great.)

- Day 1: The property is just stunning! Our car was taken to valet and we were escorted to the reception desk and given a nice fruit juice cocktail. The check-in was a little rocky. Included w/our gift was free breakfast the first three days. They had no record of it but thankfully we brought our certificate, signed by the hotel manager, and they took it to make a photocopy for their file. Also, we had reserved an ocean-view room (specifically made sure to book this as it was our honeymoon and we wanted to watch the sunset from our balcony) and were told they were sold out so we would be on the golf course instead. We were just going to accept it as we are fairly easy-going and not generally picky... then she showed us the map of the property. Ocean-view rooms are a short stroll to the lobby/beach/pool. Course-view rooms need to call for a golf cart to come get them to drive them everywhere they are so far off the path! I then asked for a manger who apologized and said they THOUGHT we would have PREFERRED the golf-course room even though we had specifically requested the ocean view (and confirmed it via both phone and email prior). He kindly restored us to our original room so all was well though the whole thing seemed unnecessary. Confident that all was settled, we were ready to go to our room- then they told us it would be about an hour until it was ready. They offered to put our luggage in storage and we were happy to take a walk around the property and grab a bite/drink at the Seabreeze restaurant. (Seabreeze was OK food for pool-side fare. Nothing amazing but generally tasty bar food). After an hour we went back to see if our room was ready- and saw our bags had been "stored" outside where we left them by the car. I was a bit miffed as I feared my makeup may have melted in the heat for so long. However, we let it roll off us. The room was very close by (thanks to our ocean-view push), clean and plenty big for the two of us. The showers/tubs are especially nice and the balcony a lovely touch.

Day 2: Breakfast at Fern- the french toast was AMAZING! Breakfast there is slow and relaxing. (Try a spicy bloody mary). Sit outside for a lovely breeze and view of the ocean. Unfortunately, they did not have our comp breakfast in their system but we brought our certificate as we had feared that may be the case. They easily accepted our comp, we left cash tip of over 20%. We spent the day at the beach- nearly entirely alone it seemed. Towels and chairs were set up for us, the sand was very clean and the ocean warm with nice waves. We had a wonderful time, ordered a drink which was brought to us- no complaints whatsoever. We went down to Old San Juan and ate at SigloXX (great paella, great coffee!). A wonderful day.

Day 3: Breakfast at Fern- again they did not have our comp breakfast on file. A different manager gave us a very hard time about it but we were firm and confident it would be sorted out upon speaking to the front desk/general manager. Again we left over 20% tip cash. We went to the rainforest (go early to avoid crowds). Hiked the lovely trails and swam at La Mina falls. We tried the Luquillo kiosks for lunch and had some great conch. Upon our return, we decided to try the spa- it was lovely. HUGE space w/separate mens and womens sauna and pool areas. Water, dried fruit, etc. Very relaxing. My massage was a bit weak despite my requests for her to increase pressure, but still relaxing and overall enjoyable. My husband enjoyed his very much. A tad overpriced but nothing unusual for a resort spa in terms of pricing. We had room service that evening which was pretty good.

Day 4: Breakfast at Fern- again they did not have our comp breakfast on file. (Funny as this day we overheard them tell another guest "oh your breakfast is comped today- no need to pay".... we had to fight for ours again). Again left over 20% tip in cash. We hung out by the pool for a bit (fairly deserted except the unattended children) then went to do some shopping in Old San Juan. Had a lovely day down there, bought some souvenirs, and had dinner reservations at Marmalade. DELICIOUS! Try Marmalade!!

Day 5: Breakfast at Fern- waiter finally offered to comp our breakfast but we knew our comps were up now so we corrected him and charged it to the room plus his over 20% tip. Spent the day at the beach, then had dinner at the Luqillo kiosks, then went for a biobay kayaking excursion. Bio Bay is AMAZING. Definitely an experience you should not miss!

Day 6: Breakfast at Fern- charged plus 20% tip to the room. Relaxed at the beach nearly all day. Were going to try one of the resort restaurants for dinner but nothing sounded very good (menus quite limited) and the reviews were very mixed. Instead we drove just down the road to a local restaurant, Antillos Puertoricano, it was great and very affordable. (Sangria was very tasty as was the mofungo!).

Day 7: Went to breakfast outside the resort for something new Hung out by the pool and ate/drank. As we were checking out very early the next morning we decided to do a check on the incidentals then just in case the breakfasts were not yet sorted- YIKES. They had charged us every breakfast and added extra tip for themselves on top of our 20% cash tips. To be fair, this was quickly removed to honor our comp certificate. (Though we suspect the waiters walked away with 40% tips those first 3 days). But the biggest upset was that my mother had sent thoughtful gifts to our room each day (a bottle of wine, fruit, cake, etc...) And they had CHARGED HER GIFTS TO OUR ROOM! They were helpful in attempting to sort it out but I had to go through each expense with a fine-tooth comb to try to figure out what she had ordered vs what we had ordered during our stay. Then they had to CALL HER to get her to authorize the charges to her credit card and off of ours. How in the world did an outside party manage to call and make charges to our room/credit card? It seems absurd to me that that even occurred in the first place and they are very lucky it was a family member and that we were willing to sit there for 45 minutes and try to sort it out. In the end, we did end up paying for a few of her gifts to us (which is fine with us personally but absolutely unacceptable for a hotel in general. Very dangerous ground to allow an outside party to charge to a room without their explicit approval or signature).

SO...Overall it was a great trip with a few hiccups. We were disappointed as those hiccups were absolutely preventable with a little organization and communication on the part of the resort. But it all worked out and we are not the kind to worry about that sort of thing for long. We loved our honeymoon. We loved our room and the property. The staff was kind and helpful from beginning to end. But we will be sure to keep all receipts to prevent future difficulties and illegitimate charges with this company.

Last thoughts: My mother sent us a slice of cake for our honeymoon. It said "happy birthday" (it was not even close to either of our birthdays. Small mistake. But strange.) And while parked in valet an animal soiled our back windshield. They offered to clean it.... they forgot.. we reminded them.. they forgot.. we asked again.. they forgot. Four full days it remained there. We actually returned the rental car soiled they forgot so many times it never got done. Tiny details. But seems unacceptable for a self-proclaimed "six star hotel."

Room Tip: Get an ocean-view. You can walk to the pool/beach/ plantation house. Rooms further off the path requ...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LCME
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
srbahiabeach, Manager at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2011

Dear Guest,

Greetings from St. Regis Bahía Beach!

Thank you for taking the time to share your detailed vacation comments regarding your stay at our resort.

Congratulations on your recent nuptials! We are honored that you chose our resort to begin your life’s journey together.

We are most pleased that you enjoyed our premier restaurant Fern as well as the breathtaking beauty of our natural surroundings.

We do apologize, however, for the mishaps you experienced with reference to service. Your feedback is most valuable as a continuous training tool, to ensure that our staff strives for excellence in delivering impeccable service with our distinctive attention to detail.

We look forward to welcoming both of you back in the near future, to our little slice of paradise.

Warmest regards,

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Reviewed 13 October 2011

Visited the St. Regis for 5 nights with husband and 3 children (ages 4 to 6). Felt it was the perfect escape for a luxurious extra long weekend, and would definitely go back. We had been to PR before many times and stayed in a similar resort outside of San Juan but husband and I agreed that the St. Regis was much nicer, with better service, rooms, dining and amazingly clean pool and hot tub. We did not rent a car only because we wanted to relax and not deal with driving around in the heat. We opted for a taxi (clean air conditioned mini-van) to and from the airport, only because the pricing for the hotel to provide transportation seemed high. Taxi charged $65, plus a small fee per bag each way. This is apparently the flat rate for this destination. Was also willing to stop at the very nice. modern supermarket just off the property.
What we loved:
1. The pool - so gorgeous, clean, shaded and sunny, great lounges chairs with service.
2. Fern restaurant - Ate here almost every night and for breakfast. Delicious high end food. OK to bring kids that can color or entertain themselves (amazed at how many ipads and videos were going on at the tables - but at least the kids were quiet). You can also eat at the bar downstairs from Fern and it has a limited menu from Fern. We did this one night when Fern was closed. Nice with kids because there is a big lawn that the kids can run around on while you wait for dinner. Good idea to bring a ball for them to kick around. The service was very slow this 1 evening, but willing to wait because the food is good.
3. The staff - so helpful, willing and kind.
4. Seagrapes- worked great for lunch and an early dinner for kids. Closes at 5pm, but was nice to be able to get an early dinner for the kids and a light dinner for us, and then let them swim until it got dark at 6:30.
5. Rooms were wonderful. Very well designed and clean. Great baths and showers.
6. $25 kids plan - such a bargain with 3 kids. For $75 each day, they were able to eat full breakfasts, lunch, dinner and get all the Shirley temples they wanted (as long as adults were eating/drinking too). One lunch and afternoon of soft drinks for the kids at the pool would have been $82 otherwise - so felt it was very much worth the $25 per child per day.
7. Property with trails, tennis and water sports on the pond. All fun and included.

What we wished had been a bit better:

1. The beach - not much to say. Nice to lay on grass lawn before the beach in comfy chairs and enjoy the breezes, but it's not a white sand, blue water beach. Fun waves to body surf. We spent most of the time by the pool. If the beach means alot to you - not the best place to stay. The one perk is that there's a lot of it, without a lot of build up and buildings - so it is very natural and goes on for what looks like miles.
2. Fern and Seagrapes are the only place we'd eat again. We ate at Molasses the 1st night because it was billed as the most casual, but the food was just OK. With a 5 night stay wish they had 3 solid places to choose from.
3. There is a cute kids club called the Iguana club. Weather was too nice and the pool too great, so we only spent 1 hour there on the last day. Wish that they had given us a list of kid friendly items/ideas at check in. They had a sitting service on Friday and Sat. nights at the Iguana club, but only found out about it because I saw a flyer near the concierge.
4. Spa services - the menu of treatments looked nice, but the prices for services were out of control. Don't care how much money you have, no one likes to be gouged. Would pay $150 for a resort massage, but not paying $270. Just crazy. Too bad - would have been nice.
5. Easier breakfast. Fern is really the only option. Fern breakfast was great - and we did it 3 times, but it took an hour and 1/2. Would have been nice to be able to grab a bagel, muffin, fruit coffee at Seagrapes (not open for breakfast). Last 2 mornings husband got smart and we called in an order to Fern, picked it up and ate it by the pool at 8am. Just could not see wasting time sitting in Fern when the kids could be swimming. Would also be nice to have Seagrapes stay open later for dinner. Nice open space for kids to run, play and adults to eat. don't have to stay open past 7. But felt 5pm was too early to close.
6. Explaining the butler service a bit better. What are they there for? Do you need to tip them? We stayed in a suite and got free coffee each day, but some confusion on delivery times, and how many cups and little things. Felt it was like they were not taking messages, or they were not using a computer system to track requests. Something was lacking in the communication. Husband met a butler who offered to draw him a bath and do all sorts of things we did not need, but when all he asked for was extra bottled water (which was free in suites), we only got 1 bottle. Had to call for more to be sent.
7. I called ahead of the trip for varying questions and we got different answers than when we arrived. Basically, when calling they sounded less accommodating than they actually were when you arrived. When calling, "Yes, there are coffee makers in room - no there were not, but you can have one put in the room". We ended up with great free coffee service in the suite and they had free coffee in the lobby. When calling: "No you can not put food in fridges, there is a $50 a day charge to empty the fridge." When we got there the room had a fridge with extra room for putting your own stuff in, and the butler let us know were were welcome to put our own food in there.

Overall, would def. go back with family or as a couple. Wonderful spot - hope it succeeds and grows!!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank frauline93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2011

My wife and I stayed at the St Regis Bahia Beach as a one day stopover between red eye flights from the West Coast and going on a cruise in the Southern Caribbean.
From check in to check out everything was simply marvelous. I've read the reviews by other memebrs and can't for the life of me figure out how some can be so critical of the staff.
Property:
As is uniformly reported the grounds and landscaping are exceptional as was the pool. The planting and thoughtfulness of the layout just can't be beat. We had lunch at a nearby town right before checking in and my wife was getting eaten alive by the bugs. At the resort there were none. The attention to siting the buildings in the landscape and the raised walkways to achieve a much higher level of sustainability was appreciated.
Rooms:
The rooms are terrific. We were in their basic accommodations which are still luxurious and huge by normal standards. great soaking tub. The bathroom was larger than the stateroom of the Serenade of the Seas where we spent the following week. I always find the television in the mirror at St. regis properties to be a gimmick gone too far, but the quality of the furnishings and the layout was all of high quality.
I didn't realize until booking that at 52 I could still get a senior citizen discount with my AARP card. The savings for us were significant.
Dining:
We had a lovely dinner at Fern the one evening we were there. Expensive, but with corresponding quality. Breakfast the next morning was expensive, but with quite alot of tasty food.
Drinks:
The drinks at $18-20 by the pool is getting too crazy, but we had a meal by the pool and it was great. The pool staff was very attentive and came by fairly frequently.
Service in General:
My needed the Concierge for a couple of requests and they were most helopful. My wife wanted to go to Sunday mass nearby and the resosrt provided information promptly and arranged for a taxi to take and pick her up.
Very freindly staff from start to finish. Helpful and professional, but not fawning. On Saturday night they do the sabering of the chanpagne and the staff seemed unprepared for the seventy folks who gathered. It took twenty minutes to get enough champagne served to everyone by which time one third of the folks had left. A gaffe yes, but a minor one.
We would love to return sometime to Bahia Beach. Puerto Rico was more interesting than we expected and there is much too see such as the Biobays and the rainforest. If money is at all an issue, stock up at the markets on the way in for provisions. The do soak you pretty good and if staying for five days it could add up to a huge sum.
Note: Drivers in Purto Rico are pretty wild. I haven't had so much fun with crazies in cars for twenty years. Drive on the wrong side of the road, no problem, cut other folks off, no problem. It really was kind of fun though, just keep your wits about you and be prepared for surprises.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
srbahiabeach, Manager at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2011

Dear Guest,

Saludos from St. Regis Bahía Beach!

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments regarding your recent stay at our resort.

We are pleased that you and your wife so thoroughly enjoyed your stay and long to return! One of our Core Values at St. Regis is to indulge our guests in captivating surroundings from the moment you arrive, until your departure.

You experienced precisely what our master planners intended – the ultimate and uncompromising getaway, combining luxury and adventure, which captures the defining personality of each location.

Your compliments for our staff are truly appreciated and very rewarding to our team. As you appreciated, they are sincerely dedicated to our guest’s absolute comfort.

We do hope to have the pleasure of indulging you once again, at the St. Regis Bahía Beach, the best address in the Caribbean.

Warmest regards,

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Reviewed 8 October 2011

We just came back from a great visit to Puerto Rico and 4 nights at the St Regis Bahia Beach. Overall, the resort was beautiful, the service good (not blown away by it, but it was quite good), and the island was a nice respite for us.

GETTING THERE ->

We rented a car at the airport (more on that later) and took the more scenic route down 187 (vs the way that the hotel suggests down 66). It took about 30 minutes and afforded us ocean vistas, roadside kiosks, and lots and lots of trees with full canopies over the road. If you take this route, there are no signs telling you that you are close to the resort, so watch carefully along the road after about 20 miles for iron leaves indicating the resort’s entrance. If you miss it, you will hit the town of Rio Grande and can turn around, so no biggie. Coming from the other direction (which we also did a number of times on our way to other stuff), you will see signs, but they will all say “Bahia Beach Resort,” not “St Regis.”

In general, there are only three main roads to know about: 187 and 66 meet up at the airport and then diverge, one (187) along the coast and the other (66) through the middle of the island; 66 then spills onto highway 3, which is the other road to know about – and 3 and 187 converge near the town of Rio Grande; 3 will take you into Luquillo and Fajardo. Once you master the layout of those 3, it’s really easy to get around.

A note about leaving the resort going back to the airport … we took 66 back and it should have been a quick 20 minute drive. However, it took almost 90 minutes in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic (it was a Tuesday morning around 7 AM). Luckily our flight was delayed otherwise we would have missed it. Just giving you a head’s up to allow PLENTY of time!

THE RESORT ->

Upon arriving at the resort, you are first faced with an impressive gate house. You tell the attendant your name and they let you through, and then you will drive through very lush property towards the Plantation House. There, we were greeted by the valet who unpacked our car for us as we checked in. At check in, we were offered welcome drinks and a brief tour of the Plantation House while our room was being readied, and then we were whisked away on a golf cart to our “casa.” A note about check-in, my husband is a Platinum member of Starwood but we were told that there were no upgraded rooms available. As we spent time at the resort, we were surprised by this considering it was MAYBE a third filled. Probably, they had already gotten the standard room ready for us and just didn’t want to bother. At this point, we also learned that the other Platinum benefits have changed. Others have mentioned getting free movies and other such benefits. The person checking us in explained that they no longer do this, and instead offered us our choice of 500 extra points or a $10 F&B credit daily or a book, times two. They were somehow out of the book (whatever it was) and so we split the difference and took one of each of the other two.

As others have mentioned, the rooms are beautiful. The “butler” who escorted us spent time showing us around the room, explaining how to turn on the TV in the bathroom mirror, showing us that the A/C automatically turns off when you open the sliding doors, etc. He also unpacked some of our things for us (including the groceries we had brought with us … see below). Never did he put his hand out expecting a tip, and this is indicative of everyone we interacted with at the St Regis.

The entry to the room was a small vestibule and then you get to your private entry door, which made you feel like it was your personal apartment. The door itself had a “privacy” button which, when pressed, made your doorbell red in color so no one would bother you – no door hangers needed. The room was decorated in British colonial-style furnishings. We had a king bed, a small desk, a small easy chair, a small mini-bar with fridge, and a standard-size (maybe 36 or so) TV with a bluray player. The closet was large and the bathroom was, well, bigger than most regular hotel rooms, with a giant shower (two shower heads), double sinks, and soaker tub. There were free bottles of water on each side of the bed and above the mini-bar, and we learned that these were regularly replaced, so no need to buy your own water.

Because we didn’t get upgraded to a suite, we did not get the full “butler” experience that others have written about. I want to be very clear about this, because after reading about all the great service on Trip Advisor, we were expecting that – but learned quickly that most folks who have written in must have received an upgrade. So, this means we didn’t get coffee delivered to our room (instead, we had to walk to the Plantation House every morning and serve ourselves … they didn’t even have a coffee maker in the room), nor did we really ever seem to have a dedicated “butler,” but instead different random people who serviced us depending on time and request.

Our room was on the ground floor, which we quickly became happy about, because you have an unobstructed view of the lawn outside your room and we felt like it was our own personal lawn. There were no bars on a balcony, just our patio that walked right out to the lawn, and from there, down to the path to the pool. We spent every morning drinking coffee and eating breakfast on our patio, watching the many lizards and birds that congregated there. Very memorable!

The grounds are lovely and very lush. Think jungle-meets-beach, with luxury added in. Walkways between the various casas, the pool, and the Plantation House were raised wooden platforms, so you were above the jungle floor which was pretty cool. We regularly saw iguanas and other lizards as we walked around in the day, and at night the whole place came alive with singing “coquis,” tiny frogs that live on Puerto Rico. We saw one of them when he stowed-away on our towel and we discovered him in our tub after we tossed the towel in there.

Speaking of lush grounds, we spent a morning biking around the property (the bikes are free to use), and went into the nature reserve area of the property. We saw even more iguanas, turtles and birds. Where you rent the bikes is at the “nature center” next to the pier area, and the service there was top notch. The staff there even helped us get some “sea grapes” from a tree overhanging the water.

The pool area is great – five or seven interconnected pools of varying depths, connected via a series of infinity ledges and waterfalls. They provided free sunscreen, although it was only 15 SPF – not enough for us so we still used our own. The beach was so-so. The sand itself was full of seaweed. While I expect some of this, we have been to other beach resorts where they comb the sand early in the morning and I am not sure why they don’t do that at the St Regis. The beach is crescent shaped and the St Regis owns a three-mile section of it. The chairs and umbrellas are free to use. The water was very warm and comfortable, but it was also very murky – completely unlike any of the other beaches we passed getting to the resort and unlike others we saw when we went further east. It was also rough water with a lot of waves (good for body boarding – free to use). Overall, we were disappointed by the unclear water and the run off from the rainforest (lost of wood in the water).

The $60 resort fee is not all it promises on the resort’s website or when we called the Starwood folks to make the reservations. First, no more “frozen grapes” or “fruit bites” provided (they told us that the discontinued the service); also, the s’mores were fun but only offered once while we were there (we were there 4 nights); same with the champagne. The ice tea service is still offered at noon, but only at the pool (not at the beach), and if you aren’t there right at noon, you miss it – we walked up at 12:10 and were told we had already missed it. Granted, they went and got some for us, but it seemed odd we had to ask. The fee does cover the “free” beach umbrellas, bikes, boogie boards, bottled water, etc. though, which is nice.

One thing to note about the service is that we ordered ice cream one night ($22 with tip and service fee) and put the bowl outside our room, in the vestibule, after we were done. The next morning we noticed it was still there and when we came back from kayaking in the Bio Bay (see below), the ice cream bowl was STILL THERE – a full 24 hours after we left it. A little strange, we thought. The next morning was when we left for the airport and we were in a bit of a rush so we didn’t notice if it was still there.

I would also like to call out that the BEST service the whole time was from the valet. We don’t remember his name but he was super friendly, always smiling and service oriented; and every morning would ask what we had planned for the day. One day as we loaded up our car full of stuff for snorkeling, he noticed we had a small collapsible cooler with us in which we had a few sodas. He proactively asked if he could put some ice in it for us and took it into the Plantation House to fill it up for us.

SURROUNDING AREA ->

As mentioned above, we rented a car. We ran the numbers and found that renting was about the same cost as arranging for other transportation from San Juan (approx $100 each way in a cab or $175 each way for car service vs $116 Hertz 4-day rental plus $90 in daily parking fees and around $20 for gas). Having a car also freed us to easily visit the surrounding area instead of feeling like we had to spend 100% of our time at the resort.

Reasons you may want a car include:

- Visit the near-by Ralph’s grocery store (close to where Hwy 3 and 187 meet, in a strip mall next to a Wendy’s and a Walgreens) to get sunscreen, water, soda and some snacks.

- Go to Fajardo to see actual clear water and for snorkeling and an evening at the Bioluminescent Bay. We highly recommend both of these - See my separate posts for “Mini Boat Tours” and “Kayaking Puerto Rico.” We made the reservations for these on our own. The concierge was the one who suggested the mini boat snorkeling but said we should call on that on our own, which we did. The concierge was then going to do the Bio Bay reservations for us but due to several factors they were unable to secure this, and so when we found out that the same company who does the mini boats also does the bio bay, and offered us a discount to book them together on-site, we just went ahead and did that. By the way, we drove ourselves and it was easy to find both locations; of course having our GPS helped a lot.

- Visit Old San Juan. Go up highway 66 and it’s a quick 30 minute trip past the airport to Old San Juan. The concierge directed us where to park and provided suggestions on where to walk and what to see. Thank goodness! – I don’t know if we could have gotten to the parking garage without the concierge’s directions as San Juan is CRAZY busy! We went on a Sunday night at the concierge’s recommendation because that is the night that families converge on San Juan – it was fun to see locals dancing to traditional music near the old wall and to experience real Puerto Rican street food.

- Eat at the Luquillo Kiosks, a collection of 60 beach-side eateries ranging from basic road-side fried food to gourmet meals. These are just 15 minutes from the St Regis along Hwy 3. This is where you get to dive into the Puerto Rican culture with the locals while experiencing awesome food. We ate there 3 times, at El Jefe Burgers (#12), La Parilla (#2), and Osso Bucco (#29). This is definitely a local hotspot on weekend nights. Look for locals arriving on horseback!

Overall, we were pleased with our selection of this resort and our time in Puerto Rico, although we wish the beach had been nicer and that we had been upgraded to a suite for the full St Regis experience. If we return to Puerto Rico, we would pick a different resort, due mainly to the beach.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Angela837
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
srbahiabeach, Manager at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2011

Dear Guest,

Greetings from St. Regis Bahía Beach!

Thank you for taking the time to share your detailed vacation comments regarding your visit to our resort.

We are extremely happy that you thoroughly enjoyed our luxurious guest rooms as well as our lush tropical surroundings and world class cuisine.

We do apologize, however, for the mishaps you experienced with regards to service. It is never our intention to have any of our St. Regis guests leave with a less than flawless experience, and we welcome any further feedback to help us improve the unique guest experience.

You really made the most of your vacation, indulging not only in our resort, but also enjoying the vast culinary experiences and breathtaking beauty of our special island, Puerto Rico.

We look forward to welcoming you back to your home away from home, the St. Regis Bahía Beach, in the near future.

Warmest regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2011

Spectacular hotel. Grounds are incredible and rooms/bathrooms are about as good as it gets. This is definately a place to go for a romantic, quiet and relaxing getaway. If you are looking for an active nightlife, clubs etc. , look elsewhere. It's very expensive - both for the rooms and the restaurants/bars, but it is worth it.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank kgclark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
srbahiabeach, Manager at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico, responded to this reviewResponded 17 October 2011

Dear Guest,

Saludos from St. Regis Bahía Beach!

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments regarding your recent stay at our resort.
Your brief and perfect description is precisely what we intend for every guest – absolute serenity combined with luxury, and wonderful cuisine. Perfect for a romantic getaway or a week of exploring and adventure on our beautiful island of Puerto Rico.

We hope to have the pleasure of indulging you once again, at the St. Regis Bahía Beach, the best address in the Caribbean.

Warmest regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Rio Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre 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 Spa Hotel in Rio Grande
#1 Luxury Hotel in Rio Grande
Price Range: £458 - £1,222 (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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