We returned home yesterday from 6 nights at the Palace. Our stay there exceeded all expectations and we hope to return. There were three additional couples during our stay and we greatly enjoyed their company.
The Palace - in and out - beautiful and well cared for. It felt cosy and comfortable and became a home away from home. The wi-fi was in and out during our stay but the lobby computer worked each time - slow but got the job done when needed.
The beach - They do advertise as a 3 season beach. We had one day that the water was rough and high which made the beach off limits. The rest of the time, a good portion of sand was open. We swam and snorkeled off the beach several days towards the end of the week once the waves calmed down. There were a few days that the gate was locked - one only needed to ask and a staff member would sprint to open it for you. On our last day, we enjoyed a lovely lunch on the beach - table with linens and great food.
We stayed in one of the royal ocean front suites and enjoyed breakfast served on our balcony most mornings. The view is spectacular! They offer several options for breakfast - omelets, french toast, pancakes, sausage and bacon, etc , you can view a menu downstairs and they will serve you anywhere on the grounds. We mixed and matched items every day depending on what we wanted and they made everything to order. I highly recommend the fresh squeezed orange juice.
The lighting in the bathroom was quite poor but as we were on vacation at the beach - we had little need for primping. Blow dryers are available, as usual, simply ask.
The staff is exceptional and will go out of their way to do whatever necessary to make your stay enjoyable.
They only heat 1 of the 2 'hot' tubs on site. As they are heated with propane, they don't run all the time. After a few days of cool water, we asked and they made sure it was running properly and the water was blazing hot that evening.
We asked and they provided for taxi service to/from the hotel. The cost of the taxi was simply added to our bill which reduced the amount of cash we needed to have on hand, all we needed was a tip for the driver. On a day we ventured into Cabrete (about 1 hour away) they arranged for a taxi to drive us. He stayed with us through the day, watched our things and took us back that evening. This wasn't outrageously priced and was a great service.
The beach at Playa Grande is very long and mostly clean. There was minimal garbage on the day we went, mostly near the parking area. We found that the hawkers were respectful and didn't bother you once you got through the first round of no thank you's.
Our only other outing was a mountain and beach ride through Rancho Paraiso (www.drhorses.com) which was phenominal. They tailored the ride to our abilities and time requested. We spent three hours along back country roads, touring small communities, wide pastures and the most beautiful beach you've ever seen. If you do nothing else outside the Palace grounds, go and enjoy the country side on horseback.
Don't hesitate - book your trip now. Let me know if you have questions.
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- Also Known As:
- The Palace At Playa Grande Hotel Rio San Juan