We really can't say enough about how beautiful the place was or how genuinely kind the staff was at this hotel. But it stops there. The "palace" is exactly that, a private Taj Mahal style mansion built around ten years ago and only in the last year has it been rented out as a "Hotel" They really sold it as a luxury resort with an executive chef that could cater to any special dietary needs. We are Vegetarian and Vegan so this was a major draw for us to stay here. I wrote a very detailed email explaining our needs and were told that it would be no problem and taken care of. Our first meal was full of cheese... and the comical dishes they tried to feed us at times were in no way considered in the 4 star range. They were unimaginative and in no way prevailing of the bounty of vegetables available in the area. Despite this, the staff did try their hardest to please us and really went away from their usual offerings:/ The chef could actually cook! He had a good sense of balance and everything was perfectly al dente so it was strange he didn't let his talent show at all.
The first room we had was facing the water and really pretty but we couldn't see at night because the lighting was so dim, the hot water would run out before one person could shower quickly, the wall socket would come out of the wall in the bathroom when you'd go to unplug, etc. They upgraded us to a nicer room with a private "hot tub" but there was never enough hot water to fill it so it was a jetted cold tub:) They say "luxurious toiletries" if you consider a Cosco bottle of watery used Pert 2 in 1 shampoo and a large bar of glycerin soap from the local bodega "luxurious" then your set:) Also they don't have TV in the rooms which was fine with us but they also couldn't get the internet working in our room until the last day we were there. They did make an effort by bringing in the" wireless guy" who only made it worse however.
We had one of the two nicest rooms in the palace and the other similar "hot tub" room next door apparently you couldn't flush toilet paper in the toilet! All of this is expected in a remote place in a country that doesn't have any major tourist infrastructure but then don't charge $1,000 dollars a night for a room that doesn't have hot water or a toilet paper flushing toilet. That's all I'm saying. They need to update everything including the mattresses and bedding... Ouch! and get a real food and beverage director in there to sort out the "All inclusive, executive chef" situation. Or just lower their prices to about $300 dollars a night and one would feel ok with it. I might go back. even after giving it that review, just because it was so relaxing and beautiful.
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- Also Known As:
- The Palace At Playa Grande Hotel Rio San Juan