FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico [Master Thread]
Old Dec 2, 10, 12:33 am
  #14  
moulder3
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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There have been some GREAT (extremely detailed!) reviews above, but I thought I'd add my two cents:

Suggestion:

If staying for longer than a 3 day weekend, I'd highly recommend a car, if for no other reason than you have the option to visit the rain forest for a day (highly recommended), you can purchase groceries & booze to bring back to room & you can enjoy a nice off-resort meal (suggested restaurants below).

Location:

The hotel is about 30-45 minutes from San Juan. If driving, I'd recommend taking Route 3 to the resort, not just because it is faster (although 187 is a scenic view), but because en-route there is a brand-new supermarket (Ralph's) about 1/4 mile (on the right) before you turn from Rt. 3 onto 187, about 10 minutes from the resort. Again, for longer stays, I'd highly recommend buying at least snacks (as food on the resort is quite $$$--especially for Puerto Rico). The grocery store also sells beer, wine & liquor (and there is a mini-fridge in every room). The resort is also about 20 minutes from the entrance to the Caribbean National Rain Forest, which is a great day trip.

Resort:

First off, I want to say that I (like other posters) all stayed within the first few weeks, and it's clear that the employees are still learning. Having said that, I'm glad I was staying on points and not paying the $700+ the rooms are going for. While the service at check-in was exceptional, the pool & butler service are pretty spotty (and require lots of patience). This would have bothered me less if the hotel wasn't asking for (an exorbitant) $60 day resort fee, for which you still only receive the basics: towels, some swim gear & possibly some court time to play tennis.

As to the resort itself, the rooms are beautiful, the pool is wonderful & the outdoor poolside restaurant (where you always get a nice sea breeze) feels good. They have a very neat wooden boardwalk connecting all of the separate huts (this isn't a cookie-cutter resort!) to the pool & main house. This resort could be the most relaxing Starwood resort in North America, if not for the other glaring problem during my visit: there were young children EVERYWHERE. Frankly, the number of parents with 1-8 year old kids baffled me. I actually felt it was rude of the parents to bring children that young (and who are the opposite of the calm environment most of us want on a vacation) to a 5-star St. Regis Resort. I do think the resort bears responsibility for this issue as well, though, by not creating a separate family area at the pool and for not limiting the age at the lone hot tub (which always had a minimum of 5 kids in it). I don't mean to sound anti-children, but if I were staying at the Westin Swan Resort (in Orlando), I'd have the expectation that there would be lots of children--I wasn't expecting kids at this resort. I have a feeling the hotel will deal with this issue quickly though, as I overheard other guests commenting that they "couldn't get away from the kids" at the pool or hot tub.


Food:

As the previous poster mentioned, there are three restaurants on resort. Sandwiches are $18-20 at the pool and drinks are $14-20. Entrees at the restaurants run $20-50 for dinner & even breakfast is $15-25...so be prepared for the costs. Again, I'd highly recommend bringing some food (+ drinks) in with you. We bought a handle of Rum and two 2 liters of soda at Ralph's. It costs about $25 and I probably saved $400+ (if I had ordered the drinks at the resort, instead). I found the restaurant at the pool the best (because you're outside), but two people for lunch can easily run you $80, after tip and with only one drink each. After a few days, we started venturing into town for dinners and I'm glad we did. Not only did it get us out of the resort, but we found some great places. A good nearby restaurant is Lolita's (about 20 minutes away) that serves Mexican. There's a good American bar-style restaurant called Brass Cactus also about 20 minutes away. Both restaurants have english menus (which we found, is not necessarily common in the small towns around the resort). If you're even more adventurous, there are very small restaurants called 'Kioskos' (there are a strip of about twenty of them) that are about 15 minutes from the resort.


Overall:

This is a beautiful resort. The quality of the rooms is fantastic. The poolside lounge chairs are amazingly relaxing and the beach is only steps away. The staff is also very kind (even if some are still learning). I definitely plan to return sometime in the future, but I'll definitely check this thread first to make sure the "kid issue" has been dealt with.
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