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Hyatt Grand Reserve Puerto Rico REVIEW MASTER THREAD

Hyatt Grand Reserve Puerto Rico REVIEW MASTER THREAD

Old Jan 29, 2023, 5:34 pm
  #346  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 264
I checked in Jan 16th as globalist for 3 nts, My room wasn't ready yet at 4pm, so I asked if I could use lounge until ready. They told me it was closed in Jan and wouldn't reopen. Told them that the lounge was one of the reasons I booked and shared my disappointment in not given any notice. They didn't offer anything until I asked and was give a $25 per night credit. You can get the breakfast buffet or order off menu as globalist and all was comped for us.
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Old Jan 30, 2023, 11:24 am
  #347  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Live: PWM/KBXM/BGR; Work: DCA/DFW/Everywhere; Play: LAS/MUC/MLE
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM, Hyatt Glob, Marriott Ambassador/LTP, Nat'l Exec Elite, mlife Noir, LEYE Gold
Posts: 6,591
Originally Posted by Cara332
What is the breakfast offering for Globalists if the club is closed?
Order whatever or do the buffet. The buffet is actually decent now, nothing like the junk they were serving when we were here last time. Omelet stand will do other eggs to order (over easy, scrambled with cheese, etc.), plenty of options like smoked salmon, good fruits (berries, dragonfruit, not just melon), potatoes and other grilled or sauted vegetables, caprese salad. Nothing on the menu seemed ordering so we did buffet and enjoyed it even though normally I would order from the menu if given the option.

Also, the new villa/residence side has an actual sand beach. It's small and behind a few boulders but it's proper soft creamy sand without any of the seagrass. Hidden gem, everyone else was at the main pool and main beach.
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Old Jan 30, 2023, 7:28 pm
  #348  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Programs: SPG Gold, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist, Loews Platinum
Posts: 629
Originally Posted by platbrownguy
Big news: The Villas are not, in fact, the standalone villas on the north end of the property.

I am currently here on property. Just spent two nights at the St. Regis and came here for 3 nights because the top category "Villa" (One King Bed Villa Premier) was available at the same rate as a basic room on my corp rate ($364 + taxes/fees per night, about $469/night total, so not cheap, but worth checking out for the advertised 1,050 square feet... and much less than the $1000+ per night that these rooms appear to be listed for later normally).

I had an inkling of this based on the room description, but the Villas now available for booking online are not, in fact, the standalone (well, duplex, really) units on the north end of the property with the private pools. Those remain a mystery, I guess only the owners, their friends, and chosen influencers get to stay in those. These Villas are instead simply larger units in condo-style buildings just south of the main lobby area, with a separate parking lot. They apparently just opened in the last two months, and I wouldn't be surprised if we were among the first few guests in our current unit. Everything looks new.

The Regency Club was confirmed to be closed, apparently permanently. When I asked about a replacement credit, the agent went to ask someone and came back with an offer of $25/day in F&B credit for any outlet. I also had to ask at check-in about a welcome drink and was given two vouchers. (The agent seemed new and was friendly, I don't think she was trying to dodge that.) The agent also said parking was free as a globalist, but I won't be surprised if that turns out to be false given that I'm not on an award rate.

The Villa buildings (called "residences" on the on-property signage) do not look like anything special from the outside. And, as with the other buildings, the rooms have outdoor corridors (though, to be fair, so does the St. Regis if you think about it--and although both this property and the St. Regis have security gates on the roads, theoretically anyone could, given some effort, wander in off the public beach). At first, I was bummed that we were not in fact staying in the standalone villas... but that all changed when we got to the room and realized (1) the room is huge and nice and new, (2) there is a separate pool and poolside bar on this side, and (3) we actually didn't want to be over by the activity of the main pool, the main units, and the smells and sounds we experienced there last time. This is way better. Happy to answer questions later on, here are some pics for now:
Seeing your update on the new ~1000 sq. ft. room with a kitchenette is interesting. I was there two years ago and recall wandering over to that side of the property. I think that's like the TimeShare side. Anyway, I recall walking by some buildings that clearly had sustained massive water damage from the storm and had just been left untouched after the storm. Even the doors were open. I walked into some. I'm sure they were loaded with Mold. Good to see they finally greot in there and rebuilt them.

I think I may have posted before about this, but I think I know the part of the beach you are talking about. Anyway, if you start on the North end of the peninsula you can actually walk all the way to the St. Regis Beach. To actually get to the St. Regis Beach you do have to wade/swim through about 4 feet of water (depending on the tide). But you can easily walk to the point where you would have to wade and from there you can certainly see the St. Regis beach.
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Old Jan 30, 2023, 10:48 pm
  #349  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Live: PWM/KBXM/BGR; Work: DCA/DFW/Everywhere; Play: LAS/MUC/MLE
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM, Hyatt Glob, Marriott Ambassador/LTP, Nat'l Exec Elite, mlife Noir, LEYE Gold
Posts: 6,591
Originally Posted by Braswch
Seeing your update on the new ~1000 sq. ft. room with a kitchenette is interesting. I was there two years ago and recall wandering over to that side of the property. I think that's like the TimeShare side. Anyway, I recall walking by some buildings that clearly had sustained massive water damage from the storm and had just been left untouched after the storm. Even the doors were open. I walked into some. I'm sure they were loaded with Mold. Good to see they finally greot in there and rebuilt them.

I think I may have posted before about this, but I think I know the part of the beach you are talking about. Anyway, if you start on the North end of the peninsula you can actually walk all the way to the St. Regis Beach. To actually get to the St. Regis Beach you do have to wade/swim through about 4 feet of water (depending on the tide). But you can easily walk to the point where you would have to wade and from there you can certainly see the St. Regis beach.
That makes a lot of sense -- I remember seeing these buildings too (we've been going to the St. Regis since 2011, and you can see them easily from the beach there), so I knew the buildings themselves were not (or at least not all) new build. But they really seemed to have done a total gut job based on how things look and feel on the inside. The timeshare thing makes sense too, one of the random office buildings on this side is labeled the Vacation Club Office.
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 10:06 pm
  #350  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Live: PWM/KBXM/BGR; Work: DCA/DFW/Everywhere; Play: LAS/MUC/MLE
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM, Hyatt Glob, Marriott Ambassador/LTP, Nat'l Exec Elite, mlife Noir, LEYE Gold
Posts: 6,591
Checked out today. (Pics in my post above, nothing really to add there.)

Pros:
-breakfast was taken off the folio without asking
-valet parking was comped even on a paid stay (again, taken off the folio, as viewed on the Hyatt app the morning of departure, without asking)
-hard product in the non-villa "villa" is very nice
-villa-side pool and beach were literally empty, and even the main pool was almost entirely empty when we used it
-the 18% resort fee was removed at check-out upon asking (agent had to go to the back to verify that I was on an "eligible rate"; took about 2 minutes) -- saved $200 that I was expecting to have to fight for
-wife had a fantastic massage at the spa
-breakfast buffet is honestly good now

Cons:
-service remains absurdly impersonal, it's everything I would expect from a three-star all-inclusive in Cancun or a cruise ship or something, like everyone is just reading from scripts
-the clientele matches the service; lots of folks here who (based on conversations) had never traveled outside the continental US before or who were not planning on leaving the resort at all during their week (!) at the property, which makes for a very different atmosphere all around (talking to people at the bar is sort of like bizarro world for someone like me who is used to meeting fairly well traveled folks at hotel bars on vacation... you definitely won't feel like you're in Puerto Rico here, you'll just feel like you're at some resort that could be anywhere)
-hot tub at the spa was broken
-my massage at the spa was canceled on 3 days notice because of lack of staff; the spa manager was apologetic and offered me a complimentary day pass to come use the facilities; unfortunately when I showed up at the agreed date and time, the hot tub was broken (she made up for it with 2 glasses of middling wine, but still a waste of time)
-$25/day credit really doesn't seem like a credible replacement for a lounge... not sure what they are doing but it seems like they're using the lounge space as an alternate check-in area to deal with large groups (and I think we got lucky in avoiding crowds, seems like a big group maybe left before we got there and another was arriving today)

Overall at the discounted Leverage rate, the 1,050 square foot villa room was a good deal and I anticipate going back for at least one of the two reservations I have booked on that rate later this year.
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Old Feb 9, 2023, 8:01 am
  #351  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Garden City, NY
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, National Executive Elite
Posts: 144
I'm heading down in late June and see the regency pool suite and villas are cash bookable now. No word on if any SUAs are usable right? Hoping to get somewhat of an upgrade, even as Globalist on check in, but not holding my breath.
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Old Feb 9, 2023, 1:20 pm
  #352  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 43
Originally Posted by ooom416354
I'm heading down in late June and see the regency pool suite and villas are cash bookable now. No word on if any SUAs are usable right? Hoping to get somewhat of an upgrade, even as Globalist on check in, but not holding my breath.
I still cannot see "regency pool suite".
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Old Feb 14, 2023, 10:59 pm
  #353  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Live: PWM/KBXM/BGR; Work: DCA/DFW/Everywhere; Play: LAS/MUC/MLE
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM, Hyatt Glob, Marriott Ambassador/LTP, Nat'l Exec Elite, mlife Noir, LEYE Gold
Posts: 6,591
Originally Posted by ooom416354
I'm heading down in late June and see the regency pool suite and villas are cash bookable now. No word on if any SUAs are usable right? Hoping to get somewhat of an upgrade, even as Globalist on check in, but not holding my breath.
What night(s) do you see Regency Pool Suites available? I tried several dates in June and don't see it come up. Just the non-villa "villas" that I reviewed above.

Property previously confirmed that SUAs are not usable, i.e. there is no standard suite at this property. I would be surprised if that has changed.
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Old Feb 20, 2023, 9:17 pm
  #354  
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,301
Just completed a 3 night stay at this property. Here are my thoughts --

It's a good resort, but not a great one. The biggest plus is that the grounds are very pleasant, with the guest rooms spaced out over an expansive beachfront property. The biggest negative is that the people running the property are not very good at hospitality. As a Globalist, I tried pretty hard to get a nice room for my award stay. I was celebrating my anniversary and let several staff members know this. Honestly, they couldn't have cared less. There are no suites available as upgrades, and the best I could get was a "garden view" (pretty much the standard room at the hotel). Like others, I was annoyed that the Regency Club was closed last month -- which is quite valuable at a hotel that is several miles away from other food and beverage options. At least I knew from prior posters that I could bargain for a $25/day food credit for the inconvenience. But they still gave me a hard time. The front desk clerks said I had to have made my reservation before Jan. 1 to get that credit. I actually made my reservation in November, but modified it in early Jan. to add an extra night when they added more award inventory. They wouldn't give me the $25 credit for that third night!

There's been discussion here about the hotel beach, and my observation from my previous 2019 stay remains the same: the hotel beach isn't great for swimming. The beach is pretty to look at and to walk along but, for swimming, it's mediocre at best. The beach that fronts the hotel itself doesn't have good sand and has lots of sea grass. Bring beach shoes.You can get into the ocean at certain spots where there's less grass, but that's about it. Facing the ocean, if you walk left from the hotel property, you'll get to the "condo" part of the development where the sand gets better. If you walk far enough, you'll get to a spot with a small sand beach area that the locals have put up some (dilapidated) beach swings and a tattered Puerto Rican flag. That small area is better for ocean swimming -- and a few locals go there to swim -- but the water is murky.

Since my last visir, the hotel has added free kayaks for guest use and those are nice when the wind isn't blowing too hard.

The main pool area is impressive. If you don't want to pay $90 for a cabana, look for the few cushioned set-ups with the overhead fabric screens. These are free.

I still generally preferred the quieter satellite pool, but this has now been opened up to all quests. Not sure why it wasn't at least kept as an adult pool. Senseless.

Food and beverage is "resort priced," as expected. Their best offering is the Water's Edge breakfast buffet. The problem becomes if you don't want to eat early. By, say, 9:30, there can be a long wait, which they manage quite poorly (half the seats in the restaurant can be empty and there will still be a 30 minute wait). On busier says, they open up the adjacent steakhouse as an alternate buffet, but it's smaller, and getting seated there can be just as difficult.

Several staff members told us there would be live music in the Lobby Bar starting at 10 pm (10 pm, why so late?) but that never materialized. We did use our free welcome drink there (ask for it at check in, not volunteered), but the high decibel Latin pop music can be less than pleasant.

If you have a car, there are a few restaurants that are about a 15 minute drive away. The most fun, and "authentic" Puerto Rican experience is the weekend-only Finca Neo Jibairo organic pizza and cigar bar. The 12 inch pizzas are very good (sadly, in the past year, he's raised his prices about 40%, so it's no longer a bargain). Otherwise, there are a few table service restaurants with decent food that takes awhile to be served. For something quicker, use google to find the well-regarded local bakeries along Route 3 -- bakeries are a cherished instiution in PR and they often sell lunch at reasonable prices. If you're brave, you can try the lechon/pinchos shack next to the Rico Pan bakery. In the other direction, is the cheap-but-not-fantastic El Verde BBQ restaurant that's good for takeout.

If you want to go the nearby El Yunque rain forest, know that they now have a reservation-only policy. It costs only $2 on recreation.gov, and if you're speedy and agile, you can get the car pass at 8 am and 11 am the day before (inventory is easier to get for the 30 day in advance release). Keep in mind that about half the park is STILL closed from the big hurricane of 5 years ago.

We also travelled around the island and, candidly, there are few better places to go in Puerto Rico. You will generally find Puerto Rico to be a bit dilapidated and economically distressed. I would never pay $500/night to stay at the Grand Reserve, but it's a reasonable Hyatt award redemption if you find a cheap fare to PR in winter (I can't imagine why I'd come to PR if it wasn't winter in North America).. I'd still recommend also staying a couple nights at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan for their better beach and easy access to Old San Juan, but Hilton redemptions keep getting more problematic as Honors keeps devaluing. You also save a lot of money in car rental taxes picking up the car in San Juan instead of at the airport. The only other area of the island I'd highly recommend is the Cabo Rojo/La Parguera area in the southwest. But there are no point redemption options there, and the accommodations tend not to be fancy. The isolated Playa Sucia and adjacent lighthouse is a great experience, but requires a 3 mile roundtrip walk.
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Old Feb 25, 2023, 11:06 pm
  #355  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Garden City, NY
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, National Executive Elite
Posts: 144
Originally Posted by platbrownguy
What night(s) do you see Regency Pool Suites available? I tried several dates in June and don't see it come up. Just the non-villa "villas" that I reviewed above.

Property previously confirmed that SUAs are not usable, i.e. there is no standard suite at this property. I would be surprised if that has changed.
My mistake, I clicked through again and realized I was looking at the "villas" you mentioned. I'm going down there at the end of June so not holding my breath anything opens up.
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Old Mar 2, 2023, 7:53 am
  #356  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Programs: Delta DM, Hyatt Globalist, AA Plat
Posts: 236
Originally Posted by ooom416354
I'm heading down in late June and see the regency pool suite and villas are cash bookable now. No word on if any SUAs are usable right? Hoping to get somewhat of an upgrade, even as Globalist on check in, but not holding my breath.
Talked to concierge yesterday, and she read to me that the "hotel is no longer taking sua". Heading down in a couple of weeks and we'll see what kind of room upgrade, if any, we get.
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Old Mar 2, 2023, 12:24 pm
  #357  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Garden City, NY
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, National Executive Elite
Posts: 144
Originally Posted by greenwichgolf
Talked to concierge yesterday, and she read to me that the "hotel is no longer taking sua". Heading down in a couple of weeks and we'll see what kind of room upgrade, if any, we get.
ha if they ever did anyway. let me know how it goes, assuming nothing changes though.
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Old Mar 23, 2023, 8:50 am
  #358  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Programs: Delta DM, Hyatt Globalist, AA Plat
Posts: 236
Originally Posted by ooom416354
ha if they ever did anyway. let me know how it goes, assuming nothing changes though.
Upgraded to villa with kitchenette (microwave, mini-refrigerator, stocked with two glasses and four cups). I found the staff and service actually quite good (no issues on correct billing), and enjoyed the breakfast buffet. One family we talked with, Uber'd roundtrip to Walgreens to stock up microwavable items and cold items.

March is definitely a shoulder season, so it's quiet and upgrades are easy? Staff told me peak occupancy are school breaks and summer.

Easy transport to golf course (which hosts the Puerto Rico Open).

All in all, a good use of award points and free nights.
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Old Mar 23, 2023, 8:01 pm
  #359  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 121
I had a different experience than the post above after staying this past weekend. I'm a Globalist and use free night certs and points to book 4 nights. I asked about an upgrade and they said that they don't do suite upgrades since they only have premium suites. I thought the resort was quite busy--it seemed like a lot of families there for school break. It was not overcrowded -- very easy to find pool chairs, service at restaurant for breakfast was very good. They took off breakfast and parking with no issues and also gave us $100 credit since the lounge was closed.

My only (minor) complaint was that the maid called us twice during the day when our do not disturb sign was on the door. Both times we happened to be napping and it was a nuisance. If my do not disturb sign is up--it doesn't mean I want a phone call!
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Old Mar 24, 2023, 6:59 am
  #360  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 467
Originally Posted by ooom416354
I'm heading down in late June and see the regency pool suite and villas are cash bookable now. No word on if any SUAs are usable right? Hoping to get somewhat of an upgrade, even as Globalist on check in, but not holding my breath.
I canceled my reservation over this. Tried to use a suite upgrade cert and this property doesn't except them.
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