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Hyatt Grand Reserve Puerto Rico REVIEW MASTER THREAD

Hyatt Grand Reserve Puerto Rico REVIEW MASTER THREAD

Old Feb 19, 2020, 5:01 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MUC
Posts: 142
Great Place

Just spent four days with my partner at this resort. We stayed with a WOH credit card free night, and on points which was a major factor in the decision.

Pluses:
* The resort is pretty empty, we talked to the waitresses who said they were at 85%, however over Presidents Day weekend, and during the Puerto Rican Open, there was practically no one there. There are literally hundreds of unoccupied beach chairs at the pool and along the beach with no one in them. The restaurants are all empty, and we had no problem walking up and getting served
* There is no one there. Yes, same as the first point, but the „Shopping“ mall stores in the hotel are all closed, and boarded up.
* The hotel is great redemption value at 12k points/night, or with a free night from your credit card. Use it
* El Yunque is not far (30 minute drive), and there is an Avis rental station in the hotel, so you can get up there in the morning before the cruise boat traffic hits at 11 AM
* The pool area is quite expansive, and we didn’t have a problem finding a place to camp, even arriving at 11 AM

Minuses:
* The prices are nuts here. The resort fee is 18% (waived for award redemptions), daily parking is $17 that is not included in the resort fee. We ordered two beers at the evening lounge and paid $9 x 2 + 10.5% state tax + 1% local tax + 16% service charge (tip), for a total of $23. We parked in the Coco Resort / Employee parking area (turn left instead of right at the last roundabout) and no one cared and saved the $17 fee
* This is an American resort, catering to American tourists, don‘t expect anything typical Puerto Rican here
* The beach is pretty good, but don’t bother renting ($25/person) snorkeling gear, there is a large amount of sargasso weed all across the entire resort with no fish
* Service at the pool area is mostly a miss, it took 30 minutes to get tacos made, ordering directly from the server at the truck. The waitresses/waiters place their order, and then gossip with the food prep staff while the food is made. You are probably better served at the small efficiency cafe next to check in
* The resort is pretty far off the main road (PR-3), and feels detached from the reality of Puerto Rico. There is ample amount of free space around the resort, which causes my spite about the $17 parking fee

Neutral:
* The resort is family friendly. There were lots of kids around the pool which made it loud, but we saw a bunch of families making new friends

Overall, it was a great experience, and I would not hesitate to book it again. I’m sad that I’m not able to compare it with the Melia, but reading the news articles about the takeover, it appears as though Maria did significant damage to the resort, and Hyatt picked it up and renovated it.
radioactive is offline  
Old Feb 20, 2020, 7:00 am
  #62  
soy
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: DUB-BOS
Programs: various
Posts: 3,626
Originally Posted by radioactive
Just spent four days with my partner at this resort. We stayed with a WOH credit card free night, and on points which was a major factor in the decision.
Thanks for the detailed review.
Any good off-resort eating places in the vicinity (with a car) ?
​​​​​​​How is the Club, early reports suggested it was meh, wondering if it has improved?
soy is offline  
Old Feb 20, 2020, 7:50 am
  #63  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,311
Originally Posted by radioactive
Just spent four days with my partner at this resort. We stayed with a WOH credit card free night, and on points which was a major factor in the decision.

Pluses:
* The resort is pretty empty, we talked to the waitresses who said they were at 85%, however over Presidents Day weekend, and during the Puerto Rican Open, there was practically no one there. There are literally hundreds of unoccupied beach chairs at the pool and along the beach with no one in them. The restaurants are all empty, and we had no problem walking up and getting served
* There is no one there. Yes, same as the first point, but the Shopping mall stores in the hotel are all closed, and boarded up.
* The hotel is great redemption value at 12k points/night, or with a free night from your credit card. Use it
* El Yunque is not far (30 minute drive), and there is an Avis rental station in the hotel, so you can get up there in the morning before the cruise boat traffic hits at 11 AM
* The pool area is quite expansive, and we didnt have a problem finding a place to camp, even arriving at 11 AM

Minuses:
* The prices are nuts here. The resort fee is 18% (waived for award redemptions), daily parking is $17 that is not included in the resort fee. We ordered two beers at the evening lounge and paid $9 x 2 + 10.5% state tax + 1% local tax + 16% service charge (tip), for a total of $23. We parked in the Coco Resort / Employee parking area (turn left instead of right at the last roundabout) and no one cared and saved the $17 fee
* This is an American resort, catering to American tourists, dont expect anything typical Puerto Rican here
* The beach is pretty good, but dont bother renting ($25/person) snorkeling gear, there is a large amount of sargasso weed all across the entire resort with no fish
* Service at the pool area is mostly a miss, it took 30 minutes to get tacos made, ordering directly from the server at the truck. The waitresses/waiters place their order, and then gossip with the food prep staff while the food is made. You are probably better served at the small efficiency cafe next to check in
* The resort is pretty far off the main road (PR-3), and feels detached from the reality of Puerto Rico. There is ample amount of free space around the resort, which causes my spite about the $17 parking fee

Neutral:
* The resort is family friendly. There were lots of kids around the pool which made it loud, but we saw a bunch of families making new friends

Overall, it was a great experience, and I would not hesitate to book it again. Im sad that Im not able to compare it with the Melia, but reading the news articles about the takeover, it appears as though Maria did significant damage to the resort, and Hyatt picked it up and renovated it.
I share most of your views about the hotel. But I'm not sure why you call it a "great place." It certainly seems to be a decent WOH redemption if you happen to be in PR, but there are a lot of things you mention that make the hotel less-than-great. I would also quibble with you saying the beach is "pretty good." I'd say it's nice to look at, but the sand quality is low, and the overgrown seagrass makes it difficult to swim in, much less snorkel.
iahphx is offline  
Old Feb 20, 2020, 2:38 pm
  #64  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MUC
Posts: 142
Originally Posted by iahphx
I share most of your views about the hotel. But I'm not sure why you call it a "great place." It certainly seems to be a decent WOH redemption if you happen to be in PR, but there are a lot of things you mention that make the hotel less-than-great. I would also quibble with you saying the beach is "pretty good." I'd say it's nice to look at, but the sand quality is low, and the overgrown seagrass makes it difficult to swim in, much less snorkel.
True, maybe I should have clarified, the *dry* part of the beach is pretty good, if you want to relax and hear the (small) waves crash with palm trees waving in the background with a mixed drink in hand. In the water is a different story, as you point out, it plain sucks and is a big disappointment. The resort is on the Atlantic side of PR, so has higher level of winds, causing the water near the coast to be cloudier.

As for the club, we didnt have access, but its just a small room next to reception with basic services. We asked about upgrading to an ocean-view at check-in. The check-in agent said they were full, and said they could only offer a $75/day upgrade that didnt include a room upgrade, just access to the lounge. We declined, since we figured wed get better value just going to the restaurants. A local friend, and one of the waitresses both told us we *had* to eat at the kioskos at Luquillo beach for authentic food. We swang buy on our way back from El Yunque, but decided to pass on eating, since most of the food on display was deep fried.
radioactive is offline  
Old Feb 20, 2020, 7:42 pm
  #65  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 121
I stayed last week with points for 4 nights and had club access. It was convenient for breakfast because restaurants on the property were pricey. There were good restaurants nearby -- most restaurants I saw in the area were places you order at the counter and they'll give you the food right away. El Verde BBQ had great rotisserie chicken and pork and it was dirt cheap. Also, very strong pina coladas for ~$3.50. We also went to the food stands at Luquillo beach, but again not impressed with the options. We grabbed some empanadas as a snack and that was it. There are many local bakeries around as well that have cheap delicious pastries.

Overall, the resort was very nice, especially for 12k points. If I was paying for a night plus 18% resort fee, parking and food/drinks it would not be worth it!
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Cara332 is offline  
Old Feb 25, 2020, 7:12 am
  #66  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MUC
Posts: 142
Originally Posted by Cara332
Overall, the resort was very nice, especially for 12k points. If I was paying for a night plus 18% resort fee, parking and food/drinks it would not be worth it!
This sums up the resort in one two sentences.
sch_flyer and hp12c like this.

Last edited by radioactive; Feb 27, 2020 at 2:56 am
radioactive is offline  
Old Sep 16, 2020, 3:52 pm
  #67  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, Mlife Gold
Posts: 54
Any recent travel updates from this property? Their Facebook page recently posted that the beach and pool are now open. Confirmation? Restaurants open as well?
dmgrayinva is offline  
Old Oct 4, 2020, 8:18 pm
  #68  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Programs: SPG Gold, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist, Loews Platinum
Posts: 629
Any word on the Regency Club reopening? It's still closed it seems. What are Globalists getting for breakfast with the club closed?
Also, it seems the suites are all still closed, even though they are listed on their site. Anyone guess on when they will open?
Braswch is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2020, 7:39 am
  #69  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 111
Originally Posted by Braswch
Any word on the Regency Club reopening? It's still closed it seems. What are Globalists getting for breakfast with the club closed?
Also, it seems the suites are all still closed, even though they are listed on their site. Anyone guess on when they will open?
I forgot to write a trip report on here... let me give a quick summary:

I went at the end of June for 8 nights. We booked a basic garden room and ended up getting upgraded to an ocean front deluxe room. They are beautiful, recently renovated in 2019. The whole property is gorgeous. The regular rooms are all junior suites, probably about 550 sq feet with a patio. The view from the ocean front room was incredible.

Breakfast we were told to just go to Waters Edge (the main restaurant), and order whatever we wanted from the menu and they would take it off. We spent $70-80 a day for breakfast and didnt see any of the bills. We were also allowed at the time to order breakfast as room service for free. Regency club isnt opening anytime soon... but honestly it was probably better getting to order from the menu.

Suites are still being renovated. It sounded like it was still months away because Covid slowed down construction. The deluxe suites look like private villa style, although they are a long long walk from the lobby.

Staff is friendly, very clean resort. They take protocols seriously and will call people out (kindly by offering a mask to them) if they dont wear a mask indoors.

The food as a whole was hit of miss. Thought Waters Edge was good in general for resort food. Pasion (the Puerto Rican restaurant) was horrible. The other two restaurants were not open when I went so I cannot comment on the others.

The bar makes great drinks. Their Mojitos are very good, and they do not skimp on alcohol. The pina coladas were also great.

The beach is mediocre. Its shallow water for about 50-100 meters and then gets deeper. We did some snorkeling and it was fun, but you have to walk out far enough. The sand is rather hard and not good, but you can definitely lounge out there. Plenty of seating. They have kayaks and paddle boards to rent. They also have free tennis rackets and pickle ball rackets for use on their courts (we were the only ones that were ever on the courts). I believe they also have bikes for rent.

In terms of location, this resort is on a gated peninsula away from everything. 35 or so min from San Juan. It is a classic resort property where you will spend the majority of your time on the resort. Luquillo is 20 minutes away and has a nice beach and some restaurants called kiosks (little beach shacks basically). We did that one day of the trip. We also took a catamaran one day to one of the islands for snorkelling and that was 100% worth doing. Definitely recommend renting a car as there is nothing walkable from the resort.

Overall, it is a fantastic value on points. We paid cash, and it was something like $150-160 a night plus taxes at the time. Resort fee was waived for globalist, and they gave us free parking too (this was before the free parking promotion). In the winter this hotel looks like a great points stay at 12,000.
liondragonx5y is offline  
Old Oct 23, 2020, 12:05 pm
  #70  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 13
Thanks for the review from July. I am going in November on points as an Explorist, and using a lounge cert. But, the hotel is saying the lounge is still closed. Anyone been recently? What do they charge for kayak and paddleboard rentals?
occy is offline  
Old Oct 23, 2020, 1:03 pm
  #71  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 111
Originally Posted by occy
Thanks for the review from July. I am going in November on points as an Explorist, and using a lounge cert. But, the hotel is saying the lounge is still closed. Anyone been recently? What do they charge for kayak and paddleboard rentals?
Kayak and Paddleboard was expensive... I want to say $25 or $30 an hour for the Kayak and maybe $20 for the Paddleboard... but I could be wrong. I just remember it being on the pricier side. If you are Explorist and the lounge is closed, which it probably still will be since its Covid and low season, you will be out of luck. The certificates dont give you anything as an alternative if the lounge is closed.
liondragonx5y is offline  
Old Dec 12, 2020, 8:19 am
  #72  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Programs: SPG Gold, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist, Loews Platinum
Posts: 629
How was it?

Originally Posted by occy
Thanks for the review from July. I am going in November on points as an Explorist, and using a lounge cert. But, the hotel is saying the lounge is still closed. Anyone been recently? What do they charge for kayak and paddleboard rentals?
Did you go and how was it? I have an upcoming stay as a Globalist. I'm anticipating the lounge still being closed sadly.....
Braswch is offline  
Old Feb 15, 2021, 12:31 pm
  #73  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 261
February 2021 Stay

Spoiler
 

Booking:
We wanted a winter getaway from the cold Midwest winter so decided to visit Puerto Rico, and especially the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve. The paid cash rates for our stay was around $250 per night, but it also offers a spectacular value at a Level 3, meaning only 12,000 points per night. I booked 5 nights with points, and another 3 nights using anniversary nights from the Hyatt Credit Card. So our overall stay would total of 8 nights.

Arrival:
The drive from the airport is very easy, simply stay on the ring road until you get to the main street leading you to the Coco Beach Resort area. The first security check enters you into the overall compound. As you near the Hyatt Regency entrance, a guard confirms you are a guest, and takes the temperate of everyone in your group, kids included. This is a requirement anytime you leave and re-enter the hotel. Check-in was very smooth and easy, and a printed copy of the activities, restaurants, and menu are provided. Proof of your negative PCR covid test is also taken at this time for all the guests. As of February 2021, this is currently a requirement to have a quarantine free visit to Puerto Rico. After check-in, we were driven to our room. With my lowly Discoverist status, we were still provided an upgrade to an ocean facing deluxe room.

Room:
Guests room are located in several separate buildings throughout the property. Every building has 24 individual rooms. 12 that face the front, and 12 facing the back. Entering the room, the first thing you notice is the magnificent view of the ocean, just a stone throws away from the balcony. The large window really offers a refreshing view and a relaxing environment for your stay. Stepping back, our room had two comfortable beds with luxurious linens. A choice of pillows is also provided, having your choice of soft or firm. A little desk and seating area is also provided and allowed for our ability to have online school / work from home. There were plenty of electrical outlets around the room and you will be easily able to charge all your devices. A large 55 TV is also hung center of the room and offered a wide array of channels to choose from. It was a good location to watch the Super Bowl from, although the Chiefs did not provide the desired results. Also present in the room was a good size fridge. This allowed us to place various snacks and drinks throughout the stay. A nespresso coffee maker was also present and a choice of two coffee pods are also included. Definitely, the green capsule tasted better than the gold 😊 An electric kettle is also included which helped our family with a couple of boiled egg lunches and ramen noodle snacks. Dont worry, we thoroughly cleaned it before and after. The bathroom was also very luxurious. We loved the design of the hot soaking tub being fully enclosed within the shower. This allows a nice bit of steam to build up and offers you a relaxing opportunity to soak. Overall, the room is well appointed and gives you a great place to wind down from your long hard day at the beach.


Room Layout


Deluxe rooms include tub


TV


Shower & Tub


Patio


Working from home

Outdoor Activities:
The hotel offers two pools. The main pool is enormous, I believe the largest in all of Puerto Rico. It varies in depth from two feet up to five feet with several different areas of swimming to choose from. Lounge chairs are provided throughout the entire perimeter of the pool and we never had any difficulty finding a place to sit. Cabana lounges are also included, which in theory were for a charge, but in these times, the staff is a bit less stringent in their use. There is also an adult only pool in another location in the resort. This offers a secluded and quieter area if that is what youd like. Although, I never actually saw anyone use it. The pools are definitely very nice to have and a key part of the entertainments of the hotel. A 200 foot stretch of beach is also present at the resort with plenty of lounge chairs provided for your use. The beach though is not the greatest. The sand is pretty compact and not the most luxurious to step in. There were also plenty of shells and rocks making a stroll a little uncomfortable at times. As you enter the water, the water stays shallow for quite a distance. There is coral present near the area, so you have to walk a little bit gingerly as well in the water. The beach offers a nice opportunity to cool down, but you wont have so much luck with snorkling or having clear views of the bottom. Also newly added to the hotel is an overwater activity obstacle course. The course was not officially open, although staff was again lenient with its use. We carefully made our way over a couple of times and enjoyed playing for an hour or two on the playground. Other guests, seeing us enjoy the center, also made their way over and enjoyed playing. Near the pool, the towel hut also offered plenty of activities. Towels are provided in exchange for towel cards and your room number. Some staff were a bit more strict than others in terms of having the towel cards. Kayaking and paddle boarding are available for a charge, around $25 per hour. For free, you could rent out tennis equipment, pickle-ball equipment, and bicycles. They also had plenty of sand toys for the younger children. Overall, the outdoor activities in the hotel are plentiful and give you enough entertainment for your stay.



Patio View


Patio View


Patio View


Grounds


Beach


Beach


Lobby Area


Giant Pool


Giant Pool


Giant Pool


Beach playground

Food
We didnt try any restaurants in the hotel. Our family is more basic when it comes to food, so we enjoyed KFC a couple of times during our stay, and other times made home made meals with the cooking equipment available (tea kettle ramen, ironed cheese sandwiches, cereal, etc &#128522. The food pricing did not seem that crazy for resort. For example, Penne Pasta was around $21. Margarita pizza for around $18. Cheeseburger for $15. Breakfast omelets were available for around $15. There is also a taco truck available during the day, and a couple of fancier dinner outlets open at night. For quicker snacks, a little sandwich shop is available near the hotel lobby that offers decently priced sandwiches, croissants, and snacks.

Market

Service
I feel the service in the hotel is the only thing that could have driven this hotel from very good, to amazing. In short, we didnt receive much service. Im not sure whether it was because of limit staffing available nowadays, or for other reasons, we very rarely encountered staffing. Really, the only time we actively saw staff was in the towel hut at the pool. Even then, they closed at around 7 while in the theory, the pool closes at 10. Room cleaning services is provided once every three days. We skipped service on our third day, as we were working from the room that day, but we left the hotel on the forth day for some activities and requested services. We were surprised that when we came back, that the service was not provided. After calling the front desk again, they came by to service the room, but we were inconvenienced by having to leave for an hour or so. We also tried calling the front desk a few times to request some basic items, and many times we did not have luck with anyone answering. I feel bad for hotels during the difficult time. Its difficult to balance staffing needs and costs. Although I do feel that a few additional friendly staff around the hotel would go a long way. Nobody really ever asked us how was our stay, or could they provide anything, or even general chit-chat. I feel that this really would help make the stay a little more personal and memorable. This is really the big differentiator between this resort and other Caribbean/Latin Hyatt resorts weve stayed at in the past.

Overall
In Summary, I highly recommend this hotel, especially as a level 3 requiring 12,000 points. That is spectacular value, and I believe the best value hotel in North America. Even if having to pay, $250 a night is reasonable for the activities and physical beauty the hotel offers, although I would be a little more disappointed with the service if I was paying cash. Im hoping to be a Globalist with the January/February Hyatt promotions, and definitely plan to be back to enjoy the resort with the added benefits of breakfast in the near future 😊
Markie, platbrownguy, occy and 1 others like this.
isaifan is offline  
Old Feb 15, 2021, 1:34 pm
  #74  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: CLT
Programs: AA ExPlat, Hyatt Globalist, Bonvoy Lifetime Titanium
Posts: 1,551
Thanks for the fantastic review isaifan. A few questions for you:
A) Any sense for when the hotel will have suites available? I believe they are under construction
B) What activities did your family enjoy off property?
C) To what extent was there a kids club?
beofotch is offline  
Old Feb 15, 2021, 2:34 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 189
Great review, isaifan! I'm looking at booking a points stay at that property for spring break next year (before it ends up going up in category), so all of that information is much appreciated.
carnalismocc is offline  

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