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Hyatt Grand Reserve Puerto Rico REVIEW MASTER THREAD

Hyatt Grand Reserve Puerto Rico REVIEW MASTER THREAD

Old Feb 24, 2021, 3:25 pm
  #91  
 
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Originally Posted by nycflyer17
Did you have to supply a negative test before arriving from the US mainland? Wasn't sure how that worked currently.
If you are coming from the US Mainland it's not too hard to get a test. It's supposed to be 72 hours prior to arriving.
IF you arrive without a test you have to quarantine for 14 days. What this effectively means is they text you every day asking you to tell them you aren't sick. The resorts on the other hand sometimes will ask to see the negative result as well. Was hit or miss that they asked in the Caribbean.
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Old Feb 24, 2021, 4:36 pm
  #92  
 
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Originally Posted by nycflyer17
Did you have to supply a negative test before arriving from the US mainland? Wasn't sure how that worked currently.
You fill out the online form & upload a test result to get your QR code: https://www.travelsafe.pr.gov/

Last time we went, we got the daily check-in texts even though we came w/ negative tests. YMMV on that. Hotels didn't ask for anything then, but sounds like they might be asking to see the test results or QR code more widely now compared to a few months ago. (We're getting tests Friday for Monday arrival. Free tests @ Walgreens, have gotten >25 of them, never takes too long.)
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Old Feb 27, 2021, 10:09 pm
  #93  
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy
You fill out the online form & upload a test result to get your QR code: https://www.travelsafe.pr.gov/

Last time we went, we got the daily check-in texts even though we came w/ negative tests. YMMV on that. Hotels didn't ask for anything then, but sounds like they might be asking to see the test results or QR code more widely now compared to a few months ago. (We're getting tests Friday for Monday arrival. Free tests @ Walgreens, have gotten >25 of them, never takes too long.)
Re: test results, are they ok with screen shots / showing them the email.....or do you need some sort of document with your passport or other ID noted on it.
In my area free tests just give an email, you need to pay $150+ to get the documented version.
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Old Feb 27, 2021, 10:11 pm
  #94  
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...duplicate

Last edited by soy; Feb 28, 2021 at 8:00 am
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Old Feb 28, 2021, 12:12 am
  #95  
 
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Originally Posted by soy
Re: test results, are they ok with screen shots / showing them the email.....or do you need some sort of document with your passport or other ID noted on it.
In my area free tests just give an email, you need to pay $150+ to get the documented version.
The safe travels website will ask for your ID number, but you enter that yourself. As for the test, all you need to do is upload the proof of negative result (I would have a printout of the email as well)... and put the name and phone number of the lab. We did ours as Walgreens yesterday around 5pm and got results today. Free and you can download the authentic-looking LabCorp PDF and just upload that.

safe travels site will get you a QR code after you upload your results... I don't honestly think there's too much (if any) verification, but I would make sure that whatever you upload says "PCR" and "negative" somewhere on it

At SJU, you just show the QR code on your phone. But again, no reason not to have a hard copy of the negative test on hand at that time as well.
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Old Feb 28, 2021, 4:39 pm
  #96  
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one more check if anyone has an email contact at the property - i did not get any response from the one they list on webpage... (hopefully this is not a warning sign of what to expect from the property)
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Old Feb 28, 2021, 10:28 pm
  #97  
 
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Originally Posted by azepine00
one more check if anyone has an email contact at the property - i did not get any response from the one they list on webpage... (hopefully this is not a warning sign of what to expect from the property)
Honestly I would just call them during business hours. I wouldn't be surprised if they are woefully understaffed though. I would set expectations accordingly in that regard. Everything takes forever in Puerto Rico even under ordinary circumstances, let alone now. (As a comparison, I got a welcome email from the St. Regis on Tuesday, I replied on Wednesday, and they called me to confirm my requests on Saturday, for a stay next week. That seemed within my expectations for the St.R.)
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Old Mar 1, 2021, 6:52 pm
  #98  
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy
Everything takes forever in Puerto Rico even under ordinary circumstances, let alone now.
It's definitely "island time" there, although I hope they got their act together a bit more since our visit soon after the resort opening. They were not exactly service-oriented back then.
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Old Mar 15, 2021, 11:36 pm
  #99  
 
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Stayed here for 4 nights of our recent 10-day PR trip (first night was Sheraton by the Convention Center, then 3 nights at St. Regis, then here, then 2 nights at the Hyatt House in San Juan). Overall a great use of Cat 1-4 certs but I'm not sure I'd pay >$300 rates for it. Will likely return to kill more certs in the future.

Arrival. The surrounding grounds are in many ways similar to the St. Regis -- golf course, water features, lots of nature, etc. St. Regis has a little more mystique but that is fading as the development there grows. Some other condos, etc., are near the Hyatt and golf club, but overall the area looks nice once you get through the initial entry gate. You then drive a mile or two to the Hyatt at the end of the peninsula. Self-parking is in a gated lot; valet was available ($27.90/night, comped for globalist on award stay), which was great (and when we called from the room, they had our car waiting every time). The arrival process was clunkier and "resort"-ier than it should be. When you arrive, the valet guy takes the car, the bellman takes the bags and puts them on a cart to wait for you... while the security guy fills out the government form and asks you to email over your QR codes (the same ones you used to get out of SJU--hang on to them!). There was only ever one security person at that stand, so if you have the misfortune of arriving behind other people, you're gonna wait. We waited about 15 minutes. Then security escorts you over to the front desk to check in. (At all 3 other hotels in PR, the front desk agents simply took note of the QR Code info to fill out the forms themselves, much faster). Check-in was fine, although I was a little miffed that we were not upgraded to the ocean-facing rooms. We were given a king deluxe room in Building 20, which is right on the beach, so location was great, but the view on the other side facing the ocean is really nice. The agent claimed none were available even if I booked online (various ocean front rooms were showing available), whatever.

Room. Hard product looks nice and works well -- good bed, good lighting, good bathroom fixtures. Fridge was cold. Robes provided. Housekeeping is provided to everyone on the 3rd day (i.e. two days after check-in) for all stays of 3+ nights.

Food. Way better than expected at the "good" restaurants (Prime 787 for steak, Nori for sushi or hibachi) and at the poolside taco truck. Passable but not memorable at the other spots (lobby bar, market, Water's Edge... didn't try the pizza/pasta at Mirador). Breakfast buffet was quite poor ("scrambled eggs," bacon, sausage, "quiche" things, cereal, fruit, yogurt, toast... that's it), but Globalists can order any entree off the menu (plus either coffee or juice... and no espresso drinks) in lieu of taking the buffet (if you choose buffet, you can have both coffee and juice... again, whatever). The a la carte breakfast was actually decent (though don't expect things like real maple syrup here, even for a fee). Eggs to order were cooked exactly as requested (over medium, etc.). Generally, no one is really empowered to go off-script here (though the employees were very friendly and some did go off-script and were much appreciated when they did). For example, my wife wanted some lemon wedges for her water at breakfast. But they don't have lemons at breakfast, and it appeared to be an ordeal to get them. But one day someone did, and that was nice of them. And at dinner at Prime 787, they didn't have iced tea there, but the waiter got another waiter to get some iced tea brought over from the lobby bar. And so forth.
**Also note that for the nicer restaurants you need to make your own reservations online via OpenTable. For Pasin (not owned by Hyatt) you need to call directly (but you might consider just going to the original Pasin in Fajardo instead). With dining at 30%, reservations were limited on Friday and Saturday but we enjoyed the sushi at Nori on Friday and the meal at Prime on Saturday. (We went to our favorite local spot, Rincn del Sabor in Luquillo--not to be confused with other similarly named places in San Juan or Fajardo--on Sunday afternoon for the best mofongo relleno de langosta and asopao de camarones that you'll ever have.) Also the menus on the Hyatt website/app are wrong, the selections are a bit more limited than indicated but not terribly so.

Beach. Kind of rocky, as folks have said -- and totally different from the soft golden-brown sand at the St. Regis. But definitely beautiful and walkable with flip-flops, and there are plenty of beach chairs just set up for you to use all along the beach front. And to be honest the water is way prettier to look at and easier to wade into than at the St. Regis (although it's shockingly shallow for quite a ways out, so you can't just go for a swim, and there's a lot of slimy-ish seagrass if you're weirded out by that)... there's a protective reef about 200 meters out that keeps the waves from coming ashore, unlike at the St. Regis where they roll on in. Big negative is that you have to go to the main pool to get towels... sort of a pain, you have to check them out by giving them your room number, but it's all silly because they don't check the towels back in, you're supposed to just dump them in the bin by the towel hut. If they ask you how many people you are, you'll only get that # of towels... but if you say you have 4 people in the room then they'll give you 4 towels. All of these little hassles add to a sort of "cheap-ish resort" feel that wasn't a big deal but was the second-biggest detractor.

The people. The worst part about this place, though, was the people. Two groups in particular during our stay: (1) Lots of rowdy 18-year-olds (either a high school senior trip or a college freshmen trip, with a smattering of chaperones, it appeared to be) running amok and constantly being yelled at for not wearing their masks in the lobby area. (2) Lots of smelly people smoking marijuana (or who had recently been smoking marijuana), so if you don't care for that odor (I don't like it and my wife hates it), be prepared... many of these people also wore heavy & cheap fragrance, I guess to mask it, who knows. So, end of the day, we had to take measures like very quickly opening and closing our room door to avoid having the "stench" drift in (even though the room doors face an outdoor corridor, the stench was that strong. Far stronger than we've ever had it in DC...) And we stuck to the peaceful smaller pool next to Building 20 rather than the large main pool where the rowdy kids were and where others were blasting their music from time to time, other than when we went to get tacos from the food truck by the pool.

Other thoughts:
-don't expect quick service here... usually when I picked up the phone and hit 0, it took 5 to 10 minutes of ringing before anyone picked up the phone, although occasionally the answer was instant
-you have to call to have them open the gym, which is hit or miss because they send security to unlock it and let you in (max 3 people at a time, but I never saw anyone else using it, probably because of the hassle)
-restaurants are open on a rotating schedule, see below (but note that breakfast actually ended at 11 and not 11:30 on one day that said 11:30, to the surprise of many folks who walked in just after 11--we thankfully got there at 10:30 that day)
-Internet was reasonably fast, ~10mbps up
-the whole place was pretty, but it sort of reminded me of a college dorm setup the way the balconies all face a common area and the room doors all face each other...
-the lobby "bar" has been renamed the lobby "restaurant" because "bars are closed," lol -- but it's still the bar and has a decent selection of booze available until 10 and snacks until 11 p.m.
-end of the day, I'm probably coming off more negative than I should here but I'd give this place a solid 3 stars on Yelp and would return. The filet mignon and the oysters rockefeller (w/ Massachusetts oysters) at Prime 787 were much better than anything on the menu at the St. Regis, and the drink prices here are fantastic compared to the St.R, so overall we enjoyed this place for variety of food & for a different perspective on the beach (you can see the St.R across the way). The spa here is also quite nice and globs get 15% off, making a massage a reasonable $110/50 min.
-there are 6 villas with private pools that are labeled regency suites, but these don't appear to be up and running yet, although one appeared to be occupied while we were there (perhaps training staff or used by a hotel employee, who knows).
-proximity to Luquillo kiosks and El Yunque is great

See pics & captions below. Happy to answer questions.


Entry


Entry


King Deluxe


King Deluxe


Grounds


Grounds


Tiny pool by the spa


"Small" pool by building 20 (but still very sizable with ample sunlight and good surrounding seating... though you need to bring towels from the main pool)


Beautiful water (bounce house thing wasn't open yet but should be soon)


Decent beach setup, but no F&B service or towel service, it's all self-serve.


Lobby bar


A la carte ham & eggs


A la carte waffle


Menu


Menu


Room service menu


Calendar of restaurants


Property map

Last edited by platbrownguy; Mar 16, 2021 at 10:52 am
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Old Mar 22, 2021, 1:06 am
  #100  
 
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I have a 7 night stay here in July as of now but may prune it to less; will definitely report back! Even though this property seems to be having some growing pains it seems worth a shot for potentially getting good value. Just a word of note to anyone looking at this property; Hyatt is changing this from a Cat 3 -> Cat 4 effective the 25th of March 2021. Additionally the current promo for the "Bonus night" for this property (Stay 2 nights get 3rd free, 3 nights, 4th free and also from what I saw 5 nights 6th free with the 3rd night free too) is ending on April 1st. Since this is a new property 500 bonus points per stay also ends on April 1st but it may be extended from other properties I had seen. So if you are interested in booking at current rates please heed this nycflyer17 ; I am glad I saw a few news articles and did it beforehand.

As of this writing property is open for bookings until ~April 2022. It looks like Regency Suite awards are available for redemption starting in the 2nd week of February 2022. So in theory you could lock these in at Cat 3 for the next few days; or book a Standard and hopefully have some assurance you could get upgraded as the category is bookable. I will be curious to see if the property opens up these earlier; will definitely be asking about suites when I get to the property as the description of these seem to include either a Jacuzzi or Plunge pool in each suite; even Junior. Hyatt hasn't specified categories yet - just "This is a Suite" in room listings; usually its Standard/Premium.

In looking at the reviews for this property it seemed to spike in positive reviews when it hosted the US Open and then after many more reviews online have mentioned issues with service times and restaurant openings. Hopefully things improve by July. I wonder if Hyatt flew staff in for the event? The good news is it seems this property now has a General Manager (few people above were mentioning staff refusing manager/claiming manager not on site azepine00 ). I don't know if I can post info here but if you look in recent reviews online a manager has been providing feedback with his name and phone number/email on few review sites; so fetch it from there.
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Old Mar 22, 2021, 1:34 am
  #101  
 
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Originally Posted by MechMachine
As of this writing property is open for bookings until ~April 2022. It looks like Regency Suite awards are available for redemption starting in the 2nd week of February 2022. So in theory you could lock these in at Cat 3 for the next few days; or book a Standard and hopefully have some assurance you could get upgraded as the category is bookable. I will be curious to see if the property opens up these earlier; will definitely be asking about suites when I get to the property as the description of these seem to include either a Jacuzzi or Plunge pool in each suite; even Junior. Hyatt hasn't specified categories yet - just "This is a Suite" in room listings; usually its Standard/Premium.
The categories are, at least as of now, specified -- when you look at points bookings you'll see the double/double & the King ADA suites as "standard" suites for 20k/night and the 1B Deluxe as "premium" suites for 24k/night.

I seriously doubt, however, that the hotel has fully processed/updated the website... the pictures for the suites look just like regular rooms, whereas my strong hunch is that the 1075sqft suites are in fact the villa-like units that are signed on-property as "Regency Suites" (visible with their private pools on the map on the bottom of my post above). 20k or even 24k/night for those (or even better, 12k/night + a TSU for a 4 or 5 night stay) would be a great deal indeed...
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Old Mar 22, 2021, 4:28 am
  #102  
 
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What about the Club lounge?
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Old Mar 22, 2021, 9:58 am
  #103  
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Originally Posted by clublevel15
What about the Club lounge?
Club Lounge closed due to Covid, but by all accounts was pretty underwhelming
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Old Mar 22, 2021, 10:07 am
  #104  
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Originally Posted by MechMachine
... Since this is a new property 500 bonus points per stay also ends on April 1st but it may be extended from other properties I had seen. ...
It is on 1000 pt new property bonus list for apr-jun
https://world.hyatt.com/content/gp/e...ew-hotels.html
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Old Mar 22, 2021, 11:51 am
  #105  
 
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Originally Posted by azepine00
It is on 1000 pt new property bonus list for apr-jun
https://world.hyatt.com/content/gp/e...ew-hotels.html
I believe you are mistaken. That link explicitly says Offer dates: January 1-March 31, 2021, for that property. Other properties have dates through June
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