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The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico [Master Thread]

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico [Master Thread]

Old Jan 20, 11, 8:17 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Sweet Willie View Post
There was not a golf course before the St Regis, so yes I'd say the course is as new as the property.
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Hmm...are you sure about this? I didn't stay at the resort, but I went for an extensive tour of the property with a member of the St. Regis staff. The staff member told my family that the property sits on a very large plot of land (I forgot how many acres he told me...but it was a lot). I am pretty sure he told us that a portion of the land was originally a golf course. The hotel and residences were built on another plot.

I actually have the business card of the Sales Director of the hotel. I can write her and ask.

Couple thoughts when I visited:

- There was a ton of staff when we visited. There must have been five valets that greeted us when we got out of our rental car.
- When I visited, valet parking was crazy expensive. I think they wanted $28 to park our car for our 30-40 minute tour. I was able to get it comp'd after speaking to the front office (there is no front desk...you are greeted and brought to desks).
- Staff seemed very stiff...like they were walking on egg shells. They were very nice, but seemed scared to not do anything wrong.
- I was shocked at the size of the gym...it is really small, especially considering the size of the resort.
- I was also somewhat surprised by the size of the pool area. Again, this property sits on a huge plot of land. Things just seemed a bit unnecessarily cramped.
- The boathouse is very cool...they distribute kayaks and bikes, etc. to guests. There is no charge as all guests pay the resort fee.
- There are a couple of nature trails which are quite nice. It can be hot outside but the nature trails are so shaded it is a nice escape.
- I guess a number of professional baseball players have houses on the resort. If I remember correctly, Carlos Beltran owns on the resort.
- Very nice property.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 10:12 am
  #32  
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Originally Posted by JFKSFOLAX_friend View Post
Hmm...are you sure about this?
from the URL quote
The community boasts a newly opened, award-winning 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., managed by Troon Golf, a beachfront clubhouse, a variety of homes, estates and villas and a seaside village.
(bolding mine)
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Old Jan 20, 11, 10:51 am
  #33  
 
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Amazing resort !!!

My wife, 5yr old daughter and I just got back from a 5 night stay (via points) from the resort and al I can say is that this is my #1 beach resort experience and stay so far. I have been to all the beaches in Mexico, been to Grand cayman, Oahu, Maldives and northern Brazil and this one topped all of them in many almost all the categories. So, let me start:

Check in was very impressive with valets taking care of all bags, jackets, gropceries, and carry ons. When you enter the hotel, it is like walking into a huge mansion with absolutely no hotel front desk feel. The windows look straight out to the beach and you know you have arrived.

Walking to the room was impressive on the boardwalk with all the nature sounds, beautiful landscaped grounds and especially the orchestra of the "Coki" frog. We stayed in a DELUXE room# 224 and it was HUGE on the second floor with a big balcony. Bathroom was massive also.

Butler service is very very good but not great because they are still coordinating eveything. Every morning, you have complimentary coffee or tea delivered to your room. I always got the French Press and wife drank the Mango oolong. Just make sure you book this the night before as the butlers are very busy in the morning delivering the coffee and tea.

The butlers will do almost everything and since my family are HUGE coconut water and meat eaters, we bought 12 to the room. I would ask the butlers in the morning to take a few and get the water out and cut them in half. They usually delivered them to the room before 3pm. They did this everyday for us. Also, the resort charges $10 for a coconut whereas you can buy it outside for $1.50.

Prices were very steep at this resort...alcoholic drinks were $15+, coconuts were $10 and food was also up there. SeaGrapes is decent and we ate there for lunch mostly. Dinner was done in the kioskos around Luqillo. Do not miss going to "La Parrilla' and "Pasta y Pueblo". These were AMAZING places to eat. We also ate at a nearby lechonera which had some of the most tender pork I have ever eaten in my life.

The beach was beautiful and totally relaxing., My daughter loved the beach and the pool area and she had some kids to play with. The beach is soft sand and there are waves but nothing very rough.

We put her in the KIDS club for one day and she loved it. They take them to the beach, kayaking on the lake and other activites that keep them very busy and she forgot about us until we returned.

Nature abounds in this resort and it is unbelievably peaceful and relaxing. If you are a nature lover, you will love this. If you love the concrete jungle, do not go here. Iguanas and lizrads are everywhere and it is so cool to see them just lounging on the golf course or on the boardwalk.

We also went El Yunque and kayaking the BIO bay. Both of these places are enlightening experiences so try not to miss these spots.

Taxi from the airport to hotel cost us $65 and same on the way back. Taxis to and from Luqillo usually ran $25-35 depending on the driver. Usually, you can negotiate $5 lower. Did not rent a car as it was working out too expensive with car seat, nav and daily valet rates.

I have uploaded the pics, so here are the links:

http://img502.imageshack.us/g/dsc04631h.jpg/
http://img651.imageshack.us/g/dsc04428v.jpg/

Last edited by anaggie; Jan 23, 11 at 7:43 am
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Old Jan 20, 11, 12:06 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by anaggie View Post
We also ate at a nearby lechonera which had some of the most tender pork I have ever eaten in my life.
name and/or location info if you have it please^
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Old Jan 20, 11, 12:51 pm
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Great review, anaggie, thank you. My wife and I are headed there next month with our two year-old and very much looking forward to it (even moreso now, having read your review).

Your profile blurb doesn't mention anything about SPG. Are you an SPG elite? If so, did they afford you any recognition?
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Old Jan 20, 11, 2:09 pm
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Originally Posted by AUTIGER View Post
Anyone have details on golf at the resort? I haven't found much info online. Is the course as new as the hotel property?
Bahia Beach Resort and Golf Club opened in 2008. It predates the SR, but not by much.

That seems to be a typical approach to building these types of resorts -- especially with timeshare properties and homes attached to them. IIUC, the course at Roco Ki opened a while back even though the Westin construction seems to be stalled.

AFAIK, Le Paradis construction of both the golf course and hotel remains stalled.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 7:27 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by Sweet Willie View Post
name and/or location info if you have it please^
On the road towards Luquillo from the hotel -- called Jimmy and Mimi's Lechonera. They only open on sat and sun and ask the taxi drivers at the hotel.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by OWdevotee View Post
Great review, anaggie, thank you. My wife and I are headed there next month with our two year-old and very much looking forward to it (even moreso now, having read your review).

Your profile blurb doesn't mention anything about SPG. Are you an SPG elite? If so, did they afford you any recognition?
No SPG elite. I got the points from the 30k SPG AMEX offer a while back...picked up 90k points.

You will really enjoy the stay.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 9:42 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by NYBanker View Post
they put us up in a condo that is on property but a 20 minute walk from the main hotel for last night.

Not cool.
They have a condo a mile and a half away?
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Old Jan 21, 11, 7:19 am
  #40  
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Originally Posted by CNWO4LIFE View Post
They have a condo a mile and a half away?
perhaps the golf view rooms?
Originally Posted by Sweet Willie View Post
All rooms face the ocean with the exception of a couple of buildings called golf view rooms. These a ‘far away’ from the House and beach, personally in no way would I want one of these rooms.
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Old Jan 22, 11, 5:55 pm
  #41  
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1. Seems like a lot of FTers are at the resort around now. We will be there Jan 23-28, so please shoot me a PM if you are around.

2. Trivial point: You can get directions on the website, but the "reverse directions" button doesn't work. It shows the directions from the hotel to SJU on the map, but it still prints the directions from the airport.

Mike
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Old Jan 23, 11, 5:40 pm
  #42  
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At the hotel now. Beautiful grounds, eager to please service. A few mishaps here and there, but nothing than any normal person would consider the slightest bit serious (It is well-acknowledged that I am abnormal.).

I'll do a full trip review when I get back, but I had to get this up before I forgot: To call the directions on the hotel's site "piss-poor" would be an insult to urine. The directions work most of the way, but they mess you up at the end. As you are getting off 3, once you pass Ralph's, get over to the left. You will take a very hard left into the far lane and continue through a little squiggle. Here's where it messes up: the St. Regis directions tell you to take another left to stay on 187. DO NOT DO THIS! Instead, follow the signs for Bahia Beach resorts, which is actually the road that will put you on 187. That's right, the sign that points to the left and says "187" actually puts you back on 3.

Oh, and I'd recommend against having a two year-old vomiting in the back of your car while all this is going on.

Mike
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Old Jan 25, 11, 10:37 am
  #43  
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Trip Report (A little at a time)

Days 1-3

For the sake of this report, assume that I am more demanding than the average guest in terms of "volume" of needs, but not scale of difficulty. I do have high standards for service, so YMMV.

We arrived at the hotel on Sunday, around 3:30. Our room wasn't quite ready yet, but the valet took the car and I checked us in. Us=myself, wife and two year old twins. Since we had called ahead when we got lost on the drive, they had and "APB" out for us.

In the lobby, you check in at somebody's individual desk. At first, the woman could not find our confirmation on points, but eventually located it. The butler walked us to our suite where I was met by the wife and kids.

Since there were no regular rooms available, we bought up to a suite, which was gorgeous. Huge living room, huge master bath with a tub that my kids used as a swimming pool and a 6X6 rainfall shower. We were completely exhausted, so we ordered room service and put the kids to bed.

The grounds are simply breathtaking. It is clear that a lot of care went into the hotel and its maintenance. There were employees all over the place and every one of them had a smile. The pool is enormous and divided into a number of sections so we could isolate ourselves if we needed to. We don't golf, so we didn't make it to the course. Our routine has been pretty much the same: hit the pool in the morning, lunch and naps in the afternoon, a short activity before dinner and then kids (and parents) to bed.

The big pluses so far:

The rooms and grounds are simply out of this world. You feel totally isolated, in a good way.

Without exception, every employee has been smiling, friendly and eager to please. They delivered a microwave and high chairs to our room for the kids and had two cribs delivered when we asked (although we had asked for the cribs in our reservation, so it would have been nice if they had been waiting).

Prices are high, as one would expect at a resort, but not so high that we felt like they were taking advantage of us. The Ralph's is a very short drive and if you are staying a while, I would highly recommend making a shopping trip.

Negatives:

There are still way too many rookie mistakes. For example, no one seems to know the price of anything. We asked five different people at the pool how much it cost to rent a cabana and got five different answers. Likewise, no one could tell me exactly what the resort fee included. Over the phone, they told us that the kids' club is included, but when we got here, they told us it wasn't. Look, I don't care either way, but why isn't there a list somewhere for employees to look at?

Requests aren't always honored. On both days, we asked housekeeping to clean our room at 9:30ish so that our kids could nap in the afternoon. On day one, the request was simply ignored. On day two, they were still cleaning when we got back to the room around 12:15. Again, if you tell me you can do something, please do it.

The ridiculous, obscene, resort fee. I know this has been covered in detail above, but seriously? It doesn't include parking? Free long-distance when everyone has a cell phone? Free internet even though Platinums get it already? And wasn't I supposed to get a tropical drink at check-in? I asked if there was an alternative amenity for Platinums, and the woman (same one who said the kids' club is included) told me that we get a resort credit. Nice! Instead, it turned out that the Platinum amenity was four tiny pastries in our room. Huh? I called again today, and the person at the front desk said no, I was supposed to get a $10 F&B credit per day plus points. Good thing I called back.

More when we return...
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Old Jan 25, 11, 11:03 am
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by mikeef View Post
The ridiculous, obscene, resort fee. I know this has been covered in detail above, but seriously? It doesn't include parking? Free long-distance when everyone has a cell phone? Free internet even though Platinums get it already? And wasn't I supposed to get a tropical drink at check-in? I asked if there was an alternative amenity for Platinums, and the woman (same one who said the kids' club is included) told me that we get a resort credit. Nice! Instead, it turned out that the Platinum amenity was four tiny pastries in our room. Huh? I called again today, and the person at the front desk said no, I was supposed to get a $10 F&B credit per day plus points. Good thing I called back.
Kids Club used to be included. IMO, if it was still on the list when you booked, then it should be included for your reservation.

The current list on the website includes "a welcome cocktail amenity in each room upon arrival." I fail to comprehend once-per-stay amenities that are covered by a daily fee.

Enjoy your stay, mikeef! Thanks for the report!
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Old Jan 25, 11, 5:34 pm
  #45  
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Walked over to the kids' center today. They are allowed to use the center and playground, no charge. Just can't do the half-day/full-day programs for free. It was perfect for our twins.

Mike
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