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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 Jun 3, 21, 10:35 pm
  #526  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: ORD
Programs: AC 50K, Bonvoy Tit, UA Silver
Posts: 221
Two weeks ago the breakfast was buffet but served by the staff.
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Old Jun 4, 21, 3:08 pm
  #527  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Washington, D.C.
Programs: Hyatt Globalist; AA Platinum Pro; Marriott Platinum
Posts: 71
Checked out yesterday. Was on a FH&R rate, so the St. Regis buffet (roughly $44/pp) was included. It's still the buffet behind the plexiglass. Asked the omelet guy to make me fresh eggs every morning. Didn't think SeaGrapes was all that bad. Currently at the Hyatt in Rio Grande, so the miscues at StR feel downright insignificant right now.

Will do a separate review on the plane home.
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Old Jun 4, 21, 3:45 pm
  #528  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Originally Posted by DCADavis View Post
Checked out yesterday. Was on a FH&R rate, so the St. Regis buffet (roughly $44/pp) was included. It's still the buffet behind the plexiglass. Asked the omelet guy to make me fresh eggs every morning. Didn't think SeaGrapes was all that bad. Currently at the Hyatt in Rio Grande, so the miscues at StR feel downright insignificant right now.

Will do a separate review on the plane home.
Glad they have a buffet up... progress. Hyatt definitely sounds like it has crashed and burned since we were there in March. It had issues then too.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 6:37 pm
  #529  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Boston, MA
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OK, Fairmont El San Juan or STR Bahia for 2-3 nights this month. Both in a 1 bdrm suite. Opinions? Recommendations?
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Old Aug 11, 21, 9:55 pm
  #530  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Summit County, CO.
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Originally Posted by nologic View Post
OK, Fairmont El San Juan or STR Bahia for 2-3 nights this month. Both in a 1 bdrm suite. Opinions? Recommendations?
We have stayed at both (2 times at St Regis prepandemic and El San Juan one stay during)

If youre just looking for relaxation and privacy, Id say St Regis - though I think dining and service are not up to the brand standard. We had so many service issues they knocked the exorbitant resort fee off the bill for all 5 nights. The hard product is fantastic and grounds are gorgeous. We liked the restaurant at the beach club (if its still there?) the most.

el San Juan had live music and had more of a party vibe. Casino was not open yet. The main building does not offer any balconies or outside space. We enjoyed the historic nature, fun bar, and the restaurants. Super close to airport and closer for off property restaurants and visiting old San Juan than St Regis.

El San Juan I think is better overall value for money though Id spurge for the St Regis for a romantic relaxing weekend.
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Old Aug 12, 21, 10:21 pm
  #531  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Boston, MA
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Originally Posted by cohighcountry1k View Post
We have stayed at both (2 times at St Regis prepandemic and El San Juan one stay during)

If you’re just looking for relaxation and privacy, I’d say St Regis - though I think dining and service are not up to the brand standard. We had so many service issues they knocked the exorbitant resort fee off the bill for all 5 nights. The hard product is fantastic and grounds are gorgeous. We liked the restaurant at the beach club (if it’s still there?) the most.

el San Juan had live music and had more of a party vibe. Casino was not open yet. The main building does not offer any balconies or outside space. We enjoyed the historic nature, fun bar, and the restaurants. Super close to airport and closer for off property restaurants and visiting old San Juan than St Regis.

El San Juan I think is better overall value for money though I’d spurge for the St Regis for a romantic relaxing weekend.
So, let's assume the costs are the same w upgrades for a 1 bedroom suite. STR will likely be a garden view and Fairmont is unknown what view. We have 2 teens w us, so the parlor of the suite doubles as their bedroom.

We are traveling Sun-Weds so the live music at the Fairmont is not playing (for better or worse, could be nice).

Now what?

I'm thinking of 1 night Fairmont and 2 nights STR?

As for the numbers, STR is 85,000 Bonvoy points per nights plus $140 night with 2 or 4 platinum breakfasts (not sure if they will allow breakfasts for the kids)

Fairmont would be about $750/night all in, including their exrtravagent 20% resort fees, but excluding breakfasts.
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Old Aug 13, 21, 4:45 am
  #532  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Recent TA reviews of the STR haven't been good. We were there just pre-pandemic (early March 2020) and loved it and were considering returning this fall, but will defer that until the service returns
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Old Aug 13, 21, 3:29 pm
  #533  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Originally Posted by nologic View Post
So, let's assume the costs are the same w upgrades for a 1 bedroom suite. STR will likely be a garden view and Fairmont is unknown what view. We have 2 teens w us, so the parlor of the suite doubles as their bedroom.

We are traveling Sun-Weds so the live music at the Fairmont is not playing (for better or worse, could be nice).

Now what?

I'm thinking of 1 night Fairmont and 2 nights STR?

As for the numbers, STR is 85,000 Bonvoy points per nights plus $140 night with 2 or 4 platinum breakfasts (not sure if they will allow breakfasts for the kids)

Fairmont would be about $750/night all in, including their exrtravagent 20% resort fees, but excluding breakfasts.
$750 a night plus breakfast to stay behind the airport sounds like a terrible idea. Different strokes for different folks, but Isla Verde is neither an Isla nor Verde and isn't really my idea of a destination. Also keep in mind the Fairmont sells day passes for non-hotel guests to use the beach and pools, which can drastically change the ambience. On top of that, on an already short trip, why change hotels? Just stay 3 nights at the St.R. Even if the service isn't what it once was there, it's sadly that way across the board, but the hard product and setting of the St.R are outstanding.
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Old Aug 16, 21, 11:06 pm
  #534  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Has anyone ever rented one of the residences through AirBnb? Debating trying that versus getting two standard rooms on the hotel side.
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Old Aug 18, 21, 2:07 pm
  #535  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Washington, DC
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Originally Posted by svo242 View Post
Has anyone ever rented one of the residences through AirBnb? Debating trying that versus getting two standard rooms on the hotel side.
Weve done this before and really enjoyed it. The unit we rented through VRBO a few years back is no longer available for rentals, but we found another one for an upcoming stay.

A couple points:
- during normal times, you have full access to the hotel amenities. Last time, the front desk set us up with a dummy room with our credit card attached to we could bill using our name and room just like we were a guest at the restaurants, etc.
- you pay a resort/membership fee at the golf club to access their pool, Boat House and gym. I think it was like $65/day which covered up to 8 people. Some rentals include this in the price.
- early on in covid, they shut down the hotel amenities to residence guests, only allowing hotel guests to use them. My understanding is this has been loosened, but just know you may not have access to everything including the hotel pool
- you need a golf cart. Most rentals we saw had them included but you need it
- the pool next to the golf club house is very nice, but hotel is better. Theres also a residence only pool in the middle of the parking lot that was always empty (pretty nice but mostly a basic pool with no ocean view)

We did the math and its obviously way cheaper to book a residence unit. Plus you get a kitchen so can make your own meals. But, its a different experience than the hotel.
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Old Aug 19, 21, 7:34 pm
  #536  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by slariz View Post
Weve done this before and really enjoyed it. The unit we rented through VRBO a few years back is no longer available for rentals, but we found another one for an upcoming stay.

A couple points:
- during normal times, you have full access to the hotel amenities. Last time, the front desk set us up with a dummy room with our credit card attached to we could bill using our name and room just like we were a guest at the restaurants, etc.
- you pay a resort/membership fee at the golf club to access their pool, Boat House and gym. I think it was like $65/day which covered up to 8 people. Some rentals include this in the price.
- early on in covid, they shut down the hotel amenities to residence guests, only allowing hotel guests to use them. My understanding is this has been loosened, but just know you may not have access to everything including the hotel pool
- you need a golf cart. Most rentals we saw had them included but you need it
- the pool next to the golf club house is very nice, but hotel is better. Theres also a residence only pool in the middle of the parking lot that was always empty (pretty nice but mostly a basic pool with no ocean view)

We did the math and its obviously way cheaper to book a residence unit. Plus you get a kitchen so can make your own meals. But, its a different experience than the hotel.
Awesome, thanks for the insight!
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Old Jan 31, 22, 7:58 pm
  #537  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Posts: 6,027
Just had a 5-night stay.

Pros:

-Food is back to being quite good -- there is a distinct fine-dining menu at Paros which is much better than the old Seagrapes menu. There is also a much more extensive Seagrapes menu now (several pages), all of which is available at the pool and the beach. Beach Club was excellent too -- the whole fried snapper is up to $55 but was huge and perfect, well worth it. Two could easily share the "wedge" salad (it was half a head of good iceberg, not just a wedge!) and the snapper and call it a day. Highlights at Paros were the sea bass and the salmon; highlight on the Seagrapes menu was the lobster linguine (giant grilled lobster tail with perfectly cooked lightly sauced pasta). Room service was also pretty good and always quick -- the burger was delivered spot-on medium rare, but the salmon was a little over. Sushi at the lobby bar on Friday (also available Saturday) was solid, and the live music (Fri/Sat only) is also excellent. Make reservations for everything, you can always cancel them.

-I initially booked at 385k points. A week out, I saw that I had been proactively upgraded to an Astor suite... but the rate had also dropped to 355k, so I took a risk, canceled the res, and rebooked it. I gave it a few days but we were not put back into the suite. So 2 days out, I sent a note by chat in the app asking if an upgrade was possible, and sure enough we were restored to the Astor suite, and we got it at check-in. It was a "garden view" suite (613) but you could actually see the ocean from it too, past the garden. Bottle of bubbly was in the room along with all our bags.

-Staff are just wonderful. Everyone.

-Beach is great, and is now full service.

Cons:

-Miscommunications and "island time" are still a thing. I'm okay with island time, but the miscomms got a little crazy. We asked for a crib at check-in (and in both the initial res and the modified res), was told it would be sent. I asked again when we went for dinner at Paros the first night, was told they would verify with housekeeping. Nothing came the first night. Okay, fine. Second day, I called in the morning, was told I would get a call back by 12:30. No call. I called at 2, and a woman told me that there were no cribs available and there hadn't been all week. We went to Wal-Mart and bought one. Later that day, while we were briefly out for the 6pm sabering, a crib appeared in our room. No note, no call. Bizarre. I shared this story at check-out, and to their credit, they had a manager call me on my cell, apologize, and take $300 off our bill.

-The people here are something else. The guests, I mean. So uppity. Some of them are just so downright nasty to the staff it's sickening. Way worse than all our other visits here. Maybe some of them are that way because they're paying the $1200+ a night and think they are entitled to act that way. But many are probably paying points and just looking for targets to vent their angst.

-The birds at breakfast are totally whack. The hotel knows and even got a bunch of cute cats, but the cats just act cute rather than menacingly attacking the birds like everyone wishes they would. If you avert your eyes from your croissant for 3 seconds, a bird will eat it, even if someone is sitting at the table.

Neutral:
-Sabering is back, 6pm daily, but it's prosecco now, no more Veuve.
-The sculptures have been replaced with some weird new age-y stuff that I don't particularly care for.
-The men's hot tub in the spa area was broken. I was given a $65 discount on my massage for the inconvenience. The main hot tub by the pool was still working, as was the woman's spa hot tub.

All in all, will gladly return again... if my points advance reservation doesn't get destroyed by dynamic pricing in the next 8-10 months....


New sculptures:


New cats:



Engraved saber... but Mionetto prosecco...

No changes here.
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Old Feb 7, 22, 11:06 pm
  #538  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 41
Any experience with how strict the hotel is about occupancy per room type? We have 4 young kids (under 10) and wondering if they will have an issue with us booking a 1 bedroom suite?
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Old Feb 13, 22, 8:55 pm
  #539  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy View Post
Just had a 5-night stay.
Great review, thanks for sharing! Did you need a reservation at the St. Regis Bar just to sit and have a drink at a table?
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Old Feb 14, 22, 2:35 pm
  #540  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Originally Posted by svo242 View Post
Great review, thanks for sharing! Did you need a reservation at the St. Regis Bar just to sit and have a drink at a table?
Depends on the night... I mean, no, they aren't strictly necessary ever, but on a busy Friday or Saturday you might find that the place is full and you might not want to wait an hour for a table. We made a reservation for Friday night (and it wasn't needed at the time when we showed up). We didn't make a reservation for Saturday and there happened to be one table open but then I don't think anything else opened between when we sat down and when we left. There aren't that many tables considering the 139 rooms plus the condos plus not much nightlife unless you want to drive a fair way... at the very least, I would text the butler # same-day and ask to reserve at table at whatever time.
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