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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 Aug 31, 22, 11:25 am
  #556  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC / TYO / Up in the Air
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Originally Posted by nologic View Post
Actually, I take it all back…mixed things up w another property.

Here’s a number to the concierge, but you have probably tried them:

+1 (939) 274-0227
Bummer -- hope the tennis experience is as good as yours was at the other property!
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Old Aug 31, 22, 11:31 am
  #557  
 
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Originally Posted by bmwe92fan;[url=tel:34561074
34561074[/url]]Bummer -- hope the tennis experience is as good as yours was at the other property!
That was at Cap Jaluca. We went from there to Bahia Beach. We didn’t play tennis at Bahia.

The GM was [email protected]. Maybe he can help you.
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Old Aug 31, 22, 1:22 pm
  #558  
 
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Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
Bummer -- hope the tennis experience is as good as yours was at the other property!
Wife and I have played tennis there. The tennis courts are by the entrance to the compound off the main road, a long walk from the hotel (you can of course get a buggy ride if you don't want to walk). Keep in mind they serve not only the hotel but also the condos, etc. There is a pro shop with a gym there by the tennis courts (separate from the hotel gym). They definitely had free rackets, but we definitely paid for balls. We ended up buying more from Walgreens at some point for cheaper, but the price difference wasn't huge (we had to go to Walgreens anyhow). Courts were fine. You should reserve your times in advance. I agree there is very little demand for tennis (it is often excruciatingly humid on the island, particularly this time of year... not too bad hiking El Yunque where it's cooler, but even at 8am it was too much for us to play more than one hour of tennis). But when we have played, there have been others playing too (more so from the condo side, I believe).

As for expecting the staff to know more about it, well... all I can say is you are likely going to experience similar communication in all kinds of contexts. It's Puerto Rico. You're not going to get Aman-level service anywhere. But you'll get warm, friendly service with a top notch hard product. Hope you have a great time, it remains one of our favorite properties anywhere.
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Old Aug 31, 22, 1:26 pm
  #559  
 
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy View Post
Wife and I have played tennis there. The tennis courts are by the entrance to the compound off the main road, a long walk from the hotel (you can of course get a buggy ride if you don't want to walk). Keep in mind they serve not only the hotel but also the condos, etc. There is a pro shop with a gym there by the tennis courts (separate from the hotel gym). They definitely had free rackets, but we definitely paid for balls. We ended up buying more from Walgreens at some point for cheaper, but the price difference wasn't huge (we had to go to Walgreens anyhow). Courts were fine. You should reserve your times in advance. I agree there is very little demand for tennis (it is often excruciatingly humid on the island, particularly this time of year... not too bad hiking El Yunque where it's cooler, but even at 8am it was too much for us to play more than one hour of tennis). But when we have played, there have been others playing too (more so from the condo side, I believe).

As for expecting the staff to know more about it, well... all I can say is you are likely going to experience similar communication in all kinds of contexts. It's Puerto Rico. You're not going to get Aman-level service anywhere. But you'll get warm, friendly service with a top notch hard product. Hope you have a great time, it remains one of our favorite properties anywhere.
Thanks for the detailed information -- do you know if they have ball machines / carts? Mmy wife and I both enjoy drilling each other and it's much easier if you aren't picking up balls all the time! We are very familiar with the humidity levels there -- but they are nothing compared to Tokyo when we play (my wife is Japanese and we live in NYC / Tokyo) - so we are prepared for that I hope! We will be bringing boxes of the Gatorade zero powder to replenish!
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Old Sep 1, 22, 1:28 am
  #560  
 
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Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
Thanks for the detailed information -- do you know if they have ball machines / carts? Mmy wife and I both enjoy drilling each other and it's much easier if you aren't picking up balls all the time! We are very familiar with the humidity levels there -- but they are nothing compared to Tokyo when we play (my wife is Japanese and we live in NYC / Tokyo) - so we are prepared for that I hope! We will be bringing boxes of the Gatorade zero powder to replenish!
I can't opine on whether there's a ball machine but I have seen at least one cart and one hopper -- though no idea whether those were from the Bahia Beach compound or from a local or a guest.
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Old Sep 1, 22, 11:28 am
  #561  
 
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Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
Urgent request -- My wife and I booked our anniversary weekend (this coming weekend - September 3-6)
Can you post a review a onsite dinning or any off resort recs after your stay. Thanks!
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Old Sep 1, 22, 11:57 am
  #562  
 
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Originally Posted by Ken C View Post
Can you post a review a onsite dinning or any off resort recs after your stay. Thanks!
Will do!
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Old Sep 1, 22, 11:59 am
  #563  
 
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy View Post
I can't opine on whether there's a ball machine but I have seen at least one cart and one hopper -- though no idea whether those were from the Bahia Beach compound or from a local or a guest.
I used the chat feature and got totally different information from the butler than I did from the wellness center -- so we will just bring our own equipment...
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Old Sep 4, 22, 6:33 pm
  #564  
 
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We are wrapping up our brief but memorable stay for our anniversary at this property and wanted to provide the review I promised. We had a great time and we are really enjoying our time here. We reserved a St. Regis Oceanfront Suite and planned to stay for three nights as my wife needs to return to our place in Tokyo (glad I’m not going this time summer is horrific there)… Sorry for the longer review -- took many pictures and wanted to share throughout the post not just at the end...

Pre-Arrival

We were contacted about 5 days in advance by our butler and arranged for their hotel meet and greet roundtrip airport package – about $315 for round trip transfers. Yes it’s more than Uber / taxis but we were glad we did it as there were literally no Taxis / Ubers when we arrived at noon – which was quite odd – and the lines were long waiting for taxis…. As others point out -- getting an Uber way out at Bahia beach to go to SJU seems nearly impossible – and if the hotel arranges a taxi for you it is cash only (and FYI the resort doesn't accept cash)...

Resort Arrival

We arrived at the resort after about a 30 minute drive in an enormous Lincoln Navigator – great driver and plenty of water. Upon arrival we were welcomed by name and seated for check-in with a great drink – unfortunately our room was not ready so we headed off to Seagrapes for lunch – and since our room was not ready by 2pm it was off to the tennis center to work up a sweat. We were allowed to change in the Spa and then driven directly to the tennis center.

Note that the $99 per day includes wifi and use of the resort amenities, the spa, fitness centers and resort equipment like kayaks. This resort is LGBTQ friendly and it is important to know that the resort has limited facilities for the disabled. There are no elevators that I am aware of and the majority of the buildings require quite a walk – and there are only stairs to the second levels AFAIK. There are plenty of main floor units however that can accommodate the disabled – I would definitely recommend you call the property if you have special needs so that there are no disappointments when you arrive.

After a few hours in the sun playing tennis – and plenty of sweat – we headed back to the hotel. Although the property has a 4pm check-in – and it was well after 4pm -- our suite was still not ready -- which made for some sticky sitting on the veranda waiting for it to be cleaned. We did enjoy two glasses of Champagne for an astounding price lol – After tax and tip and service charges it was $50 per glass! Finally after 5pm we were given or room keys and walked to our suite two buildings away…

The Rooms

The pictures you see on the website are quite accurate (ours are below). Our suite was about 1,200 square feet and very clean -- as one would expect. AC works well and room finishes were solid. The bathrooms are getting a bit tired as one would expect from all of the moisture – but definitely still up to STR standards.

Our advice if you book an ocean front room / suite like we did is to make sure you are on the second floor. “Oceanfront” is actually not what this property offers – at least not like most of us are used to – as you are about 100 yards from the ocean itself (we included a picture of the view from our first floor suite). Now – this wasn’t an issue at all to us but it is important to know that these rooms are barely ocean view – we loved the view but just wanted everyone know to manage expectations….

In room amenities are Remede – and there was always a fresh stock of free bottled water in the room. Linens / Robes are Frette (we love the Frette slippers) – while the towels are high quality (and plentiful) sourced from India - and room décor is understated and elegant – definitely island luxury with lots of sand and teal colors...

FYI -- Unfortunately – the Covid QR code craze has taken hold here (as it has most places I guess) – there are no menus, no in room maps of the resort – no nothing – you scan a code for everything – it’s ANNOYING as heck to me – but I guess I’m old. To me – at a place like this a simple menu is way more elegant – my wife doesn’t like us to bring our phones when we go out – now we have no choice!







SPA / Gym

The Spa and gym facilities are located in a nice building adjacent to the main building – the Spa has separate facilities / buildings for each type of function (i.e. nails, hair, resort clothing, massage) – and the facilities for men and women are separate. All of the facilities we used were in great shape. In addition to being a tennis nut I also value the gym facilities – and the gym here, although somewhat smaller for a resort of this size – it well equipped with modern strength and cardio equipment. There is also another fitness facility at the Wellness center that has more equipment and space – and has facilities for a variety of sports – like basketball, table tennis, and others – and a nice veranda overlooking a pond and the resort area.

Just a heads up – while this resort is obviously high end and the prices are to match – the Spa deserves special notice – my wife’s 50 minute massage was about $400 including services charges and taxes – before any extra gratuity . The actual massage itself was of course excellent and the oils were high quality – but this price is among the highest we’ve ever experienced for a less than one hour massage.

One nice note – in the Spa shop they have clothing from Nono Maldonado – who helped with the freshening of the property after the hurricane. I bought one of his linen shirts – good quality and way less than the massage!





The property

Grounds are gorgeous – very well maintained. Golf course looks immaculate – and the paths around the property really are worth a walk. The remote Wellness center is a hidden gem – they have another nice gym and of course our favorite – the tennis facility. They have two clay courts and two hard courts – and a solid teaching pro available for lessons. Courts are quite well maintained for a resort. They also hold group classes on weekend mornings. You do have to purchase your own balls but they do have racquets available – we were glad we brought ours as the freebies aren’t great quality. We did not use the resorts special water area (seems mostly for kids) but it looked well maintained and fun.







The Sabering

As most of you know this is a St. Regis tradition – at 6pm the ceremony is performed )at this property in the main building veranda overlooking the ocean) – which typically draws a lot of people to the location. To us it’s nice to learn the history – but when they only do a few bottles – everyone ends up with a literal thimble of Champagne – not worth it to us but fun to watch as they usually involve some of the guests.

The Food

As many others have pointed out – the food is where this property struggles the most. Yes you need reservations for most places – and yes it is busy and the food is not what we’re used to at a property of this caliber.

We did find some gems though – on Friday in the bar they have a “Sushi Sunset menu” – which was pretty good considering my wife is Japanese and we live in Tokyo and NYC – is it up to quality we are used to – no – but after reading all of the negative reviews here we enjoyed the Sushi. They had some Nigiri and Sushi – but most of it was Maki – rools. The spicy tuna roll was solid – as was the Sashimi salad and the "El Coqui" roll....

Seagrapes has been somewhat maligned in the reviews – but we enjoyed it and didn’t expect too much from what is really a pool / beach bar. The seared Ahi tuna tacos at made it’s way into our bellies day. The pizza was also decent as they make it in the dedicated pizza oven outdoors – our favorite was the spicy chicken – but the pepperoni was nice too.

Room service is, well, slow – and expensive. We ordered a bottle of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (interestingly – if you buy this bottle at the bar in Seagrapes it costs much less than on the room service menu) and it cost $100 delivered to our room (took a picture of the receipt lol) – which took about 90 minutes in the early evening. The poor butler that delivered it was clearly over-run -- this is an area where the resort needs a few more people – the food and service standards need improving. It was never “Bad” – but when you come to a place like this – and pay what we pay – you expect better…










The Staff

The entire team here really does go out of their way to provide great service – they could probably use a few more staff as during peak periods service is very slow – but if you get on island time it’s ok… We had great service in the bar area and really like the bartenders – who are knowledgeable and friendly. They also have some decent bar bites – which one night was fine with us! The boneless spicy chicken bites were nice (and plentiful).

Everyone we encountered – from the staff in the spa, the gyms, the wellness center and the restaurants were very friendly and addressed us by name. As mentioned many times – they just need more of them!

Overall Impression

We enjoyed our stay here a lot – not too much noise (except at the pool area in the early evening) and most people dressed up quite a bit for meals – but even those with flip shops and shorts were nicer than the average pool bar place… The St. Regis is an elegant property with amazing grounds and the location is beautiful. Service is warm – and while not efficient – it was sufficient for us. We noticed a variety of tourists here – from South America, North America, and also many local residents from the community. It was a nice blend – it didn’t feel like NYC visits Puerto Rico.

Would we return – yes we would – if prices moderate to something that reflects the quality of the experience – at an average daily price of about $2.5k for a suite you should rightly expect a lot!

PS - Sorry for the picture sizes -- doing this from my iphone!

Last edited by bmwe92fan; Sep 4, 22 at 6:48 pm
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Old Sep 7, 22, 5:29 pm
  #565  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC / TYO / Up in the Air
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One last picture -- sunrise on our day of departure -- amazing property that with a few tweaks could be back to world class easily... I tried to edit my post but for some reason certain things on FT aren't working well right now?
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