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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 Mar 9, 11, 7:56 pm
  #76  
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I had a bit of a tough time (maybe more than a bit) when I stayed at this property in December 2010. More than one of their buildings were offline due to hvac and electrical issues which, as I reported earlier, caused a fair bit of chaos for the rooms division.

Beyond the rooms challenges, many aspects of the property were excellent and some of the more detailed trip reports in this thread were very consistent with my findings.

Two notable differences: the beach won't be for everyone. It's big. It's private. That much is good. It is a bit rough. The sand is a dark brown, and has a bit of a dirt-like consistency. The water is Asiatic green, not the blue/clear water found in some parts of the Caribbean. When we were there, there were pieces of lumber floating in the water over several days - many with rusty nails. I presume this was an anomaly while we were there - but you couldnt be certain your kids wouldn't get hit by one so we didn't go in.

The pool is not heated. The water temp was high 70s to maybe low 80s. While we were in every day (used to swimming in long island sound), considering how many kids were at the property, there we surprisingly few in the pool. There is a hot tub, but it is meant for 8 to 12 people, and obviously isn't for swimming. It was very full pretty much every day - mainly with kids lamenting that the main pool was too cold and their parents wouldn't let them go in the ocean.

These are the facts. As to whether it's a good beach or not, that's in the eye of the beholder. The pool situation is one you need to understand when considering a trip, too - as quite a few people at the property expressed frustration with the pool temp. I was there in December. Visitors in the summer probably won't have any issue with the pool temp.

I am pleased to say that management took my during-the-stay, and after-the-stay, comments very seriously and i have had a bit of a dialogue with them since my stay. My family has decided that there were so many good facts about is property that we are going to give it another try. With a bit more refinement, this has the potential to be one of the top resorts in the Caribbean.
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Old Apr 5, 11, 3:16 pm
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by JBauer View Post
been looking to book this for xmas week or new year's next year. now, i understand if it is already sold out. but the whole month of dec and jan are unavailable? i called the amazing Plat conc and they said, yup, sold out. i dont really believe them and wanted them to call the property, but they said no, sold out. rates would be loaded by now...i guess the next step is to call my self, but im in europe, so not so easy...
Rates and availability has been updated for Jan to May
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Old Apr 27, 11, 6:07 pm
  #78  
 
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Thumbs down How bout that Platinum resort charge waiver??

Slammed SHUT by St. Regis on resort charge option!!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Flag this messageRE: Question Re St. RegisWednesday, April 27, 2011 6:33 PMFrom: "XXXXXX, XXXXX" <[email protected]>Add sender to ContactsTo: "XXXXXXX XXXX" <[email protected]>Cc: "XXXX" <[email protected]>, "00AUS, Guest Forum" <[email protected]>Hello Mr. XXXXX,



I hope you and your family are doing well. We are enjoying the warm weather…visit anytime J


Our Remede Spa is actually just for guests using the spa. Sorry to advise. However, we do have other expanded locker rooms, showers, but no whirlpool or sauna at the Golf Club House. All of our guests have access to those facilities.



I hope that this information has helped. Please let me know if you would like our Concierge Team to also reach out to you in advance for any other need you might have!



Warmest Regards



XXXXX XXXXXXX




THE ST. REGIS XXXXXXXXX





From: XXXXXXXXXXXX:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 1:18 PM
To: XXXXXXX, XXXXX
Cc: XXXXXXXXXXX; XXXXXXX; 00AUS, Guest Forum
Subject: Question Re St. Regis



Hello Mr. XXXXXX,



My wife and I were fortunate to visit your outstanding St. Regis XXXXXX hotel last December. I inquired about the $60.00 resort charge, in that I saw that Starwood would give their SPG Platinum members some additional benefit with this. We received no benefit during that stay, but we are heading back down in DEC 2011. I thought about a possibility and wanted to inquire about it. We have been to the Westin out in Maui, and they allow Platinums to use the facilities in their spa area--that is, the whirlpool, sauna, etc. No services of course, just the facilities. I saw that the St. Regis had similar facilities (i.e. sauna, cold plunge pool, etc) in its spa area. Would it be acceptable, as a Starwood Platinum, to use these facilities as the additional benefit of the $60.00/day resort charge? I look forward to your response. Thank you.



Respectfully,



XXXXXXXXXX
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Old May 19, 11, 11:05 am
  #79  
 
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Just booked 3 nights over Memorial Weekend. Very excited!

What's the best way to get there from the airport? I would like town car if it's not prohibitively expensive. Any recommendations?

I would like to do just a few things outside the property: Bio Bay, rainforest, outside local restaurant (any other "must see"s?). Is taxi sufficient or am I better off renting a car? Figure I would like to venture out once a day.

Are the nearby casinos decent? Even though I'm more of a nightlife person and this trip is suppose to be relaxing, I wouldn't mind checking out the casinos. Again, are taxis fine?
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Old May 19, 11, 3:07 pm
  #80  
 
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Originally Posted by atlocal View Post
Just booked 3 nights over Memorial Weekend. Very excited!

What's the best way to get there from the airport? I would like town car if it's not prohibitively expensive. Any recommendations?

I would like to do just a few things outside the property: Bio Bay, rainforest, outside local restaurant (any other "must see"s?). Is taxi sufficient or am I better off renting a car? Figure I would like to venture out once a day.

Are the nearby casinos decent? Even though I'm more of a nightlife person and this trip is suppose to be relaxing, I wouldn't mind checking out the casinos. Again, are taxis fine?

From several trips to PR, taxis are fine. Some seemed expensive, they don't seem to barter. I always enjoyed going to the casinos in San Juan and playing blackjack.

If you read the reports in this thread, they should answer questions about car rental. I am going for 5 nights in August (free resort nights) and got a 1-week SUV rental from Hertz for $110 including taxes with AAA discount. YMMV. Parking will be another $110 ($22/night at the St. Regis) but worth it to me for the flexibility.
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Old Jun 7, 11, 7:18 am
  #81  
 
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is the resort fee per room or per person?

are the bicycles and kyaks included?

do they give frozen grapes. ice cream, fruit at the pool like the waldorf astoria does in key west ?( they also have a resort fee)

how is the weather in december in puerto rico?
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Old Jun 7, 11, 8:21 am
  #82  
 
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Originally Posted by pointsjunkie53 View Post
is the resort fee per room or per person?

are the bicycles and kyaks included?

do they give frozen grapes. ice cream, fruit at the pool like the waldorf astoria does in key west ?( they also have a resort fee)

how is the weather in december in puerto rico?
- Resort fee is per room

- bicycles and kayaks included in the resort fee

- I don't remember exactly, but I think it might have given out samples of flavored iced teas on their menu

- I went in March, but Dec is nice as well. Probably mid-80s.
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Old Jun 7, 11, 2:07 pm
  #83  
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Originally Posted by pointsjunkie53 View Post
how is the weather in december in puerto rico?
If you want to stay there in December, I would book yesterday. Reports are that large stretches of time are sold out already.

And, the weather in the Caribbean in December is exactly as you probably imagine. Very, very, very nice.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 10:20 pm
  #84  
 
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We were there for 5 nights at the end of April - loved the fact that even though the resort was 99% full, I could still book the 4/5 nights points deal....even booked a second room and the in-laws joined us....I think every room was full the first two nights (Easter weekend) - just love the SPG program as we only booked three weeks in advance.

I won't revisit a lot of the details because they were covered well above but will make a couple observations.

--our room was in a building on the golf course but fairly close to the main house - I realized that there are some rooms on the water side that could end up being quite a walk to the pool/main house - I would not want to stay in the last building and have what seemed to be a very long walk or constantly be taking/waiting for shuttles...not sure if they can guarantee which building they will put you in but I will be very specific next time...in fact I think I would rather stay closer on the golf course side than far away on the water side....

--went with our 6yr old - no issues for kids even at Fern and staff was nice (though we have always taken him to nice restaurants) - we wen tby the kids club and were pretty impressed - he seemed to like it but we never used it because we were always doing something (even though he is 6, he and I played three rounds of golf and between that and tennis/pool/beach there wasn't time) - for the holiday weekend they had a lot of kids events and activities which seemed quite nice and family friendly... With only one kid, he usually stays in our room so glad about the size and setup of our room and the nice high end blowup bed that they brought in for him, all of which worked well.

--golf course - didn't see much in the way of comments above so I will provide some thoughts - I brought clubs in a hard case and the minute we pulled up to check in they swept away the clubs and brought them to the golf course (also packed them up for check out so well handled) - we played after 2pm so reduced rate - I think it was around $120 for me and, get this, FREE for my son ( was told there is no charge for twilight rates for under 12 - hence the reason we played three rounds) - course was completely empty and they were very nice and let us go off whenever we were ready even if early and before the time the price dropped - excellent GPS in cart that was really helpful in getting to know the course - excellent driving range with unlimited free balls even on days when you aren't playing - the course itself was very good to perhaps excellent and in good to very good shape - layout was interesting and potentially challenging but also good to know that there are 5 sets of tees so difficulty can vary - since I was playing with my son we played from the front men's tees but it was still quite fun for me with good variety of hole lengths and position shots - as much as I liked shooting in the mid-to-high 70s, next time I will play from the longer tees which puts a lot more trouble into play and makes some par 4s quite long and par 5s not as reachable - only three holes are on the water which is a bit disappointing but the course is pretty enough - holes on the water are a matter of feet off the beach - overall, I very much liked the course and even more so liked the pricing and feeling like it was our own private club - on a relative basis I like the FS course in Punta Mita more as a course and more from a beauty perspective - the two courses on Lanai are also a good step up from this on both sheer quality and beauty - however, I very much enjoyed it and would bring my clubs back in a heartbeat (regarding kids, they sounded a bit skeptical when I called and made the reservation for me and my 6 yr old but when I said he had his own clubs and realized we were serious they were as nice as can be)

--dining - I am pretty picky when it comes to food and wine (happens to be a passion) - as a result I brought 7 bottles of wine with me and was very glad to see the large, mostly empty fridge when we arrived (always travel with wine so maybe it seems strange to others who aren't wine obsessed...I love to drink well, particularly on vacation, but while I can afford to bring and drink the $100-$300 bottles of wine that I brought, I cannot afford to drink what I love at resort type markups) - glad I did as while the wine lists aren't bad (perhaps not up to what I would expect from a top resort and high end NYC based chef), the prices were very high (3-4x) and the wines much too young and not particularly interesting for me even if they priced them at regular retail...they were fine with corkage (charged $35 in the restaurant but free when we had room service or sat on the veranda pre-dinner looking out at the water for a nice bottle of Champagne so not bad) - Fern was quite nice with a good range of satisfying choices and while expensive, we thought it was priced right relative to high end resorts and the quality was generally there across our three dinners to make it satisfying - while not breaking new culinary ground, we thought the menu had a nice combination of complexity/interest and simplicity - while I went for the more interesting, my wife really liked the simple options- great idea for a resort that wants to blend the creativity of Jean George and the need to please a lot of "captive" guests - food at the pool area was just fine - perhaps could have been a bit better but just happy that the food wasn't even more expensive when served poolside or on the beach - loved the covered tables out on the beach for lunch - service was perhaps slow overall but not problematic - golf course restaurant was just ok for dinner though a wonderful setting to sit outside there - breakfast was very nice at Fern.

-Ralphs - worth stopping by this supermarket for drinks/snacks/beer and stocking the large in-room fridge - essential with kids

-tennis - very nice tennis courts at no extra charge (included in resort fee) and will provide rackets and balls - hot so we played only a little

-pool - really good size and tiered design provides excellent separation so it doesn't feel busy, though when the hotel is full the pool chairs got reserved very, very early and it was very busy even though in the pool itself it didn't feel that way - son loved going around the tiers and up/down in circles...I realized that going when the hotel in at 100% is not ideal

-we rented a car thinking we might go off resort but in the future I would use one of their car options and then maybe rent a car for a day or two instead - between the cost of renting a large enough vehicle for 5 people and bags and golf clubs and paying $22 per day for parking it would have been cheaper

--two nits/negatives to mention if they even rise to that level - delayed servicing of the room, particularly when the hotel was full...got back from dinner the first night around 9pm or so and room hadn't been turned down yet (showed up at 9:30pm after my son had already fallen asleep). First day the room wasn't serviced until mid afternoon which was a pain in the neck as we stopped back to change/rest after lunch...I stopped by the front office and made timing requests which were met for the most part for the rest of the stay. Second issue was more of a design problem in the bathroom...horrible light at the bathroom sinks - bright ceiling light which lit up the sink bowl but with the result that no light hit shed the face when you step up to the sink - had to shave by feel and can imagine that my wife was quite frustrated....more funny in a way that they design a wonderful bathroom and nobody bothered to test the positions of the lighting to see whether they worked for actual use as opposed to how everything merely looked. Also, as I guess is always the case in 99% of hotels the lighting in the room was generally insufficient (pet peeve of mine).

Overall, we were quite impressed (loved the rooms even without a Gold upgrade) and plan to go back within 12 months...not sure it is worth $1000 per night for a regular room (the rate when we were there) and there were some stumbles in service and amenities but if it isn't one of the best uses of SPG points at 80,000 for 5 nights, I don't know what is. As a point of reference, I went to the FS in Punta Mita twice within their first 9 months (before much of the expansion and no homes yet) and I was a bit more impressed with that resort overall from beauty to service to food at that time - though these rooms are bigger.

I would definitely recommend this property and it fit all of our family travel criteria - easy direct flight so not a long day of travel, nice/big rooms, beautiful setting, golf/tennis/great pool and beach and good to very good food.

Last edited by Family Traveler; Jun 14, 11 at 11:56 pm
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Old Jun 15, 11, 12:08 am
  #85  
 
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Originally Posted by Family Traveler View Post
Fern was quite nice with a good range of satisfying choices and while expensive, we thought it was priced right relative to high end resorts and the quality was generally there across our three dinners to make it satisfying
Thank you for the fantastic report, Family Traveler, and welcome to FT!

Question - did you try the tasting menu at Fern? Was there anything that was outstanding? I looked at the menu online earlier, and the prices do not seem exorbitant for a resort.

We're heading here for our honeymoon the first week of August. We're about to move to Washington DC, so wanting to go somewhere not too far, on the beach, hot, and hopefully not too crowded. We're also using 5 free resort nights.

I got a nice email a few hours ago, unsolicited, with a "Preferred Request" form, a spa menu, and a chauffeur menu. I plan to fill out the request form, submit it, and then call to follow up.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 6:41 am
  #86  
 
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy View Post
Thank you for the fantastic report, Family Traveler, and welcome to FT!

Question - did you try the tasting menu at Fern? Was there anything that was outstanding? I looked at the menu online earlier, and the prices do not seem exorbitant for a resort.

We're heading here for our honeymoon the first week of August. We're about to move to Washington DC, so wanting to go somewhere not too far, on the beach, hot, and hopefully not too crowded. We're also using 5 free resort nights.

I got a nice email a few hours ago, unsolicited, with a "Preferred Request" form, a spa menu, and a chauffeur menu. I plan to fill out the request form, submit it, and then call to follow up.
My wife and I did have the tasting menu one of the nights while my in-laws were watching our son....thought it was a very good value actually and well executed overall...I recall the English pea soup (had it all three times) and one other dish as being in the outstanding category (don't recall it specifically) and the other courses as being very good....good amount of food (a bit too mich for my wife so I was "forced" to finish some of her courses.

We started the evening by sitting outside downstairs...looking out over the lawn to the ocean at sunset, with a bottle of Champagne...very romantic and relaxing....we didn't since we knew we were going to do the tasting menu, but you can order appetizers down there (actually you can order the whole meal if you want to down there or on the beach or wherever else you want to).

Hope you have a great time!
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Old Jun 15, 11, 8:35 am
  #87  
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Welcome to FlyerTalk, Family Traveler and thank you for the report.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 11:02 am
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Family Traveler View Post
I brought 7 bottles of wine with me
Excellent report. Not related to SPG, but could you comment on how you travel with so many bottles of wine? I assume due to TSA you have to check the bottles. How do you pack them, etc.?

Thanks.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by l'etoile View Post
Welcome to FlyerTalk, Family Traveler and thank you for the report.
Thanks!!

I cannot believe the speed at which these boards move, but it has been fun and I have been learning a lot...and hope to contribute where I can.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 12:02 pm
  #90  
 
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Originally Posted by JFKSFOLAX_friend View Post
Excellent report. Not related to SPG, but could you comment on how you travel with so many bottles of wine? I assume due to TSA you have to check the bottles. How do you pack them, etc.?

Thanks.
Happy to comment....two important considerations - protecting the wine from getting too hot in transit and keeping the bottles safe from breakage.

--Breakage - some people wrap bottles in clothes in their suitcase but I would STRONGLY advise against it so you either need a separate box/container to check the bottles in or something sufficiently enclosed/padded that goes inside your suitcase. I use the following (here are two links which I hope work) and they are built to last for many, many years:

http://www.travelonbags.com/pages/XXXXX/4000/4018.html

http://www.overstock.com/Luggage-Bag...6/product.html

I happen to really like these as they not only are padded but also have very thick ziplock bags (triple sealed) to prevent leaking - another big plus is that they are pretty nice as wine bags to bring to a restaurant or someone's house (I don't use the strap but the handles are good and the bag looks nice) and so use isn't limited to travel - obviously you have to already be checking luggage and they are quite big once filled so to bring more than one you need a couple suitcases or a large one - I brought three (with 7 bottles on our trip - added over 30lbs to our luggage) - be careful about the weight as bottles + bags add up quickly toward the 50lbs limit - we were checking two suitcases for the family and I managed to get both to about 48lbs. I could have used a shipper box but figured between the fees for the extra checked bag and the greater likelihood of it getting damaged/stolen as a separate box, it worked well. In case it is hard to tell from the pics, you first put each bottle into its own ziplock bag, then into its own inner padded pouch and then two inner pouches into the one outer larger bag.

However, if your suitcaes isn't large enough or you want to take more bottles than say 2-6, you can use a regular styrofoam wine shipper box (can get them at wine stores) which are used by stores/wineries to ship across the country - I have never had trouble using styro-shippers but I have heard stories about issues after rough baggage handling. Though, for better protection you can buy a hard case (like people use for medical equipment, camera equipment, etc. - http://www.winecruzer.com/ Have to watch the 50lbs weight limit as 9-10 bottles plus container/box can get you close depending on how heavy the bottles are.

--Heat, particularly when going to hot regions can be disaster for wine, so however you transport it, I recommend cooling it in the fridge before hand (even if you keep it in a cool basement or cellar) to buy you some extra time - I chilled my wine before hand and after 7hrs of traveling between house and hotel room, it still felt cool to the touch even though it was pretty hot in PR

Some airlines can give you a bit of trouble and require that the bottles are adequately protected and whatever they are in is surrounded by plastic (so if they break your bag won't leak and damage other baggage next to it) - so if I am using a shipper box, I'll often put the styro insert inside of a large garbage bag. However, in all the trips with wine I've taken, I've never had issues with the airlines or TSA whether using styro boxes or these travel bags inside my luggage (though you will want to tape the boxes very, very well as they do get banged around).....though I certainly hope we can return to the days of being able to carry bottles on the plane....

Last edited by Family Traveler; Jun 15, 11 at 12:32 pm
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