Hacienda del Mar trip report

Oct 26th, 2003, 05:17 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Hacienda del Mar trip report

Hi everyone! We just returned from a terrific trip to the Hacienda del Mar. The resort is fabulous, friendly and clean. We stayed in a two bedroom that was smaller than our Marriott in Hawaii, but VERY nice -- full kitchen everything you could need, including a whirlpool tub.

The beach at HDM is a lot wavier than at the Dorado so we would start the day with breakfast at Hyatt Dorado, get our beach fix and then head back for the river pool and incredible water slide. On some days we ate in the unit and headed right to the pool.

For lunch we ate at the HDM beach bar -- also good options for kids and adults alike. The Hyatt Dorado also has a good beach restaurant.

For dinner we followed Fodors advice and ate at La Ladrillo, La Brasa and Mangere. They were all three REALLY good with great options for the kids (spaghetti, hamburgers and chicken fingers.) Our favorite (and the kid's favorite) was El Ladrillo. It's beautiful, but you'll get the feel of the town at night when they buzz you in. It's tricky to get to right now due to road construction, but by Feb, maybe that will be cleared up. Also, don't miss the restaurants at both Hyatts. The Club House at Hyatt Dorado is a good bet for the first night, since it's easy to get to and has great food.

For island adventures we went to the El Camuy Caves -- really beautiful and interesting guides -- and to the Observatory. Didn't venture out much other than that because we were having so much fun at the resort. One down side is the island in general. It is quite a mix. Beautiful house and next door a house with a car up on blocks or a rusted out washer in the yard. We didn't see much point in leaving paradise. The only shopping we found was at the Hyatt Dorado, maybe if we had asked more questions early on we would have found more artisans, but we were so into the resort, we just stayed!

DO the Camp Hyatt at least for one day. It runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with great activities (miniature golf, coconut painting, pool and river pool, arts and crafts). The women who work there are wonderful and really like the kids. The girls, six and eight, loved it! They wanted to do it everyday, but hey, it was a FAMILY vacation. We used it on our last night from six to nine for a romantic dinner at Su Casa at Hyatt Dorado.

Puerto Rico was a great place to visit and the HDM a great place to stay. Fodor's was correct though when it said most people don't venture far from their resort area. We had planned to make the trip to Old San Juan, but I don't think my husband could have handled the traffic - he's a little impatient. Maybe without kids sometime . . .

All in all, we are all happy we made the trip and I think you'll enjoy it too.

Good luck!

scwrite is offline  
Oct 27th, 2003, 05:58 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks for your report, I am an owner at Hacienda Del Mar and was glad to hear you enjoyed your visit. Can you shed some light on what the resort looks like now with the Cerramar closed? Was there anything open on the main floor of the Cerramar - restaurant, bar, casino, shops or is it all closed? Is the Cerramar boarded up? Glad to hear Camp Hyatt was still open. My kids loved it last year.
eileen is offline  
Oct 27th, 2003, 07:14 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 9
Dear scwrite, thanks so much for posting the report. I have the same questions as Eileen... now that the huge hotel is closed, what is it like? I am particularly thinking about security, how are they securing that huge building? Also, what's open on the ground levels of the building? I'm glad you and your family had a great trip. Thank you again for posting this information. D.
dimagr is offline  
Oct 30th, 2003, 08:46 AM
  #4  
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The Cerromar is closed with empty rooms, but not boarded up. They have the curtains drawn. It's a pretty open hotel, so I'm not sure how they are securing it except for locking all the rooms. Hallways are still open air.

All of the paths are lit and the lights on the hotel are on at night. The casino, night club, Xen Garden, Club Hyatt and the Cerromart are all open. The health spa is also open as is the gym. The salon is closing, but will be available at Dorado Hyatt. We felt very secure walking around the resort -- even at night. The hotel lobby is still open and nice. You can even (I wouldn't) walk through the halls to the casino from HDM. It was pretty dark. The walk outside is nice anyway.

I overheard that work on turning the hotel into time shares has been scheduled for March. All of the 52 week at HDM are sold. Again, I'll be a little bummed to see that happen -- it was great to have the pool not so crowded.

Before I forget, the breakfast at Hyatt Dorado is GREAT! The kids pancakes (three huge ones) are only $2.00. It's tempting to get the buffet - but it's $18.00 and $7.00 will get you an enormous breakfast for adults. All in all the kids' food was really affordable all over PR.

Missing the warm weather!
scwrite is offline  
Oct 30th, 2003, 11:46 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks so much for this info! Great to hear HDM weeks are all sold and everything is still operating.
eileen is offline  
Nov 12th, 2003, 04:26 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Hello, I would like to keep this chain current as my trip to H del M is scheduled for February, and I would be very interested in additional input from anyone else who makes the trip there before that time. Thank you very much.
dimagr is offline  
Nov 12th, 2003, 07:37 AM
  #7  
Rob
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 575
If you have a car and want to visit Old San Juan you can do so and avoid traffic by driving to Catano and taking the ferry to OSJ. There is a parking lot at the ferry where you can park the car. You could also visit the Barcardi factory if so inclined since you drive by on the way to Catano.
Rob is offline  

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