Quick Q Re: The Gran Melia Golf Resort in PR

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Feb 15th, 2011, 10:35 AM
  #21
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Ok Tom, I've traveled extensively throughout the Carib (and Europe and Asia) so I'm not the newbe you seem to think I am. Set forth below, the responses to your statements:

a plastic bracelet? oh the horror. [YES, THAT WAS INCREDIBLY STUPID -- DO PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW WHICH "CLASS" OF SERVICE I'VE BOOKED? NO, I DON'T THINK SO.]

So the negatives are:

Beach is "terrible." It would be helpful to know why you think it was terrible. Big waves but you like gentle currents? Brown sand but you like white? Too rocky? [WELL, TOM, THE BEACH WAS NON-EXISTENT. HOW ABOUT THAT? PERHAPS THE WIDTH OF MY DESK HERE AT WORK, I WOULD HAVE ASSUMED THE BEACH TO BE LARGER THAN THAT, ACCORDING TO PICS.]

"Excruciatingly" slow check in process - how long did it take you to check in? [IT TOOK CLOSE TO AN HOUR TO CHECK IN. BIT MUCH, NO?]

Loud DJ - okay, that would be a negative for some, a positive for others [SO LOUD THAT YOU COULDN'T HEAR ANYTHING IN THE GENERAL VICINITY OF THE LOBBY? SO LOUD THAT MANY/MOST WERE COMPLAINING AS THEY TRIED TO ESCAPE THE AREA? SO LOUD THAT THE REVERBERATIONS COULD BE FELT AT QUITE A DISTANCE? I'M RATHER YOUNG AND LIKE TO DANCE AND ENJOY MYSELF BUT THAT WAS HORRIBLE.]

Plastic cups at the bar - I wouldn't like that either

Mold/musty smell - this is the tropics. it is quite difficult to get rid of the smell completely. [AS I MENTIONED, I'VE BEEN ALL OVER THE CARIB AND SPEND TWO WEEKS PER YEAR, EVERY YEAR IN ST. JOHN. THE SMELL WAS PUTRID AND OVERWHELMING IN THIS HOTEL, UNLIKE ANYTHING I'VE EXPERIENCED ELSEWHERE.]

Location is not good. The fact that it is an isolated resort shouldn't come as a surprise if any research was done. [RESEARCH WAS CERTAINLY CONDUCTED, TOM. ONE THING IS SECLUDED AND NICE - WHAT WE EXPECTED, ANOTHER IS BADLY LOCATED AND UNCOMFORTABLE - WHAT WE EXPERIENCED.]

Hope that clarifies things.
michelleNYC is offline  
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Feb 15th, 2011, 12:30 PM
  #22
 
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Thanks for your review Michelle. The mixed reviews on the Gran Melia continue! Can you tell me what type of room you had? Were you able to use the adult pool? Frankly, we are not sure what to do because every other place that is an option gets really mixed reviews as well and the rooms are even less special at the Wyndham -- at least at the GM we have the oceanfront junior suite with the jacuzzi on the balcony. It's three days at the Gran Melia and then we are going on a Silversea cruise so expect to get our share of good service, luxury, beaches and good food on the cruise. My husband wants to play golf while at the Gran Melia, we know about the beach, have rented a car so we can eat elsewhere and have booked the highest room and service category available which gets mostly good reviews. But we haven't gotten a really cheap price, don't really care about that if we have an okay experience. Yes wristbands are kind of silly but that doesn't bother me that much. Really just want to relax at the adult pool, enjoy the jacuzzi on our balcony and have some decent meals off site. Any thoughts?
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Feb 15th, 2011, 12:40 PM
  #23
 
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michellenyc - I didn't assume you were a newbe. Your clarifications are much more helpful to someone reading your review than your original post. Not sure if all caps were necessary but I guess you just wanted to emphasis your points. And I am not (just) being snarky. A "terrible" beach to one person might be a perfectly fine beach to another, depending on the reasons why you think it is "terrible." A 15 minute wait at check-in might be "excrutiatingly" slow to one person but okay for another.
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Feb 15th, 2011, 01:59 PM
  #24
 
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allisonjames,

Do any of the hotels in San Juan offer golf on site or at sister properties? If so, I'd stay at one of those in Isla Verde or Old San Juan, and skip these two hotels which have both apparently seen better days. Just a FYI- while the Wyndham may have worse rooms, I think it's facilities and beach are nicer than at Gran Melia. Since you will hopefully have good weather during your visit, the beach and physical property of the hotel may be more important than room amenities?
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Feb 15th, 2011, 03:22 PM
  #25
 
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Hi, thanks Weadles. The problem is that non of the SJ hotels have golf on site or nearby -- you basically have to go to Dorado (where we have been many times, we actually own a timeshare there, but there aren't any good hotels since the Hyatt Dorado closed down, they are currently building a Ritz, I believe) or the Rio Grande area where Gran Melia, Wyndham, El Conquistador and new St. Regis are located. It's been a real conundrum. What I really want to do is go to Vieques and stay at the W but there's no golf there. And originally wanted St. Regis but price is just exorbitant. And we've been to SJ so many times we just wanted something different. If there was a smaller beachfront Inn somewhere in the region we would consider that but most seem to be located off the beach.
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Feb 16th, 2011, 09:41 AM
  #26
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How about the Horned Dorset in Rincon? I believe it's a Relais & Chateaux.
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Feb 16th, 2011, 02:25 PM
  #27
 
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Yes, that's a great suggestion but it is very far from SJ where our cruise leaves from so we didn't really want to travel that far. According to Wyndham's website hotel is sold out for our dates so don't need to make that decision. Thinking about perhaps changing to El Conquistador even though the beach is a boat ride away. Worried it will be hard to avoid kids there though as there is a water park.
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Feb 16th, 2011, 04:32 PM
  #28
 
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How about the Holiday Inn Express in San Juan? We've stayed here a couple of times for one night on the way to Vieques. It's relatively cheap and popular with cruisers. Not beach front but across the street from the beach where the La Concha Marriott is. Easy access to OSJ.

Eat lunch at the Marriott and I think you can use their pool (check if they allow this or if you need a day pass). There's also a small pool at the Holiday Inn.

I just read your earlier post and it seems beach isn't high priority but avoiding kids is ... so I'd suggest staying in OSJ at El Convento.
http://www.elconvento.com/
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Feb 16th, 2011, 04:40 PM
  #29
 
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michelle, thanks for your review.

Sounds like a hotel to be avoided!
I did wonder what you meant by terrible beach, etc so even though Tom's post was perhaps not the best way to ask about clarification it achieved the aim.
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Feb 17th, 2011, 06:12 AM
  #30
 
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sassy_cat - looking back, I agree that my post was a little more confrontational than it needed to be. I just get frustrated when people describe things in terms that don't provide any utility for other posters.

Regarding El Convento, that is a pretty cool hotel and seems perfect for a short stay in San Juan pre-cruise if beach isn't important. But I think allison wants to be able to golf.
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Feb 17th, 2011, 07:02 AM
  #31
 
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hi tom,

Yes, I was ignoring the golf issue LOL. I guess it will have to be a trade off for allison but I'd prefer to stay somewhere I really liked and get DH to travel for golf
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Feb 17th, 2011, 07:12 AM
  #32
 
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Everyone is so kind to be concerned for us! Honestly, if this part of the trip was our entire vacation I would change resorts but it's only a short pre-cruise stay that gets my husband access to all the great golf in the area and me some much-needed sunshine! And I continue to be mystified by the mixed reviews (right before Michelle's on tripadvisor there was a glowing one) so kind of interested to check it out for myself. Figure if it's so awful we could always change hotels. So I think we are going to stay the course, so watch for my comments when I return. We hope that whatever negatives we experience at the Gran Melia will be undone by the "luxury" of our Silversea cruise!
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Feb 17th, 2011, 08:09 AM
  #33
 
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Allison - looking forward to hearing about your experience. I am headed to Puerto Rico on Monday - staying at El San Juan, where I've stayed many times. It also gets very mixed reviews, as do most hotels in Puerto Rico it seems.
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