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-   -   Rio Mar Beach Resort Puerto Rico (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/rio-mar-beach-resort-puerto-rico-851191/)

Kappy Jul 23rd, 2010 06:27 PM

Rio Mar Beach Resort Puerto Rico
 
Hi
1.Has anyone stayed at the Rio Mar Beach Resort?
2.While at the resort has anyone taken advantage of any great side trips?

Thank you

Weadles Jul 23rd, 2010 06:46 PM

Yes, two times and I will not go back. The resort has gone downhill dramatically. You're probably much better off at the El Conquistador or in Old San Juan.

Jenifer Jul 25th, 2010 06:37 AM

Kappy, good luck with your vacation in Puerto Rico. I saw your post about St. Barts, too...Next time you consider St. Barts look at renting a private villa. If you get the right one, it's sooooo much cheaper than a hotel and wonderful. We even had our own pool!!

Again, have a great vacation in Puerto Rico. I look forward to hearing about it...

coqui_07 Jul 27th, 2010 11:23 AM

Not stayed at the resort but no the area.

1. It is about 45-60mins from San Juan depending on traffic
2. You might want to consider a car rental for some of your stay, so that you can get out and about
3. Places to see; El Yunque Rainforest (several well marked trails), Bio Bay (if moon phase is right) either at Fajardo or do an evening sail over to the one on Vieques
4. If you have not been before, Old San Juan is a good place to check out
5. You could head south to Ponce and check out the city
6. Guavate on a weekend is a good spot for local Puerto Rican food especially Lechon (roast pork)

More ideas and info here http://www.visit-the-coqui.com

Weadles Jul 27th, 2010 06:44 PM

If you decide to stay at the Rio Del Mar, you really should get a car. Otherwise you'll be stuck with very limited and expensive dining options at the resort, and the food, for the most part, is mediocre.

The entrance to the rainforest is just across the street from the hotel. If you decide to go on the Bio Bay tour, avoid the tours offered by the hotel, and try to book it online. I think the name of one of the companies that does this is EAST WIND TOURS.

Reasons we won't go back? Way overpriced and not very good food/ drinks, rooms that smelled like mold, and a disappointing beachfront that was littered with cigarette butts and bottle caps. Amazing what can happen in two years time, because when we first visited, the resort was in much better shape.

I'd avoid it, and either go to El Conquistador or Old San Juan, as I mentioned above.

Jimmy_Musignac Aug 1st, 2010 09:05 AM

I live in Puerto Rico, Riomar is a nice place, but I don't like the beach, not to clear. El Conquistador is 1 hour from San Juan is a very nice place, romantic, quite, with a private beach Island, one of the best in Puerto Rico. The only Con is the food that I consider expensive, but there is a lot of options out of the hotels. I am going there next week. In Puerto Rico always rent a car, you will be free, taxis are a little expensive and you can get a car for $30 a day at Hertz is reserved with anticipation.

Kappy Aug 7th, 2010 06:20 PM

Hi
Thanks for all the help. I am going with someone who has been to this hotel and liked it very much but was on business so they want to go back there on vacation and take me along.
We are planning to rent a car for a few of the days. We then plan on going to the rain forest and Bio bay. I myself am planning on doing the canopy tour ( zipline) A friend did it in Costa Rica and loved it.
I will indeed write my review when I return.

lazuliangel Sep 25th, 2010 06:51 PM

Kappy,

I'm nervous now, reading all of these responses. BFF and I LITERALLY just booked, about an hour ago, a week-long stay at the Rio Mar. We chose it because we're on a tight budget and the room/flight combo we found was discounted. We'd planned on getting a car--that was always part of the budget--but were concerned with how we'd work the food situation, since we'd read that meals were pricey in the resort. I'm wondering now if we shouldn't try to locate non-perishable food items and keep them in the room!

2bamafan Sep 28th, 2010 10:14 AM

Lazuliangel,

Last summer, I booked a 4 night trip to the Rio Mar through cheapcaribbean.com. The price was incredible (about $399/each including air from Atlanta). We really enjoyed the trip and it was certainly a good value. The trip had a few small "cons", but the positive aspects clearly outweighted the negatives. If your stay was shorter (say 3 nights), renting a car would not be necessary unless you put a priority on sight-seeing. However, you're staying a full week - and therefore - I'd rent a car for 2-3 days.

RioMar positives: (1) Best golf course on the island. If you even occasionally play golf, then you need to play this course! (2) The beach is nice. I didn't find it to be dirty as another poster indicated above. However, be warned that the beach is NOT white ... its brown. If you're expecting a sugar-white beach, go to Turks & Caicos ... certainly not here. (3) There's a couple of good restaurants close to the entrance to the property. (4) El Yunque rainforest is across the street. (5) Some activities like horseback riding are very close.

RioMar negatives: (1) The food and drinks on the property are very expensive for what you get. ADVICE: Go to a grocery store on DAY 1 if you have a rental car. Also, if you drink liquor, put it in plastic bottles and bring it from the states. Even better, buy rum from the duty-free store at the airport. (2) Again, the beach is nice but you'll never hear it mentioned in the Top 50 beaches in the world. Beach aficionados should go elsewhere. (3) The rooms and the property itself (besides the nice lobby) are worthy of 3.5 stars and are along the lines of a decent 15-20 year old Holiday Inn. (4) The hotel is somewhat isolated. If you're looking for nightlife or "activity central", this is the wrong place. (5) This is not an ideal place for a romantic vacation. Too many kids running around the pool and the beach.

On a side note, take the EAST WIND power catamaran to Culebra. Its frequently ranked as one of the TOP 10 beaches in the world. The water is crystal clear. We drove our rental car to Fajardo (about 30 minutes away) and catch the boat. Book in advance. Website is www.eastwindcats.com.

Spend a day in San Juan. Check out the forts and walk the streets of Old San Juan.

Hope you have a great trip!

lazuliangel Sep 28th, 2010 06:10 PM

2bamafan,

You've just made my day! Thank you for the helpful tips and the review, because you've assuaged my fears. Best friend was on TripAdvisor and read numerous negative things, so was happy to hear that we're going to be okay and not eaten alive by bedbugs, left with just ramen noodles and stuck for things to do! We've come to believe that many negative reports come from people expecting to see exactly what's in the brochures or on the websites, so we try to take those reports with a grain of salt.

We did read somewhere that it was possible to rent bicycles on the property. Though we are getting the car for a few days, would we be able to rent the bikes and ride out to those restaurants or even to El Yunque? We're even up for walking--we're fairly athletic, so not adverse to hiking/biking if it'll save the budget even more.

Weadles Sep 28th, 2010 06:49 PM

You don't have to eat at the hotel. There are some wonderful tiny restaurants, or "shacks" at the beach in Loquillo, where you will find everything from very good Puerto Rican food to hamburgers. Loquillo (spelling??) is about a ten minute drive down the main highway from the hotel. I'm blanking on the route number of the road, but when you come out of the entrance road to the hotel, you take a left onto the highway. Loquillo is a few miles down on the right-hand side.

2bamafan Sep 29th, 2010 05:41 AM

lazuliangel,

I don't know if bike rentals are available. However, there are several good restaurants within 3-5 miles ... so you could easily ride your bike to these places. Note that it's approx 1 mile from the main road to the hotel. Since you guys are athletic, this will be an easy walk/jog.

On a side note, be sure to hike to the waterfall when you go to El Yunque. Wear your swimsuit and jump in! This was memorable as there are not any waterfalls like this in the Southeast (where I live).

Even if you only play golf once a year, this is THE place to play golf. Great views and landscaping on the course.

I have no doubt that you'll have a good time in Puerto Rico. My wife wishes she could go back every year and we travel all over the US and the Caribbean.


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