Ritz v. Rio Mar

Old Dec 9th, 1999, 06:19 AM
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Ritz v. Rio Mar

We have reservations for the Ritz Carlton P.R. on the club level for March. My cousin told us that she could get us a preferred rate at the Westin Rio Mar.

Please give me whatever info you have as to the Ritz v. the Rio Mar. I heard that the Rio is more "kid friendly" which may be annoying since we don't have kids (yet). We originally picked the Ritz because we like Ritz-C.s and since it is near the el san juan for a dose of nightlife. Relatively, how is the beach/area/feel.

Also, has anyone stayed on a ritz club level.
Thank you.
Old Dec 9th, 1999, 08:39 AM
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The Westin Rio del Mar is a great hotel but very isolated. It will take at least 1/2 without traffic to travel to San Juan. There are 2 pools..one for adults and one busy pool with activities, slide, etc (this is where you will find the children. The restaurants were excellent .. big beach area.
Old Dec 14th, 1999, 07:28 AM
joseph cameron
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Just retuned from a nice 4-day stay at Rio Mar (Westin). This is a nice, but very expensive hotel (kids are half-rpice in the restaurants). It's isolated - unlesss you rent a car (about $37 on site - Avis) and $8 per day to park undercover. Pools are great as is the beach. Lots for kids to do. You may be wise to rent your car in San Juan and drive to Rio Mar (45-60 minutes) - otherwise it's approx. $50 RT per person to use the hotel's bus, and cabs are even more. Rio Mar doesn't tell you this beforehand - you find out when you start to board the bus at the airport. With kids, you need to plan to eat a few meals away from the hotel - unless you're on an unlimited budget.
Old Dec 14th, 1999, 10:14 AM
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I stayed at the Ritz Carlton in San Juan this past summer for four nights at the club level. I was very satisfied with my stay. The hotel itself is very nice with a great pool area, a couple of very good restaurants and a nice size casino. The stretch of beach that it's on is decent (probably not spectacular by Carribean standards).
Staying at the Club Level was great. The room itself (which was very nice - great marble bathroom) is no different than the non-Club rooms but the food presentations were excellent. There are five presentations throught the day and evening. You definitely willnot have to buy breakfast or lunch (unless you want to have a big buffet breakfast, with eggs, bacon, etc.). The breakfast presentation included fresh fruits, bagels, croissants, pastries, coffee, tea, juice (and I think cereal). After breakfast, there is a lunch presentation, followed by mid-afternoon tea, cocktail hour, and evening presentation. Everything served is cold (except on some days there was soup during the lunch presentation). Salads, cheeses and crackers, breads, nuts and more were usually served at the lunch presentation, with finger sandwiches added for the afternoon tea. The cocktail hour presentation provided wine, beer mixed drinks and a wide array of food (usually two cold meat offerings, along with many snacks). The evening presentation included the same drinks as the cocktail hour, with the addition of several liquors. Coffee, tea and chocolates were also included.
The room that contained the presentations was very nice and comfortable, with a balcony overlooking the pool and ocean. The waitstaff was friendly and helpful.
I don't know if you could tell, but I loved it.
The Ritz is also in a great location if you are looking for nightlife (but not if you are looking for seclusion and quiet). It is located in Isla Verde, which has many restaurants and bars/clubs to offer. Perhaps the best offering is the El San Juan Resort, which is within easy walking distance from the Ritz. It is definitely the place to go at night (for an upscale feel).
Word of caution - bring some nice clothes. San Juan is definitely not a shorts and t-shirt place. If you have any other questions, please feel free to e-mail me.
Old Dec 14th, 1999, 02:35 PM
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Thank you for the responses
Old Dec 16th, 1999, 06:27 PM
Joe Raphael
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Lori, the information that has been posted is right-on. Let me just add that Golf is a factor in selecting the Westin. Also it's located at the foot of the rainforest so it rains more. In Isla Verde you can go out to eat where the locals eat and save money. By the way, in Isla Verde your just 12-15 minutes from Old San Juan and the experience of that great Old City. While in San Juan checkn out the Caribe Hilton, a friend has just informed me that it's better than ever with re-modeling that he's helping with.
Old Dec 21st, 1999, 08:55 PM
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I am staying at the Ritz this coming week. If you need info, let me know. We could not afford that club level but hope to enjoy our "normal" stay
Old Dec 22nd, 1999, 10:13 AM
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I'm sure you will enjoy your "normal" stay a the Ritz. It's a great property. I'm a little jealous - Christmas at the Ritz Carlton in Puerto Rico sounds great. Have fun.

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