Editor’s Note: We visited the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Golf & Beach Resort in early 2020. This review is meant to share our experience so you can plan future travel when you feel safe to do so. The resort closed due to travel restrictions, but has since reopened with ample precautions for guests and staff. Its famous views and hospitality are as enticing as ever.
BACKGROUND Wyndham Grand Rio Mar is the longest running hotel name on the island showcasing its popularity over the decades with visitors.
Where Is It? Nearly 25 minutes from San Juan, this resort enjoys beachfront access, two championship golf courses and incredible views without city traffic and crowds.
What’s It Like? The staff here has an unbreakable spirit. Hurricane Maria caused damage to much of the island forcing the resort to close. During this tumultuous time, the hotel stayed open for relief workers, which was one of the many ways that management was able to support its staff. Also during that time, the resort underwent a substantial, multi-million dollar renovation that has left it gleaming with modern amenities.
Rooms The 400 guestrooms and suites sparkle with tiled floors, island-spirited artwork and colors and oversized beds with plush pillows and duvets. Refrigerators, bottled water and coffeemakers with Puerto Rican coffee beans are in all rooms. Bathrooms have enormous lighted mirrors, ample vanity space, and Institut Karité Paris toiletries. Furnished balconies overlook the manicured grounds, pools, two miles of beach, or El Yunque rainforest. Wireless Internet is speedy, which highlights the resort’s focus on balancing the needs of leisure travelers with those of corporate groups.
Restaurants and Bars With nine restaurants and bars, there are options for every taste. Palio Seafood & Steakhouse prepares elaborate meals with Caribbean flair for dinner. Roots Coastal Kitchen continues the island theme with a menu crafted in collaboration with Top Chef finalists. The farm-to-table dishes use a lot of local ingredients; the coconut curry rice is a must, in my opinion. It also has a takeaway counter with sandwiches, pizza, salads, coffee, and homemade ice cream (the oatmeal flavor was my favorite). Puerto Rican fare is the focus at Iguanas Cocina serving tasty island mofongo and chicken with rice by the golf course. Poolside servers deliver tasty sandwiches, salads, and cocktails all day long from the waterfront Tiki Hut.
Leisure Facilities Three pools are ringed with lounge chairs beneath swaying palms. It’s worth paying for one of the cabanas that come with greater privacy and refreshments. Besides the sizeable Mandara Spa and fitness center, there are numerous resort activities like rum tastings, salsa lessons, cigar rolling and nature walks. The two championship golf courses draw golfers from around the world to play, too.
Business and Meetings Facilities The property hosts conventions and incentive groups year-round. Just as important are weddings thanks to a beachfront platform and beautiful garden spaces for outdoor functions (now more popular than ever). Some groups opt for the resort’s all-inclusive plan option.
Verdict Island paradise, no passport required, is only a few hours away by plane from the East Coast. Wyndham Grand sits at the top of the Wyndham family of brands, and this resort offers something for everyone.
Ocean-facing swimming pools, high-end dining, and Puerto Rican hospitality
Trying your luck at the on-site casino.
Internet rates for a traditional room start at $199
CONTACT 6000 Rio Mar Blvd., Rio Grande, PR 00745, Phone 787-888-6000. wyndhamriomar.com