Gran Melia Puerto Rico
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Reviews of Gran Melia Puerto Rico
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
When we visited this property last April, we were well aware of its location, proximity to San Juan and that it was not really a beach resort. Surprisingly, there were a number of guests visiting the same week who had not done their homework at all and were disappointed to find that this is not a place to visit if you seek beach and turquoise waters.
Upon checking in, we opted for the all-inclusive plan and that remains, in my opinion, one of the great bargains we have found during extensive travels. For three meals a day (Dinners exclude one of the restaurants as it was owned privately and was the worst one anyway) and all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages - the price was around $125/person per day. We were travelling with another couple and fully expected that drinks alone may have made this worthwhile.
The meals are not particularly expensive by Island standards and we have excellent meals at every stop. As we arrived later in the day, we opted NOT to start our all-inclusive until the following morning and dined at the restaurant that was not included and we were very dissatisfied with the food and particulary with the service. The breakfasts were buffet style but with omelette and waffle stations and the selection and freshness of all of the food was superb.
Lunches for us consisted of a variety of appetizers and salads around the pool and each night we visited one of the other three restaurants - all were fabulous - Italian, Asian...etc. The open bar feature of the all inclusive was very attractive and while the main pool bar did not have every name brand that one might desire, the selection was more than adequate. Further, in the evenings, the main bar in the hotel lobby far exceded my expectations in terms of their selection.
As I mentioned initially, this is not a beach resort. While it is nestled on the coast, there is little to no beach and venturing into the water is not particularly comfortable with respect to the rocks. However, the pool is just a fabulous free-form creation with built in loungers. We never had a problem finding a spot and we visited during April.
While some people on the property ventured out - dinner, rainforest...etc, we never left the place. We had done our homework and wanted a place where we could go and stay. Having visited Puerto Rico many times, I have had my share of explorations but this was to be a vacation of relaxation and it was. The main hotel lobby is a thing of beauty - open air, granite walkways and numerous places to sit and read or rest or people watch. The center of it included a large bar that was the focal point of the evening entertainment and it was quite loud with respect to the live music and chatter. There is a night club that offered dancing - we were too tired to partake and I could not comment on how that club may or may not have been as we were not staying out late. The casino was small but had a variety of table games and slots.
In terms of our room, we stayed in a one-bedroom suite that had a full kitchen, LR, DR...etc. The master bedroom was just incredible - everything in the unit was spotless and was granite, marble, stainless steel or beautiful wood. The Master included a bathroom to die for, a jacuzzi in the bedroom and connected to a very large balcony that ALSO included another jacuzzi! That's right, two jacuzzis - one indoors and one out.
While we did not venture too far, my friend and I went and played a round of golf at Trump's course down the road - the GM of the hotel actually gave us a ride and we were shuttled back. The Trump course was host of the Puerto Rico Open on the PGA tour and was a terrific track. The cost of the round was high $150 or so although the pace of play was very fast and one with energy enough to play a repeat round could do so for $20-30. We were not among those with such energy.
The trip from San Juan Airport is about 50 minutes with no traffic and you must be careful upon your return if you have an early flight as traffic jams as you head back into San Juan can cause that 50 minutes to be a lot longer. I believe that the cab fare was about $50 for the four of us.
Overall, we found the resort to be very romantic and perfect for couples of any age. However, while we have been fortunate to travel to many places with our young children, throughout the Caribbean and Central America and other parts of Puerto Rico, we would not visit this spot with young children - I did not find that there would be much for them to do on site other than swim in the pool. There are really no ocean activities and other than golf - there is really not much that I could find that would be engaging for younger ones. It is possible that there were things that I missed but as compared with our many visits to Aruba, St. Kitt's...etc, this place, fabulous as it was, will not find us visiting again with our 7 & 9 year old sons in tow.