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The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort 5.0

Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

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This hotel is currently closed for renovations.
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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Spacious rooms with high-tech amenities and private terraces
  • Secluded beachfront location close to El Yunque rainforest
  • Relaxing Remede Spa with extensive treatments menu
  • Outstanding restaurant by chef, Jean-Georges 
  • Iconic St Regis lobby bar serves light snacks and cocktails
  • Two indoor/outdoor poolside restaurants with bars -- one pool has an adult-only section
  • Two huge beachfront pools with cabanas (for rent), and poolside service
  • State-of-the-art fitness center offering yoga, meditation, and Pilates classes
  • Access to an exceptional golf course (at extra cost)
  • Comprehensive kids’ club, playground, and kids’ meal program
  • Freebies like welcome cocktail, turndown service, and house-made chocolates 
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Limousine, heliport, and 24-hour valet parking available 
  • Tennis courts (private lessons available)

Cons

  • Expensive daily resort fee
  • Costly services, meals, and taxis can add up
  • Fairly removed from nightlife and tourist sights

Bottom Line

Due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, this hotel will be closed until October, 2018. We will update our review as soon as possible 

The ultra-luxurious St. Regis offers all of the top-notch amenities you’d expect for one of Puerto Rico’s only five-pearl hotels. Features include a high end spa, two gorgeous beachfront pools, three restaurants (including a Jean Georges creation), a slick fitness center, and an exceptional golf course. Rain forest boardwalks connect its 139 rooms which are large, timeless, and decorated with care. Think: exposed wood beams, elegant furniture, huge modern bathrooms, and furnished terraces. Chauffeured golf carts are available on demand, but the “rain forest meets beach” setting is pretty secluded -- which is great for some, but limiting for others. Rio Grande beaches aren’t considered the island’s best, but the St Regis’ stretch is wide, long, and uncrowded. Note that the resort fee here is pricey. Travelers seeking high end luxury closer to nightlife and sights could try The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan.

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Scene

An elegant beachfront paradise where Old World style meets modern tropical chic

The beachfront setting is nestled next to lush rain forest deep within private sprawling grounds where the Bahia Beach Resort & Golf Club also reside. The Fort Knox main gate security and the long, scenic drive past golfing greens, majestic roundabouts, and rain forest pockets sets the privileged St. Regis tone (and taints the laborious idea of ever venturing back out -- which is probably the idea). Signs eventually guide guests to the resort entrance where the St. Regis emblem seals the scene with an official stamp of exclusivity. Golf carts and black shuttles are lined up ready to take guests from A to B within property grounds. And the moat-like entrance straddles a huge, Oriental-style carp pond planted with steel pots that throw bonfire flames at night. 

The signature St. Regis scent (and a signature rum cocktail) welcome guests inside resort HQ, Plantation House -- where the lobby, concierge, Fern (Jean Georges) restaurant, and the St. Regis Bar reside. Lofty French doors open onto the terrace and Great Lawn: a flawless green carpet leading down to the beach and where much of the remaining resort unfolds. The beach itself is wide and long, so St. Regis deckchairs are well spread out. Cascading down towards the beach, the main pool nestles amid rain forest-inspired gardens with curtained cabanas and deckchairs galore. Set back from the beach, the pool, low lying native gardens, and rooms are located within two- and three-story dwellings, connected by rain forest boardwalks with iguanna crossing signs and golf carts zipping to and fro. 

The Beach Club and second pool are a fair hike from this main area of the property, but there’s almost always a sleek vehicle on standby to get guests there faster than on foot. Couples and families dominate the guest crowd, and there’s plenty of room for both groups to find their chill zone. The main pool’s tranquillity can get sabotaged by kids, however, tormented adults can find calmer retreat on the beach where it’s quieter; or at the adults’ section of the Beach Club pool.

Location

On the northeast coast’s Bahia Beach, five minutes north of Rio Grande 

Map of The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

The St. Regis is hidden away in a private, expansive nature pocket next to Bahia Beach on Puerto Rico’s northeast coast. The resort shares its private gated grounds with the Bahia Beach Resort & Golf Club, and while some facilities are shared, the St. Regis enjoys its own private sense of seclusion. The resort is about 35 minutes from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, 30 minutes from San Juan, 20 minutes from El Yunque National Forest, and around 10 minutes from downtown Rio Grande. Known more for its pristine, uncrowded beaches, Rio Grande presents travelers with a more relaxed, remote locale than neighboring nightlife hubs like San Juan. There are a few other attractions in the area, like local retail stores and small restaurants, but nothing particularly noteworthy.  

Rooms

Handsome colonial-island interiors with apartment-size layouts, regal bathrooms, and thoughtful touches

Available in a range of room (sleeping two) and suite (sleeping up to four) categories with ocean or garden views, all units are defined by luxuriously spacious layouts, with interiors that channel the lobby’s handsome elegance -- and add a tasteful touch of island flavor. Vaulted ceilings with exposed beams and plantation ceiling fans aptly echo the location with a Caribbean colonial feel. Neutral beiges and deep browns are accented with sophisticated splashes of gold and orange for a refreshingly refined take on island decor. All categories open onto spacious furnished balconies, and small touches like botanical mirror engravings and easy-find press-on lamp switches are just some of the reminders that nothing escapes the St Regis’ attention to detail. Minibars are well stocked with liquor, plus soft drinks and snacks, and they come with free water and Illy coffeemakers (capsules included). Local chocolates await guests in-room on arrival, and the nightly turndown service delivers house made cookies.

Huge, handsome marble bathrooms feature large showers; giant spa baths; twin vanities beneath mirrors with in-built TVs; separate water closets; and a generous supply of Remede toiletries. Tech features include 40-inch flat-screen TVs, DVD/CD players, iPod docking stations, and Bose surround sound. Walk-in, light-up closets are equipped with safes, shoe polishing kits, bathrobes, and slippers. Other in-room features include safes, mini-fridges, and work desks. Suites upsize perks with sprawling layouts (and terraces to match), with separate living areas and pull-out sofas or extra bedrooms.

Features

Jean Georges restaurant, championship golf course, and two stunning pools

Features here are designed so that guests have luxury at their fingertips. Guests have access to two huge pools. The main seaside pool offers a freeform oasis surrounded by lush gardens with plenty of sunbeds and VIP cabanas for rent. The Beach Club pool (much further up the beach), is terraced over two levels comprising separate adults and kids' zones. An open-air bar (closed during our stay), and chill music channel a Miami-style “day club” scene. Remede Spa takes resort pampering to the next level with a series of treatment rooms, plunge pools, and relaxation areas unfolding both indoors and throughout magical rain forest gardens. 

Fern is the fanciest restaurant on offer with a sophisticated menu designed by Jean Georges, blending Latin and Afro-Caribbean flavors. Breakfast is also served in Fern. Seagrapes restaurant offers a more casual menu for lunch, early dinner, cocktails and poolside/beach service. There’s plenty of fresh seafood, gourmet salads, pizzas, and sandwiches, along with a full kids’ menu. The Beach Club restaurant offers upmarket casual indoor/outdoor dining and a modern menu designed by star Puerto Rican chef, Jose Enrique, mixing western favorites with island flavors. The St. Regis bar in the lobby serves a range of cocktails and beverages in addition to bar snacks and light meals created by Jean George. 

State-of-the-art cardio and weight training equipment populate the fitness center which features an adjoining stretch/yoga room, and an outdoor meditation garden. Private yoga, meditation, Pilates, stretch, and personal training sessions can be arranged for an extra cost, and thoughtful touches like earbuds are available at the gym entrance for those who arrived empty handed. 

The vast grounds, much of which are shared with Bahia Beach & Golf Resort, offer all kinds of leisure and recreation activities amongst breathtaking nature. The 18-hole championship golf course (with driving range) is well revered. Nature walks, zip lining, bike riding, kayaking, tennis -- it’s all available, in style, and can be arranged with the concierge. For the kids, there’s the Iguana Club with half or full day program options for a fee. There’s an upscale boutique; a small business center is located in the lobby; and all guests have free access to Wi-Fi in common areas and rooms. A limousine service, heliport, and 24-hour valet parking are all available at extra charge. Note that the hotel charges a pricey daily resort fee -- one of the highest on the island. 

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Address

State Road 187 kilometer 4.2, Rio Grande 00745, Caribbean

Phone

(787) 809-8000

Room Types

  • Deluxe King Room
  • Grand Deluxe King Room
  • Grand Deluxe Queen Room
  • Luxury King Suite
  • Ocean Front King Room
  • Ocean Front Queen Room
  • St. Regis King Suite
  • Superior King Room
  • Superior Queen Room

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