The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
What We Love
- Secluded setting on the edge of El Yunque National Forest
- Gourmet grub by super chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Fern
- An oceanside Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf course
What To Know
- On-site restaurants are tasty but pricey
- Little or no nightlife
- 35-minute drive to San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Hedge fund billionaire John Paulson seems to know a good investment when he sees one, so travelers should take heart in the news that he snatched up this secluded seaside resort for north of $500 million in September 2013. Set on 438 acres between El Yunque National Forest and the Caribbean Sea, this 139-key plantation-style resort opened in 2010 rocks the best of everything starting with St. Regis’s signature service. Spacious rooms are spread out over a series of low-slung bungalows with exposed beams, rattan fans and brimming with custom cherry wood furniture. Spa-like marble bathrooms have massive rain showers and stand-alone soaking tubs.
In the Area
Though the resort is only a half-hour from historic San Juan, it’s a world away from…anything thanks to its setting between a protected rainforest and a pristine beach. That rainforest, El Yunque National Forest, is the only tropical national forest on U.S. soil with some 240 species of trees, 20, varieties of wild orchids and 50 species of ferns. That later statistic is the inspiration for super chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s on-site Fern, one of the best restaurants in the country, let alone Puerto Rico. Make a reservation well in advance for simply grilled preparations of local fish and meat in a Spanish Colonial Building that nods to this resort’s plantation roots. Robert Trent Jones Jr., one of the world’s pre-eminent golf course architects, designed the resort’s spectacular golf course, preserving the natural integrity of the seaside site. With impressive greens along the ocean, scenic lakes, undulating fairways and gentle ocean breezes, the course’s splendor is matched only by the world-class play it offers to golfers of all abilities.
How to Get There
We checked out today and had an amazing vacation. From check-in to check-out we had an overall great experience. We initially visited this resort in April 2017 and the post-Maria renovations are notable and beautiful.
We are Titanium members and used our suite night awards for this resort. We received an upgrade to an oceanfront St. Regis suite 5 nights before check-in. It was great to know that was confirmed before we left for our trip. When we arrived we were greeted by one of the butlers Valeria and were given a cocktail and juice for our son. We checked in early and only had to wait 15 minutes for our room. Our room was ground level and we asked for second floor and were told it wasn’t available. Regardless we were happy with the view and the room. The room decor is cool and calming, lots of gray, blue and white. This is much different than when we came in 2017 as the decor was much heavier than with a lot of browns. We loved the renovated rooms.
We used the butler service for unpacking and requested ice in the room every day. The unpacking service was great at this resort. Valeria did an excellent job and even arranged some of our son’s toys on the shelf.
We booked the nighttime bioluminescent tour for our first night and we were glad we did it, although it wasn’t as dramatic as the pictures. Our 7 year old was not nervous at all although it did get quite dark. The st Regis arranged for a driver to take us to the tour area and the driver stayed there with our belongings and towels and brought us back. It was very easy. The St. Regis concierge Dineys was very helpful and friendly.
The remainder of the visit was spent at the beach and pool. We requested coffee every morning at 8:30 and I believe there was some miscommunication around this as it took a couple of days for consistency. Same with the request for ice in the room at 4:30 every afternoon. This was the only hiccup with the butler service and it was remedied quickly. We were able to text the butler for reservations at Paros and we’re always given a great table. Overall the butler service was awesome. Javier and Valeria were wonderful.
Housekeeping - the housekeeping staff is great and the rooms were immaculate. I have no complaints. They even left notes thanking us for coming and wishing us a great stay.
Pool / beach - the remodeled pool kept the original shape and looks great. We rented a cabana our second day and it was very nice. There are two types of cabanas, family and couples, and the difference is size and location. We opted for one of the couples cabanas because they had much better views. We picked one closer in and it did get pretty warm but we were able to love to the one closest with the beach and were happy with the great breeze. The cabana service (Stephanie) was great and the initial attendant Omar was happy to let me pick out the cabana we wanted. We were initially told the cabana was $250 for the day. I assume that was actually the cost for the family cabana or during high season because the attendant and one of the managers found me and told me it was actually $150. That was a happy surprise. We only rented a cabana the one day because we found that there was plenty of room to spread out at the pool and plenty of shade.
I read some reviews that the pool service was slow or inconsistent but I found it to be fine. The staff was very friendly too.
The beach attendants were happy to set up and move chairs. The resort provides some sand toys for kids but not enough in my opinion so we were happy that we brought our own. We were happily surprised that there was such a great breeze at the beach and pool during our whole stay.
Restaurants - we were too tired to leave the resort for dinner. Other guests we spoke with who left were happy with some nearby casual restaurants. We dined at Paros twice and enjoyed it very much. My husband loved the lump crab cocktail and lamb chops. The roasted beets, spanikopita and spread sampler were great too. We weren’t thrilled with the wine choices at Paros but they were very happy to bring up a Cabernet from the lobby bar downstairs.
Seagrapes - my husband and son had breakfast here every morning as the Titanium welcome gift. They enjoyed it (especially my son) but there were some aggressive birds right at the tables. The St. Regis in Punta Mita has a hawk of falcon that they walk around the breakfast area. It would be great if they can do this here.
The lunch menu for seagrapes was fine but I was surprised to learn that they didn’t have corn tortillas for the mahi tacos. The kids menu was great. The Caesar and spinach salads were good. Otherwise we didn’t order much. The pizza for dinner from Seagrapes was actually really good.
We also had dinner at the lobby bar and enjoyed the empanadas, calamari and donut bites with housemade honey. My husband commented about how great the honey was and asked if they sold it. They didn’t but Xiomara at the lobby bar followed us to our room with a complimentary honey to go and thanked us for being Titanium members. Xiomara, Issac and the other servers at the lobby bar were great.
We did not eat at the Beach Club restaurant.
While we did not go off property for food a number of guests we met did and found it to be a great and easy experience even without rental cars. Uber is prevalent in the area. There is an Oceanside restaurant and bar area not far from the resort that other guests seemed to enjoy. I was told it was a $9 Uber ride.
The boat house area with kayaks and inflatables was fun. They had much nicer inflatables than the last visit.
The fitness center was great and the attendant brought me a post-workout coconut water. The resort fee included some of the spa facilities but we didn’t use them.
Overall - Despite the limited dining options we will definitely come back. The grounds are beautiful and we loved listening to the birds and coqui frogs. The beach feels very isolated and is great for kids. The service at the entire resort is top notch. It is hard not to feel relaxed and pampered at this resort. It seems that everyone knew our names and went out of their way to greet us with a smile.
I came to the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort for a wedding. My stay was amazing. The hotel and grounds were absolutely beautiful. My room was huge and beautifully decorated, and I just booked a basic room. I could not believe how big the bathroom and shower were. Also, the beach was gorgeous--I felt like it was a private beach not overrun with a bunch of people. Also, the staff could not have been nicer--so friendly and attentive. I really wish I could have stayed longer. I can't wait to go back with my family!
My wife and I stayed at the hotel for our honeymoon during the first week of June. We had a tremendous experience that was nothing like some of the negative reviews we read. The staff was extremely attentive to our needs and even upgraded our room for free, we didn't need to wait long for food/drinks/transportation, there weren't any mosquitoes/bugs at the pool, the pool water was warm, the rooms were very nice, and the grounds were beautiful. We may have benefited from a quiet week at the hotel where there weren't too many other guests, but in any case, we had a great experience and are very happy we chose the St. Regis for our honeymoon.
I'm fortunate enough to live in what people term "paradise"; however, my Paradise Found is at the ST. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico.
I've stayed at several St. Regis properties; this one is by far my favorite. The grounds, the staff and the beach are some of the most beautiful in the area. We had a third-floor room in the back row of buildings with an expansive view across lawns, the pool and the ocean in the distance. It was perfect.
If you have the chance--go; don't think twice. You are outside the city and everything that's going on--however, it's a short and very easy drive into the city. For peace, tranquility and a 6pm sabrage every evening, just make that reservation and exhale...
What a wonderful hotel. Loved my stay so much, I’ll be back for sure. Staff was friendly and attentive. Really lovely people in every role. The room was large and luxe. The whole resort was beautiful and the location was magical.