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
I reserved 2 oceanfront rooms at the resort, and requested that the rooms be on the 3rd floor and be close to one another. I called the day before my arrival to confirm whether my requests had been granted. The hotel would not provide me any information at all.
When I reached there, I was told that there are no oceanfront rooms on the 3rd floor. Why didn't they tell me that earlier? And that they don't have 2 rooms close to one another. We were given 1 room on the ground floor (aka 1st floor) and the other on the first floor (aka 2nd floor). The ocean is not visible from the ground floor room, and barely visible, in the distance, from the first floor room. By any definition, these are NOT oceanfront rooms. I don't like to be cheated but that is how I felt then, and still feel the same way. So be careful if you decide to stay there.
In any case, we were already there and I asked to see if we could be together on the same floor. The receptionist said no. Later on, Jose Cepero made a pretense of checking whether something else was available. Oh no, nothing else was available even though the occupancy could not have been more than 25% on that Wednesday. He offered to change the rooms on Thursday but no one contacted me. I sent him a text on the cell phone number that he gave me but he did not respond.
The rooms themselves are outstanding, and the service is very good in general. But I am not happy being treated the way I was.
There are two people you should definitely fire and may be some others. The front desk receptionist, Erica, was awful. If you look at some of the TripAdvisor reviews, you will find her mentioned there too. Receptionists are not the only ones to blame; usually it is their boss. I would fire Jose Cepero, the front office manager. Until you do that, I don't think the reviews will improve.
Visited 7 days/6 nights 10/24 - 10/30/19. We received 5 star service. Accommodations were 5 star as well. Slow season so we saw very few other guest.....just the way I like it. Golf course also beautiful. Everything was excellent......except there are only 3 eating venues to choose from. While the food was great, it gets expensive to eat on property daily. Town is 30-40 minutes away. Unless you want to ONLY eat on property, plan on 1) stopping in town before traveling to the property to pick up snacks, etc.... 2) Plan to spend 30-45 minutes each way to get to town..
Visited this gorgeous property for 5 days/4 nights. It's about 30 minutes from the airport. We arrived to a warm greeting from the staff and were promptly escorted inside and met with a delicious drink (which became our nightly go to). You end up feeling like part of a big family that checks in on you regularly to see how they can make your stay better or more enjoyable. Jared, a butler valet, was wonderful and helped us out throughout our stay. He's simply the best. The head butler, Hector, was such a great guy. Very friendly and helpful. When we spoke with other staff members about him he was spoken about in the highest regards about how wonderful he is to work for. The General Manager, Jose, interacted with us during our stay and was such a great guy. Like his employees, you could tell he cares about our stay and everything about it.
Our room was gorgeous and well maintained throughout our stay. The tub was huge! The bed was comfy and you are able to connect to your device in the room to allow you to connect to any of your favorite streaming services like Hulu. You have access to the beach club as well as the resort. Plus, you can stand up paddle board, play on the inflatable water gym, canoe, kayak, bike, fish, among so many other things.
I can't commend this property enough for how wonderful they made our stay. We look forward to returning!!!