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Puerto Rico Vacation Blog-Part 2

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Wyndam Grand Rio Mar

Our Puerto Rico Trip Experience Continued...

Day 3-Arrival at the Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort

                                                  The View of the Pool

This was about a 30 ride from the airport on a very nice nice highway. We utilized a private transfer with Rico Sun Tours. They also have a representative on-site at the resort who can handle other transportation needs, booking tours and excursions, etc.

Wyndham Rio Mar is the only resort on the northeast coast and has over a mile stretch of very soft golden beach. They also have 500 acres of on-site recreational activities including Rio Mar Casino, 2 golf courses, miles of walking trails, and 5 restaurants and lounges.  It is also the closest resort to El Yunque Rain Forest. 

Want to See More? Check Out the Resort on YouTube.

Also, here are a few of the other resort features:

• 400 newly renovated guest rooms and suites with balconies 

• 2 oceanfront pools including one that is adults only

• Two 18-hole championship golf courses 

• 11 Har-Tru tennis courts and 2 Laykold hard courts 

• Mandara Spa 

• Variety of watersports 

• Fitness Center

The rooms are large, updated and are very nicely appointed with:

• Complimentary Wi-Fi 

• Flat screen HD televisions with Premium U.S. Cable Channels 

• Direct-dial telephone, coffee, coffee maker, iron and ironing boards, hairdryer, clock radio

• Large bathroom with tub and shower and door to separate

• Very comfortable beds and pillows

• Desk area

• Safe

One thing we did love was the removable waterproof bracelet room keys...easy to keep track of as you are wearing on your wrist. 

More About the Beach

We walked the beach several times and found it to be very soft, clean and free of rocks and seaweed. It is more of a tan color but I don't think the beach lovers will be disappointed. 

The ocean here is also very nice and swimmable. 

More About the Pools:

There are many pool options including an activity pool with a water slide and volleyball where the younger kids tend to hang out. I also liked that adults have the option of a kid-free pool. Overall the pool area was very nice. There seemed to plenty of chairs and umbrella but as is the case most everywhere, you need to get there early. I would recommend that you consider renting a cabana. These go for $65 per day plus tax and are definitely worth it especially if you have young kids that you want keep out of the sun. Also, should the rain come, you are protected and enjoy a nap or lunch until it passes.

Food Choices

Our favorite spot was the 5 O'Clock Somewhere bar and Grill near the adults only pool. It was good and reasonable priced bar food but the outdoor atmosphere was excellent with a fun selection of "vacation music" and big screen TVs.

We also had the opportunity to experience the Root and Bone "pop-up" restaurant. 

This features CHEF JEFF MCINNIS & CHEF DE CUISINE JANINE BOOTH bringing their revival of Southern, rural American cooking & culture to the resort for a special engagement. McInnis and Booth consciously source local ingredients from fishermen, farms and specialty purveyors who share their passion for producing only the highest quality seasonal products. We had the pork chop and the short rib meatloaf both of which where excellent.

Overall, the food and drink prices were reasonable. For budgeting purposes, I would say $125-$150 per adult per day and $75 per day for the kids. Note that city and state sales taxes are higher than most place in the U.S. at 11.5%.

Day 5-Afternoon Boat Adventure and Snorkeling

We booked an afternoon adventure with the Rico Tours rep in the lobby. We chose Sail Getaways from the Villa Marina with a boat ride and snorkeling to a small local island. I thought this was a bit pricey at $156 for one adult and one child especially considering transportation to the marina was not included. This added about $100 round trip. Overall it was a fun trip and the beat and crew were very nice. Snorkeling however was a bit of a bust as we didn't see many fish during our island stop. For your trip, let's do some advance planning and find something that is a better value.

Other Observations from Our Site Inspection

We spent an hour in the morning with Aurea from the sales department getting a closer look at the resort. Two important things to note are that this resort is an excellent spot for destination weddings with "on the beach" ceremony locations, a large beachfront deck and a very nice garden location. This is adjacent to a large oceanfront conference center that would work extremely well for large corporate meeting groups.

                                              The Oceanfront Wedding Deck

And, compared to other Caribbean islands and Mexico, legal destination wedding here are much less hassle and cost. All you have to do to get a marriage license in Puerto Rico is exactly what you’d have to do in your own hometown! The same rules apply and you can get all the legal requirements done within hours of your arrival.

Our Recommendation

I have stayed at many comparable resorts over the years in the Caribbean and can recommend the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar without hesitation. My confidence level is extremely high that this resort will deliver the right experience for family vacations, honeymooners, and even destination wedding.

Contact Your Local Sunsational Beach Vacations Specialist and We'll Get Started Finding You the Perfect Spot to Get Vacation Happy!

Nationwide: Tom Brussow at 877-404-4228 or tom@SunsationalBeachVacations.com

Metro Milwaukee: Patti Patton at 414-588-8758 orPatti@SunsationalBeachVacations.com

Metro Milwaukee: Elizabeth Platz at 414-651-5538 or Elizabeth@SunsationalBeachVacations.com

Nationwide: Laura Pierce at 262-343-2508 or Laura@SunsationalBeachWeddings.com

Madison Area: Jill Hart at 608-469-9973 or Jill@SunsationalBeachVacations.com

Green Bay Area: Cassie Bushkie at 920-445-3177 or Cassie@SunsationalBeachVacations.com

Minneapolis: Freddie Macalus at 651-270-3998 or Freddie@SunsationalBeachVacations.com 


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What Do Our Clients Have to Say? Here's Some Feedback We Recently Received:

Destination: Punta Cana
Resort: Now Larimar

Freddie Macalus, our travel agent was amazing! He did a wonderful job helping us not only determine the best location for our destination wedding, but he also helped work with us hand in hand with the wedding planner at the resort to ensure our day went off without a hitch. Most people say that something will go wrong the day of your wedding, but we can say that was truly not the case. Freddie also did an awesome job working with all 40 of our traveling guests in booking their trips, which was no easy task. We had a lot of people traveling from different states and for different durations and the feedback we got from everyone was that Freddie was great in providing them with options and helping them through all their bookings.

Can't say enough great things about Freddie Macalus and Sunsational Beach Vacations!!!! Highly recommend this company and this travel agent to anyone looking to book a trip or a destination wedding!

Destination: Riviera Maya, MX
Resort: Secrets Silversands

We had such a great time at the Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun. I also was very happy that I got to work with you to coordinate the group travel event for us and all of our guests. You were super nice, always helpful, and willing to listen to all of my questions! I always felt like you were available to talk and discuss things and followed up with responses to my questions very rapidly. I had positive feedback from my guests that you were very nice and easy to work with. I would certainly work with you again on travel arrangements!

Destination: Punta Cana
Resort: Breathless

We all had an AMAZING time at Breathless! The hotel was great, food was actually a lot better than I expected, drinks and staff were awesome as well. I think how lively the resort was worked out perfect for all ten of us who wanted to party and celebrate the boys’ 30th birthday. We were very satisfied with your recommendation and will certainly be using you in the future for our next vacation.

Thanks again for all of your help!—I wish we were still on the beach!

Destination: Riviera Maya, MX
Resort: El Dorado Casitas Royale, By Karisma

What an amazing trip you planned for us. It was everything we wanted and more!!! The hotel was amazing, the food was spectacular, and the service was impeccable. We truly lived like royalty. Makes coming back to the real world quite a bummer. We've already begun telling people about the property and referring them to contact you.
We would love to look into a trip around the same time next year.
Again, thank you for making this trip so fantastic and easy to put together.

Nothing but smiles here and we are 1000% (that's not a typo ) satisfied with you and everything involved with the trip.

Thanks again!!

Chris and Angela
Dallas, TX

Destination: Punta Cana, DR
Resort: Hard Rock Resort & Casino

"My husband and I decided to get married in Mexico at Iberostar Grand over Labor Day weekend. It was a large destination wedding as we had 130 guests traveling. Tom and his group did a phenomenal job of coordinating everyone's accommodations, travel plans and transportation. As far as I know, there was not one guest that had any difficulty with their trip. Everyone arrived safely and on time! Tom made himself available for discussion at all hours throughout the planning process and was never difficult to reach. He was extremely knowledgable about the area we were traveling to and worked with the people at Iberostar to provide all of our guests with the getaway they deserved. We will use Tom over and over again for our future group travels and recommend him to anyone getting married :)"

Kristin & Rob
Iberostar Grand
Riviera Maya, Mexico
September 2014

"Tom helped us book our engagement trip. We then needed to discuss wedding stuff. After much debate and family discussions, Deanna and I decided to do a destination wedding in Mexico, and decided that we had such success with Tom helping just us two, that we would love to use him again. He was extremely helpful in getting everything organized for us. From helping friends and relatives book flights, nights stays, discount programs, transfers to and from the airport and working in close connection with Apple to make sure everybody arrived safe and sound. To say that we were beyond happy and pleased would be an understatement. EVERYTHING was perfect, flawless and extremely stress free. Deanna and I want to thank Tom for everything to make our trips so wonderful!!! He has been a part of our engagement, wedding/honeymoon and hopefully trips here in the near future. I highly recommend using his services."

Deanna & Joe
Secrets Silversands
Riviera Maya
March 2014

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