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Review: Gran Melia resort in Puerto Rico

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
Categories: Golf CoursesGolf LifeGolf LifestyleLifeReviewsTravel
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I couldn’t have imagined that starting a golf blog in 2004 would result in my attending the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open and staying at the beautiful Gran Melia Resort in Puerto Rico six years later.  But that’s one of many great events which has occurred as a result of being the web’s #1 golf web geek.

Location Location Location

Let’s start with Gran Melia’s location, Puerto Rico.  This was my first time there and I loved it.  The weather was rainy the first day or so, but even then it was beautiful.  The resort is located in the city of Rio Grande, about a 30 minute drive from the Puerto Rico airport and from the most well known PR city of San Juan.

The resort sits on Coco Beach in the northeastern coast, where the water is very calm and shallow.

Nearby Attractions

Of course, the beautiful beach is one of the main attractions at Gran Melia.  I spent some quality time there with my toes in the sand, swimming in the ocean and collecting sea shells.   The water is quite warm and the surf is low to non-existent.

Right next to the resort is Trump National Golf Club.  This is where the Puerto Rico Open is held.  TNGC is a fun course with great holes located right on the ocean side.  Call it Puerto Rico’s version of Pebble, only without the cliffs.

A short drive from the resort is the El Yunque rain forest.  Unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit the rain forest this time around, but even from a distance it looks spectacular.  The mountains rise to 3500 feet above sea level and collect over 11 feet of rain on a yearly basis.  Yes, feet.  Contrast that with my home town of Salt Lake, which collects 16.5 inches of rain per year.

Of course, historic San Juan has a wealth of attractions from historic architecture to snorkeling to shopping.

Gran Melia Resort

On to the resort…  Gran Melia Puerto Rico has three selections for lodging: Junior Suites, Royal Service Suites and Ocean Front Villas.

Gran Melia has extensive facilities for banquets, weddings and meetings.  There are 13 varying meeting and banquet rooms with over 27,000 square feet of functional space.

I had the pleasure of experiencing the Royal Service Suites and the incredible services and amenities included.  Royal Service suites are very spacious and beautiful.

The term “Royal Service” isn’t just a term.  It means you have your own personal butler who is happy to do many things for you.  If you want your bed turned down you call your personal butler.  If you need someone to carry your stuff down to the beach or the spa, you call your personal butler.  Need reservations for the spa or for dinner or perhaps a lift to town?  You get the point.

Amenities included with my Royal Service treatment included a private/VIP adults only pool which was very nice.  I really enjoyed the serenity and peace of the area and sampling locally brewed frosty beverages poolside.  When I really wanted to lounge I had my own private Bali bed at the pool.  This thing was mine to use, the whole time I was there.

Needless to say, the room and associated services and amenities where spectacular.

Dining

Gran Melia has many options in the food and drink department.

Nami Asian Bistro has three menus-Sushi, Teppanyaki and Latin-Asian Fusion.

Tempo (pictured right) is a great Italian restaurant with a great atmosphere.

Cafe Soleil offers Contemporary Caribbean Cuisine.

The Avenue Bar serves cocktails and appetizers in a very cool area of the resort.

Passion serves local cuisine with an award winning chef behind the recipies.

The Wet Pool Bar & Grill serves casual food seaside with as good a view as imaginable.

I spent some quality time at the Royal Service Exclusive Pool Bar, near the private VIP pool.  Yum.

Casino

I spent a few hours playing blackjack in the Gran Melia casino.  I was sitting next to some famous PGA Tour golfers while I was there.  But out of respect to them, I won’t mention any names.

In addition to the blackjack tables, the casino has slots and roulette.

Spa

I didn’t have time to personally evaluate the Yhi Spa.  That will be for next time.  But Yhi spa offers many body treatments, hydrothereapy and even a nearby workout area.

Other Activities

If all of the above isn’t enough, Gran Melia offers three tennis courts, nightly live entertainment in the Lobby Bar (pictured left) which I greatly enjoyed, Salsa and Merengue dance classes, a Kid’s Club, scuba services and tours of the local attractions.

Conclusion

Gran Melia Puerto Rico is a paradise with every possible luxury one could want from a vacation or business trip.  From the spectacular beaches and pools to the fabulous dining, to service which is unmatched, I highly recommend experiencing Gran Melia next time you are in Puerto Rico.

Related Links

Gran Melia Photo Gallery with over 90 photos

Puerto Rico Open Photo Gallery

Trump National Golf Club Puerto Rico Gallery

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