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Wyndham Rio MarAugust 18, 2008 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
This Puerto Rican resort’s $40 million Wyndham makeover is well underway
A guest room with a dramatic view at Rio Mar Beach Golf Resort, Casino & Spa
It’s not easy transforming a property from a Westin to a Wyndham. In fact, it’s costing $40 million. When the Rio Mar Beach Golf Resort, Casino & Spa in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, was re-flagged a Wyndham resort in June of this past year, a five-year makeover plan was immediately put into place.
Travel Agent recently met with representatives of the new Rio Mar Beach Golf Resort, Casino & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Resort, and learned about their master plan.
Although the project will be fully complete according to schedule, several major renovations have already been completed to the property, including upgrades to all of its 600 rooms (including suites) and the unveiling of a revamped casino.
Improvements to the rooms include the addition of Wyndham’s signature “Be Well” bedding, new walls and flat-screen TVs. The casino enhancements include new slot machines, carpeting, chairs, tables and a redecorated Players Lounge. Within the next month or so, the resort will complete upgrades to two 18-hole championship golf courses: Tom & George Fazio’s Ocean Course and Greg Norman’s River Course.
Along with those projects, the resort has revamped the menu at its Northern Italian-inspired Palio’s restaurant with the help of Gaetano Palmeri, chef and owner of the award-winning Gaetano’s Ristorante in Las Vegas.
Rio Mar is located on 500 acres along a mile-long stretch of beach adjacent to El Yunque National Rain Forest and the Mameyes River. It features 48,000 square feet of function space, including a ballroom; a 7,000-square-foot spa and fitness center; 11 restaurants, lounges and entertainment venues; a tennis center; a water sports center; and two beachfront pools.
It is located just 19 miles from San Juan’s international airport.
This is the perfect destination for families, although we were told the property also sees its fair share of honeymooners.
Rio Mar introduced discounted rates for meetings booked on short notice. Groups that require 12 or more guest rooms per night may qualify for a discount of up to 15 percent off individual room rates ranging from $156 to $259 per night for select dates through December.
To determine if their groups qualify, agents may contact the resort at 800-4RIO-MAR (474-6627) or visit www.wyndhamriomar.com/hotrates/index.html.
Group excursions that may be booked onsite include hiking tours of El Yunque National Rain Forest and Camuy Caves; horseback rides at Hacienda Carabali, a 600-acre private ranch; and kayak trips to one of only seven bioluminescent bays in the world where concentrations of microscopic photosynthetic organisms called dinoflagellates illuminate the water.