by Courtney Elko
This 500-acre, beachfront resort sits on a mile-long stretch of golden sand and turquoise water. Families can enjoy days in the sand or by the multiple pools when staying here. Kids will love the pool water slide, daily iguana feedings, turtle nestings, and dive-in movies. Parents will love the onsite casino, spa, swim-up bar and two championship golf courses.
Unfortunately, the resort saw some damage during the 2017 hurricane season. But the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar prevailed in spite of mother nature’s hardships. The resort quickly reopened following the hurricanes and welcomed hurricane relief workers as guests while they began to make repairs. No hotel employees were laid off during this time and they were all guaranteed two months’ pay, no matter what. If hotel employees had to take care of family or their own homes, and could not come to work, they were still paid. But most, if not all, of the hotel’s employees arrived at work each day and helped to quickly restore the resort to its glory.
The resort officially reopened to guests in March 2018 with updated restaurants and conference centers. The dining options at the resort are fabulous. There are casual poolside spots as well as more upscale yet family-friendly venues with creative menus. Families also have the option of booking an all-inclusive rate. Families will love the guestrooms and suites, which did not see hurricane damage. The family suites feature bunk beds, perfect for the kiddos.
The resort is less than 10 minutes from the El Yunque National Rainforest and about 40 minutes away from the airport. Families can easily spend vacation enjoying all that the resort has to offer, without ever leaving the comforts and amenities or easily step outside the resort to explore all that Puerto Rico has to offer. The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar is perfect for families looking for a beachside resort in the Caribbean that is convenient to get to, is an optional all-inclusive, features impeccable menus, family-friendly rooms and plenty of things to do.
Our Editor Loves
- Beachfront resort
- Multiple pools and water slide
- All-inclusive optional
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
There are more than 400 guestrooms and suites at the resort, and some of the rooms are pet friendly. Cribs and rollaway beds are available upon request. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the guestrooms and suites, as well as two bottles of water.
The guestrooms feature one king or two queen beds, a mini-fridge, flat screen television, coffee maker, electric outlets by the bedside and a shower/tub combination in the bathroom. The private balcony offers chairs and an ocean, pool or rainforest view.
The spacious suites feature a king bed with a sitting area that offers a sleeper sofa. There is also a mini-fridge, flat screen television, coffee maker, electric outlets by the bedside and a shower/tub combination in the bathroom. The suites also feature a large private balcony with chairs and an ocean or rainforest view.
The family suites are ideal for kids. These large and spacious suites offer a king bed, separate sitting area with a sleeper sofa and bunk beds for the kids. There is also a mini-fridge, flat screen television, coffee maker, electric outlets by the bedside, a shower/tub combination in the bathroom and a large, private balcony with chairs and an ocean view.
Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham
Attached to the hotel is a time share property. While these condos are completely separate from the hotel, guests from both sides of the property are welcome to use the amenities on each side. Hotel guests will never know the difference when enjoying the pool or bars on the vacation club side of the hotel.
The staff at Rio Mar provides such a great service to all guests. Traveling with kids is hectic as is and ours got sick while on vacation. On the afternoon of March 14th when we arrived at the resort my daughter (3 yrs old) vomited at valet. The whole team working that afternoon came to help with the situation from ensuring my daughter was well, immediately cleaning the area and helping us out. Rodney Colon specifically went above and beyond by personally taking care of my daughter, cleaning her off and talking to her so she may feel better even getting a smile out of her. We are so grateful for Rodney's help that day as I have never seen such personal dedication to helping a child. The rest of the team was also very helpful and always very welcoming and smiling when guests arrived. They always encouraged the kids to talk to Bob and Geoff at the entrance. We will definitely stay there again!
We totally enjoy this resort and the surrounding area. In the last 15 years or so, we have stayed at this property at least 6 times, and it always meets and exceeds our expectations. In addition to the beautiful sunshine, every aspect of what this facility has to offer met every goal we set for our vacation. The room was spacious for 2 adults and two teenage children and very clean. The maid staff did an incredible job keeping our room organized, clean, and stocked with extra towels, soap, water, and shampoo. The restaurants offered a wide variety of food that even met the needs of our two picky teenage eaters. The pools are amazing. We started at the more family orientated pool but the music from the outside bar was too loud for us to stay there and enjoy, so we moved to the middle pool which was better all around. That became our pool of choice for the balance of the week. Food service at the pool was excellent and also at the outdoor (It's 5 o'clock Somewhere) bar. We had most of our meals at the hotel except two evenings where we ventured out to local restaurants. La Parrilla in the town of Luquillo is our favorite. We also had dinner at Don Pepe, which is local to the resort, but it did not meet our expectations for service or food quality (would not recommend). I would recommend going to Richie's Restuarant located minutes from the resort. The views are incredible and the food and drinks are too. We had a ton of fun there with the staff.
While the entire staff at the resort was excellent and truly understands customer service by going out of their way to make the experience memorable, there are two employees that stand out. The first is Omar, who works food service at the pool. I asked Omar for a recommendation on a local restaurant and he not only provided that but went the extra mile to call the restaurant and make a reservation. That was a first for me. Another employee, Juan Diaz our server who greeted us each morning for breakfast is beyond amazing. Juan, who has been at this property for 23 years is simply incredible. After just a few days being around him, he stands out among the others and that's a difficult distinction given that every employee at this resort stands out in some way.
This resort is one of our favorite places to visit. We will return!
This beachfront resort offers a variety of activities for families to enjoy together.
Families will love the direct beach access from this resort. Soft golden sand and blue ocean water are only a few steps away from the pools and guestrooms. The mile-long public beach offers beach chairs and umbrellas for guests to use as well as beach towels. Beachside beverage service is available and private beach cabanas are available for rent. There are no lifeguards at the beach.
There are several pools throughout the resort, all of which are surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrellas. Cabanas are also available to rent. The Quiet Pool offers a place of relaxation (children are permitted here) and the Activity Pool features a water slide that the kids will love zooming down repeatedly. Music, activities and games are always taking place at the Activity Pool. There is a small children’s splash pad/wading pool, for toddlers, situated near the water slide as well. And a swim-up bar pool can be found on the Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham side of the resort, which hotel guests are welcome to enjoy. Pool towels are provided and lifeguards are on duty at the pools and water slide. The pools are open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
While there is no dedicated kids’ club at this resort there are numerous family activities always taking place. Rio Mar encourages families to do these activities together and provides a schedule for the week’s events. Families can watch a family-friendly flick at one of the dive-in movie specials that takes place at the pool. There are nature and bird walks, turtle nestings, daily iguana feedings, face painting, arts and crafts, kids’ cooking classes, bingo, salsa dancing lessons, yoga classes and much more.
Families who love to get outside and play sports will love the 11 clay tennis courts and two hard courts. Four of the courts are lit as well, so playing in the evenings when it is a hint cooler is an option as well. Tennis clinics and private lessons are available. There are also two championship, 18-hole golf courses on the property. One of the courses is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and El Yunque Rainforest and the other is situated along the Mameyes River. Pool volleyball, Ping-Pong, fire pits, corn hole, Bocce ball and giant chess and Jenga are also available and can be found throughout the resort.
This resort is all-inclusive optional. So families have the choice of booking an all-inclusive stay that can include meals and alcoholic beverages or pay as you go. There are a variety of restaurants here from casual poolside to more fine dining.
Palio Seafood and Steakhouse
This is not your average steakhouse because fresh seafood is also listed on the menu with a Caribbean flair. Open for dinner only, Palio offers things like halibut, prawns, filet mignon, prime rib and lamb.
Roots Coastal Kitchen
It’s comfort food with a twist at Roots Coastal Kitchen, which has a cool modern vibe without being portentous. The food here is creative (think popcorn on ice cream), fresh and local. Some of the menu items include fried chicken, shrimp and grits, pasta, pizza, swordfish and steak. Roots is open for dinner only but does offer a takeaway option. Save room for the artisanal ice creams but don’t worry if you didn’t save room because there is an ice cream counter situated in front of that restaurant, serving the same deliciously cool treats.
Barista Cafe and Ice Cream Shop
The kids won’t be the only ones screaming for ice cream at this ice cream and coffee shop. Located in front of the Roots Coastal Kitchen restaurant, families will find the same artisanal ice creams offered inside the restaurant. You can also find coffee drinks and pastries here.
Open for breakfast from 6 to 11:30 a.m., families can start the day in front of a wall of windows that looks out to the resort's gardens. Both a continental buffet, with baked goods and fruit, or a full buffet, with eggs, bacon, pancakes and more, are available.
Iguana’s Cocina Puertorriqueña
This finer dining restaurant is located at the Golf Club House and open for dinner only. The upscale menu offers seafood, steak, local Puerto Rican dishes and much, much more.
5 o’Clock Somewhere
Located on the Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham side of the resort, this bar/restaurant is open to all hotel guests from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is just steps away from the pools and beach and offers sandwiches, salads, margaritas of course, burgers and more.
This poolside hut offers light fare and cocktails during the day and is situated near the Activity Pool. The Tiki Hut is open for lunch only.
Whether you are in the mood for breakfast, lunch, dinner or ice cream, in-room dining is available to guests always.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Complimentary Wi-Fi can be found in the guestrooms, lobby and pool areas.
- Resort Fee
The resort fee includes beach towels and chairs, daily activities, two bottles of water at check-in, unlimited driving range golf balls, and internal hotel shuttle transportation.
Self and valet parking is available for an additional daily fee.
- Airport Transportation
Shuttle service to and from the airport can be arranged for a fee.
- Fitness Center
The state-of-the-art fitness center is situated near the spa and offers cardio and weight machines. Yoga classes and aqua aerobics are also scheduled throughout the week.
- Pet Friendly
Dogs are welcome to stay at the resort for a fee.
The Best Time to Visit
Puerto Rico is a warm weather destination nearly year round. The most popular times to visit is from November through February and then again during spring break. Hurricane season typically runs from about June through early September.
The Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan is the main airport on Puerto Rico. It is located less than 40 minutes away from the resort. Shuttle service to and from the airport can be arranged for a fee.
The main portion of the resort is easily walk. The guestrooms are not far from the pools, beach and restaurants. However, the golf courses and club house are situated in buildings away from the main resort building. Internal hotel shuttle transportation is complimentary for guests to reach these locations.
The relaxing Balinese-inspired spa will bring instant relaxation to anyone who enters. There are 11 treatment rooms, an oceanfront meditation area, steam room, hair and nail salons and a fitness center. The adults can enjoy a variety of massages, facials, body wraps and other treatments. Couples massage, in-room or in-cabana massages are also available.
When you want to test your luck visit the onsite casino at Rio Mar. There are plenty of slot and tables games inside along with live music on weekends. Blackjack lessons are also available on select evenings so you can learn without the pressure. The casino is open from noon to 2 a.m. daily and visitors must be 18 years old to enter.
There are also two championship, 18-hole golf courses on the property. One of the courses is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and El Yunque Rainforest and the other is situated along the Mameyes River. Clinics and lessons (for children as well) are always available and there is a driving range to practice your swing. The Club House offers a gorgeous locker room area that is more like a spa than a locker room.
There are several bars to be found throughout the resort, all offering great adult beverages. There is the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar by the pool and beach, the lobby bar, Caicu Bar, which offers tapas and is a great pre or post dinner spot. And there is Hole-in-One bar situated at the Ocean Golf Course, where players can pause the game for a beer or sandwich.