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Saturday,  May 25, 2024 1:44 PM 

The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar to reopen Mar. 1


The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar to reopen Mar. 1
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch: christine@paxglobalmedia.com.

When Hurricane Irma blew through Puerto Rico, Nils Stolzlechner, general manager of the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort, remained calm. Stolzlechner and his staff had heard about the onset of the Category 5 storm, but had a series of preparations in place so that everyone was alert and ready. With three back-up generators kicking into gear, the Wyndham never lost power, and the hotel was able to efficiently supply necessary needs like air conditioning and electricity to the guests who happened to be at the resort when the storm finally hit.

For those who had intended to visit the property, arrangements were made to see to it that those guests would be tended to as well.

WYNDHAM GRAND RIO MAR BEACH AERIAL-.jpgThe Wyndham Grand Rio Mar is currently the only beachfront property in the east of Puerto Rico with a slotted reopening date.

“We waived cancellation fees for upcoming stays, and worked with guests to reschedule their visits,” said Stolzlechner. “Leading up to the hurricanes, we helped on-property guests rebook their flights to leave the island before the hurricane hit, and for guests who were unable to rebook, we had a procedure in place to protect them while on property. We are grateful to our staff who worked around the clock to ensure that our guests' needs were taken care of while at the resort.”

001_BCV_Wyndham_Rio_Mar_by_brianadamsphoto.com.jpgNils Stolzlechner, general manager, Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort.

The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar sits right on the beach, and it’s the only resort on the northeast coast of Puerto Rico. The property is nestled within 500 acres of land, and a section of the Mameyes River flows right through the area. Because of the nature of the storm, it was important for guests to stay inside the Wyndham, due to flying debris and strong winds. And, although the power remained on inside the Wyndham, off of the property, Puerto Rico’s streets remained dark.

When the storm was finally over, Stolzlechner and his staff began an assessment. The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar remained open to accommodate first responders, but damage was substantial. One of the resort’s beloved spots, the Tiki Hut and Pool Bar, was unrecognizable, its roof completely collapsing in the centre. The Wyndham’s lobby also received significant damage. But, both Bob the Parrot, a chatty Macaw who greets guests in the lobby, and Charlie the Iguana, who loves to lounge by the pool, made it out okay, and are happily settled back into their home at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar, as the property eagerly awaits its March 1 reopening date.

The Wyndham Rio Mar, renewed

During a recent trip down to Puerto Rico, PAX had the opportunity to take a private media tour of the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar, and sit down to lunch with Stolzlechner at the resort’s brand new Caicu Rum Bar.

As Stolzlechner pointed out during the tour, in a way, the hurricane was sort of a strange blessing--the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar picked itself back up, dusted itself off, and took the opportunity to undergo an incredible renovation, and embark on a multi-million dollar rebuild that is just waiting to be shown off.

_ADF1123.jpgThe modern Caicu Rum Bar serves up exquisite mixed drinks and mouth-watering bites.

Don’t let the name fool you--the Caicu Rum Bar may have a wicked drink called the Rum Runner, which blends signature Caribbean rums and fresh juices, but it also serves up tasty flavours of the Caribbean in small bites.

drinks.jpgThe Rum Runner, left, and the fun-sized Margarita, right, are just a few of the drinks available at the Caicu Rum Bar.

The Blue Crab Mofongo and the vegetarian empanadas are not to be missed, and the giant margarita, hand-crafted with freshly-squeezed lime juices is a must--just don’t try to drink the whole thing by yourself. The menu pays tribute to Puerto Rican flavours, and the chefs behind the signature dishes were inspired by an abundance of local ingredients to bring the vision of Caicu Rum Bar to life.

IMG_3629.JPGThe chefs at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar, serving up tasty Caribbean cuisine inside the property's refurbished Caicu Rum Bar.

Back to the beach

Outside the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar, the North Atlantic Ocean cast waves rolling back to the property’s mile-long section of golden beach. Lounge chairs and umbrellas were set up, just waiting for guests to relax and recline once more.

WYNDHAM GRAND RIO MAR-Tiki1.jpgThe Tiki Hut and Pool Bar will be bigger and better than ever, following a recent upgrade, and will be ready March 1.

The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar has three pools and two hot tubs, alongside 21 cabanas to rent for the ultimate beach day. A construction crew was working on The Tiki Hut and Pool Bar, restoring the damage, and expanding it so that its seating capacity is now double than what it was before. By March 1, 40 guests can grab a seat at the bar and sip on cool drinks or snacks by the pool.

WYNDHAM GRAND RIO MAR-Aerial Pool & Beach Landscape-3.jpgOne of three pools at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort.

As for the rooms? All 400 rooms, of which there are 40 suites, are open, ready to welcome guests of all ages back to Puerto Rico. With views of the El Yunque Rainforest or the ocean, either view is unbeatable.

All rooms come with complimentary WiFi, a private balcony, and even pet-friendly rooms, for guests travelling with pets.

WYNDHAM GRAND RIO MAR Rainforest King.jpgThe Rainforest View room at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar.

WYNDHAM GRAND RIO MAR-Oceanview King.jpgThe Oceanview room at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar.

“As of today, Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Golf & Beach resort remains the only beach resort property in the east end of the island [Puerto Rico] to announce its reopening,” Stolzlechner said. “We look forward to welcoming our leisure guests back, starting on March 1.”

For more information, visit www.WyndhamGrandRioMar.com.

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