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Fairmont Villa Experience or Wyndham Grand Rio Mar?

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Fairmont Villa Experience or Wyndham Grand Rio Mar?

Traveling to Puerto Rico the first week of April with our daughters (7 and 10) for the first time. Hoping to have a relaxing beach vacation with activities for the kids. Trying to decide between staying in San Juan at the Fairmont or trekking a bit further to the Wyndham. Looking for insights re: the beaches and water activities and pool areas as I anticipate that most of the trip will be spent at one or the other. Also, any insights re: on-property restaurants and availability of kid-friendly food would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom!

6 replies to this topic
boston
Level Contributor
1,434 posts
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
1. Re: Fairmont Villa Experience or Wyndham Grand Rio Mar?

The kicker is will you have a car? If NOT then the Fairmont or Sonesta is a great option. I am partial to the Sonesta, even though they are next door to each other. It’s quieter and smaller and I appreciate not having to trek 20 minutes back to my room if I need something. Plenty of restaurants within walking distance. And you’re a short cab/uber away from OSJ and Condado for a lot more options.

Rio Mar you’ll need a car and expect to drive each night for dinner. And then eat on property during the day. I can’t think of a thing within walking distance. I guess it depends on which area of the property you choose.

Chesterland, Ohio
Level Contributor
127 posts
2. Re: Fairmont Villa Experience or Wyndham Grand Rio Mar?

I love the Sonesta's club level rooms with the patio. They are on a separate wing. They are ground floor with easy access to the pools. Great for the kids. as mentioned above, are you renting a car? Makes a big difference on where you can stay. Within San Juan, you don't need one and all the resorts charge for parking. Outside of the city you need one and many of the hotels don't charge for parking. Although the large resorts will. On the East coast is the El Conquistador which has a water park that the kids would enjoy and on the South coast is the Copamarina, which worth a look.

Rio Grande, Puerto...
Level Contributor
2,522 posts
139 reviews
70 helpful votes
3. Re: Fairmont Villa Experience or Wyndham Grand Rio Mar?

It depends on the vibe you are looking for. Both areas are great. Fairmont and Isle Verde have an urban beach, Miami-type vibe, High rises with many close-by restaurants and stores.

Rio Mar has a more tropical vibe. You need a car to get to most restaurants most of which are a mile or two from the entrance to the resort. This includes the Kioscos which is a row of about 60 shops and eateries nearby. There you are close to the rainforest and other tropical attractions.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Fairmont Villa Experience or Wyndham Grand Rio Mar?

Thanks so much for your reply!

Any input as to which may feel more relaxing, less crowded, and be more kid friendly for my 7 and 10 year old? My husband hates feeling like he’s fighting for resources (e.g., pool chairs) and my kids are water bugs who love the pool and beach.

TIA for any help you can provide!

When I tried to book online at the Royal Sonesta, it says there are no rooms available (searched for 2adults/2kids per room). Will have to try to call as it looks like there are rooms available with 2 queen beds…

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Fairmont Villa Experience or Wyndham Grand Rio Mar?

Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions! I haven’t rented a car yet, but will if we end up deciding on the Wyndham. We were hoping to stay within a short drive of San Juan as my kids are not great car travelers and we are only there for 5 days.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: Fairmont Villa Experience or Wyndham Grand Rio Mar?

Thanks so much for your descriptions of the “feel” of each hotel location! SUPER HELPFUL!!

Do you have a sense of which might feel more relaxing, less crowded (my husband hates feeling like he’s fighting for resources to get into dinner or find a spot on the beach)?

Also is one hotel more kid-friendly than the other in terms of pools/beach/activities?

TIA for any insights you can share!

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