Plantation House is the heartbeat of the resort, offering lobby services and the
St. Regis Bar.
We recently spent a long weekend in Puerto Rico, where we soaked up the luxury vibe at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort.
What we loved: Room No. 735, a Superior King, was plenty spacious for two, with a very large bathroom and the deepest soaking tub we’ve ever enjoyed. Bonus: Even the balcony seating area was super spacious. Note: This room is close to the pool and a short walk to the beach.
But if you must upgrade, we say it should be to a St. Regis Suite, a one-bedroom beach-facing enclave. It has the same large bathroom as the Superior King, plus another full bathroom (shower, no tub). The kitchen area has a fridge, wet bar and plenty of shelf space. The bedroom and the living room each have outdoor areas, one for sitting and another for dining. And by dining we mean having a pot of hot coffee brought fresh each morning with a basket of chocolate croissants.
St. Regis Suite No. 1113 has the beach virtually at its doorstep and is a comfortable jaunt away from the pool, which provides lots and lots of lovely service (think attendants to set up your chaise lounges and to assist in moving the said lounges as the angle of the sun shifts throughout the day).
After the pool or the beach, it’s time to head back to the suite, shower and don your best preppy duds or long patio dresses and Louboutins and head to the Plantation House. That’s where resides the resort’s main lobby, as well as the St. Regis Bar. It’s also got a pretty swell porch for sipping cocktails and watching the Caribbean in the distance. The porch also oversees the Great Lawn, which is the venue each evening for a champagne sabering (think of opening a bottle of bubbly with an enormous sword in one fell swoop). And guess what happens after that? A glass of champagne for all! (I know, right?) Hint: This popular 6 p.m. pastime and the seats on that porch fill up quickly. We say it’s best to head over by 5:30 to secure your settee to feel like the optimal insider.
Another snazzy touch about the Plantation House: True to St. Regis’s promise of sophisticated ambiance, there’s great jazz playing all day, some of it is so well curated, our expert traveling jazz companion heard an early Miles Davis track that was new to him.
About Dinner: We dined twice at Fern, upstairs in the Plantation House, which is a product of Jean-Georges. You’ll know it’s his when you sample the subtle but delicious seasoning on any of the food. There are seasonal tasting menus and entrées available (think grilled lobster with napa cabbage, ginger, green chile and mint) but there’s also a “Simply Cooked” menu from which you can select steak, chicken, salmon or red snapper, with side options such as ginger rice (we’d kill for the recipe), black beans or grilled asparagus with lemon and olive oil. Dining is available inside or out. Note: In the evenings, dressy resort wear is requested, though jackets are not required.
Molasses is a great dining option near the golf course; it serves up fabulous cocktails (think Viejo rum with ice, which is actually frozen coconut water that slowly melts in the alcohol. Yes, please).
This St. Regis, like all others, has butler service and we think technology has finally merged with human touch at this resort. We were able to text all day back and forth with Ariel, our most dedicated attendant. We’d check in with him to make dinner reservations, to order room service, change the time of a spa appointment or to request a golf cart to take us around the resort if we just didn’t feel like walking at that moment. Ariel and his team were available at every moment of our stay, immediately confirming the receipt of requests with classy text responses, such as, “Of course, allow me.”
Remede Spa treatment rooms make the most of the resort’s tropical setting.
The stand-alone Remede Spa, which is run by Richard Trinidad ([email protected]) has a mellow vibe that complements the resort’s high level of intuitive-style service. We had a custom massage with Gregorio, who was a master at working out the perennial kinks in our shoulders; he also added on a paraffin foot treatment, which we didn’t realize we needed but would now be embarrassed to go without in the future. Note: It was pretty swell to start off our massage with the offer of a flute of champagne; we ended on the same high note, which gave us the excuse to enjoy the spa’s open-air relaxation area, which is close to the sauna, steam room (eucalyptus included) and a plunge pool.
The spa has separate facilities for men and women, a roomy locker area, showers and a vanity area which services up personal hair brushes, combs, emery boards and plenty of hair product and hair dryers to re-do your look before heading back to the pool. Because that’s so important.
Traveling with kids? The spa provides child-friendly manicures and pedicures and some fancy nail art options. Just In: Kids have access to the Iguana Club for activities, and now teenagers can hangout at the all-new Boathouse Club, which provides zip lining, photography workshops, camping, kayaking, movie nights and cooking lessons.
The luxury travel advisor contact here is Domingo Velasco ([email protected]; 011-939-216-5394); the hotel is overseen by General Manager Terry G. Bechtold ([email protected]; 011-787-809-8030). Restaurant and spa appointments can be made through Jossell Louie Velazquez ([email protected]; 011-787-809-8007), the head concierge, who is also a member of Les Clefs d’Or USA. Jossell can also arrange a tee time at the resort’s Robert Trent Jones golf course. Weddings are also a big business here; contact Claudia Montes (011-787-809-8057)for venue options.
The pet-friendly resort is a 25-minute drive away from the airport.