March 15, 2010

Family Trip Report: Gran Melia Puerto Rico

A family recently visited Puerto Rico with their children ages 4 and 7. She rented a car for her trip, as there are many fun and interesting places to explore on the island, including El Yunque Rainforest, Old San Juan (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and Rio Camuy Cave Park. (Click here to receive a Puerto Rico Nature and Adventure guide.)

Here are some of her comments about the resort:

"The Gran Melia Resort was nice. The common areas were beautiful. We enjoyed our stay. All the staff we interacted with were welcoming and friendly.

The pool area was excellent! There are 4 pools at the resort. One is a separate kiddie pool for babies - maybe 1' deep. Another is the main resort pool, which is a huge pool shaped like an amoeba. Within the huge pool, there are several parts that are very shallow - families can take their pick from at least 3 different areas of the pool that are shallow (anywhere from 12 inches or so up to 3 feet deep). There is no water slide, and there are no hot tubs or jacuzzis in the pool area - only jetted sections of the pool. There is a 3rd pool which is for Royal Service guests only and is strictly for adults. Finally there is a pool at the spa.

The room itself was comfortable and spacious. It had a separate sitting area. We had a Royal Service room which was in one of the closer buildings to the main resort area. The room decor and overall feel was nice...marble vanities, nice bedding.

Families who stay at the Gran Melia should know that there is a beach but it is very rocky and there is a lot of seaweed. The good news is that nice beaches are very close. Luquillo Beach is 15 minutes away, and Seven Seas Beach (in Fajardo) is 20-25 minutes away. We went to Seven Seas beach and it was gorgeous.

The best meal of our vacation was actually a homestyle Puerto Rican meal at El Punto in Old San Juan. It was a tiny restaurant with maybe 4 tables, tucked in the back of a souvenir-shop alley. Their rice and beans were excellent. We also enjoyed the Brass Cactus in Luquillo, which serves Southwestern cuisine and is owned by a California native. "

It's not too late to plan a great vacation, and many promotions are available for summer travel to the Caribbean. And remember, no passports are required for Puerto Rico!

To receive a Nature and Adventure guide for Puerto Rico, or for help with planning great family vacation to any destination, contact Suzette Mack, Family Travel Specialist, at suzette@family-treks.com.

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