The Richest Port
Sometime around 8 p.m., just close your eyes, turn off the music and open the windows. There, you’ll hear a cacophony of loud and constant chirps, a disjointed blend from Puerto Rico’s resident orchestra, the coqui frogs. Not exactly the welcoming band I was wishing for when stepping foot on the Caribbean island. But as constant (and frankly annoying) as those loud sounds are, there was another constant to my recent trip to Puerto Rico: the luxurious lodging at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort.
The beachside hotel (1) is absolutely secluded, a hidden tropical paradise that while only 30 minutes from busy San Juan seems more than light years away. The peaceful property is spread out on 483 acres, much of which is lined with tall palm trees and large fern plants that completely blanket the property, making it impossible to see from an aerial view. Adding to the exclusive and private feeling, the St. Regis’ guest rooms are spread among separate buildings, making it unlikely that you’ll run into many other guests.
The three-year-old property puts nature as a priority, allowing guests to take advantage of the serene beauty of Puerto Rico. And I find one of the best ways to learn about a new place is by going on a bike ride, something that is free to all hotel guests. Armed with the hotel’s Specialized trail bike (2), I went on the property’s 4-mile biking trail. The hotel also has an immaculate Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed 18-hole golf course as well as various water activities, like kayaking and paddle boarding.
Food & Beverage
The first person I met in Puerto Rico told me, “If you haven’t had mofongo, then you haven’t been to Puerto Rico.” And some of the best mofongo happens to be served at the hotel’s Molasses Restaurant, one of four dining options on property, including Jean-Georges’ Fern (3). Mofongo, a plantain-based dish served with your choice of protein, is a Puerto Rican staple that has its own twist in every individual restaurant, though I can hardly imagine any being better than the one served at Molasses.
This St. Regis property is as perfect for adults as it is for their kids. With the Iguana’s Children’s Club on site, parents can feel comfortable allowing their kids to play in a wellsupervised building with every toy a kid could want. Kids are even taken outside on guided tours of the nature trail and can learn about the indigenous animals found in Puerto Rico.