Gran Melia Puerto Rico - Rio Grande, PR

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "If you want the rainbow, you've got to face the rain." After getting lost in Tampa ...

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "If you want the rainbow, you've got to face the rain."

After getting lost in Tampa while looking for the IHOP 0.5 miles away from us (
with the GPS on my Blackberry and one in our rent-a-car), and after two nerve-wracking flights, finding our way to the Gran Melia at 3 a.m. was as bad as trekking through the rainforest in a monsoon.

But an hour later, we finally stopped, and two long rows of palm trees flagged their fronds as if to congratulate us. We'd found more than the rainbow; we had struck gold.


When we checked in, Rosemary, a skinny, bespectacled twenty-something year-old (who answered the front desk phone with a perky "Hola" each of the six times we asked her for directions between 3 and 4 a.m.), smiled and assured us we'd have a relaxing stay.


Relaxing isn't the word.


A Puerto Rican goddess must have sprinkled dream dust everywhere. The sounds of jazz drum, acoustic guitar and piano commingled with the scents of pomegranate and cabernet sauvignon (I'm referring to the intoxicating $35 "Wine Divine" oil diffusers cleverly placed at the bars, near restaurants, in the ladies' rooms, in the spa, and by lounge areas to stimulate guests and help them let loose of everything--especially cash). The cool beige marble tiles, cherrywood and granite tabletops, statues of nymph-like creatures, high-spired wrought iron aviaries, red stained glass lanterns, tall white candles, and thick pillars gave the Edificio Principal (main building / focal point of the hotel) a sensual, European flair (this is no surprise, since Gran Melia is Spanish-owned). Other parts of the resort are somewhat garden and beach-themed. You'll notice this when you take a look at the photos below.


Seconds after stepping into our immaculate, high-ceilinged junior suite, I plunged onto the plush, queen-sized bed and squeezed the memory foam pillow. It was the happiest sleep I'd had in ages.


The next morning, after working up a sweat at the fitness center and dousing myself with agua, I took a few pictures of the place:

The front of the Edificio Principal in the morning.

The leather-padded Bali beds, located in one of the lobbies across from the internet lounge, are so inviting and luxurious...I dozed off on one of these for a while, too.

Ahh, yes. This is one side of the Edificio Principal. How gorgeous is this?

Pool. Need I say more?

A small area between the Bali bed lobby and another lounge.


The Avenue Bar, located at the right side of the main lobby, is the home of a tropical drink that put me in the mood to salsa. It's the house concoction of pineapple juice, creme de coco, grenadine, coconut Bacardi, a splash of orange, and a maraschino cherry. The bartender mounted it on a napkin, pushed it toward me, and said "Paradise." Simple and self-explanatory.

Below are some photos that showcase the hotel's tropical motif...

Each of the garden villas have feminine Latina names such as "Ana Maria" and "Gabriela": A courtyard near the Cafe Soleil buffet.


And here's the backyard, folks:



MORE TO COME!

;) Holly

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4 comments

Anonymous said...

My girlfiend and I stayed there at the end of June and we loved it. She wanted one of those wine diffusers but we had checked out of our room and the front desk was out of stock. Do you know where one can purchase those diffusers? Do you think the hotel would ship me a couple? I would win some kudos from my girlfriend's birthday if I could get some.

Holly Pinafore said...

Hi there,

I have searched the entire internet and am sorry to say that nobody seems to carry these sacred wine diffusers. Personally, I think Gran Melia hired top-notch chemists to concoct this mesmerizing (and apparently secret) scent just for their hotel. Great marketing tactic, right?? It's impossible to resist.

I had to buy one at the front desk...I gave into temptation.
But I don't see why the hotel wouldn't ship you a few. They're the ones who will lose out if they say no. Give it a try! Let me know if they do it for you--I would love to order some for my friends.

What a great significant other you are! Score!

Good luck,

Holly

Sunday

Anonymous said...

Ok Guys I found the company that makes the diffusers for the Gran Melia they are call Cresanti candles They are in San Juan and they charge 10.00 less than the hotel.

Anonymous said...

you can log on into www.cresanti.com and place the order for the Gran Melia Wine Divine diffuser

...BUT AT LEAST MY HAIR STILL LOOKS GREAT!
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