The Good Life

St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico

| By Laurie Kahle | From David Harbour, September/October 2020
St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico

After Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico in September 2017, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort used the crisis as an opportunity to renovate. Already a lush 483-acre, oceanfront property with outstanding golf, it’s now brightened to reflect the sea, sand, foliage and the neighboring Rio Grande River, which greet you only half an hour from the airport.

Once a coconut plantation, the hotel now offers the look and amenities of a contemporary resort, ideal for a family getaway. You can just relax and soak up some sun by the free-form swimming pool, stroll the two-mile-long stretch of crescent-shaped beach, indulge your health and wellness at the Iridium Spa or get moving with surfing, kayaking, bicycling and more.

But for golfers the real treat is an 18-hole, par-72 Robert Trent Jones Jr. course that meanders along scenic lakes and the ocean with 15 waterfront holes against a backdrop of the El Yunque National Forest in the distance. You can spot such rare birds as bright green Puerto Rican parrots as you play the Caribbean’s first and only Gold level Audubon Signature Sanctuary golf course.

Furthermore, because no holes really run parallel to each other, you hardly see other players. Even when played at capacity you feel as if you have the course to yourself. It is also accessible to players of all levels, with five tee boxes at each hole.

After your round, you can head to the beachfront golf club, which has its own pools and restaurant, or make your way back to the St. Regis Bar in the Casa Grande, the resort’s main social hub. 

As with all St. Regis properties, a mural hangs over the bar in keeping with the Old King Cole mural by Maxfield Parrish in the bar of the original St. Regis in New York City. At Bahia Beach, local artist Arnaldo Roche Rabell’s vibrant painting The Long Awaited Voyage survived the storm with a bit of damage, but nothing that kept it from being restored to its former glory.

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