I was researching vacation locations and there was very minimal information about certain specifics regarding Puerto Rico, poker there, and the InterContinental Resort & Casino. I will segment it so you can read only the parts that may interest you. There was a lot to cover so this may be in several parts.
- Why Puerto Rico
- The InterContinental Resort & Casino Overview
- Reservations at The InterContinental Resort & Casino
- Restaurants & Food
- The Room
- The Bottom Line
Between the wife unit, myself and our joint & solo adventures, we have been to the majority of the islands in the Caribbean, meaning we have a decent sampling to compare to, so I’m not just some goob straight off the hay wagon from Lodi, Ohio. Okay, well maybe I am THAT, but I’m a well-traveled goob! This trip to Puerto Rico was originally planned to be a vacation to the Dominican Republic, but after hearing the gambling there wasn’t that good, we (meaning “I”) opted to go to Puerto Rico instead. The trip was way more expensive than a trip to D.R., but a boy has to have his vices!
Why Puerto Rico
We chose Puerto Rico over the Dominican Republic because we had heard the gambling in the D.R. was not that good. In this same blog, you will find a review of “Poker in Puerto Rico” as that is one of the things so hard to find on the web is solid information about Caribbean poker rooms. I can usually win enough to pay for a vacation. That’s not bragging, that’s just how I subsidize these trips. If the Dominican Republic’s poker rooms are vacant, then there is no chance of paying for the trip, even if the D.R. is considerably cheaper than Puerto Rico. Of course, what I didn’t know then was, that poker in Puerto Rico has such small pots and limited action, that you can’t fund your trip anyway, and all I did was pay more for a vacation, on the CHANCE of recouping my investment. I’m glad that we came here because this is one more island to check off our list, I now KNOW the status of the poker in P.R., and my curiosity is sated.
The only real touristy thing we did was rent a car and go to Old San Juan and see the fort which was pretty cool. We would have liked to done the bioluminescence kayak tour or the cave tours, but those were both hour and 40 minute drives (each way) from Isla Verde on crowded highways. That kind of stress we can get at home. Our days were spent lounging by the pool or ocean, reading, our evenings were playing poker and chilling out.
The InterContinental Resort & Casino
Overall: This was a pretty decent hotel and while we may come back to Puerto Rico, it’s unlikely we will come back here. I thought it too pricey for the accommodations and style. Older, but decent, clean and has an extremely friendly staff. At these prices, you should be getting “Wow!” not “Just okay.”
The one thing I would say that sets Puerto Rico apart from any other island we have been to is the people. At The InterContinental Resort where we stayed, the staff as unbelievably friendly and spoke way better English than I speak Spanish. Communication was no problem at all. As opposed to the Dominican Republic resort, where I tried to make a reservation to a woman who didn’t speak English worth a damn! The staff at the InterContinental was extraordinarily polite and helpful.
Even on the streets, If you stop at a curb, ALL traffic will stop to let you cross the street, even if you are willing to wait, they will stop! Try that in the states and they have to scrape you off of numerous undercarriages.
The traffic is heavy, but not crushingly so. The streets around the resort seem safe enough in the day time that we didn’t feel concerned as couple of gringos walking around with “Please Mug Us” signs on our necks. Can you say “Jamaica”? Me neither, not after going to Montego Bay ONCE.
I do want to give extra kudos to our “maid”, Hilton. HE did a great job of our rock-star trashed room and on the second day, left us with an ‘origami towel’ creation of towels folded into an elephant with Melinda’s sunglasses on its head. We came back from the pool and it was as cute as it could be. I had heard of this, but it was a nice extra touch (that other InterContinental maids didn’t do.) I saw him in the hall, thanked him for going above and beyond and gave him a five dollar bill. The next day, when we came back from the pool, we had a manta ray, dog, two robes and two slippers on our beds. Hilton was one of the little extras that really made our trip memorable. One day, we was out at the pool teaching little kids how to do towel origami with a big smile on his face.
Next article: Reservations, Room, Food, Value, Bottom Line