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Magic: The Traveling

A Magic: the Gathering travel blog
Finding MtG in the most unlikely places

Wyndam Rio Mar vs. 2011 Islands

Magic the Gathering Card: 2010 Island

Wyndam Rio Mar Beach Resort
Puerto Rico

33.380999
-80.457001

The thing is that no one cares about a sunset they didn’t see. Talking to people about natural beauty is like talking about that weird dream you had where the ceiling was tiled with rat heads and your cousin was floating upside down in this giant … yeah, see what I did thar? You have to pay good money for that kind of listening.

Alternately, you can take to the internet and bore people indiscriminately, but the fact is that the brilliant Bant Panorama sunsets are about all the Wyndam Rio Mar resort in Puerto Rico has going for it.

Also the roaming pool-side basilisks. Those were pretty wicked.

And okay, granted, the ocean is a shade of blue that gives all other shades of blue an inferiority complex. But the awesome stops right there.

A distant cloister 45-minutes away from anything vaguely edible, the Rio Mar is a stunning example of why Capitalism requires competition to keep its rapaciousness in check, shunting guests into a cult-like daily cycle of horrendous coffee, slot machines, and 35-dollar plates of yeah-we-just-unfroze-that-so-what pasta dinners.

But hey, say the disinterested and mildly disapproving faces of the staff, you don’t have to eat here. You can always hike off onto the forsaken lands behind the golf course, brave the falling coconuts of doom, and spear yourself an iguana.

Worst crime of all? $15.00/day for the slowest internetz – an extra 10 bucks a day if you want a faster connection.

All of this stands in confusing contrast to the awesome grounds, the lovely pool (separate pool with waterslide for the kiddies, and private pool for adults), and the rooms, which are way comfy. My guess? Someone in corporate handed a well-architected idea to a shitty general manager and then forgot about the place.

The hour of our escape fast approaching, we busted out our Magic cards in the lobby bar and I got out two early Blood Seekers and a Pulse Tracker for the epic win. And then since no one had cleaned the lobby in a few days, Kyle graciously wiped the floor with my ass for the next 5 games.

If you must go, tips for surviving the Rio Mar experience:

  1. Stay by the beach or pool. All day.
  2. Bring your own snacks. Lots of them.
  3. Room service is cheaper than eating anywhere else in the hotel, so once you get off the beach, eat in your room.
  4. When the concierge offers to give you a 50-dollar Amex gift card and a free continental breakfast, give them a purple nurple. Then ask whether you have to sit through a 120-minute “sales presentation” on their time shares to get your, ahem, present.

Next stop: Old San Juan. Stay tuned.

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