NUMERO UNO BEACH CLUB-PAMELAS
This was our first time visiting San Juan and I really had no idea what to do. I received a few suggestions from fellow cruisers and decided to go to Numero Uno on a whim.
Click here for their resort website:
We caught a taxi outside the port and off we went.
I have to say that it was a very strange area. It is not at all what I had pictured in my mind. We were in a neighborhood and I would have never thought we were anywhere near an actual beach.
The street came to a dead end and he told us "This is Pamela's". My mouth was probably hanging open and wondering what I had gotten myself into at this point. It's a $14 cab ride from the port to here.
We paid the driver and walked around the building and onto the beach. Then headed back into the area that appeared to be Pamela's.
We gave the guy that worked there our reservation papers and he handed us our "coupons". Each person got 6 coupons for drinks. So 12 "adult" beverages for us and 6 regular for Sakari (which were a different color so they could keep track). The guy pulled out 3 chairs and an umbrella for us and ask where we would like to sit. I, of course, needed to be near the water since I have to keep a close eye on Sakari. The water is actually quite the haul from the actual building. I felt bad for the guy having to pull those chairs all the way out there. I bet he gets his workout on daily.
They sat the umbrella up for us and even brought us a small table and took our first drink order. Ok, it is mid-day, so I guess it's ok to drink already. I'm so use to getting to port early in the morning that it still felt early to me.
There was a side street entrance. Notice (in the picture) the door there and the key pad. You had to be "buzzed in" by the office staff on the other side. I found it weird since all you had to do is walk around the building on the beach side and it's all open right in front.
As soon as you go around the corner, this is their outside dining area. Then also a patio area and door leading into the inside dining and bar area. Inside dining and bar area and the restroom to the right of the picture.
Right outside the door and on the patio area is a pool. It is a "black" bottom pool and kinda neat. It was super small but there's not much room here in this area and I guess it works for them.
Also in this picture is the door that you enter from the street. Beside that, to the right in the picture, is their "office". It was just a little shack with a desk and stuff in it, a/c in the wall and that's the office that buzzes you in.
On the side of the building and on the beach there was a trash compactor. "Enjoy your beach with a conscience. Deposit clean trash here" or something like that. What was neat about this is I believe it was a compactor as well. I had never seen anything like this before.
A sign on the beach said Stop! There's a leatherback nest. Do not touch it. Respect their life, keep your distance. Someone had actually put a few toy turtles in the pen, I guess to signal to those of us that don't read spanish well.
So today was a mixture of some clouds and sun. One minute we thought it would rain, the next it was bright and sunny.
The beach was nice, but the sand appeared a "brownish" color...so not your beautiful fluffy white sand you normally see in the Caribbean. I actually told my hubby that it kinda reminded me of the beach we go to here in Ohio...the man made beach. Not the beach itself, but just the color of the sand. I'm not sure if this is what all the beaches in San Juan looked like, but it wasn't "too impressive", but hey any day at the beach is a good day for me.
There wasn't a shortage of pigeons today and Sakari got her workout chasing them. The hubby did his normal thing...lounging in the chairs.
Of course I immediately started taking pictures of the beach and the surroundings.
Our first round of drinks had arrived and they were cold and yummy.
The staff even brought out a bunch of sand toys for Sakari to play with. How thoughtful.
Before long we were on our next round of drinks.
One of the first things I noticed was that the water was rough. Ugh. I knew that this was going to be a "no mermaid morphing" type of day with those waves. Of course Sakari was devastated that she was not going to be able to wear her tail today and it's so hard to explain to them (and have them fully understand) the dangers of a mad ocean at times. I don't know if this side of PR is always like this or if it was just that day. I wasn't taking any chances.
I let her dip in the water to get cooled off then I convinced her to come up and make a sand "castle" beside us. She was not happy, but she made the most of it. I mean the nice server brought her all of these toys to play with, she shouldn't be rude and not put them to use right?
Of course anyone building a sand ship gets sand all over them and must get washed off right? She headed down to the water and I tagged along. I just didn't trust the water...or her for that matter. She convinced me that she would be fine in the water, splashing around and jumping the waves (she must get that from her older sister who loves this type of beach) and I would stand at the edge of the water with my hawk eye on her at all times.
I really wish the trees came further down on the beach. It would have been perfect.
Sakari wore me out watching her jumping the waves and it was time to head back to the chairs to relax.
The pigeons there had no fear and hung out at our chairs most of the day and it was time for another round of drinks.
The waiter came around to give us the menu for lunch and this occurred....he stepped on Sakari's sand ship. GASP! I just knew Sakari was going to be devastated....not, it made for some destruction fun and I'm sure she was letting out some anger issues about not getting to wear her mermaid tail today.
I didn't feel there was a lot of choices on the menu. Of course you were welcome to pay for something else, but you know me, I won't pay extra for the specialty restaurants on the ship or room service, I'm surely not paying extra for a meal if I get a free meal included in the price of my stay here.
Sakari ordered the chicken nuggets and french fries. I ordered the Roasted Jalapeno Chicken on Ciabatta Bread and as a side I ask for both the rice and beans and the french fries...he said that was fine. The hubs ordered the Manchego Churrasco Wrap and they said it came with some type of sauce on it. He ask for it on the side and then also ordered the rice and beans.
Sakari made some friends at the beach and she would play with them for quite some time. Sakari was drawing "animals" and stuff in the sand and this little girl was just amazed at her drawings in the sand. "I can draw this, I can draw that, what would you like for me to draw for you?" She cracks me up. Then another girl joined and they started building more sand castles and we took a look at our collection of cups and decided to order another round.
They came down to tell us that our lunch was ready up at the restaurant. The last picture is what the sky was looking like at the time. I decided we should probably just gather all of our things and head up there. I was afraid it was going to turn into an icky day, plus our chairs were so far from the building that I didn't want to take any chances of someone coming by and taking our things. In the back of my mind, I really didn't care for the beach for many reasons, but the number one reason was the crazy waves and me being scared of Sakari in them. Then factor in the brown sand, the distance from the water to the building (for multiple potty breaks when you're drinking)...eh, it just wasn't anything that made me go "wow, I love this place". Although we had decent weather, it wasn't really "hot" and I think that might have played a factor too. I think at that point, I had made my decision that I would probably never return to this beach and I really didn't want to come back down to our chairs after eating either. We gathered our things, told Sakari to tell her friends goodbye and we were going to eat, and started the long trek up to the restaurant area.
They had a table prepared for us outside. They didn't bring me the fries AND the rice I had asked for. Oh well. The sandwich was ok but the fries were soggy. I like my fries cooked all the way and crispy if possible. I did ask for my "dressing" (which was supposed to the the jalepeno sauce on the chicken) to come on the side too. I'm not a person who likes hot or spicy food and even when someone says "It's pretty good and not too hot", I never tend to believe them because their hot and my hot are always different. I did not get my sauce either.
The hubbys food was not quite right either. The hubby is looking at his food and thinking...where's the beans and rice? We are so use to having beans and rice every where we go in the Caribbean and it's usually mixed together and yummy. This was just plain rice and the "beans" portion was in the little cup. Weird. I guess it's different in San Juan.
Sakari had chicken nuggets and soggy fries. She didn't really say if she liked her meal or not, but she ate most of it and then fed a lot of her fries to the pigeons, which I'm convinced will eat anything...including soggy fries.
I did ask about my sauce and the waiter brought a cup of it out. It wasn't bad and not too hot. I would dip my sandwich in it and call it a day (after seeing the beans and rice, I'm glad I didn't get it after all).
Sakari was getting gutsy and started putting food on her foot for the pigeons to come up and eat. Once again, they have no fear. We convinced her to try to get them to take it from her hand. They had no problem with that either.
We enjoyed our time just sitting at the table and watching 2 guys in the water with surfboards and parachutes...would this be called parasurfing? Or is this kitesurfing? They were fun to watch. They could make it really far out there and back in a matter of minutes. We did watch them go down a few times and I always wondered how they get the kite back up out of the water and into the air.
We had been here about 3 1/2 hours and I really wasn't sure what to do at this point. I wasn't interested in going back down to our chairs on the beach or swimming in the wavy water, but yet it was such a long day in port and we had hours before it was time to leave and I wanted to get my moneys worth out of this place. We also still had many drink coupons left to use.
We ask the waiter if we were allowed to use the pool. I noticed that no one had been in the pool the entire time we were there, but also knew that most of the time when you buy a day pass to a place that people are staying at, they want you to stay out of the pool because it's for guest staying there only. But to my surprise, he said yes.
It didn't take long for this to occur...(see human morph to mermaid in picture). We even managed to get the hubby in the water for the day. Ok, now she was happy. A day without a morphing mermaid at the beach is not a good day. She was happy, even if it was in a pool. Now I have known many people that have put in a black pool. I always wondered "why???" and thought it was ugly. I would also add that the thought of going in a pool with a black bottom gives me the creeps because of not being able to see. I just never understood it. However, I was pleasantly surprised...while under water you can see perfect and for my pictures to come out so great...not bad after all.
This girl always has her mouth open. How does she do that? If I did it, I would end up with a mouth full of water and gag myself.
Here she is blowing bubbles, while "laying" sideways and still not swallowing water.
There is a wall/entrance area that goes out to the beach and the pool is behind this wall.
The staff was amazed at their new attraction...a real mermaid. They all came out to see her perform.
There was another couple that was from the US staying at this place and we got to talking to them. They loved this place and said they come here a lot. They talked about how quite and laid back it is. They went for a swim with Sakari and she talked to them for quite some time.
At this point it was a race against time to try to use the rest of our drink coupons. I would like to say that they will let you use them in many different ways. If you want a different drink than what's included in the "coupon drinks" you can use 2 coupons for it. (Like the hubby likes bloody marys and he used two coupons for that). Cheers!
The hubs was saying that he felt some pain under his arm and wanted his nurse to check it out. I found this...bumps/whelts
He ended up with several welts that day and no clue where they came from. He didn't get in the water in the ocean and hadn't got in the water in the pool until just prior to this and he didn't even go under. He said he didn't feel anything sting him and the weird thing was he had a few of them on his back as well.
I made a video of Sakari being a "mermaid" Enjoy!
Sakari was off making her own videos (she is probably the one that ran both of my camera's dead because she had them for quiet some time in the water and I ended up with an abundance amount of videos she took on the card) and daddy was enjoying his drink...now in the water.
The sun was going down and most people were heading home. Although pretty, it wasn't my idea of watching the sunset go down. I guess I was in the wrong part of the island.
It was time to leave and I figured I would go in and settle up on my bill. We had a good day, it just wasn't "the best" day. Nothing to really complain about, but nothing to really brag about either. The staff was awesome and very attentive to our needs. The servers were great, food ok, beach ok, pool great. Would I recommend this place? Sure. Would I go back? Probably not. I don't repeat places unless it's just one of those places that I was blown away by. But I wouldn't hesitate to tell someone to go there for a lovely day.
We paid $45 per adult (which included the 12 drinks and 2 lunches plus 2 chairs for us and an umbrella) and Sakari was $15 (which included a chair, sand toys, lunch and 6 drinks). So for $105 for the 3 of us and we didn't have to spend any money, I think it was a good deal and well worth it.
We booked online using Island Marketing (referred to us on here) and put down a $25 deposit when booking. Now there was a lot of talk about this 15% gratuity being added to your bill. People were a little unsure if this is if you get anything additional that you have to pay for or if it was just in general. There were people that didn't think any gratuity should be added and they wanted to tip on their own to who they thought should get a tip. Others said they didn't have the gratuity added. It was a mixed ball of emotions about this. So...when I went to go settle the bill, they ASK me if it was ok to add a 15% gratuity onto the bill. I had excellent service that day and they really worked their butts off for us, so of course it was more than ok for me. I rounded off the amount and gave them an even $100, which gave them a little more than the 15% in the end.
I ask them if they got a lot of cruise ship passengers here and he said they did. (The lady at the pool earlier, that was staying there, said they didn't realize cruise ship passengers even knew about the place...they come here by cruise ship too at times but only know of the place because her hubby had discovered it during a business meeting and they land vacation here all the time now). I ask if he had heard about cruise critic and he said he had. We are popular there. I didn't dare ask him if he knew who Mitsugirly was because I'm pretty sure that would be pressing my luck. I couldn't take being crushed at that point.
I ask him to call me a cab at 6:22pm. I barely had enough time to use the restroom one last time and get outside to gulp down my last drink and grab my bags before the cab arrived. He was there within 5 minutes. No lie, I know the times on everything we do...I take a picture of my watch every time and of course there's date stamps on every picture...which we all know is being snapped at least every 5 minutes when it's in my hand.
I yelled in at the staff and thanked them again for the great service and off we went in the cab back to the port...this time with a cab driver who knew his way around. It only took us around 15 minutes to get back to the ship.
We had a good day at Pamela's/Numero Uno despite the waves (which is probably not a problem for most, but with a young child, I prefer it to be a little less wavy for her).
The staff was attentive and kept checking on us and bringing drinks out. It was also nice that they provided my daughter with some sand toys. It was a nice added touch.
The food, well that was something that was left to be desired. We really didn't care for it, the order was not exactly what we had said or thought it would be and the fries were soggy. But not "bad' by any means. It was a nice added touch to be served there on the beach with nice plates and glasses.
It was an added plus also that they allowed us to use their hotel pool. Maybe it was because they knew we had a young child and really wasn't getting much use from the ocean? Maybe they were slow that day and since they didn't have many resort guest in it? Maybe they were just being nice? Either way, we were greatful because I have heard reports from others that they do not allow day pass people in the pool. But, it ended up being a great day I think because of that.
Would I go back? Probably not. I don't like to repeat places and I have experienced this place already. Time for something new. Would I recommend it? Sure, it's a decent place and the staff was amazing. Just don't go for the food...well maybe if you order something else. I'm not sure.