More about Bahia Marina Condo Resort
Bahia Marina was just right for us
My husband and I just celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary with a trip to the Caribbean. We spent four days on Culebra. The room we had at Bahia Marina was unbelievable for the price. We had a wraparound deck, kitchenette, bedroom, two full bathrooms and a killer view of the bay. The staff picked us up at the airport, and were very accomodating during our stay. We enjoyed wonderful meals at the Shipwreck bar. I would strongly recommend this condo resort-hotel to anyone.
Great place, great service
This was a our third time to Culebra and our first experience with Bahia Marina. The room was clean and had two baths, one for me and one for my wife. The view of the bay from the balcony was great and was a perfect place to drink that first cup of coffee. I can't say enough about the staff. They were always there for advice, spare towels or to answer any questions we might have.
We can't wait to get back!
Great place to stay on Culebra
Bahia Marina is a nice condo property on Culebra. It is not far from town -- you probably want to rent a Jeep as town is not within walking distance and it is off a dirt road.
It is a beautiful property, and we could see the ocean from the condo. It definitely is luxury for the island -- I don't think you'll find a nicer place to stay. It had a separate living room with a futon couch/bed that my wife and I enjoyed watching satellite TV on.
It really is a place to getaway from it all. The one minus was that the indoor restaurant was closed when we went right before Thanksgiving. That caused us to eat outside -- and we got eaten alive by mosquitos even with repellent on. The mosquitos were very bad on Culebra -- much worse than when we went over to Vieques. I had over 20 bites -- I kid you not -- after the 2 night stay on Culebra.
The staff was very nice and we really did enjoy ourselves for the short stay on the island. We would go back to Bahia Marina -- and this time we would put on extra repellent.
Okay, but some problems
I do give the Bahia Marina a five star on location. The view from Phase-one rental is spectacular! I have been to Culebra many times and I do know what to expect there, but based upon the advertising that the Bahia Marina portrays I was somewhat disappointed.
The Bahia Marina appears to have many problems, they advertise three restaurants that are available, The dinner restaurant is the Dakity which is fine dining. The Dakity was never open during our week stay, It has very limited hours. Mainly Thursday Friday and Saturday only.
The second restaurant was called the Shipwreak Bar and Grill. It was represented to be an open- air with light fare for lunch and dinner. The Shipwreak however, was opened only from 6-9PM. As a result there was no food, or beverage service of any kind available prior to 6PM. In order to get a drink or food prior to 6PM one would be required to drive to Dewy where facilities are available, but limited. I have never been to a “resort” in season that had no food or beverage service for breakfast, lunch or early dinner.
The third little Bistro called the Cayo swim up bar is located in a second Phase which is where their second pool is located. In order to access this pool and bar one needs to hike down 50 steps or drive down to the lower parking lot. This is a very beautiful facility however, it has no service manned or self service. It appears to have been closed for months or never opened. Phase-Two also over looks a hillside with roosters, and no sea view. If your booking I would suggest staying at Phase-One.
Phase-One however has its own set of service problems beyond those previously mentioned. We saw no daily housekeeping service until our third day there and that was only after asking the front desk for towels and garbage removal. When housekeeping did show up to clean the room, they made the beds but never cleaned the bathroom or gave us towels. TV service with basic cable was not working for the first four days of our stay. Upon inquiry by us, no explanation or compensation was offered.
On the positive side, the grounds were impeccably maintained and the food at the restaurant, when it was open, was the best on the island. Overall this is a beautiful piece of property which is improperly staffed and managed. As a result service levels do not reach minimal tolerable levels. This situation would not be so bad, if alternative restaurants, bars and resorts were easily accessible.
After reading many reviews on Tripadvisor, we decided to stay at the Bahia Marina Condo Resort. I called the hotel directly, Jose, the manager was excellent. I was very impressed with his customer service over the phone. He talked we me about the property, the island and the different options of getting to Culebra. Upon arrival, they came to the airport to pick us up and everyone we encountered were nice and certainly capable. The location is very pretty and the room clean. We had great views from the deck. The restaurant was excellent. They have a Thrifty Car Rental on site and we rented a jeep from them as well which was convenient. Overall, it was a great stay and I felt like it was a very good value.
Good place to stay on Culebra
We recently stayed at Bahia Marina, on Culebra. I enjoyed the view from our room, which overlooked the bay. It is high on a hill, which was nice for the breeze. You will need definitely need a jeep because it is pretty far from town and beaches. It does have a nice small pool, with nice cool water. This is a good couple's getaway, but I would not say that this would be a good place to bring small children. The restaurant is in a small bar area, and the kids I saw were running around, falling in the fountain, playing around and under the grown-up's table. There simply isn't anyplace else for them to go. The pool is okay for kids, but I think they would be bored. Plus, they could easily fall off the balconies and terraces, which are pretty steep. Better to stay near the beach. The rooms here are all suites with kitchens. They do not supply breakfast at all, so you will have to do some grocery shopping if you stay here. Like most Caribbean places, the roosters are a nuisance in the morning. Bring earplugs!
Not a bad island...
My wife and I spent four days in Culebra. Not a bad island for people who like to get away from major resorts, casinos, the unsightly cruise-ships with their dreaded crowds, etc.
Here's what I liked about Culebra:
- Above average snorkeling
- Good beaches, white sand, blue water and not too crowded
- Island is not over-developed (but getting busier)
- Good restaurants if you ask the right people where they are (Frommers wasn't any help here)
- We enjoyed exploring the numerous beaches by driving around the island, which had a geographical feel similar to St. Barts.
- Beyond spending time with my wife exploring the island, I thought reading a novel with a glass of rum+coke w/lime was the high-light of the trip.
Here's what I didn't like about Culebra:
- rental cars (usually new jeeps) are expensive at +$80 per day after insurance, taxes and other fees. It's difficult to get around the island without a rental so plan accordingly. You can save money by avoiding insurance or getting an older vehicle (both at your own risk). We rented our jeep directly at the Bahia Marina Resort. I noted that the Carlos rental establishment at the airport had identical rates.
- in my opinion, the majority of the island's citizen's aren't going to warmly accept your presence. My wife and I are laid back and go out of our way to be polite. Unfortunately, you aren't always going to get the same treatment from the island's 2,200 citizens, who haven't fully embraced the role that tourism plays in helping their local economy. Not a big deal, we're low maintenance and we weren't expecting to be treated like gold, and that's not to say that other's who travel to Culebra won't have positive interactions with the locals.
- my wife didn't enjoy the 30 minute puddle-jumper flight from San Juan's Isla Grande airport, especially in the afternoon when intermittent storm clouds are in the area. It was a bumpy ride in a small 4-6 passenger plane, but at $100 per round-trip and saving you multiple hours of car/ferry travel, I thought it was worth it. Stick to the morning flights...
Bahia Marina Resort
We stayed in the new condos (Phase 2). Newly constructed, looked just like the pictures in their website (click on 'Buy a Villa' link). Phase 2 had closer access to their pool compared to staying in the Phase 1 units. Pleasant grounds on a hiltop with decent views, but nothing breathtaking. The new kitchens are great if you're staying for a week and want to do your own cooking (go to Milka for groceries).
Phase 2 was still under construction, however, we were on the far end of the new developments and were never bothered by noise, just the sight of two shell buildings without windows, occupants, etc.
Our condo was two-bedrooms and more space than we needed; we still booked it since it was the only thing open for our last-minute planned trip. No complaints, we were able to negotiate a lower rate given that the Phase 2 facilities weren't fully booked, and we liked the fact they were brand new (again, check out their pictures on their websites).
We tried one restaurant (Shipwreck bar and grill) at the resort: service was terrible, food was ok. We weren't expecting 5 star service-cuisine, but our waiter ignored us when he discovered we weren't in the mood to drink or order a 4-course meal. The lobster entree was over-cooked and over-priced. A one-time bad experience, but then again, we took it with a grain of salt... you can't let a bad restaurant review ruin your overall lodging experience.
For restaurants we look for reasonably priced local-cuisine, doesn't need to be fancy. Not to be found at Bahia Marina Resort. Try El Eden or Suzies (BYO), both down by Milka. Service at Mamacita's was a tad pretentious, but their atmosphere and pina colada's are compelling.
We would still consider going back to Bahia, maybe after checking out a few other spots. It's a safe bet if you want to see the island for the first time. Good luck planning your trip, hope this helps, and thanks for posting your timely reviews for others to read and assess.
Culebra Island Vacation
My wife and I spent four evenings at Bahia Marina Resort which was a wonderful experience. The owner Jose and his wife Lisa couldn't do enough for you. Jose was around most of the time and he insured that we had a happy experience day or night.
The apartment was spacious with a beautiful tropical panoramic view from the balcony. My wife liked the spacious kitchen which was well equipped including stainless steel appliances. The whole apartment was bright,colorful and done in good taste.
The supper food surprised me. I did not expect such excellent food and attentive service. Whether we had meat or fish, it was excellent. The ribs I cut with my fork! The vegtables were crunchy, not overdone and properly priced meals. No gouging here. We had lunch at Mamacit'as which is very colorful and borders the pretty,connecting channel. Good experience.
We visited Flamenco Beach twice. It is outstanding and rated in the top 10 in the world. It is so beautiful. Blue, blue, blue calm waters for swimming and wading. The hotel people dropped us off at the ferry dock and we took one of the many Flamenco taxis for $2.00 each way. If you rent a jeep you can go to many other beaches, some deserted and snorkeling sites. We rented kayaks close by and paddled in the neighboring bay.
We visited the Butaki art store and my wife discovered the stateside artist/owner who fell in love with Culebra. My artist wife contracted for a half day of lessons and insights. A highlight for her and wants to return for his lessons. (Wish he wasn't so good looking.)
Culebra is still a tropical, rustic island and our stay at Bahia made our vacation most pleasurable.
Family away from home
My family and I went there to acompany my wife who had some work to do in Culebra. It is hard to find anywhere the kind of attention we received while staying there. Our ferry from Fajardo to Culebra was late so we got to Culebra pretty late. Shortly before we got there, I received a call from the hotel beacuse we have not shown up. Later,they call me again to see if I wanted them to keep their restaurant open a bit longer than usual so we could have dinner, I said yes and they did. I must say that the food was also great. You will get to see that its owner and and employees really and sincerely care about their clients. I havee to go back again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great attention, you would remember this people for a while!!
Beautiful view to the Bahia from the room and pool area, great dinning and great customer service. Amazing place to spend time with your loved ones.
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