More about Casa Alta Vista
Stayed at the Wyndham El San Juan from August 2-August 8 but flew to Vieques from Isla Verde Airport in San Juan for one night(8/3-8/4). We flew Vieques AirLink and it was about $90/person rountrip. Well worth it. Clean planes, great service, on time and a quick 20-30 minute flight. We flew to Vieques first thing Wednesday morning and flew back to San Juan on Thursday night. Definitely rent a jeep but I would not rent from Marcos Car Rentals. We had a very old Suzuki Sidekick. It broke down twice and the car was a mess. I guess not bad for $40/day and getting in and out with bathing suits on and driving on the dirt roads that get you to all the beaches. It looked like Maritza and Island rentals just got new fleets of Jeep Wranglers. The Bio-Bay tour is awesome. We went with Blue Caribe Outfitters right in Esperanza..what an experience! We went to all the beaches East of Esperanza and worked our way back. Green, Blue, Navio, SunBay..my favorite was Hidden Beach. Ask Ricky at Casa Alta Vista about this beach. Casa Alta Vista was perfect. A clean room with a bed, AC and a shower. No TV and no phone. Ricky is the man and knows the Island well. Ask him to help you to map things out for you. He has bikes, scooters and snorkel gear for rent. He also had an awesome Coco Frio for us when we left. Ricky also got our car started after we returned from Bio Bay. He was downtown and helped us out. We had lunch and drinks at Trade Winds. A great lunch but the waitress needed to cheer up! After Bio Bay we had dinner at Bili. Excellent! And a great waitress. In the morning we had breakfast at the Tiki Hut. That was also very tasty. Everyone was very nice and hospitable. If you stay at Casa Alta Vista you can walk to the "strip" where all the restaurants are. We never made it to the North side of the Island. Sun Bay has a little restaurant with tasty lunch items and Puerto Rican beer. They also have restrooms and showers. All in all it was very relaxing and was complete solitude! Could have stayed there another 2-3 days. Ricky, thanks! You took care of Simona and I and we really enjoyed our stay. Hope to be back soon!
A Perfect Week @ Casa Alta Vista
My wife and I recently returned from a wonderful week in Vieques at the Casa Alta Vista. I will gladly join the other reviewers in singing the praises of this hotel and its staff.
Our newly-renovated room was neat, clean and simply furnished - the perfect place to rest and recover from a day's adventures. Ample windows provided great views and enough ventilation so that we did not have to use the AC during our stay. The hotel grounds were well-kept and awash in tropical ambiance. The rooftop deck allowed 360 views of the sea and surrounding island by day, and stargazing unspoiled by light pollution at night.
A hotel is just another place to sleep, if not for the staff. Mark, the proprietor, and Ricky, guide extraordinare, were always ready with advice, directions, recommendations and assistance. We relied on the locals-only knowledge of these fellow explorers to see and do the things that other visitors would miss. In short, they looked out for us, and really made our stay something we will never forget and definitely repeat.
What did we do? Lounged on the Malecon, dove off the Cana pier, beachcombed Cayo Tierra and Coco, trailed wild horses at Sun Bay, inspected hermit crabs at Media Luna, climbed the cliffs at Navio, searched for ruins at Playa Grande, snorkeled reefs off Red Beach, biked to Blue Beach, picnicked at the base of a 400 year old Ceiba tree, bathed in glowing Bioluminescent waters, met some great people and made a few fast friends along the way. In short, there is more than enough to see and do.
My only advice to the would-be Vieques traveler is to forsake mechanical transportation. To travel by Suzuki or scooter is to deprive yourself half of the experience. There are so many subtleties, tiny plants and animals, unique smells and sounds, that you would otherwise speed by. Give yourself some extra time, travel light (backpack, water, food, sunscreen), and see/feel the island for what it is. There are a few spots (Red/Blue/Green Beach, Ceiba tree) that would require a bike; the Casa happens to rent over a half dozen well-tuned bikes, including a tandem.
In summary, Isla Vieques is a jewel, one of the few nearly unspoiled places in the world, and I hope it stays that way. The people, locals and transplants alike, are genuine and very friendly. Of the visitors we spoke with, every one has said they will return. For my wife and I, the question was never raised. We will return to Vieques and 'The Casa' as soon as possible.
Very budget hotel!
We picked Casa Alta Vista based on the fabulous reviews on tripadvisor. I think the lesson learned is you get what you pay for. Paying approx. $70/night for a double gives you a roof over your head, working bathroom, A/C, fan, fridge in room. Ricky, the hotel mgr is extremely friendly and helpful. He helped set us up on a tour of the Bioluminescent Bay and directions to all of the places we wanted to go to.
The hotel itself is shabby and could use a major renovation. There is no daily maid service (to take trash out or make your bed). The room/bathroom was decent but tiles were falling off and it was not the cleanest. We received much warning about not bringing valuables to the beach. I didn't think the door to the room was all that strong myself and felt weird about leaving my stuff behind. But, nothing happened.
It is one step above a youth hostel. You definitely get what you pay for. Still, the location was fantastic and we did not stay in the room much.
I was lucky and my room was cleaner than my friend who stayed in the next room. She found a lizard when she pulled the sheets back. No joke. My other friend did not mind the hotel as much as she said it reminded her of Haiti.
But, then again, the whole island itself is not really geared to tourism and it will take a few years for its development. The high end resort was the Wyndham but, if you like cookie cutter like hotels, the Wyndham seems like a picture perfect town out of the "Truman Show." Personally, I do not like commercial big name hotels; however, next time, I would probably pay a little more and stay in a place that is a bit more upscale.
The beaches in Vieques, Puerto Rico absolutely make up for the lodgings. Going in Sept. is still "off season" and while many many restaurants were closed, enough were open for a decent breakfast and lunch. Vieques is a perfect place for a relaxing beach vacation if you are content with doing absolutely nothing else! There are no shopping malls, casinos, movie theatres, fancy restaurants. The beaches are gorgeous; we stayed at many where we were the only ones.
Vieques is inexpensive and relatively easy to get to from New York. While I would not consider this a "honeymoon" kind of island, it is a good option to escape for a few days.
A gem of a place
This is not the hotel for the resort crowd, but if you would like to stay at a place where the owner/manager shares the beauty and pride of his hotel as well as giving terrific descriptions of things to do: Well this is the place for you. It was such a calming laid back atmosphere at the Alta Vista that I am ready to run right back to the beautiful island of Vieques. The owner, Mark, is in love with the island and it shows in his willingness to describe the special places that exist on it. Likewise, his hotel is in the style of Vieques. Laid back, very pretty with fans that spread the island breeze around. It was raining very hard when we were there, but Mark went out of his way to help us have a great time. So if you would like to stay in a place where service and atmosphere is important-oh, and with a beautiful view besides, Casa Alta Vista should be on your itinerary.
My wife and I spent three nights of our honeymoon in Vieques, and chose Casa Alta Vista based on its glowing TripAdvisor reviews.
We were not disappointed. Casa Alta Vista perfectly captures the relaxed character of Vieques. Our room was comfortably but sparsely furnished, encouraging us to get out and explore the island, and welcoming us back for a good night's rest.
The general store downstairs is a godsend, and we spent a good deal of time there talking to owner Mark, whose passion for the island is readily apparent. He made sure to indicate and describe all of the essential sites on our map, and was quite knowledgeable about the sites we managed to discover on our own. He was kind enough to loan us some beach towels, and is even mailing us the camera we left behind. I simply cannot adequately describe how incredible his hospitality is.
Vieques is a wonderful place with wonderful people, and we can't wait to return!
Hospitality great, room passable
I booked two nights at Casa Alta Vista based on reviews on this site. On the positive side, the hospitality and helpfulness of Mark, the owner, cannot be overstated. He was wonderful and added tremendously to my ablity to enjoy my trip to Vieques.
But to be fair, the room I occupied left much to be desired. It was small and looked to have been furnished at a bad garage sale. The bathroom had peeling or missing tiles on the wall and in the shower. The air conditioner and fan did an adequate job of keeping the room cool. There was also a fridge I did not use. Lighting consisted of bare light bulbs and the walls were a bright orange in a recent but not quite professional paint job. There was a large terrace outside the unit with a table and chairs where it was comfortable to sit in the evening.
The views are great and frankly I made myself comfortable in the spartan surroundings. The hotel is two or three blocks from the main strip in Esperanza. Rent a car. Have breakfast at the Tiki Hut and lunch at Bananas. Do the biobay tour and see the gorgeous beaches.
I do recommend Casa Alta Vista to those who are on a budget and can live with the basics. Hospitality is five stars, the room, sadly, is only two.
Wonderful Hospitality--I would stay again and again!
Casa Alta Vista was perfect for our stay in Vieques. Simple and uncomplicated. The price is the most competitive, It's location is perfect, and the staff and owner are SUPER friendly and helpful. The rooms are just that. . .rooms for sleeping and bathing--all you need in this Island Paradise. The A/C worked, the showers where perfect and we could grab a snack or drink from the store almost anytime we wanted! We would stay again.
Casa Alta Vista Rocks!
Casa Alta Vista is a perfect choice for travelers who are interested in a no frills, friendly and well planned,(if you book the package trip), vacation getaway. Mark and Ricky were the most helpful and accomodating hosts we have experienced through out our wordly travels. The packages Mark sets-up are diverse and informative while being so much fun at the same time. Being tattooed and pierced was a non-issue as was our being gay.
If possible, we would go back right now, and stay at Casa Alta Vista. Give it a go at this quaint and clean lodging spot. The tienda on premises is also a great perk. So, stop deliberating, and book your stay...you will not regret on minute of it.
good budget lodging
As reported by others on this site, Casa Alta Vista is a no-frills budget hotel with very friendly and helpful staff and management. If you want to save money and don't mind accomodations that are outdated and not spotlessly clean, Casa Alta Vista will fit the bill.
Both the owner, Mark, and Ricky at the desk went well beyond the call of duty in familiarizing us with the island's offerings and helping us out with transportation to and from the ferry, not only on the Vieques end, but on the main island as well.
Vieques is a great island to visit (don't believe the negative reports in the latest Lonely Planet guide). Folks were quite friendly all around, and the place was not awash in tourists (in late November). The beaches are beautiful and it's easy to find oneself with nobody else in sight. The natives told us to not worry about anything but petty thievery (which we did not experience) when one leaves valuables on the beach, and we felt very safe everywhere we went at all hours of the day. Wild horses abound.
We'll definitely return to Vieques, though will likely go for slightly higher-priced accomodations (Acacia Guesthouse looks great).
try it you love it , the place to stay on the island
i have now stayed here twice, and will be staying again shortly, aswell as taken my family and freinds,
yes its small! but this adds to its character
friendly, this is the most friendly place i have ever stayed mark and ricky do their best and more to make sure your stay is comfortable and pleasent
they will help you with all your needs and show you how to see and enjoy this enchanted island
the rooms are basic but well fitted with air con, fridge,etc everything you need!
it may not be a five star hotel but it sure has five stars in my books and check out the roof view for even more stars!