More about Hector's by the Sea
Quite a view
What can one say? Excellent accomodations tucked away on the south side of the island...beautiful view of the Caribbean, pool/hot tub all to ourselves, private beach down the hill, and wonderful informative hosts. Hector's is an excellent guest house and I predict a return visit by my girlfriend and I.
Vieques, overall, is wonderful. Esperanza is preferrable to Isabell Segundo (unless you're going to Al's Mar Azul, the finest bar in the Caribbean). However, beware a few things.
If you are renting a jeep (which you should), don't get it from Steve's Car Rentals. They aren't in the best shape. One time we parked at a remote beach and spent the afternoon there. Upon getting back in the car, it didn't start and showed no signs of power. Eventually I got through to the guy working at steve's and he told me how to get under the hood. He said sometimes the battery detaches. Well, that's what happend, so I reattached it and got it started. My question is, if the guy knows it is a problem with that particular car, why not just fix it and spare future renters the heartache? All it would take is a 10 cent washer. Whatevs.
For dining out, avoide Le Sirena, next to Bananas in Esperanza. The staff there is insane. We went and it took like two hours and it wasn't even busy. Our drink orders were messed up, (I asked for a Tom Collins, she didn't know how to make that, so I got a gin and tonic, which apparently doesn't come with a lime at this place). When the food got to us it really wasn't very good. But I guess we were lucky. People who got there after us had a choice of lasagna and....lasagna. You see, they were running out of food. Or something. I just know that when I go out to a Caribbean restaurant overlooking the water, I don't want a brick of pasta that could be producto de Dinty Moore for all I know.
So, avoid that stuff and you will have a great time in Vieques.
A piece of heaven on earth
Mary and Hector are lovely hosts, the view is spectacular, the accomodations are lovely, the isle is a throw back to a simpler, more peaceful time. would return in a flash.
drinks and dinner or late night munchies off the bar menu can be had at the inn next door. biobay tour was terrrific. wish we could have stayed longer.
Hector and Mary were very friendly. Coming from a large city, it was very relaxing to come to a place that was right on the water, with lots of stars with peaceful surroundings. It is hard to imagine that the Navy was ever there?! I would just say that the rooms were very nice but nothing fancy. If you are looking for something fancy, (e.g. with room service, and lots of amenities) this isn't the type of place for you.If you are looking for a warm and friendly place with a clean, bright room then you can't go wrong here. There was a problem in the room that was fixed immediately. Also, Mary spent a lot of time with us explaining the island and orienting us. Just be aware that the island is not that built up (which is what I liked about it), and there aren't that many places to find fruit and vegetables. There is a restaurant at the inn next door, which is very close. I would definitely go back!
What a wonderful way to spend a vacation!
Date: February 3-6, 2005
Hector's by the Sea is definitely a "little piece of heaven". It is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and just relax and enjoy the spectacular views and hospitality of Mary and Hector. They are wonderful hosts and can help you with anything about the island including where to eat and snorkel. Definitely rent a car to be able to navigate the island roads which are full of bumps but the beaches that you will see will just get better and better! Remember Vieques is NOT commercialized and you will not find great shopping and city type life and you also will not have daily maid service here but you will NOT be able to find a more comfortable atmosphere with a great private beach and pool. A Biobay Tour excursion is located at the entrance to the drive - a must do experience! A great restaurant is just up the trail. What more could you want? We wish we had spent more time here and definitely plan to return!
it's in the details
We just spend 3 days at Hector's by the sea and had a wonderful time. There is a small private beach, a pool. a hot tub, a porch with a hammock and it's about a 15 minute walk to Esperanza.
I really appreciated the details-mahogany beds, wonder sheets, great mattresses, pretty dishes in the kitchenette, a beautiful folk art table, and everything with an understated tropical theme.
I can't wait to go back-we have traveled alot and this is one of the best.
a perfect setting for the perfect vacation
We spent a week's vacation in Vieques at Hector's by the Sea. Our days consisted of going to the many pristine beaches, lunch at 1:00, then to the pool, happy hour at 4:00, dinner at 7:00, followed by stargazing in the hot tub. We never even had to worry about the stress of "where to eat". Hector and Mary were the perfect hosts. They made suggestions and took care of all our reservations. While definitely not high end, the accomodations were clean and well-desighed. Having a kitchenette absolutely made things easy. What wasn't immediately visible - Mary would always make available. Being at Hector's was absolutely relaxing....we've made our reservations for next year! Who knows how long before Vieques gets "discovered"!
We had a wonderful time here. It is very relaxing and our kids (teens) loved the horses. Hector and Mary were very nice and helpful. The accomodations are comfortable, although there was a water shortage on the island while we were there. We have been to Cape Cod, Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Kiawah Island, Destin, Pensacola, St. Joe, Miami, Naples, San Diego, Santa Barbara, etc., and I can assure you, there is no better beach in the U.S. than Red Beach in Vieques (see picture). The water is calm, blue-green color, soft sand bottom, uncrowded (even on Easter weekend, a local holiday in PR), undeveloped (two-mile drive on a dirt road to get there), indescribable. There is also an amazing beach just like Red only with high surf but no undertow. I can't remember the name - it begins with an "N" - Hector will know it! The Bio bay is astounding. Take the Island Adventures pontoon boat - book ahead, we had trouble getting a reservation. We did it our last night on the island. We wished we had done it every night. A trip to Vieques had just the right level of adventure for us.
Hector's - Great Location
We have vacationed in Vieques 2 years in a row now and having stayed at Hector's by the Sea this year, we will surely return. Mary & Hector, our hosts, are remarkable people who love to share their experiences and knowledge of Vieques. Hector's is a rather isolated property on the Caribbean side of the island that consists of 3 different guest houses. The accommodations are quite comfortable, rooms are impeccably maintained and furnished with a few beautiful, unique pieces. There is a small kitchenette with microwave and fridge where you can fix a quick breakfast or venture out to one of the local eating establishments for a meal. The panaderia’s in Isabel II are great with one serving pancakes for $2.00! There is a small grocery store in Isabel II where you can get supplies. Just outside of Isabel II, if you stop at the roadside fruit market, be sure to ask for the fruit in the truck. It is so fresh and cold.
The entire time we were there, we didn't use the air conditioning once, even at night. The ocean breezes were so refreshing that we chose the natural climate over a/c.
Hector and Mary live on the property and specialize in making you feel welcome and comfortable. We traveled this year with our grandson who is an avid reader so this kind of "low-key" environment was perfect for all of us.
Hector's by the Sea is a perfect place to completely relax in the hammock on our porch, read, doze-off, swim, snorkel, soak in the hot tub, play in the waves and on the beach, get to know the sweet horses, walk the beach or take the 15 minute walk down the road to Esperanza, collect shells, or jump in the Jeep (which you have hopefully rented if you want to explore the island).
For dining out, #1 - be sure to make reservations. Our absolute favorite restaurant was Chez Shack, especially their Caribbean Grill Night on Mondays. It's like dining in the middle of jungle. We were out driving one evening and without reservations stopped at the M Bar across from the Wyndham. We would have rather they just turn us away instead of begrudgingly seating us in a "undesirable" location, our waiter had no interest in serving us in a timely manner, and then mixed up a quite simple dinner order. To top it all off, no remedies or apologies were offered and we vowed never to return to the M Bar, with or without reservations. Also in Isabel II, Scoops is great for ice cream and Williams Pizza makes a great Pepperoni just right for a 9 year old who love pizza. In Esperanza we enjoyed The Tiki Hut for their great sandwiches and salads and of course Bananas for a leisurely and comfortable drink, snack or meal.
Be sure to make reservations for the Bio-Bay trip. We prefer the electric pontoon as opposed to the kayak trip but the experience either way is incredible.
Much has been written about the beautiful beaches and they certainly are, but be aware of the hot sun. In just a few minutes you can get a bad burn if you don’t protect your skin. We had no problem with mosquitoes but the PR ants, although quite small are determined to do their thing. Couple of nice Iguanas and a few lizards came and went throughout the week.
If at all interested, don’t pass up the opportunity to experience a bike tour with Karl of
La Dulce Vida. He is extremely personable, accommodating and quite knowledgeable of the area. He will share with you and show you things that you would never have seen otherwise. My husband and 9 year old grandson had a bike-riding experience they will never forget.
We love Vieques and we love Hector’s by the Sea. Both are highly recommended.
Looking for VERY quiet Getaway? Hector's is IT!
I visited Vieques last May and stayed at the Blue Horizon. While the Blue Horizon was more of a frilly romantic getaway, I think Hector's offers a more economical way to experience Vieques without the frills.
I choose Hector's By the Sea because of the well reviews from other folks... For those who posted before me - thanks for the great recommendation! We were NOT disappointed. My husband and I vacationed with our teenaged daughter and my mother for a 3-day trip to Vieques. We are Puerto Ricans from the Chicago area and it was the PERFECT getaway from tons of people and traffic!
If you haven't already figured it out - it's imperative you rent a JEEP. Since Hector's is tucked away- literally - by the sea - one must have the Jeep to tackle the steep driveway onto the property. By the way, there are NO road signs for this place, just remember the dirt road from Hotel Tamarindo's small parking area and make your way down the steep hill.
Mary and Hector are the most gracious hosts and offer all kinds of help and great stories, so feel free to ask away! The "casitas" are few (3)... but they are all tastefully decorated; clean; and virtually brand new! The kitchenettes are a great touch, and groceries are available at Tienda Verde in nearby Esperanza.
I will however recommend the Kayak Bio Bay tour... it's the ONLY way to experience the bio bay! As far as local restaurants, there are plenty good ones and bad ones.... I recommend Chez Shack and The Trade Winds for dinner, if you want lunch, Bananas is decent, as well as the chicken joint several blocks north of the Trade Winds. It's a diner, but they have the best cheese burgers and rice & beans- CHEAP! A word of advise for those not in the know - Just because Puerto Ricans speak Spanish - it does not mean they know how to speak a Mexican dialect and make Mexican food. There is a HUGE difference between the two cultures... I can't tell you how many times I have to tell my American friends that there is no such thing as tortillas & salsa in Puerto Rico. Stick to eating Puerto Rican/American dishes and you'll enjoy your eating experience more!
The serenity and peaceful scenery of Hector's and the surrounding beaches will make for a great vacation. It truly is a perfect getaway - so choose a few good books and relax!
I also think three days in Vieques is plenty of enough time to experience this small beautiful island - only because PR has so many other interesting sites to visit. For instance, EL YUNQUE Rainforest is a must for first time visitors to the island, as well as OLD SAN JUAN.
Hector's is what all places should be...
As unbelievable as it seems... everything that everybody before me has said is absolutely true!
Staying at Hector's was the best decision I made when planning our trip.
Hector and Mary are two of the most helpful and sincere people I've ever come across in my life... let alone the lodging industry. They offered us drinks from their kitchen, they sat and talked at length with us about our trip and everything else, they gave us suggestions and opinions on places around the island, Hector lent me his bike so I could ride while my wife ran, Hector brought water to us on a far away beach when our car overheated, they invited us into their house to have beers and watch the Kenticky Derby... the list goes on. This place MADE our trip!
A lot of bed and breakfast reviews mention how nice the hosts were. My experience is usually one of being let down when I actually get to the place and the person gives me a smile and a handshake, but seems like they are throwing a tea party for me, and they are concerned that I might move the coffee table, cause they spent 8 hours cleaning up before I got there. I can tell they are running a business (not a bad thiing, but also not the friendly I had expected). I don't know... I'm from Texas, so maybe I expect too much in the way of friendliness... either way. Hector's was my first experience with someone TRULY welcoming me into their home. I feel like I got invited out to their land for the weekend.
As for the basics... the rooms are clean, well-kept, and had everything I might need. They have a cleaning service every few days to replace sheets, towels, etc. The pool and hot tub are certainly a bonus, and are great. An operation this small usually doesn't have a nice pool that overlooks the sea. Hammock on the porch, mango trees to sit under, horses to play with, a parrot that talks to you, incredible hosts, good price... whatever, this place was just cool.
I just hope that all of these good reviews don't make it impossible for me to make my next reservation.