More about Casa Grande Mountain Retreat
1. Peaceful, SPECTACULAR view, not touristy, great for those looking for something off the beaten path
2. Best sangria ever
3. Cheap local beer $2 Medella- can't beat that!
4. Friendly wait staff
1. Drive up to retreat was up a VERY long and winding mountain road.
2. There is absolutely nothing around if you wanted to get away
3. The owner was not very friendly- it seemed like we did something to *** him off.
4. BIGGEST CON: The FOOD!! The 1st night's dinner was absolutely amazing. The 2nd night, however, was disaster! They brought out old food- they were trying to reuse some dried up meat they couldn't sell on the weekends. The rice was soooo dry and even cold- I requested they bring out some new rice and I can't believed what happened next. We sat near the kitchen so I heard them microwaving something- then I heard a "DING!" & the micorwave door opening and closing- and here comes my food. They basically added some water to the rice and microwaved for 3 minutes. WASTE OF MONEY!!!
I understand they are way up in the mountains, but that's no excuse to sloppily resuse old food and charge customers full price for it!! The breakfast was also horrible - $7 for a ham sandwich I could have gotten at a gas station.
5. Doors were dirty
6. Room was not well kept up (our comforter had a stain on it- I'm sure the comforter was clean & that they couldn't get that old stain out, but get some new comforters!!)
If they were not so dishonest w/ the way they made the food, this place would have been good. I'm pretty easy going & will let lots of little imperfections go, but that shady method of business really turned me off.
Not friendly owner
My experience was something like the person that wrote the "Mixed" review. I found the food OK but i got into a big fight (and i don't often) over the price of the two cocktails I had. The bar tender, who was friendly but unfortunately left after making me my first drink, quoted me $5 each. When the bill came it was more like $10 each! The owner would not back down. It really put a damper on my experience at the time. Now that I think back on it, I'm not sure I would go back there if the same people run it and I think they do. Inland PR is beautiful and using a friendly parado near the ancient ball courts is still a good idea. Perhaps there is an alternate small in (Parador) that you can find.
I stayed at the Casa Grande from 10/9/07 to 10/13/07. It was an amazing experience, all in all. The grounds are beyond beautiful, the staff was friendly and personable, the rooms were quite spartan, but airy and pleasant, and the food was quite good, particularly the fresh fruit plate at breakfast (the small, btw, is much larger than you might expect)
I'm not sure what the other gentleman was drinking, but all of my drinks there were $5, except the amazing sangria packed with cubes of fresh fruit, which was $6 (and coffee/softdrinks which were $1.50). I even took a photo of the bill, as it happens (proof to my coworkers who told me to have a drink for them that I was doing so).
My first two nights at the casa, I was the sole guest. The total peace and tranquility of the casa at night is hard to describe... surrounded by the singing of cocqui frogs, cicadas, and night birds, gentle breezes in the trees, and the occasional patter of raindrops on the tin roof of the high-ceilinged room drew me quickly to a deep and restful sleep, gently awakened by the gathering light of morning, the distant crow of roosters, up and about in time to watch the sun rising over the mountains... an amazing experience to someone who usually doesn't fall asleep until 3 or 4 in the morning and has a hard time waking up before 10.
The third night, there were a few guests, and the fourth night the hotel was full. The atmosphere is different with a crowd there, but even with the entire hotel full, the mood was still peaceful. Dinner was a little noisy, but I spent it chatting with a nice couple from Ponce and enjoying the background noise of the chatter of the large group dining outside.
All in all, if you want a beautiful place to say, to relax, to truly get away from it all and surround yourself with nature, this is a great place. If you're looking for luxury and bellhops and lots of shopping and dining in walking distance, stay in old san juan.
Warm hospitality, relaxing environment, lush setting
My partner and I just spent 3 nights at Casa Grande and were delighted with our stay. The setting was just eye-poppingly beautiful, replete with lush gardens and a tropical mountain background that was the most beautiful landscape we've seen outside of Switzerland. The owners and staff could not have been more warm and accommodating, even to the extent of inviting us to take an introductory class in yoga at the retreat that has inspired us to pursue yoga upon our return (where else do you find that?). We were there at the start of the week, so there were few other guests at the retreat at that time, making for a blissfully quiet experience. I've read some of the other comments on this website and I can imagine that noise might be a problem during more busy periods, but I've found that to be the case in most hotels I've stayed at, even the finest ones... If what you are looking for is a 5-star experience in a top hotel property then this place is not for you. If you want a unique stay in a gorgeous tropical setting where it is quite a feat to provide the comforts we take for granted, then I encourage you to give this place a try. We did and were richly rewarded.
Just left Casa Grande after our second visit
Just left Casa Grande today for San Juan. I already miss the simple tranquility of the place. What a shock to my newly rested system!
We requested room 20 at Casa Grande, right by the pool. Some people might not like that, but we did. There's sort of a hedge that provides some additional privacy. We really liked the pool. It was very clean and a pleasant way to pass the time. The hammock was great, too. I got through a mystery novel while swaying in mine!
Our room was fine. The weather was nice and warm during the day but quite cool at night - bring a light jacket or sweater in wintertime. The room has no heat, so I was worried we'd actually be cold at night, but it was fine. During the day, the fan and a breeze provided comfort from the hot sun. And don't be surprised by a rain shower or two - the weather changes rapidly here.
This place sort of reminds me of a summer camp for adults. Don't leave your room door open or the lizards will pay you a visit! The beds were clean and fairly comfortable. There were a couple of annoyances in the bathroom, though. The drain in the shower was very slow (Drano!) and you had to flush the toilet several times in order to, well, you know...eliminate waste. That didn't seem very green to me, but whatever. Overall, the room was ok.
There is no TV here, and they don't encourage radio, so if you need that to be happy, please think twice about this establishment. It probably won't be a good fit for you.
The big draw here is the view and the solitude. The restaurant, however, is hit or miss. The breakfast, in general, was a hit! If you like oatmeal, try it here! They make it with milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, and it is luscious. The fresh fruit comes right from their property. Also excellent! They do not serve lunch. The dinner was just ok. I wasn't over the moon about my chicken stew, but the pork loin the next night was delish. My friends ate spaghetti both nights, and said it was tasty. The last night, we went to Utuado for pizza, since it was getting a little pricey eating at their restaurant nightly. Plus, we know a pizza place (Tavo's) in Utuado we really like!
We enjoyed the on-site massage by Grace, but we understand she's going back to North Carolina in February. Too bad! I hope they can find someone else to do massage for them, because that is a very nice touch. We didn't try the yoga.
We found the staff friendly and accomodating. But everything was pretty decent in our opinion, so we didn't really challenge them!
We would recommend the Casa Grande to those who don't mind a bit of roughing it and appreciate the peace and quiet of the beautifult Puerto Rican countryside. We'll certainly return again.
Beautiful location, ok room, very friendly staff
We spent one night at the retreat and were very satisfied. The location is spectacular. This is definitely the place if you want a quiet vacation away from the chaos of the city. We really didn't explore the surroundings because we needed to be on our way but we would love to be back some other time. We eat at the restaurant and the food was very good.
One normally associates PR with the beach and the sea but this is another, less visited side of PR that is definitely worth seeing. The tranquility of the place, the sounds of the night as well as the location make the casa grande a truly special place.
The most relaxing place in the world. All you need to do is sit out on the porch of you cabin in the hammock and watch the clouds drift over the green mountain tops. Casa Grande was as blissful the second time as it was the first.
My husband and I just came back from a stay at this lovely hotel. The staff was great, friendly and attentive. The fresh water pool was a delightful experience, extremely refreshing. The views are panoramic, to say the least. Beautiful!!! It's a very romantic place to stay
10 Million Chirping Tree Frogs - This is a good thing!
We spent three nights at the Casa Grande Mountain Retreat in the beginning of July and we could not have been more pleased. If you did your research you already know that there's no AC, phone, TV, newspapers,etc. just beautiful, green mountains and millions of chirping tree frogs. A friendly cat snuggled on my husband's lap while he relaxed in our hammock. If you take a flashlight, at night you can spot huge bullfrogs in the little pool near the office.
It's a good idea to take the meal plan. It can get pretty confusing driving around here during the day, I can't imagine driving here at night and not getting lost. We opted for the meal plan and the breakfasts and dinners were good with adequate selection. The dining area was open and cooled with ceiling fans.
The owner is a helpful, knowledgeable hands-on kind of guy, working around the grounds, behind the desk and giving morning yoga classes. There is probably some good hiking to be done in this area but In July, it was too hot for us to do serious hiking during the day. The only hike we did was the one loop on the grounds. Lago dos Bocas is right down the road where you can catch a free ferry boat ride to a restaurant on the lake. There is some interesting birding here as well and of course there is a small pool. It is truly a great place to bring a book and do nothing.
Although it was hot during the day, at night it cooled down and we had no trouble sleeping with just a fan in our room. We would definately go back. Of the three places we stayed in during our Puerto Rico trip, it was the only place we would return to.
Great Time, Very Relaxing
My girlfriend and I spent a couple of nights at the Casa Grande Mountain Retreat and had a delightful time. The property is tucked away in a quiet corner of the mountains that is very serene. Driving there can be tricky, but the directions they give are accurate - you just have to trust them! The food was good and service was always gracious.