Casa Grande Mountain Retreat
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TravelPod Member ReviewsCasa Grande Mountain Retreat Utuado
Casa Grande is simple and very clean. The surroundings are gorgeous- the gardens, the mountains.I did not want to leave. The staff was very helpful and kind. Their breakfast was good (try the spinach frittata with homemade cheese), but the dinner menu left something to be desired. I would absolutely go again. Just surrender to the hammock and sway your worries away...and bring some of your own groceries.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Casa Grande Mountain Retreat Utuado
Breathtakingly Beautiful...but difficult to find!
My Boyfriend and I stayed at the retreat for one night on our puertorican adventure and we loved it! We were the only guests on the property that night, which made the service all the more personal. We got the package deal of room, taxes, dinner and breakfast which i would recommend not only because the food was great, but there isn't anything else around to eat for miles! Which brings me to the only con about the hotel, that it is very difficult to locate. We were lost for 2 hours before we found the place! Be sure to ask for specific driving directions before setting out and "winging" it like we did! The rooms had great mountain views and they were simple yet spacious (GREAT shower pressure!!!!)
The pool was lovely, as were the rest of the grounds...very romantic and peaceful. I would definately stay here again. If you like a little adventure and the outdoors I would highly recomend this place!
Gorgeous peace, but...
We spent 3 nights at the Casa Grande, a secluded mountain hideaway retreat. The setting is absolutely gorgeous in the mountainous jungle, but... given the
excellent reviews in guidebooks,etc., I was a bit disappointed and
would advise others to check their expectations. Mine were too high. For
someplace without a lot to do, where the point is to kick back and
relax, I expected a place with this luxurious location to be just a
little bit luxurious in the rooms themselves. Be warned that the
accomodation itself is very spartan. The room was very small, the bed
uncomfortable. Just nicer bed linens would have made me feel much
better. And for place so peaceful, just right for playing games or
cards, which the front desk has available, but neither the room nor the
deck of the cabin has any place to play, or a place to put your drink.
No table of any kind. The deck, complete with hammock is beautifully
situated, but it was very small, and with only one hammock, a little
more space and a more comfortable chair would have added a lot.
A perfect, romantic, tropical jungle retreat
My girlfriend had found this place on-line and stayed there previously and raved about how amazing the place was and promised to take me. Over President's Day weekend she fulfilled on that promise and we relaxed in the traquil beauty of the region for the weekend.
This is a get-away resort, not a pampered and spoiled resort. The views are amazing, no noise, mountain breezes, simple accomodations. Perfect in my opinion. The roads to the location have been re-paved since September and the drive wasn't bad but they are on narrow mountain roads the whole way. Compared to my home, St. Thomas, they are smooth superhighways.
We arrived late on a Friday, after a 2 hour drive from the San Juan airport. The room was clean and ready for us to sleep. We were lulled to sleep by the coquis and the wonderful white noise of the river in the valley below. Andrea woke me at down so we could curl up in the hammock and watch the clouds roll over the peaks. It was beautiful. I let her lounge in the hammock and read as I headed to see the river. It was a beautifully wild mountain stream hewn over the years in bolders and rock framed by lush trees, flowers and plants.
We drove to Toro Negro for the day and hiked the trails there, stopping at a roadside "campo" for lunch. The weather was perfect if 10° cooler than St. Thomas. That night we had dinner at the restaurant, Jungle Janes, at the hotel. I do agree with other posters here, the food lacked the flavor of most of Puerto Rico. After learning more about the hotel I understand why. The original partner of the proprietor has moved out of the organization and is no longer involved. We were saddened to learn that most of the fruit and produce available on property (there are 2-3 grapefruit trees that were laden with fresh fruit, plenty of plantains, lime trees, oranges, etc) isn't used by the restaurant. But as a package deal it isn't bad. Remember however you are a good 30-45 minutes from a town of any sort.
I would suggest stopping by Campo Viejo just up the road for a meal as the folks were friendly, the beer cold and the view of the lago spectacular. We had churrasco, a great appetizer of a local crawfish wrapped in tortillas and fried, drinks and the bill was less than $20.
I have recommended this to my friends on St. Thomas and in the states. It is a great deal for this part of the world and a wonderfully relaxing place to stay.
Excellent Get Away
This hotel was an excellent find. Getting to the Casa Grande is certainly not easy, but well worth it. The staff were very friendly and more then willing to help plan day trips. The rooms were clean and simple. The views were amazing. The restaurant served excellent food, but it was a little on the price side. The hotel was pretty isolated, which made eating in town problematic. Overall though, and a great retreat.
Hard to get and unforgettable place
It was a fabulous experience at Casa Grande; wonderful place, beautiful staff, great food. I SIMPLY LOVE IT. And I'm sure I'll go back for my next vacations. It is nice to be in contact with the nature and you really don't need a TV because you have the view of the mountains, and at night the sounds from the COQUIS. My family is from PR but it was my first time in the island; I'm glad they invited me. Once you get there you woun't miss all the noise from the city. I think you should try it!!!
Great view, bad service
It took us 2 and a half hours to get there from San Juan since the roads were in preety bad condition. The location is very peaceful and the view of the mountain is amazing. The hotel staff were not very nice. We decided to check out early because it rained all night and we were afraid of land slides. My wife paid and she forgot to return the key and the clerk didn't ask for it either. So we took off and half an hour later, she called to ask for the key. Of course we were to far to go back. When I told her that I just remembered about not returning the key she said "aha" as if I was lying. So, I'm sending the key by mail. I would go back to Utuado but I wouldn't stay there again. The food in the restaurant is terrible and too expensive. We paid almost $9.00 for a 8oz. drink. Puerto Rican food is so much better than what they offer there. Their food had no flavor, no seasonings and the portions were very small. No vegetables were served with the meals and their fried plantains were drenched in oil, yuck! The bill was almost $70.00. The next day we went to a downtown bakery for breakfast the food was great and it was only $7.00 for the 2 of us.
Indiana Jones and Paradise
Feeling like Indiana Jones crossing the roads to get there, I could not think of a better reward than arriving at such a beautiful a place as La Casa Grande. The food was amazing, the owner and staff wonderful and the view of the mountains, jungle and sounds made for a memorable experience, I cannot wait to go back and bring along friends and family. Amazing.
If you are looking for a magical experience in a part of Puerto Rico that the average tourist never sees, spend a few days at Hotel La Casa Grande. It is ostensibly one of the Puerto Rican "paradors", but is owned and run by a lawyer who escaped the New York City rat race. Casa Grande is on a 107 acre former coffee plantation, now a virtual botanical garden in the mountains about 30 minutes from Utuado. The road there is a little narrow and winding, but not excessively so- make sure you arrive in the daytime. If you are looking for luxury, this is NOT the place for you. There are no phones (except a pay phone), no TV, no radios, no AC and no screaming kids (yay!!). Just 20 plain, but spotlessly clean, separate rooms spread around the place, each with a bed or two, a chair, a wall fan, and a clean and functional bathroom with shower. Each one has a porch with two comfy chairs and a hammock. We got to pick our room when we got there; it was not very crowded in June, only 3-4 other couples and families. There is a refreshing pools, which owner Steve says is fed from a mountain spring. It is cool and pleasant, with some lounge chairs for relaxing. The air is clear and clean, and there were almost no bugs anywhere. The only sounds were the coqui frogs at night and the roosters in the morning. It was cool enough to cleep comfortably at night with the fan on (even in June!), and a welcome change from smelly air conditioning. You could see so many stars at night, it was truly fantastic. We ate twice at the Hotel's restaurant, Jungle Janes, which was very pleasant, if a tad over-priced. The food was nice, but not spectacular. $14 for five coconut shrimp is a little excessive, as is $25 for shrimp and pasta in a cream sauce. Both nights my wife ordered the pasta, which was touted as having a vodka cream sauce, and both times it was a tomato-based sauce. However it was delicious, despite the lack of culinary sophistication or honesty. Minor quibbles aside, the service was reasonably competant although the server was young, and the atmosphere is fantastic. The place really has a "hideaway in the jungle" atmosphere, and nothing mars the relaxing ambience. There is a horseback riding stable across the street, and nearby mountain towns make excellent day trips. All in all, this is a great place to go to get away from it all and enjoy nature, read, relax, and talk to your mate. Yoga is also offered, if you're into that sort of thing. Nightly rates are $80-90; dinner for two with drinks, appetizer, and dessert could run $65-85.
Restful and lovely
Drive slowly along the winding road to get here, or you'll arrive with motion sickness, which is no way to begin a lovely few days in these beautiful mountains. Also, arrive during daylight so that the gorgeous surroundings are what you notice first instead of the spartan rooms. The food at Jungle Jane's is delicious, and the drinks are really good. The pool is small but plenty big enough for swimming. Rooms have porches, each with a hammock, so relaxing is easy. My favorite time involved horseback riding to Lago dos Bocas on the lively but gentle Paso Fino horses across the street at Marlene's stable. (Marlene is great!). Second best was lying on the comfy chaises by the pool and reading between swims. There's a pay phone available if you have to call someone, but this is not the place for someone looking to be pampered. I had a great time, however.
Restful Mountain Getaway
If you like wooded landscapes, tropical showers followed by sunshine and rainbows, good food and nights filled with stars and the sounds of tree frogs, then this is the place for you. Accomodations are in cabins (no phone, no TV) with small porch and hammock. Swim in the pool, have a drink while watching the rain from the restaurant patio and take a horseback ride in the mountains. I loved it.
TripAdvisor Reviews Casa Grande Mountain Retreat Utuado
Travel Blogs from Utuado
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... beachy part of Ponce, to see if it was any busier. Turns out it wasn’t, but I enjoyed the car ride and company of my grandparents. Along the way I learned that many people stop by these places when they are “chincorriando,” a very Puerto Rican slang word for cruising on the weekend to other cities to party and drink. I was pretty exhausted by this point from the early plane ride and activities, so we called it a night then. ...
... to meet a Puerto Rican from NYC named Harold. Great food of rice and beans, chicken creole, avocado salad and for dessert a piece of apple coffee cake. We ate another dose of King's cream (coco and fresca) awesome.
Off to La Guarancha, the local boardwalk via taxi. Les left his sunglasses in the taxi on accident, a quick call to our hotel and they called the taxi company for us The driver found the glasses in the back seat and delivered them back to our ...
... and we hit rain. It is a pretty stressful drive back. The road that we take is dark and it feels like we are climbing a mountain...oh wait we are!!!! We even pass a car that has hydroplaned into the ditch! Finally we make it back safe and sound!! Time for a drink and then bed we are exhausted. We dive tomorrow and it is an early morning. Wish us luck! Hopefully tomorrow we will both be certified open water divers! Buenas noches! Blog you ...
... Loving Julia, Loyal Lola and Tarzan Ricardo. We chat in the mornings and somehow Faye and I always find something funny in the mornings that makes us laugh and giggle for no apparent reason. It must be the lack of stress but everything is funnier or more relaxing here. I am sure Tarzan is convinced we have a few loose screws.
As duty always calls we had a few things to take care of before heading out into the water. ...