The Ocean Villas is a great choice for people who seek privacy, space, and ocean views for a (relatively) reasonable price during the busy Christmas week! We rented a one bedroom villa at the Ocean Vacation Villas for 4 people (2 teenage daughters) from Dec. 24 for a week. The villa was well decorated and very spacious with a balcony overlooking the pool/ocean. The grounds are beautiful, clean, and well kept, and villa guests have access to all the facilities at the Wyndham resort. Our unit had a few minor problems (sofabed and blender broken, no bottle opener, etc.), but the management was very responsive, bringing us a roll-away bed for no extra charge and supplying a new blender and bottle opener that day)
PRIVACY! The beach was practically empty – maybe 5 or 10 families on a large beach – even though it was the busiest time of the year, and similarly, the pool was very quiet. We spoke to someone who owns a villa there, and she said that many of the owners don’t rent their units. As we looked down the beach to the crowded resort, we felt very grateful to be enjoying a practically empty beach.
Space: The one bedroom unit was quite large, so for the same price that we usually pay for one bedroom at a resort, we had one bedroom with a king size bed, a large living room, small (but well furnished) kitchen, and balcony with table and chairs.
View: Again, the price was what we normally pay for a room at a resort in the Caribbean over Christmas week (which is a lot, as everyone who travels during that week knows!), but where we usually have a room far from the beach, here all the rooms are ocean front with a beautiful view.
Location: The villas are close to many activities including the El Yunque national forest, bio luminescent bay etc. so there are many things to do if you can drag yourself away from the beach. It’s only about ½ hour from San Juan as well.
Day time activities at the resort: They have a lot of tennis courts (Har Tru and hard) – you have to pay $25/court, but they will try to arrange games if you don’t have a partner. The resort offers water activities –wave runners, kayaks, boogie boards, etc.--and the surfing instructor was wonderful.
Pool: Ocean Villas has its own very quiet, free form pool, Jacuzzi, wading pool, as well as an adult pool for swimming laps. The pool has a padded, gradual entry on one side which would be an advantage for people with small children.
Evening Activities for teens/young adults: Surprisingly, the Wyndham didn’t offer any nighttime activities for teens—a nightclub, dancing, etc.—not even during the busy Christmas season, and people under 25 are not allowed to drive the rental cars. I think young adults would need to go all the way to San Juan to find clubs so it would be extremely expensive to take a cab; basically, teens/young adults should be prepared to spend evenings with the family.
Air conditioners: The air conditioners in the rooms are quite loud when they go on at night which could bother some people. Our units had ceiling fans, so I suppose you could turn the fan on high and turn off the air conditioner if the noise was a problem for you.
Hot water: The water in our unit was hot, but not steaming hot, and friends staying in another unit had the same issue. Each unit has a separate water heater but it couldn’t be turned up and the management couldn’t fix it. It was fine for me—I even took a few baths—but if you like steaming hot showers, it could be a problem.
Dining: We only ate at the hotel once (the buffet) as judging from the online menus and reviews, the restaurants there are very expensive and nothing special. The local restaurants we tried (Guava’s, El Rincon Del Sabor, and Lolita’s) were all fine, but if you’re a foody, you may need to drive to San Juan to find exceptional meals.
The ocean: The beach is wide and beautiful, with palm trees for afternoon shade, but the resort is on the Atlantic side of Puerto Rico so the ocean looks more like the greenish ocean at the Jersey shore than the turquoise blue Caribbean.
Rental car: I would definitely recommend renting a car – the villas supposedly deliver food, but it’s much more convenient to be able to go to the grocery store yourself (we went once the first day we arrived) and having a car gives you a lot more options for dinner and outside activities. If you play a lot of tennis the car is convenient as well as the courts are quite far from the villas. In any case, I believe that the cost of renting a car for a week was about what we would have paid for airport transfers both ways for 4 people (not to mention the cost savings in not having to eat at the hotel every night, driving to San Juan and El Yunque forest instead of paying to take tours, etc.)
Beach Chairs: The chairs on the beach are quite old and run down, and for some reason, there are only about 15 chairs on the beach. They have nice, new (and very light) chairs on wheels at the pool, however, and when we were there, people regularly brought pool chairs down the beach. Security walking by never gave anyone a problem about it.
WiFi: Judging from some of the other reviews, not every unit has WiFi, but our unit had free WiFi that worked very well; I would request a room with WiFi.
Room/Location: Our villa had tile floors so there wasn’t an issue with musty carpets. The main room had an older TV (though there was a flat screen in the bedroom), but there was a large flat screen in the closet so I’m guessing the regular TV in the unit was broken. Our friends specifically requested a room with a flat screen TV, which might be a good idea. Villas in the east building are closer to the resort which could be a factor if you have small children, but they’re further away from the main desk if you don’t have maid service and need to exchange towels.
Supplies: Our unit only had a little soap for the automatic dishwasher and a roll of paper towels in the kitchen, so we had to buy everything—sugar, salt/pepper, dish washing soap, napkins, butter, etc. It would be wise to check out what’s in the unit before shopping to avoid extra trips to Amigos.
Maid Service: They charge extra for maid service but it was worth to have them come a couple of times – they did a very good job, brought lots of towels, etc. Otherwise, towels can be exchanged at the front desk.
- Also Known As:
- The Ocean Villas Hotel Rio Grande
- The Ocean Villas Puerto Rico/Rio Grande