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“nice litte getaway”

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Casa Cubuy Ecolodge
Ranked #3 of 4 Naguabo B&B and Inns
Dallas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“nice litte getaway”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2006

August 18 & 19, 2006. Casa Cubuy was fun. I am glad that we went, but not certain whether I would choose it again. We had to change rooms because the bed in our room was horrible, but they moved us with no problem. They even did some laundry for us (for a small fee)
The food was good. Even in the off season there were enough people there to eat dinner. We enjoyed the hiking and the beautiful scenery. We met some very nice people.
Actually, the two days and nights we spent there was a perfect length of time. There was just enough to keep us busy. The mosquitos ate me alive even with my deep woods off on, so be aware! If you are spending a couple of days and want a non-commercial view of the rain forest with hiking over big rocks and fast running waterfalls and over mud and through the trees, this is your place. Enjoy! We did.

  • Liked — location.
  • Tips/Secrets — bring plenty of bug spray.
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank godessathena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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275 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ann Arbor, MI
Level Contributor
54 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2006

My husband and I recently celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary with a belated trip to Casa Cubuy, which was our fifth stay at the inn in seven years. It is, and remains, one of our favorite places on earth.

If you're considering staying here, it's worth noting that the inn bills itself as an Ecolodge. As such, the concerns of treating the environment kindly trump providing luxury amenities. That means, as people have said, energy is not wasted power-washing outdoor areas as often as some might like, providing daily maid service or many creature comforts people (Americans in particular) take for granted at "hotels."

The bed sheets are changed every five days, although towels (not fancy matching ones, mind you) can be replaced daily if you so desire. The water is heated by solar power, so the showers are more of a slow, steady stream than a pressure-powered oasis. You'll be asked to place toilet tissue in the waste basket to preserve the ecosystem. There are, as previous posters have noted, no TVs, no phones in the rooms, no wireless internet access.

The accommodations are perfectly fine. You will lack for nothing you truly need. The rooms are sparsely furnished but clean and provide a comfy place to sack out at the end of a day, whether you've spent it hiking, kayaking in a biolluminescent bay, swimming in the ocean at nearby Luqillo beach or lazing around Casa Cubuy reading and dozing. The breakfasts, as noted, are outstanding, featuring abundant food and fresh fruit, often picked from trees well within your view. And dinner, when available, is equally good.

You have to drive a ways up into the mountains to get there, which means you'll have to do the same in order to get back out for meals or excursions. Beautiful mountain vistas are balanced by the "real life" scenery of the people who live in the tiny houses spaced out along the road.

If all that sounds perfectly reasonable to you, then what you get in return for your concessions to the locale and the environment is this: the unequaled experience of staying in rooms at the very edge of a tropical rainforest. You wake to unspeakable beauty, sleep to the sound of the coqui (tiny tree frogs) and the rushing of the waterfall below. You have access to private hiking areas directly into the rainforest where you can bypass the tourist-heavy trails on the other side of El Yunque and sometimes seem to have all of nature to yourself.

You get to sit on one of the balconies, swing in a hammock and watch grey clouds of rain move across the forest and burst open in thunderous displays. You get to see palm trees bursting with coconuts and palm nuts, and see bananas, oranges, mangoes and avocadoes growing right on the vine. You get a peace you won't find in the modern world and, if the sky is clear, a view of more stars than you ever thought existed from the sun deck.

Casa Cubuy is near the top of a mountain in a tropical rainforest on an island. The upkeep required on a property in that location is tremendous and the owners do the best they can to keep up with the humidity and nature within the limitations of their location. It's not perfect. What it is, is an oasis from which -- if you can ignore a few details -- you can experience the true perfection of its surroundings.

Casa Cubuy is not for everyone. Thank goodness, or we'd never be able to get a room there! And for those who don't like the sound of it, Puerto Rico is a magnificent place and swank hotel chains have built all kinds of resorts for those who value fresh, luxe towels and aesthetic appeal over a backyard ecosystem.

A few suggestions...We always stop in Fajardo on our way in and pick up a cheapy cooler, some ice and some snacks. Lunch is not provided at the inn and dinner isn't always guaranteed, so if we don't feel like coming down, we have our own supply of cheese, nuts, snacks, etc. at our disposal. (The inn also offers a supply of snacks for purchase in the help-yourself-honor-system bar area downstairs.)

It's a few dollars more per night but if you can swing it, go for an upstairs room with a balcony. The digs are bigger and even though the balcony is small, it's worth every penny to sit out there at night, staring out at the pitch black and listening to the rainforest. Plus, you can sleep with the balcony doors open at night and listen to it all night long if you like.

Although there's alcohol available for purchase, it's not a party inn, usually. Many of the people there are hikers, who get up early in the morning to set out. So if you're looking for nightlife, this ain't it. However, if you're looking for peace and quiet and a place to unplug, this is it.

If you plan to hike at all, pack a lightweight rain jacket too! You never know when you'll be caught in a downpour.

  • Liked — The location is THE thing about the inn. The rainforest is amazing.
  • Disliked — Can't think of anything.
  • Tips/Secrets — Bring some snacks with you, be open minded, relax!
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank JCSmillie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami
Level Contributor
41 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2006

The Eco Lodge is located at the dead end road on the south side of El Yunque. If you wish to enter the main park entrance and enjoy the man made paths, observation towers, etc., you have to drive about 1 hour to the Northern side from here. Nevertheless, the Eco-Lodge is at a nice spot and gives you ample opportunity to enjoy the vegetation without the crowds of the main park area.

The lodge itself has seen better days, and lacks a bit of dedicated management. The room features are very basic, for example not even a place to hang a shirt or so, and the communal area could be better cleaned, too. The place would need more care and maintenance, for example have power outlets covered, old holes from former fixtures closed, light bulbs replaced. Nothing serious, some just an aesthetic subject, an indication of what guests have to accept.

Still, there are nice things to say, too. The breakfast is great, there is space to sit and meet other guests, there is a nice dinner at some nights (extra charge at fair rate). If they don't do the dinner, which may happen without any info before, then you got to drive a long way, about 40 min., to the next acceptable restaurants. There is nothing around in the vicinity of this place.

I would recommend the place, if you can accept the very basic features of the place, and don't care about the sometimes disorganized management. The great nature environment might well compensate the properties' shortcomings.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank caribtravelnut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2006

If you're looking for a place to relax, unwind, do absolutely nothing, be left alone totally, this is the place for you. My husband and I (without our 2 kids) wanted a vacation where we could immerse ourselves into each other, reconnect, and de-stress since our lives are so busy with the kids and our work. This was just the place.

We arrived late in the evening on Sunday night. The road up the mountain can be treacherous so arrive early. We stayed in room #8 - queen size bed, clean, quaint, and private. In the morning at 9:00 am, we had a family-style breakfast of fresh fruits and french toast, guayaba juice, and coffee with the other guests. The dining area offers a large family table and several smaller ones if you'd rather be alone. We later ventured down the trails to the waterfalls, had a picnic prepared by staff on request, and returned to our room. We then wasted the day, laying together for hours on a hammock on the patio of our room which overlooked a beautiful, breathtaking view of the rainforest below. Other than an anole, a few snails, and a coqui, no one interrupted us. It was complete relaxation. Serenity! We signed up in the morning for dinner which was served at 6:00 pm family-style. Dinner was a chicken dish in a tomato sauce, rice and beans, salad, fried plantains, and desert. The next morning, after a breakfast of fresh fruit, cinnamon oatmeal, toast, and pastries, we checked out. My only regret is that we did not stay longer at Casa Cubuy and take a tour with Robin Philips (other guests took his tour and loved it). We toured El Yunque (north and south sides) by ourselves. Other guests included honeymooners, families with young children, and families with grown kids, and couples getting away from regular life. It was an eclectic group, very enjoyable, and offered interesting conversation. We will be coming back to Casa Cubuy, with the kids, of course. (Our trip was 8 days long - staying at a variety of hotels and resorts. This one was tops for what we wanted out of our trip.)

FYI...This is not a resort, hotel, or motel. It is more of a bed & breakfast. Rooms are not serviced daily, only upon request for a fee. Dirty towels are replaced daily if you leave them in a hamper outside your room door. This is the rainforest, not a city, plumbing does not allow paper to be flushed, so it is disposed of in the wastebasket. Breakfast is included in your room charge. The cook will be called to prepare dinner at $18/person if at least 6 people sign up. Sack lunches are provided for $7/each by request. An honor bar is provided where guests keep a running tab of their snacks and drinks. Guests are allowed to store sodas, snacks, etc. in the community fridge. Free local phone service. No TV and no internet.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jackiemgb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2006

We stayed at Casa Cubuy for 2 nights during our recent trip to Puerto Rico. We have stayed in an Eco Lodge before so were prepared for the rustic amenities. The room we stayed in was large and clean. Waking up to the sounds of the waterfall and listening to the native Coqui at night were the highlight of our stay. You can make an appointment for a massage in your room overlooking the rainforest at an additional charge, which is highly recommended!! Breakfast is included and consisted of fresh fruit, pastries, and cereal/oatmeal. Dinner is an extra cost, but was well worth not having to leave the property to find someplace else to eat. The staff was friendly and very accommodating. When we researched Casa Cubuy, it seemed by the review that the owner would be available to tell about different hikes, etc. Unfortunately, he was rarely on the property and when he was, he was inaccessible. Therefore, we only went on one hike (down to the waterfall, which was beautiful) and cut our trip a day short to visit the rainforest on the north side so we could go to the visitors center and get maps for more hiking. Overall, Casa Cubuy is a perfect place to stay if you are looking for a peaceful, relaxing stay in a natural setting and don't mind foregoing some modern conveniences.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WorldTraveller65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Curacao, Netherlands Antilles
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2006

We stayed for about 4 days but regretted not having stayed a longer time. It is a place to retreat to when you're looking for absolute peace and quiet, as there are few amenities in the hotel or in your room. Forget about the tv, phones and news in the outside world!
The weather was really delicious, coming from a hot country it was very relaxing to experience cool evenings and mornings and pleasant midmornings and afternoons.
Pricewise I thought it to be a bit costly for the service you get (cleaning schedules, places to eat nearby), but on the other hand there's no price for being in paradise for a few days.
The staff was very friendly and the breakfast excellent (we had no dinner or lunch there), especially because it was served at a large table, so you get to socialize with other people who are basically doing the same - just relaxing and getting away from it all. I am waiting for the chance to go back to Casa Cubuy, although - a note of caution for parents with toddlers - due to the terraced house and the steep path down to the river I would probably recommend you to wait until your toddler grows up a little bit. (that's why I haven't gone back yet, but I definitely hope to do so soon!)

  • Stayed September 2002
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Marieannemoron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
88 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2006

Easy to get to (highway and then an easy, fairly straight mountain road). Beautiful forested mountain view. LOVED the fact that one entire wall of my room was a sliding glass door and that it slid into itself to open up the entire wall! Friendly Puerto Rican staff. Very nice meals served family style with other guests. Lots of college professors from different schools around the States while we were there. An easy walk down to the waterfalls/pools; you cannot get lost. Lots of tropical flowers in bloom. No rain and very little humidity. The honor bar is nice and there is NO price gouging (they pretty much own you as far as your food/drink options are concerned but do not take advantage at all). A great choice if you've just spent a few days getting burnt on some beach somewhere. Note: here's what you do here; read, hike, bird watch and enjoy your partner.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank deathroll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Cubuy Ecolodge

Property: Casa Cubuy Ecolodge
Address: Route 191 Km 22 | Rio Blanco, Naguabo 00744, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Naguabo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Naguabo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2 star — Casa Cubuy Ecolodge 2*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The lodge is set into the mountain with a large balcony that overlooks the forest. There are ten guest rooms and a villa down the road. Its great for bird watching. Peace and tranquility can always be found at Casa Cubuy. Go ahead; be our guest! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Cubuy Ecolodge Hotel Naguabo
Casa Cubuy Ecolodge Puerto Rico/Naguabo

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