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“Lovely setting”

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Casa Grande Mountain Retreat
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Utuado
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Valparaiso, Florida
Level Contributor
74 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Lovely setting”
Reviewed 6 February 2014

This small lodge/cabins lived up to all our expectations. Beautiful, relaxing, good food. Yes the walls between the rooms are very thin, and the coqui frogs are loud at night. But these are small compared to the rest of the experience. We recommend driving the 20 minutes north to Lago Dos Bocas for the pleasure of the free boat trip around the lake to different restaurants. They are a little pricey, but everyone seems to like the food. There is one ranked #1--I think it is Rancho Marina-- but all are probably good. Allow several hours and expect rain showers between the sunshine. Note that there are stairs to the cabins as well as the main lodge,and no elevators. Also no TV or radio allowed, and Wifi almost never: a true retreat from a busy world. Didn't use the pool, but it looked clean and welcoming. Enjoyed the yoga, although would have preferred a more advanced level. Definitely recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kelly053
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Founder-Director, Owner at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, responded to this review, 8 February 2014
So glad you enjoyed the Casa Grande experience so much. Most of the students who attend morning yoga are either first timers or beginners so the class is geared to that population. We welcome advanced practitioners to attend the class and if they don't find it challenging enough to move into their own practice as they see fit.
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497 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
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English first
Hershey
2 reviews
Reviewed 3 February 2014

My husband and I returned to Puerto Rico for a week long vacation to celebrate our anniversary. Having such a great experience last year, we decided to spend the majority of our time at Casa Grande and were not disappointed. Our experience this year was even better than last year. The staff was very warm, welcoming and accommodating. We must commend the cooks for the quality and presentation of each dish we tried. The property is well loved and maintained and we found such beauty in our surroundings. Having no television, radio, phone and limited internet access was a great way to detach from the outside world and reconnect within. The rooms are cozy and the porch and hammock so inviting. I participated in the morning yoga classes and found it an awesome way to wake up the body and start each day. We were fortunate to indulge in a massage during our stay and highly recommend taking the time to truly relax in the awesome space provided. The view of the mountain is spectacular and our therapist was so passionate.

If you are looking for a relaxing getaway, we would highly recommend staying here. As this is not a place for all, it was surely a place for us. Just remember to be courtesy and respectful of your neighbors and if there is a child in the room near yours, we wish it to be the angel that was near ours.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Maria L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Founder-Director, Owner at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, responded to this review, 5 February 2014
Wow! You paid us the ultimate compliment by returning for a second a visit. Thank you so much for your kind and generous review. We'll look forward to seeing you again someday.
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Springfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2014

Casa Grande is at the intersection of hotel and camping, in the best sense.

When we told the gentlemen at the rental car company that we were headed to Utuado, he said "You will see trees, trees, and more trees." He was not wrong. And getting to and from Casa Grande is quite an adventure in itself. The roads redefined my understanding of "winding" and they are only about a lane and a half wide. I'm kind of surprised that anyone living there had their side mirrors intact, but it must just become second nature pulling 100 degree blind turns. Also, there are dogs and chickens everywhere and they think nothing of hanging out in the road and/or sunbathing on the pavement. If you are travelling with someone else, whoever has the best Mario Kart should take the wheel.

The property is lush and very well-maintained, with labelled flora, a small fish pond, and the cabins set into the hillside amidst various types of palm trees. There are little lizards all over the place, some of which liked to crawl up the outside of our screens during the day to escape the sun. Each room has it's own porch hammock where you can lounge, read a book, or just enjoy the picturesque view of the mountains. From our room, we could look down over the beautiful pool or up into the trees, trees, and more trees.

Rooms are best described by another reviewer as "simple and clean". Somehow I found the bed here more comfortable than at the San Juan Marriott, where we stayed earlier in our trip. I will say, however, that the walls are very thin. There were a couple of people with babies (well, one was a toddler) staying there and with the baby in the room next to us, it often sounded like the fussing was coming from somewhere inside our ceiling. I was awake at least once at about 2:00 AM as a result. Keep this in mind if you are on a romantic trip and planned on getting frisky...you better be quiet.

That being the case, I was not surprised that the rooms do not have televisions, radios, or phones. What I did not realize, however, was that televisions and radios are NOT ALLOWED on the premises. I think this should be made clear. The night after we arrived, the Patriots were in a playoff game and this policy was an upleasant shock to my husband. I had assumed that there would be a television in a bar area or other communal area in the big house. Nope. If we'd really been determined to see the game, it would have required venturing quite a ways on those wildly twisting roads at night, so we opted out. Of course, we were there to get away and relax so that wasn't any kind of deal breaker, but is still something that I wish had not been a surprise. Especially since you are not going to get any kind of cell phone reception there of any kind, I don't care how awesome your phone is.

If you want a warm shower, I would avoid the most popular shower times and would recommending bathing together if you're with your spouse or significant other. Otherwise, you may be in for a real wake-up while you get clean. Soap is provided in a dispenser inside the shower stall, but that is all you are given in the way of toiletries. Our toilet had been running, which apparently our neighbors could hear in their room (again, thin walls) and they reported it to the staff. The owner came and fixed the problem, but he did so when we were at dinner one evening without saying anything to us. We hadn't locked our door to go to dinner and we came back to find ourselves inexplicably locked out of our room. He explained what had happened as he was letting us back in, but I felt a little weird about the whole thing. First because I thought I'd lost my mind - I was certain I hadn't locked the door - second because I just didn't like the idea that someone had unexpectedly been in our room without our knowledge. With housekeeping, you know they are coming and you can tell that they've been there. Nothing about it seems stealthy. And it's not as if I have anything to hide, but it's just one of those things I feel funny about, like the idea of a stranger going through your purse or something. A little note saying "Your toilet was running, so I came and fixed it. Let me know if it happens again. -the owner" would have totally eliminated the feeling I had, but it was fleeting anyway.

There are a variety of activities/services available. I took part in one of the morning yoga classes and it was delightful. Listening to the natural sounds just outside was more relaxing than any new age cd I've heard played while taking yoga at a studio or gym. I'm really only a beginner, so I was concerned about what level the class would be at, but it was perfect. Most of the poses were variations of things that I've been exposed to before, with a few new ones I enjoyed. The only negative was that I think there were some animal droppings on the floor in there. I'm sure that's hard to avoid, given the nature of the space and the setting, but in an activity where you're on the floor as much as you are in yoga, sometimes with your face within inches...you prefer not to see something that you suspect might be poop. Just sayin'. I wish we'd gotten massages, but most of our days were spent away from Casa Grande visiting caves in Aricebo or going to museums in Ponce. I also wish we'd been able to go on the hike to waterfall, but perhaps on a return trip.

After yoga, you can go right up the stairs to breakfast at the big house. All but one of the meals during our stay was served buffet style. All the options were fresh, delicious, and healthy (or mostly healthy). My husband and another guest were particularly enthusiastic about the coconut pudding. I'm not a huge pudding fan, but I'll admit that it was pretty tasty. For our seated, served meal, I ordered an eggplant dish that was perfect. There was some sort of cilantro aioli or sauce on it and I asked for a little cup of it because I just couldn't get enough. I don't recall what my husband, but I know he liked it. Dessert for me was a delicious flourless chocolate torte. The prices were very reasonable, especially for the quality of the food.

All the staff were friendly, helpful, and accommodating and we really enjoyed our stay. I think this retreat is best enjoyed if you are visiting with very clear and accurate expectations. Because if this is the type of experience you are looking for, then Casa Grande is nearly perfect and I would recommend it.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sn00ple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Founder-Director, Owner at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, responded to this review, 1 February 2014
Thank you for the detailed review. We're glad that your overall experience was a good one. If a guest is having difficulty with cellphone reception, the hotel's is available free of charge for a brief call. When a guest informs us of a needed repair in their room we attend to it as promptly as possible, whether the guest is on premises or not. Thank you for the suggestion to leave a note to let the guest know we've been in the room to do so.
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San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
95 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2014

Wonderful views, wonderful food, friendly staff....but no help getting the luggage up from the distant parking lot! Also, bare necessities: no hair dryer etc.
Casa Grande is the right place for a few days of "disconnecting", especially when you are with friends.

Room Tip: All are good. Perhaps the higher up the hill the less the noise from the road.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Restful M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Founder-Director, Owner at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, responded to this review, 1 February 2014
We're delighted you enjoyed your Casa Grande experience. There's no bellhop at the retreat but upon arrival you may drive up to the hacienda, unload your baggage, and drive down to the parking lot. The walk back up is a lot easier without the luggage. The accommodations are rather Spartan and limited to basic necessities so hair dryers are not one of the amenities provided.
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Miami Beach
Level Contributor
27 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2014

We love visiting the Casa Grande. Yes it is not easy to reach. Lots of winding, small roads. But when we arrived it was just as we remembered, quiet and serene. The food is reasonable and varied, a real treat. The staff could not be nicer. The rooms are quite spartan, but it fits with this environment. Our favorite room is number 10. It is very private and you can hear the river below.

Room Tip: Our favorite room is number 10. Very private with great views.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank InMiami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2014

Beautiful, peaceful place in the mountains, Go to sleep with the sounds of the jungle. Great service, little restaurent attached. We went as a family of four with a six and nine year old, in search of some peace after being forced to leave from a beach residence due to incredibly loud music through the night. We initially booked for one night as a "bolt hole" from the beach noise, but extended our stay. Rooms have everything you need. There is some great ziplining and rapelling nearby in Utuado, as well a lovely waterfall and natural pool a relatively short hike away. Toro Negro is also quite near and worth a hike to the top (we did it with kids). Note though , this is not a resort - and is geared towards independent travellers, or travellers in small groups.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lucas R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2014

We had a great one-night stay at this hotel.
We arrived late after getting stuck in a traffic jam and were worried about getting dinner, thinking that the hotel food was likely to be incredibly overpriced Well we were pleasantly surprised - the food was very, very nice, local Puerto Rican style and very reasonable in cost.

The hotel itself is beautiful, the grounds are gorgeous and we enjoyed going for a little walk the next morning up to the top of the ridge. Also lying in the hammocks in the morning watching the sun peak over the top of the hills.

The rooms are large, slightly sparse but who wants a TV on holiday in the mountains anyway? The shower was warm and the pressure strong - all you need!

Downsides:
- Bed not that comfortable
- I feel a hotel in the middle of nowhere, at the kind of price we paid, should include breakfast the next morning. Breakfast was very nice, however, when you have no choice and are a bit of a drive from anywhere else to get any food, it would be better if it was included.
- Yoga class in the morning also not included - this was my misunderstanding from various reviews and the Lonely Planet, not the hotel's fault, but I was under the impression it was free so was slightly disappointed on check-in to find it wasn't!
- Not sure what qualifies it as a 'mountain retreat' other than just being in a remote location.

HOWEVER, we only spent one night there and I wished we had spent longer. It was absolutely beautiful.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ajd87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Grande Mountain Retreat

Property: Casa Grande Mountain Retreat
Address: Road 612, Km. 0.3 | Barrio Caonillas, Utuado 00641, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Utuado
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Utuado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Casa Grande Mountain Retreat 2.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in a valley in Puerto Rico's central mountains, Casa Grande is an oasis of peace and tranquility. 20 rooms scattered up the mountainside, each with private bath, balcony and hammock. Freshwater pool, restaurant and bar. The Café serves comida criolla, contemporary dishes and vegetarian options. Fully equipped yoga facility offering morning class, birder's paradise, botanical gardens and woodland hiking trail. Near Camuy Caves, Arecibo Observatory, Caguana Ceremonial Park, Toro Negro and Rio Abajo Forests. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Grande Mountain Retreat Hotel Utuado
Casa Grande Mountain Retreat Puerto Rico/Utuado

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