The enduring image I have is of an exquisitely beautiful well-tended place nestled in a valley in the hills north of Utuado, Puerto Rico. It is incredibly quiet during the day, and as the night falls, the sounds of the night -- coquies ( tree frogs) crickets, a variety of nightbirds, fill the night. There can be a torrential afternoon or evening rain, then by morning a dazzling light pouring through the green scenery and through the carefully cultivated gardens of the grounds of this group of cabins.
Each unit is very modest, simple, and clean. No air conditioning, but an overhead fan – a hammock outside on the porch of each unit. This place suited me / us as a perfect place to leave the city, and crowded work schedules behind. No radio or TV here ...an abundance of nature; a walking trail through the thick woods and hills of the driveway, and a more substantial 3 hour hike to a secret waterfall.
Steve, the host and owner, has been there for many years, and has been prompt and responsive to ay of our inquiries or requests, and the restaurant waitstaff were equally responsive. Meals available were breakfast and supper, I found the menu to be varied, flavorful and well-cooked. Much of the fruit even came from the grounds of Casa Grande. Each morning before breakfast I had (beginners) yoga lessons with Steve, who is a certified Kipalu yoga instructor. The swimming pool was a refreshing change
to cool off after a hike…
I hope, selfishly, that the long and winding roads that eventually bring the visitor to Casa Grande do not get enhanced soon, so that the quiet privacy of this retreat is preserved. (Roadside bar-restaurants with fresh-grilled food and local jibaro music appear in the last stretch of road from Utuado to Casa Grande)
I have returned many times – and each time have found new qualities to appreciate -- a place where I read, wrote, meditated, hiked, rested… breathed… and it was not too far by car tlako drive to the nearby lake and towns to explore.
I highly recommend Casa Grande for individuals, couples, groups wishing to conduct a retreat – there is a meeting hall available. –“super tranquilo” is an adjective
I have heard other Puerto Rican residents use on several occasions to describe Casa Grande Mountain Retreat….
- 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