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“Nilda is a wonderful hostess; a true Puerto Rican experience (but that's not entirely a good thing)”

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La Paloma Guest House
Reviewed 24 February 2010

Without a doubt, Nilda makes her guests feel like family. You'll eat the same (mostly delicious) food she prepares for her own family; you may even hang out in her living room. The pool is quite large and clean -- a great bonus at what is otherwise a very simple, rustic little collection of rooms. Our little girls enjoyed playing with her grandson, Joey. The views of the surrounding jungle and nearby El Yunque are out of this world.

For $65 per night, we got a 2-room basement mini-apartment, complete with air conditioning, a fridge and stove. We couldn't make the stove work, but no matter. Honestly, my husband and I agreed that the room could have been a lot cleaner -- even for the low-budget price range. There was hair all over the floor when we arrived, a dead cockroach in the corner, and a thin layer of grime pretty much everywhere. We are not that fussy, but others might be...

Other reviewers have noted that staying at La Palmona means you're getting a "true" Puerto Rican experience." I agree. The flip side is that there are aspects of Puerto Rico that are not pleasing at all, namely the horrendous, mindless treatment of animals all over the Commonwealth.

I was horrified to discover that Nilda has two chained dogs off on the far side of her house. Most guests would never encounter them. Seeing a dog that is chained up for its life life always turns me inside out, but I do try to steel myself against the emotions when traveling in Latin America because i know it is a "different culture."

Still, as an animal lover, I cannot write this review without noting that I must hold to a higher standard a guesthouse operator who caters primarily to North Americans. Nilda's dogs spend most of their life on urine and feces-covered concrete. Their chains are short and their shelter is negligible. I got into a huge discussion (perhaps argument is a better word) with Nilda over this, in part because I found it so hard to rationalize in my mind how someone as kind and sweet as Nilda cannot realize that her dogs are suffering terribly.

Granted, one of the dogs, a German Shepherd, was very old, and that would account for its horrnedous physical appearance, but it was beyond cruel what this poor senior animal had to endure in his last days. He was emaciated and covered in fly bites and fleas. Dried blood covered one ear and he was clearly mostly blind and deaf. The other dog had a collar that dug into its neck and was on a horrendously short chain.

I'm not here to get into a discussion of cultural differences when it comes to animals and yes, I know that dogs are not considered pets or companions in much of the world. But again, because this establishment caters to North Americans and because many people would be as horrified as I was, I feel it is necessary to note what turned out to be a really depressing aspect of my stay in Puerto Rico.

Dog lovers: either think twice about staying here (or traveling to Puerto Rico at all!) or come armed with some good arguments about why it makes absolutely no sense to keep a dog on a chain in some lonely corner of your driveway. A dog on a 3-foot chain cannot "protect" your house; it is blind habit and bad tradition that allows this abuse to continue.

Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
3  Thank kerepesi34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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58 - 64 of 81 reviews

Reviewed 11 January 2010

Second time in Puerto Rico, and of course we stayed at La Paloma again, for nine nights. When we called Nilda to book a room, in the background we could hear coqui singing, wow! Couldn't wait to get there!!!

The part we stayed at last time is being renovated, so we got the room 5, down behind the pool area. Kitchen, fridge, gas stove, microwave, separate bedroom with two beds, all that for $50.

But as the other reviewers already said, the best part is the service. Nilda always makes you feel at home and tries to help in any way she can.

Last time I thought cleanliness could be better, especially the (shared at the time) kitchen, but this time I didn't have any issue with that, it was definitely clean enough for me, plus we got a kitchen for ourselves.

The place is in the middle of the rainforest, so of course leaves and bugs will fall into the pool. They do clean it regularly, but not 24/7, which is again fine with me, we swam in it several times in the morning and loved it.

Nilda's pumpkin fritters, barriquitas de vieja, are wonderful! She also let us wash our clothes in her washer and use the dryer.

To get around you do need a car. La Paloma is only 5 miles from the town of Ceiba, and the road is in good condition.

Next time we are in Puerto Rico, La Paloma will again be our top choice for a place to stay, no question about that!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
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Thank gatogris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2009

I believe someone else has already said the experience was like staying with family, but, this is simply the perfect phrase to describe the experience. This isn't a hotel, it isn't pretentious, and it certainly isn't mainstream--and I LOVED it!!
To me, part of the allure of going to a foreign country is to be somewhere and do things out of the ordinary. So, when my husband and I went to Puerto Rico, I looked around for out of the ordinary/off the beaten path accommodations for our time there. I found this place on this very website, and took a chance on it. My husband and I loved it.

It is near the town of Ceiba, and finding the actual guesthouse would be difficult at first, but, as instructed we called the owner when we were in Ceiba. She had her daughter meet us at an exit by the highway, and we followed her to the guesthouse. After following her the first time it was pretty easy to find. It is a winding path up the mountains on the edge of the rainforest, with an absolutely beautiful view from the guesthouse.

When we got there, Nilda (the owner) greeted us like she had known us for years--so warmly, in fact, that my husband even asked if I had known her before this trip. She helped us to park inside a gated fence and showed us how to open and close the gate ourselves so we could come and go without difficulty and be able to store our car safely. Our room was a guest house on her property and included a fully furnished room with a mini kitchenette, dining table, bed, futon, AC and satellite TV, private bathroom and shower with warm water. Not luxurious, but, it was pretty much what you would expect from staying with a family member out in the country! At first we thought it was a little too familiar, but, then another couple from Oregon joined us in the second private guesthouse on the property. If we hadn't seen them on the porch listening to the coqui, we might not have even known they were there!
Staying here is really getting away from it all. There isn't a bunch of other tourists being fed the same watered down version of Puerto Rico, while being tended to by hotel employees. It was so much more rich of an experience. The guest house was so quiet, and listening to the sounds of the native coqui frog at night is a perfectly relaxing way to get to sleep at night. It wasn't too far of a drive to the Yunque.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SenTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2009

La Paloma Guest House was where we stayed and experienced a real vacation: Relaxed, Ate Authentic Food, Listened to the Sounds of Nature, Absorbed the Beauty and Theraputic Sights and Sounds of Several Beaches, Experienced Natures Beauty in the Rain Forest, and met Friends that soon became our Extended Family that made this Vacation Real. Nilda is an excellent cook, she made us several fabulous Puerto Rican meals and was very accommodating making sure we had all we needed to make our stay comfortable. Mike and Johnny were very gracious in showing us around the island to experience the authentic culture, sights, adventure, and nightlife of Puerto Rico. Tiana, Tiffany, and Joey were such a pleasure to be around and were great company for our teenage son. The property was perfect for us. You have to understand that this is not a Grand Chain Resort but a rustic quaint guest house. The guest house we stayed in had everyting we needed: storage for all our items, kitchen table and chairs, coffee maker, fridge and freezer, oven, stovetop, microwave, plates, pots, pans, and utensils, tv with satelite connection, and large shower. Outside our unit was a fabulous pool and covered patio with an outstanding view of mountains and local town. We loved the location secluded yet close to sights. Our stay was five nights so we got to know our new friends very well and look forward to our next stay.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank gijenn101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2009

After researching where to stay in PR I found La Paloma on Trip Advisor and from the reviews decided to stay here. When we arrived we were greeted warmly with a hug and a short tour of the property. The room was clean with a large shower, cable tv, kitchen, and amazing views. Nilda, the owner, is one of the warmest, kindest people I have met. Shortly after arriving she made us a meal and pointed out various things in the surrounding hills, she took us into the main house and told us about her Indian heritage. She suggested things for us to do and took us to a resort to use the beautiful beach. The area around the guest house has some incredible views and I spent quite awhile walking and driving around exploring the hills. We spent one night and then headed over to the island of Culebra for a few days. We had no plans for the last night of our trip so decided to spend it back at La Paloma. There isn't much around the place but we managed to find a small bar/ store within a few minutes drive where we could get some drinks. Overall a great place to relax and wonderful owner.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank cbergin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2008

We stayed at the paloma guest house and to our surprise it was home away from home. The welcome even from the phone as we were heading there was incredible!! Nilda kept in touch with us all throughout the travel. we ran into terrible traffic so we got there a bit later. She waited for us, and stay in touch making sure we did not get lost. I'm a native my husband born and raised in North carolina. he wanted to experience the real Puerot Rico. He did get that and more. The ride is a great experience, truly country raods up the mountain!!! We loved it, away from it all!!!Nilda made him feel like he was home!! She prepared fresh coffe for him in the morning and took him for a tour of the beautiful scenery around the house and shared native and stories about our Indian taina heritage. What a view!!! The rooms are pretty big for a guesthouse/B&B setup, and include beds, bathroom, towels, fridge, table, closet, AC, fans, tv/cable, etc. This is more than any other guesthouse we have ever been to, and less expensivem,this value can't be beat. Her family were as nice as she was and super frendly, great COOKS!! also. We had dinner at their home upstairs our second night there. ALL native.
Truly a gem to saty, not luzury just genuine comfort and hospitality. We will return next year!!

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank palomaNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2007

Staying at LaPaloma was like visiting family in the country. Nilda and Michael (owners) welcomed us in as if they had known us for years. They are located in the lower hills of the rain forest and the
views are breathtaking! (See our pictures) I had my 10 year old daughter and 14 year old niece with me and at first they were not happy out in the middle of nowhere. Nilda's grand children were staying with her and just happened to be about the same age and in no
time all the kids were having fun. LaPaloma has several selections
of rooms and two properties. Nothing fancy but clean and spacious. We
stayed at the second property where the pool is and it was like renting our own house for the stay. There was only 1 other guest at the property while we were there so we had a lot of privacy. If you have a "bug" issues, well the rain forest area is not for you. I occasionally had to remove a centipede from the room or perhaps a small lizard would get in, but if you have ever traveled the Caribbean (and not stayed at 5 star resorts) you know what to expect.
After leaving LaPaloma we went to the West side of the island
and stayed at hotels and a Parador. We were very disappointed and all
of said we wished we had just stayed at Nilda's for the whole week! We will be back soon and we will definitely stay the entire time at LaPaloma!! ZVernon, Columbus OH (GO BUCKS!!)

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled with family
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Thank ZVernon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about La Paloma Guest House

Address: (787) 435_1154 | Barrio Rio Abajo, Seccion La Paloma, Ceiba, El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > El Yunque National Forest
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in El Yunque National Forest
Price Range: £46 - £54 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
La Paloma Guest House Hotel El Yunque National Forest
La Paloma Guest House Puerto Rico/El Yunque National Forest

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