Good things: They have a nice pool and BBQ set-up and their friends told us that the main house is really nice.
Bad things: Definitely not the place to stay during the summer and, overall, the WORST communication I've ever had with a vacation rental owner.
There is no A/C and resolving issues with the owners (if any arise) might be challenging.
- This was our first trip to Puerto Rico and our honeymoon.
- When we got to Vieques, it was really hot, in fact, it was unusually hot for the season and the unit we were offered had NO A/C!! Every other place on the island suited for tourists had this amenity, but not at Casa de Claire! They did not even have the courtesy to warn us!
- The rental was basic, with a rusty fan on the wall of the kitchen and a broken fan in the closet of the bedroom. Linens were old and thin. The bed had springs you could feel when you sat on it. A few itchy cats wait outside the door or jump on the windowsill of the rental. There are about 10 that live around the property.
- There were no tradewinds to cool the island so, at about 9:30pm, we called Claire to see what could be done about the awful heat keeping us awake. She finally told us that they actually HAD a unit with A/C, but we needed to call her property manager at 7am the next morning to get into it since he was currently alseep. She even seemed irritated that we called and confused why the heat would even bother us.
- Who wants to wake up at 7am on their honeymoon (4am West Coast time for us) to see about changing rooms, packing and unpacking again)? We were already so unimpressed with the place and tired from our travel that we decided to leave and find a proper rental with A/C.
- We called every number in our Vieques guidebook and, thank god, another place was available where we wouldn't toss all night, miserable from mosquitoes, heat and humidity.
- The luxurious A/C unit Claire wanted us to use was actually a dungeon they had underneath the pool with just a few tiny windows. You would actually have to walk through the pool pump room to get to it! Not a very romantic honeymoon spot.
- When we called Claire the next day to see about working out a partial refund, she was defensive and rude, simply repeating "You LEFT? No one has EVER left!" as if the heat was our doing and we were crazy. She was more offended that we did not like her property than concerned with our well being as her guests. She did not apologize for our inability to sleep that drove us to find another place to stay, but she DID agree to refund half of our money ($200 of our never-used $400 rental, not including another $20 I left in-person at the unit for lodging tax).
- She sent a check for $176 back to us, subtracting money again for more "tax" and for her property manager meeting us. I guess she did this just to be spiteful, since we had already left an extra $20 at her property.
- At the time of our reservation, she had no deposit or refund policy on her website, but has since added the information. I guess I wasn't really expecting them to refund all our money, but to be fair based on the fact that our accommodation was less than comfortable (understatement) and forced us to leave our very first night.
- The owners only come to their house during the Winter (according to friends of theirs we met) so they are not aware of how awful it gets during the Summer and Fall - June through November, therefore, not apt to be helpful if you visit any other time besides the Winter.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Casa De Claire is a private home and vacation rental property on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. The main house has 4 bedrooms and sleeps up to 10 people. The property also has three apartments which each sleep 2 people as well as a bunk house which sleeps 4. Casa De Claire also has an in-ground pool, a rooftop deck with bar and pool table, and more. ... more less