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“NOT the place for a summer or fall visit”

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Casa de Claire Guesthouse
Ranked #17 of 27 Isla de Vieques B&B and Inns
Portland, OR
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“NOT the place for a summer or fall visit”
Reviewed 29 July 2009

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.

Summary:
- 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.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank GreenDoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AReid1380, Owner at Casa de Claire Guesthouse, responded to this review, 28 June 2010
In response to the exaggerated review posted above, the owners of Casa De Claire would like to emphasis that we are always kind and accommodating to our renters. We do understand however that Vieques is not always the island for everyone, and it is a true enough statement that if you are looking for a more luxurious stay, then one may want to consider staying at a resort such as the W rather than renting from a private island home.

We would also like to acknowledge the fact that we fully understand that it gets hot in the Caribbean. To our understanding, that is why most people tend to want to visit the Caribbean in the first place. To be fair, we admit that we currently only supply A/C in one unit (which is not a "dungeon" as described). Each apartment, as well as the bunk house and every room inside the main house have ceiling fans and screened windows and doors which can be opened for air circulation.

We would also like to state that this is the only time in 17 years where we have had a guest, be it a friend or a renter, not be able to sleep at night due to the temperature. The most common complaint for lack of sleep tends to come from the sound of the roosters, who seem to have their days and nights mixed up most of the time, and earplugs are always on hand if this becomes a problem. :)

Furthermore, in response to the claim that we ourselves only visit during the winter and are not aware of the temperature during the remainder of the year is also not the case. Having called Vieques our second home for over 17 years has allowed us to visit the island frequently, and at various times of the year. In fact, Gordy spends the entire month of October at Casa De Claire, and tends to return with Claire from January to the end of June.

It is our full intention to be as accommodating to all of our guests as possible, and in doing so, we have been very fortunate to have made some great friends, who continue to be repeat-renters to this day. We understand that different people have different expectations when it comes to travel and accommodations and that is isn't always easy to please everyone. Then again, it's hard not to be pleased while visiting Vieques! :)

Hope to see you on La Isla Nena soon!

-Alan Reid
Casa De Claire
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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English first
Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2009

We stayed at Casa de Claire Feb 4 - Feb 11, 2009. It was a wonderful place to stay. Had everything they advertise on their web, plus more. The owners Gordy & Claire happened to be in residence when we were there, and made us feel very welcome and at home. They gave us excellent advise on the area and included us in some area get togethers. They are really nice people and truly love the island and are very involved in it's progess and protection. They encouraged us to explore, and made us feel comfortable to do so. We also met Hector & Jean who stand in for Gordy and Claire when they are not there. They too are very welcoming and knowledgable, and I would feel very comfrotable with them also. The accommodations were very clean. The kitchen full size for those who like to cook, with a large gas grill by the pool. They also provide a washer & dryer for the studios they rent.

This island is not for everyone. If you like high rises, night life, shopping and ritzy restaurants, or require American food choices like McDonalds - this is not the island for you. If you like beautiful beaches and a laid back vacation with very little stress this is a great place.

There are certainly good restaurants in both Isabel II and Esperanz.a. This guest house is near the Isabel II area and a little quiter than the Esperanza area. There is no need for air conditioning, there are lovely tradewinds, and even in the heat of day, just a fan will do. They provide beach chairs, beach towels, a cooler and even have an ice-maker up by the pool. That is what we did most days, we packed a lunch with beer, pop and rum and explored the beaches and surrounding area. You can go to local area restaurants and buy sandwhiches or salads to pack, which is nice. We would suggest Belly Buttons or Traverna or the night before Coconut's gazpaucho soup. Restaurants have strange schedules of days they are closed so check before you go. Each beach has it's own character and uses. Some are very private, some more open, some for snokeling or surfing, some have palm trees, some more cacti - but if you are a beach person there are plenty to choose from and you will find your own favorite.

The people, both locals and transplants are very nice and sooo helpful. We have traveled all over the world and my husband thinks these are the most polite drivers. There are only 3 or 4 stop signs, yet at intersections people don't use turn signals, they just motion you to go ahead.

When you first get there you think "how crazy is this with all these roosters crowing", but after a couple of days, you cease to notice them. They have a problem with dog and cat population - but the local humane society is working to solve that. But all these things just make the island unique and unlike any we have previously visited. I truly would suggest going to this island and staying a Casa de Claire for any of my friends or family that need to decompress. In fact we hope to return again with our friends in December.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank ohiotripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa de Claire Guesthouse

Property: Casa de Claire Guesthouse
Address: Calle Angel Barbosa | Bravos de Boston, 00765, Puerto Rico
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Isla de Vieques
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 27 B&Bs / Inns in Isla de Vieques
Number of rooms: 31
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 

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