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“not the service I expected...”

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Villa Montana Beach Resort
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Isabela
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 November 2007

We stayed at the Villa Montana to attend a wedding that our friends were having here. The wedding was beautiful and the property is nice as well. The resort is in a remote part of the island and if relaxation is what you are looking for this is the area to be. The beach is small and the ocean is very rocky which makes it a bit challenging to enter and exit the ocean. If this is important to you I would be cautious of staying here. The property consists of mainly villas which we stayed.

Let me start with our check-in. This was certainly not what I expected. Once I completed my registration, we had to wait 30 minutes in the small office area for one fo the employees to escort us to our villa. Why this is necessary I did not understand and was not given a very good explanation. We were with other guests as well who waited along with us. Not a good way to start our stay here. Our first villa was a bit small for our liking and I went back to the office where we were quickly upgraded to a 2 BR villa with 2 bathrooms, 1 with an outside shower which was nice, kitchen and living room area. We were helped with our luggage to the next villa which was a nice gesture.

Once in our villa is where things were not exactly what I expected from a resort like this and from the prices they charge. The upgrade to the new villa did come at a price of course. The villa was cleaned that day but overall it was a bit run down and not worth the money. The location is what you are there for, not the accommodations. One of our ceiling fans was broken, the fridge light was broken, there were bugs we had to take care of and the biggest pain was that the villa had one phone which was broken. Since we were there for a wedding we needed to keep in touch with people for daily activities. Cell phones did not work so the villa phone is important. I went back to the office to request we have someone give us a new phone. Our original employee came to the room to try and fix the phone which he could not. He said he would be right back and after an hour later he did not. I had to go back to the office again, to be told there was nothing they could do till the next day. Why couldn't I be given a new phone to plug in? No one could tell me that. So for 2 days we had no phone to keep in touch with our other friends on the resort. The front desk was not helpful at all with this and actually seemed annoyed when I expected this to be fixed.

Overall, the resort looks great from the outside and is in a remote and beautiful part of PR. The rooms/villa are in need of an upgrade and I think they need a couple more people to help with check-in and maintenance on the property. The wedding was a success and that was the main thing. If not for the wedding, I would not return to this resort again.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank jwb3rx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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561 - 567 of 667 reviews

Reviewed 28 October 2007

I decided to spend a week in PR as a result of serendipitously finding the Villa Montana website: I was planning a return trip to Glacier National Park in MONTANA. And it was a perfect choice for us this year.

My wife and I usually leave our kids with the grandparents to go hiking each summer, but I realized that it would be too adventurous since we had a newborn with us this year. Our one bedroom villa at Villa Montana was steps from the ocean, the pool, and the restaurant. With our patio just outside our room, we were able to let our daughter take her 2-3 naps/day inside while we enjoyed the soothing breeze off the ocean or caught up on sleep ourselves. Nightly babysitting allowed us to play tennis, relax, swim under the stars, eat deliscious meals (thank you, Jeremy, for making special vegetarian dishes for us) , and walk along the beach. During the day, we enjoyed reading under umbrellas or palm trees, my wife reports two terrific massages, and I snorkelled daily just outside of the resort.

A wedding at the resort was unobtrusive and didn't effect our enjoyment of the resort one bit. We felt so relaxed here, that we cancelled plans for a side trip to St. Thomas! As for activities near the resort, I can only speak about a one tank dive from Isabella (average diving); Areceibo, the Caves, and diving at Desecheo island were all on my potential activites list but we were too tired to do much of anything. The Villa Montana was a delight: Actually, it is true to its website.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with family
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5  Thank dsklar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2007

Villa Montana is an absolutely beautiful enclave on the northwest tip of Puerto Rico. It is gorgeously landscaped -- tropical native plants, flowers and trees + birds everywhere. The beach is private... each day I'd run into maybe one other person on the beach.

The villa we stayed in was extremely elegant, yet warm; everything on the property was in excellent taste. We had two bedrooms, two full baths (one with an open-air shower), full kitchen, separate laundry room, large closet space, dining area, living room and spacious patios with dining and lounging areas looking out to the ocean -- unbelievable.

The service was perfect -- the staff genuine, friendly and very accomodating. There are two pools on the grounds, tennis courts, a lovely outdoor restaurant /bar next to the beach with a great menu, horseback riding, a nice herb/cutting garden with enclosed massage tent, workout room, children's playground... the setting is pure paradise.

I'd go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled with family
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5  Thank julie078
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2007

A word of advice for anyone planning a destination wedding in Puerto Rico - if you decide to check out the Villa Montana, be prepared for sticker shock. To give you some context, when we started to look for something in the Isabella area, Villa Montana seemed like a good choice, and we were very excited. However, once we received the contract it became a major disappointment. The number of fees this resort charges for a beach wedding and reception are astronomical. $55 per person for "decoration fee", $7 + tax + tip (per slice) + $40 delivery charge for the cake? If money is no option, then I suppose you should check this place out. But if you think that $200+ per person is obscene, then stay away. There are other places that are as good or better.

Stayed: September 2007
7  Thank Reactor1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GM-VillaMontana, General Manager & Wedding Designer at Villa Montana Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2007

We are so sorry but certainly understand that a potential client should ever feel that w are too expensive for weddings - for all the very particular care that we put into these unique set of days for our wedding clients and guests.

That a client should feel so is certainly the client's prerogative.

We would like to note that our wedding planning for our brides, grooms and their families is "a la carte". One chooses what one wants.

It is possible to have a simple wedding and BBQ picnic on the beach at a sensible cost to you. If, however, you should choose to select many options for an elaborately elegant beach wedding and a finely wrought menu, then that will indeed be costly.

That is why we do crafted proposals for each of our clients - so that they should know exactly what they will be paying for - to do the entire wedding. We would prefer that our clients are not shocked after the event by all the additional costs from a separate florist, a separate band, a separate pastry chef.

That is why we want our clients to know everything that we can think of that will impact their wedding.

That a wedding should have a total per person cost of $200 is reflective of the experience that we give to that client.

That another client should have a BBQ and beach experience with sand between the toes for
$90 per person is that client's choice.

We want to give our brides and grooms choices and at the same time we try to give them a gorgeous, memorable experience at any cost. - whether they arrive to be married in a sailboat, on horseback, in a carriage or on foot through the sand. Some have arrived by scuba gear!

Sincerely, Jessica Tiphaine
General Manager and Wedding Designer

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2007

Our family has been to the area of Isabela/Rincon six times now. On one of these visits we decided to try Villa Montana.
We had a two bedroom beachfront villa. The resort was not full when we were there (during the summer).

I was so angry when we returned from our stay there that I did not want a review then. Why my anger? Because for two of our days there they decided to power wash all the chairs and tables from the restaurant. The restaurant was just off to the right of our villa.

The power washing, of course, required the use of a very loud and noisy generator. The cleaning was done between our villa and the beach, right off the restaurant. So, not only was the noise unbearable, but it also detracted from the beach view.

As I sat on our porch and tried to read, I was listening to that awful generator go for two days.

This is an example of poor management. The resort management should have shut the resort for two days (not taken reservations for several days at their slowest time) so they could do the necessary cleaning. To subject their guests, paying almost $500 a night at the time, to such noise and pollution, was clearly a mistake in judgement.

We decided when we left that we would never stay there again.

Stayed: July 2004
3  Thank madge21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GM-VillaMontana, General manager at Villa Montana Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 13 September 2007

Thank you kindly for your comments.

I will make sure that we address your substantial issue of power washing while you were with us.

We do wish that you had taken a moment to mention your unhappiness while you had been with us and we would have stopped all the normal cleaning procedures at the ocean front restaurant.

As I understand it from the maintenance team, the cleaning was for one day.

If you would care to revisit us this autumn, please let me know so that we can give you preferential pricing as for one of our Legacy Returning Guests and perhaps you will allow me to treat you for dinner in the restaurant that was being cleaned.

Jessica Tiphaine

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2007

Although the setting is lovely, the service is poor, and there are security issues to deal with. And be prepared for the electricity to go out periodically as well. Also the pools are very small, considering that this is labeled a resort. The restaurant was also below par, and since it's in an isolated part of the beach, it's difficult navigating out at night to another eatery unless you know your way around.
Pretty disappointing experience overall.

    • Value
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5  Thank John066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
acohenIslington, General Manager at Villa Montana Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2007

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We appreciate all comments as we are here as dedicated hosts to give our guests pleasure, not angst. I would like to address each of your concerns directly.

Spa Treatment - Couples Massage
Not getting your preferred spa treatment time: In the hour or so that you were both at the resort, we certainly failed you in that your spa treatments were not able to be booked before your arrival. The Front Desk knew to set up your appointments on arrival so we are unsure why your actual time preference did not come through as well. We have asked our web manager to see if he can find and fix any failing systems in our Concierge on Line program. The wedding couple could also not have simultaneous massages, just as your situation, but could, of course, be with each other during the sequential massages.

The Atlantic Ocean
We do, indeed, sit on the Atlantic and we would have hope that fact is clear in all the maps and writing. Like most of the Caribbean islands, there is an Atlantic side and a Caribbean Sea side. We will see where and how we can make that clearer. It is because of sitting on the Atlantic with its barrier reef sets that we have such superior surfing and windsurfing.

Private Homes to Our Right
There are, indeed, a set of private homes to one side of us and then 3 miles of deserted beach to the other side of us. Tin panel roofs are indigenous to the Caribbean as a building/design style for all types of buildings.

Bluff above Us and Creating our Seclusion - in our opinion
There is, indeed, bluff ( we call it a "cliff"), about 200 feet high, behind us and continuing along for three miles of the deserted beach and on that high set back bluff, yes, there are houses - many are extensive and exclusive second homes . We have never had a guest feel that those homes were encroaching on our own privacy here on our 35 acres. It is this physical feature that actually gives us seclusion and what we here call "isolation".

The Beach - and limestone underpinnings of Puerto Rico
As you may recall in the brief time that you were here, the beach is not "fronted" by rocks. The limestone that makes up Puerto Rico does sit under the sand and the beach with some flat, rocky reaches visible and functioning as part of the beach itself. We have endless pictures of the beach on the website and we urge you to have a look, yourself.

Sea Urchins in Caribbean and Atlantic
I just went down to the beach and could not see any sea urchins. Are there sea urchins in the Caribbean and Atlantic? Yes, indeed. They are part of the environment here. They add to add to the tapestry of marine life that our guests come here to scuba in search of. I can say that I have never had a guest walk on a sea urchin at our beach.

Sea Floor
In the brief time that you were here, I am uncertain how you were able to determine that the sea floor was littered with trash and discarded tires. Our scuba divers and snorkelers have not seen the trash that you say that you did. We work hard here with a patrol of groundskeepers to pick up the flotsam that is brought in by storms as our natural environment is our supreme asset.

The Accommodation That You Selected and the Alternatives That You Were Offered
You did not like the hotel room so as you will recall, so we set aside several other rooms for you to choose from - larger rooms, but further set back from the beach - each with large terrace looking over the palms and to the sea. I am sorry you elected not to look at them prior to your departure because I am sure they would have exceeded our expectations.

Sleeping Family By One of the Pools
Yes, indeed, our guests do feel relaxed enough to have a snooze in the lounges around the pool. We would hope that all our guests would feel so relaxed.

Dry Vermouth
That we were out of dry vermouth that night, I and the Restaurant Manager apologize to you for. Such things will always and always have happened no matter how many check lists we have.

As you will recall, the Front Desk was happy provide the drinks that you did select as complimentary from us and was happy to not charge you a cancellation fee. Of course.

Thank you for your comments and again all our apologies that you were not pleased.

Jessica Tiphaine, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2007

My husband and I recently got married at the Villa Montana. After doing extensive research on destination wedding sites, we decided the Villa Montana was the perfect location for our small intimate wedding. We loved the resorts isolated location, its close proximity to the Aguadilla airport and its reputation for great food. Many larger resorts have multiple weddings per weekend unlike the Villa Montana who caters to one bride---This was a huge plus!

Despite rattling my nerves by not returning phone calls in a timely manner, missing several important scheduled conference calls, and seemingly ignoring some emails, the wedding itself was spectacular in every aspect imaginable. Our wedding weekend exceeded all of our expectations and our thirty guests continue to rave about the entire experience. With the help of our wedding planner Melany, we arranged for taxi service for all of our guests on Thursday night to the Ocean Front Restaurant (3 miles down the road). Great food and amazing views---I would definitely recommend this restaurant to all. On Friday night, we had our rehearsal dinner at the O Restaurant, the tapas restaurant at the resort. The ambiance was spectacular---dark wood, comfortable cushion seats, candlelight and Asian inspired decorations. The food was out of this world—Chef Samuel Hernandez did a fabulous job preparing the dishes! After the rehearsal dinner, we arranged for salsa lessons for all of our guests. Two instructors came to the Villa Montana to teach us the basic salsa moves. This was one of the highlights of the weekend.

The wedding itself was an amazing event. The ceremony and reception sites were beautifully decorated---the floral arrangements were gorgeous. Melany, our wedding planner, took care of all of the little details we requested. She was attentive to all of our needs. We had a very talented guitarist play at our ceremony and cocktail hour while a DJ played great dance music at the reception. Our guests spent most of the evening on the dance floor. Executive Chef Jeremy outdid himself! The food was five star quality! Our guests keep raving about how great the food was at the resort.

I am so grateful to all of the staff at the Villa Montana for making our wedding a truly memorable experience. Melany, Lizbeth, Diana and Mildred of the wedding department as well as Shakira at the front desk and Eva who worked both events, made sure our guests had a great stay at the Villa Montana. Our wedding at the Villa Montana was everything we hoped for and more.

  • Stayed: July 2007
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2  Thank mudhen1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Montana Beach Resort

Address: Carr. 4466 KM 1.9 Interior | Barrio Bajuras, Isabela 00662, Puerto Rico
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Isabela
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Isabela
Price Range: £137 - £307 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villa Montana Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 70
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Also Known As:
Villa Montana Beach Hotel Isabela
Hotel Montana Beach
Resort Montana Beach
Villa Montana Beach Resort Puerto Rico/Isabela

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