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“Just what my doctor order...”
Review of Royal Isabela

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Royal Isabela
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Isabela
Certificate of Excellence
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Just what my doctor order...”
Reviewed 2 August 2014 via mobile

This place is amazingly beautiful. We had a great couple retreat in a place that we just only want to stay at our "casita 12". The ocean view during the day, the stars during the night, the deck with the private pool, the opportunity to turn off all the lights and jump into the hot water whirlpool a on a romantic, far from the kids, hideaway, PRICELESS!! The room was magnificent, the bathroom facilities are huge so the shower place.

The other facilities were not great, like the gym a spa. They just put some exercise machines on an old room/barn. Just one restaurant, where The food was OK but not great, but from July 25-27, the Senior Chef was not around the kitchen. So Bad. At least, the ladies serving were very kind.

The beach is a 10 minute hike away from the main facilities but it is not for swimming but a great excuse for a hike/walk. There is no chairs, umbrellas or beverages down the beach so bring water and a towel.

About the Golf Course, is a gem. Long, challenging, with breathtaking view, links style, always windy. So, yes I lost several balls but I enjoyed every stroke.

Thanks to Rafael, great service!! and to my caddy Marcos.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Vandmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Javier L, Manager at Royal Isabela, responded to this review, 29 September 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write such an inspiring review. We’re honored that your stay with us was everything you expected and more. It is our pleasure to ensure that all our guests feel like they’ve entered a welcoming and protected place. We intend to safeguard this natural sanctuary for future generations to enjoy as well.

We truly appreciate the time you took to write your kind review, and we hope you will visit us again soon!

The Royal Isabela Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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280 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 31 July 2014

We stayed from early Monday July 28 th, 2014 until late Tuesday July 29th, 2014 and we had a blast in our "Casita Number 2"! Very quiet environment. We had our own private little pool (Jacuzzi)! Amazingly luxurious "Casitas"! Huge HD SONY Bravia flat screen TVs! The hotel has a huge pool too! You can play Golf and other sports a well. Thank you Royal Isabela! I will recomend it to anyone looking for a vacation stay! :-)

Room Tip: Any of the "Casitas! are good for enjoying your vacations, though some are more expensive than...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hans S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Javier L, Manager at Royal Isabela, responded to this review, 29 September 2014
Thank you for writing about your Royal Isabela experience! We always want to ensure that our guests have a wonderful and relaxing time in this beautiful and protected place. We strive to provide a serene environment where there is no room for worry, and where words like “stress” and “hassle” completely lose their meaning.

At Royal Isabela we promote a different standard of enjoyment for all our members and visitors. Visit us again soon for some more one-of-a-kind R&R!

The Royal Isabela Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014

It is indeed by far amazing view the service excellent especially Rafael of the suitcase guy very very excellent empoyee the restaurant all of the team that work there excellent service ever the house keep the view the private house very friendly. Super romantic and serene. The only problem I had was I pay in advance and the night i check in the concierge call about 10.00 pm and said the shif before me forgot to asked for a credit card that it wouldn't be charge at all only went you check qut you could pay all you consumer the card you choose to pay .I was charge $1,056.90 THANKS to American Express that call me o else I would have pay double.

Room Tip: Sometime Ihad WIFI somtimes I didnt the room are excellent
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Josephine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Javier L, Manager at Royal Isabela, responded to this review, 29 September 2014
Thank you for your wonderful and thoughtful review. Every guest who writes about their outstanding experience helps us renew our commitment to making Royal Isabela a unique and unrivalled experience, and reinforces our vows to keep it as a pristine and beautiful haven for all our members and visitors to enjoy today, as well as for the generations to come.

At Royal Isabela, we strive to be the ideal location for people who don’t just enjoy golf, but who also truly love nature and believe the principles of luxurious living can go hand-in-hand with a deep respect for the environment. We hope you will visit us again soon!

The Royal Isabela Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Pictures of Royal Isabela truly don't do the property justice. The panoramic views from the bar/restaurant and the casitas deck were incredible. You can't help but relax with the constant breeze and drink in hand on the deck, bar, or pool area. Overall, you can't go wrong with Royal Isabela, even though there is some room for improvement in service. Here's our specific thoughts:

Room (Casitas)
Well appointed, including large bottles of soap in the shower, books in the book shelves, and complimentary selection of beverages. Comfy bed and couch, which were great to enjoy the view from when the retracting doors were open. We spent most of our time on the lounge chairs and plunge pool on the casitas deck. Unless you want to hang on the beach or the pool there's really no reason you would want to leave your room. The bathroom was over the top (in a good way) and the 3 shower heads can be open air if you open the doors and blinds. Truly top notch.

Grounds
Everything is so well laid out. The common area around La Casa and the bar are really well appointed with plenty of sitting areas, shade, and amazing views. The walkways to and around the casitas were a pleasant suprise - there's lush tropical gardens and water features that make everything so private and peaceful. The pool area was also well appointed with plenty of lounging areas, bathrooms, towels, and centrally located to all of the casitas.

Golf
The most challenging and fun round I've played. The wind was a steady 20-30 mph "breeze" the day I played, which made the round even tougher. Layout is beautiful and the front is completely different than the back. The front has a lot of blind target shots with narrow undulating fairways. The back is more open, but exposed to the wind, and the back has dramatic views on almost every hole. Greens rolled true with subtle breaks. Caddies were really friendly and insightful, and paid attention to your game as the round goes on to make better suggestions. The guys I was paired up with have played Pebble, Torrey, Kiawah, etc and said they would put Royal Isabela right up there.

Only issue for golf was the lack of earlier tee times. The earliest tee time you can get is 9:00, yet it's bright and sunny in PR at 6:00. This would allow you more time to do other things in the day or make playing 36 holes more realistic. I didn't ask why this was, but it doesn't make any sense. Plus, they have a low maintenance course with all of their green initiatives, so it's not like there were sprinklers running or ground crews all over the place in the morning. Also, they can be more transparent about their caddy arrangements. I scheduled my tee time expecting to be sent out with a group since I was a single. That wasn't the case; they set me up to go out alone. However, when I arrived at the clubhouse there was a group of 3 that invited me to play, and I gladly joined. However, they required us to play with 3 caddies instead of 2 since now there was an extra caddy called in. I've caddied before and have worked at clubs, and caddies get sent home all the time. This inconvenience and cost was transferred to me, not the club, which was frustrating. Certainly didn't ruin the round though.

Spa Services
They offer a spa services menu that can be arranged on your casitas deck. My wife got the baby-on-board prenatal massage and said it was one of the best she's ever had. They set up the table where the retracting doors open and she said the breeze and sounds made everything more enjoyable.

Food
Overall it was really good. Somewhat overpriced for the quality, but this was expected at a place like this, or any resort really.

The breakfast included had a great assortment of fruits, deli meats, cheeses, boiled eggs, bagels, breads, and muffins. They also had really good homemade jams and juices made from local fruits. They serve coffee with steamed milk, which was also a nice touch.

Lunch was our favorite, but the most over priced. The panninis, burger, and CAB steak wrap were all great. Their french fries are also amazing! The plantain fries are interesting, but opt for the french fries.

Dinner had a nice menu, with some appetizers that were the highlight for us. The ceviche and corn salad in particular were great. Otherwise, we had some of the fish dishes, which were tasty, but nothing special. Unfortunately, the salmon my wife ordered was recommended medium-rare, but she ordered it medium and it wasn't even close. It was borderline rare to medium-rare. Also, we ordered a pizza one night and it was good, not great. It was definitely over-cooked because it looked nothing like the pizza a couple had next to us. Plus the server put our order in wrong, but we didn't send it back because we were starving (we ordered the chorizo pizza and got the veggie pizza...not even close!).

Service
There's some small things Royal Isabela can do to really improve the guest experience. We're really low maintenance people so we weren't concerned about many of the reviews here suggesting there were service issues. There are mostly well to-do helpful people at Royal Isabela, but a few bad apples caused a few small moments of frustration that were completely unecessary.

First the good - Tonya was a tremendous help in planning our stay and was super responsive. We ended up meeting her while checking out, but otherwise she was behind closed doors I guess in their offices. As long as it's not a demotion for her, I would highly recommend bringing her to the conceirge office to help guests more directly during their stay. With exception to the issues above, the servers were all really nice and struck a good balance of being present but not hovering. The bartender that works at night was particularly great - had a sense of humor and helped my wife find a good mock-tail since she's pregnant. Service was on the slower side, but we didn't mind at all - just seemed like a relaxed pace and gave us more time to enjoy the settings. The bell hop/valet was super helpful getting our bags in and out, and he even put the top on and off our Jeep when he brought it around or parked it.

The bad - The concierge set up was strange. We were told if we needed anything to call concierge, but the concierge seemed like the least informed employee. They were very nice and eager to help, but they just seem so uninformed or disorganized.

After my round of golf the pro shop sent my clubs to the concierge to be brought to the casitas so I could pack them when checking out. The concierge had no idea what I was talking about when I asked for them since they hadn't shown up at the casita. He eventually found them.

We asked for beach chairs and an umbrella and were told by the concierge to wait out front while the bell hop brought them around. We stood there for 10 minutes and the bell hop was no where. We walked back to the concierge office and he wasn't there. So we went back to the casitas and called the concierge. He told us they were trying to locate the chairs and umbrella and would call right back, despite having just sent us out front and seeing us waiting out front. 30 minutes later he finally called to say they didn't have chairs and an umbrella available, and all 7 sets they have were in use. How could he have not known that when we first asked? We wasted an hour on a beautiful day because the concierge wasn't tracking availability of the limited supply of chairs and umbrellas. Clearly this place has the resources to outfit each casita with more chairs and umbrellas. Or I wonder if they could set up a small storage hut at the end of their property on the trail to the beach where guests could take out chairs and umbrellas on their way down to the beach. The walk down to the trail is nice, but the walk up is not something to look forward to so a small feature like this would have definitely made this a 5-star experience. Alternatively, they have a service where they drive you to the beach and set up your chairs and umbrella. However, when we tried to do this we were given two different prices by the conceirge (clearly confused), and they apparently arrange this through an outside service. We didn't get to take advantage because "the guy" wasn't answering his phone. So with no chairs and umbrella available, and no beach service as a back up, we were left without a solution. We deferred to the pool this afternoon not wanting to waste any more of our time.

In general the beach seems like an after thought for Royal Isabela, which is a shame because it's a beautiful cove beach with stunning cliffs and plenty of walking space.

Despite these specific service issues, we would definitely go back to Royal Isabela. The things that will occupy most of your time - the golf, spa services, casitas, bar, pool, etc were all amazing. Hopefully they do a better job at training or hiring of their concierge staffers, which would make this a 5 star experience.

Room Tip: Casita 13 was higher up on the property so it had more of a panoramic view relative to most other ca...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Blish09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Javier L, Manager at Royal Isabela, responded to this review, 29 September 2014
Thank you for your wonderful and thoughtful review. Every guest who writes about their outstanding experience helps us renew our commitment to making Royal Isabela a unique and unrivalled experience, and reinforces our vows to keep it as a pristine and beautiful haven for all our members and visitors to enjoy today, as well as for the generations to come.

At Royal Isabela, we strive to be the ideal location for people who don’t just enjoy golf, but who also truly love nature and believe the principles of luxurious living can go hand-in-hand with a deep respect for the environment. We hope you will visit us again soon!

The Royal Isabela Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2014

Just wanted to say that the place has spectacular views. But besides the amazing views I have to say that the staff were all great. I just got back today ( I stayed from the 14 thru the 17 of July, 2014). I was greeted by Linda when we arrived at the Hotel. All the staff at the hotel were very friendly and serviceable. Food was great! I want to thank specially some of the folks that we came across that were very amenable and helpful...Jose, Rosali and Yazmin at the restaurant....Erick Rivera was very helpful today when we were checking out and last but not least, Juan Herminia, who gave us a great and detailed tour of the golf course that we really enjoyed...thanks Juan! I'll be back when I get a chance.

Room Tip: I think all the casitas have excellent views. At least # 6 did.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ricardo G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Javier L, Manager at Royal Isabela, responded to this review, 29 September 2014
Thank you for writing about your Royal Isabela experience! We always want to ensure that our guests have a wonderful and relaxing time in this beautiful and protected place. We strive to provide a serene environment where there is no room for worry, and where words like “stress” and “hassle” completely lose their meaning.

At Royal Isabela we promote a different standard of enjoyment for all our members and visitors. Visit us again soon for some more one-of-a-kind R&R!

The Royal Isabela Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014 via mobile

Just celebrated our 14th anniversary there. We've been around the world and this place ranks in our top 3! Amazing views from your private house (casista) and private pool. Super romantic, quite and serene. Can't wait to go back!

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Edwin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paolo R, Manager at Royal Isabela, responded to this review, 8 October 2014
Thank you for writing about your Royal Isabela experience! We always want to ensure that our guests have a wonderful and relaxing time in this beautiful and protected place. We strive to provide a serene environment where there is no room for worry, and where words like “stress” and “hassle” completely lose their meaning.

At Royal Isabela we promote a different standard of enjoyment for all our members and visitors. Visit us again soon for some more one-of-a-kind R&R!

The Royal Isabela Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014

I made the comment that playing the course at Royal Isabela, is the difference between just hitting a golf ball and playing golf!!

The views of the front nine and then the back nine on the ocean are simply magnificent.

Although just an average golfer, every hole is not just a challenge but a fun challenge. Whether it is the undulating fairways on the front nine or playing the ocean wind currents on the back nine, you will have a darn good time. A caddy is mandatory and you will be glad they are. Their help is necessary in determining each shot. Greens are in perfect condition and the caddy will greatly assist in where to hit the ball on the green to take advantage.

As important as the course is the people that work at Royal Isabela. The ladies and gentlemen that worked in the pro shop were nice and helpful. The concierge made sure that anything you wanted was on hand. A truly enjoyable experience.

The casitas were well appointed and had ocean views and the private pool was very enjoyable, especially after golf. The babbling brook flowing through the casitas made for a truly tropical feel.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Charles H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paolo R, Manager at Royal Isabela, responded to this review, 8 October 2014
Thank you for your wonderful and thoughtful review. Every guest who writes about their outstanding experience helps us renew our commitment to making Royal Isabela a unique and unrivaled experience, and reinforces our vows to keep it as a pristine and beautiful haven for all our members and visitors to enjoy today, as well as for the generations to come.

At Royal Isabela, we strive to be the ideal location for people who don’t just enjoy golf, but who also truly love nature and believe the principles of luxurious living can go hand-in-hand with a deep respect for the environment. We hope you will visit us again soon!

The Royal Isabela Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Isabela

Property: Royal Isabela
Address: 396 Ave Noel Estrada, Isabela 00662-3279, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Isabela
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Isabela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Royal Isabela 4.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Royal Isabela greets guests with much more than suite accommodations. Located just steps from The Restaurant at La Casa, 20 freestanding Casitas are true "little houses" designed for the ultimate in Puerto Rican resort stays. Each Casita encompasses 1,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor space and is sited to best catch Royal Isabela's stunning ocean vistas with minimal impact to the environment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Isabela Puerto Rico

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