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“The Skeptic Turned Optimistic”
Review of Playa Azul

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Playa Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“The Skeptic Turned Optimistic”
Reviewed 19 May 2012

I am the type of person that worries about everything, so when my husband suggested that we rent a condo while in Puerto Rico instead of booking a hotel, I disregarded the idea. In my work, I hear about the horrible ways people are scammed every day, and yes, some of them are through online internet condo postings. I was skeptical. So, I read the guarantees on Homeaway and as long as you don’t do something like respond to an obvious scam (like send money via wire transfer), you are protected. Plus, this listing accepts credit cards, so if we showed up and the property wasn’t there, we knew we could file a chargeback request with the credit card company. With these added protections, we booked it for a week.

As first time condo renters, we were nervous. It just so happened that our arrival was scheduled just days after Irene, a level 3 hurricane, had touched down in Puerto Rico. Several beaches, the Rainforest, and several Kioskos were closed. With this news, we were concerned of the possible condition of the condo and had even pondered cancelling our trip. But then, the condo owner emailed us. She told us that she had checked on the condo and assured us that everything was fine.

We went on our trip as scheduled, and she was right! We are so glad that of all the condos for rent at Playa Azul, we chose this one (Unit is on HomeAway #170555). The condo had so many great amenities that we didn’t need to get anything while we were there! The condo was set up perfectly with so much available. Though there is air conditioning in the bed rooms, the fans also provided so much cool air and circulation that we hardly needed to use the air. There were boogie boards, beach towels, a washer/dryer, dishwasher, basically everything you would want and need. Oh, and nothing beats that view and hearing the ocean from your room while sleeping! From now on, when we rent a condo we will accept nothing less. This was a GREAT first time renting experience.

Room Tip: There are a lot of different condos for rent at Playa Azul by different owners. This owner used the...
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank TourLocalLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
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English first
Toms River NJ
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2012

We have been spending the winter in Luquillo for 30 years during February and March
Playa Azul is the premier condo on the beach. Luquillo has a select group of retired persons who spend the winter months every year. Everyone is very friendly. The beach is amazing. Buiding #3 in Playa Azul is the best hgi and low numbers are the best. ie 2001 2201 1801 etc. The view is spectacular and there is no need for AC as the wind blows constantly. This is the best value for winter vacations in the Carib! All conveniences are at your doorstep. Can't beat it

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank NickTomsRiverNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arizona
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2012

Like others wrote, Playa Azul offers a secure, well maintained facility just in front of a beautiful beach, and at a reasonable cost. We noticed that the quality of the individual units seems to vary a lot, and we saw a number of them being renovated. We rented the unit 1910 at Playa Azul 1, which we found spacious, clean, tastefully decorated, and with many comforts (including wireless internet). Only the bathrooms seemed to still need updating, but overall the quality of the apartment was good. The view from the balcony was great.

We had a mixed experience, however, because, soon after our arrival, there was a short-circuit in the water heater, which left us without hot water. The management was reasonably responsive at first, but soon we realized that very little was actually being done to fix the problem, which remained for the rest of our stay (five days out of a week). At check-out, we asked for a partial refund as compensation, and the manager promised to transmit our request to the owner of the unit. After about a month, we received a $50 refund, which we felt was somewhat insulting and disproportionate to our inconvenience. To be fair, I have to add that we stayed at Playa Azul through Christmas, and this might have played a role in the delays in fixing the problem.

Christmas is not the best time to go to Luquillo and to Puerto Rico in general. Around that time many businesses close , including places and activities of interest for tourists (we went to San Juan only to find that all the museums were closed). In general, Luquillo seemed a small, simple town, with very little touristic services. It is a great place to enjoy the beach and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life. The proximity to the El Yunque forest is a big plus. We expected an easy drive to San Juan, but found out that the trip is complicated by the bad road and high traffic. So, for those planning a trip that mixes beach with art and culture, I would recommend a location closer to San Juan.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank planetc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Connecticut
Level Contributor
116 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2012

We like to stay at condo's rather than hotels because having a full apartment is any day better than a room with a bed and a couple of end tables. Playa Azul was perfect for our needs.

The complex consists of three buildings, each having about 21 stories. The entire complex is surrounded by high walls and barb wire, and there is a 24 hour security guard at the electric gate. Each building has its own security guard but I am not positive if that is 24/7. Parking is $20 per week. We felt very secure within the complex. The facility is very family friendly as there is a playground for little tykes, basketball courts, tennis courts, wading pool, and a large pool for the adults that has a 9' deep end. There is a small community building for events, and it has public restrooms. Our building also had a community room with english novels, magazines, and a pool table.

All the guards and the staff are bilingual, thankfully, because we speak no spanish.

Our unit was #902 in Building II, and it was newly renovated. This is a one bedroom with a queen, 1.5 bath unit. The sofa pulls out into a double bed so it can accomodate four people. There is a 55" flat screen on the wall, surround sound system and more electrical gadgets like a game thing, DVR, etc. The bedroom has its own 42" flat screen. The place was spotless and exactly as advertised on VRBO. The owner, Hector Guerrero, deserves alot of credit. It included a washer/dryer, convection microwave, cooktop, double sink, plenty of pots, pans, dishes, flatware, etc. We had our own private terrace that was about 25' wide. Some of the units had smaller balconies, so check if that is important.

The view both to the north (the ocean), and to the south (the mountains) are fantastic. Breakfast on the terrace in the morning is like heaven.

There is a security gate leading to the public beach. There is a small dead end road that can accommodate only a few cars, so the beach is not crowded at all. The sand is silky soft and clean here, although I heard that it is not as good at the public beach that has more parking, which is about a mile to the west and behind the kioscos. The ocean is simply beautiful with alternating turquoise and deep blue stretches. Water is very clear. The surf is a little rough for small kids, but manageable. It is much less rough as compared to where I played along the Rhode Island beaches.

The neighborhood areas around the complex are a bit rundown. Downtown Luquillo, which is about a half mile to the east is rundown at best and downright frightening at worst. We walked along the beach to the downtown one morning and strolled through the downtown on the way back to the condo. Not a good idea. There is a restaurant in downtown called Sandy's Seafood that is allegedly one of the best seafood places on the island. I wish it was in a better area.

Directly across Highway 3 is an Amigo Supermarket, a Walgreens, McDonald's, and a few other stores that make shopping very convenient. There are very large shopping plazas with Econo supermarket, Home Depot, Kmart, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin Donuts, KFC, and you name it, either in Carolina or Fajardo, where you can get anything you want.

We were very pleased staying at this unit in Playa Azul II and would probably come back here again.

Room Tip: Since these units are privately owned, make sure that the landlord has pictures. The building was p...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank JoshuaMConnecticut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boylston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2011

I've been staying at Playa Azul on-and-off for the past 39 years (yes, my first trip was when I was 2 years old). If you can find the right apartment, it's my favorite place in the world to unwind and enjoy time with the family.

This is NOT a resort, but a 3 building condo complex with simple accommodations. The beach out front can be rough, and is great for older kids, but can be scary for younger children. When I was a teenager 2 people were pulled out by a rip current, and didn't make it back. Having said that, I learned to swim in the rough waves there, and absolutely LOVED it.

The playground is simple, but awesome for younger kids. There is a full size basketball court, a smaller court for kids, a tennis court, a big (unheated) pool, and lots of playground equipment.

Expect that at some point the elevators will break, give up trying to rush anything, and enjoy Puerto Rico. The people are extraordinarily friendly. The complex is right across the street from an Amigo grocery store, a McDonalds and a Walgreen's. There is also a Wal-mart down the street a bit in case you forgot anything.

If you're looking for a very relaxing trip, especially for young families, this is a great place to go. But as I began, make sure you find a good property. I've stayed in places that were horrible, and some that were absolutely beautiful.

Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank Tom S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pearland, Texas
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2011

Now that I have found this place, I will never stay at a resort in Puerto Rico. Ever! You get a fantastic deal while staying at a condo here! We stayed for 8 days and paid $700 total! I couldn't believe it! You get TV, internet, a kitchen, maybe a washer and dryer (we did), and security. You have a pool, basketball court, raquetball court, tennis courts and little play areas for kids. Then you can walk out the back gate and walk straight to the beach! It does get a little crowded during the weekend but during the week it is perfect.
Staying here puts you in the best location on the island. You are 45 minutes away from San Juan, 15 minutes from Fajardo and the marinas where you can do tons of tours, 5 minutes from the rainforest and 2 minutes from the kiosks. I loved it! I can't boast about this place enough! If you come to Puerto Rico, STAY HERE!!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank AnnamarieZTA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2010

We stayed in Bldg #1 - Unit 602. We heard that anything on 6th floor or higher has great views. That was true for us - ocean on one side; rainforest on other - amazing views. Condo was not a luxury resort but really clean and spacious. It was great for us - a family with a 13 and 19 year old. Beach was right there and also clean. Complex pool was large, clean and not crowded. Complex has security guards and gates so it is only used by residents. Cross breezes in condo were incredible - didn't need air conditioning even in July! Location was great - close to rainforest & Farajdo [which is where you go for day snorkeling trips & biobay]. Amigo grocery store across the street was well stocked. Price was very reasonable and we had lots of space. Management was very responsive to any request and all who worked there were very nice. The only thing we could not find were good restaurants. I'd encourage you to do some research on that before going. I'd also recommend at least a day in the rainforest - we hiked to the top and were in the clouds and then we hiked down to a big waterfall [entrance right past the restaurant] - kids played in the waterfall. I'd recommend Playa Azul in a heartbeat as a place to stay, but of course, would encourage you to do research on the unit you choose. We were really happy with ours.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank curkap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playa Azul

Property: Playa Azul
Address: Luquillo Beach, Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Luquillo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Luquillo
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Playa Azul Hotel Luquillo

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