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“A bit of a mixed bag” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Cubuy Ecolodge

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Casa Cubuy Ecolodge
Route 191 Km 22 | Rio Blanco, Naguabo 00744, Puerto Rico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 4 Naguabo B&B and Inns
Philadelphia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A bit of a mixed bag”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

My boyfriend and I only spent one night at Casa Cubuy (which I chose because of a Lonely Planet recommendation), but it was enough time to give me a bit of a mixed impression of the place:

Pros: beautiful location overlooking rainforest, private hiking trail down to a river/swimming hole, hearty breakfast included in room rate, friendly reception from the staff upon arrival, pleasant common areas (porches and hammocks)

Cons: A little difficult to find (but that's just the flip side of being in a secluded spot), tired-looking rooms that were clean but definitely worn, a surprising number of nit-picking extra fees (for things like staying only one night), overpriced for what it is.

I came to the conclusion that if you're looking for a home base around El Yunque for at least a few days, Casa Cubuy could be a nice option because you can really relax and make full use of the lovely common areas and the tasty breakfasts in between hikes. If you're only going to be in and out, though, I don't think the place is worth what they'll charge you.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Decatur, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

I contacted Casa Cubuy almost a year before I planned to stay and requested to rent the entire lodge for my wedding. They said it was available and I paid a deposit for the entire property. They also were to handle my catering, which was a huge mess and I ended up hiring someone else a week before the wedding. Since this is about the lodge, I will leave it at that. I went with my planner to look at the place on the Tuesday before my Saturday wedding. It looked great, they were deep cleaning everything, and the location and trails were AMAZING!! I toured all of the rooms and discussed details with the management and was told they were ready for us, no problem. My entire group arrived at the lodge to check in the day before my wedding and I was informed that another couple of women were going to be staying in one of the rooms(they were already checked in to the room that the management had told me on Tuesday was the best room in the house and the one my husband and I should stay in). After a lot of arguing and panic beginning to set in, they agreed to move the other people to another location down the road. The problem was that the women had left for a hike and the owner did not know when they would return. The owners took it upon themselves to pack up the women's unpacked belongings from their room and move them without their knowledge. When the women returned from their hike, they were very upset, crying and demanding to see their purses and passports. I felt horrible for them as we did not insist that they leave immediately, but be moved when they returned.
Later that day, after I had reiterated that the only reason we chose this lodge was so we could have the entire property for our group, the owner asked if he could bring a group of 20 to have breakfast the morning of my wedding.
After all of the drama with the owner, there was also the issue of the family living on the premises. I normally wouldn't mind the children around, but we were under the impression that we had the whole lodge for our group, and the owners children kept bothering my friends and wanting to use their cameras. We had to keep our snacks we brought in our rooms because the children kept eating them(again, wouldn't have been an issue, but the nearest grocery store was at least 30 min away).
The night we arrived, our group was sitting in the atrium talking when a car outside started screeching its tires, we could hear a bunch of teenage-ish boys yelling outside. Then one came running through the lodge, into the kitchen, grabbed a giant knife and ran back out, and there was more yelling. We had no idea what was going on. We found out later that it was one of the owner's children, but that night it had all of us a little worried.
After all of that drama, I have to say that the location couldn't have been better and that I would actually go back, solely for that. Having the lodge to ourselves meant having our own trails and waterfall. It was just beautiful there. It also turned out to be great for my small and casual wedding. The rooms were clean and the bedding had been updated since some of the pictures that are posted on here. Breakfast was also wonderful. Amazing fresh fruit, pancakes, eggs, toast and more than we could possibly have eaten. The owners did let us keep our food in the kitchen and pretty much have full access to the kitchen which was really convenient.
All in all, it was a wonderful place to stay, but the management REALLY dropped the ball. I had been in contact with them for a year and was even at the lodge that week and no one informed me of any conflicts. When the women were removed from their room I did hear them say that they had been booked for 6 months, so it sounds like they had plenty of opportunities to discuss the conflict with me before causing a huge scene in front of all of my wedding guests.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

What an incredible gem Casa Cubuy is!!! We wish we had stayed longer! The accommodations are incredible! We stayed in one of the top floor rooms overlooking the Cubuy valley and couldn't have been happier - it felt like we had the entire valley to ourselves! The bed was big and very comfortable. We left the sliders open in the night and enjoyed the breeze through the room. Water was nice and hot! Beautiful and very easy trail down to the rocky river with a rope attached to help guide you to the spectacular views from the middle! We spent hours exploring and climbing!
Everyone was outrageously helpful with any questions we had and any information we needed. Big spread of a family style 2 course breakfast served at 9 and well worth it.
Would return in a heartbeat.
Don't miss this one :)

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yuma, Arizona
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Knowing this property for many years (as it had been in the family), the majority of the pictures that you have shown on your web site are beautiful. And entice the public to want to be there... How-so-ever The pictures depicting rooms with beds undone, with people laying on the beds, personal items to include opened luggage, and bathrooms like people had just been there takes away from the beauty of the place... You have a beautiful property. Recommend for better turist attraction whenever someone visits your site, to remove / retake the pictures of all the rooms / bathrooms. With better attention to details / decorations. Take care...

Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Washington, DC
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

We stayed there just after Labor Day as the slow season was starting. Clearly Matthew and MaryAnne were ready for a break. Not sure why some reviewers are so effusively positive about them. Our encounters with them were brief and efficient. Matthew was more approachable and provided excellent advice on trails, restaurants and travel to Vieques. But have your paper and pen ready for notes because the directions will be detailed and complex and the owners showed little interest in repeating them. No doubt the atmosphere is different with more guests milling about. There was one other couple the first night and only us the second. Despite this, the schedule was inflexible. Coffee available at 8, breakfast at 9.

View
Fantastic view of the rainforest. Loved the sound of the Coqui and the waterfall.

Hiking
Absolutely fantastic. We hiked through the rain forest up to the upper falls on Rio Sabano. Would have liked to hike on up the ridge but got sidetracked by lunch and a dip in the pools.

Be advised that the South Entrance to El Yunque is just up the road for Casa Cuby BUT the entrance is closed in September. This adds 1.5 miles to your hike each way. You could cut off .5 mile if you park by the locked gate like the locals but Matthew advised against parking there.

The shorter hikes near the Casa Cubuy are also lovely and the pool nearest to the property provides a delightful post-hike splash!

Room
Agree with other recent posts - no mosquitoes, quiet place, the upper floor room with a balcony provides a lovely view. But to keep the room comfortable we needed to open our door for the cross breeze (room #1). Ok given we were the only guests on that level, but could be a problem otherwise. The furniture is fine, but showing some wear. Our "king" bed was 2 doubles pushed together - one side was comfy, the other creaky and lumpy. As others noted there is no wi-fi, no fridge in the room (although Matthew allowed us to store our juice in the kitchen.)

Breakfast
Plentiful, varied and delicious. Fruit, yogurt, juices, oatmeal every day. Eggs and potatoes one day, pancakes the next.

Dining
Also agree that the availability of dining options is an issue. Despite what we were told when booking the room, the Casa Cubuy restaurant just down the road was not open. Only Noelia's bar half way down the mountain was available the first night (closed the second night). None of this would be a problem if we had been told in advance to bring provisions and provided fridge space for storage.

Common areas
Plenty of tables, chairs and hammocks to accommodate crowds. But it all needs a good Fall cleaning.

Tips - especially if visiting during the slow season

Plan to arrive before dark and follow the road directions closely. It would be easy to miss the turn off 31 if you are not paying close attention or arriving in the dark.

Come prepared with snacks and lunch for your hikes. Bring food from San Juan or stop on your way (several options in Fajardo). But limit your perishables.


Bottom Line
All in all we are glad we stayed there but not as relaxing and serene as we had hoped given we had to drive 30 minutes to the nearest lunch or dinner option. Go there for the location, but understand that you aren't getting great value otherwise.

Room Tip: Upper level probably worth the extra $
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

the owners and staff were so friendly and great to talk to. Brian especially was very helpful and insightful. Awesome views and hikes in the rainforest. Beautiful rooms and great breakfast with all the other guests in the morning. All around great ecolodge. Be aware it does get dark and closed down early so be respectful of the peace and quiet after 9pm. We took a night rainforest hike with the lanterns provided that was amazing....

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

The views from Casa Cubuy are absolutely breathtaking! We had an upper level room which looked over the mountains. Like other reviewers, we left our wall of doors open the entire time we were there. I can rave about everything as the other reviewers have (great breakfast, great hiking, fantastic people, etc.) however since so many people have done so before me, I will get to what I think it important for future travelers!

The first "problem" we had was that the website advertises free wi-fi. Assuming this, my husband and I decided we would get to the lodge from the airport, settle in then make a plan for the week. When we got there, there was no internet (the website has not been updated). Like otherd said, the drive into the closest town is a long one (and I don't think they had internet anyway) so we got somewhat stuck when we got there. In hindsight, we should have made a plan beforehand for our day trips and directions.

Secondly, as other reviewers mentioned, food was an issue. We stayed 4 nights, and the restaurant only opened once while we were there which was slightly misleading on the website. We had to go into Maunabo a couple times for meals. Along with the obscenely long drive, restaurant service in Puerto Rico is notoriously slow, so our "quick lunch" turned into a 4 hour trip down the mountain. I would absolutely recommend bringing food with you. There are no mini-fridges, but there is a drink cooler on the main floor for any food items you might have. Otherwise, take full advantage of the sandwich lunches they will make for you, but ask early! Again, had we known this before we went, we would have picked up some food for the room ahead of time and saved ourselves a lot of time and gas.

Thirdly, it is a rainforest and it is DAMP! Everything in the room was damp and I noticed our bed smelled like mildew (although it's a rainforest - it is inevitable). My husband didn't notice the smell, but it really bothered me. One of the guests arriving after us who had been there several times told us she always brings her own pillow for that reason. She just picks up a cheap one before arriving, that way she can throw it out if it gets too wet by the end of her stay. In all the reviews I read, no one else seems to have had this problem, so it may have just been a fluke occurrence.

Like I said, with better planning I would return to Casa Cubuy in a heartbeat. You certainly can't beat the peace and calm of the rainforest, and the lodge is absolutely fantastic! Despite the hiccups we experienced, I would highly recommend this place to everyone!

Room Tip: Our upper level room (Room 2) had a full queen and 2 twin beds. More than we needed, but perfect for...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Casa Cubuy Ecolodge

Address: Route 191 Km 22 | Rio Blanco, Naguabo 00744, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Naguabo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Naguabo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The lodge is set into the mountain with a large balcony that overlooks the forest. There are ten guest rooms and a villa down the road. Its great for bird watching. Peace and tranquility can always be found at Casa Cubuy. Go ahead; be our guest! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Cubuy Ecolodge Hotel Naguabo
Casa Cubuy Ecolodge Puerto Rico/Naguabo

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