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“Awesome Mountain retreat” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Grande Mountain Retreat

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Casa Grande Mountain Retreat
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Road 612, Km. 0.3 | Barrio Caonillas, Utuado 00641, Puerto Rico   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Utuado
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Newberg, Oregon
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Awesome Mountain retreat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

We were in Puerto Rico for 2 weeks planning everything by the day. Found this place in frommers guide decided to check it out and we were so happy that we did. The place was so tranquil and the staff was very helpful we ended up staying 2 nights and didn't want to leave would diffidently go back.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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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411 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Corozal, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

I can't really explain the beauty of this place. We arrived at night time and there is not that much lighting around the area but you can still admire the beauty of the place. You can hear the river running from the cabins. It was so peaceful and so fresh. If you are thinking to arrive after 9pm, you have to call them and let them know, so they leave you the instructions of how to get to your assigned cabin and how to do check in the next day. We loved the room! Woody ceiling, no AC, no TV, beautiful bathroom, and peaceful colors. THERE IS A HAMMOCK ON THE BALCONY! We enjoyed a glass of wine and from the hammock the first night. There is so much beauty during the morning. If you think that the place is beautiful at night time, wait until the morning, the surrounding green mountains and vegetation are so powerful! You gotta see the mist covering the mountains and the fresh air everywhere. They have a restaurant for breakfast and for dinner. No lunch. The food from the restaurant is good. I loved the dinner the most. The pool area is pretty and peaceful. This place is fascinating and I am glad that I had the opportunity to enjoy it for three days. Everything was VERY CLEAN and people were polite. This is a must do! Here are some pics!

Room Tip: Room Orquidea 10....ours was not that one but the view was amazing and it is the most isolated one...
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caguas, PR
Level Contributor
84 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

This is a clean and quiet hotel. This hotel is far from the metro area. The closest to a store is like 20 minutes. If you are looking to party or have kids I do not think this place is for you. It is call a retreat hotel for something. I think this warning is really important because its the key to either loving it or hating it.
What I love about this place was the great view it has nearly everywhere in the hotel of the mountains of Utuado. The pool is fill with fresh water from the mountains and has a great view. I didn’t have dinner in the restaurant, but I did have breakfast and it was really good. I recommend the ham omelet or the fruit plate. But the best part of this place is the yoga at 8:00am. It is in a room they call the temple, it has windows all around it and it feels like you are doing yoga with nature. The class is given by Steven, who is also the owner.
I would recommend that you bring your own soup because the one in the hotel is liquid soup from a dispenser. I stay in the room 14 Toronja complex. I saw other rooms and think that the Toronja complex is one of the best, it does not have a view, but I really like it.

Room Tip: Toronja complex is the best one. They do not have AC, but it is not necessary Utuado has a nice tem...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
73 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013 via mobile

If you want peace, relaxation and forget your troubles this is the place. Very nice location surrounded by nature you will hear occasionally a car go by the road down. Food was surprisingly pleasant and the location of the dinning area makes the experience even better.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

Casa Grande is a mountain retreat offering peace and tranquility. A great getaway and away from tourists and the hustle and bustle of the city. Definitely worth a visit. The owner, Steve, is from New York and has relocated to Puerto Rico to run Casa Grande. He can give you many tips about the area and what to do.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

Upon check in to Casa Grande, we were told that if we decided to leave early, we would still be charged for the full reservation-- perfect foreshadowing for our stay at the retreat.

I'll start by saying that the grounds at Casa Grande are absolutely beautiful and the place has enormous potential but it is far from met. It bills itself as an eco-friendly retreat and it is somewhat eco-friendly in the sense that it is extremely spartan (no AC/TV/etc. lowers energy consumption); however, bleach and Fabuloso are used for cleaning/laundering so I suspect the eco theme is more of a cost saving measure than genuine philosophy. Also, many non-native plants on the grounds are labeled but no natives-- again, just doesn't jive with the eco theme.

When we got to our room, we found that 1. we were given a room with no view despite being one of four families staying at the fairly large retreat and 2. there was no smoke detector in the room (wooden structure). When I alerted the front desk that there was no smoke detector, I was told that "smoking is not allowed at the property." Uhhhh.....? I told her I needed a room with a smoke detector and she said she would check if any of the other doubles had one. They did not. At dinner, the owner, Steven, came to our table to discuss the smoke detector and he told me (quite condescendingly) smoking was not allowed on the property and that they hadn't had a fire in 25 years but he provided us with his cell phone number in case one started (no cell service up there though, and the hotel phone is locked up at night- thanks). Fortunately, they did not have a fire in 25 years and one day- we survived the night and a detector was installed the next morning. Smoke detectors need to be installed immediately in all rooms, though- this is extremely unsafe, illegal in PR, and Steven needs to understand that cigarette smoking is not the only cause of fires.

Beyond this, we were extremely disappointed with:
1. Low quality, springy/creaky beds (the kind on which you roll to the middle) that need to be upgraded/updated
2. Signs everywhere telling you what not to do (quiet hours, don't lean back in chairs, don't use too much toilet paper, TV's prohibited-- come on, who is going to bring a plasma on vacation?). Very controlling atmosphere.
3. Cloudy pool (filter is on a timer and needs to be run more) that closes at 6pm
4. Ridiculous reading library- nothing regional, intellectual, or entertaining
5. No suggested tours/activities in the area and barely functioning wifi in the lobby so no ability to do internet research on your own.
6. Really mediocre and slightly overpriced food (we ate dinner the first night and were turned off to it for the rest of the stay).
7. NO COFFEE BEFORE 8am. Seriously. There are no coffee/hot water pots in the room and the kitchen is locked up so you can't have coffee until the restaurant opens and then you have to pay for it.
8. Liquid soap dispensers were the only toiletries- from a yoga/eco retreat, I was expecting cute, eco-friendly hippie soaps and lotions.
9. No check-out before 8am. We could not wait to get out of there but we had to. I'm sure we probably could have arranged something the night before but we should not have had to. Again with the control.

Really, we would have been delighted with this place if we had planned for a camping cabin in a State Park- brought a grill and some food, prepped more in advance for stuff to do during the day, etc. For $150/night (including tax), however, much more comfort, safety, fun, COFFEE, and hospitality, and much less control should be provided. This place could be an awesome destination but it was really an unfortunate low point in our otherwise great vacation.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
proprietor44, Owner at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, responded to this review, August 24, 2013
We're glad you appreciated the grounds and landscaping at Casa Grande.

1. Standard hotel policy worldwide requires payment for all nights reserved once a guest checks in, even if the guest curtails the stay. Of course, we make exceptions for emergencies and other extenuating circumstances.
2. All guest comments about our plant signage have been very positive. They enjoy learning the names and origins of the large variety of plants, flowers and trees.
3. Our rooms have lovely views of the mountains that surround the river valley that is home to Casa Grande.
4. Our beds are high quality commercial grade and are checked regularly by our housekeeping department. When necessary we purchase new beds and donate the old ones to needy community members.
5. We use signage to enhance the guest experience, not to control them. We're concerned about their safety and want to provide the most peaceful stay possible.
6. We have an informal library exchange for guests to leave and take books during their travels.
7. Our front desk managers are knowledgeable and glad to assist our guests interested in tours and nearby activities.
8. Internet service is via satellite and is the fastest speed available in this somewhat remote area.
9. The large majority of our guests are quite pleased with the restaurant experience and find the prices fair and reasonable.
10. Unless we're serving buffet style, we do charge for coffee and tea.
11. We eliminated wrapped soap bars and plastic containers and replaced them with liquid dispensers. The one at the sink contains hand soap and the one in the shower has a combined body wash/shampoo. By making this choice we've eliminated a lot of unnecessary waste.
12. If guests let us know they're leaving before the office opens in the morning, we're pleased to check them out the night before.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Cruces, NM, USA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

My wife, son, his girlfriend, and I had just spent the day at Arecibo Radio Observatory (great!) and the Camuy Caves (massive!) and we relished a relaxing evening. Casa Grande fulfilled that dream. We had called earlier that morning and the friendly staff immediately had reserved our 2 rooms. Please note: all the guidebooks we found have the wrong phone number; it is now 888-343-2272 or 787-894-3939, or cell 787-894-3900. The guidebooks, such as Lonely Planet, missed another thing - they do serve dinner. Our room was along a set of walkways, with just 4 rooms to a cluster, the cluster being set amid tropical vegetation. No radios, no TV - bliss! Only the sound of coqui frogs calling and some other native species joining in. The grounds have many plants nicely arranged and identified, offering a fine stroll after breakfast. Breakfast is on a terrace, where one looks out over the forest. We watched the clumps of tall bamboo among the trees waving elegantly in the breeze. Alas, we had only one day, as we were moving on to Ponce, another great place to be.

Room Tip: All the rooms are set in small clusters amid the forest along walkways. I don't think one can g...
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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.
proprietor44, Owner at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to share your Casa Grande experience with the Tripadvisor community, Need I say we're thrilled with your feedback? We have no toll free number any longer. Our landlines are 787-894-3939 and 787-894-3900. Our cellphone number is 939-717-0333.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Grande Mountain Retreat

Address: Road 612, Km. 0.3 | Barrio Caonillas, Utuado 00641, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Utuado
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Utuado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Casa Grande Mountain Retreat 2.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in a valley in Puerto Rico's central mountains, Casa Grande is an oasis of peace and tranquility. 20 rooms scattered up the mountainside, each with private bath, balcony and hammock. Freshwater pool, restaurant and bar. The Café serves comida criolla, contemporary dishes and vegetarian options. Fully equipped yoga facility offering morning class, birder's paradise, botanical gardens and woodland hiking trail. Near Camuy Caves, Arecibo Observatory, Caguana Ceremonial Park, Toro Negro and Rio Abajo Forests. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Grande Mountain Retreat Hotel Utuado
Casa Grande Mountain Retreat Puerto Rico/Utuado

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