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“A Historical Site and Amazing Views of Ponce” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Museo Castillo Serralles

El Museo Castillo Serralles
El Vigia 17 | (take a taxi), Ponce 00730-2926, Puerto Rico
787-259-1774
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Ranked #3 of 22 attractions in Ponce
Type: Specialty Museums, Castles, Historic Sites, Museums
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Evoking the era of the sugar barons of Puerto Rico, this beautiful Spanish Revival mansion was built in 1930 for the Serrallés family, owners of the Don Q rum distillery.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“A Historical Site and Amazing Views of Ponce”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

Well where to begin... There's a lot of history here with this family since Ponce is the home to Don Q rum (the preferred rum of Puertoriqueños throughout the island - and not Bacardi like most would assume), and this castle once housed the Serralles family - owners and makers of Don Q. It's commonly referred to as the Castle the Rum built... and when you're there, you'll see why.

It was built just south of El Vigia (which can also be seen from most of the gardens on the property), and because of it's location can be seen in nearly every part of Ponce. The Castle itself is absolutely beautiful, and extremely decadent for it's creation in 1930. So much so, that it took 4 years to complete the Spanish & Morrocan influenced four-floored mansion with it's sculptures, library, terraces, hand-carved furniture, art, indoor patios, fountains, pool, and surrounding gardens - including a butterfly garden. Think of it in terms of a Puerto Rican version of the Great Gatsby/prohibition era... Very extravagant, even criminal chic. Keep in mind again, that the Serralles family was the richest family in Ponce, and with that type of power came even greater amounts of money and violence.

You can schedule your tour in advance (which I'd recommend), or walk up to the site itself at the gate and coordinate a tour within the office. I'd recommend buying a combo ticket so you can visit the Serralles Castle and El Vigio (it's literally less than 200 feet away I believe... so why not do both since you're there?!). The tour itself can depend on which tour guide you have - but having been a few times before I can say that most are amazing and very informative, I've only had one that was ehhh and that's because I felt a little rushed with my friends going through the house. I went on the tour with a young man who was amazing - although I sadly forgot his name by the time I made it to my car.

You'll enter their movie room for a brief 15-20 minute video providing a general understanding of the house, the family, and it's historical significance... and then you're off to explore the house with your guide. It's well kept and I've taken friends and family of all ages who truly enjoyed it. If you get the opportunity to go during a clear day - I'd recommend it so you can have a clearer view once you enter the gardens and pool area. For this last trip, I went one day prior to the tropical storm passing through Ponce so it was unusually gray, and the shots I took outside don't really do the view justice. Having been before, I can say that the views are amazing!

As a side note - if any of you are interested in having a special event there (usually a host for weddings), they offer those opportunities and experiences and since the staff is extremely personable they are more than willing to cater to your special event's needs. They also host an annual Halloween event that is AWESOME if you're in the area at that time too (you'd just need to purchase a ticket)!

Visited September 2013
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157 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Little Elm, Texas
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“One of my favorite places in Ponce”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

Castillo Serralles is a beautiful home in Ponce. It’s now a museum and its full of history, beautiful vistas, and a nice little bar. My oldest daughter has informed me that she wants to get married there (I better start saving now.) The tour guides are excellent and they speak both Spanish and English and are very knowledgeable about the castle’s history and Ponce’s history. It’s a little tricky getting up there, but just follow the signs and you will be ok.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Jordan, Utah, United States
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Do this when you visit Ponce”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

We were staying up in San Juan and if we drove all the way down just to see this castle I might say it wasn't worth it, but it's worth seeing if you are going to spend some time in Ponce seeing the sights. Took our girls (7 & 10) and they enjoyed it also. My only complaint is that I wanted to spend a little more time in the butterfly garden and I felt we were rushed in and out.

Visited July 2013
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San Juan, Puerto Rico
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“What a View!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

This is a gorgeous edification with a beautiful view of the city and the sea. Great place for special events or just to enjoy the view. Don't miss it!

Visited July 2013
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Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“History”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Interesting history, nice view from area. well kept, nice art and sculptures. nice staff and tour personal.

Visited August 2013
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