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“romantic tropical oasis.....not to be missed!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Horned Dorset Primavera

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Horned Dorset Primavera
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Apartado 1132, Rincon 00677, Puerto Rico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Rincon
Certificate of Excellence
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“romantic tropical oasis.....not to be missed!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2011

My wife and I are both health-care professionals and waited a year after we got married to visit this incredible honeymoon resort in PR. We arrived in the evening after a short flight from SJO just-in-time for one of the incredible world-class meals. Our suite was SO incredibly gorgeous with the most comfortable bed we had ever slept-on. We explored the beautifully landscaped grounds the next morning with birds, flowers, and breath-taking scenery everywhere! The beach was right outside our suite and lulled us to sleep every night. We'e never been so peaceful and rested after a vacation...ever!
The staff was very attentive to our every need. There was even a bottle of wine to welcome us! The pictures on the internet website and my words are inadequate....so I'll sum it up in just a single word....GO!

Room Tip: speak with Stephanie before you arrive
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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236 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (27)
Date | Rating
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  • Russian first
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English first
New Albany, Ohio
Level Contributor
157 reviews
113 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 402 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2011

My wife, 13 year old son and I spent five nights at the Horned Dorset Primavera over Christmas, 2010. Although there are many superlatives that I can associate with that stay, ultimately it failed, because the hotel could not deliver one of the very basics: hot water. More later. But first, let me tell the story

Our stay was in Escondida 29, a lodging styled as a “Horned Dorset Residence”, and which I perceive is one of the units that was part of the original property that has been sold as a “residence”. During the check in process, the bellman who took us to the residence allowed that he had never been in the unit before. I believe that this residence is only rented by the hotel during peak periods – so, most guests will be spared our fate.

The Escondida building houses 4 units, and is the furthest unit from the main lodge building. That makes it very quiet (not that any part of the property is terribly active). We had a large living room, a full kitchen, a large full downstairs bath (shower only) and bedroom, a plunge pool and an ocean front patio. Upstairs was the master bedroom, ample closet space, and a very large bathroom with both walk-in shower and soaking tub. The master bedroom had a small balcony overlooking the plunge pool.

The unit was nicely furnished – albeit in a somewhat more “designer” fashion than is my liking (most of the chairs were gorgeous to look at, but uncomfortable to sit in for any length of time). The air conditioning, while fairly loud when running, was extremely effective and the interior of the unit was always comfortable (and I’m very picky about cool interiors for sleeping).

The bedding and linens were of first quality. The master bed was comfortable, if a tad soft for my preference. The pillows were very good.

We had wireless internet in the room, which my son used to stay connected with his friends back home. As a residence, our room also had a TV. Everything in the unit was in good repair (save an ice maker in the kitchen which did not work – it just leaked water when turned on). The unit was very clean.

With the sole exception of the bed-side lamps, lighting was good to very good. The bed-side lamps were very beautiful, but not very effective.

The grounds of the hotel were well maintained – not immaculate (as I experienced at the Hacienda de San Antonio in Mexico – but then Puerto Rico labor rates are higher than Mexican labor rates), but certainly more than acceptable. It might be too strong to call the grounds beautiful, but the property certainly evidenced care and attention.

The main lodge building houses the restaurants and the bar. It was comfortable and well appointed, with many options for seating. The restaurants are air conditioned – although the informal restaurant, The Blue Room, served meals outdoors on each of the nights we were there (and outdoors was certainly comfortable). The lodge had a gorgeous balcony on the lower floor which overlooked the sea.

Housekeeping service was good, with only one hiccup – we didn’t get slippers until the second night (didn’t know enough to ask the first night).

We did not use either of the two pools, one of which is quite large and has plenty of poolside seating, preferring the small beach. Because the hotel faces south, the waves on the beach are fairly small. Nonetheless, my son and wife enjoyed the water and the beach very much. That said, no one would describe the strong point of the Horned Dorset Primavera as its beach.

The hotel has a number of sea kayaks available for guests, and the wife and son made frequent use of them.

The strongest points of the hotel, from my standpoint, were (i) the restaurant staff, (ii) the manager, and (iii) foremost, the food. All of the restaurant and bar staff, without exception, were gracious, welcoming and provided high service. The manager, Wilhelm Sack, is a hotel manager’s manager – attentive, interested in the well-being of his guests, and present. I was most impressed with Mr. Sack, and very much hope he can work to solve the problem we experienced (which I discussed with him during our stay, and as to which he made a gracious gesture).

The very best part of the stay, however, was the food. It is very rare that I am interested in eating from the same kitchen five nights in a row. At the Horned Dorset, I did. We had three dinners at Restaurant Aaron, and two dinners in the outside location of the Blue Room. Each of the meals was excellent. The food was not cheap, but worth every penny. Breakfasts were very good, with a number of options that kept us interested across our five mornings.

The food was so good, that it almost overcame the great failing of our stay – the lack of hot water.

This problem arose very quickly the first night, when my son attempted a shower. Running the water for 20 minutes resulted in nothing more than slightly less cool water. A phone call to the desk brought the suggestion that we also run the tub water full time to “draw hot water to the unit”. Nope, still cold. So, the wife, the son and I had quick, cold showers.

The next day, I started the tub about an hour before we were to shower. The water actually got up to tepid. That said, tepid water feels cold until after you’ve been standing in it for 3 or 4 minutes. We were never able to enjoy the beautiful soaking tub, because of the thought of a tepid bath gave us shivers. At no point in our five day stay did we ever have warm water, much less hot water. The wife, in desperation, even walked in her bathrobe up to the gym shower to see if she could find hot water there. No such luck.

From conversations, I perceive that the hot water problem is more pronounced in the older units, and may have more or less been solved in the newer units which are normally the ones used for hotel guests. And, since our unit is apparently almost never rented out to hotel guests, most visitors may not have to put up with the problem we did.

But, given a room rate approaching $1500/night for the holiday season, I can’t forgive a hotel that fails in one of the very essentials. Had I known that we would not have hot water, I would not have booked my stay. Be careful about which unit you book – I would focus on the newer hotel units, and avoid the residences unless you were assured that this problem had been fixed.

So, it’s with sadness I can tell you that our stay was a failure, and a very expensive one at that.

Room Tip: Get assurance that you'll have hot water
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
wohlsein, General Manager at Horned Dorset Primavera, responded to this review, May 18, 2011
.. Thank you for your fine and detailed comments on your stay during the Christmas period in 2010 ( almost 6 months ago), how times flies... I truly enjoyed meeting your family and I am pleased to let you that we have worked on the hotwater boiler for Casa Escondida # 29 and it is all in working order now. I do appreciate your comments and we all are looking forward welcoming you and your family back to the Horned Dorset Primavera and assure you of our utmost attention.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westchester, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2011

This by far is one of the finest hotels I have every stayed in, it was opulent :) The marble floors and Terra Cotta was amazing, I loved the plunge pool, I want to put one in my backyard now, The Semi-private beach was amazing and so was the infinity pool :)

The steak from the restaurant was amazing

My new bride and I had a wonderful time :) If you get the opportunity to stay here, jump on it......

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ithaca, NY
Level Contributor
52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2011

If we could have afforded to stay here for our month long visit to Rincon, we would have. It is worth a visit just to see this beautiful property, and check it off your list of "1000 Places To See Before You Die".

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2011

I can't even believe I have never reviewed my home away from home in Puerto Rico! If you are looking for the perfect mix of luxury and privacy, the Horned Dorset is your hotel. This is not a resort on a Caribean Island... Yes, you can have drinks by the pool, but you will not find yourself in a tacky all inclusive resort. You will be surrounded in a Mediterranean vibe, beautiful grounds and landscaping, amazing vistas of the Carribean, and the most romantic sunsets you could ask for.

This place is amazing. Wilhelm the General Manager is such a kind, wonderful man. From arrival to the front office, you feel taken care of. Now, after all of these years and at least 1/2 a dozen trips, it's like visiting an old friend, being at home.

Food - Rediculous... Aaron Wratten is a classically trained Chef who brings a french fusion flare to the Carribean. Dining at Restaurant Aaron is a 5* experience from serivce to food. They really do it right in so many ways. I love that the bill is simply taken care of and added to your room. The menu is always different, so it's hard to name a favorite. But if you opt for the tasting menu, you are in for a treat. If this restaurant were in Manhattan, it would give his old stomping grounds at Daniel a run for it's money.

Drinks - They really make one of the cleanest, most crisp Mojitos on the island. Not too sweet, the right amount of mint. Perfection.

Rooms - AMAZING! How many resorts in P.R. give EVERY GUEST ROOM it's own private plunge pool? Marble bathrooms, amazing imported fixtures from Morocco, the most comfortable 4 poster beds. I have never stayed in such spacious accommodations that were so well appointed, and for a very good value.

For those with a little more to splurge, I can't say enough about the Residences. If you stay here, you opt into a meal plan and every meal is included. There is also a TV and Internet access for those of you who simply can't unplug. I really prefer staying in these rooms because they are even more spacious, right on the beach, and have larger private pools. The sounds of the waves crashing on the beach lull you into the deepest sleep. I love it!!

The last trip, my boyfriend and I took the ocean kayaks for a spin and finally saw the property from the sea. It is picture perfect gorgeous. A long walk on the beach is therapy for a New Yorker. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Horned Dorset.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2010

Friday traveled from san juan to rincon, 4.5 hours in traffic, stayed at a very bad hotel and checked out the next day see review of rincon by the sea. We then proceded to Horned Dorset Primavera and fell in love with this place and the staff. We asked to see the room before we put the money down to stay. We were treated like family from that point on with a wonderful tour of the property, room and were given breakfast before checking in. The rooms were spectacular, with individual pool and balcony with great amenities and a bed to die for. You can lay in bed and open the balconey doors to get a wonderful view of mountains and water. The veiw from the restaurant is also outstanding. We elected to eat outside, feet from the sea wall, with breathtaking view of the water. The food was excelent and the staff was outstanding. We had both breakfast and lunch which was very good. They have 3 pools with complimentary water available and plush towels. Our room look very new and well kept. It was very clean and decorated very nice. It has a small kitchen with an expresso machine that is wonderful.

I would recommend this hotel to those who like the finer things in life. The staff is wonderful and helpful. This trip will be remembered forever.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellevue, Washington
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2010

From the second I stepped into the reception office to check in, I was impressed. The service was so good and so friendly. the property was beautiful as were the rooms. Both my husband and I remarked that we'd be happy to live there permanently!
We stayed in a primavera suite that had its own private patio with plunge pool. Some highlights were a large soaking tub, comfortable king bed, balconies with sea view, and nice kitchenette with delicious espresso. We also enjoyed the nightly cocktail hour. We would definitely return and recommend it highly.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Horned Dorset Primavera

Address: Apartado 1132, Rincon 00677, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Rincon
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Rincon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Horned Dorset Primavera 4*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Horned Dorset Primavera is a small luxury hotel located in northwestern Puerto Rico, two miles from the town of Rincon. It is set among rolling hills at the edge of the beautiful Caribbean Sea and is known for reserved European service executed in an atmosphere unique in Puerto Rico and the award-winning Restaurant Aaron. The hotel is a member of Relais & Chateaux. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Horned Dorset Primavera Rincon

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