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“Great family beach vacation” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Tropical Oceanfront Apartments on Shacks Beach

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Villa Tropical Oceanfront Apartments on Shacks Beach
Shacks Beach, Bajuras 326, Isabela 00662, Puerto Rico   |  
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Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Isabela
Franktown, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great family beach vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

We had a great family vacation at Villa Tropical and would recommend it to friends and family. Like with anyplace, there are some pros and cons to keep in mind:
Location: Pros = the M3 villa we chose is the second floor of a three story unit directly on the beach and the views are amazing from the deck; a hundred yards to the right and you are at an amazing snorkeling area, a hundred yards to the left (past the Villa Montana resort) is a sandy spot where you can splash in the waves; Cons = you cannot swim from the beach directly in front of the villa due to sharp rocks, sea urchins and a strong rip tide. Also, Shacks Beach is very isolated which is great for quiet beach time but not so great for dinner out options (although the one place you can walk to, Ola Lola, is terrific!) or a quick trip to the market.
Rooms: Pros = spacious unit (M3) with comfortable and functional furnishings, overall very clean, full modern kitchen, lots of deck furniture to enjoy the water; Cons = needs some maintenance - many windows didn't open, some ceiling fans did not work, and the room air conditioners were either luke warm or icy cold.
Service: Pros = everyone we encountered was polite and friendly; Cons = this isn't a resort or even a hotel and the staff did not go out of their way to ensure we were happy or having a good time. Example: there was only one key to the unit and it was inconvenient for us to hand it off among five of us, but the management just kind of shrugged off our request for a second key.
General caution: the drivers in Puerto Rico are aggressive and we hit a couple of huge traffic jams on the drive out to Isabela and back to San Juan. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you're going.
All in all, I would be happy to stay at Villa Tropical again if I took another trip to Puerto Rico.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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259 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (80)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

A wonderful quiet place in paradise. We could not get enough of the water, snorkeling to discover new worlds underwater, local food, friendly neighbors, long walks on deserted beaches and beautiful sunsets from our porch. There was not one disappointment in our stay. Service was wonderful. I will visit this spot in my mind often and am hoping to get our whole family down for a visit.

  • Stayed July 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

This marked the third time I've been to Puerto Rico and have stayed right on Shacks Beach each time. Trevor and the whole crew were fantastic and made our stay incredibly comfortable. They really run a wonderful place on one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. The rooms are open, comfortable, air conditioned, extremely clean and welcoming. Even though it's on the far west side of the island, you can make day trips all over the place quite easily if you get a rental car from the airport not even 15 minutes away. A mile in either direction walking along the shore will present to you either a quiet and desolate shore with nothing but waves and palm trees, or primo surfing (Jobos Beach) and a place to grab a drink and a snack. If that wasn't great enough, the snorkeling right in front of the Villa's is simply breathtaking and a fantastic place to spend the whole day. I've sent lot's of friends here and they had an equally amazing time. Enjoy.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ponce, Puerto Rico
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

Best weekend in years….. this place is perfect for a getaway. I went with my daughter she's 4 and it was just amazing, the beach is not that great but it has a little area in which you can enjoy the water, if you like snorkeling, you will love the blue hole. The staff is super great. I can't wait to go back!!!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

Dream that you live steps away from a nearly deserted Puerto Rican beach

Villa Tropical permits you the fantasy of Caribbean beach living. We stayed for a week in Quinones M1, a ground floor apartment that was literally steps away from the ocean. We have never felt so relaxed and satisfied while on holiday. We’ve done the all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. We have enjoyed people’s cottages in our home province of Ontario and we have camped all over. We have stayed in boutique hotels, big hotels, and B & B’s in Europe, North America, and Hawai’i. But this experience beat them all (well, except for Hawai’I perhaps). We had previously spent a week in San Juan, staying in a corporate hotel (because I was there for a work conference), eating in restaurants every day. What we wanted when the work was done was a “home” where we could cook our own food, do our own thing, enjoy some beautiful place, and chill out. We got it all at Villa Tropical and in the surrounding area (NW corner of the island). Spending entire days in the breezy warmth, looking at the ocean, the beach, the sky, the gardens and wild spaces, watching boats go in and out, watching people paddle on surf boards, noting the very few people who walked the beach and swam and snorkeled in the ocean, and being those people some of the time—it was heaven. Mostly we hung out around the apartment, because it became our temporary and much loved “home.”

The website is accurate, both in terms of what the apartments look like and how they are equipped, so here I’ll just note a few details. We appreciated that there was free wifi and a flat screen TV with many channels. The bedroom was spacious but the bed was terribly comfortable (I woke up with a sore back and the sheets and pillows could do with an upgrade). Nevertheless we slept well, lulled by the sound of the surf no doubt. We never had to have the (noisy) window air conditioner on in order to sleep. We did use the air conditioner in the living room, but only for a couple of hours in the late afternoons. Mostly (and we were there in humid July) the ceiling fans were adequate to keep us comfortable.

The apartment was very well equipped, but when the odd thing was missing we asked for it were promptly supplied. Nally deserves our particular thanks. We arrived late in the afternoon. We quickly established ourselves both inside and outside the apartment and began to plan for dinner. We had taken the proprietors’ advice and stopped in Isabela to stock up on food and drinks. We checked the kitchen and noted that there was no can opener. I walked to the office and Nally gave me one, but warned it was old and might not work well. “Let me know if it doesn’t work,” she said, “and I’ll go buy you a new one.” It didn’t work, so I texted Nally and within 15 minutes we had a new can opener.

Upon arrival my husband gleefully ran into the water directly in front of our building. He had a nasty surprise when he stepped on a sea urchin. That’s a hazard we would have liked to have been warned about on the website or at least when we checked in. We did not realize that there are better and worse swimming areas. Nally gave us some white vinegar to soak his foot in, as well as swimming shoes so that our feet would be protected from then on. The shoes made all the difference. Villa Tropical has beach chairs and towels and other beachy things that you can borrow (we brought our own snorkel and mask).

For those who don’t want to make their own food, there are lots of eating places around. There are casual and upscale restaurants, as well as a plethora of food trucks. Supermarkets, gas stations, convenience stores, bakeries and just about everything else you need are very close by. If you want to eat, drink and not drive, go to Ola Lola’s Garden Bar and Grill, a short walk from Villa Tropical.

We loved our week at Villa Tropical and promise to go back. If you want quiet and beauty, a home to call your own (temporarily) and excellent, friendly service you cannot go wrong. We thought it was good value for the money and the whole experience was better than we had even dared dream.

Room Tip: I phoned and asked which apartment was the best available. I was glad I did. Not all are ocean front...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights in R2. The location is incredible. Right on the beach! So close that even when it was windy and the blowing sand made it impossible to sit on the actual beach it didn't matter because the deck was so close. A short walk (less than 10 minutes) in either direction brings you to completely deserted beaches with rugged, wild beauty. The snorkeling right in front of our place was incredible. The apartment was tasteful and comfortable.

On checking in, management told us one of our AC units was broken and offered us another unit or a credit. Our gas tank for the grill ran out of gas and they replaced it immediately. Upon request, they delivered snorkeling equipment to our deck.

Villa Montana has a nice restaurant less than a 10 minute walk up the beach. Ola Lola's garden bar is a few minute's walk down the road. The local grocery store (econo mart) is just as good, if not better, than the one in Isabela.

Villa Tropical was the best. You will love it.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Buffalo, New York
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

When my husband and I booked Villa Tropical, we were not quite sure what to expect. The reviews on Trip Advisor were generally great, but the accommodations at some of the villa's seemed questionable. I am SO HAPPY we took a risk.

We traveled to VT during the last week in April 2013, which was not considered peak season. VT is located near Isabela and about 2 hours drive outside of San Juan. It's an easy drive if you do it outside of rush hour. There is another airport, a US military base, that you can fly into only late at night in Agudilla that will get you to VT in about 10 minutes.

When we arrived at VT, after regular business hours, we contacted Trevor who indicated that a key for our unit was left in a little hiding spot for us. We quickly retrieved it and went to our apartment. Upon arrival, the apartment was super clean and exceeded our expectations. We stayed in the main building (Top Left Unit), which is a two bedroom(ish) apartment. The second bedroom had two single beds, and to get to it, you had to go through the master bedroom . Great if you have small children or if you travel just as a couple. Please keep in mind, this is not the Ritz or even a 4 star establishment. Decorations and furniture may be dated, but they are all functioning, intact and clean. Just because some of the units do not include contemporary decor does not mean that it's a dump. The unit came equipped with a kitchen and living area that opened onto a large deck directly overlooking Shacks Beach. The kitchen included pots, pans, flatware, coffeemaker, etc. The deck included a table, chairs, lounge chairs, and a gas grill. While we were there, another couple occupied the Right side unit, and they were more than willing to share the deck with us and a few beers. The view from the deck is amazing. You are literally overlooking the Atlantic and an amazing snorkeling/diving hole. The beach is just one stairway down from your unit. Many locals travel to Shacks beach for a variety of activities. The location is VERY safe and quiet.

I highly recommend renting a car if you would like to leave VT. There are about two restaurants in walking distance. One is an outdoor grill and the other is part of Villa Montana, both good, but priced differently. It's worth to check them both out. Other restaurants are about 2 miles away in town where you can find an amazing grocery store that carries a wide variety of produce, wines and coffee.

This was a wonderful trip for us. My husband and I only got to stay here for 4 days because we moved to the other side of the island for the rest of our trip, but in hindsight, we would have stayed here for the full week. There is not a lot to do here at night, so don't expect a wild club scene anywhere. It was a great place to visit if you are into surfing, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, exploration or just relaxation. The other guests at VT seemed to be very laid back and varied in ages from college kids up to retirees. It is truly a place where anyone of any age can find something to enjoy and was well worth it. We hope to be back next year.

Room Tip: Oceanfront is the way to go, but check all units online before booking so you know what to expect.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Tropical Oceanfront Apartments on Shacks Beach

Address: Shacks Beach, Bajuras 326, Isabela 00662, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Isabela
Amenities:
Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Isabela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since 1990, Villa Tropical's Location and Accommodations have enchanted visitors from around the world. Villa Tropical Inc. represents an exclusive group of fully-equipped oceanfront and non-oceanfront apartments located ON Shacks Beach (Playa Shacks), Isabela. Directly in front of the VT Main building is the "Blue Hole", a coral-reef-protected swimming area that provides visitors the opportunity to enjoy a variety of sea life while snorkeling and diving in underwater caverns. Just west of the coral reef is a challenging surf break and favorite kite-boarding destination. There are 28 exceptionally furnished, fully - equipped apartments with everything for your home away from home on the beach. Many amenities are included such as FREE wifi, FREE A/C, FREE Parking, FREE beach access, FREE soap, dish detergent, TP and PT :) LOL and cleaning supplies and FREE BBQ tank refills. The NEW Villa Tropical Store (gifts, conveniences, beverages etc.) is to be in full swing by 2015. The friendly Canadian Owners and helpful staff are kind, resourceful and a joy to vacation with. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Tropical Oceanfront Apartments On Shacks Beach Hotel Isabela
Tropical Hotel Isabela

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