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“Vegan Paradise”

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Maravilla Guesthouse
Ranked #1 of 1 Las Marias B&B and Inns
Reviewed January 12, 2013

We had the distinct pleasure of staying in three accommodations offered by Maravilla - the cottage, the cabin and the main level of the beach house (not the penthouse). And we loved them all; each offered its own unique charms and delights.

The cottage is attractive and comfortable with a beautiful view of the mountains. It features a lovely living room with a comfy couch and large flat screen TV, with loads of movies. Both bedrooms have large king or queen beds and are very attractive.

The cabin is like upscale, super-comfortable camping, with an open air kitchen looking right into the rainforest. As others have noted, the sleeping is world-class. Could it be the cool highly-oxygenated air or singing of the coqui? Whatever it is, I don't know when I've slept as well. I know that I will often try to transport myself back there when drifting off at night. What a memory!

There are wonderful hikes right on the property. Our favorite was in the stream (bring shoes for this) to a beautiful set of waterfalls. We took quick dips in the pools along the way, so wear your bathing suit under your clothes. And, as others have said, Pony, a friendly lab-type dog, will accompany you and lead the way.

We also took day trips to spectacular waterfalls, worthy of any Hollywood film. In fact, one of them was featured in the movie, " A Perfect Getaway", which we watched while staying in the cottage, having gone there that very day.

And the beach house -- it is practically over the water! You will hear the sound of the waves 24/7. You can swim right there, or you can walk to end of the quiet, tucked away lane, to a wide and endless beach which is perfect for swimming and long walks or runs. Quiet, friendly neighbors - human, canine and feline. Speaking of neighbors, a gifted massage therapist, Thor Fister, lives three doors down. His massages are unique and reasonable. He does Thai massage and includes deep tissue, acupressure, reflexology and yoga poses. We had them twice. Check to see if he is around - highly recommend. We also took fun excursions to the Cabo Rojo lighthouse (and gorgeous beach) and Rincon, to watch the surfers and snorkel at Steps beach.

And last, but certainly not least, Margo's inspired food! She is a genius! Every meal is a five star dining experience. We have eaten in fancy vegan restaurants in NYC and DC and Margo's food leaves them all in the dust. You have to try it to believe it. Extraordinary! The full foodie experience is best at Maravilla, where you will be served in style by candlelight, and on some nights a bonfire.

Margo and Mark, along with their friendly helpers, Levi and Grace, will make sure you have a wonderful stay and make many magical memories.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank LantzMill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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22 - 28 of 70 reviews

Reviewed December 19, 2012

We stayed for five nights,six days in rustic eclectic cabin in midst of jungle & our last night we shifted to beach house for an early am plane flight.

As vegans, we ate/heated our three vegan gluten free meals in a open air kitchen/dining area on a Coleman stove. Meals included soups, salads, spring rolls, local fruits and baked goods. No electricity but potable spring drinking water, hot water, and good flush toilet with a door that opened into jungle. We also used the supplied yoga pads on the wood walkways given the daily rain.

We found the staff very attentive in providing pillows as needed, checking on our food likes, such as responding to our requests for more green veggies to our meals. We liked the delicious baked goods: muffins, cookies, and breadfruit pudding. The staff taught us about flowers, plants, birds, and frogs. Mark has made some amazing found art objects for the cabin and other buildings.

We appreciated the disconnection from our electronic devices, which could be recharged in the galley up the hill from our cabin. We also liked staying in one place, taking pictures, reading, talking, relaxing & recharging from our strenuous schedule on the mainland of teaching, farming, and teaching vegan cooking..

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank KaThy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2012

I have very mixed reviews about my experience which to me highlight the need to contemplate if this is really a place you want to go to despite all of the other very positive reviews. If you look at other places I have reviewed I am not someone that only stays at high end hotels and have recommended many remote inexpensive places in nature before and consider myself an adventurous traveler. If you are truly a hippy traveler that wants to relax in the middle of nowhere, this may be perfect for you, but if you are just a nature lover that wants to explore and travel, you may want to skip it
PROS:
• In a beautiful remote setting with beautiful 1-2hr hikes leading from the property.
• Peaceful and relaxing
• When I complained about the discomfort sleeping they offered to change the mattress
CONS:
• Given that it is not an inexpensive place to stay was extremely disappointed with the room. The room is just a very small room in which the double bed takes up over half the room. The bed itself was extremely uncomfortable and lumpy. The sheets were old and dirty and the cover and pillows felt and smelt moist. Although they did offer to change the bed for the next night we left after one night as given the price I viewed that as inexcusable – the experience could have been improved w new bedding from WalMart.
• The disapointment in the above point you can see in other things as in many ways you could see that it could be a great place, but not quite there. Outside the room was a beautiful outdoor kitchen that they had spent time on. When we asked if there was anywhere we could read in the sun, they directed us to the unfinished second floor of the cabin – so we were in a beautiful setting on a concrete half done area in uncomfortable plastic chairs. I almost wonder if there have been money problems that explain why some things are great and others really not great at all.
• Difficult to get to, so despite what some of the other reviewers said I would see no desire to stay here and then drive for an hour on small twisty roads to go to the beach daily. Given the only hikes from the property we were told about and the distance from other things, you would have to want to sit around relaxing for days to stay here.
• I am not sure if they have changed the manner in which they do food – but we read rave reviews about the food. For breakfast we were told to get a box prepared for us in the fridge and ate the fruit and various muffins and breads (as a non vegan I am assuming they were vegan muffins and breads, so potentially delicious for being vegan, but not that great to non-vegans) – it wasn’t bad, it was just “meh” which surprised me given some of the other reviews

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Mary L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mmyplace, Owner at Maravilla Guesthouse, responded to this reviewResponded December 14, 2012

Thank you for your input. We like to be interactive with our guests so that we can keep on top of any potential problems.

I am truly sorry that you did not have the experience you would have wanted.

In reviewing this problem, I believe that you would have been happier in our luxury accommodations in the Cottage. Most guests prefer the Cabin, as it is in an exotic, private location, but the Cottage is also lovely, and on a sunny (therefore less humid) hill, with larger rooms.

The cabin is a semi-rustic environment in the jungle of a rainforest. It can be humid, especially when the rainy season has been intense, as it has this past few months. It is now drying out and we expect the dry season will continue through until the end of March, as is usual.

It is possible that bedding may have felt moist, even just from the humid air and coolness. We do use a gas dryer for our linens and beds are not made up more than 12 hours or so in advance.

Every piece of linen supplied at all our accommodations is washed after each use in hot water and dried in our clothes dryer. I must emphasize that ALL linens are ALWAYS clean and fresh, although they may or may not be in brand new condition.

We have responded to the "lumpiness" of the bedding, which may have been due to a quilted mattress topper that has been removed (or maybe to an eggcrate foam top), although this is the first time I have been made aware of any problem with lumpiness. As was pointed out, I did offer to change the entire bed for our guests and would have responded to any other complaints, had they been brought to my attention.

The small bedroom at the cabin is just one room of a very open floor plan, with an additional livingroom ,outdoor kitchen/dining under a roof, patio and rooftop. Although the bedroom itself is not big, there is ample space to enjoy whatever activity you choose. There are sunny spots to sit in both on the patio and on the rooftop. We also have a hammock, lounge chairs and extra cushions available, for the asking. This is mentioned in our orientation page, which is left at the Cabin on the table.

As far as the food, I will just rest on my laurels, as the other reviews attest to the quality.

Regarding customer service, the guests arrived quite late, after the kitchen was closed, and we provided them with a special snack. We also gave them water shoes for their hike.
With an almost 1/1 ratio of staff to guests, we are very service-oriented.

Yes, it is true that we are not very easy to get to, yet most find that it is worth the drive. The mountain road are winding, but it is only a half hour or so to the nearest beach and further adventures. Also, there are at least four or five hikes from the property, and more in the neighborhood for those who want to explore.
We regularly entertain bird-watching groups, and have an extensive collection of ornamentals in addition to the wonderful native plants. I can't think of anything better for nature-lovers.

Once again, we are sorry that you did not have the optimum experience here. We do like to get input from guests, so that we may constantly improve and upgrade our facilities and service.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2012

As somebody said, this is the opposite of the corporate chain hotel experience. This place is tucked way away in the mountains, hard to find really. It is funky, lots of quirky charm and character. To give you an idea, Mark has built a great "cat condo" where two cats trade places being in and out during day vs. night because otherwise they fight! Plus, funky sculptures abound. It is in a real rainforest, with streams cutting down the dense vegetation. You can use these streams to explore the rainforest, not that different from how it was probably 300 years ago. At night, the coqui are singing hypnotically, and you can go for a dark walk in the rainforest, quite an experience. The food is absolutely sensational, Margo makes nearly everything from scratch, this is a level of commitment and labor which is simply rare these days. This is true gourmet food, no cheap shortcuts like too much seasoning or salt. We are not vegetarians but the food was aboslutely delicious (well, the kids grumbled a bit ...). The view from the second floor is amazing, grand, beautiful and soothing. I should say this place is not for everybody. If you crave luxury and convenience above all, you may not like it so much, it is just a bit rough around the edges, which is part of the charm. Tip: visit to Salto Curad is recommended. Nice waterfall and pool to swim in, water is cool and refreshing, and place just has power.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank idichev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2012

My wife and family came here wanting something different and we were all pleasantly surprised. The accomodations were rustic and quaint and very conducive to relaxation. The meals Margo made for us ( even accomodating my wheat allergies ) were magnificent. Actually closer to Vegan gourmet is more accurate. My wife is 100% Vegan and it takes alot to impress her in regards to food, but she was relieved to find really good vegan food. It truly made our stay in Puerto Rico unique. My only regret is that we could not have stayed longer in Puerto Rico, spending more time at Maravilla and less time running around the island.

Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
5  Thank Frederick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2012

Maravilla is beautiful in the land, the hikes, the peacefulness, the slower pace of life. Our short stay was worth every moment, and has given us memories to last a life time. The hosts made us feel at home. The atmosphere overall is great and the food delish! The only reason for the 4 stars is the while the accommodations are clean and well kept- things like the mattresses/beddings and rugs could use replacement. Overall everything else at Maravilla is worth a romp in the woods and with the new guesthouse opening on the beach, you can enjoy all aspects of puerto rico!!! We do plan on a return visit, and have already recommended maravilla to friends! enjoy your stay!

Room Tip: all rooms have great views!
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank littlepapaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2012

It was so much fun I had to stay longer. Everything from the beautiful plant and wild life to the spectacular culinary treats was divine. Margo and Mark have spared no expense making this jungle destination shine. Tucked away in a much quieter area than some of my other Puerto Rico accommodations, this resort is nothing short of relaxing. Great hiking, and horseback riding, combined with a wonderful menu for any preference make for a truly polysensual experience. On an island where almost everything is imported Mara Villa actually grows a lot of the ingredients in their meals! This place is a must see!

Room Tip: The cottage view is to die for!
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Mike d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Maravilla Guesthouse

Address: Carr.119 19.3 int., Las Marias 00670, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Las Marias
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Las Marias
Price Range: $105 - $120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Maravilla is located in the rainforest mountains of Puerto Rico, with 100 acres of trails for hiking, horseback riding and eco adventure, including waterfalls, bird watching and exotic plants. We serve vegetarian and vegan food in Caribbean/International gourmet style, made to your specifications. Comfortable and charming boutique cottage and unique secluded cabin. All the privacy and personal attention you need in a simple, natural setting. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Maravilla Guesthouse Hotel Las Marias
Maravilla Guesthouse Puerto Rico/Las Marias

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