I'm not quite sure where to start. Overall, I had an amazing experience at Casa Cabuy. I guess I'll start with what made it a great stay, and why I'll probably be back.
The location and property is simply breathtaking. The hotel perches on the edge of a hill, looking out onto a huge rainforest valley. From our room, we could see several waterfalls, and watch the clouds change over the mountains. It was relaxing, and the perfect place to find tranquility. One night, we were sitting out in the open air "lobby" area playing cards, and we saw not one, but 3 coqui frogs. Marianne, the owner, even brought one up that she'd found and let us hold it and take pictures of it before we set it free. Coquis are sometimes elusive, so this was really cool.
I love that the eco lodge is so close to so many hiking options. A 10 minute walk from the hotel takes you to a stunning waterfall, and if you continue over it, there's about an hour's worth of trails that the folks at Casa Cabuy maintain. It's a bit of an adventure; most of the trails are not maintained so much as marked. It became a sort of scavenger hunt, finding the next bit of yellow caution tape to discover where to walk next. Being young and energetic, I loved the path and feeling like I was really in the midst of nature rather than walking in a park.
Our room at the hotel was great too. One entire wall of it was floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the rainforest. The room was comfortable and clean. No frills, but we didn't need them. There was a hammock in our room, which we appreciated.
Breakfast each morning was another highlight. The food was plentiful and delicious, and I really enjoyed conversation with other travelers who were staying there.
Now...here's why I say the place might benefit from having other people in charge. The owner, Marianne, is great. She's really friendly and helpful with information about hiking, etc. However, she's also getting quite up there in years, and I had the distinct impression that she's reached the point where she's sort of done trying to bend over backwards to please people, and she's sick of people who aren't perfect guests, because those people make more work for her. Understandable. But not a great attitude if you're in the customer service field.
Here was our situation. I called ahead to make our reservation for 2 nights. We wanted a lower level room (less expensive because the view isn't quite as great--but still good rooms). The first night was going to be just 2 people, and then 2nd night 2 more were coming. I made the reservation, clarifying that I wanted to be in the same room both nights. Matthew, who took my reservation, assured me that this would be fine. When we got there and were shown to our room by Marianne, however, there was only a Queen and one Twin bed. I explained to her that we needed beds for 4, and she said she'd need to move us to a room on the upper floor that would fit 4. That wouldn't have been a big deal at all, except that she still charged us for the upgrade. In my opinion, if I reserved a lower level room and was told it would meet my needs, I should only be charged the lower level rate once the mistake was realized. That didn't make sense in Marianne's head, however. She just kept shaking her said and saying, "I don't know what you want me to do. There are no rooms on the lower level that fit four people."
There are also a laundry list of extra charges that the place tacks on. We paid $50 for 2 extra people to stay our second night (on top of the rate difference on the room upgrade). A binder in the room lists other potential costs. Want them to do your laundry? $20 per load (washed and dried). Forget a personal item and want it back? That'll cost $25 PLUS the cost of shipping. And you'd better make sure you don't dirty the sheets! If you stain them, you'll be charged $50 for the cleaning; $75 if the stain is permanent.
The property and the vision is FANTASTIC. I spent 2 days in heaven there. I wish I could give it 5 stars, but due to poor customer service and high prices, I can't. I will, however, probably stay with them again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The lodge is set into the mountain with a large balcony that overlooks the forest. There are ten guest rooms and a villa down the road. Its great for bird watching. Peace and tranquility can always be found at Casa Cubuy. Go ahead; be our guest! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Cubuy Ecolodge Hotel Naguabo
- Casa Cubuy Ecolodge Puerto Rico/Naguabo