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“Wonderful hosts in a mountain jungle hideaway” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of TJ Ranch

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TJ Ranch
Ranked #1 of 4 Arecibo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Manassas, Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Wonderful hosts in a mountain jungle hideaway”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2012

Tony and Juanita were awesome hosts. We felt welcome from the moment we arrived! As Tony said, "Mi casa es su casa" and he really meant it. The food ... well, what can I say about Tony's creations that everyone else hasn't? Each meal was just superb. Tony managed to create mouthwatering masterpieces that everyone in the family enjoyed. Even though we have several allergies amongst the clan (gluten, egg, nuts), Tony was able to adapt with awesome cuisine. The cabins were cozy and inviting. Camelia the dog made friends instantly with my kids. One important note: Arrive during the day, as the drive up the mountain is challenging the first time you do it. When our rental car gave us problems on the last day, Juanita followed us all the way into Arecibo to ensure we were safe. She also was able to recommend a chiropractor / massage therapist for my wife, and set us up with a next day appointment. Tony and Juanita, thanks for a very wonderful and memorable experience. We look forward to our next visit. You guys are the best!

Room Tip: Call Juanita and tell her what you need. She was able to come up with a creative solution for our f...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Stephen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2012

TJ Ranch is hidden in an amazing little spot in the middle of a rainforest. Tony& Juanita gave us a very warm welcome, and we were soon settled into a very cozy casita. After a special welcome drink, Tony served us a 3 course meal that was simply out of this world. We had specifically asked for vegetarian food, and he had whipped up a Stirfry. And do try the Vanilla flan :) We were their only guests for the night, and both Tony & Juanita spent quite a bit of time with us. We signed their world map, and soon we could hear the coqui frogs all around. The next day Tony treated us to some really amusing tales over late brunch, along with some Puerto Rican coffee. Soon (way too soon) we were back in San Juan, but this stay was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. But that wasn't the last we heard from them. Juanita called us to give a list of vegetarian restaurants in San Juan :) Thank you!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sakshi_Rao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Harbor, Maine
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2012

Juanita and Tony couldn't be any better host! When you stay at TJ Ranch you feel like your staying at a friends house. They are the most accommodating and laid back. The food is incredible and the Cassitas are clean and comfortable. They're little valley is gorgeous and secluded. I was incredibly impressed with they're establishment!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TC-MCFARLAND
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
68 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2012

I think any recommendation for this ranch must really consider the needs and expectations of a particular traveler. For those accustomed to AAA-approved hotels, a stay at this ranch may be rather disappointing. For nature-lovers who enjoy places that are a bit rough or rustic, this will seem like a hidden gem.

The cabins are very basic: a screened porch area, a main room with a bed and day-bed, and a bathroom. Aside from a few books in one corner, the rooms are very bare. Expect electricity and some hot water, but not much else - truly a 'cabin' experience. The bathroom was nicely finished in tile, while the rest of the cabin was rustic bare wood. Overall, the place seemed pretty well-maintained and clean (I was almost surprised at the lack of cobwebs and bugs I found in the room considering the uncleaned hairs in the sink and shower, and the number of small holes in the window screens).

It felt evident that the guest experience is the pride and dream of the owners, Joan (Juanita) & Tony. They are friendly, helpful, thoughtful, and very hard-working. Joan was always pleasant to speak with and made for an attentive and warm host. She worried over guests potentially getting lost on the winding and confusing roads, and did her best to be in communication so she could offer assistance when/if needed (and we found her directions very clear and accurate). Tony is a bit of a stronger and rougher personality and while he is always enthusiastic and well-intentioned, I can easily see how some guests have found him less than charming.

As others have noted, Tony is a wonderful chef. Our family is full of 'picky eaters' and Tony eagerly determined to create meals tailored for each of us. He did not disappoint! We all ate very well and enjoyed everything (especially the blackened salmon) - he is quite talented. This is particularly nice since their ranch is far from towns with alternatives for meals.

For birders and nature-lovers, I recommend speaking with Joan in advance about arranging a guided hike with a local birder. Since the ranch itself lacks hiking trails but is packed with wildlife, the aid of a local would go a long way in making a visit more rewarding, particularly for novices or anyone new to the tropics. Otherwise, there is little to 'do' at the ranch and there are only a few natural attractions (caves, hiking trails, etc) close by - and all require navigating confusing and dangerously narrow winding mountain roads (which were mostly in very good condition).

Overall, this is a very laid-back, relaxing place - a great escape for nature lovers who really want to experience the rain forest while still enjoying good meals and hot showers.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gone2explore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2012

TJ Ranch is a great place. The cabinas are perfect, with an indoor-outdoor feel perfect to the location. Very clean and tidy, but with a healthy dose of nature just outside the screens. Beautiful bathroom.

The hosts are friendly and pleasant, and the food is very good.

The location is spectacular. It feels like a canyon from the U.S. desert southwest, overgrown with tropical jungle.

Like many places in Puerto Rico, you will be woken up by roosters. On the plus side, there are great natural night noises serenading you through the night, including insects and owls. We enjoyed watching the hummingbirds by the pool, and the bats leaving nearby caves as the sun went down.

The drive up to TJ Ranch could be intimidating for some people, but it is not actually hard to find. We also found that once we were there, it really isn't a long drive back to the main road for day trips.

Highly recommended.

Room Tip: The three cabinas all look similar, and similarly charming. Our cabin may have been the only one w...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ElCachorro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2011

My wife and I stayed here in november, 2011. We stayed one night in the green casita, ate our best meal while in PR (I had blackened salmon, my wife had had a shrimp dish). We particularly enjoyed talking to Tony and Joan throughout our stay. We did take a dip in the "hot tub" by the pool at night and is was a bit chilly, but that's because it was heated by solar panel and it rained most of the day. When we woke up In the morning, the sun was shining on all the trees with moisture dripping off the trees, a beautiful sight.

If you stay here be sure to follow the directions at you get from Joan, the gps does not work so well for the remote roads. We came from Arecibo and her directions got us right there. The drive took across an old school dam.

The other reviews pretty much sum the experience up. Expect frogs sounds through ther night, plenty of little lizards, etc. Since the casitas are screened in, expect high humidity. For being in rainforest, these are lovely little places to stay.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank elmatematico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2011

This fantastic nook is so worth the drive into the tucked away local in the forest!! We loved every minute of our two nights there. Tony and Joan treated us with so much hospitality even before we arrived, as Joan gave a courtesy call to make sure we could find our way in the dark of night. Tony's amazing cooking and comedy act were exactly what we needed! They were so friendly, accommodating and gracious! It's the perfect place to chill out for a few days and still checkout activities nearby. You'd be hard pressed to find a better value than this combination of gorgeous scenery, 5 star cooking, and overall experience! We found it very interesting that there would be anything negative to say about these wonderful hosts and special place. But I guess it's not for everyone, so for the posh elite who don't want to do or see anything fun, they should stick to their all- inclusive, sterile, lame vacation packages! Can't imagine taking a trip to Puerto Rico and not stopping by TJ Ranch to visit our new found friends!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Throssi80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about TJ Ranch

Property: TJ Ranch
Address: Box 14926 HC 4, Arecibo 00612-9264, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Arecibo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Arecibo
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have 3 casitas: green (queen size bed), blue (4 poster double bed)and yellow(king size bed-or 2 twin beds). Each has a private bath and screened porch (no kitchens). Wifi is available for guests, but not in their casitas. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tj Ranch Hotel Arecibo

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