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“Great Time”
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
Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Time”
Reviewed March 16, 2013

We absolutely enjoyed our four night stay! The scenery, the food and the hospitality was fantastic. Tony and Juanita made us feel at home.They definitely are secluded, which adds to the relaxing atmosphere. They were very helpful in the planning of our day trips. We would highly recommend TJ Ranch to other travelers.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Nancy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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125 reviews from our community

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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 (26)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cohocton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2013

We absolutely loved TJ Ranch and Tony and Joan. They are the best hosts, helping to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. The food is terrific. They encouraged us to roam the property, and my husband found ripe bananas and had to have Tony show him how to harvest them, which Tony obliged his whim. They directed us to places we would enjoy seeing and to a small beach encircled by rocks where we felt safe jumping waves. The casitas are just the right mix of rustic, comfort, and country charm. It is different, but we had gone to a resort the year before, and although it was nice,it just wasn't quite our thing. This was! I was so relaxed when we got home that, in a routine checkup with the doctor the following week, they didn't believe my blood pressure was so low--they had to recheck it! Proof positive that TJ Ranch is a great place to relax! Oh, another thing we really enjoyed was the other travelers. Most everyone was very friendly and willing to share their experiences in Puerto Rico. I think Tony and Joan have a way of bring out the best in all of their guests!
Jo Ann and Rich Rawleigh
Cohocton, NY USA

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rich R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Indiana
Level Contributor
75 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2013

The TJRanch is in the hills north east of Lago Dos Bocas, a short drive south from Aricebo. Within the ranch are three spacious and nicely built cabins which are referred to as casitas (little house in Spanish). The T in the name is Tony who is from New Your city and the J is Joan (or Juanita) who is from Boston. Both have been in Puerto Rico for some time and know the island well. If you want, you can very easily coax Tony to tell you the story of how they met. Both Tony and Joan are very friendly and accommodating. Instructions as to how to find the ranch are easy to follow.
Of the dozen plus places we have stayed at in the Caribbean, I must say that this was perhaps the most unusual. And that is definitely a positive statement! First of all, the location is remote and beautiful. I've never had to drive across a dam to reach a location. The property is carved out of a valley between some hills. Cell phone reception is non existent although wired service is available. However, there is WiFi via a satellite link and cell reception returns nearby.
The owners are great hosts and will provide you with all the essentials in your casita and excellent food in their dining area. Breakfast is included in the cost. Breakfast consisted of a generous fresh fruit cup, coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice from oranges grown on the Ranch and anything from cereal to pancakes or omelets made according to your request. Drinks ranging from water to mixed drinks are readily available during the day.
I would recommend you plan on eating supper or a late snack at the Ranch. Traversing the remote roads in the dark might be a bit difficult. Day time travel is relatively easy since you can then see the sides of the roads. You can relax at the ranch during the day, take hikes, go bird watching, swim in the pool or drive out to one of the many nearby sites in Puerto Rico.
We had stayed for a week near the beach and then spent 5 days in the mountains, 4 at TJRanch. The contrast between beach and mountains is dramatic. The coquis (small Puerto Rican frogs) in the mountains are definitely quieter. (There are a dozen or so different coquis.) The mornings in the mountains always started with what seemed to be rain. However, it was just the gentle drip of water off the leaves from the condensing dew. It was restful to hear and beautiful to see. Plants with dew look a lot different than they look later on in the full sun. You must take a morning walk at the Ranch. See the plants and hear the birds.
I would recommend this site to anyone who is looking for some place a bit different - a bit quirky but quite enjoyable. Young or old couples or families with adventuresome children or anyone looking for something definitely off the beaten path should consider the TJRanch. Tony and Juanita are waiting.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank oldanalyst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
74 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We stayed 3 nights in December while visiting my in-laws in Utuado. The location is amazing - it looks like a scene from Jurassic Park. The grounds are well-landscaped and tucked into a deep green valley. The hospitality was fantastic - such a warm welcome! We managed to find it after dark - the instructions are great, it just feels farther than you think the first time. We ate breakfast and dinner each night and the food was delicious, and the service warm and friendly. The location is very peaceful during the day, but at night, the coqui and other forest-dwellers are very noisy. If you are a light sleeper, bring earplugs - they really helped. The casitas are basic, but comfortable, with a great screened-in porch. All the windows are simply screened with no glass. I usually crave air conditioning, but in December, the temperature was fine (the casitas have ceiling fans). Another fact to note - there is no TV, and our T-Mobile cell-phones did not have a signal. If you are looking for beach-side fun, this isn't the place, but if you are looking for a place to stay in the mountains and forest, this is a good choice. The website doesn't do the place justice, but the owner told us she is working on updating the site. There aren't many places to stay in the area, and we would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank chibiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
Level Contributor
216 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 237 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2012

We stayed at TJ Ranch Bed & Breakfast near Arecibo for one night and this is my review from our experience:

Good: Beautiful location in the rain forest on top of a hill between two cliffs, very rural with lots of night sounds, large open restaurant and bar, excellent hot breakfast and dinner, next to door car parking, garden, fruit trees, wild fruit trees (bananas, bread fruit, etc.), chickens, very cool dog (needs bath), and excellent hosts that even allowed us to use their telephone for a personal call.

Bad: Far from the town of Arecibo (16+ miles) and farther from Arecibo Observatory (30+ miles), no air conditioning or windows (just wood shutters with screens), sounds echo between the cliffs (we were woke by the snoring in the cabin across the street and also we could hear everything they said before going to bed), single wall construction cabin that you see light through the walls (expect indoor lizards and insects), I was woke several in the night by a small animal scurrying outside our cabin, also roosters to wake you first thing in the morning, and lastly the high cost ($/night) for the value.

We arrived at night and it is not easy to find TJ Ranch at night on narrow paved and dirt roads…the room is basically a beach cabin (full bed) with a screened front porch and separate indoor bathroom…we had an excellent dinner while I planned the next day events…we woke up and had an excellent breakfast…I played with the dog before each meal…in the morning we walked around the property to see all of the wild fruit trees and hear the sounds in the rain forest…basically it was an interesting and unusual choice for a place to stay.

Objective: If you are an eco-tourist then maybe this place is for you particularly if you have never experienced a rain forest at night…I grew up in Florida and I kept waking at night expecting a small animal in the cabin with us looking for food…basically I liked it but my wife loved it…however I would never do it again because I would not get any sleep without a dog to watch the cabin at night and keep any small animals outside where they belong.

Subjective: We were treated excellent by our hosts and when we were first greeted he had slurred speech and later he was could not walk a straight line while leaving…I am not judging but my wife’s father was an alcoholic and I promised her that I would never be like that while we were married (25 years) so it bother me that I got us in this situation and it tainted my opinion of TJ Ranch.

Therefore, based on my experience I cannot provide an unbiased opinion of TJ Ranch which is a problem sometimes with Bed & Breakfasts because it is also someone’s personal home.

Room Tip: Stay some where in the town off Arecibo!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kurt5280
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 27, 2012

We immediately knew we had made a mistake not planning to stay longer when we arrived. TJ Ranch is a truly fantastic place.

We have two small children, 3yrs and 1yr, we used TJ Ranch as a base to explore the areas around there. Lago Dos Bocas, Parque de las Cavernas del Rio Camuy, Arecibo Observatory, Cueva Ventana, Coffee Plantations and general hikes. It was the most perfect location and we felt at home.

Tony and Joanita hosted us at their place in the middle of the rainforest. We had a very sweet hut on their property (Joanita an architect, Tony a chef - I learned some fantastic things about cooking from him). They have their own eggs/chicken, fish, fruit ... even coffee beans. When we arrived we had delicious chicken vegetable soup made by their own chicken. Tony is very funny, Joanita throws in a leveling comment here and there. My husband and I were laughing most of our time with them. They helped us with our planning for day trips, brought out their old toys for our little ones (they’ve got grown up children). Their friendly calm dog, Cam, kept a protective eye over our girls. The food was great, of our 3 weeks in PR, I would say that Tony’s food was tops. We discussed fresh eggs, and since their chickens had not laid eggs for a day, Tony goes to his neighbour to get us fresh eggs.

Our hut is a beautifully laid out space. The windows have insect mesh, so you get to fall asleep to the chirping coqui frogs. No bother with mosquitos with them around. There is a swimming pool that we unfortunately didn’t get to swim in (too busy doing day trips).
The dining area is open and relaxed. We met their long time friend and neighbour, Rafael. He came with us to Cueva Ventana, took care of the entry (we don’t speak Spanish) and it was really a pleasure to have his company.

This place is wonderful, particularly because it is hosted by a very lovely, relaxed and very attentive couple.

Thank you Joanita and Tony, we look forward to seeing you next time we visit PR.

Room Tip: Talk to Joanita about which hut would suit you best depending on your needs. All huts are lovely.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank zolowi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2012

When you find yourself tiring of the heat of coastal Puerto Rico and want a cooler break, book a couple of days at TJ Ranch. An oasis of evening coolness, surrounded by a jungle filled with frogs, toads, insects, birds, geckos and all of them carrying on a beautiful, melodic conversation to which you fall asleep.

The food is to die for, the beer is cold, the wine is great and Joan and Tony are fantastic hosts.

I can't recommend it highly enough. Despite being in the middle of the jungle, you're a comfortable hour from the coast, an hour from the Arecibo observatory, and an easy two hours from the San Juan airport.

Go there. You'll not regret it!

Room Tip: All three casitas are great...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank rbphilip
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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