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“Nilda's family & guesthouse are muy MagNIFICO!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Paloma Guest House

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La Paloma Guest House
Ohio
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Nilda's family & guesthouse are muy MagNIFICO!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2010

Since we love to enjoy meeting and getting to know local adventurers, we used TripAdvisors to find an inviting simple guesthouse. What we read about Nilda at LaPaloma called to us so we called her. It was like we were already friends so we reserved 2 nights with her.

Nilda & her family are one of the most sharing and hospitable family's I've stayed with during my hundred plus explorations of Europe & N America. When we tried to drive to her house from the TripAdvisors map, we found it was not right, so we called her & she met us by the highway and led us to her wonderful home. WWWWOW! InCREDIble views & hospitality. I mentioned to Nilda, that one of the top five things I wanted to do in Puerto Rico was to learn more about the history, more specifically the Taino Indian Culture. She said I'm Taino and she showed us her rock garden where each stone contains the spirit of a deceased relative. You will have to experience this very enlightening ritual for yourself. After 2 nights, we sadly left to explore more of the islands amazing gems so we gave each other a very warm embrace. You could feel the power of her radiant love.

On New Years Day, the local park campground was closed, so we called her and she let us stay at her house again! She said we connected so well that she knew we'd be back at the end of our trip. We felt so bad when later we found out that the people that had reserved the guesthouse didn't mind staying at a good friends guesthouse nearby. The last night like the full moon shimmering on the pool we felt a little sad that we were leaving but so warm in our souls from her love. I'm writing this report 6 months after our trip and possess that warm memory and feeling still with a tear of joy in my eye. Nilda you are TRULY an angel!

Serenading croquis in concert!

  • Stayed December 2009, 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 charliefunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    52
    19
    4
    2
    2
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2010

My girlfriend and I stayed with Nilda & Michael for just one night. Their number is (787) 885-4040. Nilda insisted on feeding us authentic Puerto Rican/Taino food! We would have stayed longer if we could--secluded spot overlooking the Carribean, nice swimming pool and patio-side dinning tables, bananas and coconuts growing all around. Very relaxing, room was simple, with bed, kitchenette, dresser, couch, bathroom. We stayed at the Marriott in Condado (for a wedding), but enjoyed this place even more!!

It's off the beaten path, so you'll need a car. Nilda sent her son in a car to direct us to the place. For $65 a night, you just can't beat La Paloma! It's a mom-and-pop joint (literally), so bring cash.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AtlantaBrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USVI / MN
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2010

Nelda made our experience worth coming back for. Rooms were spacious, clean and comfortable. The pool was spotless. And the price/value is unbelieveable. And finally, the intimate connection to the almost extinct Taino Indian culture was an unexpeced bonus. Not fancy, but I would reccommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GarlicGrowinGayBoys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elkhart, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2010

I just got back from a week in PR with my two children, ages 17 and 15. One of the highlights of the trip was our time with Nilda, her husband Mike, and their extended family. We stayed in the bottom floor of the small guesthouse at the end of the pool, which has a bedroom separate from the kitchen-living room area. As noted by other reviewers, cleanliness wasn't perfect but was plenty fine for us. The view from the patio and pool area is amazing, and you are surrounded by banana trees and jungle, with coquis singing at night.

We arrived around supper time and planned to get settled, then go down to the town for supper, but Nilda had prepared supper for her family and had us sit down and eat at a table on the patio overlooking the valley and distant ocean. We only stayed 3 nights, but during that time she provided us with several other meals in addition to breakfast (to accomodate our needs or schedule). She was very interested in helping us figure out where to go and what to do that fit with our rather relaxed vacation style. Also as mentioned elsewhere, she is eager to share her Taino and Puerto Rican culture with guests. She has a number of petroglyphs on river rocks she has found, and has a ceremonial rock circle in the yard in addition to a number of paintings in her home representing Taino life.

Nilda's daughter and grandchildren live with them. For my kids it was a big plus that several of the grandchildren were near their ages, and they hung out some in the evenings. Also one morning when Nilda needed to run errands we went to town together, and I had a great time just doing the ordinary things of life in such different surroundings.

If you are looking for 4 or 5 star accomodations this is not for you. If you want a place that is homey, authentically Puerto Rican, and is in beautiful surroundings, then it is perfect.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cheydon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2010

What excellently good fortune it was for us to meet Nilda & Michael, and find ourselves staying at La Paloma Guesthouse!

Unfortunately, (for us) we were only able to stay for one night, but that was only due to circumstance, the very same circumstance that granted we find this place. My daughter-in-law is from Hormigueros and had been there for a little while to visit family. My son and I flew down for a week as well so we could all spend a little time. We didn't stay at La Paloma initially, but that was only because we didn't know about it. After my daughter-in-law and grandson went back to Hormigueros, my son and I stayed a couple more nights in Puerto Rico. (My son and his family presently reside in Maryland)

Due to a booking error, we had to find a place to stay for our last night, and we were both really ready to settle for anything with a shower and a bed. Someone in the area recommended La Paloma, called Nilda for us, and very soon we were on our way up a winding country road toward her place.

What a surprise!! When we got there we were absolutely delighted with what we found. Far off the beaten path, and away from the hustle and bustle of the resort areas such as are found in San Juan and nearby Fajardo (this latter being only about a 15-20 minute drive away, so you needn't miss a thing if it's "resortish" stuff you look for) this was far better than just a shower and a bed.

I have no regrets from our trip to Puerto Rico, except that we didn't know about Nilda to begin with, in which case we'd have spent our entire time there. And since it was just myself and my son, I really wished that my wife were along, and my daughter-in-law. My wife would have loved the rooms because they are so totally outfitted with a small refrigerator, basin, and a cookstove so that if you want to be really economical and prepare your own meals, you can.

My daughter-in-law would have loved the place because she herself is always full of history and information about Puerto Rico, and she is particularly fascinated by the Tiano Indians. She'd have loved Nilda, who is a Tiano herself, and would have loved browsing Nilda's (shall I say "museum"?) artifacts that Nilda has in her kitchen, living room, and outside in her garden.

It seems to me that Nilda keeps a guesthouse not as a matter of necessity for income, but more as a matter of something she enjoys. It's evident that she enjoys entertaining people, sharing her culture and heritage, and she has an excellent sense of humor. This makes for a far more personal and comfortable experience that I am sure anyone interested in something other than the fast lane would find perfect.

This is not a hotel, motel, or resort condominium. This is a Guesthouse, and that's exactly how you feel when you visit Nilda and Michael, like a very welcomed guest.

  • Liked — Friendly people
  • Disliked — Might have been a little bit cleaner
  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Just_some_fellow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belmont, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2010

Without a doubt, Nilda makes her guests feel like family. You'll eat the same (mostly delicious) food she prepares for her own family; you may even hang out in her living room. The pool is quite large and clean -- a great bonus at what is otherwise a very simple, rustic little collection of rooms. Our little girls enjoyed playing with her grandson, Joey. The views of the surrounding jungle and nearby El Yunque are out of this world.

For $65 per night, we got a 2-room basement mini-apartment, complete with air conditioning, a fridge and stove. We couldn't make the stove work, but no matter. Honestly, my husband and I agreed that the room could have been a lot cleaner -- even for the low-budget price range. There was hair all over the floor when we arrived, a dead cockroach in the corner, and a thin layer of grime pretty much everywhere. We are not that fussy, but others might be...

Other reviewers have noted that staying at La Palmona means you're getting a "true" Puerto Rican experience." I agree. The flip side is that there are aspects of Puerto Rico that are not pleasing at all, namely the horrendous, mindless treatment of animals all over the Commonwealth.

I was horrified to discover that Nilda has two chained dogs off on the far side of her house. Most guests would never encounter them. Seeing a dog that is chained up for its life life always turns me inside out, but I do try to steel myself against the emotions when traveling in Latin America because i know it is a "different culture."

Still, as an animal lover, I cannot write this review without noting that I must hold to a higher standard a guesthouse operator who caters primarily to North Americans. Nilda's dogs spend most of their life on urine and feces-covered concrete. Their chains are short and their shelter is negligible. I got into a huge discussion (perhaps argument is a better word) with Nilda over this, in part because I found it so hard to rationalize in my mind how someone as kind and sweet as Nilda cannot realize that her dogs are suffering terribly.

Granted, one of the dogs, a German Shepherd, was very old, and that would account for its horrnedous physical appearance, but it was beyond cruel what this poor senior animal had to endure in his last days. He was emaciated and covered in fly bites and fleas. Dried blood covered one ear and he was clearly mostly blind and deaf. The other dog had a collar that dug into its neck and was on a horrendously short chain.

I'm not here to get into a discussion of cultural differences when it comes to animals and yes, I know that dogs are not considered pets or companions in much of the world. But again, because this establishment caters to North Americans and because many people would be as horrified as I was, I feel it is necessary to note what turned out to be a really depressing aspect of my stay in Puerto Rico.

Dog lovers: either think twice about staying here (or traveling to Puerto Rico at all!) or come armed with some good arguments about why it makes absolutely no sense to keep a dog on a chain in some lonely corner of your driveway. A dog on a 3-foot chain cannot "protect" your house; it is blind habit and bad tradition that allows this abuse to continue.

Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank kerepesi34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2010

Second time in Puerto Rico, and of course we stayed at La Paloma again, for nine nights. When we called Nilda to book a room, in the background we could hear coqui singing, wow! Couldn't wait to get there!!!

The part we stayed at last time is being renovated, so we got the room 5, down behind the pool area. Kitchen, fridge, gas stove, microwave, separate bedroom with two beds, all that for $50.

But as the other reviewers already said, the best part is the service. Nilda always makes you feel at home and tries to help in any way she can.

Last time I thought cleanliness could be better, especially the (shared at the time) kitchen, but this time I didn't have any issue with that, it was definitely clean enough for me, plus we got a kitchen for ourselves.

The place is in the middle of the rainforest, so of course leaves and bugs will fall into the pool. They do clean it regularly, but not 24/7, which is again fine with me, we swam in it several times in the morning and loved it.

Nilda's pumpkin fritters, barriquitas de vieja, are wonderful! She also let us wash our clothes in her washer and use the dryer.

To get around you do need a car. La Paloma is only 5 miles from the town of Ceiba, and the road is in good condition.

Next time we are in Puerto Rico, La Paloma will again be our top choice for a place to stay, no question about that!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank gatogris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Paloma Guest House

Property: La Paloma Guest House
Address: (787) 435_1154 | Barrio Rio Abajo, Seccion La Paloma, Ceiba, El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > El Yunque National Forest
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in El Yunque National Forest
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
La Paloma Guest House Hotel El Yunque National Forest
La Paloma Guest House Puerto Rico/El Yunque National Forest

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