We stayed "At the Waves" in Nov 2008 for a week and loved every minute of it. There were 5 of us (2 couples plus a mother-in-law) and we had the downstairs 3-bedroom unit. One couple (us) had visited Vieques about 4 years ago for 2 days, ended up staying 4 days and loved it. We wanted to come back this time for a week to do nothing but chill out. Vieques is perfect for that. We love Vieques for what its not. No huge travel groups, no rampant Lux hotels and condos, not much of anything but just a laid back island.
We really wanted our own house with a pool. A place to be amongst ourselves, living and relaxing. Its hard to find or pick a house from the pictures on websites. Plus with 5 people everyone wants something different. After selecting a few house options which first choice not available. Second choice no response. And nothing else excited us too much. We just wanted something comfortable, without crazy mismatced colors and prints that would crate a very poor vibe or mood. Oh, and sort of a not crazy price, I work for a living after all. So having no luck and uncertain about other houses we expanded our search and saw At The Waves had a three bedroom 2 bath place, with a pool (primary requirement) and was on the water. Everybody agreed definitely yes. We contacted Ian and he was really nice. Laid back and was traveling in Canada when he responded. We made all the arrangements and he was very accomodating. We only chose less than 4 weeks in advance. We planned this sort of last minute.
Ian provided some travel help, provided a list of car rental places and which ones will deliver and pickup the car at "At the Waves." He offered to pick up all 5 of us at the ferry terminal, even though it required two trips. He was just very easy and helpful.
At the Waves is located in what I think is called Bravos but down a ways. You take a nice road that snakes above the water and down some hills to the street that takes to At the Waves on the water. It was a nice gated compound with two buildings and sound of the waves crashing in the background and the cool trade winds blowing. It really is a great location. We got a rent-a-car, which you should probably have if you stay here, and everything was only minutes away. Especially after you learn the many winding streets.
It was hard to tell how nice the bedrooms and things were from the pictures. You enter from a covered patio surrounded by grass. There are two french doors which remained open the whole time we were there. There is an outdoor dining set. From here you sit and look up at the pool, across the compound to the beach walls, with the water on the other side. You enter into the kitchen and living area. A nice open kitchen that also looked out the door and to the pool and beyond. The kitchen contained everything we needed and more. We fully utilized it for several breakfasts and dinners. And it should be note that also a gas bbq is there by the pool with another outdoor dining/seating area. There were three of us who love to cook, and they had plenty of room and cooking items. I don't think the dishwasher worked too good, but we had a mother-in-law traveling on the family dime, so who needed the dishwasher?
The living area was open and nice. It had another dining table and 4 chairs. There was a wicker couch and chair with satellite tv (but really, who needs tv when you are here? answer: one of the many requirements as set forth by one demanding member of our party). Lots of windows, which really are screeened windows with those metal hurricane shutters and open up with crank handles. Those windows were great and you could adjust the shade to match the day. There were a few magazines people left, some Vieques infor stuff and such. One room also had many books to read plus some videos. I don't think there was a phone, but all our cell phones worked (Verizon and Sprint) most of the time. The signal varied, but ended up working, especially as I walked towards the water.
There were three bedrooms. The master is very large. Lots of space and nicely decorated. It had an armoire for our clothes. The was a room air conditioner and ceiling fan. The master bathroom was also large with a large step-up shower with a shower head coming out the ceiling. It was perfect for two, and often had two in at once. The water pressure was so-so, but falling from the ceiling was very nice. I really loved this bathroom. It was just so nice, open and spacious. It also had its own ceiling fan, a great touch. I don't think many places have bathrooms this decent and nice.
The second bedroom was smaller, across the hallway from master bathroom. It had a bed, armoire, bookcase full of books and videos. All these things fit compactly in there. It also had its own a/c. It also had its own bathroom which was smaller but nice. It was very bedroom/bath combo. In many places on Vieues this would be a master bedroom.
The third bedroom was all the way down a long hallway. It was a small room with two single beds (that might be able to be pushed together to make one bed) with a/c and probably a ceiling fan. It had an armoire. The bathroom for this was out of the room the next door at end of hallway. Which was planty big too. All three bathrooms were very nice. Even though it was the open bathroom, this was essentially a bathroom for that bedroom. So one of the best things I want to emphasize if you need three bedrooms, is that there are THREE bathrooms. This is huge for a one week trip with this many people. This alone probably lowered stress levels as much as anything. This could be the difference of "I can't wait until our next trip" to "I'm never travelling with those crazy peoples again".
At the end of the hallway was a closet with some games and many items left behind like bug spray and sunscreens and games. We used some, and left other stuff behind. At the left of the closet is another door to the outside. This was a back entrance of sorts that led to the packing area which is on the side of the building. In case it matters, the master bedroom fronts the parking areas. But there were lots of plants and you don't often hear a car. Anyways also out this entrance is a laundry room. It was great to have laundry machines. Though it had seen better days. One recommendation, do smaller loads. And lastly there was another closet with assorted beach equipment like snorkel fins, ice chests, umbrellas, beach chairs, boogie board and lots of other stuff. All for our use.
All in all the place just felt like home with all the things you need. And if it wasn't there, would you really need it?
The grounds were very nice and maintained. There is a large pool with a wood deck surrounded by grass. Across the grass is the sea wall. The view here is great. You see mainland PR and I think the other island is Culebra. The breeze is always blowing it seems. Though I think this also has to do with time of year. The waves were real strong and you hear them. See them too, but hear them in the whole unit. It was great. You can exit down to the beach and walk for a nice long time. We took many walks. One day we just walked to a beach to find sea glass, up and down trails, and along the water's edge for what seemed like miles (maybe it was only 1 mile, but who knows). We also walked at night, which is great for those romantics.
For all but two days of the week were fortunate to be the only ones there. So it seemed like our own house. The first night we met a fun couple and drank into the night. It was so much fun. They almost missed their flight the next day from overdoing the fun the night before. The last night, let's just say less relaxed people. So the compound can be nice depending on how lucky you are with those you share it with. Maybe we are the rowdy group you don't want there at the same time? I guess we all roll the dice. One things for certain, I'll be back.
Ian was the most fantastic of hosts. Always there it seemed, but not intrusive. He provided lots of help and was very laid-back. He just did things and worked on the place, never bothered us, helped us when we needed. Just looked like he was living the life I want. I wanna be him when I grow up. One really nice thing to mention about Ian. After we left, I was at the airport, and realized something was missing. I left my laptop (yes, sadly there is wi-fi At the Waves, and I worked some while on vacation). I panicked and was trying not too freak out. I called Ian and he found it. I told him I'd take a cab righ back, and he was like no bother, I'll bring it to you. He brought it back to me and I made the flight quite fine. Crisis averted. I just don't know if there are that many helpful people when you stay at places.
We saw three of the other units. All very nice. The one-bedroom is perfect for a couple. Nice bathroom with a nice shower, and for the frsiky in mind, holds two. Really charming. The two-bedroom was closest to the water. Nice with one master bedroom and another bedroom. Opened up towards the water what only seemed a few feet away. The master for that fronts the pool and close to the water (note: not for people who can't relax). The waves are loudest here and should lull everyone to the most deepest of sleeps. This place is the Discovery Store mood noise machine reality, its just so natural. And after it rains, if it does, the cocquis are insanely loud and if at night it it is magical. So this is probably the closest to water you can get and I would be happy to stay there. The last unit was saw (through the windows) was basically the same as our three bedroom. It had a wraparound second level porch and balcony deck. From the balcony deck you can see the water. There is a fifth unit, but Ian stays there. It is on the second story, has a huge patio deck, and I'm guessing might be the best one of them all. All the units were quite nice. I'd be happy in any one of them.
One last thing, Ian has the cutest and nicest dog who only comes to you if you entice her. And a cat who doesn't want to talk to anyone. I have both at home, so this was great. And for those of you who miss their little loved ones, its nice to see pets around. But maybe the not relaxed animal hating uptight people should be prepared. But I loved that dog.
All in all, taking into account what Vieques is, this I think is one of the best places to stay on the island. When we come back, this is where we will stay again, and hopefully again, and on!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the Waves is a beautiful new beachfront complex. With a very private and resort like setting these two villas overlook spacious grounds, a large pool area with multi level decks and the sparkling waters of the sea. The usually deserted sandy beach is perfect for shelling, snorkeling and intimate strolls. The dramatic views of the neighboring islands and the rain forest of Puerto Rico will delight. Fully equipped 1 to 3 bedroom suites available. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- At The Waves Hotel Isla De Vieques