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“Wonderful time in Vieques and at the Tropical Guest House!”

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Tropical Guest House
Certificate of Excellence
New Jersey
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful time in Vieques and at the Tropical Guest House!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 12, 2009

My boyfriend and I visited Vieques last month and fell in love with it. We stayed for 7 days at the Tropical Guest House which was a perfect choice for us. We stayed in a cozy little room for 2 with a/c, nothing lavish, but it was decorated very nicely. Most importantly, it was very clean and we had housekeeping every day. This was a plus since we did not expect it. Another plus was the free wi-fi, since my workaholic boyfriend brought his laptop. We had the essentials for a comfortable stay at a very reasonable cost. The guest house staff was very very friendly. We felt right at home right away. We also took advantage of the lovely lounge on the first floor. We were invited to have coffee there in the morning and also used the space to connect to the internet. Although we had wi-fi in the room, the sexy atmosphere of the lounge was hard to pass up.

The guest house is in a quiant neighborhood and has a little convenience store right across the street. We were able to walk into town for breakfast at the Panaderia and at Roy's (I recommend both). We walked all over the little town one afternoon and found a lot of great shops and got a real feel of the daily life in Vieques. The town, called Isabela Segunda, is where you will find the only Banks/ATM's on the island. And if you should need it, the post office is here too. We visited the historical fort which is a few minutes walk from the guest house. It has a museum and a wonderful view.

We rented a car for a few days as was recommended so that we could explore the entire island. This allowed us to visit practically every beach. Our favorite beaches were Red beach, Blue beach, and Navio beach. We explored Esperanza, which was great also. This was more of a tourist area. I am usually not a fan of tourist areas, but this one was small enough to not feel overwhelming. The Malecon as it is called, is just about 3 blocks long, with restaurants and shops. We really liked Duffy's for lunch/dinner and Belly Buttons was very cute. We had breakfast there one morning and it was very good.

Let me not forget to mention our bio-bay tour with Island Adventures. It was an experience that we will never ever forget. Overall, Vieques was an unforgettable trip for us. It was the most perfect relaxing getaway. We can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Cutelittlegirl29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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218 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
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English first
ny
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2009

Joe is the most great boss of the guest house I have ever seen. He took us to a lot of place and beach. Many thanks for Joe's hospitality during our stay! I really appreciated it!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank louytfd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Juan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2009

I think this is a great place, the room was really clean and nice and the company was great. Everybody and the guest house made us feel welcomed I felt like I was with family. When I go back to Vieques I am definitely staying here again. ^_^

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Charis_Leah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2009

I loved everything about the place- the location right by the ferry, the price, the room, and most of all the lovely owners Joe and Maria (BX in the house!) who made us feel more than welcome. If you are like me and would rather spend your money on activities than a lavish hotel with no personality, this hotel is the one 4 you, good price with tons of personality! Besides that Vieques is the most amazing place i've ever seen! Me & my best friend both considered the time we spent at the guest house a hilight of our vacation.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TeresaBX13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2008

My husband and I wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of New York City and Vieques was the place. The weather was perfectly hot, the beautiful white sandy beaches; the true blue water and the sites were mesmerizing and swimming in the bioessence bay was an experience. The cobblestone streets in the little towns, the history of the Fort and the galloping horses set the ambiance for the evening. OH! The food was great, too. If you are looking to spend your days on the beach and enjoy the entire ambiance of Vieques, stay at the Tropical Guest House! Because at the end of the day, you want a good night sleep in a clean room with the air conditioner cranking and, with the hospitality of the Hosts and employees, made it more inviting. Thanks Joseph and Maria for making our stay fun, exciting and comfortable. Rob & Yvonne

  • Liked — The clean room with the air conditioner
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Ybracone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2008

Here’s a summary of my stay at the Tropical Guest House. My girlfriend and I spent a sleepless night at the Tropical Guest House on January 7th, 2008 and then spent three hours of our vacation, the next morning, our first morning in Vieques, looking for a new place to stay for the second, third and fourth nights of our vacation in Vieques. We had booked 4 nights at the Tropical Guest House, but we couldn’t stay there more than one night. Even considering its low price, the Tropical Guest House is a terrible place to stay.

I like to camp and I have been camping everywhere. I've slept on beaches, slept in the back of trucks and vans. In some cities I visit, I'll crash on friends' couches or on their floors. Basically what I'm saying is that I can rough it. The Tropical Guest House is not roughing it, and it's not actually cheap. It's actually expensive for what it is. At least sleeping on a friend's couch is free. The pictures on the Tropical Guest House website look pretty nice, the descriptions sound great, and the price is just under the price of other guest houses on the island. But in actuality, the Tropical Guest House is unsafe, is misrepresented on its own website, and is of a much lower quality than other similarly priced guest houses in Vieques.
The Tropical Guest House website exaggerates the quality of its accommodations; it’s an old US Army barracks probably built in the 1940’s or 1950’s. The whole island of Vieques was a US Army base until three or four year ago. Look at the pictures on the Tropical Guest House website. I don’t know who took those pictures, but that person is a good photographer. The photographer took pictures of only the best angles of the best looking parts of the entire guest house. If you stay at the Tropical Guest House, the pictures on the website are not at all what you see in person, except for the pictures of the restaurant/bar/lounge. Most of the Tropical Guest House is in shambles, including most of the rooms, and I’m not exaggerating.

My girlfriend and I met Bernadette, the receptionist, and Joe, the owner, when we arrived at the Tropical Guest House. One of the first questions we asked the receptionist was how safe it is to walk around at night. We asked because the Tropical Guest House is in a small neighborhood that looks a little rough. It’s across the street from a convenience store. When we arrived early in the afternoon, there was a group of six or seven guys hanging out by the convenience store drinking beer. Bernadette suggested that it was not safe to walk around the Tropical Guest House and the nearby town of Isabel Segunda after dark. We had never been to Vieques and we hadn’t planned to rent a car while on Vieques. We like to walk/hike and bike ride and didn’t want to bother with car rental. (by the way, it's not easy to find a cheap bike to rent on Vieques). We made reservations to stay at the Tropical Guest House, because it was supposedly so close to Isabel Segunda that we didn’t need a car. But if the receptionist didn’t think that it was safe to walk around after dark, then I guess we wouldn’t be doing much after dark except staying in our room at the Tropical Guest House. There aren’t any taxis on Vieques Island, a fact that is detailed on many websites and travel brochures.

Joe the owner is a very friendly guy. Joe, the owner and bartender for the Tropical Guest House, put some time and money into renovating the lounge/restaurant/bar. It looks nice. It also doubles as Joe’s office. And when Joe’s not in his office, the lounge is closed and you cant get any food or drinks or even hang out in the lounge. Joe chatted with us for a long time when we arrived because our room wasn’t ready yet. Actually, we reserved a “studio”, a large room with a queen bed, two twin beds and a kitchen. We were required to pay for the entire reservation as soon as we arrived, without even seeing the studio because it was being cleaned. I will never pay for a room again without seeing it first. After we finished paying on my Citibank MasterCard (more on that later), Joe told us that the restaurant at the Tropical Guest House was now closed because Maria (his wife or girlfriend) had gone back to New York permanently. Then he told us that he would be leaving the next morning for New York and that he wouldn’t be back until after our reservation was over. So that meant that the restaurant/bar/lounge would be closed while we were staying at the Tropical Guest House. We made reservations to stay at the Tropical Guest House, because, according to the website, there was a restaurant with items including “amazing pancakes”. So the fact that the restaurant was closed did not make us happy. I had even talked to Joe on the phone twice before making reservations. He didn’t mention anything about the restaurant/bar/lounge being closed when we were going to be there. Well, at least we had made a reservation for a studio with a kitchen. It would be nice to cook some meals at the Tropical Guest House and relax in our room instead of having to go out to eat for every meal. We found out on our stay that going out to eat in Vieques is not cheap. It was typically more expensive than eating out in Austin, Texas, where we live.
Two hours after we arrived, our studio was ready. It was the height of the tourist season in Vieques, but only one other room or studio was occupied in the entire Tropical Guest House the night we stayed on January 7th, 2008. So we weren’t ever really sure why our room wasn’t ready when we arrived. The Tropical Guest House can sleep 50 people and most of the rooms and studios were vacant.
Joe took us to our studio downstairs. Outside of the studios was a huge concrete slab that Joe called “the porch”. There was no scenic view from the porch, except for the grass and dirt area used for parking. There was nothing on the porch (no chairs, no barbeque grill) except for propane tanks with propane gas lines running from the tanks into the studios. There was one propane tank per studio, and each tank was sitting directly outside of a sliding glass door, the entrances to the studios. The “lock” on the sliding glass door that went into our studio could barely be defined as a functioning lock. There were no windows at all. The cheap, old sliding glass door was the only way that sunlight could enter the studio. The studio was long and narrow with the sliding glass door on one end. The sliding glass door led into the living area, followed by the kitchen and bathroom, and ending with the bedroom way in the back of the studio. Sunlight could never enter any part of the bedroom or the kitchen. Our studio looked like a long, hollow cave leading to the bedroom.
As we entered the studio, we we’re blasted with an overwhelming bleach smell. Ok, well, the studio was clean if bleach is your thing. But as we investigated the studio, we realized that the studio was in shambles. It was the kind of studio that was in such poor condition that even after it’s cleaned it still doesn’t look clean. The walls were painted sloppily with white paint and there was no art/decoration of any type. Everything in the studio appeared to be an afterthought. The studio looked like an old Army barracks. There was a shabby night stand with an old TV on it sitting in the corner of the living area. There was no cable TV. Luckily I had my laptop and some DVDs. There were two beds in the living room and two beds in the bedroom. The four beds and the shabby night stand consisted of the only furniture in the studio. And the beds were horrible. Nobody would ever actually buy beds like these. They were obviously second hand. The beds had to be at least twenty years old, judging from how the labels on the mattresses looked stained and worn in appearance. None of the beds were in good shape. The beds sagged and squeaked anytime someone moved while on them. We had reserved a studio with a queen bed, like the size of bed that we sleep in at home. The largest bed in the studio could not have been a queen bed. The two of us barely fit on the largest bed. The beds had old, thin, poly blend sheets on them. There was one blanket in the entire studio. It was the scratchiest and scraggliest blanket I’ve ever seen or felt.
The kitchen area of our studio was abysmal. The counter area looked like it had been salvaged from someone’s kitchen demolition. There was a small assortment of old, mismatched knives, forks and spoons in the rickety drawers. A few of the battered pots and pans found under the sink were still holding the bleach water that had been used to clean the studio. And last, but not least was the gas burner. The single propane gas burner rested on top of a small table that must have been pulled out of a garbage dump. Propane gas tubing ran from the tank on the porch, through a small hole next to the sliding glass door, through the living area, and then into the gas burner in the kitchen area. Not safe if you ask me. The only entrance and exit to the studio was the sliding glass door. Again, there weren’t any windows. If there was a fire in the kitchen, then the studio guests would have to get out through the sliding glass door and past the propane tank before the possibility of the propane tank exploding near the only entrance and exit.
The bathroom was in a similar condition to the kitchen area of our studio. Even though it reeked of bleach, it didn’t look clean. Everything in the bathroom looked like it had been salvage. The small instant hot water heater for the shower was actually a part of the shower head. The electricity line for the instant water heater ran from the shower head into the wall about one foot away from the shower head. That’s scary! The Tropical Guest House is not safe. As soon as we noticed that the instant hot water heater was unsafe, my girlfriend and I started talking about the possibility of finding another guest house for our stay in Vieques.
We felt scared of and very dismayed with our studio. But we were also hungry and needed to eat. The restaurant at the Tropical Guest House was closed. We had to find food somewhere in Isabel Segunda, the only town within a reasonable walk of the Tropical Guest House. The Tropical Guest House is at least a mile from anywhere to get food. If a person is in good shape, then the person might be able to walk to the nearest restaurant in Isabel Segunda in 20 minutes. The nearest mini-mart or grocery store in Isabel Segunda is even farther. It’s a long way to carry three or four bags of groceries back to the Tropical Guest House from Isabel Segunda (again, no taxi service or buses on the island). Walking two miles just to get food back to our studio seemed less like a vacation and more like an ordeal. Before our trip to Vieques, we were excited about the fact that we wouldn’t have to rent a car while we were in Vieques, since the Tropical Guest House was supposedly a short walk to everything. After we arrived, we realized we’d have to be walking back and forth to Isabel Segunda’s restaurants and grocery stores many times during our stay. And since the kitchen in our studio was so poor, we felt even more dismayed about cooking meals. We had reserved a studio with a kitchen at the Tropical Guest House so that we could prepare some meals and possibly save some money, instead of going out to eat for every meal. Our vacation in Vieques wasn’t shaping up the way we had hoped.
When we got out of bed the next morning on January 8th, we decided that we couldn’t stay at the Tropical Guest House anymore. Neither one of us had slept very well because the beds were so uncomfortable. We tried both of the full size beds that night. For some reason, we didn’t feel like pushing the two twin beds together in the middle of the night. I’ve stayed in cheap hotels/motels before, many times, but the Tropical Guest House was the worst and cost more than any other “cheap” hotel/motel I’ve stayed in before. We decided to rent a car because we didn’t want to make a reservation to stay somewhere else without seeing it in person first. We drove to Esperanza, about a 10 to 15 minute drive from the Tropical Guest House. Esperanza is way too far to walk from the Tropical Guest House, but it's very reasonable to drive there. We easily found a room at a much better guest house in Esperanza.

I called and told the receptionist that we were canceling our reservations for the nights of the 8th, 9th and 10th of January. I returned the key at around 12:30 pm on January 8th after we had found another guest house. I asked the receptionist to credit my Citibank MasterCard with a refund for the amount paid for the nights of the 8th, 9th and 10th of January. I was willing to pay for the 7th, since we had stayed at the Tropical Guest House on the night of the 7th. I told her that my girlfriend and I were very unhappy with the studio and listed the many reasons. The receptionist didn’t offer to try to improve the situation in any way. She only told me that the Tropical Guest House cancellation policy stated that she could not refund any of the money for the studio reservation for any of the nights. Then I asked the receptionist to give me Joe’s phone number so that I could call him. She told me that she would call Joe and ask him to call me. Joe never called me. The last time I contacted the Tropical Guest House was on January 10th, as per my Sprint phone record below. Again I asked the receptionist for Joe’s phone number, but she told me she couldn’t give me Joe’s number and that he would call me. Joe never called me.
Check out the pictures of the Tropical Guest House that I took. We were so mad when we checked into the room that we took about 100 pictures. I have never taken pictures of problems in a room I’ve stayed in during vacation. I’ve never posted a review of somewhere I’ve stayed at during a vacation. I had to post this due to the egregious nature of the accommodations at the Tropical Guest House. Don’t stay at the Tropical Guest House. Stay at a guest house in Esperanza or Isabel Segunda.

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — everything
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank ReefL0ver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2008

We found this hotel on the Vieques tourism web site. We chose it as it allowed 1 night stays. When you first walk in, the small lobby is tidy and Bernadette was very friendly and helpful. Our room, for which we paid $80,.was disappointing. It appeared clean, but was VERY depressed and run down:
-broken floor tiles,
-ceiling plaster falling
-the wiring was scary
-beds were hard (as if sleeping on box springs) and the blankets almost thread bare
-bathroom: missing tiles in the shower
-TV stand looked as if it had been taken from the garbage, one side was repaired with cast off wood and big screws.
The entire guest house literally appears to have been constructed by an unskilled person using discarded building materials and furniture. It appears there are not any building codes or inspections on this island. We were a little fearful, not of people, but that something might catch on fire. This room was something you would imagine seeing in a ghetto and the amount charged made it even more depressing.

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — everything
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank 2_sc_travelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tropical Guest House

Property: Tropical Guest House
Address: E41 Calle Apolonia Gittings, 00765-3704, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Isla de Vieques
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 32 B&Bs / Inns in Isla de Vieques
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Tropical Guest House 2.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Tropical Guest House is conveniently located in Isabel Segunda, on the north side of the island. We are walking distance to the ferry, the historical fort/museum, restaurants, and everything "town" has to offer. The beautiful beaches are only a few minutes drive away. Our 15-room guesthouse includes single and double rooms, as well as studios with small refrigerators. Studios can accommodate larger families and groups. All rooms in the guest house have private baths, A/C and TV. Relax in the TGH lounge. Free Wi-Fi internet available. One night stays are welcomed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tropical Guest House Hotel Isla De Vieques

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