It is hard to sum up in words the experience my boyfriend and I had at Horned Dorset; magical, euphoric, pure joy, untouched beauty all don't quite suffice. It's one of those places that you feel "in the know" for experiencing, like it is a long kept secret, a hidden door and that you somehow found the key.
I came across the Horned Dorset website after a few days of extensive searching for a great place to take a quick, romantic vacation. It was not easy to find and I assume that is how they like it. However, once I did find it I knew we had to go. It can be a bit pricey but once you are there you realize it's a bargain for the price per night. Most 4 or 5 star vacation resorts, especially in the Caribbean will cost around $500/night (the disneyland-like Atlantis in the Bahamas does and all you get is a single, cookie cutter room with horribly cheesy bed spreads.) That being said we paid $420/night during off season for a two FLOOR garden villa with a private outdoor plunge pool and it was gorgeous. Working in real estate I can tell you this place is worth well more than that...but being that it is located on the west side of Puerto Rico I think that may bring the cost down. We seriously couldn't believe we had this all to ourselves. A living room, dining area, small kitchen (no stove), two full bathrooms one with a free standing tub and the most gorgeous wooden, 4 poster bed I have ever seen!
The villa was meticulously appointed and fit in perfectly with the rest of the property. Decorated in a Mediterranean hacienda style you truly feel transported to another place in time, where there is no rush and relaxation is your only goal. Most of the property is crisp white surrounded by manicured palm trees and other vegetation. The main building where you can eat lunch, dinner or just play chess has red tiled floors and is decorated with hand picked ornaments and furniture. Pelicans fly by on a daily basis swooping down to grab a fish or two. These gorgeous birds are right at your fingertips putting on a show seemingly just for you.
Okay I am rambling. The two pools on the property are great, the infinity pool which is visible from the entrance is smaller and not very deep, but when we were there we were the only people who sat by it so the size or depth didn't matter. We had the pool to ourselves! The pool by the main building is much larger and is very private and pretty. Most vacationers sit by that one. The beach is very small, almost non-existent on high tide days and you can't really swim in the water as it's quite rocky under the surf, but it's just so picturesque you don't really care. We spent a few hours each day after breakfast sitting out on the grass above the beach just reading and watching the birds. Again, it truly feels like your own secret hideaway.
The best meal served there by far is breakfast. Sittting outside with linens, surrounded by sculptures eating from quaint dishware we felt like royalty. The creole french toast was out of this world and the service is more than accommodating. Lunch and dinner are served only in the main dining room and lunch on the porch of the main building as well. While the food is good it's a bit pricey and we didn't eat there for every meal. It'd be great if they expanded where they will serve you and the hours of service during the day a bit. But still not really worth complaining about.
The location of Horned Dorset is a bit tricky to find as it's tucked away on a narrow, residential street but once you get acquainted with the small neighborhood it's easy to get around. Rincon is a small surf town and everyone there is laid back and LOVES their home. People from Rincon stay in Rincon. And while we were there we didn't want to leave either. It's a 2 hour drive to San Juan the bustling capital of Puerto Rico but we didn't care to make the drive, the west side of the island has culture, history and great driving roads.
The whole experience was just phenomenal. The service at Horned Dorset was warm, welcoming and laid back. Everyone seemed genuinely happy. The atmosphere was the definition of peace and the style and appointments were pure sophistication.
Horned Dorset is a truly special place that has a stolen a piece of my heart. We can't wait to return and hopefully one day own a villa on the Horned Dorset property to call home, aka paradise.
If you are thinking about planning a trip to Horned Dorset and have any questions, do not hesitate to send me an email.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Horned Dorset Primavera is a small luxury hotel located in northwestern Puerto Rico, two miles from the town of Rincon. It is set among rolling hills at the edge of the beautiful Caribbean Sea and is known for reserved European service executed in an atmosphere unique in Puerto Rico and the award-winning Restaurant Aaron. The hotel is a member of Relais & Chateaux. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Horned Dorset Primavera Rincon