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“Slum Apartment-- Great View”

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Villa Tropical Oceanfront Apartments on Shacks Beach
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Isabela
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Slum Apartment-- Great View”
Reviewed June 15, 2009

If you are a 25 year old surfer, you might put up with this nightmare, but we did not find it amusing in any way. We went for a wedding at a friend's house nearby, and luckily we could escape the squalor of our digs most of the time! We arrived at around 7:00 PM and luckily ran into the employee as she was closing up. She directed us to 'look for our keys under the shell' and was off........ Even knowing that we were supposed to be looking for a shell, we had trouble locating it....... can't imagine what we would have done it we hadn't run into the employee.... We got to our apartment in the Villa Bajandas to find an empty beer bottle and a broom on the plastic table on the terrace, and my heart sank. Yes, the view is beautiful, but the tile was filthy and the chairs were all piled up and stuck in a corner-- not very inviting. The interior is, to say the least, basic. There was no working light in the 'master bedroom' so we had to feel around to put our things away in the broken down closet. The tiny bathroom has a leaky toilet, but at least there were clean towels and clean sheets on all of the beds. The A/C works, and there are working fans for the living room. The next morning we went to the office to complain and ask to be moved. Unluckily for us, the were all booked (mostly with friends and family of the wedding party) so we were unable to move. The manager did come up and get one light working in our room as well as mop down the terrace. When we asked what we were supposed to use as beach towels (the whole idea of the place, after all...) he told us that they were all out, but I could purchase some at the front desk. Unbelievable. He brought up one towel a bit later as a 'complimentary gift' which we, of course, left. Other friends had similar experiences, including no toilet paper in the bathroom!!!! (and there are no other paper products throughout the apartments..) On a better note, one group had a very nice apartment that was a three bedroom that was decorated quite well and had a nice clean terrace with actual furniture on it. If you want to stay here, ask for the nice three bedroom. I don't know the name. Their place was like a palace compared to the rest.....

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
7 Thank travelnut3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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321 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 20, 2009

We stayed at Villa Tropical for one week at the end of February. We were a large group (6 adults and 2 toddlers), so we rented one of the three-bedroom condos. There is a full kitchen, all equipped, which was great for money saving! We pretty much cooked all the time since all necessary shops are about 10 minutes (you have to try the fish hangar at Playa Crash Boat, a 15-20 minute drive, where we bought a tuna for $10 and made 7 big steaks out of it!!!). There was a large terrace overlooking the beach, and it's direct beach access with outside showers and lots of free gear you can borrow. By walking on the beach, you very quickly discover you're the only one around, it's quite deserted! Beware however that the during the week we were there, the beach itself was not really swimmable (though we did quite a bit of snorkelling): quite wavy and windy, which explains the popularity of surf kiting there. However, there is a superb beach a 5-minute drive away, well protected from wind and currents (in front of Villas del Mar Hau, which looked pretty run down from the outside, in case you are considering that option). The hosts were very helpful and friendly, the apartment very clean, large rooms with even a jacuzzi, a real pleasure. Will definitely go back there in the future!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TurpentineMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spokane, WA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2009

Because we were unable to stay beacuse of my allergies to molds in the place we had booked across the street...(don't stay at the Villa Argentina!)...we were left in the late evening with no place to stay. We were saved by wonderful neighbors who recommended Jennifer and Trevor and the Villa Tropical across the street. This is a residential looking area so most all of the places are duplexes or multiple family dwellings, some owner occupied and some rentals. Jennifer and Trevor own the home unit of the Villa Tropical but serve as rental agents for several of the others. They took us in, put us up in one of their units which was available that night and then helped us to find another unit suitable for us. All the units we saw were wonderful...clean, well appointed and on the beach. We did move twice given we had no reservations and they were filling us in where they had room. They went out of their way for us in so many ways. We are most grateful. The place itself is on a spectacular beach with amazing snorkeling right out front and the constant entertainment of kite surfers. It is a remote area with a strong sense of community and respect for others privacy as well. We met some wonderful people and had a great time...especially given it had a rocky start. Thanks again the Jennifer and Trevor. They do a wonderful job.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LindaSpokane_WA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CT
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2009

My husband, cousin and myself just stayed at Villa Tropical from the week of Feb 20 - Feb 28th, we arrived late in the evening, so it was very dark when getting to Villa Tropical, when we awoke we couldn't believe the view from our deck, it was absolutely beautiful! Our room was very neat & clean (we were in Villa Tropical TL) the bathroom had been recently updated & our bed was very comfortable. The water was spectacular, it was warm & there was great snorlking. Lots to see as you're sitting under a palm tree watching the 'kite surfers or wind surfers'...... It is def. a 'no frills' beach house, but it is welcoming & has everything you need for a 'laid back' vacation. There is pretty much everything you could need or want right in town, a few grocery stores, local restaurants, etc. And, of course your visit would not be complete without a night or two at "Ohla Lola's", which is in walking distance, it's a quaint little pub with great appetizers & drinks with a staff that couldn't treat you any better if you were family.....John & Elaine are just wonderful!!! We loved it so much we already booked next year, can't wait to get back to see our new friends Trevor & Jennifer (owners) who were just awesome hosts!!! Good luck with the new little one.....SEE YOU ON THE BEACH!!! The Starre Family - CT.......

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank TravlinStarre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2009

We chose Villa Tropical for the location as we had previously stayed on the East side of the Island and wanted to explore the west. We stayed in the F1 apartment which was very lovely and very clean. Mike and Val the owners upstairs were very accommodating and have a beautiful home and yard right on the beach with everything you need for a relaxing getaway. They even have coin laundry and an extra bathroom with a shower in the building behind their home which they let us use. That came in handy with 4 adults sharing the suite. We had some issues with hot water but they had been renovating and the problem was resolved quickly during our stay. The location was great for day trips as we explored many beaches everyday all along the north, west and south coast. It is kind of out of the way and so it was very quiet except for the frogs and the ocean which lulled you sleep. Although I should mention that there is an airport very close by and so there was some very large planes flying over at times. Because the surf was high during our stay, we were only able to snorkel at the beach in front of our apartment one day, which we were glad we had the opportunity as it was great! We never saw inside of the other apartments but we really liked ours and were very pleased with the accommodations.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lulubellAlberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Otsego, MI
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 4, 2009

We stayed this year in the R2 apartment for two weeks with fantastic views of the ocean, sunrises and sunsets. (This is our fourth stay at Villa Tropical) Wonderful direct acces to the beach with showers available for those of us who scuba/snorkle -to wash off our gear.

Comfortable no-nonsense accomadations for four of us. The apartment has a "homey" feel to it for those who have adolescent boys runing in and out. Small kitchen was well equipped and perfect for our needs. If we did find that we needed something - We would just ask the owners and we would have it no time.

Appreciate the apartment concept - Don't have Villa Tropical staff in and out of the apartment daily making beds, etc. Had total privacy for our stay with the exception of the one cleaning /linen change at the one week mark.

Kudos to the Villa Tropical Staff who worked endlessly on Chrismas Day to see to the needs of their tenants when electricity was on and off as a tropical depression (rare for this time of year) hit the island. They made the experience seem uneventful and were professional through the entire event. They even did it with a smile.

  • Liked — Access to the ocean
  • Disliked — Difficulty with cell phone connection
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank mislp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level Contributor
56 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2008

We spent Thanksgiving here and had a great time. Really low key and relaxing while completely sufficient at the same time. Trevor and his wife took care of any need that came up.

The recommendations on their website are right on. Isabella had a lot of great beaches. Hope we can do it again, someday!

  • Liked — Location, amenities and Ola Lola's
  • Disliked — Not too many restaraunts.
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank COtraveller69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Tropical Oceanfront Apartments on Shacks Beach

Property: Villa Tropical Oceanfront Apartments on Shacks Beach
Address: Shacks Beach, Bajuras 326, Isabela 00662, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Isabela
Amenities:
Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Isabela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since 1990, Villa Tropical's Location and Accommodations have enchanted visitors from around the world. Villa Tropical Inc. represents an exclusive group of fully-equipped oceanfront and non-oceanfront apartments located ON Shacks Beach (Playa Shacks), Isabela. Directly in front of the VT Main building is the "Blue Hole", a coral-reef-protected swimming area that provides visitors the opportunity to enjoy a variety of sea life while snorkeling and diving in underwater caverns. Just west of the coral reef is a challenging surf break and favorite kite-surfing and SUP destination. There are 31unique, fully - equipped apartments with everything for your home away from home on the beach. Many amenities are included like your clean sheets and towels, cooking tools and utensils, FREE wifi, FREE A/C, FREE Parking, FREE beach access, FREE soap, dish detergent, TP and PT :) LOL and cleaning supplies and FREE BBQ tank refills. The NEW Villa Tropical Gift Shop has souvenirs, beverages, incl alcohol, and conveniences. The friendly Canadian Owners and helpful staff are kind, resourceful and a joy to vacation with. Villa Tropical's Best Value is maintained by the owner's maintaining direct relations with customers, thus why you will never find us on an OTA's top list. Villa Tropical books solidly 2 years in advance for high season dates. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Villa Tropical Oceanfront Apartments On Shacks Beach Hotel Isabela
Tropical Hotel Isabela

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