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“Very nice stay”

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Sandy Hills Condominiums
Reviewed March 21, 2011

We stayed on the 18th floor of the Sandy Hills and the view was priceless. We spent a lot of time on the balcony reading and just enjoying the view.
The Condo itself was very comfortable, good appliances and really nice furniture. The beds were great. The over the stove microwave had to be unplugged every time or the fan would keep going....that is about it for grips! The water pressure was terrific for such a tall building too.
The Condo high-rise is right on the beach, and our best day was probably when we hauled the beach chairs out and swam and body surfed until our 50 sunblock was overwhelmed. CAUTION, the area right in front of the building has terrible rip currents. It is between two natural lava reefs. If you walk east past the last reef, just a hundred yards or so, you will be fine. My 80 year old mother came with us and swam there! The lagoon behind the beach was like Jurassic Park, loads of iguanas running around. It was fun to explore. There were very few people and it felt perfectly safe.
We called the Condo the Battlestar Galatica as it is gated to the extreme. You get a garage door opener with the keys and open the gate with it when you drive up. The entry to the beach also is gated, and then locked with a chain at 6pm. The security guys are very nice and friendly, but Joel doesn't speak English to well. No problemo though, we just registered our car with him, and never had to do much else.
We were assigned a parking spot way down in the dungeon, but I noticed the parking lot right by the main doors was virtually empty. We just parked there all week. I was waiting for someone to give us a hard time, but again no problem.
We wanted to do a zip line and the only availability was about 2 hours away in Utuado. We thought it would be fun to travel south first on Rt52 and then West through the center of the Island. BIG MISTAKE! The only roads to travel are on the coast, the inland roads are like goat trails, with numerous switchbacks through the mountainous terrain. Needless to say, we missed our appointment to zip line by several hours, and spent 5-6 hours in the rental car trying to survive the grueling trip!
If I can prevent someone from making that mistake, then this review is worth the time!
Otherwise we had a great time. The best food was right outside of the condo, down by the square called Pasta Y Pueblo or something like that. Awesome food and good prices. We found another terrific restaurant in Old San Juan called Jimenez or something....It was on Sol street between Cruz and San Justo streets...green awning....awesome food and prices.
We tried the Kioskos…..a ragtag collection of buildings right on the main drag toward San Juan. The first restaurant at the very western end was very good, expensive though. The rest of the Kioskos got seedier as you went toward the eastern end. Juan, the local guy who works in the Sandy Hills complex, told me even he doesn’t really like the Kioskos at night. We went during the day and just drove right though the one time we went there at night. It was a local biker crowd then. If you want a drink AND a tattoo it would be the perfect place for you!
Like everyone says, PR is not the US. I read that the per capita income is almost half of Mississippi, which should speak volumes (sorry Mississippi!).
Crime is supposedly bad, but as a result of the drug trade. I think tourists are off limits....but if you use common sense you will be fine. We felt very safe at all times.
Overall, I would go back there tomorrow!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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7  Thank mke039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 - 19 of 20 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2010

Sandy Hills Condo is a nice place that is about an hour outside of San Juan. Alot of the advertisement for the building is a bit exagerated or implies more than what you might think, but it is a good condo that is a short trip from San Juan. If you are looking for a quite place away from the city, this is a good spot.

Alot of the ammenities that the condo advertises are a bit exagerated. First, the private beach is not good for swimming. Their are several rocks and other formations that make the beach unattractive for any swimming\snorkling\body boarding. Also, the rec rooom is small and does not contain alot of equipment. If you are someone who is diehard about working out while on vacation, this is not the place for you.

Finally, the neighborhood just outside of the condo gates is a bit rough. However, about 1 block away is the town square with resaurants and bakeries, and is noticably a better then around the condo. My family walked from the condo to the town square several times without anyone bothering us. However, it is something to note and could be a problem.

Overall, we used the condo as a place to stay and get some quite time. When we wanted to go to the beach or visit anywhere else on the island, we would drive there. Luquillo is a small town and is perfect for a relaxing vacation away from the city. The ocean views from the balconey of our condo were great. I would recommend it for anyone who is looking for a place outside the city.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank goterps10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2010

We really enjoyed our stay here. The view was amazing and the person we rented from, Rocco, was great. Found him on vrbo, condo 3E. We were on the third floor and the sound of the ocean and view were mesmerizing. The points others have made about the currents are true, so you wouldn't want to take kids swimming off this beach, but two beautiful swimming beaches are within a 5 minute drive, so that didn't really matter. The tradeoff of view was worth it. I loved being at the end of the developed portion of the beach. You could walk the quiet beach for miles right outside your door. And, unlike other condos that are across the street from the beach, this is actually ON the beach. We checked out the other large condo building in town (Playa Azul condos) and honestly I thought we picked right, in terms of scenery and location, if you value an amazing view. Yeah, the neighborhood was kind of sketchy, but I never felt unsafe. The whole town was kind of like that and the other big condo buildings were in the same kind of neighborhood. And really, I think it's more just not the kind of neighborhoods you're used to seeing in the US, rather than truly unsafe. Luquillo was a great base camp for doing everything on the east coast and had lots of great restaurants as well, if you didn't want to cook in your condo. Parking was in an assigned spot, so that was never a problem and the staff we encountered were great. I would definitely stay here again, without hesitation.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank HenryDerby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2010

We saw other reviews about the location and it is not what you typically see here in the states,however people were friendly,helpful and we were right on the beach.I would stay there again in a heartbeat.We were close to many things and found our way around.The one thing everyone kept talking about were the riptides in front of the condos,and because we have younger children,to watch them carefully.I appreciated the concern and we had no problems.Our overall experience there was fantastic.

2  Thank Belladonna802
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2010

My wife along with our old friends had a wonderful time here. We stayed for 8 days during Christmas. The Luquillo area is very beautiful and I recommend it to others. The owner Mrs. Norma is a very wonderful woman who is very helpful and invited my friends and I to her Parranda (Puerto Rican Christmas Party).
First the building is having some work done with it. The condo room has no issues. It has AC and all the appliances that a vacationer would need. Internet, Coffee Maker, TV. Washer/Dryer and a Hammock. The view from the room is breath taking.

1. You will need a car to get to here. It is a little ways from the Airport but not a bad drive.
2. The guards that worked at the condo were very friendly but their English is poor. I recommend learning a few words of Spanish just to help you along while you are down in Puerto Rico.
3. The out side area of the condo is a little economically depressed but the locals never gave us any issues.
4. The beach there is awesome but if you have children or a weak swimmer be wary there is a bad rip tide but there are decent waves for surfing. There is a “Protected Beach” (Balneario) that cost a few dollars to enter but the waves are more gentle and its very clean.
5. There are some local eateries within walking distance that are awesome. I recommend the one that is just off the beach. Amazing drinks and great food. Also in the plaza area there is a wonderful restaurant and a great bakery with awesome coffee.
6. There are several Kiosks down Rt. 3 with several restaurants and places to eat and drink. Not bad but may be intimidating for the average tourist at night.
7. The pool is now open but was closed for painting while we were there. Don’t waste your time with a pool. You are on an Island with world class beaches. Go to the Beach!

I have read some of the other reviews and 1 in particular stands out. I say this. Remember you are no longer in the mainland United States when you are there. Take it as a foreign land and don't have the exact same expectations off all things as if you were back home. Remember you came to an exotic land for a reason.

Stay here. You will not regret it.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank WorldTravler13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2009

once we got the right building and freed the keys, it was great. The view from our balcony was panoramic, but you had to look over the rail in order to see the beach- this unit was on the 17th floor. Parking was always available but not always convenient. Yhe pool was small and we never used it; instead we just went to the beach up the road about 1/4 mile. Getting to the condo was interesting- a lot of narrow streets and winding.

The condo was well appointed and comfortable- the owner, Norma, very helpfula nd friendly. The kitchen had no dishwasher, but really who cooks much on vacation? The queen bed was comfy and there were plenty of towels, beach chairs and paper products. The air conditioner worked and the TV had many stations. The wi fi is free. The elevators were moody and slow and the security guards were pleasant but did not speak much English.

There is no phone in the unit, but cell phones have a good signal so we didn't need one. No ice maker, but plenty of ice trays. There was a washer/dryer in the unit and detergent as well. We would stay there again, but we might also try a different place a little lower to the beach and further up toward Luquillo beach- away from the river.

I would say the rent was about average for the time period and size of the unit- about 900 for the week.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank muscledfuture
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2009

Sandy Hills condo was in a great location with breath taking views from the balcony. We felt like locals since this part of town isn't filled with tourists. It was also nice to be close to El Yunque rainforest and Fajardo. We went to Fajrdo everyday during our many adventures: Snuba diving, ferries to other islands, and the biolumenescent kayaking tour at night. The condo unit was updated and nice but the condo itself was a little run down. The water pump broke and we were without water a few times during our stay. But we were having so much fun that didn't really put us out too much. The security guard was awesome and friendly and helpful!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank GaiaGirl23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandy Hills Condominiums

Address: | Luquillo Beach, Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Luquillo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Luquillo
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Sandy Hills Condominiums Hotel Luquillo

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