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“Very disappointed”

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Sandy Hills Condominiums
Reviewed January 20, 2014

OK, I'll start positive. It's inexpensive, even over Xmas week. (But remember you get what you pay for). It's a million-dollar view. The undeveloped 6 miles of beach is awesome. Monserrate Beach is 3 minutes away and great. Easy to get to ferry, great golf, more beaches, the rain forest, etc. Free wifi.

Now the negative:

Reluctant to identify the specific condo publicly, because the owner seems like a nice guy. Message me for details if you're considering a vacation rental in Luquillo or Sandy Hills condos specifically.

But VERY DISAPPOINTED in the Sandy Hills complex, the condo we rented and Luquillo overall. Owner was disorganized from the beginning and his listing way over-exaggerated the "luxury" nature of his property. The condo was dirty/full of sand on arrival. Even the relatively new leather sectional couch had sand in all the seams. Overall, the furnishings had all seen better days and the place was pretty beat.

The complex is about 40 yrs old, comprised of twin 22-story towers. Maintenance appears to be an afterthought. Oh, and that private, hidden beach in front of the condo? Not private at all and gated access is a joke. It was a very secure complex which was a good thing, since the surrounding neighborhood/town is absolutely destitute. Seriously, numerous abandoned homes 20 yds from condo entrance, and every house/store in town had bars on all windows and porches. This is a very poor, nearly Third World neighborhood. And Luquillo generally is not a place anyone would want to walk around alone at night. I've been around, traveling to Mexico, Central/South America, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. I've seen some nasty places and know how fortunate we are to live in the USA. Again, the surrounding area is something to be seriously considered before renting, especially if you're vacationing with your family.

You are 5 min walking distance to a variety of good restaurants, the closest being Boardriders, Guava, and Pasta y Pueblo. All good. But... first night, got hit up for $ by a pretty aggressive local. Second night, while walking through the town square to another restaurant, got approached by a group of 4 locals. Definitely felt uncomfortable and and they were hard to shake. One hit us up for money, another wanted cigarettes, another tried to sell us weed.

Despite the above, hard to hate 85F and sunny on the beach to end the year. Just wish I had chosen a different locale.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank chezington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9 - 15 of 20 reviews

Reviewed January 2, 2014

This condo is great. We stayed over the week of Christmas and had a wonderful time. Modern furniture and appliances, spacious balcony overlooking the ocean. Great views and fresh breeze 24/7. Loved falling asleep listening to the waves. Everything you need is included...dishes, pillows, blankets, towels, TV, wifi. The owner and local Realtor were very helpful and easily accessible over phone and email if we had any questions. Rented from VRBO and had a 9th floor condo.

There is secure parking, 24/7 security guards on site, pool access and beach access nearby. Grocery store across the main street near restaurants. Quick drive to Luquillo beach and kioscos for food & drinks. Great area, peaceful and friendly.

Will recommend to friends & family, and looking forward to returning for future vacations.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank J W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

We spent a week at Sandy Hills in April 2013 and it was a very good experience. The beach outside the condo is beautiful. Yes, somewhat treacherous in the water, but just be careful. The condo was well apportioned and everything was clean and in working order. While we were there, they had to replace the water heater, but the property company took care of it timely.

The condo is an easy drive to San Juan and other destinations. Be sure to check out the kiosks just down the road.

Much has been made about the neighborhood. Yes, it is run down, but everyone was pleasant and friendly and never once did we feel unsafe.

Highly recommend.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2012

Places to go and things to see are all close by... and lovely to see the water is like nothing I have ever see, the people are nice and very helpfull. Food very good.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank jean r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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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 7 Specialty Lodging in Luquillo
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Sandy Hills Condominiums Hotel Luquillo

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