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“Good place to stay just outside of San Juan” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandy Hills Condominiums

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Sandy Hills Condominiums
Round Rock, Texas
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Good place to stay just outside of San Juan”
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank goterps10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    2
    11
    3
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank HenryDerby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vermont
Level Contributor
72 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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.

Helpful?
2 Thank Belladonna802
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank WorldTravler13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WV
Level Contributor
82 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 266 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — parking/elevators
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank muscledfuture
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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!

  • Liked — Location and views
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank GaiaGirl23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northeastern US
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2008

August 31, 2008. We returned from our trip to Puerto Rico about 3 weeks ago. I had to give myself time to put things into proper perspective in order to provide a review that was as objective as possible, given the circumstances of our stay.

Our condo rental was in the Sandy HIlls condominium complex located off of Route 3 in Luquillo, PR. The apartment itself was lovely, comfortable, and clean, with comfortable beds, modern appliances and was very nicely decorated. So with regard to the apartment itself there were no problems. That gets an A+.

The functioning and basic upkeep of the building itself gets an F, unfortunately. Several problems which I found to severely impact and ensure a relaxing vacation were the following:

1. Elevator operation: During our first night, and for several days afterward, not one of the elevators worked. Our apartment was
not on one of the lower floors and so trudging up and down many, many flights of stairs hampered our ability to do basic things such as shopping for groceries for two days. When you're only vacationing a week, two days is 1/3 of your stay. When speaking with several of the "permanent residents" there, I came to find that this happens pretty frequently!! I met up with a family returning from their vacation standing at the elevator pushing the button. When I said the elevator was broken, the wife said, "It's still not fixed?" She had been gone for a week and so I assume when she left the elevator was also not working!

2. Building amenities: There was a pool which was closed for the entire time, save for one day, because of maintenance. No one seemed to know when the pool would open again. There was a game room which could not be accessed unless you spoke to the guard at the front gate (this came to me from one of the maintenance people after I tried my key, and after the elevator had broken down yet again). There is also a workout room which also needed to be accessed through the guard at the front gate.

3. Parking: Parking more than one vehicle is definitely an issue at this complex. If you have visitors, or family members with an additional car, they must park outside the gate....if, in fact, you can find a safe parking spot where you can keep your eye on your car. I was previously told that parking extra cars was not an issue, or rather, there was never a complaint about extra vehicles. During my stay I found there was lots of complaining, made primarily by the guards who were extremely nervous about losing their jobs. However, there was only a handful of permanent residents as far as I could tell, and many parking spots which were consistently available during my time at Sandy Hills. Needless to say, we soon ignored the one-parking-spot-per-unit rule and parked wherever.

4. The beach: The beach directly behind the buillding is indeed private, in that it is quiet and not frequented by tourists. There is a reason for this. There was a lot of garbage inside and right outside of the gate that leads you onto the beach, such as empty beer bottles, soda cans, fast food wrappers. Just beyond the gate there was discarded trash inside of an abandoned cooler and the inside liner of a full-sized refrigerator, and a car tire. Secondly, the water is extremely rough and really not safe to swim. If you walk to your right, there is indeed an undeveloped beach, except for the shack that lies directly adjacent to the building we were in, basically an open lean-to with stray dogs and the property owner. Something out of our control, but also something we would have definitely considered before renting this condo.

To the left of the buildings is the area called La Pared, which is basically where surfers hangout when there are surfable waves, usually after a storm. What we were not told was that La Pared is also an area with several abandoned buildings and where the police regularly patrol to keep the locals from hanging out to smoke marijuana, drink, etc. Not particularly family friendly. I did not feel very comfortable walking along the sidewalk with my children and it took away from watching the local fisherman selling their catch. Definitely a very "iffy" area.

5. Surrounding area: The two buildings, which are what makes up Sandy Hills, are located within a slum (not being cruel just honest), so driving through the streets for the first time in broad daylight was a bit of a shock. Directly across from the front gate of the complex are two establishments, one of which was opened rather early, and whose patrons were drinking beer (out of paper bags and with straws) as part of their early morning social routine. There are allowances one must make for the differences in culture and what one is accustomed to in their everyday lives. However, this spoke more of poverty and stark reality for folks without financial resources and little means. This enclave, with Sandy Hills smack in the middle of it, would defnitely not be a selling-point for vacationers to this area of Puerto Rico.

Just 3 minutes down the backstreet, paralleling Route 3, are the Playa Azul Condominiums which, as fortune would have it, I also experienced through family who were staying there. It was a completely different atmosphere, much more open, much more family oriented with many activities open to their residents, accessible through master key which was given to you as part of your rental. The Playa Azul grounds were very safe, comfortable, well-kept and clean and what's more...there were lots of happy, smiling faces!!!!! Even the guards were friendly! Over at Sandy Hills it was quite the opposite, mostly because the residents seemed to be all over 60 and the security guards appeared to have anxiety disorders.

I consider this a lesson learned. A relaxing vacation involves much more than just a comfortable apartment. Peace of mind and an atmosphere that is conducive to promoting that feeling of security and relaxation is a big part of the equation. I have attached pictures. Read this review and then make your own decisions about what you consider important for your vacation. When I visit Luquillo again (and I will), I'll be staying somewhere else, and not at Sandy Hills.

Helpful?
19 Thank HolaLola56
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

Property: Sandy Hills Condominiums
Address: | Luquillo Beach, Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Luquillo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Luquillo
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Sandy Hills Condominiums Hotel Luquillo

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