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“Happiness, seclusion in an untouristed location”

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Casa Grande Mountain Retreat
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Utuado
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 8 March 2012

Before writing my review, I looked over some of the other comments and the one from sunsetkeysusie made me wonder if we were talking about the same place. We were there five days later and found most of her assertions to be far from the truth.

The property was immaculate and beautifully designed, the landscaping exceptional with many varieties of plants identified, the pool sparkling clean (see my photos) and delicious to swim in. At the main house, the dining area, small bar, large veranda for dining or relaxing and an open patio for same were lovely with marvelous views of the mountain greenery.

There are several multi-unit chalets on the property designed with admirable simplicity. Our room faced the pool, had a little porch with a hammock, was clean, comfortable and sufficiently equipped. The breakfast and dinner offerings were of good wholesome quality with meats, seafoods, vegetarian choices, fresh fruits and vegetables.

I think it is not a place for people like sunsetkeysusie who need infinity pools, hot tubs, etc., but a good place for people of the more contemplative sort. There is an early morning yoga session, trails for walks in the woods, pleasant areas for reading, writing, conversing, bird-watching. The twisting mountain road one must travel to get there just adds to the aerie-like feeling of lofty seclusion.

It is true that a nearby road with infrequently passing traffic detracts from that. It is also true that the walls are thin, but once you understand that voices are lowered and there was a general feeling of respect.

We had a very pleasant experience, found the staff to be considerate and courteous, and the spirit of the place to be calm, the surroundings beautiful.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Rasha36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
proprietor44, Owner at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2012

Thank you for sharing your Casa Grande experience with the travel community. More and more people are relying on TripAdvisor and similar sites to make their travel decisions. I'm delighted to learn of the positive nature of your experience here at the retreat.

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267 - 273 of 504 reviews

Reviewed 4 March 2012

Other than having to yell at our late-to-bed and early-to-rise neighbors to "BE QUIET!" on our first morning, our stay at Casa Grande was wonderful. I had read the reviews here and knew to come equipped with our travel coffee-maker, shampoo and a big bar of soap. My wife requested an extra towel which was no problem for the helpful and friendly staff. The bathroom was spotlessly clean. At night we closed up the window blinds tight so that we wouldn't be cold. My travel clock has a thermometer on it and the indoor temperature at night stayed between 70 and 75F - no need for extra blankets but no need to use the ceiling fan either. I should mention that our neighbor apologized profusely for the noise - she seemed to have forgotten that the walls are thin.

We were actually offered lunch while we were there although I understand this is not the norm. I thought the food was great and enjoyed speaking with chef Michael about the challenges of running a restaurant in such a remote location.

We did not get lost on the way to Casa Grande - asking for directions in Utuado helped. We did drive by the entrance to the resort however, as the gate with its name had been blown shut.

Casa Grande's owner Steven was cordial and ever-present. We knew we were in good hands should something go wrong. If we ever visit Puerto Rico again, we will surely return.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Craig B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
proprietor44, Owner at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 5 March 2012

Thank you for your write-up. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay so much that you'd like to return.. The bathrooms are equipped with two dispensers. The one next to the sink contains a mild hand soap and the other in the shower contains a combined bodywash-shampoo.

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Reviewed 4 March 2012

Only thing 'retreat' about this is the fact that it's miles away from anything.. Not worth driving all the way out for this. The accommodation is very basic, and it's on the wrong side of the fine line between green minimalism and overpriced shack.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank treddd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
proprietor44, Owner at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 6 March 2012

Thank you for your comments. The accommodations are "very basic" but include all the necessities. Bed(s), dresser, night table, ceiling fan, framed photos of the onsite flora, poster of an annual festival from various municipalities, shelf and clothespole, hanging storage baskets, bathroom with sink and vanity, shower. hand soap dispenser by the sink, bodywash/shampoo dispenser in the shower and ceramic tile floor throughout. Each room includes a private balcony with two chairs and a hammock. The guest cabins are built of wood supported by cement columns. In 1998 all five buildings withstood the relentless 130 mile an hour winds of Hurricane George. The current nightly rate of $125 is considered quite reasonable by almost all our guests.

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Reviewed 24 February 2012

A little tricky to get to but the view around the retreat is beautiful. If you are looking for somewhere to just relax and read, this would be an ideal location. There really is not much close by to walk or drive to during the day. We enjoyed several walks down the road and a short walk in the woods. The rooms were clean and sufficient, nothing fancy. Would have liked to have had coffee available earlier or a coffee pot in the room. I think the staff do their very best to make this exactly what it is supposed to be...a haven of peacefulness and beauty , but if you are looking for excitement, this is not the place for you.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank MarileeM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2012

I have traveled all over the world. I have been to every Carribean Island. This ranks right up there with one of the worst hotels I have ever been to. It reminds me of the camp I went to as a child. The room was sparse. I sat on our porch and my view was of the steps you pray don't fall as you walk down. They and the railing are all moldy as everything there. Don't tell me it is because it is in the woods. The driveway and all concrete is cracked and unsightly. The pool was all cloudy. I own a pool it should never look like this does. I don't think a penny has been spent here in 20 years. I woke up this morning to the sound of my neighbors talking about underwear. This was funny. I am now sitting on the patio of my new hotel. We swam in two infinity pools. Got in a hot tub. Guess what it is 30.00 cheaper. To think we drove four hours to get to Casa Grande ads salt to my wounds. Get a tent it couldn't be any worse than this. Oh forgot it sits right on the highway so you hear traffic and trucks honk as they round the corner. I now going to say a prayer we are not there tonight

  • Stayed: February 2012
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2  Thank leisuresusie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
proprietor44, Owner at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2012

Thank you for your candid comments. The guest rooms are "no frills" but include all the basics. Bed, dresser, night table, mirror, ceiling fan, hanging wall storage baskets, framed photos of the local plants and flowers and a poster celebrating the fiestas of the local municipalities. We repair the wooden steps and railings when necessary and are in the process of replacing them with cement staircases and galvanized aluminum railings. Our swimming pool serviceman was ill last week and he didn't show up to provide the necessary sea salt to filter the water. That was a very temporary problem as the water is usually very clear and delightful. The walls are quite thin between the guest rooms so neighbors can at times be heard. Some rooms are near the public road where vehicles pass by intermitently. Some guests are disturbed by the abovementioned noises while others don't pay it any mind.

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Reviewed 21 February 2012

The retreat takes a bit of effort to get to but it is worth it. It has very nice cabin style rooms with a deck where you can sitback and try to take in the mountains above and around you. At night the local tree frogs were singing and you felt like you were in a tropical jungle. There was a small pool which was unexpected but just great for a quick dip. The food is served family style and was very good and very reasonably priced. We spoke with Chef Mike and were suprised to learn that he had been a chef at a major hotel chain before coming here, no wonder! We walked a few of the trails and they are native so a little effort is required which was to be expected and consistant with the experience. The facility is called a retreat for a reason and if you are looking for TV's, Phones, etc then maybe you are missing the point, it's great the way it is. We had limited time or we would have liked to stay longer.

Room Tip: Rooms that look out over the valley probably have a better view but we did not enter the hillside ro...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Alan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
proprietor44, Owner at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2012

Thank you for sharing your Casa Grande experience. It's very gratifying to receive your feedback. It motivates us to continue our work in service to the travel community at large.

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Reviewed 20 February 2012

Tranquil, tropical green setting in a hollow of the Utuado Mountains, was simple, upgraded, identical quad cabins with nice baths with warm water. The cafeteria style food was tasty,and healthy with self serve drinks. Coffee was ready at 8 am so early riser, coffee drinkers had to roll over and fall asleep again. I believe a coffee maker in the room would have been a welcome addition. We arrived at 3pm since we could not check in earlier. As we arrived the daily afternoon mountain rains began so we were cabin bound. We took a well needed rest after navigating the windy narrow pot filled roads.Rt 111 becomes very rough going after Moca.
After the rains, while waiting for dinner at 6pm, we attempted the walking paths but turned around because the condition of the irregular rocky paths were muddy, slippery with downed leaves
If you are looking for no distractions, surrounded by nature with no water and little or no sky views since the retreat is located in a depression (no sunset or sunrise), then this is the place for you.

Room Tip: bring extra blankets, it is in the mountains. bring your all your toiletries. Only soap was in a wal...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Elizabeth P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
proprietor44, Owner at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2012

Thank you for your review. There's a cellphone available at the front desk if your own doesn't have reception. There is WiFi available but with limited bandwidth so the service is strictly Caribbean speed. Extra blankets are available upon request at the front desk. The bathrooms have two dispensers. The one next to the sink contains a mild handsoap and the other in the shower holds a combined bodywash/shampoo.

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Additional Information about Casa Grande Mountain Retreat

Address: Road 612, Km. 0.3 | Barrio Caonillas, Utuado 00641, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Utuado
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Utuado
Price Range: $145 - $158 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Casa Grande Mountain Retreat 2.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in a valley in Puerto Rico's central mountains, Casa Grande is an oasis of peace and tranquility. 20 rooms scattered up the mountainside, each with private bath, balcony and hammock. Freshwater pool, restaurant and bar. The Café serves comida criolla, contemporary dishes and vegetarian options. Fully equipped yoga facility offering morning class, birder's paradise, botanical gardens and woodland hiking trail. Near Camuy Caves, Arecibo Observatory, Caguana Ceremonial Park, Toro Negro and Rio Abajo Forests. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Grande Mountain Retreat Hotel Utuado
Casa Grande Mountain Retreat Puerto Rico/Utuado

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