We were excited to return to Lemontree again—we had stayed there several times between 15 and 20 years ago, and had fond memories of the place and of the surrounding area. Coming back was like seeing an old friend.
The decor style hadn't seemed to change much since we were here last; the color schemes and darkening natural wood kitchen cabinets looked like they were stuck in the seventies. Indeed, the person who checked us in asked us where we were from. He responded with a disclaimer, "San Juan, eh? Well this is not San Juan. This is rustic."
The price has gone up substantially over the last 20 years, but hey, twenty years is a long time. The owners have upgraded the cottages from two adjoining houses by adding additional second-floor apartments. Each has its own private deck with a commanding view of the beach all the way to the Añasco beach and Mayagüez beyond.
I'll get right to the point: In my opinion, the value of the facilities is not quite worth the cost. The unit that we stayed in, named "Piña," had a reasonably fresh coat of paint, and all the furniture, cabinets, bathroom fixtures and kitchen appliances were in good condition. The place was basically very clean, at least at first glance. One thing that we just loved were the tile/terrazo floors which were so spotlessly clean that we could walk barefoot on them and not feel a single grain of sand or grit. The important barefoot test reaches directly to the place in your brain where you either say "Ahhhh" or "ewwww." The floors were definitely an "Ahhhh."
The beds were reasonably comfortable, and the bedding was clean; and we slept with the ceiling fan, opting not to use the air conditioner; but then, we are accustomed to tropical nights.
As our stay progressed, we did notice a few things that showed a lack of regular maintenance: the windows had not been recently cleaned; there was dust on windowsills and other seldom-used horizontal surfaces, the outside deck flooring hadn't seemed to receive the same attention that the rest of the floor did, the coffee mugs had been only cursorily scrubbed since their last use, and much of the glassware had a coating of "salitre" or salt spray which inevitably coats every surface in this tropical paradise, but which showed that they were not regularly washed between each set of guests.
We manage our own family-owned vacation rental apartment in the San Juan metropolitan area, and upon applying our own standards to Lemontree, we could safely say that Lemontree has room for improvement in cleanliness. Lemontree did not pass the white glove test, which is essential to eliciting the "Ahhhh" response from guests from all aspects of the property.
Would we stay again at Lemontree? Well, we know that many rental properties in the Rincón area are as expensive and in much poorer shape than Lemontree. But we can't help but hope that there are vacation rental apartments in the area that meet our high expectations. We'll keep looking.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Private and directly on the beach, our eight oceanfront suites build vacation memories that stay with you for a lifetime. You will live by the sea, in tune with the natural rhythm of the sea and sky without time and pressure. Our beach is tranquil and our lifestyle is relaxed. This place is that "low door in the wall" which opens a space for grownups looking to reawaken their spirits. The beach here at the LemonTree is calm, swimmable and walkable. Private terraces and kitchens make the suites economical and fun. Each suite has its own charm and amenities so be sure to check out each one! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lemontree Oceanfront Cottages Hotel Rincon
- Lemontree Waterfront Hotel
- Hotel Lemontree Waterfront