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“Rincón Relaxation with Reservations”

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LemonTree Oceanfront Cottages
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 June 2011

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.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ReinitaDelMar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LemonTree, Owner at LemonTree Oceanfront Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2011

I’d like to thank ReinitaDelMar for taking the time and effort to join the Trip Advisor family and to offer as his first entry a review of his recent stay at the Lemontree. We encourage all of our guests to take advantage of the reviews on Trip Advisor because we have found that guests that are familiar with Trip Advisor and read the reviews tend to be guests who appreciate what the Lemontree has to offer. A good match of guests’ expectations with what our property has to offer means satisfied guests. There are three points in ReinitaDelMar’s review that I would like to specifically address.

First, the use of the term “rustic” in English has a specific meaning which may have been “lost in translation” with our San Juan guest. The word “rustic” in English implies a simplicity and charm that is rooted in the countryside and this indeed is what the Lemontree has to offer. In Spanish, the meaning of ‘rustico’ is “unpleasantly old-fashioned” and thus implies a somewhat different ambiance. The Lemontree consists of two converted but freshly renovated and remodeled Puerto Rican beach houses located directly on the beach. Because of our location, the ‘salitre’ or salt spray noted by the reviewer is a “beachy” part of the experience. Cleaning the windows and terraces even on a daily basis wouldn’t keep them completely salt free because of the ocean spray carried by the tropical breezes. The water supply in Rincon is very “hard” with a high mineral content. Our suites are simple and energy efficient, which means that between guest visits, glasses and dishes are washed by hand with soap and hot water. In using this method, there inevitably will be some spotting on the glasses/dishes because of the minerals in the water. Short of installing dishwashers and using high phosphate dish soap, the occasional spotted glass is part of a simpler approach to living by the sea.

Second, ‘value’ is a subjective concept. Clearly, ReinitaDelMar indicated by rating the Lemontree with a “2” value rating that his experience of the value offered by the Lemontree did not meet his expectations. From the review, it is difficult to know what the guest’s particular expectations were although the interactions we had with him were more than cordial and pleasant; and in our conversations, he seemed very satisfied. From his review, the “seventies style” solid wood cabinetry, dust on little seen horizontal surfaces and, in his eyes, an unpleasant color scheme, were obviously things that were important to him. In this guest’s value scheme, tranquility, expansive terraces located directly on the ocean and a completely equipped kitchen with daily housekeeping and a high standard of cleanliness did not overcome those other perceived concerns.

Finally, there are a wide variety of Rincon properties available. Those are in varied locations from coastal to mountains, and at all price points, ranging from a five star luxury hotel down to modest hostel dormitories. We wish ReinitaDelMar the best of fortune in finding another property that does meet his particular “high expectations.” For our part, we know the Lemontree offers a phenomenal oceanfront experience at a price unmatched in Rincon.

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147 - 153 of 191 reviews

Reviewed 23 April 2011

We stayed in the Mango suite which was beautifully furnished and had all we required for a comfortable and relaxing vacation with our children (ages 16 & 9). The location was breathtaking with a small beach perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The terrace was large with fantastic views of the ocean and surrounding areas. The indoor/outdoor living environment was a welcome change as nightly we fell asleep to the ocean lapping against the shore and the sound of coqui frogs singing outside the window. Being a "green hotel" the Lemontree owners encourage patrons to conserve water by hanging up/reusing towels & to conserve power by making the most of the natural breezes with open windows & fans in lieu of a/c (which is available in the bedroom should you need it). Boogie-boards, noodles, beach chairs, & a few floats are available for patrons to use when hanging out at the Lemontree's beach ~ a real plus for the children! The property is quiet and peaceful with friendly owners who leave you to enjoy your vacation but are accomodating if their is anything you need. The personal service we received from the get-go was a pleasant change from corporate establishments. Thank you, Todd, Bella, & Francis...we look forward to seeing you again soon!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank dposton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2011

We arrived at the Lemontree after staying in Utuado, PR for a few days. It was a nice change to be right on the water. We were very happy with the room and balcony...which was HUGE! We stayed in the Mango since it had a kitchen and were glad we did. It was fun to get groceries and cook our own meals. The owners were friendly and were available when needed. The check in process was nice, a note on the door welcoming us to our new home for a few days! We loved sitting on the balcony in the morning eating breakfast and watching the pelicans diving for fish! Such a relaxing place to stay! My only complaint, and its not really a complaint, but we couldnt see the sunset from our balcony. However, all you have to do is walk a short distance up the beach to see the most incredible sunsets!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank samarroon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2011

We stayed at the LemonTree Oceanfront Cottages March 25-28, 2011. We booked just a few days before our arrival. Booking was easy over the phone and BellaJane emailed us detailed directions that were easy to follow. We found our little one bedroom apartment with semi-private deck perfectly appointed. Basic plates, bowls, coffee, microwave, and fridge were provided. TV. A/C and ceiling fans. Nice bathroom with good shower. Extensive and fun library of books available to guests. Owners live on site and are full of helpful information. Beach chairs, noodles, snorkeling gear, grill all available for use. The building sits on the seawall, so the beach at low tide is directly in front of the building (at high tide the waves wash up on the sea wall). Nice place to stay that was EZ and hassle free.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LeahWade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2011

Our goal was a "long weekend" from the cold of Chicago. We wanted one flight to somewhere guaranteed to be warm with nice beaches. Rincon Puerto Rico was our choice. Lemon Tree met our needs perfectly. Our room had a balcony the size of a small hotel room that was literally on the water. The sounds of the waves lulled us to sleep. I was anxious about a new place, would it be nice, would it be clean, etc, etc. It was better than I could have imagined. The attitude of the owner was basically that she wanted us to be relaxed and have a good time. It is nice that the owner family lives on the grounds. We would be hard pressed to return to Puerto Rico and not choose Lemon Tree again. My only advice would be to call or e-mail and ask directions to drive the souther route to the hotel. We chose to fly to San Juan and drive across the island. The directions given were the norther route. Our return to San Juan was the souther route and it seemed to have less stop lights.

Room Tip: Call and speak to Bella if you have a question.
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  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank howlynwind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2011

LemonTree Cottages are directly on the ocean. We stayed in the Pina Cottage which had a complete kitchen, nicely furnished, comfortable bed, and the sound of the ocean waves to sooth you to sleep. This cottage had an incredible balcony with an awesome view. Waves crashing in and pelican flying by. I found tons of sea glass right on the beach in front and great swimming, calm and warm. Beach chairs and noodles provided and there's a BBQ that you can use. Our hosts were friendly and helpful and their cat Irene made us feel truly welcome. I could have stayed here for a month. Lots of great beaches and restaurants nearby.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Adventurer_Librarian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2011

We enjoyed our stay at the Lemontree...We stayed in the Coco studio that had a porch right over the ocean and beach. The sound of the waves lulled us asleep each night. We enjoyed our kitchenette, and saved money by cooking in. We did eat out at El Fogon down the road for great fresh snapper and lobster, Tamboo over at the Surfer's beach for lunch, and Ode to Elephants a new Thai food place, that had a fabulous Gauva Margarita! We rode horses with Pintos R Us a group who does rescue horse work around the island. Driving is a little scarey, narrow roads and lots of cars...but a rental is a must to get around. There are too many hills to bike or walk for long.
Great snorkling at Steps Beach. The Lemontree is a perfect laid back place to stay while you travel the island...

Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Susib2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about LemonTree Oceanfront Cottages

Address: Carr 429 Km 4 1 | PO Box 200, Rincon 00677, Puerto Rico
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Rincon
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Rincon
Price Range: $171 - $246 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — LemonTree Oceanfront Cottages 3*
Number of rooms: 7
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

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