M.D. Boston, MA – May 2015

Villa de Palma

“The villa is very spacious and immaculately clean. There is a large atrium with very pleasant acoustics. The air conditioning system is divided into zones to spare the owners from the ridiculous electrical rates on the island, but is very powerful and provides immediate relief when breezes through the house are not sufficient.

The immediate surroundings are lovely. The patio overlooks a pond with interesting black-and-white ducks, a tree where small black birds with unusual calls roost, and a pool. I opted for the nearby beach, within a 5-minute walk, over the pool. Along the walk are little crabs that dart in and out of holes near the path, more unusual tropical birds, and, after dark, mesmerizing sounds of birds and tree frogs from the adjacent forest. Behind this beach is a small open-air restaurant for when you’d prefer a 10-minute walk along the beach to cooking or driving anywhere.

I felt very safe in this community, security is very tight and the surrounding fence is not something anyone would want to climb. I even got a knock on the door from an observant security guard who noticed that I had left the dome light on my rental car on.

The owner, Alma, provides a detailed welcome letter with information about the villa, local area, and PR in general, and there are more detailed resources in the villa, including a notebook with laminated sheets for various day trips (e.g. Camuy Caverns + Arecibo, El Yunque + Luquillo + Fajardo). The local manager, Alex, shows you around the villa when you arrive, answers any questions you have, and is always on call to help. I only needed basic shopping advice and directions to a nice local body surfing beach I’d heard about, but I had the feeling that if I’d had engine trouble up in the mountains somewhere, Alex would have bailed me out.

The island itself is magical. My two highlights were the sights and sounds of El Yunque rain forest, and the enormous Arecibo radio telescope. Both had me slack-jawed in amazement .

I had a great week in Puerto Rico. I highly recommend this villa.”

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