Las Casitas Village - a Waldorf Astoria Resort - Fajardo Puerto Rico (ne side of PR)

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  1. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    In late November we had a four night stay at Las Casitas using the Q3FN certs. We had a 3BR villa reserved and not one family member was able to join us. Oh well, their loss.

    The drive from SJU took nearly an hour; we left SJU around 3pm. While most directions will steer you to 66, then to 3, etc etc, we really enjoy 187 which you can catch just outside SJU when exiting the airport. 187 in my opinion is one of the most beautiful roads in all of Puerto Rico, usually one is whizzing by beach/ocean views or driving in a tree/palm canopied area, simply a marvelous drive, you’ll hook back up with 3 later. I wouldn't take 187 all the way from SJU to the resort at night; you miss out on all the beauty.

    Upon arrival we were greeted by Will our bellman and escorted into the Manor House which serves as the nerve center for Las Casitas, but not before Will offered us either fresh iced guava juice or a bottle of ice cold water. Bottled water is free at Las Casitas, they didn’t refill our room but we were able to take as many as we needed from the large fridge in the Manor House. Also in the Manor house are two PC’s with a printer, these are free to use and rarely busy.

    Our bellman Will walked us to our room, taking his time to talk about Las Casitas and the nearby El Conquistador. By the time we got to the room, our luggage was already inside and our car had been parked as close to our room as possible, NICE.

    We stayed in the south villas; these seemed to be the most private/quiet. Even numbered villas are ocean facing and odd number villas are parking lot/golf course facing. Our 3br villa comprised a single floor in the villa itself. The even numbered south villas are all situated on top of a high bluff that overlooks the ocean. Our particular villa had a balcony that was large enough to easily accommodate a 4 person table and two chaise lounges with table in between the chaises. It was sooooo quiet at night, the frogs calling, ocean waves could be heard off in the distance crashing on shore, and all the while a warm ocean breeze caresses your body. Mrs. Sweet Willie & I ended each night relaxed in the lounges enjoying a drink, ok plural drinks[​IMG]

    The villa contains a kitchenette (stove, dishwasher, full sized fridge w/icemaker, and microwave) with a 3 stool counter. There is also a large living room. Each of the 3br's have their own bathroom w/shower/toilet.

    Breakfast was free as I’m Diamond but is not offered at Las Casitas, instead one takes the golf cart (or shuttle van if raining) to the El Conquistador where one has two choices of where to have breakfast. Las Brisas restaurant is the large restaurant that overlooks the ocean; it isn’t the greatest view and is JAMMED packed with everyone else. We far preferred taking our breakfast in the quiet fountain court inside of the El Conquistador. No view but sanity and we were getting better views when we were out on the beach or pool so no loss IMO. To get to the El Conquistador, one can either walk up the hill/steps or call the golf cart driver to come and pick you up.

    We took the resort boat out to Palomino Island a couple days. Lots of fun but holy crap expensive. The burger I’m very sure has TVP (textured vegetable protein) in it; it was NOT a good burger at all. A bucket of 5 beers (cans) on ice will run you $27.76 after tax, the cans are only 10oz (look closely). So do yourself a favor and bring in your own which we did after the first sticker shock day. A six of the same beer will cost you $7 at the nearby grocery store called Amigo (3 miles from the resort). Amigo does not have a good champagne selection but does have some ok cavas, decent selection of beers and of course foodstuffs.

    At the El Conquistador we dined at both the steakhouse restaurant and the Chinese restaurant. Steakhouse was meh but then again, I think I cook better steaks at home than a steakhouse does. The Chinese restaurant was surprisingly good. The duck and lobster with black bean sauce were satisfying. (As good as my local good places? No, but great for Puerto Rico).

    One of the best meals we had in Puerto Rico was at a place ¼ mile from the resort entrance, a place called La Estacion www.laestacionpr.com TERRIFIC service and good food in an outdoor setting, well worthwhile. Kevin is owner and chef. We had a number of items: green papaya salad with ginger sofrito vinaigrette, Caribbean chicken wings with a spicy passion fruit sauce (I’m not a chicken wing guy, these were delicious), mofongo w/skirt steak, spare ribs w/guava BBQ sauce.

    We did have a spa day; 80 minute massages ran $165. I didn’t have time but I’m sure if I asked around, there would be a spa nearby we could have driven to which would have been a better price and just as good. Massages were fine.

    The pool in the south villas is not that large or luxurious but we found it far less crowded than the El Conquistador pools that we were allowed to use.

    We enjoyed not having valet parking as it was easy to simply walk down the stairs to the parking lot and grab our own car. Just to get to the valet stand would have been a farther walk that it was to our own car.

    While we really enjoyed our stay, I'm not sure I would book this property if paying, for the price of a week's stay, one could find a house to rent and stock it with food for less.
     
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  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    I haven't stayed at Las Casitas Village but in 2003 I attended the Freddie Awards and won a door prize of 4 free nights at the El Conquistador (back when it was a Wyndham). I received a junior suite down on the Marina, and it was really blissful. The rooms were a bit tired, toileteries pretty low end, but being at the edge of the property was great and sitting out on my second floor large balcony and listening to the crashing of the waves at night was lovely.

    The main El Conquistador property is a huge factory to be sure. But what's great is the breathtaking views especially as you descend the cliff in the funicular down the side of the property.

    I did very much enjoy the place, though it's huge and I thought the spa was ok at best.
     
  3. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    the two funicular cars can sure get crowded sometimes !![​IMG]
     

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