I just returned from a lovely vacation in Rincon, Puerto Rico. I had booked the trip before hurricane Maria hit the island and decided not to cancel my plans because I knew that by February, Rincon would be needing tourists to come back again. And besides that, I love going to Rincon each winter.
There were three of us staying at the Casa Serena, including my 85 yr old mother. It was our first time staying in this house. Originally, we were booked into a different house which we have frequented over the years, but due to nearby construction disturbances, the owner advised us to not use their house at that time.
So I found nearby Casa Serena to be available for the same dates. The owner, Nancy, was very accommodating for our last minute change of plans.
We had seen photos on the website of the palm trees in the garden, but Maria had wiped those out. However, Nancy has made sure that the garden and patio are in tip top shape for guests. The lawn is finished and there are ample chairs and chaise lounges to choose from to relax and soak in the beautiful view of the ocean. We saw some amazing sunsets from the garden most evenings as we sipped wine and ate snacks.
There is shade provided by awnings for anyone needing a respite from the sun, right by the beach. There's also an outdoor shower to rinse off sand etc after going on the beach.
There was a lot of the beach lost to Maria in this neighborhood of Rincon, but there is plenty to sit on and walk along by Casa Serena. The beach is coming back, we noticed a difference in the time during which we were there. I went snorkeling most days in front of the house and swam parallel to the beach. I actually saw a lot more fish than I have in previous years in the same area. It's a very safe spot for swimming and snorkeling. The pelicans are still as entertaining to watch as always, as they soar and dive for fish.
The neighborhood is pretty quiet, you can hear a rooster crowing now and then and occasionally some local dogs will make themselves heard. It was lovely hearing the waves every night before falling asleep.
The house itself is great. It has a fully equipped kitchen and a dining table with a view of the ocean. Or you can eat outside on the patio as there is another large table there, with an overhead fan/light. There are plenty of beach chairs and towels provided. We felt very much at home during our stay. It was also a very peaceful and tranquil setting.
All the shops and services in Rincon are open for business as usual. I actually got my hair trimmed in a local salon ($12) as it's much less expensive than in New York. We also used the library in town. Anyone can borrow books, you just sign them out. The supermarkets are fully stocked, you can pretty much get anything there that you can get in the States.
Be sure to explore other areas of Rincon, including beaches that are a five or ten minute drive from Casa Serena. There are many little bars and restaurants to choose from in those locations too.
Thank you to Nancy for providing us with a great place to stay at the Casa Serena.
CASA SERENA - Al & Jeanne from Denver
We visited Puerto Rico for a week late January, 2018 and stayed at Casa Serena. We were thinking of postponing the visit because of concerns with hurricane damage, but both Nancy and old friends of ours who live in Isabela convinced us that many areas, including Rincon and much of the western portion of the Island, had bounced back and was open for business. We are glad we went; it turned out there would have been no reason to postpone. Although we could still see signs of damage in many areas and some businesses were still closed, Casa Serena was pretty much fully restored (except for portions of the landscaping), and the Rincon area was definitely up and running. Most businesses were open, including stores, restaurants, and most tourist attractions. We had no problem getting groceries, beer, ice, water, and you name it, and all of the roads we travelled were open. Power and water were on and uninterrupted at Casa Serena. We also went to San Juan and toured the streets of Old San Juan and the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, the several-hundred-year-old fort that surrounds Old San Juan. Old San Juan was definitely open for business, the tour of the fort was very interesting. Our friends who grew up in Puerto Rico were not there during Maria but moved back down there to retire in October. They said most of the vegetation was stripped and it looked like an atom bomb had gone off at that time. However, by January, most of the vegetation looked almost normal because of how fast things grow in the tropics. The beaches looked like they were nearly as beautiful as ever, including the one directly in front of Casa Serena.
As far as Casa Serena, we loved the place. We have rented several ocean-front places in the past, and Casa Serena has pretty much everything we look for, particularly a nice yard with places to just sit and watch the waves roll in. You can even sit right on the sandy beach directly in front of the yard. The unit was equipped with most of what you would need to prepare your own meals, although there are plenty of restaurants within a few minutes drive, and some within walking distance. Nancy was very helpful in providing us with information on Rincon. I always seem to sleep better when I can hear the waves through the night, which is the case at Casa Serena. You do kind of have to get used to the neighborhood sounds like the roosters crowing early in the morning. We would recommend Casa Serena to anyone who likes tropical get-aways.
This was a great location right on the beach. I enjoyed relaxing on the beach, floating in the calm water, eating mangos from the yard and watching the hen with her chicks run around the yard. It's close to town and would be walkable if you didn't have a car. I did rent a car from Sandra at Angelo's - she picked me up at the airport in Mayaguez and took me back to the airport for my flight home which was above and beyond! Nancy, the owner, reached out to make sure I arrived safely and had everything I needed to relax and enjoy. The neighbors had been renting the unit next door for years and were wonderful company helping me navigate my way around Rincon during my stay. It could use a few upgrades to towels and beach chairs, but overall I would recommend and hope that I will be able to go back next year.
Casa Serena is on the beach in the Estrella district of Rincon.It is comfortable - 2 bed rms and 2 baths , has a sizeable kitchen/ living room space ,good porch looking out at the ocean and 25 yards of lawn before the ocean.Has a washer & dryer.Nearby snorkling ,golf and surfing.Easy access via Aguaduilla airport(45 min drive )
Great place, reasonably priced. Clean and well kept, with all the essentials needed. Owner and manager very service oriented and cared about the quality of our stay. We liked that the location was close enough to many activists and events, but was quiet and secluded.
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