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Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn 2.5

Luquillo, Puerto Rico

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • A small family-friendly environment with low prices
  • Free continental and hot breakfast served daily
  • An uncrowded beach across the street and more options nearby
  • Good location for beginning surfers; lessons available
  • Rooms have coffeemakers and flat-screen TVs
  • Two and three bedroom options
  • Take-away beer, wine and bottled water sold on-site
  • Owners are environmentally conscious
  • Beach chairs and towels available at no charge
  • Free parking in a gated lot
  • Wi-Fi is available in common areas and deluxe rooms

Cons

  • Rooms have patterned bedspreads and basic furnishings
  • No pool on the property
  • Standard rooms do not have mini-fridges or microwaves (available for an extra charge)
  • The neighborhood can feel a little barren for some
  • A car rental is highly recommended
  • Rooms have at least a two-night minimum stay requirement

Bottom Line

This hotel has reopened following the impact of Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Travelers should note that the island of Puerto Rico wassignificantly impacted by the storm. This quiet, 17-room inn less than an hour from San Juan is across the street from a big beach -- one that receives more locals and surfers than tourists. Guests can borrow towels and chairs (for free) and enjoy the wide, nearly empty stretch of brown sand during the day (starting with the spectacular sunrises), and fall asleep to the sound of waves at night. Basic rooms have reasonable rates, walk-in showers, and balconies, but patterned bedspreads are sure to turn some off. Staff are friendly and present at the main event -- breakfast -- a great time to exchange travel suggestions with fellow guests. There are a few neighborhood restaurants within walking distance, though a car is recommended to explore nearby beaches, food stalls, and the El Yunque National Forest. The property has a gated parking lot for extra security.

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Scene

A laid-back environment for those who want something slightly off the beaten track

The local setting of this slow-paced Luquillo neighborhood, located right off the highway, might worry some guests upon arrival -- but that concern typically fades once the beach comes into view. Calm turquoise waves and whitecaps are a pretty contrast against beige sand. Surfers dot the landscape along with just a few beachcombers, but younger folks might find this part of town a little too quiet. The property mostly attracts families with little ones, singles toting a good book, and older couples in search of peace.

Guests will first park along the street and walk toward the simple three-floor coral and white building to check in -- a process that involves receiving a hand-held gate opener and short tutorial on how to park the car. The little reception room with a front desk is where a bright mix of beach towels and chairs are offered (for free); beer, wine, and water are also sold here for cheap prices. 

This is not a large property and it is rare to see fellow guests except during breakfast on the second floor. The communal terrace has a few sun loungers and tables with views of the ocean, and several dining tables under the shade. A small breezeway offers local information, as well as the main buffet table, where coffee and continental fare such as pastries and guava jelly are offered in the morning. A hot breakfast -- one special per day -- is served by the staff on the outdoor tables, and some guests may choose to socialize and swap travel tips. At night, most guests use the car to head to other parts of the area for dinner -- therefore, there is no evening action at the property -- just the sound of waves, or occasionally of guests moving their cars in and out of the parking gate.

Location

Along the island's east coast, about an hour from San Juan, with outstanding sunrises

Far from tourist crowds and city hotels is the sleepy town of Luquillo. It's a 45-minute drive northeast from the San Juan airport and offers easy access to a number of spacious beaches. The immediate neighborhood might feel run-down, with some buildings no longer in use, but those willing to seek out the specialness of the area will find an authentic slice of Puerto Rico. Case in point, a sunrise walk in the morning where one will feel like they have miles beach practically to themselves.

During check-in, guests receive a map of these beaches (some are not free) and what they are best suited for: snorkeling, surf lessons, or watching Leatherback turtle nesting. Guests who seek out Luquillo are also interested in making use of the nearby El Yunque National Forest for hiking and bird-watching -- a popular conversation topic at breakfast. The immediate area is quiet, especially at night, so those looking for nightlife will not find it here. There are plenty of restaurants within driving distance though, including the area's famous "kiosks," or food stalls -- more than 50 of them -- along the highway near the property.

Rooms

Simple, budget-friendly rooms with dated bedspreads 

This three-floor building has 17 rooms with basic Caribbean decor including patterned bedspreads and pale wood furnishings. All come with at least a two-night minimum stay. Rooms have AC units, coffeemakers, work desks, ice buckets, ceiling fans, flat-screen TVs, and balconies. Rooms on the second and third floors have better views, since the first floor leads to the parking lot. Balconies on these floors, though, tend to have high barriers that block the view when guests are seated.

Each Standard Room has either one queen bed or two double beds, as well as walk-in showers. Each Deluxe Room has either a queen or king bed, mini-fridge, and Wi-Fi (rooms with king beds also have microwaves; in other rooms, microwaves can be requested for an extra fee.)

The Casita Caribe Apartment is the largest unit on the property, with a private porch facing the ocean across the street. This has three bedrooms (two with queen beds and one with two twins) and two full baths. There is a three-night minimum.

The Green Room is the two-bedroom unit and is powered by solar panels. It has and has several other "green" features, including solar ceiling fans, solar LED lights and lamps, solar hot water and pump, and a rainwater shower.

Beach

A terrific, tranquil beach that's popular with surfers

The property does not have a pool, but the beach across the street is seemingly endless in either direction. With constant waves that are not too big, this is an ideal beach for swimmers who like a little wave action, kids who want to boogie board, or those looking to learn how to surf. The staff recommends one particular surf instructor who will set up shop right in front of the property.

Guests in search of solitude can walk in either direction and rarely run into another person, especially in the morning during sunrise. There are several more beaches in the area, each offering unique attributes -- during check-in, guests receive a map of these, along with nearby stores for essentials and restaurant suggestions. The front desk is where guests can pick up beach towels and beach chairs at no charge, or buy drinks from the small list of beer, wine, and bottled water. There are no laws in Puerto Rico against drinking on the beach, so it is common to see people enjoying a can on local beer on the sand.

Features

Free breakfast, parking, and Wi-Fi (in certain areas)

Large pots of coffee and a simple continental breakfast spread featuring local pastries and jellies is offered in the breezeway. Guests are also able to sit down at one of the tables on the second-floor terrace overlooking the ocean and enjoy the hot daily special, such an omelette with home fries, scrambled eggs, french toast, or breakfast pizza. This is free for guests and there is a tip jar for service.

The owners have installed energy efficient additions to the property including low-energy lighting, recycling programs, and a compost system for the kitchen.

Parking is free, and guests can access free Wi-Fi in the common areas, namely the second-floor terrace and breezeway.

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Address

A3 Ocean Blvd, Luquillo 00773-2264, Caribbean