We stayed in a wonderful apartment on Vieques, PR - "Casa Ladera" - when we went in June for a friend's wedding. We had been to Vieques before and were charmed to discover Casa Ladera. The owners were warmly and genuinely accommodating, there is a large, private pool, barbecue area near pool, gated yard, a view of the ocean, huge apartment, wi-fi, dish TV - there are three apartments for rent, one is a
darling 'casita'. [--] . We could walk a few steps to a beach, or, of course, drive to any number of absolutely beautiful beaches. We highly recommend Vieques generally, but Casa Ladera was a very special find.
My boyfriend and I stayed at Casa Ladera with another couple, in the casita. We arrived in Vieques and were picked up by Jen, who helped us track down a missing piece of luggage before taking us back to the house.
I had spent time on the website and thought I knew what I was getting, but I was still pleasantly surprised when I got there, the reality exceeded my office daydreams.
The casita is tucked into the property, surrounded by palm trees and flowering plants. It feels tropical and secret. We had a lime tree just outside our door, coconut palms and bouganvilla, a rooftop deck that was perfect for that first cup of coffee in the morning.
Inside the casita, with terra cotta tiles throughout and warm carribean colors on the walls, wonderful wooden and wicker furniture make you feel comfortable. The kitchen is not just an attempt, it's the real deal. Full size refrigerator and freezer, dishwasher, stove, microwave, and a full set of plates, silverware, cooking utensils and new outdoor grills complete the set up. And let's not forget the required blender for pina coladas!
Towels (and yes, even robes) are provided for you. The washer and dryer outside the door are an extra bonus, in my opinion.
Casa Ladera is set in a residential neighborhood, one house away from the beach. The beach is a good starting point on your first day, with a little snorkeling and a little beach combing. Yes, you can swim here, but there are other beaches that are more spectacular, and a LOT of them, so try a different one every day. The beaches on Vieques are amazing and you will want to visit them all. Jen and Lauren can tell you what ones will be best depending on what you want: snorkeling, sunning, beachcombing, etc.
We rented a car from Jen and Lauren, it was so convenient and perfect for what we were using it for, as it was an SUV. Some of hte best beaches are at the end of long dirt roads, you do not want to be making that trip in a rented Corolla.
The pool area is pretty, and very well kept. We were given Jen and Lauren's phone numbers when we got there, and saw one or both of them on the property every day. Had there been a problem, they were immediately accessible.
There are several markets in town, and we found that you can basically get anything you want. There is really not much in the way of "tourist" souvenirs...because this hidden jewel is not yet Americanized. You will feel the local flavor everywhere you go, so embrace it! This island, and Casa Ladera, are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity....at least till next year!
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A friend who was marrying in Vieques booked our stay at Casa Ladera, having toured the property a year ago. Not knowing much about the property or the island before going in, I can now say that Vieques -- and especially Casa Ladera -- rates as one of my best vacations ever.
My husband and I and a friend rented the Cassita for a week and were absolutely enchanted by its layout, fully-loaded kitchen (complete with dishwasher and full-size fridge) and washer/dryer just outside the door. In addition, ceiling fans in every room and louvered windows kept the temperature perfect indoors 24-hours a day (though if we'd been warm, we could've opted to close the windows and use the A/C).
From the terra cotta tiling, to the private roof deck to the provided bathrobes and linens, owners Jen and Lauren seem to have thought of everything. Add to that a setting on a quiet residential street just a minute's walk from the beach and a large pool/patio area with two brand-new gas grills, a fridge and outdoor bathroom and you have no reason to leave the property (though you'll want to to check out all the island has to offer in the way of beaches and sights).
As vegetarians, my husband and I loved having a full kitchen and there's actually a natural foods store just a couple of minutes' drive away that stocks vegetarian friendly foods -- from flax seed to Amy's veggie burgers.
Casa Ladera is a first rate place to stay. It's clean, cheerful, well-decorated and you can tell that the owners take pains to keep the property in tip-top shape and are constantly making improvements. Still, the vibe is the best thing about the place. The owners are friendly, flexible and reachable 24/7, have rental cars available for guests, have encyclopedic knowledge of the island and the property even comes complete with a dog (shout out to El Capitan!), for pet owners who may be missing four-legged family members.
We can't wait to go back.
My husband, 2 year old son and I just came back from staying at Casa Ladera. The minute we enter their property I felt relaxed and at ease. Everything you need for a vacation is there. A/C, pool, washer and dryer and mangos (tons of them) dropping from the trees. Jen and Lauren were way beyond helpful, the place was organized enough that we really didn't need them. The house is set up in the right spot, food, beaches and the airport were close by. We did not feel that there was a theft problem at all, we even left clothing out side to dry.
If you want to mingle and be surround by tons of people go to a hotel, if you want a vacation and a place to relax I would choose this place.
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My wife and I along with our 2-year old daughter stayed at Casa Ladera for the week of Memorial Day 2006. I picked Casa Ladera based on all the positive reviews I'd read that indicated it was a great place to stay with small children and the ease of accessing information from their website. I'm so glad we stayed there because we had our best family vacation to date.
Vieques itself is a jewel. Easy to get to (from Cincinnati), beautiful beaches, great restaurants, and friendly people. But I do have to say that staying at Casa Ladera contributed a ton to the great experience we had.
Casa Ladera is located in a neighborhood on the north side of Vieques, close to the airport, just outside Isabell Segundo. There is a grocery store and gas station nearby. It's only a 15 minute drive over to Esperanza and beaches on the south side of the island.
The grounds of Casa Ladera are beautiful, immaculately maintained with lots of different flowers and fruit trees. The pool is huge with a nice set of steps and a ledge that my daughter could safely play on while we floated nearby. There is also an outdoor grill and fridge by the pool.
We stayed in the detatched Casita, with 2 large bedrooms and a nice living/dining/kitchen space. The decor was comfortable Caribbean casual. The amenities were up-to-date and included a/c in all rooms, better appliances than we have at home, and thoughtful touches such as beach chairs, coolers, and a homemade guide covering all the beaches and restaurants on the island. There is a rooftop patio with chairs that offers views of the water nearby.
My favorite thing was that there is a beach literally 50 yards down the road from Casa Ladera. We went for many walks on the beach in the afternoon and I found the snorkeling was fairly good right off the beach (on the right side).
My daughter's favorite thing other than the pool were the neighborhood dogs who would stop by to greet us every day. Her favorite was a jack russel / chiwawa mix (?) named Capitan who could always be found sleeping in the shade. He would even accompany us on our walks down to the shore.
My wife's favorite thing were her afternoon poolside naps.
We rented a Jeep Cherokee from Casa Ladera which was necessary to reach some of the more remote beaches. It was in great shape and has me thinking about buying a Jeep as my next vehicle.
The owners, Jen & Lauren, stopped by once during the week to say hello. They are super nice and have done really well in providing such a wonderful place to stay. We would stay there again in a heartbeat!
Now if I only had more vacation time...