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All reviews private beach golf cart short drive flamenco beach an extra bed snorkeling spot crowded beach great snorkeling right roosters and chickens easy access water heater coffee pot buy groceries tiny island small kitchen carlos rosario perfect place to stay
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Reviewed 26 March 2016

Tamarando Estates is unpleasantly reached only by a long, narrow, severely rutted, pot-holed road that can be traversed in places only at 1-2 mph. The drive to Tamarando Beach and the Tamarando Estates is paralleled in part by a gravel roadway leading to the nearby (visible) island dump. The facility we stayed in (rooms 104 & 105) was not equipped with functioning deadbolt locks (we couldn't operate them with our keys) which is a security hazard in this more-or-less remote location. Each of the two-room units contained a single double bed (not queen or king-sized) furnished with homemade appearing tables and nightstands. The kitchen-area cook-tops were mounted on plywood box affairs and the refrigerators appeared well-worn one of which had several prominent door dents. Only the bedrooms were airconditioned with room window air conditioners. The bathrooms are antiquated with old 1950's-type fixtures. There is no hot water available except in the showers which utilize shower nozzle instant heater devices which are activated by a toggle on-off electric switch placed about 12 inches from the shower head. The shower-water stream is very weak and not temperature-adjustable. We were recommended to drink/brush teeth with only bottled water. We chased and killed 7-8 large 2"-3" flying cockroach-type insects in our units over the space of 2 days.There is no daily maid service--so you make-up your own beds, etc.The "beach" is approx. 300 feet down hill--and not sandy. Entry into the water is difficult made so by the rough, rocky shoreline. The buildings near the shoreline seemed to be out of use---the pool was empty. The tab for these 2 units for 2 nites (four adults, one child on a rollaway) was $828.40 including $68.40 taxes--not at all a good value even if one is willing to overlook the deficiencies in this place. We wouldn't go back there at half the price.

Room Tip: Did not see other rooms. But all the units appeared identical from the outside.
  • Stayed: March 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank johnknows741
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carbwatch, Manager at Tamarindo Estates Beach Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2016

We, the management, appreciate when guests take time to review our property. We are sorry our facilities were not according to this guest's liking. We will try and address some of the issues.

We can understand past grievances of many of our guests with the public access road that leads into our property. However, the good news is that just a short time after these guests departed, the Municipality finally paved most of the Tamarindo road, so our guests can now have an easy, mostly smooth road access to Tamarindo Estates.

As for dead bolt locks, Culebra is a very safe, even if a bit 3rd world'ish. We have a large police presence on the island to deter troublemakers.

Here at Tamarindo Estates, with the gated property and caretakers living here full time, we are VERY secure. We issue parking passes upon arrival and tell the guests that we watch carefully who is on the property, and that we have no issues with theft or break-ins. We also have a strict "no visitors" policy to protect the security and tranquility of the property,

We are not located in town in a busy neighborhood where you would more likely experience problems with intruders. We are located on a secluded, prime 60-acre estate with 12 rental apartments and a few auxiliary buildings. Other than that, we are surrounded by virgin nature with lots of trees and vegetation.

The bed sizes are stated in our web site, along with pictures of the rooms. We never claim to offer luxury, only clean and suitable accommodations for people looking for a rustic setting with beautiful views and one of the best snorkeling reefs on the island.

As for our beach being made up of small pebbles and coral pieces, that is just what experienced snorkelers expect. You don't find many fish when you have sandy beaches; example, Flamenco Beach. Fish seek rocky habitats. A plus for many of our novice snorkelers is that the coral is close and runs parallel to the beach. On the other hand, many people that have snorkeled around the world thoroughly enjoy the parts of our reef and the ledges that are a little further out, all accessible from our private beachfront.

In addition to the beautiful, clean and clear water that is host to conch, octopus, sea turtles, and many types of tropical fish, guests at Tamarindo Estates may enjoy the private lagoon. They may enjoy the majestic mangroves, teeming with life, including a large variety of sea birds. The protected bay is also a haven for kayak enthusiasts.

We have a very nice beach house located just steps from the water, with comfortable lounge chairs, tables for picnicking and bathrooms. As far as the pool being empty, it is closed for extensive repairs.

We are not advertising having a pool and our repeat guests have been informed. We would like to add that, the only way to see whether the pool has water or not, is to climb the fence. Someone has climbed it, as evidenced by some broken latticework.

To address a couple of other of this guest's issues; AC in the bedroom, instant hot water heater on the shower, these are pretty typical Puerto Rican, especially here on our small island where many people still do not have city water or electricity.

No, we do not offer daily maid service. This not a hotel of that type, but rental apartment units. However, we do upon request and if coordinated with the manager, provide the service, for an extra cost. However, to quote another recent reviewer, "If you are looking to be waited on and have your room cleaned each day then you probably shouldn't have picked Culebra in the first place."

We never had a request for maid service from these guests. In fact, we never heard from these guests about any complaints. If guests let us know they have a problem, we always do our best to rectify the situation.

We want our guests to be comfortable, be happy and have a great experience. Very many do just that, as evidenced by our yearly repeat bookings, many who have come to be like family with our staff.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2016

We traveled to Culebra in February to escape the winter cold in New York and to scuba dive. Our choice for housing was Tamarindo Estates where we stayed for the entirety of our 18 days on Culebra. There are 12 apartments on the estate housed within three structures. All are facing west. The apartments have a sizeable porch along with a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. The apartments are not large but are quite comfortable. Linens and towels are supplied. The bedroom has an air conditioner that easily cools the bedroom and can also cool the entire apartment if all the windows are closed. We found that air conditioning was not necessary but its there for those who wish it.
All windows had screens so we simply left the windows open all day and night. An interesting anomaly is the hot water supply. Hot water only emanates from the shower. The sinks only produce cold water.
The kitchen has a stove, sink, microwave, toaster, and refrigerator along with plates, glasses, silver ware and pots and pans. Our routine was to eat out for lunch and have dinner at the apartment or vice versa. There are three grocery stores on the island that are well stocked, including alcohol. On mornings when we were scheduled to scuba dive we traveled into town to first have breakfast and then go scuba diving with Culebra Divers. We often went into town around 8 am to find parking near to the Culebra Divers shop. After our dives and lunch in town we arrived back at the apartment around 2-3 pm. Later in the day as sunset approached we would sit on our porch and watch the sun descend, just spectacular!!
It is a short walk down to the beach within the estate. It is home to one of the most elegant shallow reefs we have ever seen in the Caribbean. It is a must snorkel if you are staying at Tamarindo. The estate owners/managers do not allow non-guests onto the properties hence the beach area is a very quiet, private and peaceful place. It is a natural beach that translates into rocky so some care is required while entering and leaving the water.
The estates are at the end of a road that allows access to Tamarindo beach. The road is in need of repair but is passable. To stay at Tamarindo or any rental property on Culebra requires a car. There are taxies but there is no “real” public transportation. There are three car/jeep/golf carts rental establishments on the island. Make a reservation before you arrive.
Tamarindo delivers all that any traveler needs. Its strength is the setting along with the natural sounds of the surrounding forest and the truly beautiful vistas of Luis Pena islet directly to the west, Vieques to the south and on a clear day behind Luis Pena islet it was possible to see Puerto Rico.

  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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8  Thank Peter B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2016

If you love snorkeling and don't mind living simply, this place is for you. The apartments have a view of the sea and the islands beyond. This is an underwater nature preserve where you can see a gorgeous garden of coral, tropical fish, octopus, stingray, turtles and crabs. You can choose from the rocky beach, private to the property, with a shelter and toilets or the sandy beach nearby.
The noisy roosters described in other reports have been removed for the most part. You can still hear some in the distance by the sandy beach. The is indeed not much hot water, but the small apartments are fine enough if you are not looking for luxury, just nature. A fabulous excursion is to Flamenco Beach parking lot, where you can take the hike over the mountain to a section of Tamarindo beach that has beautiful coral gardens and lovely sand. Or continue on the trail to Carlos Rosario beach, which has very large dramatic coral, although a bit farther of a swim out to reach the reef.

Room Tip: Upper rooms have better views of the bay, but all rooms have views. Wifi is spotty.
  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank paula a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2016

We found our stay very private, and enjoyed our very simple little dwelling up on the hill overlooking the bay. The apartment was almost too sparse (paper towels? kleenex? a couple kitchen items like salt and pepper or cooking oil would be so nice). The bed had a plastic undercover I found uncomfortable However... We loved the access to a beach for snorkeling that was very satisfying once we figured out how to get past the rocks and corral and get into the water. The privacy (we were alone in a three apartment building) I hope someone fixes the road to the Estates soon. It is both comical and a bit dangerous riding a golf cart up the hills to get to the estates and to Tamarindo Bay. We managed, but it was desperately in need of road repair! You have to have a good neck to take all the bumps!

Room Tip: The 300 building has a great view.
  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Saljean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2016

For 2 weeks in Jan. my husband and I shared the commanding view of the hills of Luis Pena Nature Preserve and smaller surrounding islands inhabited by turtles, rays and fish, from the red-tiled deck of our practical- but- plain cottage in the acacia woods. Except for the visiting hens and chicks, thrushes , mourning doves and iguanas it was very quiet up here--even with 2 adjoining cottages. After a steep half-mile Jeep drive up a very rutted road past a security gate we carried luggage and groceries up 25 steps to the cottage.(There are lower cottages as well, 12 in all) . While the affable managers, Gail and Dennis Johnson make every to support your comfort, Tamarindo Estates provides like many of rental apartments on Culebra, basic amenities which could do with a bit of upgrading. Our cottage had an extra bed and a futon but standard double bed. Most items are provided except for extras for the beach like coolers, beach chairs,and similar equipment would need to be rented or purchased. Many renters expect to find at least sugar and salt and some other disposables like charcoal for the grill available but that was not the case at Tamarindo Estates. We were well-cooled by the combination of a./c. and ceiling fans and occasional island breezes but at this time there was little or no hot water. The scarcity of supplies reflects Culebra as a whole:everything must be brought in by ferry from the mainland expensively.

A short walk brings you to a secluded strip of pebbly shore: Tamarindo Beach- where you can snorkel if you wear water-shoes and are sure-footed at high tide.
There, green turtles,rays, and even an occasional octopus may be observed. Otherwise read or see what the bay has washed up from the chaises and picnic tables.

One of the world class beaches, Flamenco, is a short drive down the hill where you can body surf and lounge under the palms or buy local foods from kiosks there.
This small island has two roads leading to several gorgeous beaches as well as many choices for meals Tamarindo Estates easily accesses those.

It was a beautiful, restful experience to get away from winter for a bit.

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank riva r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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