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Indiana, United States
Debt free empty nesters...ready to stretch our wings. Life is good and we plan on making it even better. This blog is mostly about our trips to Vieques Puerto Rico, with a few odds and ends thrown in about our life after the mortgage.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

First Impressions from Hilltop...

Well...we made it to the island.  YES!!!!!!!!!!!

 Arrived a little before 5pm. Called Maritzas from the tarmac as soon as we got out of the plane. They told me to just go to the second floor of the airport and they would take care of things. Maritzas now has a fully functioning desk at the airport. We had all our paperwork filled out in less than 10 minutes and were on our way. Great job Maritzas! That desk at the airport opens at 7am and closes at 6pm.

Pulled out of the airport and called Barry about our first rental, the Hilltop apartment. I explained to Barry where I thought the house was and he said I was right and that I knew more than his usual renters regarding the island. Hah...made me almost feel like a local. Lorrie and I were at the place in 10 minutes.



Now maybe we shouldn't, but Lorrie and I base a lot on our first impressions of different rentals.  The Hilltop apartment  is just wonderful. The views are spectacular and the house is well appointed. I just can't believe that we payed over 3 times what the Hilltop costs when we were at  Los Frutales in November. Based on first impressions I'm giving Hilltop a high 9 and I have to lower Los Frutales to a 5 because I realize now that we way overpaid for that house. Lorrie is sitting here in the living area and she just said that the breezes here are better than at Casa Dos Chivos.  If things continue this Hilltop apartment is going to be top dog in our book. Rental price for the week was $650. That gets us 1100k sq ft, wi-fi, beach chairs/coolers, kitchen (it's small..but nice), 2 bedrooms and two bathrooms  and 850 sq ft of terrace that has a 180 degree view. Puerto Rico at night is really something to see from it and best of all, it's so damn quiet in the house this evening that Lorrie and I can't believe it.

After checking out the house and talking a bit with Barry, Lorrie and I headed to Morales for provisions. Spent $140 on groceries. That did include one bottle of Glenlivet and one bottle of wine. We couldn't find any gin at Morales?  Went back to the house and unloaded groceries and then made our way into Esperanza. Went to Duffys for 2 angus burgers with the works. Ran into Tyler on our way out (he says "you guyz here, again?)....finally feels like we made it.

Nothing but smiles our first night on the island...

:-)

12 comments:

  1. Curt and Lorrie, Am very happy for you, have followed your blog and trip advisor posts for the past few months, and can't wait for our first visit (3rd trip to PR, but 1st to Vieques) in 3 weeks. Especially looking forward to hear how your hobiecat trip goes, since we are interested in doing the same. I'm sorry our paths won't cross this trip, would have been awesome to have a Corona or two with you, but if we fall in love with the island as you have, perhaps we'll get another opportunity in the future. Have fun!!

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  2. Thanks Jimmy. I remember seeing you post on TripAdvisor. I hope you like the island as much as we do. I'm sure I'll end up building a number of cabanas this trip, like always. Maybe you can find one of them and toast a Corona to us, in spirit. Weather is perfect here right now, but it always is in Feb. Jorge, the Hobiecat owner wrote me last night and ask if we wanted to hook up on Wednesday of next week. I have to check the weather to see if maybe it'll work out. Thanks for commenting.

    Curt

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  3. Hey guys...Adrienne here -- my husband Hal and I met you on the beach yesterday. Thanks for the lovely conversation. And this is a great blog! We'll stay tuned for sure.

    Wondering if you could give us contact info for the Hilltop Apartment. We'd like to take a look before we leave the island if possible. Thanks and maybe we'll see you again this week! Have a great day.

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  4. Never mind!! Scrolled back through a couple of blog entries and found the link. Thanks!

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  5. In reading your blog, I notice you stay at different rentals around the island. I thought I would recommend a place we stayed once, and have booked again this year. The views are wonderful, appartment fabulously outfitted(icluding thoose wonderful backpack chairs and a kayak too) and very comfortable furnishing! I can only wish I had a bathroom as nice as the rentals! But the main reason I am mentionin it is the price is much less than some of the places you have mentioned, yet from the pictures you show, I would say just as nice. We paid $700 for a week(off season). It is called "besos del caribe" and we found it on homeaway :)

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  6. Love the blog and we are HUGE Vieques fans as well. My husband and I first visited Vieques last June. We had an excess of Starwood points so we put them to use at the W. We quickly learned that this was not the type of place to stay on the island. We vowed to return the following June (this year) and rent a house. SO.....we have our TWO weeks reserved at Casa Angie in Esperanza and this time we are taking the kids (girl 11 & boy 6) and we also have an appointment with a realtor. THIS IS WHERE WE WILL SPEND OUR VACATIONS AND PERHAPS RETIRE!!

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    1. Well it sounds like you've definately got the bug. I think the more you go and the more places you stay at, the more you'll fall in love with the place. There are so many beautiful houses to rent on the island, most with gorgeous vistas. As you've probably already figured out, Vieques is not for everyone. But those of us that do like it seem to be cut from the same cloth.

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    2. Hello, Could you tell me some fo the pros and cons between casa dos chivos and hill top? We have never stayed in this section of the island, and would like to try it. Thanks!

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    3. As far as the Los Chivos area I really can't think of any cons. The views are spectacular and the trade winds wonderful. Your centrally situated so heading to Isabel or Esperanza is a breeze and your just minutes from the refuge. Now regarding the two rentals they are both very reasonable with Hilltop being the cheapest. Casa Dos Chivos is more of a complete thought in regard to the decorating and the overall theme. Michael and Patrick have done a great job. Think Pier One. Casa Dos Chivos has a larger kitchen and a larger bedroom but Hilltop has two bedrooms and way better views. We love the veranda on Casa Dos Chivos but we also love the expansive terrace with Hilltop (it's huge). You park kinda on the edge, just barely off the road at Hilltop (it truelly is the top of the hill), you pull either into a garage or off the road on the back side of the house with Casa Dos Chivos. Casa Dos Chivos has air conditioning, Hilltop doesn't (but we never use it anyway). Casa Dos Chivos has a nicer bathroom, but Hilltop has two full bathrooms. Casa Dos Chivos has a downstairs but it will never be rented below you unless you rent the whole thing. Hilltop has Barry, the owner, living below (but we never heard him). Overall I would say Casa Dos Chivos is nicer but Hilltop has much better views and is probably a little quieter. It's a toss up for us but if we were to pick we would probably lean toward Hilltop, mostly because of the views and the few coins you save. Niether of these places are over the top, blow you away...like Quinta Jabali or Vista dos Mares (which is just a house or two down from Hilltop). What they are is comfortable and well appointed. If you have any other questions or I've missed something you can email me or just post here again. We have video of the inside of both places on this blog.

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  7. Thanks Curt, that is helpful! I didnt realize Hilltop did not have A/C. For that reason along we would stick with Dos Chivos as we would not want to give that up at night in the bedrooms. I did want to ask about the beach chairs. Our usual rental has the awesome back pack chairs we found to be a life saver in allowing us to "camp out" where the car wont take you! Do you recall if Dos Chivos has them?

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    1. No they didn't have them the last time we stayed at the place. The have plenty of your regular beach chairs, which are stored in a room in the lower level along with the wahser/dryer. I've used the back-pack chairs your talking about and your right they are great. If your going in late Jan -Feb you'll not need air at Hilltop, Casa Dos Chvos has good air flow but not what we experienced at Hilltop. We actually got a little chilly at Hilltop because of the constant breeze. I can't say anything about other times of the year. I think you'll like Michael and Patricks place. It's very comfortable, I nice place to return to after a long day at the beach. They have a nice library too.

      Glad we could help.
      :-)

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  8. It is a place we will consider for sure! In Villa Borriquen, right up the hill for Anabor Suites, is where we have always rented. The place is fabulous in every way; very quiet, great equipment(kitchen, beds, beach chairs and kayak too!), amazing ocean views and spotlessly clean! We love it there and for 700(including taxes) in the off season (we always go in July) we have stuck wiht it! The rates have now gone to 800 in the off season, I am guessing partialy from all their fabulous reviews now they have a few years going fro them, so we figured we might as well see what else is out there at that price point. The only thing we would change about our "regular" is its proximity to the gate, but without losing the quiet! Casa dos Chivos seemed to meet both of them :) We are jealous you will be there so soon!

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