We (my husband, his granddaughter and her mother) chose Hacienda Tamarindo and stayed in a 2-room suite. The property is beautiful with gorgeous views of the Caribbean. Our room was one of the few featured on the website, though the décor has been updated considerably, and it was quite comfortable, composed of a king-size bedroom with two very nice armoires, a sitting room with two twin-size daybeds, and a bathroom connecting the two. Only the main bedroom had a/c, but the staff thoughtfully provided a floor fan, which, combined with the ceiling fan, cooled the sitting room sufficiently for sleeping. Unfortunately, our room was adjacent to the kitchen and breakfast area, and since the door to the room was a louvered door, quite a bit of noise filtered through in the mornings. Though to be fair, it didn’t seem as loud as the roosters outdoors, and my husband and I didn’t hear it at all in our bedroom—it was just the sitting room that was affected.
After getting off to a shaky start with a certain staff member (she actually told me that she had received an email I sent the day before departure but didn’t bother to read or respond to it since I would be there the next day! The email was a request for 4 packed lunches since we would arrive mid-afternoon and might be too tired to drive someplace to get a late lunch.), we very quickly warmed to the place. We were all charmed by Barkley, the resident Old English Sheepdog, and Shaboo, the brightly colored parrot. Not to mention the staff, including the aforementioned woman, who were all a delight. The pool area was a real oasis, with a shaded pergola and chaises at one end and a vista overlooking the green hills rolling down to the Caribbean at the other. There were two hammocks strung in shaded areas beside the pool, a water fountain incorporated into the pool that muffled voices very effectively, and two small bench-like alcoves set into the deep end of the pool that were perfect for sitting and reading so that one’s bottom half was submerged while one’s torso was above the waterline.
One thing I really liked about the property was that there seemed to be plenty of private spaces, both sunny and shaded, for tete-a-tetes. Some overlooked the pool, others faced out over the gardens or had views of the Caribbean, but all were nicely situated for privacy. Romantic couples would definitely have no problem finding a space for just themselves. Another thing I really liked were the decorative touches here and there, unexpected little pieces, ranging from an antique wheelchair parked in a corner, to a tiled fountain at the entrance, to a Janus-head hanging up near the breakfast area. The honor bar was also very handy to have around, as we could just make our own drinks and record them in a notebook—however, I would have enjoyed having a blender there to make frozen drinks, and there was no ice cream in the freezer as described on the website. There was also a small air-conditioned sitting room with a lending library, decent selection of board games, and a computer with high-speed access for guest use.
Breakfast is included in the room price at HacTam, so we ate there every morning before heading out. The menu consists of toast, various kinds of eggs, fruit, a choice of meat, hot or cold cereals, various juices, and a daily special. I’m trying to lose a bit of weight, so I opted for fruit and cold cereals until our last day when the special was French toast stuffed with cream cheese and guava—tell me, dear reader, what would YOU have ordered? I simply had to do it, and it was delicious. I sampled the others' omelets, eggs Benedict, and spicy hash browns and they were all very good.
HacTam is just a short walk away from the Inn on the Blue Horizon, which is where we went to eat upon arrival. The email that I had sent requesting lunches on the first day was ignored, so we were grateful to have a place we could grab lunch without having to sort through the rental car process first. We did order the lunches for the next day, which were a disappointment, I'm sorry to say. Three out of the four sandwiches were made incorrectly, and the bread was stale on all of them. Still, we were happy to have them to snack on whilst out exploring the deserted beaches with no facilities--and the fruit and the packaged chips and cookies were all just fine. It's a great concept they have going with the cooler backpack, but based on our one experience with it, it could stand some more attention to detail.
All in all, we were extremely pleased with the HacTam. It has a wonderful charm that, if you let it, will ease into your body and mind and embrace you with its serenity. My husband and I will definitely return, and his daughter made a reservation for a stay later this summer before we departed. Despite the small setbacks upon our arrival, I would still rate our experience with 5 stars (or circles, as they use here on TripAdvisor).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Vieques’ Hacienda Tamarindo offers 17 very special rooms, each lovingly and creatively designed and decorated by owner, Linda Vail -- her swan song after over 20 years as a commercial interior designer. Each guest room and public space is unique; imaginatively spiced with a lifetime’s accumulation of art, antiques, and collectibles. An ancient Tamarind tree in the lobby atrium majestically rises three stories through the center of the building. Terraces, courtyards, and sitting rooms offer ample space for relaxation and conversation. The Hacienda is perched on a hilltop with spectacular 180 degree views of the Caribbean -- from sunrise to sunset; looking down on the bedazzling, ever-changing myriad of blue, emerald and turquoise waters. Caribbean trade winds and lazy paddle fans keep you cool and comfortable. Here, you can fall asleep to a tree frog serenade and awake to the smell of jasmine on the gentle sea breeze. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hacienda Tamarindo Hotel Isla De Vieques