This little corner of paradise is located on the 18th floor of Playa Azul 1, a beachfront building in the seaside town of Luquillo. From its spacious 27 ft balcony one looks out on an unobstructed, glorious sweep of tropical ocean and palm-treed beaches. Overwhelming eye candy that photos simply cannot capture (try as I may). The balcony is where a breakfast of mango, papaya and pineapple is lazily taken in the morning, where, ensconced in a hammock, piña colada in hand, we watch the day slowly fade to dusk, where dinner is served al fresco. It is the dolce farniente sweet spot of our vacation.
The living space consists of two air conditioned bedrooms each complete with in-suite bath and walk-in closet and attractive furniture with ample storage space. Bedroom 1 has one queen sized bed and opens to the balcony. Bedroom 2 , a bit larger, has two queen sized beds and a wall of windows overlooking the ocean. A ceiling fan whoops up a gentle breeze if you prefer to shut out the breaking waves outside the window. Bed linen for all beds is high end cotton. So are the towels.
There is a fully equipped kitchen suitable for any culinary challenge. There is tableware for 8, enough that you don't need to run the dishwasher after every meal. There is also a washer and a dryer so you can pack lightly when travelling.
The sitting room is situated between the two bedrooms, insuring privacy at both ends. It is comfortable without being stuffy. There is a 47' TV with a cable connection and a DVD player . There is a wifi connection, there is a landline phone (although your mobile will do just fine on the island). There is a mini library of take-one/leave-one beach reads , board games, and several complete (one hopes:-)) decks of cards . There is a wall of windows to let the outside in and a wonderful gentle breeze to keep things cool.
Playa Azul 1 is part of a gated complex of three buildings that share a swimming pool, and tennis and basketball courts. The complex has its own security detail at the front gate, and the lobby of the building is manned 24 hours a day. The lobby key will also let you out the back door onto the local beach. It is a convenient elevator ride away, sparsely used and very pleasant. Beware however, it is not monitored by lifeguards, and undertow currents can at times be strong and challenging. There are in the apartment coolers, folding chairs and towels for your use on the beach. Alternatively, Balneario La Monserrate, AKA Luquillo Beach, the most renowned palmed beach on the island, is a picturesque stroll away along a secluded narrow stretch of beach, (or a 2 minute drive with plentiful parking). It has the benefit of lifeguards, very calm water and amenities such as food stands (yes, they serve piña coladas) and rentals of chaises-longues and umbrellas. The grounds are clean and well maintained: La Monserrate is a 'Blue Flag' rated beach by the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education).
Stores are close enough to be convenient for all necessities. Area supermarkets offer familiar goods in familiar settings, Walgreen is nearby for all your drugstore needs, there is a bank with an ATM right outside the gate and there is even a Wal-Mart and a small shopping center a short drive away. Although not everyone speaks English, generally, language is seldom a problem.
There is in the area a multitude of small friendly local restaurants for easy dining ( for example, try the colorful 'kioscos' right down the street for surprisingly good eating or walk up to the Brass Cactus, an 'American' style sports bar right outside the gate). Our favorite is Lolita's, about 3 miles east on Rt 3. If you prefer upscale there are fine restaurants at the Conquistador hotel 15 min to the east or the Wyndham Rio Mar, 10 min to the west. If haute cuisine is what you want, San Juan, 45 min away, has a copious selection of fine world class eateries.
There is also plenty to do: Casino, Golf, Scuba, hiking, swimming and sunbathing at any of several beaches, snorkeling, kayaking, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, zip-lining across the rain forest, touring the island's many wonders, daytrips to Ponce, the Arecibo radiotelescope and other fabled destinations, sightseeing in Old San Juan (did you know that San Juan is the oldest city in American territory, founded in 1521 by Ponce de León, less than 30 years after Columbus made his voyage?), ferry rides to Vieques and other islands... In the apartment you'll find a binder that we compiled with all our favorite things to do/places to go/where to eat. Google will proffer on the subject of what to do in Puerto Rico... La Isla del Encanto. I particularly recommend Thrillist.com/Puerto-Rico
Mi casa es su casa; Come stay with us, you'll be glad you did.
NB: A QUICK NOTE TO THE PARENTS OF VERY YOUNG CHILDREN: The balcony of our 18th floor apartment is an ideal place for vegetative contemplation of the immensity of the universe. Beware however that there is a potential for problems if very young children are left unattended. This IS the 18th floor, and there are tables, chairs,outdoor furnishings and such that might serve as launching pads for a young hyperactive budding aviator curious to experience flight. It is not a totally insurmountable problem (most things can be moved away from the precipice) but I think you should be aware of the issue. Call me for more information.
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