Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
In an inland spot of Guayanilla
A lesser-known area of Puerto Rico, Guayanilla is about as far as you can get from San Juan. Not only is Guayanilla less crowded (with fewer things to do), but it sits on the southwest coast, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, while San Juan is on Puerto Rico's northwest coast. Of course, Guayanilla's coast is beautiful -- a natural harbor is formed by surrounding mountains. The waters are calm and perfect for swimming at the nearby beaches like Emajagua Beach, La Ventana Beach, and Tamarindo Beach.
Tourists to Guayanilla not only visit the beautiful beaches but also the Chorro de Oro Waterfall, the historic Mario Mercado Castle in the Spanish-Moroccan style, and Guilarte Tropical Forest, with hiking trails and views of Ponce and San Juan. Because there's not a ton of nightlife otherwise, there are a couple of casinos in Guayanilla as well.
Pichi's Hotel, formerly a Best Western, sits in the mountains of Guayanilla, about a 15-minute drive from Guayanilla Bay. While some areas of the property look a bit worn (fitness center machines are out-of-date, and the pool area is clean but clearly old), the large rooms are the highlight. The walls are relatively bare, but the dark-wood, streamlined furniture and crisp white linens create a modernist look, and all rooms have flat screen TVs and iPod docks. However, this property still seems to be working out some glitches -- some guests have complained of water pressure and temperature issues while others had leaky AC units.