Unfolds amid expansive lush grounds designed for guest privacy
Large self-contained rooms and villas with up to three bedrooms
All units come with outdoor space, stylish interiors, and Aveda toiletries
Home to award-winning fine-dining restaurant, Eclipse; an exceptional wine list on offer
Two lovely outdoor pools with beautiful landscaping
Free bikes and tennis, plus a great playground
Spa treatments available and an on-site gym
Free Wi-Fi throughout the property
Choice of event spaces catering to weddings and corporate functions
No nearby nightlife (pro for some)
Gym is small
Many rooms are a five-minute walk to pools and beach
Villa Montana is an upscale, yet low key property on 35 beachfront acres in the northwest corner of Puerto Rico. Its 76 rooms and villas range from studio to three-bedroom layouts, with a coast-meets-country house aesthetic, and attractive features such as flat-screen TVs, DVD players, comfortable beds, free Aveda products, large patios -- and kitchens in most categories. Lush green grounds offer plenty of surrounding nature with two outdoor pools, and a gorgeous secluded, private beach. Fine-dining restaurant, Eclipse, is a plus for foodies and wine lovers, but keep in mind there is very little to do in the area at night. Travelers seeking a casino, lounge, and outdoor bar for a similar price could try the Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort.
Montana farmhouse meets coastal chic on 35 private beachfront acres
Tucked away in a lush, secluded corner of the island, Villa Montana welcomes guests with a rustic stone entrance for an unexpected ranch-like effect. An initial peak at the impeccably maintained, lush lawn grounds hints at the attention to detail on offer here, and the reception area, just beyond the entrance, confirms it. Discerning elements of decor style come into play: an earthy foundation of terra cotta floor tiles, bare brick walls, and exposed wood beams are accessorized with soft leather single chairs in rich chocolate tones, a cowhide rug, and a showroom-worthy curation of vintage artifacts that include a gramophone and an old-fashioned typewriter. It’s all offset with two satin velvet chairs in hibiscus pink, bright abstract artworks, and twinkling chandeliers overhead.
Grounds feel like a manicured ranch in Montana (the husband and wife owners happen to have a property there too); while the Eclipse restaurant blends rustic farmhouse with industrial chic. It feels sophisticated without being pretentious, and the vibe is about as low key as it gets. The beauty of such sprawling grounds is the sense of space and privacy that comes with it. The drawback, however is the long walk required to get around, depending on where your room is, though guests can always drive. Wide, uncurbed roadways provide access to rooms and villas, while narrow pathways dissect the property with foot access between both pools, rooms, the beach, and beachfront Eclipse. The sense of seclusion and escape is ideal for couples -- weddings are common here -- while the villas have major family appeal too.
On the beach in Isabela -- the northwest corner of Puerto Rico, close to Aguadilla Airport
Villa Montana is located in the laidback surfing region of Isabela in Puerto Rico’s north west. Puerto Rico's northwestern coast is famous for its natural beauty, both inland and on the coast. The active set will find plenty to do: Rincon's beaches attract surfers from around the world, and the nearby rain forests provide plenty of hiking. The area is home to little else besides beaches, resorts, and nature, so if you plan on exploring, expect to rent a car. About a 10-minute drive will take visitors to popular Jobos Beach where a strip of beachfront restaurants and bars is on offer, and it’s about the same to downtown Isabela. But while there are far fewer crowds in this area than in San Juan or on the east coast, most venture here to hunker down on a lounge chair and never leave their resort, as there are fewer nightlife and shopping options (especially without a car). It’s a fair hike from San Juan, taking up to two hours by car, but Rafael Hernandez International Airport (with direct US flights) is only 20 minutes away by car. It’s about 90 minutes from San Juan International Airport. The resort can arrange pickups from either airport for a fee.
A range of rooms and self-contained, house-like villas all dressed to impress
Available in a choice of categories that include Studio Rooms, One-Bedroom Suites, and Two- or Three-Bedroom Villas -- all spread out across the property in one- or two-story, rendered dwellings with a plantation-like aesthetic. Interiors blend terra cotta floor tiles, dark wood furniture, and crisp white walls, with charming coastal touches, like hunks of coral and starfish cushions that echo the beach-y locale. Comfortable beds are dressed in crisp white Egyptian cotton sheets and down comforters. All categories except Studio Rooms feature kitchens equipped with stainless appliances, coffeemakers, toasters, and cooking and dining implements. Kitchens in Two- and Three-Bedroom units are adequately equipped for entertaining, with dishwashers and wine fridges to boot. These categories also contain washers and dryers. All rooms feature flat-screen TVs, safes, irons, ironing boards, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms are well-illuminated and functional with shower/tub combos. Hairdryers and Aveda toiletries are provided. Most units overlook the pleasant grounds, though some have beach views.
Pristine beachfront, two pools, an exquisite restaurant, and a bevy of fun leisure activities
The property unfolds along three miles of beachfront which is great for walking and can be fun for surfing when the conditions are right. The restaurant is a major highlight, with a stellar reputation that attracts its fair share of non-guests. Award-winning Eclipse serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in beachside style with an emphasis on local produce and Puerto Rican flavors. There’s an upscale a la carte menu, wood-fire pizza, a curated wine list, and some on point cocktails. Breakfast isn’t included, but it’s certainly worthwhile -- particularly the house-baked delights that fill the restaurant with an irresistible aroma each morning.
The resort offers two pools. One is positioned among the villas and offers comfy daybeds for two. The other is located next to the restaurant (it closes early so as to maintain the nighttime dining peace). Other leisure amenities include a full-sized tennis court, modern fitness center (though it’s small) and a great playground for the kids. The stunning grounds and choice of classy event spaces are an appealing backdrop for weddings and corporate retreats.
Guests can provide their grocery list in advance, and requested items will be stocked in the room on arrival for a fee. Private beach picnics and beach bonfires with s’mores can be arranged, as can in-villa beauty services. Free parking is provided throughout the property, as is free Wi-Fi. A gamut of outdoor activities can be arranged with reception and include beach horseback riding, surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing, scuba diving (there are some popular dive sites nearby), deep sea fishing, whale watching (in season), and golf packages to local golf courses.
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