like many of you, I spent hours surfing this forum and others to try and figure out the "best" vacation rental for our active family (kids 8 and 10). I was down to 3 or 4 options that basically looked similar, and went with Casa Ladera. We were MORE than happy with our choice.
Our starting criteria only narrowed field:
1. in Isabell II -- Esperanza seemed more tourist-focused than "local", we booked a jeep to get to the beaches, and we know we have a habit of hitting the grocery store every couple days.
2. with a pool. Kids are little fishes...
Ladera fit both of these criteria...and here are other obvious and non-obvious features that made it perfect for us:
1. comfortable, firm-ish beds. not saggy, nasty, old beds.
2. the on-site jeep rental So easy, and cheaper than others (approx $55/day)
3. to pool!! I was skeptical of the salt-water pool but it was actually far better than a chlorine pool, given how much time the kids spent in it (no sore chlorine eyes)
4. the tremendously warm, helpful, practical managers. They were very accommodating to our needs, including airport pickup, lending boogie boards, cooler, beach umbrella and chairs, advice on beaches, etc.
5. appliances--we mostly ate in, so worked the dishwasher, laundry, outdoor grill. And the AC was great to have in addition to all the ceiling fans.
6. the large grounds. some houses look like they are on cramped scraps of land...this one sits on an acre or more, allowing for soccer and frisbee in the yard and more of a view
7. the first-floor turned out to be great--we spent many hours "watching" the kids in the pool under the excellently shaded patio, enjoying caribbean breezes.
8. the wifi worked well. allowed us to stay in touch with the world and plug the kids into streaming Netflix when needed! (bring your own laptop and cord for that)
We have no complaints. The only "heads up" I would offer is re. my subject line...this is a very nice, family-friendly place...and not fancy/luxury. The couches are kind of old, the tiling isn't perfect in the bathroom, some of the windows need attention...But none of that was a concern for us.
If you are a family, skip the "W"--Vieques is VERY easy, you can drink the water, everyone speaks english, the grocery store has whatever you need, and stay in Casa Ladera.
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We stayed at Casa Ladera for a week in Feb. 2012. The owners Jennifer and Lauren are on site to help you with any need. We stayed in the bottom unit which was spacious, clean and comfortable for our family. They had a nice pool, grilling area and yard. You can feel a nice breeze off the ocean all the time. Very nice well-kept vacation home, and reasonably priced.
We booked 4 days in Casa Ladera based mainly on the reviews on this site and it did not disappoint.
The accomodations were perfect, clean and well maintained, because we went off season it meant that we had the entire property to ourselves, including the 20ft swimming pool and spotless poolside grill. We were picked up at the airport by Renee who was extremely generous with her time, orienting us to the island and and giving us spot-on advice regarding the ideal beaches for snorkelling. We took the option of renting a jeep which made the experiece all the more successful.
Half-way onto our stay we we planning our next visit. I couldn't be more satisfied or impressed.
Stayed for a week with three friends in the upstairs apartment. The unit, pool and property were well maintained, the furnishings simple but adequate. The owners were helpful and renting our Jeep from them was one of the best things we could have done.
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We shared Casa Ladera (upstairs, downstairs and casita) with 3 other families from our kids' school for spring break. The accommodations were excellent - everything was clean and ready for us when we arrived; the property is spacious and very kid (and adult!) friendly. The pool is awesome as is the outdoor grilling and dining area. The property's seven mango trees were even in fruit, so we had our fill of delicious mangos. The owners - Jen and Lauren - were so helpful in making sure we knew what to do and our way around, and in making sure that our stay was comfortable. We rented all 3 of their jeeps to - a must if you plan on visiting the beautiful beaches on Vieques.
Overall, this was an unforgettable vacation. I would stay at Casa Ladera again in a second!
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