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Sanctuary in Paradise

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,000 sq ft
Property type condo
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

Condo, 2 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 6)

***Condo, building, and local stores are fully functional, but the pool on the property is not yet repaired from the hurricanes. Rate has been discounted because of lack of pool. 5/31/18***

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, 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 and 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, ouring the island's many wonders, day trips 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 where we compiled all our favorite things to do/places to go/where to eat. Google will proffer numerous suggestions on the subject of what to do in Puerto Rico... La Isla del Encanto.

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.

Keywords: Puerto Rico apartment rental, oceanfront, beachfront, 2bdrm 2bth, condo, condominium, vacation rental, beachfront, Caribbean, flat, let, vacation rental,

More Details

Rachel Rosenheck and Gary Puglia (Rachel's son-in-law)
Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 22, 2018

About Rachel Rosenheck and Gary Puglia (Rachel's son-in-law)

We first vacationed at Playa Azul when our older daughter was 9 months old - over three decades ago! Each year we thought of different winter vacation destinations, and each year we all agreed nothing could be better than this place in the sun. It has become our family hub - for us and our two grown daughters, and their friends, and our friends. It is the perfect place for a day of exploring, or a day to do nothing much at all. The apartment has room for our extended family to hang out, play games, listen to music, serve dinner for two or twelve on the balcony, swing in the hammocks and laze away the evenings watching the incredible sunsets. From the time that they were little, it has been our 'dolce farniente' place. We hope it will be yours, too.

Rachel Rosenheck and Gary Puglia (Rachel's son-in-law) purchased this condo in 2004

Why Rachel Rosenheck and Gary Puglia (Rachel's son-in-law) chose Vilomar

When we first came to Luquillo, we rented. We rented for many years and finally realized we wanted to have a place that we could make our own, and make special. So many rental units didn't have the quality we wanted or the many amenities that make such a difference. So we bought the two bedroom/two bath configuration that we liked the best, and renovated it to be the dream vacation place we always wanted..

What makes this condo unique

We never thought we would be able to enjoy such long, rich, lazy satisfying days in such a spectacular setting. And we could do it over and over again. It is truly home away from home for us and the (now grown) kids.


Vilomar Condo Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • condo
  • floor 18
Building Type:
  • building
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1000 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
  • Contact us if extenuating circumstances arise regarding check-in and check-out times.
Location Type:
  • Beachfront
  • Mountain View ...
  • Oceanfront
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Broadband Access
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Elevator
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 2 queen
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Balcony ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • water parks
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • parasailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing
beach accessories, balcony hammocks, children's playground, tennis court, basketball court,


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(90 traveler reviews)

85% Complete
13% Complete
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Sanctuary in Paradise
average rating of 4.8444443 based on 90 reviews

Exceeded My Expectations

  • 5 of 5

I’ll start with my biggest takeaway, Incase you don’t read my entire review. THE OCEAN FRONT VIEW was by far my favorite part of the trip. Every room has this amazing view. You can’t see anything beyond the ocean, as if it goes on forever! Beautiful, amazing and private.

I traveled here for my birthday with my husband and our 4 children, ages 7-16. I chose this place because of the location to the beach and to have an authentic non-touristy experience. The pictures of the decor did not catch me well, but the reviews of the cleanliness and good experiences from other travelers sold me. Well, in person, the decor was beautiful and perfect for a beach home! The bathrooms were really nice and up to date. Some of the metals were deteriorating, but I’m sure that’s because of the proximity to the elements of the ocean. The linen, especially the towels were very good quality. Having a quality and up to date washer and dryer in the unit was priceless, and we used it daily. Everyday, I was surprised with something very special about this place. Some of my favorites were the two hammocks on the oversized patio. The storage with all of the beach equipment, including a pot able umbrella, 6 chairs, floating devices, snorkel gear and many other easy to carry beach items. The A/C units in the bedrooms were great. But I understand why they don’t have A/C in the living room area. They have these specially designed windows and front door where the trade winds do all the work, a fresh ocean breeze constantly passing through. There was a box under the tv with suggestions for everything from restaurants, excursions, spa treatments and much more. The beach outside was perfect and very clean. But just about 5 minutes away was the Luquillo Beach, which was much more calm and entertaining, for our family. The kiosks were great! But we visited both daily. There is a Walgreens across the street and a full grocery store, Walmart chain. I suggest bringing something to translate, because we couldn’t find anyone who spoke english the first day at that store. My 8 year old did well with translating for us. Lol! We walked to Leña’s Cafe. Very nice. And we had a good time supporting local businesses, such as William’s Pizza. We did the Bio Bay in Kayaks (don’t go when the moon is out!), we went to El Yunge and we did the Catermeran Snorkel boat ride to an island. We went to Old San Juan and we went to Casa Bacardí.

The owners of this property ARE AMAZING, and easy going!!

  • Submitted: Sep 13, 2018
  • Stayed: August 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Loved everything except one thing

  • 5 of 5

This is a beautiful property with tons of character and amenities. The only criticism we had was that the air conditioner in the bedroom with one bed was extremely loud. The maintenance man checked it out and said it was functioning correctly. It did work; it was just loud. One of the owners was very understanding about it and suggested that we could get a fan to use instead. He shared that the other owner would be there over Labor Day and would check it out. Other than that, it was amazing. The 27 foot deck looking out over the beach was where we spent a lot of time. We went to El Yunque (only about 1/3 of the way is open yet, but still beautiful) and Luquillo Beach, both super convenient. We were a little confused about the restaurants which almost all seemed to be in a string of what they called kiosks. That made us think it was like food trucks. A more accurate name would be open air restaurants. These ranged from low key all the way up to pretty upscale in terms of the food and the cost. We dressed pretty casually and felt comfortable. The one we loved the most was Terruno. Back to the property, there is a ton of kitchen amenities so people could very easily cook whatever they want. Having the washer and dryer in the unit was very helpful. Having parking for the car and security onsite was really nice. We did walk across to the beach in front of the building which was easy and fun. The things available in the storage box on the deck covered everything from rain ponchos for El Yunque to beach chairs and an umbrella and a boogie board for the beach. Lots of beach towels too. One more note of appreciation - we needed some help with some things the day before we were to arrive and Rachel got us in touch with the cleaning person who was more than helpful. She is definitely a keeper.

  • Submitted: Aug 23, 2018
  • Stayed: August 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We really appreciate your detailed review, kind words, and understanding with our air conditioner issue. As an update, we replaced the noisy air conditioner as soon as possible and are very glad you let us know about it when you did. We're also glad our cleaning lady was able to help out... she is 100% a keeper. All future guests will benefit from her attention to detail, consistently thorough job cleaning, and willingness to go above and beyond, whether its picking up extra luggage to lighten your load or leaving traveler-specific special snacks for your arrival. She exemplifies why we do this... to share our Sanctuary in Paradise with others in a way that we would want to enjoy it as guests ourselves. Welcome Home!
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A MILLION DOLLAR VIEW & Everything we needed

  • 5 of 5

So happy I chose to stay at Sanctuary in Paradise!! After 48 hours of researching places for my family to stay I chose to stay here. If you want to have a real feel of Puerto Rico this is the perfect place. This is not a tourist spot and that’s why i loved it so much. From going to the grocery store, eating at the kiosks going to the Las Paylas rock slide (look this up it’s amazing) and going to the beach all the locals were so nice and helpful. The condo itself was great, the huge balcony was amazing we ate breakfast out there and watched the sunrise. They have a box of beach supplies with snorkeling gear, beach chairs, boogie boards and much more. I thought it would be awkward staying in a condo and not a hotel but honestly I’ll never stay in a hotel again unless it’s for a quick night. Having everything we needed from a washer/dryer to cooking supplies was so great. Showers were great with awesome water pressure. Air conditioning in the bedrooms were great for cool nights of sleeping. Loved all the windows facing the ocean in the one bedroom and the glass door to the balcony in the other. The owners were so awesome and generous. Thank you for a perfect place to stay on our vacation:)

  • Submitted: Aug 7, 2018
  • Stayed: August 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great location

  • 5 of 5

Unit was clean with plenty of room, and the large porch had great views of the ocean. Super convenient to walk out the condo and right onto the beach. 5 minute drive to the rain forest, and only a couple of minutes from all of the shanty restaurants, which I loved. A nice surprise was the storage box on the porch with plenty of beach chairs, body boards, an umbrella and plenty of other beach accessories. We really enjoyed our stay.

  • Submitted: Aug 3, 2018
  • Stayed: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Dallas, Texas

Love staying in Paradise

  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time at "Sanctuary in Paradise". It has a wonderful beach to surf gentle waves in front of the condos, and just to the right is a small coral reef to snorkel. You can walk around to the left and see wonderful views. The place is so cute and well equipped. We loved eating on the balcony, and our daughter loved the hammock chairs. We loved the restaurants withing walking distance, and a short drive to the others around the bend. The location is perfect because it is minutes from the Rain Forest and the zip lines. It is a short drive from Fajardo where we took a canoe trip to the bio bay; which we highly recommend. Also in Fajardo, you can catch a plane to Culebra to spend the day enjoying the most beautiful beach. Incredible snorkeling is on the east side of the bay. Then we rode the ferry back. As you have read, get tickets in advance. They sell out. We flew to Vieques for a couple days. Their bio bay is incredible. Try to go as close as possible to a new moon. We stayed at Malecon House which had the best location and nicest people. The beaches are also beautiful and was a treat to see horses roam freely on the island. After each short trip we enjoyed returning back to our home base and relaxing. Wished we had more time. Our visit was early August of 2017 before the storms. We hope others can enjoy it like we did.

  • Submitted: Jun 11, 2018
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nice condo, great beach, secure facility

  • 5 of 5

The Condo: It was perfect for our family of four! Very clean, nicely appointed, steps from the beach, and plenty secure. Everything worked like it should and was in good condition.

The Complex: Plenty of parking, lots of security, and clean. The security guards at the front desk weren't overly inviting, but I suppose you kind of want that in a security guard. The guards at the parking lot entrance were much more polite, however.

The Beach: From what we can tell, the beach in front of the complex is one of the best in PR. During the week it was fairly vacant (July 17th-24th) and locals started showing up on the weekend.

The Luquillo Area: Luquillo is not a tourist trap. It's a bit gritty, restaurants with that "tourist feel" are limited. There are a few in the "kioskos" down the road (you'll see them) that are decent, but unfortunately the area behind the strip is littered with trash which ultimately ends up on the beach, which was sad. Agave Side Bar, Terunño, and Hardcore Pizza were all good. The rest weren't really appealing to us so I can't say if they were good or not. Be sure to check out Monkey Threads for some cool shirts and such locally made.

The grocery store (Amigo's) across the road is basically an outlet for overstock supply from Walmart. In fact, my card shows the transaction as Walmart, and some of the goods are Walmart brands. Nothing wrong with this, but be careful of expiration dates. (Stale Oreos are even more disappointing at 10:00 PM after the kids are tucked in bed.). I would recommend traveling 15 minutes east to Fajardo for the Ralph's grocery store to stock up for your stay.

  • Submitted: Jul 25, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
30 Miles
San Juan International
Nearest Golf
5 Miles
Rio Mar
Nearest Restaurant
500 Metres
Brass Cactus
Nearest Beach
2 Miles
Balneario la Monserrate/Luquillo Beach
Car: recommended


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $100
Refundable Damage Deposit $200

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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