Darn Good Digs Review - Editors' Choice
Las Marias, Puerto Rico: Maravilla
Nominated By: Stacy at Butiki Teas, Hamilton, New Jersey, USA, October '11
Price Range: US$110-$210 # of Rooms: 3 Kid-Friendly: Yes
What makes Maravilla so Darn Good? My husband and I stayed in the "luxury" cabin for six nights and chose the luxury all-inclusive option, which includes an unbelievably amazing breakfast, lunch, and multi-course dinner each day. The view of the lush rainforest during breakfast is spectacular, and our dinners by candle-light were very romantic. Maravilla's owners, Margo and Mark, along with their staff, are so welcoming – we can't wait to go back some day!
Vibe: Natural, lush, and laid-back.
Location: Maravilla is located in the rainforest at the end of a long, winding road through hills planted with coffee, oranges, and plantains. Hiking trails wind through the property (a Mecca for bird watchers) past streams, waterfalls, and swimming holes. While guests may easily spend their days lounging in their hammocks or wandering the jungle trails, many take a day or two to explore more of western Puerto Rico. Popular trips include the surf town of Rincon or the cute little coffee town of Maricao. San Juan is two and a half hours away, but Aguadilla has a closer airport.
Rooms: Maravilla offers three choices of accommodation: the cabin, a cottage room or suite, and camping. We stayed in the cabin, which has an open kitchen and sitting area allowing for a spectacular view of the rainforest. The cabin has no electricity and is lit by propane lanterns and heated by a gas fireplace on chilly days, all adding to its charm. The cottage has two upstairs rooms that can be rented together, a living room, and a small balcony. Downstairs is a full kitchen, and dining area where the breakfast buffet is served. For those who choose to camp, Maravilla supplies tents, air mattresses, linens, and lanterns.
Food: Margo prepares unbelievably delicious food. We went vegan, although Maravilla also offers raw and vegetarian options. Some of the highlights for us were the coconut crusted tofu over noodles, the sesame and walnut crusted tofu, and the fried green tomatoes with pepper jam. Desserts were to die for, and we looked forward to the breakfast buffet every morning with its fresh-baked pastries and tropical fruits picked right on the property. Margo was very accommodating with meals and packaged several breakfasts and lunches for us when we went on day trips.
Keep in Mind: Our advice is to splurge for the luxury all inclusive option if you can – so worth it. Also, plan to spend a few days at Maravilla exploring the beautiful property – we took many day trips but wished that we had spent more time just relaxing. And finally, if you are staying in the cabin, you may want to bring some extra lights.