In February 2017, we visited Luquillo, Puerto Rico in our quest to find our ultimate retirement home, and we stayed in Molly Jones’ Airbnb. Even though Puerto Rico suffered unparalleled devastation with Hurricane Maria and she’s not a native of the island, Molly is back open and ready for business.
Why did you decide to open a bed and breakfast in Luquillo? You’re not from Puerto Rico so how did you pick the location?
Four years ago I came to Puerto Rico for a 6-week work exchange, I had no idea that I would move here and open a bed and breakfast/Airbnb. Seeing the opportunity and getting a great deal on the lease of my own apartment, I set my goals to expand. Luquillo is an amazing surfer beach town and I knew the world had to see this place and experience the magic.
How would you describe Luquillo to someone who has never visited?
Luquillo beach Our walk along Luquillo Beach at sunrise in February 2017
Luquillo is a magical beach town on the east side of the enchanted island of Puerto Rico. 12 miles of unobstructed shoreline of sparkling turquoise blue beaches make this town a jewel. You won’t find overcrowded beaches here, this is the perfect beach to hang out all day and enjoy a swim. Luquillo Beach is also known for its surfing beach called La Pared and you can even get surf lessons from the local surf school. Luquillo has a true island vibe and Caribbean feel, away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. It’s a perfect home-base location for the traveler that likes to explore the island. We are 10 minutes from the rain forest El Yunque, 20 minutes from the ferry going to Vieques and Culebra, 30 minutes from the San Juan Airport, and 40 minutes for Old San Juan.Luquillo Beach Luquillo Beach
You recently went through a devastating hurricane. How did that affect you personally and professionally?
This is not an easy question to answer. More ways than I can express. In short, as a business, December- April is the high season for Puerto Rico. I make 60% of my income in those months. Lovesoulbeautiful bed and breakfast has a high demand and our place is booked months in advance. As of now I have a few bookings for January and I have had bookings here and there but nowhere near the 95% occupancy that is usual for this time of year. Personally, it was a lot easier because of the support of my best friend and my boyfriend. I love the island, I won’t leave, even after all we went through.
Why should people stay in a bed and breakfast rather than a hotel when visiting Puerto Rico?
The experience of our place is great for the traveler that wants to stay on a budget, meet awesome new people, enjoy a local island town and feel at home. We go to great lengths to ensure the comfort of our guests. Quality bed and bath linens, full kitchen ready to cook in with spaces and utensils. This space is for people that want to interact with a local community, be steps from the beach and a handful of restaurants and bars and make new friends. A hotel is more expensive and it provides a different type of vibe. It really depends on each person and how they like to travel.
We recently stayed in a few hostels in Spain. In the hostel, we had shared bathrooms, kitchen, common area, and bunkbeds. What does your bed and breakfast provide that a hostel doesn’t?
We have luxury bed and bath linens, private bedrooms, memory foam mattress, a fully stocked kitchen ready to cook, continental breakfast. I am a vegetarian and love to juice fresh fruits and veggies. I offer them for sale upon request. We attract more of the mid-price traveler, not the “backpacker” who wants to rough it. We use homemade coconut sugar scrub in the bathroom and natural bath and cleaning products. All the artwork in my apartments was done by friends and family or by me. The clientele that comes to our Bed and Breakfast is typically artistic, free-spirited adventurer that not only wants to travel but appreciates a comfortable “like home” experience and wants a fabulous night’s rest with an ocean breeze.
I met my boyfriend Pedro a year ago and he has joined me in the love for hosting friends from all over the world. Pedro is a Puerto Rico native and loves to share the history of this island with our guests. I am a true island girl at heart. We love this cute little surfer town of Luquillo and adore seeing other people enjoy it as well. This is our passion and purpose.