In September 2017, category-four Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico and became the most damaging storm in the island’s history. In the months since, extensive recovery efforts have been (and are still) underway to help rebuild the island and the lives of its residents.
Fortunately, thanks to the resilience of the Puerto Rican people and aid from a multitude of organizations and individuals, the island—and Inspirato—are ready to welcome travelers back to its friendly culture and beautiful landscapes. Inspirato offers six homes on Puerto Rico, in Bahia Beach and Dorado Beach, all of which are once again open for reservations.
Because Puerto Rico has been a gracious host to Inspirato families over the years, the Inspirato community sprang into action to help in whatever way they could after the storm’s devastation. Members Diane and Gary Heavin were among the many people who volunteered in relief efforts. The Heavins had previously participated in mission work in Haiti following the earthquake there in 2010, as well as a 2016 hurricane. “We were sitting tight, wondering what we could do to help in Puerto Rico,” Diane says.
Shortly after the storm passed, the Heavins got a call from some friends on a medical team in Puerto Rico, asking if they would be interested in helping. Because the island’s ground transportation system has been severely disrupted, Gary and Diane brought their own aircraft down to the island with the goal to fly medical teams to different locations.
When Gary and Diane first got the okay to head to Puerto Rico, they contacted Inspirato to see how the club could assist. “Obviously, we didn’t want to add to the problems there and make somebody put us up somewhere,” Diane explained. The Heavins worked with their Care team to find a solution that was both practical and not a burden to those they wanted to help. They wound up staying in an Inspirato home in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, which was just about a 30-minute flight from Puerto Rico.
“It was so convenient to make our home base in the Dominican Republic,” she said. “Our team back home at Inspirato helped us to find a place quickly and gave us a comfort level to even go on the mission. They checked on us often to make sure we were okay and to reach out if they could help in any way.”
Ultimately, Gary and Diane flew their plane to deliver much-needed provisions—from food and water to cleaning supplies—to various locations, including the capital San Juan, the island community of Vieques, and to Inspirato’s local on-site teams. They bought the majority of the supplies in Punta Cana and flew them over on their daily treks to Puerto Rico. Though Diane says she wishes her personal impact could have been even greater, she was grateful to be able to do whatever she could.
We were quite amazed at the resilience of the people in Puerto Rico. They had such great attitudes, a spirit of perseverance that gave them hope, and they looked after their neighbors in a very precious way.Diane HeavinInspirato member
Inspirato is happy to report that no team members were harmed during the hurricane, though some experienced severe damage to their own homes. To aid in their recovery, Inspirato employees set up a clothing drive and created a GoFundMe campaign that raised nearly $40,000, all of which was donated to our local teams in need of assistance throughout the Caribbean.
As of this writing, Inspirato’s accommodations in Puerto Rico have been fully restored and are welcoming visitors with open arms. In fact, one of the best ways to help reinvigorate the island’s economy is for travelers to return and support local businesses.
Travelers can stay in Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort that spans 1,400 acres and includes member-favorite amenities like the Watermill, a lavish aquatic playground, and three championship golf courses. Additionally, the Inspirato Collection includes three homes at Bahia Beach Resort & Golf Club, about 44 miles east of Dorado Beach. Bahia Beach is known for its pristine natural beauty: 65% of the resort is dedicated green space and it’s one of just 21 resorts in the entire world (and the only in the Caribbean) to be designated as a Certified Gold Audubon International Signature Sanctuary.
Inspirato encourages all travelers to rediscover everything that makes Puerto Rico not just an excellent place to vacation, but a vibrant, rich community of friendly people and fascinating culture. Explore all Inspirato accommodations in Dorado Beach and Bahia Beach and get inspired by their beauty all over again.