La Esperanza

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La Esperanza

This seaside cluster of mango-and-teal buildings with magenta accents is run by industrious, affable owners who also rent cars and offer free use of (and sometimes transportation to) their private beach 6 miles (10 km) away on the gentler south shore. Apartments and houses (No. 1 has the best view) are surrounded by towering shade trees and across the street from a restaurant and rocky beach. Accommodations are attractive if worn, favoring clashing lemon, burnt orange, and fuchsia fabrics with gaudy, often religious artworks and garage-sale furnishings; the houses include washer/dryers. For years this was one of the few spots where folks could mingle and exchange news over drinks (remember, even TVs were few until the mid-1990s), and the restaurant-bar remains a favorite. Two of the founders, Bussy and Velma Dilbert, still run the place and ensure personalized attention (they're always handy with advice and local lore). It's a tranquil spot, at least until weekends, when it's usually party central.

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