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“Down Home Hospitality”

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Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan
Ranked #27 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Oakland, CA
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Down Home Hospitality”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 November 2012

I just returned from the Hotel Plaza De Armas on November 25, 2012. Thanks to all the fellow Trip Advisor travelers who provided honest feedback on this hotel. I title this review, "Down Home Hospitality," because this is the service weeceived from Luis when we arrived around 11am. As you know, normal check is around 3pm, but Luis took note of our group and my mom (a senior in a wheelchair) and checked us in within 30 minutes. That gesture is much appreciated because she was exhausted from traveling. We were able to take a nap and freshed up, well ahead of what we anticipated. Luis and the crew were overall very helpful and treated us like family. I had to laugh, because Luis always seemed to be around at the right moment to help get Mom in/out of the property with the wheelchair. The restaurant recommendation was great. I can't recall the name at this moment, but it was only a 20 minute walk to 280 Calle De Sol. Really worth the venture. The location is EXCELLENT. Right outside - a few steps to your right - is a trolley stop. Use the FREE trolley as transport to the major attractions. The trolley is "hop-on-hop-off" so you can explore at your own pace. There are actually 2 free trolley runs. Just across the plaza from the hotel are lots of shops and 2 fast food eateries (Subway and Wendys). But if you also walk a few blocks away, you will reach another plaza with Starbucks (that can be your landmark) and several local restaurants next door. You cannot go wrong at the Hotel Plaza De Armas. Just a note: This is formerly the Howard Johnson. If your taxi driver cannot locate the hotel, tell him/her it's the former Howard Johnson property and they can find it.) Finally, the ride is about 15-20 minutes from the aiport. The flat rate to/from the aiport to this property is $21 + $1 per bag (including roller bags. If the bag has wheels, there is an additional $1 charge per bag).
Thanks again Luis for everything. I wish we made plans to stay longer.

Your first Jamaican visitor :-)
(Hope this clue rings jolts your memory)

Room Tip: We had the king room facing the street. It included a king bed, a single bed and a futon.
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AppleCrisp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LuisGarzon, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan, responded to this review, 28 November 2012
A trillion thanks AppleCripp for taking the time to write about your experience in your recent stay at Hotel Plaza De Armas PR.

Opinion like yours makes us improve our services in daily basis.

Our staff are training constantly to meet the needs of every guest who enter our doors.

The descriptions of our facilities and the services we provide that you have written down will help a lot of people to find out for themselves the kind of services we provide to our friends.

Of course I will always remember my First Jamaican Crew. It was a great pleasure being completely at your service and I praise to God that we have the strenght and health to provide the kind of assistances you and our future guests deserve everytime you've andvthey've got the opportunity to visit us.

Please make sure you contact me whenever you plan to visit us once again. It will be awesome to serve you when you come back.

Thanks again

Luis Garzon
Guest Relations Manager
Hotel Plaza de Armas
“Where every person arrives as
our guest and leaves as our friend”
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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944 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2012

This hotel bills itself as "old & charming" when actually it's just old. We've been to Old San Juan numerous times and are familiar with the neighborhood. They've cut corners whenever possible (plastic glasses, glues plastic panels vs. having actual windows, tube tv, etc). We paid for two nights and left after the first.

The balcony had doors on it with plastic covering the slats or window area's which was not fully sealed. In turn, the window was essentially open causing the a/c to run all night (very old and extremely loud) and we could hear ALL trucks and people ALL night (8X in 7 hours). We slept maybe 30 min. The balcony did not feel structurally safe.

Cleanliness: Just wasn't there. We found hairs in the bathroom (not ours). Stains on the walls. My wife woke up in the AM with bites on her torso.

Lighting: Only the main light in the ceiling. Felt more of a police interrogation than anything charming.

Service: No luggage carts so we had to make multiple trips to the 3rd floor (& from our taxi to the lobby). Elevator is very slow and only works if the last person to use it closes it up.

Check-In: They insisted on making copies of EACH of our driver's license's. This was our 4th hotel of the trip (all others very nice). None of the others asked to make copies. I understand to verify we not someone else, but to make copies? What happened to the copy (couldn't get it back at check out)? In addition, the staff could not even provide directions from the highway - we had to find it on our own. Lastly, I don't know how others found the staff to be friendly - they were not very nice or helpful at all. I question the facts in some of the previous reviews.

Location: We wanted to stay int he heart of Old San Juan, but the plaza had homeless on it which made us uncomfortable (however, no one asked us for money either).

Being an older building, it has the air flow windows above the room door. This was covered up with a plastic sheet that tried to block it from the outside heat (didn't) and had slats broken. Again, old, not charming.

This was truly one of the worst hotels I've ever stayed in and don't believe it deserves any star. The building is falling apart. Please avoid this hotel. Since I can't post pictures, I'll try on other 'review' trip type websites. We aren't overly picky people, but when you pay up for charm, you should get it. This hotel bills itself as a boutique hotel when it was simply a dive - a more descriptive word would be perhaps "hostel". I don't know how others found this to be such a "great place" with a "great stay". It is a lousy, rundown place not even worthy of one star.

Room Tip: Avoid - there are no good rooms at this place!
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Laurie_loves_gators
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LuisGarzon, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan, responded to this review, 26 November 2012
Dear Mrs. Laurie,

Thanks a lot Mrs. Laurie for taking the time out of your tight schedule to make a review about your recent stay in Old San Juan.

I truly regret that you feel this way. Please accept our most sincere apologies for the inconveniences mentioned. We work very hard to exceed our guests expectations and take very seriously our guest comments.

However we must clarify a couple of things for the benefit of our future visitors.

1.- We are indeed a Landmark (Historic) Building, there is a picture of 1920's in our fanpage in Facebook and our building was already here in that year and that's the charm of being here, to enjoy the raw nature of our culture just in the heart of Old San Juan.

Yes we are not fancy but what we do have is a great location for being in Old San Juan, a clean, quite, peaceful and affordable rooms plus a great service oriented staff (Front Desk and Housekeeping) to help you in all your needs
IF YOU REQUIRE SO.

2.- We are really sorry you did not sleep quite well because of the noise on the street but we can not control that kind of incidents. I respect your structural engineer knowledge but we have not had any accident for being outside in our balcony. About the plastic cover it was a temporary solution for repairing the window. About the air conditioning we sent already an order to the maintenance department to fix it as soon as possible and for the key we always assist our guest to handle it as proper as it should be.

3.- I am personally concerned at the conditions which you report about the cleanliness. This is certainly not the treatment we intend to offer our appreciated guests. I would like to offer you a million apologies.

The following steps were immediately taken:

An urgent meetings were held with the entire staff and they received additional training in maintaining the standards which we have set for our Hotel Plaza De Armas. This includes proper cleaning and also proper supplies being in the room.

Every room has been recheck in order to guarantee cleanliness and I can assure you that this kind of situation won't appear anymore.

4.- We keep a regular program of bugs exterminating service which allows to control any situation.

5.- All our room has lightning in the desk, in a small bed cabinet and in the bathroom. However we are in the middle of changing all our lightning system for a more efficient green bulb.

6.- Sorry about the luggage car but you could request help at the Front Desk and as a rule we help every guest with their luggage. Our elevator is a Lula type which means that can not be a more modern one because of our historic characteristic. It allows 4 people or 1,200 pound. Besides we have people for helping guest with their luggage's if you require it.

7.- It's a hotel policy for insurance and security purpose to require an identification at the moment of check in.
But at check out time if you require it we always give back that copy in order our guest feel safe.

8.- Homeless people are all over the world. Have you see the effect of Sandy in New York? Did you know how many people right now do not have a ceiling above their head to protect them from the weather?
Besides if a homeless approach you, I'm sure you will have the opportunity to put in practices your personal sharing characteristics.

In addition and as a normal practice, upon check out every guest is given my email address and personal cell number. Our goal is that every guest is so satisfy with the level of service that he or she will not feel the need to escalate any service issues.

Thankfully and as evident by our guests comments I rarely receive a call from a guest and when I do it is to thank our hotel staff for the stay or ask for my assistance in sending an item left in the room upon check out. But make no mistake, our guests always come first and if there are any issues during your stay we want to know immediately to address them at once.

Please fell free to contact me if you feel the need to discuss this further as I would like to have the opportunity to have you visit us again and have a different and positive experience.

We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again. Please call us for your next stay and I will personally see that everything will be up to your expectations.

Thanks again

Luis Garzon
Guest Relations Manager
Hotel Plaza de Armas
“Where every person arrives as
our guest and leaves as our friend”
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these San Juan hotels

St. Thomas
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 November 2012

We just spent 4 days at this hotel, and had also stayed a few years ago. The location is great, right in the heart of Old San Juan, and an easy walk to shopping and restaurants. We had an interior room, so there was no windows, but we didn't mind because we enjoyed sleeping late every day! We would definitely stay again!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WaterCandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bemidji, Minnesota, United States
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2012

Very friendly staff! Great location in Old San Juan and also reasonably priced. Would recommend it to everyone! The hotel has a charming old world architecture and high (12 ft?) ceilings. Wish I had booked all my nights there not just the one that I got! Next time...

Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank ReedJOlson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
75 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2012

This is a 2 stars hotel we got a room with not window but we didnt care much because we just use it to sleep and take a shower because there is so much to see in Old San Juan and was our first time there but If you spend more time in the room I would not recommend room without a window , the AC works very good and the location is the best close to everything El morro, all kinds of restaurants, stores, supermarkets, etc I would stay there again.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Verito23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OKC, USA
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 November 2012

This hotel more than met our needs for a 11 day vacation. The staff went way above what would be expected. Not just polite but friendly. Rooms were cleaned the right way every day.
Close to local places to eat. Right in middle of the sights of old San Juan, with a free trolley that stops right out side the door.
The plaza itself is fun to sit and people watch with a cup of coffee from a local vendor. The police make sure that your stay is safer than most cities in the states. The residents can only be described as welcoming.
In short if we head thatr way again , this hotel will be our choice .

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank micksan413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2012

I loved the experience at the hotel, the staff has a great deal, mr. Luis Garzon always concerned that this all well and have a good service, I was with my wife celebrating anniversary and we really loved it, going back to Old San Juan back to Plaza de armas

Thanks to all the staff, the hotel is excellent

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Yeu514
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan

Property: Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan
Address: 202 Calle San Jose | Old San Juan, San Juan 00925-3510, Puerto Rico
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#14 Family Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan 2*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Hotel Plaza De Armas, located in the colonial district of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Hotel Plaza De Armas is for travelers looking to be in the center of Old San Juan. Hotel Plaza de Armas is a delightfully captivating colonial style hotel in the heart of picturesque Old San Juan, a city as rich in history as it is in culture. The colonial building features its unique and renowned antique elevator true to its history. In every direction you can find world-class shopping, dining and entertainment. Our completely unique location highlights spectacular views of the Plaza De Armas and puts you mere cobblestones away from 16th century Spanish fortresses, fascinating museums and art galleries. The modest standard rooms are windowless, excellent for a good night sleep. Suites overlook the city hall and Plaza de Armas. Hotel Plaza De Armas also offers high-speed Internet access in all common areas of the property. Even though everything is at walking distance, we have a trolley stop right outside our door and a taxi line across from the hotel .We look forward to your stay at Hotel Plaza De Armas! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Plaza De Armas
Howard Johnson San Juan
Howard Johnson Old San Juan
San Juan Howard Johnson

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