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“Great Location!”

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Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan
Ranked #27 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
NY
Level Contributor
199 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Great Location!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2008

We spent 2 nights here before going to a smaller island. We wanted to explore Old San Juan & the forts. The location of this hotel is great. The staff was very accomodating. Our room was quite large. We had a king suite in the front overlooking the plaza. It was noisy at night but didn't keep us up with the air on. The staff put a twin mattress in the room the 2nd night for our daughter. The lobby decor needs updating as well as the front of the hotel. Other than that it was great. It was a good place to sleep & centrally located so we could stop back there during the day while exploring.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — price,lobby
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank scp427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (220)
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English first
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2008

I found the Howard Johnson Inn at Plaza de Armas to be exactly as expected, based on these reviews. It was very clean and my singe-bed room was surprisingly large - although it had no window. I had no problems with noise. My room was impressively clean and well taken care of. The staff at the front desk was efficient and business-like. . . not particularly friendly. The free breakfast was simply a nicer continental breakfast -- nothing hot. The location was EXCELLENT. I paid only $100 for my room and was satisfied because I was there for only 5-6 hours of sleep. I would be reluctant to pay $160+ to stay because this hotel is simply a clean place to sleep and to be in the middle of the action. I believe there are other, nicer, more authentic and unique, places to stay in Old San Juan once you reach the $180+ range.

There are a couple of reserved parking spots right in front of the hotel for loading and unloading. Otherwise, parking is very difficult on the streets around the hotel. However, once you drop off your luggage, there are several parking garages within close proximity (approx. 5 blocks). DONT try to carry your luggage from the car garages -- the sidewalks and streets are cobble-stone, are VERY narrow and are filled with lots of people.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Lack of character - lack of windows in every room
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bug3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2008

Don't even think about staying here if you value your sleep.

The noise levels throughout the night were TORTURE. Hall light streamed into the room through a window above the door- so I was left to try and sleep with bright lights and noise every night.

Phone in the room didn't work and water was never hot, just lukewarm, and rooms don't have windows...but these were the least of my concerns.

I've stayed in hostels in rooms with 15 drunk people with less noise... this hotel does have a fantastic location and the breakfast is fine and rooms tidy. Is it worth it? You couldn't pay me to stay here again. In short, AWFUL.

Stayed February 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank worldhopperFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these San Juan hotels

Virginia
Level Contributor
68 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2008

We stayed at the Howard Johnson Inn Plaza de Armas for one night (last weekend) prior to leaving on a cruise. We basically needed a place to sleep and shower, so we weren't concerned about amenities. What we loved about this hotel was the fact that our two kids could have separate beds. Our spacious room had a king, a single, and a futon. Perfect arrangement for our family. We also had a fridge and a microwave. Everything was clean and the bathroom was clean and spacious, as well. We were at the top of the (very narrow) staircase on the second floor, so we didn't really bother using the elevator, which appeared to be so slow that it was almost stopped.

I don't think we would've found the hotel on our own, so I'm glad the taxi driver knew where it was. As previous reviewers have noted, it's just a little storefront tucked in between two other stores. It's tall and skinny. We arrived early and were unable to check in. Though it seemed as though we waited forever (we had to remember that we were now on "caribbean time"), the guy at the front desk was very helpful. He stored our luggage and gave us some recommendations for lunch while we waited for our room to be ready. When we returned an hour later, our room was ready and we were able to check in.

The location is great for getting anywhere in Old San Juan. We walked to El Morro and then around the rest of the city. When we got back to the hotel several hours later, we were thrilled to find a Pizza Hut right around the corner. We weren't that hungry... just needed to eat and get some sleep. That brings me to our only real complaint about the hotel. Our room faced the street and there seemed to be a lot of traffic until the wee hours of the morning. In San Juan, as in most Caribbean places we've been, this includes a lot of horn honking. While this didn't seem to affect our two kids, my husband and I had a less than stellar night's sleep.

The complimentary breakfast was simple, but adequate. The water pressure in the shower was great. And once again, the hotel stored our luggage while we wandered around as we had to check out before we could go to the cruise ship. We were credited the fee for the room safe as we didn't use it. And with the AAA rate, the room was more than reasonable for being in the center of Old San Juan. We would definitely stay there again.

If you're looking for an upscale, resort-type place, this isn't the hotel for you. However, if you're looking for a clean, convenient place to stay in Old San Juan, definitely put this Howard Johnson on your short list!

  • Liked — Location, price, room setup
  • Disliked — Street noise
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank bgsualum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2008

The Howard Johnson in Plaza de Armas was a nice place to stay for a couple of days in Old San Juan. The price was very reasonable and the staff was very helpful. This is a remodeled, older hotel, so rooms are small, without windows, but the bed was very comfortable and the room was very clean. I think it was a good value for the price and you can't beat the location. The continental breakfast is pretty sparse (bread, a few apples and bananas, coffee, and juice), but it was a decent way to start the day. The elevator is one of the old, small, creaky ones that you pull a gate across, so it is a good idea to ask fro a room on a lower floor so you don't have to use the elevator.

The picture shown on this site is not the HoJo Plaza de Arms. It's actually a very discreet entrance between a cigar shop and a souvineer shop that is easy to miss.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Lack of windows
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank KW_NC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
106 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2008

This is a great hotel for staying overnight before or after a cruise. We needed a room with 4 beds to accomodate two children, ages 6 and 10. I was a little nervous after reading the comments on the cockroaches (and there are lots of them in PR!), but there was not a single cockroach in sight.. We knew that we were arriving late and leaving by noon, so we were willing to take the chance.
We were arriving Christmas Day, so I did not have high expectations on service, figuring everyone was off. The desk manager was very helpful pointing to a place for a 10 pm snack for us and kids. We had a room facing the street with two window/balconies on the second floor (room 206 I think, labled "home office" on the door). Yes, the elevator is old (the kind you have to close the cage and door for it to move), but we were on the 2nd floor, so we didn't need it much. The room was not the most quiet, but the air conditioner makes enough noise to drown out most of the street noise. I wake at the slightest sound, and only a couple of honks early in the morning were enough to wake me. It was a huge room, with lots of space for our 4 large suitcases.
It's clearly an older building, but honestly, the most noticable part was the worn/scuffed tiles in the hallway. Once in our room, there were new, clean tiles, a clean bath, and lots of space. There was a king, a twin, and a sofa that folded down into a twin. I have to warn you that the sofa looked to be about 5 ft long with wide padded arms (about 12 inches each), so when the back folds down, it worked for my tall 6 year old, but at 5' 7", I would have been hanging ontothe arms which were not entirely flat with the bed.. There were no sheets ready when we arrived, but the front desk quickly located them, and I made up the bed myself.
Almost across the street from this hotel is a plaza square, which had a lovely espresso/bakery kiosk, which was open on Christmas day evening. We slept through the breakfast provided by the hotel, but there is a fast food joint within 1/2 block that was perfectly adequate for breakfast. There is also a Wendy's in the same block.
We loved that it was a 10 min walk to the old fortress of San Juan, and the front desk gave us a walking map and good directions. The waterfront is also in easy walking distance, but we did not have time. The cab ride to the cruise terminal was about 10 min.
All in all, it was a great price compared to the other options for 4 of us, but I'm not sure I would have put an adult in the sofa bed. One last note: I booked directly though the hotel, and when I went to confirm, they thought we had 3 persons instead of 4. They were able to confirm us a room for 4, but I was under the impressions that I was getting a King Plus room, which was a king and two twins, We ended up with a king, twin and small sofa bed, which worked for us but not if our children had been bigger. Still, a good value for the money!

  • Liked — location in Old San Juan
  • Disliked — tiny, slow elevator
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank WAgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego
Level Contributor
91 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 December 2007

I stayed here for five nights while doing some work for a nonprofit. The primary pluses are location and cost. It is in the center of Old San Juan, on a nice little plaza. A full grocery store is one block away. The hotel serves a breakfast in the morning that includes fruit, cereal, etc., served on paper plates. Nothing great, but not terrible either. The hotel is apparently in an old apartment building converted to this purpose.

Rooms: You will want a room with a queen size bed or larger. Our group found smaller beds in other rooms that were unacceptable, even for one person. There are no windows in most rooms (except those facing the street). The rooms are very quiet, especially since there is an air conditioner in each room. Rooms are reasonably spacious and wi-fi is included at no cost.

Elevator: There is a single elevator that moves at a speed of about one minute per floor (literally). This is a four story building. If you have no problem walking up and down stairs, you will use the cramped staircase instead of the elevator. If you need to use an elevator, you are going to have frustrations. Depending on your physical condition, a lower floor might be desirable.

Staff: We found the staff to be quite pleasant and helpful.

Overall, this seems to be a hotel used primarily by cruise ship passengers for a single night stay on one end or the other. So long as you are not looking for luxury and have no problem with stairs, the hotel is quite acceptable. If you intend to spend any meaningful amount of time in the room or hotel, you will find it a bit dreary, but a bargain. We did not encounter issues of cleanliness mentioned elsewhere, but this is not a corporate hotel, so one could expect variations.

  • Liked — Inexpensive and convenient location
  • Disliked — Lack of windows in rooms and a single, ancient elevator
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank lifesaver1
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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