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“A wonderfully located place with super friendly service, but I wish is was cleaner!”

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Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan
Ranked #28 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Boston
Level 6 Contributor
66 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“A wonderfully located place with super friendly service, but I wish is was cleaner!”
Reviewed 17 January 2014

I really wanted to love this place. It's a great location right in the middle of OSJ, you can walk to the Plaza De Aramas with it's weekend artisans and coffee shop, near trolley stops, shops and restaurants. It's on a picturesque street and has a wonderful, boutique atmosphere when you step inside. The manager at the desk was friendly and helpful. At the time we visited, it was undergoing some exterior and interior renovations. I can accept all that, but frankly, the room we had looked like it been "cleaned", but no one actually checked to make sure it was getting "clean".

More on that later.

Location:
We chose this OSJ hotel for it's location. We were disembarking a cruise ship and wanted to leave our bags and explore the city on foot. The location was perfect for that!

Setting and Theme:
HPDA was set on a quiet lane in OSJ, near the Plaza De Armas a little pocket park which featured weekend artists and a lovely coffee shop. The exterior was being renovated when we arrived, but the hotel retained it's charming colonial look. Inside, the lobby had been somewhat updated and had a very OSJ, boutique feel, but it didn't feel elegant or upscale, more like a comfortable and cozy place tucked into the city.

Room:
We were upgraded to a King from our booked Queen. The King had both a King bed and a smaller twin in the room, as well as a full balcony. The balcony was in tough shape, in some sort of state of repair and it was not furnished in a way that would make it comfortable to sit out there and watch the action on the street.

The building is an old building in the city and as such we expected to have some of the normal city noises one would expect. Unfortunately, for us that included a woman carrying on a one way conversation very loudly and drunkenly in the street after midnight (a cell yell on the phone? Or her more sober companion was speaking more quietly?) the traffic and city noise, we expected, but there is no controlling for drunken people, and it's not the fault of the hotel, but something to be aware of. You get the atmosphere of being in the middle of town; good and bad! Normally, we would have used our in room climate control system to "drown out" any exterior noises, but the remote with the unit in our room was not functional and the unit was placed to high in the room to reach (and my husband is 6 foot 6!)

The furnishings in our room were worn and a little threadbare. That didn't bother us as much as the fact that the room did not seem clean. it was clear someone had "cleaned", run a mop around the room and a rag over the fixtures in the bath, but we found noticed dust and hairs pushed into the corners of the room, rather than picked up and discarded. The bath had hairs in sink and shower, and looked as if it had been attended to, (fixtures were shiny and clean) but no one really looked afterwards to see that the work done had, in fact, cleaned the items completely. This was especially disappointing because I had not been feeling well, and was hoping to check in a few minutes early, but had to wait till exactly 3 PM on the dot to go to the room. While waiting in the lobby I had seen a rather slow moving, surly looking staff member coming and going from the break room, hanging around the front desk, who appeared to be the housekeeper. After seeing the condition of the room, I can envision that she did what she does, and doesn't take too much pride in whether it was right or not. That's too bad, because the front desk staff was very attentive and helpful.

Food:
There was a vending area under construction off the lobby, but we were not there long enough to see if there was any other food service.

Activities Nearby:
This hotel is located on the Hop On Hop Off free trolley system, and is within walking distance of the major tourist attractions, both the forts, and the cruise piers. There were plenty of restaurants, shops and galleries within walking distance.

Would I stay again? Probably, if the price was right, because I like the location and service, and I'm not so picky about clean, because I never sit on floors or use showers without flip flops anyway and a different day, different housekeeper could be different. (I'm a little germ phobic, so I take precautions anyway)

I have friends who wouldn't even have been happy with how "old" and worn things looked- so if that's you, this place isn't for you! I also will report that being in the middle of the city in an old building is not always the most restful nights sleep, but that is no fault of the hotel, but it something to consider when choosing.

Room Tip: If you are concerned about cleanliness, inspect the room before checking in.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank familygoBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (223)
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Christiansted, St. Croix
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2014

Hotel Plaza de Armas is located in the heart of Old San Juan, a short walk or free trolley ride to many nearby attractions. Rooms facing the Plaza have balconies, and while not de luxe, are clean and the beds comfortable. The elevator is a relic from olden days and holds a slow speed record.
Service is pleasant and helpful. There is no restaurant but the neighborhood offers options for breakfast and dinner.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Ninastx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
Reviewed 16 January 2014

Ideal location, walking distance to everything (or hop on free trolley). Hotel staff very friendly and helpful. Allowed us to store our luggage both before check-in, and after check-out. Rooms were very adequate...keep in mind the hotel IS older...but that was part of the charm. We had interior room, so of course was dark, but the upside was extremely quiet. No complaints at all, or maybe just one...the shower door leaked. But not a big deal in overall scheme of things. Would definitely recommend and return to it if we ever get back to San Juan.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Lori L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grant, Michigan
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 January 2014

Perfect vacation starter for a cruise! Right in the heart of old San Juan so we went a day early for our cruise, being in in San Juan a day early eased our minds on travel, and cost less than a shore excursion of the city.

Staff very friendly and accommodating (especially with luggage holding). They suggest not walking to the port due to cobblestone and luggage, we, however, did and can't imagine paying a cab for that short of a walk.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Douglas B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2014

My sister and I spent our first couple of nights on the island at this hotel. We were really impressed by the level of service provided by the employees; they were always courteous and extremely helpful. The location is a very convenient and short walk away from many of the local sights and restaurants and there always seemed to be something going on in the plaza.

Room Tip: Be aware that if you get a room with a window, there will be noise from the streets at night. Old S...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank adownen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Midland, Michigan, United States
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2014

Our one night pre-cruise stay was interesting, not bad. Entrance to hotel seems a bit odd, the front glass corporate doors don't really match what is inside. Staff was friendly and helpful when needed.

Due to the three kings holiday the plaza across the way was filled with loud music all evening long so hard to sleep, but we just woke back up and went down to check it out.

This hotel is on the far end of Old San Juan, but quick cab ride from airport and to cruise terminal.

If you are scared of elevators and can't climb stairs don't stay here:) The elevator is very old. My wife wasn't comfortable riding in it so she walked to the 4th floor.

Overall, I would stay here again, but don't if you expect a 5 star experience. If you are laid back and enjoy unique and interesting experiences then this is your cup of tea.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Kevin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2014

Fantastic location for San Juan Old Town - everything you need is a short walk and you are in the centre of all the action on a very picturesque square. Hotel staff are friendly and helpful. Rooms are basic and many have no windows (they make no secret of this) but the price reflects this and if your just looking for somewhere to sleep that is clean, safe, convenient and very central then this is ideal.

Room Tip: Interior rooms have no window but seem to be heavily discounted. It depends what you want. If you...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank shovelator
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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