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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Odigeo, Hotels.com, Expedia, Priceline, TripOnline SA, getaroom.com, Evoline ltd, HotelQuickly and Cancelon so you can book your Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Howard Johnson Plaza De Armas
- Howard Johnson San Juan
- Howard Johnson Old San Juan
- San Juan Howard Johnson