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“Good Time in Old San Juan”
Review of Da House Hotel

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Da House Hotel
Ranked #29 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Reviewed 4 June 2009

We stayed at Da House for 2 and 1/2 days (Monday thru Wednesday morning). Our taxi knew exactly where it was on Calle San Fransisco, and check in was hassle-free. The lobby is beautiful and there are original works of local artists' works all over the walls in the lobby, hallways, and rooms. The hotel is a renovated convent with original Spanish tiles, high ceilings, beautiful wooden doors throughout. There is a roof-top terrace with complimentary jacuzzi, also! (It was too hot for us to use the jacuzzi, but it looked inviting.)

We were a little disappointed that there wasn't even a luggage rack to put our suitcases on. There was a chair and narrow desk, another small chair, and the bed. Our bags and luggage ended up on the floor. The bathroom was nice and served its purpose. I wish it would have been a little cleaner and attention had been paid to simple details to give it a more polished look. There are no TV's, so if you need in-room entertainment, bring your laptop or iPhone. Also, they do not provide shampoos, lotions, or any of that other "complimentary stuff" you usually find in hotels. Soap and towels are all you get. So, bring your supplies.

The Tuesday night we were there, it was Galleria Night in the city. Galleries and restaurants all take part in welcoming everyone for the celebration, and it all culminates in one big city-wide party. The THUMP THUMP THUMP of the music that night (until 4AM!) was the only time we were bothered by the street noise, even though others often warn about the noise in reviews. We were in room 303 (Slivia Kahn), and we faced Calle San Francisco and Iglesia de San Francisco across the street. It was a beautiful view from our wooden doors which opened to the street.

Da House is a great deal for people who want to stay in the heart of Old San Juan for nice price. There are plenty of restaurants, activities, and sights to see within walking distance, which is what we liked about it. We don't go on vacation to sit in our hotel room, so we basically just need a place to crash at the end of the day. This served its purpose, but I really think they could do a little more to make their visitors feel welcome.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bgreene13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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451 - 457 of 606 reviews

Reviewed 25 May 2009

We stayed in this hotel one night. I did my reservation online and when I was checking in, I was charged $30.00 more for my kids room because there will be 3 people in the room, even though I noted that in my online reservation. According to the receptionist, the charge is not mentioned when you book your reservation online. If you need to make a reservation for more that one 2 people in the room, it will be better to call them directly to ask for the room rate.
The first day the girl at the front desk was extrermely helpful, but when we left, he asked another person to help us, and when we asked him if we can leave our luggage until 4:00pm, the guy said it is OK and put our luggage in a room; he did not mention about a charge to do it. But when we picked up our bags, the girl who refused to help us on the first place, came and asked if we already paid the $5.00 per room charge to take care of our bags. We told her that we weren't told about it, and she asked us to pay for the service.
I don't really like to pay for charges that weren't explained like the extra charge for the room and for saving our luggage.
Besides the extra charges, the place is nice, the hotel is cute. It has a jacuzzi on the top floor, open 24 hours a day.
The hotel doesn't have an elevator, so if you choose rooms on the 300 and 400's expect about 6 flighsof stairs. The reception area and the rooms 200's are on the second floor.
The pictures are misleading. I was expecting my room (403, Jose Alicea) to have its own patio, but in reality is a patio open to the general public and you have access to it though your room.

  • Stayed: May 2009
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Thank melonga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2009

I read the reviews for Da House and now that I've been there I love everything that others said they loved. The staff was very friendly (they did hold our bags and made suggestions to restaraunts/airport/cabs/etc). The room was clean and simplistically beautiful. (The reviews said they didn't have cups or shampoo-so I brought some w/me) My husband and I loved the rooftop-such a beautiful view! After dinner and a few drinks we went to The Nuyorican Cafe to listen and dance to live Salsa music. A highlight of our trip! Leaving the club at 2am we were already at "da house" The music continued to pulsate while we watched the stars on the rooftop. Things were just settling down when we finally went to bed and it was very, very quiet until late in the morning. We spent the next day exploring the rest of Old San Juan and left the next day for Vieques.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank googoodoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2009

We knew what we might be getting into with the Salsa Club noise down below; it did not bother us one bit; I actually liked it. It was very Caribbean, especially falling asleep to it. My boyfriend and I are in our Mid and Late twenties. We stayed here 1 night post cruise; we wish we'd stayed longer! We were in room 407; which was a long way to carry 4 heavy suitcases (no elevators), but we're in excellent shape, so while it did not bother us, it may be a problem for some. The room had a balcony shared with one other room, but we didn't use it; the jacuzzi is on the rooftop, not outside anyone's room. The art throught the hotel was beautiful; all local artists as well. The decor in general was awsome. I am not your "Holiday Inn" type of traveler; I actually will not stay in chain hotels because they offer no diversity. The bed was super comfortable, and it was nice not having a distracting tv in the room. The rooftop jacuzzi didn't get warm; the water was pretty cold; and that's my only complaint. We went in while the sun was still out, so the temp wasn't a problem then. It also changes colors at night, and when we wanted to go in after our late dinner, that's when we realized how cold the water was! The staff did not charge us to hold our bags (others claim they were charged), and we dropped them off at 9am and explored until 3pm. Checkout was fast and easy, and they even called us a cab. There were 2 great resturants on each end of the alley (yes, the hotel is in an alley). One was Asada Grill ( I believe) directly outside the hotel's front door; we ate lunch there, it was delish, the skirt steak and shrimp is the way to go (about $50 with mojitos, for lunch)...and at the other end, Marmalade. The food at Marmalade was pricy (about $225 for the two of us, without alcohol), but it was worth every penny...their service is another story (horrible), but I think it was pretty much because we had a bad waitress. I WILL most definetly be staying at Da House on my future visits to San Juan because of the great location (3 block WALK, with HEAVY LUGGAGE from the cruise ships...not too bad), also it's in the middle of Old San Juan. It's near nightlife, and great food, the staff was very friendly, and the prices were so much cheaper than other hotels in the area! If you don't mind a little noise, and walking up a lot of stairs, you've found yourself a winner.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank chigirl000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2009

Me and my girflriend, in our mid 20's, stayed here for two nights. I had done my research before hand and new what to expect and the guy at the front desk also informed us of the noise that would be going on at night. However we loved being close to the nightlife and enjoyed the ambiance of the club and this hotel. Roof top was a great place to go to and relax. Location of this place is awsome you can easily walk to all of the great places in old san juan, and the price is very reasonable. Dont go here expecting to spend a lot of time in your room, this is not the place for you. This is a great place for those who are looking for a great value and a great location, def geared for a younger crowd. Would def go back here. Wouldnt probably stay though more than 2 nights as the rooms are relatively small and can get cramped with luggage and anything else.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank simonie83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2009

We arrived at Da House Hotel around 1:30 a.m. on a Saturday night. So the salsa club next door was in full swing when we got there, and were greeted by a friendly crowd of "clubbers". The guy at front desk said the club is usually open till 4 or 5 in the morning. Being a light sleeper we had chosen room 401 (Carlos Irizarry), and it was not noisy at all. I could lightly hear the beat of the music but I didn't even need my earplugs.
The room was great. Nicely decorated, a/c, and comfy bed. Great value for what we paid in the heart of Old San Juan. We would definitely stay here again. We stayed here precruise and they held our bags for us for the day ($5) while we explored Old San Juan. It was an easy 5-10 minute walk with our luggage to the cruise terminal. The only downside of our stay here was the rooftop hot tub wasn't working, but beautiful views from up there; there was no shampoo/conditioner for the shower - just a bar of soap; and the hall was a little noisy outside of our room in the morning. Which I guess is to be expected with tile floors and high ceilings for sound to travel off of; and the 4 flights of stairs can either be seen as a bother or a workout! All in all it was a great stay. We loved it!

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sunbeam_girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2009

The Good
Bed was very comfortable. Small room (#304 Manolo Diaz), tight bathroom, but functional.
Easy foot access to all of Old San Juan.
Great restaurants mere blocks away.
They held our bags for free until our room was ready when we arrived.
Cheaper than many other places.

The Bad
Not terribly clean.
A/C had two settings: frigid and off!
Unbelievable noise! We didn’t go to Old San Juan to hear two nights of Techno noise/music. Partying, yelling, cursing (and at least 1 fight) started around 7PM, and continued to 4 AM. Some drunken girl was practicing her F-curses above the din for 30-60 minutes the first night in the early hours of the morning. Then the clean-up guys banged chairs and tables out in the alley until 4:30. Peace and quiet until 6AM, when someone fired up a pressure washer to clean (various liquid substances from the night before?) from the alley. When we asked for a different room for the second night, they said they were all booked up, and gave us earplugs.
One floor walk-up to the lobby, and then one or more floors to the rooms. If you plan to stay there prior to a cruise as we did, think about humping all your suitcases up and down by yourselves.

The Ugly
Upon check-in, the guy behind the counter took our information, including credit card, but then wanted us to sign a completely blank credit card receipt. He explained that, since Da Hotel fancies themselves as part hotel, part art gallery, they wanted something for security, should a guest choose to steal or deface the “art” in the room. Upon check-out, after inspecting the room, they would tear up the blank card pressing. I offered to sign if they wrote down something like “$250 refundable damage deposit”, but he refused. As we were getting ready to walk out, he said that there was another alternative. We could leave one of our passports in the hotel safe. Since this is a standard practice in Europe, we agreed. At the end, we had about 1 hour between check-out time and the time we needed to get a cab to our cruise ship. They insisted on $5.00 to hold our bags for that time, which we had no choice but to pay. P.S.: They never checked the room before returning my passport.

Despite the comments about noise, we chose Da House for its location and price. We decided to take a chance after another traveler on TripAdvisor commented that the music was loud, but he liked it. We were anticipating Caribbean music, but boy were we wrong! Try putting on some Techno music with the pulsing bass for one night at home until 4:30, and see whether you can sleep. If you can, and can live with the other issues above, or want to be one of the drunks making noise outside the windows, this might be your kind of place. Oh, and the art? My wife is a professional artist. Neither she nor I were impressed with anything we saw anywhere in Da House. I’ve posted a couple pictures of the priceless treasures in our room. You know, the ones that would have required our signing a blank credit card receipt!

Two restaurants in the area bear mentioning. Around the block from Da House is Café San Juan. Try the Mofongo for lunch. Also, just around the corner is a little bakery/coffee shop, the Mallorca Café. They make a wonderful breakfast sandwich (called a “Mallorca”) on a sweet roll that is out of this world.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank russknan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Da House Hotel

Address: 312 Calle de San Francisco | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901-1720, Puerto Rico
Region: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Price Range: £78 - £120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Da House Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Old San Juan, above legendary cafe teatro The Nuyorican Cafe, we offer clean, comfortable, eclectic accommodations in a friendly, vibrant setting that is reminiscent of the character of hostels in great European cities like Amsterdam, Paris or Barcelona. In the 1970s this beautiful four story building in colonial Old San Juan housed the Centro Nacional de las Artes. The Centro was an artist collective that ran an art gallery and workshops. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Da Hotel San Juan
Da San Juan

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