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“Decent value for great location in Old San Juan”
Review of Da House Hotel

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Da House Hotel
Ranked #26 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Delafield, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
72 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Decent value for great location in Old San Juan”
Reviewed 8 February 2011

My husband and I spent two nights at Da House, in room 406. Location is outstanding, and the place has a lot of character. The price is also reasonable for Old San Juan.

We drove around for some time trying to find a place to park. You can park on the street for free, if you can find a spot which we eventually did. There are some parking garages around as well, but I'd recommend checking into the best ones in advance by emailing Da House, because some try to charge a ridiculous amount and I understand there are reasonably priced options.

Our visit began with a very friendly greeting from Luzmar at the front desk. She was very enthusiastic and helpful in recommending places to eat, things to see, etc. Our room was not ready when we arrived around 3:30 or 4. So, we left our luggage with the front desk and explored Old San Juan for a while. We also observed that the rooms get cleaned quite late.

Pack light or be prepared to lug your bags up a lot of stairs. We knew this going in so while we were still out of breath by the time we reached the top floor with our luggage, we were cool with it and recognize that an elevator does not fit into the historic nature of this place.

Our room was very basic and we liked the decor. The doors to the Juliet balcony opened to the open air which was great. We could see San Cristobal from our room.

The biggest downside of the room was the bathroom. The shower had very low water pressure.

The bed was not very comfortable, although every place we stayed in Puerto Rico had a hard mattress so not sure that that's out of the ordinary for the area.

Yes it is very loud, even on the 4th floor! The first night we joined the party. It was lots of fun to experience the live salsa band and watch some very talented salsa dancers. Get out there and dance, even if you don't know how! My husband and I surely looked like fools but we had a great time! Surprisingly, we were able to sleep through the noise because we were so exhausted by the end of our busy days. What was annoying however was that both mornings, at 5:30 or so, someone in the hotel slammed their door and loudly pounded down the hallway in high heels! Not cool!

The rooftop has a jacuzzi, which we enjoyed after our night at the Nuyorican Cafe. It is very nice to enjoy the city view at night, as well as the stars, from the hot tub. The jets were not working when we were there.

If you want a delicious and traditional morning treat, head down to nearby La Bombanera for a mallorca, which is a sweet pastry that can be grilled with, e.g., ham and cheese inside. It sounds simple but it is amazing! And the atmosphere is great, seeing that this place has been in business for over 100 years.

I would recommend this hotel to others, with the several caveats mentioned. Just set your expectations accordingly!

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank roadwarriorz
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 (133)
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2011

We looked for a cheap place in San Juan that would be adequate to our needs, and that it what we found. Our room (402, recommended by Fodor's as one of the quietest) was large and somewhat run down, but the bed was fine and we had our own balcony, shared with another room as well as the hall way, that afforded a view over rooftops toward San Cristobal. No soap or shampoo is provided, so bring your own. Nor were there any cups for brushing teeth or drinking water (or wine). The location is first rate, though, and the price was right for us. We don't need fancy services and sure didn't get any. Cleaners apparently don;t come to the room until 6 PM or so (and they were late getting our room ready by the 3 PM check-in time as well). Staff are friendly although perhaps a bit forgetful.

Da House provides a voucher for an eatery (Rick;s Cafe) in a nearby hotel (Casablanca) -- a complete waste. Voucher gets you a small (but delicious) pastry and an American coffee -- and no substitutions. If you are a tea drinker you pay. Better to go to one of the bakeries down the street for breakfast.

The hotel is above the Nuyorican Cafe, a cdenter for lkive music and salsa; it can be loud in the hotel if you don't have the right room. We had a fabulous time dancing, great scene, gringo college kids for the first set but a much more local crowd for the second set.

In the end, I felt we got good value but this is not a place for everyone.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PaulofDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
85 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2011

The good: a fantastic design hotel in a very central location in San Juan for a fair price. Great rooms, a lot of style, very clean. The salsa bar downstairs is by far the best in town. Nice staff, providing all information needed, on the nightlife, culture programs, day trips, and are very helpful in arranging rental cars, taxis or bikes.
The less-good: it is really noisy (because of the salsa bar) - especially on weekend-nights. OK, the hotel is not trying to hide that the noise can be disturbing and also ranges the different rooms according to the noise-levels - and therefore, I never considered it as an issue ... only, don't plan to spend long and quiet nights over here. The best way to "avoid" the nightly salsa rhythms is to spend a large part of the night in the Nuyorican salsa bar yourself.
Another down-side: it would be great if the hotel would serve breakfast and coffee. Although there is a good breakfast offer in the sister-hotel (Cassablanca) on the next corner, I did miss the option to wake up and have a long breakfast before heading into town.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank midnight_in_belgium
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Racine, Wi
Level Contributor
40 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2011

Fabulous location, very neat historical property with each room named after and decorated with art by a local artist. Our room was #304 Manolo Diaz which is described as having some street noice (yes!) and somewhat away from the party (debatable). Who cares? We had a wonderful evening strolling through Old San Juan culminating with a visit to the downstairs salsa club with great live music. Our room had windows on two sides so it was impossible not to have some street noise, but we were able to sleep even with the window/doors ajar.
This is the kind of hotel that makes travel interesting and fun. The public spaces are filled with original art, the hospitality is friendly and the fellow guests are people that you'd like to get to know.
Also would like to recommend an awesome Peruvian restaurant nearby called C. Vi. Che.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Diane from WI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toronto
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2011

Jeez...people really like to complain. Traveling to a city like San Juan doesn't exactly scream 10 hour sleep to me...

This hotel is exactly what it should be (and what it's advertised to be); it's hip, bohemian, above a loud bar, and is teeming with puerto rican life (music, booze and energy)!!

If it's a little loud for you, bring earplugs - it's that easy. We were on the third floor, room 311 (because I heeded the warnings in many reviews that it was a loud location). Although we could hear the music through the vents coming from the bar, it wasn't outrageous where we were (and we were on the side of the hotel where the bar is). It's clean, in an absolutely awesome location - you walk all over Old San Juan from here, and the staff were all attentive and helpful.

My only negative comment about the room is that it seemed as though it was missing a shower door because the water would flood the bathroom. Nothing a few towels couldn't absorb, but still a little odd.

A note to future patrons - travel light - otherwise, you'll be lugging your bags up a number of flight of stairs (no lift/elevator)...it's still worth the struggle up though. Also, there's the most amazing breakfast just a few blocks from the hotel called La Bombonera. Yes, it's a diner (it was founded in 1902)! You shouldn't leave Old San Juan without having had breakfast here...and what should you order? Definitely a Mallorca (my new favourite breakfast)!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pati_dk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 January 2011

This hotel is VERY cute, it's clean, the art concept is very inviting. But if you want any bit of sleep then this is not the place for you.

Their website gives you the option of "close to the party" or not. But "close to the party" does not come close to the reality that "the party" is in a club just below the hotel, and sounds like the band is inside of your room! Earplugs will not help so much! So just beware, if you want to get any sleep do not stay here.
There should be a serious discount for these "party rooms".

Otherwise, the staff was friendly, the location is great inside of Old San Juan, breakfast is served at their sister hotel but when we got there the waiter said he was too busy and would eventually get to us, and our toilet didn't flush by itself so we had to manually flush it through the tank.

As a very well traveled person (over 55 countries in the world), and having stayed in all levels of accommodation (5-star to African brothel), I would never recommend this hotel.

All I can say is - at your own risk!

Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank VoiLis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviewed 4 January 2011

The hotel was actually pretty cool, each room is decorated for a different artist and there is art all over the hotel. I bought a couple little drawings, really nice. If you get a room with a view you'll love/hate the salsa club underneath. The shutters were ceiling length and opened up the whole room, really beautiful. I stayed there with my boyfriend and it was really nice/romantic to wake up and open them in the morning and the music just swarmed in. However, fall asleep at night wasn't as peaceful. But all in all really fun, nice staff, cool hotel.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mcleod9988
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

Property: 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 #26 of 46 Hotels in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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