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“Perfect location but so-so room (4D)” 3 of 5 stars
Review of CasaBlanca Hotel

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CasaBlanca Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   316 Fortaleza St. | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 47 hotels in San Juan
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Perfect location but so-so room (4D)”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

This hotel has the perfect location in old San Juan with walking distance to attractions (El Morro) and restaurants and the waterfront. The charm and the colonial feel of the hotel were terrific. The front desk folks were helpful. The movie "Casablanca" plays continuously in the lobby. The lobby has a Moroccan feel. The bathtubs on the open rooftop were unique. We just didn't like our room. We stayed in 4D and it had no windows. The air conditioner was sporadic which meant we woke up a few times in the night too hot and then too cold. The hot water came and went. Stay in a different room if you stay here. Our biggest dislike was hauling our suitcases up the 4 flights of stairs, though we have to give the hotel some leeway on that issue. Turns out that they cannot just install an elevator. They are in an historical building and construction requires special permits. I'd love to go back to old San Juan, but I probably wouldn't stay here again. It was just too hard with the flights of stairs to negotiate and no parking within blocks of the hotel. The street out front is one way and very narrow. In a car or in a taxi, you have to hustle in and out of the vehicle and then get a move on since the traffic backs up behind you.

Room Tip: Don't stay in 4D
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce O, Manager at CasaBlanca Hotel, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Cindy,

Room 4D just became a priority for us! We apologize so much for the inconvenience you experienced during your stay at CasaBlanca. There is probably little chance we can open a window to the exterior of the building due to the historical nature, but we can certainly create some extra perks associated with the room to make it at least super comfortable and enjoyable for a good night sleep.

San Juan's parking situation is limited, and public parking garages are two blocks away from the hotel. It makes for a gorgeous walk over the cobble stone streets! We would recommend not to rent a car if you are staying in Old Town. Take a taxi from the airport to your hotel, and rent the car for the day you will be heading out to explore the island on wheels. Most rental car companies can pick you up at the hotel at your convenience.

Thank you so much for your feedback and comments, and we hope you will visit us again in the future. We will let everyone know when we have an elevator!
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278 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
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English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

Clean hotel room with very friendly and helpful staff. Really liked the atmosphere. I would advise that the front rooms overlooking Fortaleza St can be a bit noisy. I heard trash collecting on a Sunday night and a few loud cars while trying to sleep.

But the bed was very comfortable, the hotel is nice and is in a great location for sight seeing in Old San Juan.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce O, Manager at CasaBlanca Hotel, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear Irishdad404,

We are so pleased to hear you had a great stay at CasaBlanca! Remember, returning guests have a 10% discount when booking directly with us (discount is provided at check-in). We would love to see you again!

The front rooms are the letters A and B (for future guests). Outside noise is occasional, specially on Friday and Saturday when downtown is full of both tourists and locals. I would advise to go out and experience the culture late at night, local live music places don't open until 10pm. There are two places that play live Salsa on the weekends, both are within a block of our hotel. One is called "Dos Cuernitos" and the other is "Newyorican Cafe", iconic salsa venue for locals and artists.

We now have ear plugs available upon request in case you need them, and we are consulting with a soundproofing specialist to see in what ways we can combat downtown noise. We want CasaBlanca to be not only trendy and convenient, but pleasant for every guest need.

Thank you so much for your review!
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Brooklyn,
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

There are several reasons why you should stay in Casablanca. First off the staff is friendly, the owner was at reception checking us in, he was really cool! Secondly, the area was perfect! You cant ask for a better block! The hotel is also super cool. The rooms were decorated really great, the beds were comfy the balcony was an added plus, bathrooms are amazing, love the soaps and products. The roof top was cute, bathtubs are on the roof for your use, but I dont know about that, kinda weird, they need a jacuzzi up there, pretty sure cant fit a pool. There is no elevator YET, but if you stay on the 3rd floor and lower your money! The cost is pretty inexpensive for the location. I would say go here for sure and support the new owner of this hotel. Do it and you wont be sorry!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Augustus
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013 via mobile

Great location for Old San Juan...spent most our time out and about...eating, drinking, walking etc

Quirky, adequate room, showers difficult to temperature control
Breakfast staff friendly...quite basic breakfast but that didn't bother us
Clean, comfy bed
Served its purpose as stayed here on arrival and on departure
Would have been good to know about the festival on our departure stay as would have got there earlier and sorted parking...great fun though!

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport News, Virginia
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

We arrived here after our cruise our vacation is over and our flight was the next day. We already did a lot in San Juan prior to our cruise. It is a nice hotel when you enter it and the people are cool and very informative about the area.. when you get your room you will realize there is no elevator so like us being on the 4th floor carrying 60 lbs of goodness upstairs was difficult. When you get into your room it is small so small in fact it feels like a nice prison. We had a window also that looked down the lobby which was cool but then at night you here drunks and or employees talking all night and baggage rollers in the morning. The shower did not even turn warm it was cold as hell and it never warmed up so i would not even take a shower here. This place also has a roof over looking San Juan which in my opinion was the best part of the hotel. I cant wait to leave from here but for those looking for location instead of a nice hotel and are out and about all the time this is for you.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

Enjoyed our stay in this historic building. Our room was clean and very well kept, smallish but in character for Old San Juan. It's easy to visit the Old City from this location, and it appears to be much less expensive than other hotels in the area. The free breakfast was good coffee & toast. The folks at the front desk were super helpful with travel ideas, car rental, etc. If it's Old San Juan you want, that is what you get at this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

I was quite disappointed with my second stay at this hotel. One year earlier we had a fantastic stay here. This time, the staff was less helpful and not as friendly. The breakfast is now very basic, and the bar is not open at all. My friends were locked out of their room because someone locked a hallway door and none of the hotel staff could find the key to unlock it. They were put in a different room for the night, but did not have access to any of their luggage. Then they had to argue with management to get a small discount.

I will not be staying here again. Maybe Hotel Milano will be better.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce O, Manager at CasaBlanca Hotel, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear Clevelandcracker,

Please accept our deepest apologies for your disappointing stay at CasaBlanca. This hotel was sold by the end of December 2012 and transitioned into new management in January 2013. I was part of the evaluation team that came into the inspection for purchase and we shared your impression entirely on the level of service that was being provided. We have since been working non-stop to bring this hotel back to what it was and better.

I would be happy to investigate this occurrence and offer your friends a full refund Please contact me directly at joyceoller@hotelcasablancapr.com.
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Additional Information about CasaBlanca Hotel

Address: 316 Fortaleza St. | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 47 hotels in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — CasaBlanca Hotel 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
CasaBlanca is a walk-up (no elevator) Boutique Hotel with 32 guestrooms with a lot of character and a personalized experience. We want you to love San Juan as much as we do by making sure your stay is pleasant and memorable. The structure is Spanish from the 1900's therefore rooms are mid to small sized, air conditioned and impeccable. Our beds are comfortable and equipped with microfiber linens and Hypoallergenic pillows, our bathrooms are small but private and unique, with amenities from the organic brand - Archive - to microfiber towels. Please ask front desk for complimentary items you might have forgotten to pack. Also available are: iron, steamer, hairdryer, 24 hrs water, coffee and ice. Cafe Americain conveniently located in the lobby serves a delicious breakfast every morning from 7 - 10 am while streaming our favorite Hollywood movie CasaBlanca. All our guests receive 20% discount. Restaurant offers a lunch menu selection of local cuisine as well as light options as sandwiches and salads. Diner is informal and only open Thur-Sat with the best "comida Criolla"in town. Our Sun Deck offers guests a memorable experience with magical views of Old San Juan, watch the cruises as they disappear into the bay or enjoy the historical views of San Cristobal Fort next to the open Caribbean Sea. From tanning to reading, enjoy our comfortable lounge chairs, as well as our stone bathtubs provided for a deep relaxation in fresh water at your own desired temperature and time as it is open 24 hrs. Everything from our menu is available with one quick call to guest services from our service phone. Still worried about catching up with friends and family or posting your recent vacation pictures online, or maybe send a late work related email, not a problem, our high speed Internet is available everywhere in Hotel grounds. We are a smoke free, environmentally friendly, historically preserved Hotel where you will find a smiley face where ever you go! ... more   less 
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