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“Old San Juan” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Gallery Inn

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The Gallery Inn
3.0 of 5 Inn   |   204 - 206 Norzagaray St | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico   |  
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Ranked #10 of 27 San Juan B&B and Inns
Athens, GA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Old San Juan”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2007

Staying at the Gallery Inn is experiencing elegant, colonial Old San Juan at it's very best. From the meticulous restoration of the 300 year old building to the lush tropical plants, the unpretentious yet competent concierge service and the cafe latte served with fresh baked (in house) breakfast breads leaves us wishing for a return trip. Our desire is made even stronger because a swimming pool is in the planning stage. Probably the most outstanding feature of the Gallery Inn is the extensive display of art - paintings and sculptures done by the artist owner, Jan D'Esopo - all tastefully placed throughout the entire building, the patios, the balconies and the roof garden.

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623 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (176)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lake Mary, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2007

The Gallery Inn is absolutely a the best way to feel Old San Juan in accomadations form. Not only that: gardens, fountains, colonial architecture, courtyards, terraces, patios and Jan D'Esopo's artworks fill every nook and cranny of this mansion
Its labyrinth begins at the highest point in the city and tumbles down to the Atlantic Ocean. If you are a hedonist, this is your mecca. The name itself conjures images of bohemian eclectasy and so on. -Carlos Pérez
Lake Mary, Florida

Stayed November 2006
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
caracas
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2007

Two time olympic designer (Sydney & Beijing)
5 Panamerica Games
150 World Cup Qualifiers
5 Central American & Caribbean Games
8 Years as Vice president of the Equestrian Internation Federation
14 years designing for Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Canada

48 of 52 weeks of my year are spent living out of a suitcase in different hotels throughout the world.

In my opinion, of all the hotels I have stayed in, the most magical of all is The Gallery Inn.

At one point in time, I was again invited to stay in Puerto Rico. I told the National Equestrian Federation that if I was not staying at the Gallery Inn I was not going to Puerto Rico.

The only problem is that the mattresses are of such a magnificent quality that it is nearly impossible to get out of bed in the morning.

L. Palacios
Caracas, Venezuela

  • Liked — This is not an accommodate this is a special ambiance. An accommodate is an insult for this place.
  • Disliked — I can't get up in the morning, because the mattress is too comfortable.
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2007

On our honeymoon we stayed for 2 unfortunate nights in this total disappointment. We mostly booked the room based on the reviews on Trip Advisor - which we completely regret. Our room was so mildewy and musty, that we had difficulty breathing at one point. Old World Charm? No - just old and unkept - awful decor, cavelike and downright depressing. We had to ask for the hot water to be turned on multiple times. We finally got hot water - with a side of attitude. On the upside - we saw so much of Old San Juan, which was wonderful because we couldnt bear to go back to the room. Listen to me and dont take the chance on this place!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Everything else besides location
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2007

How does one describe the wonderfully surreal? That’s the question I faced when describing the Gallery Inn to friends and family anxious to know how my honeymoon went in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Gallery Inn is a 18th century Spanish home converted into a hotel by Artist/owner Jan D’Espo and it sits on the North shore of Old San Juan over looking the mesmerizing blue waters of the Atlantic and it boasts no signs or extravagant façade merely three sculptures inviting your curiosity to a hidden gem just beyond. Entering is when the fun begins because it’s then that all of the senses are stimulated: from the beautiful red, blue, green and white parrots that say “hola”, to the lush tropical plants that hug every wall, to the soft sound of flowing water and to Jan’s amazing sculptures that form a cast of characters (from family to the famous) so interesting and exotic they will lead you in an impromptu exploration of the many rooms, courtyards and patios the Gallery has to offer. Upon getting your key you realize again this is no chain hotel, the room has a name not a number, the lobby is small and intimate with a mural inspired by the tropical birds and just feet away from that lies a small bar where guests meet to drink wine and eat cheese for six o’clock happy hour which my wife and I attended every evening. The rooms are beautiful and are anything but sterile like most hotel stays. The furniture is gorgeous, the beds are quite possibly the most comfortable I’ve slept on and the art is tastefully dispersed throughout. This room doesn’t feel like “the hotel room” it feels like your room, intimate, comfy, clean and quiet. And views to die for! Our “honey moon suite” had a truly gorgeous view of the Atlantic, the Spanish Forts of El Morro to the west and San Cristobal to the east, la Perla (rated one of the most picturesque slums in the world)on the beach below and the cobble stone streets of Old San Juan. This enchanting world is mere feet away from great restaurants, bars and retails stores. Though we went snorkeling, hiking and beach hopping getting back to the Gallery was a priority for the relaxation it provided and the unforgettable atmosphere. If you want an experience that takes you away from the mundane, cookie cutter- hotel express variety The Gallery is second to none. The only small detraction I would add is that the staff while being knowledgeable and attentive on most inquiries hadn’t a clue where to park in Old San Juan (there are huge parking structures on the south side) which is frustrating in the extreme if you rent a car but this was no blight on our stay a mere after thought. We cannot wait to return and stay at the Gallery again.

  • Liked — The rooms, the art, the atmosphere
  • Disliked — no parking
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2007

If you wish to get the true flavor of aristocratic Old San Juan, The Gallery Inn is the place to stay. Upon arrival we were treated to wine and cheese, an event that happens daily at 5PM where we met the owners who were our most gracious hosts (and their birds), explored the beautiful artwork and were presently lead to one of their lovely artists rooms right by the gardens that required one flight of stairs to go up and another to come down. Right away we knew this was no ordinary bed and breakfast and we felt like we were staying in an old house in the French Quarter or one of those gorgeous Bavarian castles in Germany.
Exploring this haunting 18th Century mansion was a treat in itself and I only wish we could have stayed more than one night. The dinning room is breathtaking as is the 360 rooftop view. That day the weather was wicked but we didn not mind at all, we were so happy to be at this hotel. Centrally located, all the good Old San Juan places are within walking distance, including El Morro, Cuartel de Ballajá, the old Cemetery, La Bombonera, La Mallorquina, art galleries and shops. A lovely breakfast of wonderful island coffee, gourmet scrambled eggs, croissants, local pastries and fruit was included... all accompanied by a beautiful soundtrack of concert hall music, piano and strings. When you reserve, ask about live concerts that take place in the hotel.
Only negatives: Like with all historic lodgings, if you have allergies, bring your meds, this place is over 200 years old. If you absolutely must have a TV in your room, the Artists rooms are not for you, you may want to enquire about TV sets in the upgraded rooms. The bathrooms in the Artists rooms are small and not very private at all, beds are tall but not too big and we had to request an iron and iron board. The staff was, however, prompt and courteous with our requests. Parking is a nightmare so call right before arrival to ask where you can leave your car, they will be happy to accomodate you.
Overall, we loved this hotel and would love to stay here again. Those of you with artistic and historic sensibilities will feel right at home here. The Gallery Inn will take your experience at Old San Juan to another level.

  • Liked — The ambiance
  • Disliked — Dust, small baths that were not too private, no TV, iron boards or other conveniences in rooms
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
michigan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2007

what a different place to stay. It's not your typical hotel stay but more an experience or adventure. Walking thru the iron gates into an outdoor courtyard the large birds welcome you. The cobblestone path lined with foliage and sitting areas lead you to the 18th century lobby where we greeted so kindly and professionally. Each suite has it's own name and we went to our bacony ocean front room. Two balconies overlook the old stone wall on the north side of the city. From there we can also see the old fort. The Inn encourages you to explore and find all the rooms hidden beyond the staircases. If you have trouble climbing, request a ground floor because it would be difficult carrying cruise lugguge up the steps for more challenged travelers. The top staircase takes you to a rooftop view of the city with a place to sit and relax while sipping on wine. The walls are lined with artwork from the owner and the decor is very quaint and whimsical. I'd highly recommend staying at least an overnight there. It had such a romantic charm about it and the staff makes you feel right at home. It's not a hotel where there name is in big neon lights, in fact, one would just think it's part of the residential area as it blends right in. It's in the heart of old san juan ~ walking distance to the cruise ship (not the pan am pier) if one so desired and walking distance to any site in the city. It was a $20 cab fare from the airport, about $300 for the room (we were in a bigger suite) and well worth every penny of it.

  • Liked — the design and the view
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Gallery Inn

Address: 204 - 206 Norzagaray 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 Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 27 B&Bs / Inns in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Gallery Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This sprawling 22-room ocean-view boutique hotel features lush gardens, tree-shaded patios and secluded and private nooks at every turn. The Wine Deck offers breath-taking, panoramic views from the highest point in Old San Juan. The newly completed sculpture waterfall pool meanders through ancient brick passageways, past fragrant gardenias. Six active art studios and world-class piano recitals are all open to our guests. Unique, elegant and exotic: the Old World charm of The Gallery Inn. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Gallery Hotel San Juan

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