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“Sweet Escape - finding my travel mojo after all these years” 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
North Carolina
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Sweet Escape - finding my travel mojo after all these years”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2011

To say that I am a frequent traveller would be like saying that the Gallery Inn is a hotel - talk about an under statement!
I travel constantly - in fact i have now racked up over 3 million miles on American Airlines alone! (My passport is worn out - in fact I have a new one and that is already threadbare!)
As such a leisure trip is not something I do as a matter of course - however in the case of the Gallery Inn this is truly an escape from reality. From the moment I arrive at the antique 'portal' that provides entry to this magical place I can literally feel the stress leave my body. The gardens that are part of the hotel, literally providing outdoor rooms, are filled with flowers, parrots and in many cases other guests. As I have visited this hotel many times I am welcomed as a member of the family, a glass of wine is pressed into my hand and my bags are taken to my room while I succumb to the warm embrace of Puerto Rican hospitality. Jan (gracious hostess and artist extraordinaire) proudly shows me all the improvements since my last visit - I am dizzy with excitement! From the intriguing swimming pool that was created from the ruins of an old house, to the new offerings from the gourmet kitchen, there is always something new to discover. Darkness falls - the noise from the street blends with classical music that is piped throughout the courtyards, the patios and other areas that I wander through in delight. I look forward to the next day when I can enjoy the comforts of the hotel - or travel back in time through the streets of San Juan. My magical evening ends when I climb the stairs to my incredible room - I gaze at the moon over the water through the ancient window and finally make my way to my Temper-Pedic bed where I fall into a dreamless sleep. Bliss!
Even though my stay is short I will leave refreshed and ready to face the work week - this is truly a travel haven!

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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 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
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624 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 (177)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rincon, Puerto Rico
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2011

Hello Puerto Rico

You have an ultimate destination in your backyard. My wife and I have a second home in PR.
If you need a romantic getaway, personal escape, or just the need to experience a one of a kind place - stop in at the Gallery Inn and have some wine, tapas, art, and adventure. It is priceless!!

  • Stayed March 2011, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2011

I stayed with my boyfriend in the Gallery Inn for 5 nights. The hotel is eccentric, with art and sculpture everywhere. However, the room we stayed in was a HUGE disappointment. The bed was nice and comfortable but the room was musty and all of our clothes were damp from the humidity and lack of air circulation. We had no windows that opened and it was very dark since it was an "interior room." The room also felt dirty. It was obviously not swept or vacuumed in a while and there was a lot of dust and a couple cobwebs. After the first day the toilet stopped flushing completely and we had to reach into the tank to flush every time we used it- gross.
It was a nice atmosphere at first. It was very serene and quiet and all of the art was beautiful to look at, but this wore off quickly when we realized what we were getting for our money.
-The breakfast was a complete joke. Period. We only ate breakfast at the hotel twice in the 6 days we were there. They shouldn't even bother, it was laughable.
-The pool area was nice but there weren't any clean towels to dry off with and there we bugs and leaves in the water the whole time.
-The honor bar was overpriced. Buy a bottle of wine or rum down the street and keep it in your room and use their glasses. It will save a lot of money.
-They had a jug with a spout in the hotel lobby with a sign that said filtered water if you are thirsty. The "filtered" water came from a brita filter that was covered in film that they filled the jug with. At one point they had run out of water and I was so thirsty I was forced to drink from the bathroom sink. This I thought was unacceptable.
The birds are pretty but they will attack you if you try to touch them.
On the plus side, the people who worked there were extremely friendly and helpful with recommendations, cabs and directions. They were personable and knowledgable and probably the best thing about the B&B.
All in all we had a great trip but it had nothing to do with our accommodations. P.R. is an amazing place with wonderful people but you are much better off saving money and staying elsewhere...especially if you are only using the room as a home base and for little else. The Gallery Inn is extremely overpriced for what you get and we left feeling relaxed but ripped off. It seems like the owners feel that because this place is so "artsy" they can be lax about cleaning and amenities. We will not be returning.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanDEsopo, Owner at The Gallery Inn, responded to this review, April 3, 2011
Dear Valued Guest, Thank you for writing. I cannot tell you how important your responses are to us. I do wish to tell you and all new guests that we will always try to change your room if you are not happy. Each room is so different and it can happen that the room/guest pairing are incorrect. We will always try to find the best solution. Your comfort is of the highest value to us. I do appologize for the pool, it is centered in our gardens with hanging vines and bougainvillia above. Thrice daily cleaning will not prevent the March wind gusts from blowing in new leaves. However the pool is kept to the highest standards and tested nightly. Our Continental breakfast is fruit, juice, coffee, toast, cereal and fresh muffins, I am so sorry if you expected more. I do sincerely thank you for the wonderful comments that you made about our staff. They are a fine group of people and it is great encouragement when pople stop to write. Thanking you myself, I remain sincerely, Jan D'Esopo, owner
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New York City, New York
2 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2011

After booking The Gallery Inn's most expensive room, and reading numerous positive recommendations on this site, my boyfriend and I were horribly disappointed by this B&B.

The room was dingy, dusty, and uncleaned, the floor unswept and unmopped, and even our soap had already been used. The waterpressure was non-existent, the hair drier started shooting sparks, and when it began to rain the water seeped in through the walls and covered a good section of the floor.

In addition, the amenities promised were thoroughly lacking. The Wi-Fi did not work at all. The complimentary breakfast was missing most food offerings, and when we asked for a dinner recommendation we were given three different restaurant choices, all of which were closed!

Suffice it to say that when spending over $300/night , I would expect a whole lot more. The hotel staff was very polite and considerate in letting us cancel our remaining night's reservation, but all in all the owners owe their patrons a whole lot more.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
JanDEsopo, Owner at The Gallery Inn, responded to this review, April 3, 2011
Dear Valued Guest, I am saddend gravely that your experience was dissappointing. As owner, may I say that my staff and I try so hard to send every guest off having had a wonderful time with us. There are so many of us here to attend. I would have rushed to your room if you had only let me know of any difficulty. Living right here on the property, I am happy to say that I am available to all guests 24/7 and when notified, I or someone goes immediately to the room to rectify whatever problem. After hearing about your wi-fi, our technicion rectified the situation within hours. A new hair dryer has been replaced. Our water pressure, because we are so high over the old walls some time needs a valve turned, but we attend to problems with utter urgency to rectify guest needs. I certainly thank you for commenting, because we listen and care to make The Gallery Inn better and better. For breakfast, we have even upgraded the flour in the bread we make daily. I hope you will certainly give us another chance, Jan D'Esopo
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san francisco
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2011

My partner and I made a trip to Puerto Rico for our 7-year anniversary and stayed at Gallery Inn for 3 nights.

The location was perfect for us - uphill and tucked away from most of the bar and restaurant action, so quieter than most places, and right between the 2 fortresses of Old San Juan.

The hotel - decorated with the owner's own art, lots of plants, and several wonderful birds (though one of them bit me). It also has an amazing view from a rooftop deck, and a unique swimming pool.

The rooms - we saw two of them. They are all uniquely decorated, clean and absolutely fine, but no frills and not worth the $300 (tax incl) that we paid per night. The first was a "view" room with a Queen bed. It looked quite worn and drab, and the "view" was actually of the flat across the street and a rooftop generator of some sort. We had been told we'd get a King bed, so we asked them to change our room. We ended up in the "Dr. Joe" room with a King bed and a view of the ocean. Very comfortable bed and a far better view, but a few maintenance issues - the ceiling fan didn't work, and the shower head was spraying all over the bathroom. They also didn't tell us not to open the beautiful doors out to the small deck. So we did! Lovely ocean breeze, but apparently we let in mosquitoes, and I was up all night under siege (mosquitoes love me!). They eventually fixed the shower head and brought us a portable fan from the laundry room. Nice of them, but for $300/night, I expect things to at least work.

Continental breakfast - Just okay. Coffee, fresh fruit and juice (but get there early or they run out), corn flakes, fresh white bread, and some small muffins. We were told they have boiled eggs sometimes, but not while we were there. That would have been nice. You have to pay for anything else you want. We ordered eggs, and since my partner can't have milk products, they were nice enough to make the eggs with olive oil. Very good, but not worth $9 for 2 eggs.

Service - Everyone was nice enough but seemed annoyed by our requests to have things fixed. I also asked for another room change after my mosquito attack - I know, a lot to ask, but we wanted to at least be able to sleep for that kind of money. They said they couldn't move us again and instead offered to make sure the room was free of insects. Something worked because we were fine on our last 2 nights.

Overall, we loved the space and the art and the views, but the rooms are overpriced. Perhaps the less expensive interior rooms are worth the cost, but they are likely rough around the edges. I suggest picking one of those and plan to spend little time in your room. don't open the windows if you don't like mosquitoes, and don't turn your back on a cockatiel!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Syracuse, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2011

Vey unique hotels with only 21 rooms, most of which have private balconies overlooking either the ocean or interior courtyards filled with sculpture and lush plants. I previewed 5 separate rooms during my stay (escorted by Mgmt while the rooms were unrented) to figure out what room I should request when I come back the next time. All the rooms were unique and spacious, so you can't go wrong. The artwork throughout the hotel (to include in the rooms) is all original and very interesting. The room I stayed in had an excellent view with french doors opening onto a small balcony. The ocean breezes were great. The room also had central AC and the bed matress was very comfortable. The hotel staff was very friendly and always helpful in answering any questions. The hotel is located right on the main road connecting the 2 major forts in San Juan. There is a very wide sidewalk on the oceanside and it's filled with plenty of joggers and walkers every morning. I felt very safe during my workout. Overall, it was a great place to stay. This hotel definitely has character & I'll be back.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vermont
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2011

We loved the inn, in fact I think I have never loved an inn more!
Every aspect of our too short stay was seamless. The environs were my
favorite. I thoroughly enjoyed the art and every person I met. Thor
was very attentive and helpful. We hope to return for a longer stay.
If you are looking for a modern or streamlined place, dont pick this one....if you have a romantic and artistic bent ala gabriel garcia marquez or isabel allende, you will love the nooks and crannies filled with art, the beautiful ambience, the feel of the warm tropical air rushing through the place. you can stay here and dream....imagine the way the city looked 300 years ago when this little piece of heaven was built...the beauty and creativity abounding here almost reduced me to tears! loved it. thanks.....

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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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