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“Great place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Palace Hostel

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The Palace Hostel
2.0 of 5 Hostel   |   666 Calle Suau, San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico   |  
Hotel amenities
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013 via mobile

Great people, good location, i had a blast!! The shower was bigger than some hotels I've stayed at. They held my baggage after I checked out till I left later in the day. Can't say a bad thing about this place.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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63 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tallinn, Estonia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

After 24 hours in airports and flying, we arrived in the middle of the night and first emotion was "oh crap we have to live here 10 days". But next morning we woke up and we started to change our first impression. First of all, its a hostel, so if you are looking glitz and comfy, then you should definitely stay away. But if you are looking people from whom to learn best spots and with whom together explore the island, then you are in the right place. The staff is very friendly, almost every night staff brings all the guests together and you have amazing opportunity meet people from around the world. Hostal itself is quite small, 2 kitchens, where you can cook and use fridge. One common room, but most of the life happened in the outdoor patio. Hostel is near to bus stop and also the main bus station is near. We usually walked about 15 minutes to the beach. By bus the old town was just 5 stops away. There are few supermarkets around, the best one was in our mind Pueblo, good selection of fresh and other stuff. Beds were surprisingly comfy and big. Room was quite small. Altogether hostal has 2 shared bathrooms and one toilet, so in the morning can happen that takes time to get to the shower. With fellow guest we visited old town and did some bar hopping, danced salsa, sat on the beach until 5 in the morning, visited culebra island, rainforest, the beaches, cooked together, sat on the patio and talked until early mornings and had midnight picnic on the roof:) We never would have this amazing holiday if we have stayed in the hotel or apartment, and yes the money we saved from staying there allowed us to rent a car, take daytrips around the island and have a good holiday.

Room Tip: If you dont mind the spartan conditions to meet new people then this is your place.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

I was conflicted as to how to rate the experience because I enjoy creature comforts, however, I've decided that even though this experience was one of spartan living and lack of privacy, it's what you expect when you elect for a hostel, and if you're looking to get a little bit of cultural experience in San Juan, the location sets you up for some good adventures into the city proper.

Accommodations: My boyfriend and I chose to get a private room so we could lock our belongings in during the day and have some (ahem) privacy at night. We were situated first floor, first room from the central area which sort of put us right in the living space when we left the room in a towel to shower. It wasn't so bad, but I'm also sure if there were people out there, they could here us on that rickety bed at night too. THE BED. This bed made me initially give it one star, but that wasn't fair to the rest of the experience. The bed was like plywood with a cheap sheet thrown on it. I didn't sleep a wink although my boyfriend had no issue. I guess I am a bit of a diva. If you like firm mattresses, you'll be fine. If you have a pillow top and you're staying a few days, stuff one of those egg crate mats in your suitcase. You won't regret it. Other than that the room was what you would expect, small, clean and bare of furniture. There was an AC unit which was absolutely wonderful. Shower was dormitory-esque and although hot water is limited (and only offered in the downstairs shower), it's so warm and muggy there you will appreciate a slightly colder shower anyway.

Common areas: I loved the common areas of this hostel. It's a crumbly concrete building but the alley way was converted into a rock garden cafe-looking area, and two upstairs balconies serve as wonderful spaces to converse with other travelers. In fact my favorite part about staying at the hostel was meeting both the staff and other travelers over breakfast so definitely give yourself time to unwind and chat with others.

Breakfast: The do offer breakfast from 7-10 which can include anything from mini bagels w/ cream cheese to crepes and pancetta bacon (courtesy of Nathan). The one thing you can count on is a big pot of coffee. Sometimes the occupancy is such that you won't find a traditional mug. I often sipped mine from an old smuckers jam jar.

Security: Each set of room keys has a gate key. The gate must be unlocked from the inside and outside. I felt very safe in the hostel.

Neighborhood: The area is a bit rough, but not unsafe during the day. The street you are on is sandwiched between two prominent parallel streets. My boyfriend and I took a right out of the hostel door and walked a mile or two Condado Beach and felt a bit uneasy due to empty lots, boarded up buildings and some strung out homeless men on the sidewalk. Condado itself is bustling and alive with tourists and locals alike, but we later found out we walked through the slums to get there. By taking a left out of the front door and traversing down Hoare to Ponce de Leon (then take a right) you can experience a safer more vibrant walk to the same area.

Beaches: Going the Ponce de Leon route, just keep walking straight toward the water, past the public fountain and toward the Hilton. You can't swim in the lovely lagoon you first see under the overpass, but if you walk left and put the Hilton on your right, you'll come to an old burned out Hotel called the Normandie, and just behind the hotel is a public beach used almost exclusively by locals. (The Hotels make beach access impossible on their land.) It's a bit rocky, but the water is lovely. The locals offered us wonderbread hot dogs and cokes, and we were the only white people who didn't speak Spanish, but we felt safe and accepted there. It was a great experience. (Must try coco frio from the little soda shop on the beach).

Food and culture: If you want a taste of both, venture down to the market place, affectionately called the plazita by locals. From 6 to 6 there is a central building filled with local farm produce (no signage and no one pops up to help you so it may be intimidating to shop). All around the outside of this building are bars and restaurants. The stand that works right out of it and has a little rotunda to sit under has amazing chicharron pollo (fried chicken wings) and tostones (plantain patties) with spicy mayo. Medallo (the local light beer) is one dollar. It's wonderful people watching. At night on Thurs-Sat the place is a local hotspot with live music and drinking in the street. This is about 1.5 mile walk from the hostel, located on Calle Canals, off of Ponce de Leon.

Old San Juan: We could not for the life of us catch a bus to Old San Juan. They just did not stop for us. So we walked the whole way because the street just outside the hostel goes straight there (about 2.5 miles). As we walked, it turned into a pretty awesome street art tour if you appreciate that sort of thing. That road travels along the bahia urbana which is a stimulus project to convert the slummy burned out buildings along the water in the bay to tourist friendly areas. Honestly I don't know how far they've gotten with that because the homes that we saw were abandoned project buildings covered in artwork and reclaimed by nature with large trees growing right through the middle. It was an accidental adventure and it really showed us the true state of things in San Juan. Very interesting but maybe not for everyone and certainly not at night or alone.

All in all: 4 stars because the location gave us opportunity to experience local San Juan, but we stayed at a resort for the last few days to experience the touristy side as well and suggest you do the same. The reason it's not 5 stars is because I had some of the worst sleep of my life there, but other than that, you get what you pay for and the people and staff are awesome.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013 via mobile

this hostel is the worst one I have been to in PR. it's dirty, has no AC and is open air so it's hot and Mosquitos are everywhere, even in the bedrooms. the staff is not as nice and friendly as other people we have met at other guest houses. but I did have fun here last night because the guests love to party all night. and it's cheap. consider posada in old san juan due to it's superior location and management...

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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jeff f, Manager at The Palace Hostel, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
All of the "hostels" in San Juan are "open air". And all of the rooms here at the Palace have A/C!
Sounds like our Competition leaving a Negative Review. Sorry to Say! Please read our other positive reviews for a more accurate Description. Thanks!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Hello, I spend only one night with my friend at The Palace Hostel in november 2011 and everything was very good. Easy check-in, dorm room was cleaned. Stuff was very friendly and helpful. We were invited for a beer by the stuff and others guest.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013 via mobile

Staying at this hostel was an experience i will definitely never forget. Shannon and Chris are amazing people and will make your stay amazing as well. Puerto Rico was a trip with memories that surpass many others and almost all of them were made at this hostel.

If you want a vacation where you will meet travelers from all over the world, see the true local side of Puerto Rico, have the opportunity to socialize and make new friends, eat the most delicious meal known to mankind on st pattys day, always have someone wanting to adventure off with you, get the chance to do some spanish karaokee, or simply sit around with great people sipping on medallas then this is the place for you. If none of this sounds appealing (you must be crazy) then book a hotel. But seriously i highly suggest that everyone experiences this wonderful place at least once in their lifetime.

Shannon and Chris are two people who know how to be professional but they will also hang out with you and treat you like real people not just guests. Shannon is basically the coolest person on the island, along with Chris so everyone better book their reservations asap before they leave! Dont miss an opportunity to meet some of the greatest people you'll know.

Nossa, nossa
Assim você me mata
Ai se eu te pego, ai ai se eu te pego

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Highland Park, New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

This is not palace where people go to sleep. I mean, there may be people that go here to sleep but they are in their rooms while a select few party within feet of the sleeping rooms, blasting music at levels too high for my deaf grandfather. I would never come back here. The worst part is that the management is usually involved in the drunkenness and excessive loudness. So it seemed to me impossible that there would be any way to complain. There may be a few good things about this place that one could mention if they wanted to try to even thing out. Some of the staff was friendly. There is a washer and dryer available for five bucks a load. When I tried to use it, it was full for a few hours with wash that I later found out was sheets from the hostel. There was water on the floor of the bathroom so you must wear sandals. It's in a shady neighborhood. It's nice in the immediate area but close by there is a park where some homeless people seem to hangout. I made sure not to walk around their at night. There was always parking available close to the entrance. I agree with some of the other reviewers that about half of the time that I entered the building it was unlocked even though the staff asked guests to always lock it. There was a "trick" to opening my door because the key is so old. People sleep in the common area. Go here if you want to party all night. Im sure you could meet some friends ti party with if that is your intention. Don't come here if you intend to sleep at night. Maybe it's possible to sleep during the day here. I wouldn't know. I was exploring the island during the day.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Palace Hostel

Address: 666 Calle Suau, San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 14 Specialty lodging in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — The Palace Hostel 2*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Most people come to a Hostel to do 2 things which are SOCIALIZE and SLEEP! For that reason we have the LARGEST hostel in San Juan with the MOST Public social space to mingle and meet fellow travelers! And for your Comfort and Sleep we Have Memory foam Beds and A/C in Every room! We are the Closest Hostel to Condado, which is the most popular Beach/surfing/swimming area in all of San Juan! We are also the closest hostel to Miramar which has Eateries and a movie theater. For your Beverage convenience we are located within 50 Meters of a Beer and Liquor Store! And for your transportation convenience we are across the street from A Taxi Station! We have 3 SEPERATE outside social areas to meet fellow travelers! Your stay includes: FREE Hostel Breakfast! FREE linens & towels FREE Wi-Fi in all of the rooms FREE usage of our Security Lockers FREE Board games FREE Memory foam beds (only hostel in San Juan that offers quality Bedding!) FREE 24 hr Local Calls FREE Coffee and Tea FREE Luggage storage FREE Air Conditioning in ALL bedrooms! When choosing your Hostel be careful to choose a hostel Located in a central Location! Not one that is located near one attraction that can be covered in one day! Which makes traveling to the other more 'island' type Activities such as Beach activities somewhat difficult. We are centrally located to beautiful beaches, supermarkets , restaurants but away from noisy touristy places so you can sleep Peacefully! Your Comfort is our # 1 Goal and our entire hostel is designed around this concept which most hostels around the world drastically lack! We are the only Hostel in Puerto Rico with a State of the Art Video Surveillance system and 24 hour a day Locked security gates and windows! Credit cards now accepted! ... more   less 
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