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“Dreams Hotel – Simple, Inexpensive, Wonderful Local Flavor!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dreams Hotel Puerto Rico

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Dreams Hotel Puerto Rico
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   109 Ave. Universidad, San Juan 00926, Puerto Rico   |  
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Ranked #23 of 47 hotels in San Juan
Brooklyn Center
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Dreams Hotel – Simple, Inexpensive, Wonderful Local Flavor!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

The Dreams is not a luxury resort. You will not find high thread count pillow-topped mattresses; you will not be cocooned from the stresses of everyday life; there are no elevators, doormen, nor is there valet parking; continental breakfast is perhaps best overlooked… These are simple facts, not critical review because we found the Dreams to be fantastic!

Elena is your principle – and superb – host at the Dreams, a growing budget-minded hotel in one of the oldest districts in San Juan, dating to 1714. With rooms on three walk-up floors, this hotel is nestled in a working class neighborhood. At the lower end of the 4-block street is Walgreens; at the top of the street is the University of Puerto Rico. The hotel is located equidistant between the airport and cruise-ship terminal and Old San Juan is perhaps a 20 minute taxi ride. A two-double bed room with tax will cost you $55.

For those not keen on experiencing San Juan au natural, luxury can be found throughout Puerto Rico. At the Dreams you will be treated like family and you’ll be “home” the instant you step into the small lobby. Elena tended to our needs well before our arrival and looked after us as treasured guests upon arrival.

Rooms at the Dreams are large; each includes a small kitchenette (no stove), perhaps a sitting area and small table, sleeping room and small bathroom. Note: showers are small but if preparing to board a cruise this experience is excellent training! Although rustic by American econo-hotel standards, the additional space and high degree of cleanliness within the rooms is a noteworthy bonus. Local cable television is included with each room.

Mattresses are innerspring, protected by plastic liner and you are likely to need stretching exercises when you wake up. Don’t let that deter you from a good night’s sleep! Most rooms are reasonably quiet; turn on the A/C and its bit of noise wipes out most of what might be happening in the neighborhood. Beware: the two rooms located in the courtyard where breakfast is served can be noisy dependent upon the courtesy of other guests.

Avenida Universidad includes: Walgreens, a church with limited parking across the street from the hotel, a grocery store, a bar, multi-story nightclub, a liquor store, Subway sandwich shop and a really cool Cafeteria—Mini Market where we enjoyed breakfast and coffee several times during our stay. Other local restaurants including Burger King are within easy walking distance.

As an added bonus, within the same building at the Dreams you will find a small (fast food) restaurant, bar and nightly barbeque stand. The drinks are strong and inexpensive. The grilled meat served on sticks is a local draw with a string of cars stopping at the curb for “drive by” service each evening except Sundays. The grilled items are fantastic!

Within a 20 minute-5-block walk is Avenida José de Diego, a one-kilometer pedestrianized street with stores and shops which stretch for block upon block. The Río Piedras Plaza del Mercado (Marketplace) is the largest of its kind on the island and features dozens of shops offering food stands, shops and services. This is where you’ll find everything from household goods to very nearly anything you’d expect to find in Old San Juan at a steeply discounted rate.

We stayed at the Dreams one night before and for two nights after our cruise. During this time, major construction was started at the hotel, aimed at nearly doubling the size of the hotel. We’ll expect the same style of rooms and that when in Puerto Rico we will again enjoy the fantastic hospitality offered by Elena her husband and support staff. Embrace and enjoy the local hospitality!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
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112 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
    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 (34)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
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  • Russian first
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English first
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Good staff, nearby public transportation. Reasonable rates. Really clean. PR is a very expensive destination. This is a budget hotel nearby everything. Not in a touristic area but good. Good AC. Noisy on Thursday night, but i slept well.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Brooksville, Florida
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

This was our last night of vacatio nadn we stayed here becuase it was close to airport and was reasonably priced. BIG MISTAKE. For the pros: The staff was very pleasant. The room we had was large-a sitting room besides the bedroom. There was off street parking. The room was clean. For the cons: I used the toilet (just pee) and flushed--the toilet was clogged. We went down (three flights, no elevator) and the girl at the desk said she would get a plunger. We went for a walk (so I could use the bathroom somewhere!) and when we got back she said she couldn't find a plunger and the other one was locked in a closet, so when the owner got back she would get it. About an hour later she gave me the plunger and I used it--up came someone else's poop and a hypodermic needle! We went down and got the girl and she plunged some more and cleaned it up. My husband used it (1 and 2)--still plugged--the girl had left the plunger so he used it, got it to flush so so, but each time we tried to flush it not much happened--needless to say we were afraid to use it--the girl came up again with another man and they plunged it and said it was working, but it would flush once, then not flush again. We asked for a different room, but they were filled up. We did say we expected something--refund/discount whatever to make up for the fact the toilet did not work properly. She said she would talk to the owner. In the morning we went to breakfast--which consisted of some cracker type things, pears and some frozen items that had mold on them when I opened one--did not leave us with much of an appetite. At checkout, the desk girl talked with the owner and supposedly we were getting a 100% refund, but it has been 4 days and it has not hit our credit card yet--will update if we actually get it. In addition to the breakfast and toilet, the bed had plastic on it which was so hot and uncomfortable, the room was nonsmooking, but smelled of smoke and the bathroom had a soap bar with a smoke cig. burn mark, the sitting room windows did not close so the air couldn't be on in that room, which made it uncomfortably hot.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

This hotel and their staff are phenomenal. Their customer service is exquisite and they surpassed my expectations. The hotel rooms are small, but if you're going PR with the attitude of staying at your hotel the whole day, then this hotel isn't for you. The AC was very sufficient with the PR weather. The hotel owner was very approachable and kind.

Be aware, however, that there is an annoying frog outside of the first floor rooms. It would not let you sleep at all. Initially we were given a room on the second floor, but decided to change to the first floor so we would not carry our luggage up the stairs (this hotel does not have elevators). However, we ended up not liking it due to the annoying frog that was very loud during the night. It was not the owner's fault at all, but it is something she should be aware of, as I'm sure it bothered several other guests on the first floor.

Secondly, all the beds in this hotel seem to still have their plastic wraps they were bought it. It is very uncomfortable because the plastic traps the heat emanated from our bodies. I understand that the owner doesn't want any accidental bodily fluids to be entrapped in the bed, but she needs to also understand that some adults are in control of their bodies and will not ruin her beds.

Finally, the biggest complaint I have is that on Thursday nights, the students from the University of PR seems to have a fiesta that night. It is extremely loud and disrespectful to the business. I was on the third floor of my hotel room and felt the wall shake several times when I was in the "den" part of my room. I understand that owner has no control over what the party goers do, but she should filed complaint against city to have some sort of noise control in that part of town. It is extremely disturbing and if it weren't for the AC, I wouldn't have slept. Although she was nice enough to move us to a room in the back of the hotel, we should not have to be inconvenienced with such noise pollution.

Overall, the hotel was worth the money. It is in the city and famous for it low budget cost. The rooms are quite small, but comfortable if you are just there to sleep and explore the city of San Juan. I was very impress with the customer service and the politeness of the hotel owner and her staff. If I'm in San Juan again I would return to this hotel, but would specifically ask for a room in the back on the third floor.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
denver
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

So we have been flying for 12 hrs to get here and spend the night (3hr layover). We are From Denver, CO and travel a lot. But our taxi driver charged us $28usd to get here from airport which took no more than 10 min and she told us not to go out at all around this hotel because there isn't enough security and police, which kind of freaked us out plus there was some retarded bum out front of taxi in front of hotel. Ok, so - we went across st to some club called vidy's and it was kind of ghetto cool. $5 for a vodka soda and $2 for a heineken, 10 security cameras, which i dont know if that is good or bad. We are in our late 30's but act like we are 23 and love house music clubs.My boyfriend wouldn't stay here again cuz it's sketch , but I don't care cuz its fine , free breakfast tmro, and only 65 for a room... I don't wanna pay 200 to stay in some tourist place for 12 hrs before our cruise. I'm drunk. The end.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Ayr, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Spent the evening of January 18/13 at Dreams with two rooms 4 people. Easy taxi from the airport with 4 people and 4 bags 28.00. Hotel may seem to be in a rougher part of town but don't judge the book by it's cover. Rooms were fantastic for price paid and Elena and staff were the best! Being festival weekend their were 100,000 people in OSJ which made for agreat evening. Elena explained getting to the train ( amazing subway ) then to the bus to OSJ. .75 gets you there ( honest ). Upon return walked the streets back never fearing harm. University grounds are very nice and the students are good kids. Bar across the road but we did not hear any noise. Sat out front with a few beers and had a wonderful time.
Folks this is a wonderful hotel to get a flair for San Juan and Elena a great host. Wonderful bakery around the corner ( now thats coffee!! ), and WalGreens 50 yards down the street with everything from food to beer and wine to personal need items.
Enjoy.....we did!

Room Tip: try to get back of hotel 2nd floor as stairs are required.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
New York City, New York
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

I stayed in this hotel in Dec 2012. I chose this hotel because I saw good rating and its budget price. Seems perfect, right? WRONG.
I totally had two reservations from this hotel. For the first stay, it was just one-night stay. But I could not sleep completely because outside some frog were honking all night long. Yes, it was honking, very noisy, unbelievable loud. Never expect frog could make such noise. I asked for the help, and yes, the lady on duty tried to help, but she could not do anything because the frog was hiding somewhere. My next day trip plan was completely ruined because the sleepless night. Fortunately we just stay one night there for the first stay. But we still had second reservation 2 day later. Considering the unacceptable frog noise, when we checked out for the first stay at very early in the morning, we told the on-duty lady (same one to try to help last night, but not the owner) we intended to cancel the reservation and let her tell the hotel owner because the bad situation. One night before the checked in for the second stay, I called to confirm the cancellation, and I asked if there were any charge for the cancellation. I was aware of the cancellation policy (3 days before checked in), but because the bad condition, I would expect no charge for that, and I was told that there would be NO charge. I was satisfied with their understanding and business attitude.
Then nightmare came. When we were back from the vacation, I found they charged for the first night for my second reservation. First I thought it might because the hotel owner forgets to do that. So I contact the agent and let the agent (booking.com) to contact the owner for the refund. It had been couple of days with no response, and then booking.com later finally called after I sent them the credit card statement twice. At first I was told I would be able to get refund on that day. But later this hotel rejected the refund first with the reason with the policy. I kindly reminded them they promise there would be no charge for my cancellation. Then the exciting part came. They responded email rudely, and claimed I was lying! They claimed their air condition was noisy (Yes, their air condition was noisy, their word), and my room was at 3rd floor, the frog would not be heard from my room. If they know their air condition was noisy, then they could imagine we would not use that. They were imaging they were me and then I was using the noisy air condition, and no frog noise then. Then they told me they did not want to refund because I was lying (meaning I could impossibly hear the frog noise). WTF. I came down at 12am, and looking for the frog for 30 minutes. I had a very early air to catch next day. Nobody would bother to do such stupid things if there was NO noise. That's unbearable and ridiculous. If they don’t want to refund, just let me know when I made the phone call with patient explanation about the policy, then nothing would happen. Don’t come out such lame reason, and claim the custom is lying with the actual fact that it is them lying. Never have such bad experience for hotel booking before. I have to admit, that is the worst experience in my life for the hotel booking, not because of the bad condition of the room, the noisy air conditioner, the bad frog outside, but this rude attitude.
So I decide to write this review to warn the people who got fooled by the rating. If you want to have a nice vacation in PR, stay away from this hotel. You never know what will happen, and if something happen, things will get worse, because the hotel owner is dishonest and rude. You got my word, STAY AWAY FROM THIS CHEAP HOTEL TO SAVE YOUR VACATION.

Room Tip: Stay in a good hotel in PR, especially the first time visitor.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dreams Hotel Puerto Rico

Address: 109 Ave. Universidad, San Juan 00926, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 47 hotels in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dreams Hotel Puerto Rico 2.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A gem for the budget traveler. Centrally located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Not in the touristic area.Very clean, comfortable and recently renovated rooms. Nearby Int'l Airport, University of Puerto Rico, Plaza las Americas Shopping Center, VA Hospital, Paseo de Diego, Piers. Old San Juan and Puerto Rico Convention are 4 miles away from us. Exceptionally warm, friendly and professional service. ... more   less 
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