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!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.