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“Basic, clean, cheap - Good place to stay a few days.” 4 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 #24 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Knoxville, Iowa
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Basic, clean, cheap - Good place to stay a few days.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014

We stayed at Dreams Hotel on June 7-8, 2014. The hotel is inexpensive and clean like many other reviews state. This hotel is located in a local neighborhood with nice places to eat nearby. It is basic, but you pay a low rate compared with other hotels in the San Juan area. For a day or two before or after a cruise or flight, this is the ideal place to spend the night without costing too much money.

Room Tip: Rooms in the back are quite. Could not hear the street noise at all. Also, eat breakfast at Panchy...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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122 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    48
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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 (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2014

I stay there for one night back from a cruise with my wife and 2 kids, it is spotlessly clean; hot water is hot enough; air conditioner is cool enough; bed are clean, I think there is an insulation layer under the sheet on the bed that keep it sanitized. It is a good clean budget hotel but for the transportation to and from the cruise and from the airport, last winter, I paid 27$ taxi from airport to cruise, 17$ taxi from cruise to the hotel and 35$ from the hotel to airport (night surcharge), tips not included. For sightseeing, I took the metro a short walk from the hotel and in front of the university to Sagrado Corazon, then took the Me or M3 or 21 bus to the old port. The metro and bus take about 20 minutes if longer if you leave around rush hour. The Bus station at the old port is right across the cruise terminal (Carnival). Next time, I will come back to the hotel.
For the cost conscious, travel light and then you can save a lot on taxi because the public transportation is quite convenient.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Georgia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

The hotel is very clean. The room has a microwave, fridge, hot water, towels, cable TV. The rooms are not very big for two single people. I think this place is excellent if all you care about is a bed to sleep. The restaurant El Hippopotamo down the road is very good for breakfast. For the price of the room, I would rate this above any days inn or red roof inn I have ever stayed in. The neighborhood has a very happening bar scene, which can get creepy if you are a single woman travelling so be mindful of that. But as long as you walk straight from your car to the hotel, you are fine. Since the hotel has limited parking there is a lot next to it where you need to pay $5 cash.

  • Stayed May 2014, 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
    • 3 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.
WESTCHESTER
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

I was looking for a hotel that was inexpensive for two weeks that i was going to spend with my husband in Puerto Rico. I found this one. It had a mini fridge, micro wave, it was clean, the staff was very polite and friendly. It had free parking, Free Breakfast, and it was all i needed. The shopping center was walking distance, close to airport. It also had a train that would take you places. The fare is v ery cheap. only 75 cents. What more can you ask for? Its not a luxurious place, but it had all you needed. Wi fi, televiosion, air condition. I would recommend this to a friend.

Room Tip: Make sure you choose a room to the back, because on thursdays, its college night and the whole area...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Oak, Michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

The short story is: The place is spotless!

It is interesting and fun.

It’s $50 to $70. Not $200 like the resort hotels.

Well worth the money and certainly not a hassle at all , if you are slightly adventurous. If you expect everything to be like the Hampton Inn, stay somewhere else.

Who’s talking to you.

Let me stop and tell you who we are. We are a long married couple from the USA, Close to our 70’s. We are more travelers than vacationers. We came to get warm and to see Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans.
We do not understand cruises, all inclusive resorts, or living in a cocoon. We are not budget travelers but we are frugal.

The Dreams Hotel was a perfect place for us. We used it as our cabin and all of Puerto Rico was our all- inclusive resort.

Arrival

Another reviewer had said to catch a bus to the Dreams Hotel. You can take a $30 cab ride to it if you like. After questioning a number of people at the airport who all said the bus didn't exist, we found it. ( The #40 bus – upstairs, outside, in front of Jet Blue arrival sign – it costs 75c). It dropped us off right in front of the Clock Tower of the University (Six stories high- easy to see).
The bus from the airport was a little disconcerting because it does a loop within a loop and you go out into the city then back to the airport then out on a different loop, but it worked. Some people said that you cannot take luggage on the bus but we did. We took it to the very back seat and kept it out of the way.

After a short walk to the hotel (3 blocks), Elena, the hotel owner welcomed us in. She is very friendly, helpful, full of information and speaks perfect English. We then unloaded our suitcases in a perfectly lovely room.

The entrance to the Dreams Hotel is just a little doorway but once you are inside and walk around a little bit you realize it is fine. Later you will realize just how clean it is. We had a nice room in the back which overlooked a parking lot and a little of the city.

The Dreams hotel is out of the main hotel area, it is near the University of Puerto Rico, about half way (6 miles ) between the airport and Old San Juan. It’s not the most up-scale neighborhood.

We had one of the more deluxe rooms in the $70 range. Our room was in the back on the third floor. The lower price rooms are in the $50 range. . The less deluxe rooms are very clean and nice but without a balcony and a few may not have windows at all. You should consider staying somewhere else or paying for one of the premium rooms in the Dreams Hotel if you're claustrophobic. Towels are super clean but are not $30 towels from Neiman Marcus.
If you are not adventurous you should stay at a fancy hotel near old town and pay $250 a night and get a lovely hotel with a view. If you’re a little adventurous this is a perfect place for you. The place is spotless, very well run and friendly. There is no elevator but someone to carry your bags appears.

BREAKFAST

The ”continental breakfast” is what a teenager might eat as she races through the kitchen on the way to school. We started most mornings with breakfast at Panchy’s Café - a small breakfast restaurant behind the hotel, within a block and a half. We were able to order a “#1 and #4 “, a couple cups of coffee and orange juice for breakfast every day. Every day we got something slightly close to it and the price was a little different but always within our comfort range.

SAFETY

After we checked in, we walked around the neighborhood and were very comfortable. We are from Detroit and we know not to walk into stupid areas, not to wear fancy jewelry, and old enough not to stay out until two in the morning, or look for drugs or sex in areas where were we could get ourselves killed.

THERE IS A POLICE PRESENCE EVERWHERE AND BARS ON WINDOWS ALL OVER Puerto Rico … THERE MUST BE A REASON.

On the plane many locals told us to “ be careful, keep a throwaway wallet, drive with your windows up, etc.“ They must know something. We had zero trouble, we were careful and cautious. We listened to the locals.

The typical guest of the Dreams hotel are 20-30 year olds coming from or going somewhere, staying only a day or two or three at the most . We were like long term guests.

A word of caution, there is a huge REALLY NOISY student street party in front of the hotel every Thursday night . We did not experience it. We were gone in our rental car that night. So be aware that if you are arriving on a Thursday evening, the street will be blocked off. But just tell the police that you are staying at the Dreams and they should let you through. Also request a room in the back! We had no trouble sleeping .

There is one section of Old San Juan which all the reports say is very dangerous and you could stumble upon it accidentally. It is called La Perla and is located between the two forts and right along the coast and visible from lots of sections within the town and looks totally innocent. We did not go walking through it, as it is ill-advised. So you should check your maps before you leave home and xxxxxx out that area … and don't go stumbling into that area by accident . Again listen to the cautions of the locals .

THE LOCALS

We smiled and said hello to absolutely everybody, and everyone greeted us - from the police officer to the street sweeper, bus drivers, the students, shop owners .. everybody . We had a fine time. We speak no Spanish. During our entire trip we took the bus, ordered food from street vendors, small cafeterias, bars and a great restaurant and had no problems.

SEEING THE CITY

During our trip we went downtown and visited “the most recommended hotel” in Old San Juan and walked through the lobby and saw lots of other Americans and Northern Europeans in their suits and ties happily talking to each other about New York, Chicago, London and Bonn. We didn't come to Puerto Rico to learn about Bonn, but to see Puerto Rico and to understand a little bit about the Puerto Ricans. The Dreams hotel is the perfect place to do this.

TRANSIT SYSTEM

A bus ride was virtually no hassle. We are a little streetwise and are familiar with taking buses and trains in Boston, New York, London. If you are a little bit used to public transportation systems, and are a little bit flexible you certainly can take the public bus system. It works and is pretty dependable.(Nothing in all of Puerto RI coo runs on a German time schedule) We took the bus and train during the day and I certainly would recommend it. I don't think I'd try to take the bus if your flight into San Juan came in late in the evening. Plus the buses or trains may not run during that time. There are no bus schedules or maps or wall signs in the stations like in NY or Boston. Many Puerto Ricans were amazed that we could get around and had never used the bus themselves - including the hotel owner. We asked enough questions and the most of the bus drivers and train operators were able to understand us, even though we speak zero Spanish.


To catch the train from Dreams hotel to downtown old St. Juan is really very simple, although it may take as long as an hour. It's a short walk two blocks up the street to the subway station in front of the University of San Juan. A ticket agent in the station was very helpful with directions etc. A fast-moving rapid transit rail takes you about five stops to a central station where you transfer to a bus which takes you to downtown old San Juan. That bus lets you off right at another central station within two or three blocks of where the cruise ships come in. It is also a stop for the free United States Park Service loop shuttle tram (it says U S PARK Service on it and seats maybe 60 people). It is a “jump on - jump off “open air tram which takes you for free all around Old San Juan sight seeing - up to the couple of old forts and returns to the stop right in front of the giant cruise ships then back to the central bus station. You can walk the two blocks to the cruise ships, they are easy to see.
We did get some misinformation from guide books. Things like the water ferry to Old San Juan from Hato Rey. It has not been operating for the last four months. You may find out something else is “not working”, who knows, things are a little bit questionable in San Juan. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Hippopotamus

There's a 3-4 star, 40 year, family owned restaurant within walking distance called the Hippopotamus. It has basically four levels of service. As you walk in the front door there is a delicatessen; you can get a sandwich and walk out the front door. The second area is a sit down cafeteria with a long counter and stools just like is found in a North American mom & pop family restaurant. The third level, through another door is a bit fancier. The fourth level, through yet another door has linen table cloths and waiters with suits. The fourth level of service, which we ate at two different nights, is a first-class Italian / Spanish restaurant with a huge wine cellar which looked very impressive (not a wine person so could not tell) The all Spanish speaking waiters seemed to understand what we wanted and cooked our orders as requested. We had two very good dinners. With beer and wine and tip, one was about $70 the other $120. It was excellent - as good as you can find in any first-class Spanish or Italian restaurant in the US.


You should be aware that walking from the Dreams Hotel to the Hippopotamus restaurant, although only about 3 1/2 blocks, you do walk past a huge drug rehabilitation center. It’s on the opposite side of the street from the Hippopotamus. Both the Hippopotamus and the Quest Medical Center on the corner have guards in their parking lots and if you smile and say hello to both of the guards, hopefully they'll watch out for you as you walk the next block past the drug rehab center. The drug rehabilitation center locks it doors and most of the inmates are inside about 8:00 pm.
I would not recommend walking past there unless you are street smart and are used to walking big city streets. If you're from a small town in the middle of nowhere, I suggest you take a cab even though it's only four blocks.

HOWEVER LOCALS TOLD US THAT THE REHAB CENTER IS GOING TO MOVE WITHIN 6 MONTHS, WHO KNOWS.

There are other restaurants along the street right in front of the hotel -from bars to a fancy Sushi restaurant (good). The other restaurants serve perfectly adequate meals.
One of the absolute delights is a can of Medalla beer at the outdoor bar across the street from the Dreams for $1.17 including tax. How can you go wrong?

BARBEQUE

One night we sat on plastic chairs out in front of the Dreams hotel and had barbecue chicken on a stick from a street vendor. Dinner for two, beer, tip - $8:00. It was good. It off-set the $120.00 at the Hippopotamus.


RENT A CAR

We did Rent-A-Car for two days, kept our room at the Dreams hotel, and drove around Puerto Rico a bit and stayed in the country side. Everyone says the drivers are crazy but if you can drive in Boston, on the Dan Ryan, the freeways of LA or Atlanta you can drive here. Elena, the owner of the Dreams Hotel will call the car rental company to pick you up at the door and take you to the Rent-A-Car place (TARGET ) and deliver you back to the hotel when you return the car. The Rent-A-Car fee was very reasonable, 35 bucks a day. We used an American Express card as primary insurance and were covered. It seems to be a perfectly legit service and very friendly. and I highly recommend their rental. It’s a 25 hour day so you can pick up a car in the morning and keep it a day or two and return it the following morning. Check the hours, they close at 4.00pm. You don't get nickel and dimed like the typical American mainland Rent-A-Car company. The cars are brand-new clean cars and we had zero problems. We intend to use them again on our next trip to Puerto Rico. Do NOT rent a car at the airport upon arrival, there is very limited parking at the Dreams and you don’t need it. You certainly cannot take it into Old San Juan - zero places to park.
Note: Good road maps DO NOT EXIST in Puerto Rico, so get one before you go.
We did not use our cell phone GPS because it would cost $25.00 per data bundle. But it would have been a great help.


SHOPPING

On Saturdays (check with Elena for hours & directions) there is an outside, down—scale Mercado shopping street within walking distance of the hotel. Great fun – but Elena says to leave by mid-afternoon before it closes , LISTEN .

IN CONCLUSION

We stayed 8 days, toured the city on the ‘”subway “ (it is above ground) we went fffrom one end to the other, the bus, the tram, and on foot for a few days. We rented a car for a couple of days, and came back to the Dreams for a few days. We saw and met people and swam in the Caribbean at a public park. It was great.

In summary if any of this sounds like fun, the DREAMS is a great place. We will be back and will stay in Puerto Rico for 2 weeks, the DREAMS will be our home base .

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

We selected Dreams Hotel for the rate, and perfect. Our room was very clean. We have tv, wifi, continental breakfast, cable tv, microwave and refrigerator. Good AC. A lot of noise on thursday night, but still a very good choice for the rate. 30 minutes from Old San Juan by train and bus.
We love the place.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mooresville, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

I was looking for an inexpensive stay for one evening in San Juan before we took off on an "around the island" tour. Based of the reviews, we choose this hotel. First, the location is in the University area of San Juan which is not near any of the tourist attractions, so if you don't have a car it would not be good. We did have a car but the area is not the best to feel real comfortable walking around in. Second, our bed was hard as a rock! The room was clean and the price was very reasonable.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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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 #24 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dreams Hotel Puerto Rico 2.5*
Number of rooms: 25
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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