This hotel bills itself as "old & charming" when actually it's just old. We've been to Old San Juan numerous times and are familiar with the neighborhood. They've cut corners whenever possible (plastic glasses, glues plastic panels vs. having actual windows, tube tv, etc). We paid for two nights and left after the first.
The balcony had doors on it with plastic covering the slats or window area's which was not fully sealed. In turn, the window was essentially open causing the a/c to run all night (very old and extremely loud) and we could hear ALL trucks and people ALL night (8X in 7 hours). We slept maybe 30 min. The balcony did not feel structurally safe.
Cleanliness: Just wasn't there. We found hairs in the bathroom (not ours). Stains on the walls. My wife woke up in the AM with bites on her torso.
Lighting: Only the main light in the ceiling. Felt more of a police interrogation than anything charming.
Service: No luggage carts so we had to make multiple trips to the 3rd floor (& from our taxi to the lobby). Elevator is very slow and only works if the last person to use it closes it up.
Check-In: They insisted on making copies of EACH of our driver's license's. This was our 4th hotel of the trip (all others very nice). None of the others asked to make copies. I understand to verify we not someone else, but to make copies? What happened to the copy (couldn't get it back at check out)? In addition, the staff could not even provide directions from the highway - we had to find it on our own. Lastly, I don't know how others found the staff to be friendly - they were not very nice or helpful at all. I question the facts in some of the previous reviews.
Location: We wanted to stay int he heart of Old San Juan, but the plaza had homeless on it which made us uncomfortable (however, no one asked us for money either).
Being an older building, it has the air flow windows above the room door. This was covered up with a plastic sheet that tried to block it from the outside heat (didn't) and had slats broken. Again, old, not charming.
This was truly one of the worst hotels I've ever stayed in and don't believe it deserves any star. The building is falling apart. Please avoid this hotel. Since I can't post pictures, I'll try on other 'review' trip type websites. We aren't overly picky people, but when you pay up for charm, you should get it. This hotel bills itself as a boutique hotel when it was simply a dive - a more descriptive word would be perhaps "hostel". I don't know how others found this to be such a "great place" with a "great stay". It is a lousy, rundown place not even worthy of one star.
Avoid - there are no good rooms at this place!
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Mrs. Laurie,
Report response as inappropriate
Thanks a lot Mrs. Laurie for taking the time out of your tight schedule to make a review about your recent stay in Old San Juan.
I truly regret that you feel this way. Please accept our most sincere apologies for the inconveniences mentioned. We work very hard to exceed our guests expectations and take very seriously our guest comments.
However we must clarify a couple of things for the benefit of our future visitors.
1.- We are indeed a Landmark (Historic) Building, there is a picture of 1920's in our fanpage in Facebook and our building was already here in that year and that's the charm of being here, to enjoy the raw nature of our culture just in the heart of Old San Juan.
Yes we are not fancy but what we do have is a great location for being in Old San Juan, a clean, quite, peaceful and affordable rooms plus a great service oriented staff (Front Desk and Housekeeping) to help you in all your needs
IF YOU REQUIRE SO.
2.- We are really sorry you did not sleep quite well because of the noise on the street but we can not control that kind of incidents. I respect your structural engineer knowledge but we have not had any accident for being outside in our balcony. About the plastic cover it was a temporary solution for repairing the window. About the air conditioning we sent already an order to the maintenance department to fix it as soon as possible and for the key we always assist our guest to handle it as proper as it should be.
3.- I am personally concerned at the conditions which you report about the cleanliness. This is certainly not the treatment we intend to offer our appreciated guests. I would like to offer you a million apologies.
The following steps were immediately taken:
An urgent meetings were held with the entire staff and they received additional training in maintaining the standards which we have set for our Hotel Plaza De Armas. This includes proper cleaning and also proper supplies being in the room.
Every room has been recheck in order to guarantee cleanliness and I can assure you that this kind of situation won't appear anymore.
4.- We keep a regular program of bugs exterminating service which allows to control any situation.
5.- All our room has lightning in the desk, in a small bed cabinet and in the bathroom. However we are in the middle of changing all our lightning system for a more efficient green bulb.
6.- Sorry about the luggage car but you could request help at the Front Desk and as a rule we help every guest with their luggage. Our elevator is a Lula type which means that can not be a more modern one because of our historic characteristic. It allows 4 people or 1,200 pound. Besides we have people for helping guest with their luggage's if you require it.
7.- It's a hotel policy for insurance and security purpose to require an identification at the moment of check in.
But at check out time if you require it we always give back that copy in order our guest feel safe.
8.- Homeless people are all over the world. Have you see the effect of Sandy in New York? Did you know how many people right now do not have a ceiling above their head to protect them from the weather?
Besides if a homeless approach you, I'm sure you will have the opportunity to put in practices your personal sharing characteristics.
In addition and as a normal practice, upon check out every guest is given my email address and personal cell number. Our goal is that every guest is so satisfy with the level of service that he or she will not feel the need to escalate any service issues.
Thankfully and as evident by our guests comments I rarely receive a call from a guest and when I do it is to thank our hotel staff for the stay or ask for my assistance in sending an item left in the room upon check out. But make no mistake, our guests always come first and if there are any issues during your stay we want to know immediately to address them at once.
Please fell free to contact me if you feel the need to discuss this further as I would like to have the opportunity to have you visit us again and have a different and positive experience.
We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again. Please call us for your next stay and I will personally see that everything will be up to your expectations.
Guest Relations Manager
Hotel Plaza de Armas
“Where every person arrives as
our guest and leaves as our friend”
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.