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“Great location, great staff....that's about it....” 3 of 5 stars
Review of S.J. Suites

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S.J. Suites
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Fortaleza St. #253 | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #37 of 47 hotels in San Juan
Riverside, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Great location, great staff....that's about it....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

We booked this property because we only needed one night after our cruise. We arrived about 10 am and were a little put off by how small the entrance was. But once inside, we got it! The front desk clerk was fantastic! He was able to accommodate our desire to check in early and we were able get some rest that we desperately needed. When we got hungry, there is no lack of restaurants nearby to satisfy whatever you feel like eating. The front desk clerk later was able to print our boarding passes for our flights the next day, which was also very nice. This property definitely scored high in customer service. Now, for the cons.....we don't know what was up with the A/C but it was on high all night and there is NO thermostat in the room. It was in the hallway so whoever wanted to change the temp on that floor, well...could. At the very least give guests the opportunity to close a vent in our room if you insist on keeping the thermostat on super-cold. We were freezing in our room all night, which was not fun. Also, there wasn't a phone in our room, so every time I needed something I had to go downstairs (we were on the 4th floor, the lobby is on the 2nd) to request fill-in-the-blank. Seriously, get some phones in the rooms - the one night we were there I had to go down three different times (boarding passes, request for ice, and a question about checkout). The walls are pretty thin, we could hear the conversations outside our door and next door quite clearly. It was pretty annoying. Our complaints have to do with the property itself, not the staff, so if you are looking for a place to crash where you will be treated right but you don't care what kind of room you are in, bring some flannel jammies, ear plugs and your running shoes and you'll be good to go!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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193 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
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English first
Kitchener, Canada
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

Let me start by saying this is probably good value when looking at other properties in Old San Juan.
The staff was friendly, the room clean (although there is a slight musty smell), and the location was phenomenal. Lots of shopping, bars, restaurants, the fort and the waterfront all within walking distance.
There was no temperature control in the bedroom and it was freezing. When we asked whether they could turn it down, they told us it would have to be "turned up" and "NO" they couldn't.
There was no window in the room. There was no telephone in the room. The elevators were not working when we left so we had to carry all of our cruise luggage down from the 4th floor.
It was expensive for what you received, but inexpensive when compared with other motels/hotels - Old San Juan is just expensive!
Would we go back? YES, but only because of lack of alternatives.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

We arrived late in the evening and had nice staff taking care of us from the beginning. Our luggage was delayed so we had almost nothing with us.

The room was clean, had a good bathroom with hot water and clean towels. We didn't have a window, but since it was a great location in old San Juan, we didn't really need one. The room was dark and quiet which gave us a good sleep after the long flight from Europe.

The free WiFi was not avaliable in our room in the end of the corridor on the 5th floor, but we spent some time in the lobby where we could get coffee and the WiFi was great. The friendly and helpful staff gave us a map and showed us where to get a good breakfast and where to buy some new clothes.

This was our honeymoon, and maybe this place in not for a really romantic luxuary vacation, but for the price and location, it is really perfect. We were going on a cruise and stayed two nights at the hotel and it was perfect for us. Walking distance everywhere, and maybe 5-10 minutes walk from the pier.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013 via mobile

If you're looking for a place to stay in PR and don't want to spend tons of money on a hotel, this place is the best for you. At first it seemed a little scary but as soon as we reached the front desk we felt welcomed right away. It's not a fancy hotel at all. The room will have what you need ie. TV, Bed, bathroom. If you are just using this place to sleep because you'll be around old San Juan all day, than this place is for you. It's clean, quiet, right in the middle of Old San Juan (literally walking distance from everything.) when I come back it'll be the place I stay again because they treat you like a friend there, not just another guest.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

I wasn't thrilled with the review for SJ Suites, but I booked it because it was one of the few hotels in Old San Juan that didn't have a 2-night minimum (we only needed 1 night). The front desk clerk was very nice and resourceful, the room was clean and spacious, and very outdated. But the worst part was that we were on the third floor above the street and listened to cars drive by throughout the night with music blaring. It finally stopped at 6 a.m., and then the garbage trucks started. It was a sleepless night in Puerto Rico. Never again...I will pay for two nights somewhere else, rather than stay here awake all night again.

Room Tip: If you do stay here, tell them you want a quiet room away from the street. Just be warned that it ma...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

We stayed at the SJ Suites on a Saturday night before our cruise departure on Sunday. I think this place is perfect for that!

Our cab driver had a little trouble finding it since the actual address is for a jewelry store. The SJ Suites door is next to the jewelry store but the lobby is upstairs. You have to buzz to get in which is nice for security. When we arrived the front desk guy was away and there was a sign saying check with the jewelry store. Only trouble was, it was closed too. Fortunately, another set of guests appeared and they let us in. The elevator isn't really big enough for 4 people and luggage so 2 of us and all the bags rode up one floor to the lobby.

Right as we got to the desk, Raymond came back from the errand he was running. He checked us in promptly. He was very friendly and helpful. After giving us our room keys he answered out questions about getting to the port, storing our luggage after the cruise, which they're happy to do, and places to eat. He also gave us a nice map of Old San Juan. He pointed out sights to see and one area to avoid. He advised that we stay out of La Perla unless we want to buy drugs or get mugged. He was very helpful and hospitable!

Our room was on the 3rd floor so the luggage rode the elevator while 3 of us took the stairs. There is a locked door to each floor that your room key opens, again, a nice security feature. Our room, like the rest of the hotel, was simple and clean. The furnishings were fine but would not blow you away if you're expecting trendy or modern. Everything worked just fine. The Direct TV service had most of the popular channels. The bathroom had a shower stall but no tub. Each room has a mini-fridge. Our room had a king bed that was quite comfortable.

As others have noted, there seem to be very few rooms, if any, with windows. Fine with us, we didn't come here to sit and look out the window! I slept like a log but I overheard some other guests complaining about noise. Old San Juan is a lively area and it is on a busy street so some noise from outside, and fellow guest returning in the wee hours, is a possibility.

Raymond suggested a couple of restaurants for dinner and a place for breakfast and they were great. We chose El Mojito for dinner and Cafe Manolin for breakfast. Good food, friendly but not the speedy service like we're used to on the mainland.

The next day my wife and I walked all around Old San Juan. It's about 10-15 minutes to El Morro and 5-10 to San Cristobal fortress and the old Cathedral. We were able to walk to the ship with our luggage on our own. It was about a 10 minute walk, all downhill.

This is a perfect spot for an overnight stay before your cruise or for any short visit to Old San Juan.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Surprise, Arizona
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

My wife & I stayed there for 1 night in Feb 2013. Our luck was that it was only one night as this is a poor excuse for a hotel. Rooms were very plain, A/C did not cool the room, no phones, no ice, located on a busy, busy noisy street. Our room was in the front and the sun BLASTED thru the thin curtains starting at about 6:00 AM. The only positive is that it was near old town. Very expensive for what you get or should I say ----don't get!

Room Tip: If you want to stay in PR near old town spend the time and research the hotel
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 S.J. Suites

Address: Fortaleza St. #253 | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 47 hotels in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — S.J. Suites 2.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Old San Juan. Enjoy the rich history of Old San Juan. Old San Juan has an abundance of museums, stores, excellent restaurants, open air café, tree shaded plazas, majestic homes and buildings the let you appreciate its old beauty and architectonic peculiarity.Whether for a day or a week, by staying in S.J. Suites Hotel you are assuring that you’ll have a stay full of interesting things to do in Old San Juan, declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in (1983). Explore & enjoy the amazing array of points of interest in Old San Juan and then come and rest in one of our comfortable rooms.We're also conveniently located close to the Cruise Piers. There are over 40 points of interest steps away from S.J. Suites Hotel… so get ready to explore! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
s.j. Hotel San Juan

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