We stayed here the first night we got to Puerto Rico. (We rented a car from the Luis Munoz airport and parked a few blocks from Da House, which cost us $13 for overnight. Be careful - there are two garages next to each other on Recinto Sur and one is hourly with no maximum, so staying overnight would have cost a fortune. The one to the right of it (it's a one way street) is the cheaper option.)
I'd booked us a room on the 4th (top) floor in hopes of not being able to near Nuyorican Cafe below at night, but it turns out that it didn't make any difference. We were in Room 405 Manuel Hernandez. It was simply furnished and clean, with air conditioning that felt lovely after the trek from the parking garage and then up 4 flights of stairs with my 45 lb. suitcase in the Puerto Rican heat.
There's free wi-fi but only in the lobby, but if you have a laptop you can plug a LAN cord into it in your hotel room. Rooms don't have shampoo/conditioner but they do have soap.
If you're clumsy (like I am) watch out for the corners of the bed frame. I walked into it and ended up with a nasty bruise on my knee that is still there a week later!
The location was good - we could walk to both castles, which is all I cared about seeing on our one day in San Juan - but driving on the one way streets was pretty frustrating. The streets are poorly labelled, as were the maps we had. I managed to find a close up map of Old Town in my guide book (Moon Handbook) which helped - but still didn't label which direction each street went since they're all one way. Drivers do not follow the same right of way rules as in the States.
We decided to chill out in our room after dinner (at nearby Cafe Berlin, I will review separately) and then went down to Nuyorican Cafe on the ground floor of the hotel around 10:30 or 11 pm. The cover fee is $5, not waived for hotel guests. A rum and coke cost $5 and while it was in a small plastic cup, it was STRONG. Afterwards, we went upstairs to the roof of the building and sat in the very hot tub, which I thought I wouldn't want to go in since it's so hot there (compared to DC in November) but after standing in the club for a few hours, the hot tub did feel good! By the time we went to bed it was close to 2 am and I was glad to have brought a pair of ear plugs with me. If I hadn't had those, the noise from the club would have annoyed me - but instead I fell right asleep.
So basically, if you're okay with carrying your luggage up and down the stairs and you bring some earplugs for sleeping, Da House is a cool place to stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of Old San Juan, above legendary cafe teatro The Nuyorican Cafe, we offer clean, comfortable, eclectic accommodations in a friendly, vibrant setting that is reminiscent of the character of hostels in great European cities like Amsterdam, Paris or Barcelona. In the 1970s this beautiful four story building in colonial Old San Juan housed the Centro Nacional de las Artes. The Centro was an artist collective that ran an art gallery and workshops. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Da Hotel San Juan
- Da San Juan