Da House has been on my radar ever since the Frugal Traveler reviewed it several years ago. An impromptu trip to San Juan finally gave me a chance to evaluate it for myself.
The appeal lies in the great location in Old San Juan. Da House is a short walk from the Christopher Columbus square, Plaza Colón. This means you are also very near to restaurants and bars of all types.
The hotel itself definitely has its advantages. There are spacious public areas filled with local art. Choose the right room and you will definitely feel part of Puerto Rico, enjoying cool tile floors in vibrant designs and windows that open to warm Caribbean breezes.
There are quirks. I stayed in 306, which had a very large bedroom and a small sitting room that was accessed from the bedroom. The bed was soft but comfortable and the furniture was an eclectic mix of the old and the new (think ikea and Pier 1). The bathroom was tiny, and this seems to hold true throughout the hotel, where they've applied a formula of a stall shower, toilet and single sink. It works, though, although I did encounter one afternoon when there was little hot water.
There is no WiFi in the rooms, but Da House does provide Ethernet in each room and supplies a cable. WiFi is available in the spacious public common area on the second floor, along with a PC connected to a large flat-panel television.
You will see warnings online about the noise, and if you have any trouble sleeping take heed. The Nuyorican Cafe can be loud, especially if you are in a room overlooking the alley. I actually liked the music because I felt immersed in the culture, but others might require earplugs or headphones to sleep. Or you could just go down and join in the fun, which can run until 4 a.m. or so.
At any rate, this was close to Castillo Cristobal and the piers where cruise ships dock. There is even a small beach near Cristobal that seems to get little use. The hotel also has an ample roof deck, with great views of Old San Juan and a hot tub, although it can get very breezy up there.
However, I would stay at Da House again because of the location (all of Old San Juan is walkable from here if you are in even average shape). The music in the middle of the night would just be part of the Latin magic.
- 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
- Also Known As:
- Da Hotel San Juan
- Da San Juan