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“Hip housing in the heart of Viejo San Juan” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Da House Hotel

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Da House Hotel
312 San Francisco St | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #18 of 47 hotels in San Juan
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Hip housing in the heart of Viejo San Juan”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

First off, I must declare that I really like Da House, so much so that this was my third stay. So, let me get the 'this place is not for everybody' negatives out of the way first.

It's located directly above San Juan's best salsa club, the Nuyorican Cafe. They stay open late, and the bands are loud. If you go to bed before 2 AM and are a light sleeper, this might not be your best choice. There's no elevator, but I figured with all the bad-for-me Puerto Rican food I was eating every day, a little stair climbing was not a bad thing. The rooms are pretty small, but serviceable. There are virtually no amenities like TV, coffee maker, etc., but there is internet through an ethernet cable and wi-fi in the second floor lobby.

Now the pluses: It is extremely stylish, with original art covering the walls of the lobby, stairwell, atrium and rooms. The whole look is a great mixture of elegant and funky. The young staff matches the decor and is very friendly and helpful. If you are accustomed to hipster (I use that word with fondness, not scorn) urban environments, you'll love it. There is a rooftop deck with lounge chairs and a hot tub that has one of the highest vantage points in the old city, with excellent views to the east and toward the harbor. If you can spend a bit more money, there are two rooms with semi-private terraces that are quite lovely.

Location, location, location! Restaurants, bars, plazas, cafes, museums, historic sites and the harbor are all a short walk away. And did I mention that the Nuyorican is right downstairs?

OK, one more little negative. You can opt to get a bit away from the party at night by staying in an interior room. We did on this visit, but I wouldn't recommend it. First of all, no view. All the exterior rooms have little balconies or terraces. Secondly, there's no air circulation (San Juan has great ocean breezes almost all the time), which pretty much forces you to use the air conditioning. On our second night, the AC wouldn't turn on, and that's not really a problem you can fix at 1AM. So, hey, bring earplugs and spend the money on one of the terrace rooms. You'll be glad you did.

A suggestion: It would be great if they had a espresso bar in the second floor lobby. Because the only thing missing from the aforementioned terraces and deck would be a nice cup of Puerto Rican coffee in the morning.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 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 (87)
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English first
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

Walked in at 11 pm looking for a room for the night. Knew about the hotel from Lonely Planet.

Pros:
Cheap for the area - $90 / night
Great location - heart of old san juan
Clean Room
Free in-room internet (Ethernet only)


Cons
Salsa bar outside - loud music until 2 am
No elevator - need to carry bags up to the 3rd floor
No TV in room
Creaking old bed;my head ended up lower than my feet because of the old mattress.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Conyers, Georgia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

I enjoyed my one night here. No tv. No problem. The location is great, the staff is very friendly and helpful and the place has a great charm. I stayed in room 402 which has an outside balcony. You can go up on the roof which has a great view of the city. There are also lounge chairs and a hot tub.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

Stayed at Da House Hotel 1/23-1/27 2013. Easily booked online through their own website. Arrived in the evening from our flight. With luggage, $25 ride from the airport. Front desk staff buzzed us in, and check in was smooth with no problems. Front desk staff was fun and friendly, and very knowledgeable about restaurants, bars, and fun things in the area. Lobby, hallways, and rooms are all an art gallery, with a bohemian vibe. NO elevator, so it was a struggle to get our suitcases up the stairs. Rooms are small, with high ceilings, but clean. These are very basic accommodations, full bed, no TV, small bathroom. Room was above the nightclub, and was VERY loud, but we came prepared with earplugs. When wearing earplugs, music was really more like white noise, I had no problems sleeping. They also offer earplugs at the front desk. Rooftop terrace was beautiful, one night they were serving all-you-can drink mojitos for $10. Location is in the heart of Old San Juan, once we were there from the airport, we could walk to everything. More of a location for younger hipper types, it was almost like a hostel where you have your own room and bathroom. If you expect a 5 star hotel with full amenities, this will not be your style. If you want a clean bed, and to be in the center of Old San Juan, & more local flavor this can't be beat. The value is top notch, and I will DEFINITELY stay here the next time I'm in Old San Juan.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Los Angeles, California, United States
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

we stayed in 306 and really underestimated what it means to be "close to the party". the music and noise did not stop until about 4:30am. even with earplugs, we could not block anything out. the location is good, the decor cute, and front staff super helpful. but it was just way too loud.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
ojai
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013 via mobile

Really great little hotel with lots of attitude and character right in the heart of Old Town San Juan.
It's a great building that I would love to own. We had a plumbing issue with our toilet backing up and receptionist dealt with it quickly. She was also very helpful and friendly and gave us some great recommendations. We did not have to deal with the noise from the nearby salsa club as it was closed the night we stayed here But I can see how it could be an issue if you have a tough time dealing with noise.
The rooftop deck is outstanding with a fantastic Jacuzzi.
Rooms are simple but clean and overall I found this place to be great value for money.

David

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Florida, Florida
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Interior rooms and those on higher floors will experience less noise. Request a room with direct acc...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Da House Hotel

Address: 312 San Francisco St | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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

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