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“Nice to stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Belgica

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Hotel Belgica
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   122 Villa St, Ponce 00716, Puerto Rico   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Ponce
Winterthur, Switzerland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Nice to stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Nice old fashion style hotel,
very good rate price/service in the centre. With out parking place (I got ticket 15USD after 1 hour). Room was large and clean, there is free PC with internet and wi-fi for guests. Breakfast is included bat not so various.

Room Tip: Take a balcony with a street view
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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227 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    83
    96
    28
    11
    9
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Rochester, New York
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

Review of Hotel Belgica, Ponce PR, 1/8/2013

This hotel has gotten mixed reviews from others and it’s easy to see why. It’s smack-dab in the middle of old Ponce, just yards away from the town square. If you’re looking for bucolic quiet and tranquility, the middle of downtown of any city is not the place to find it. And Belgica is no exception.

But if you’re looking for a place where you can put your finger on the heartbeat of a city, downtown is the place to find it. And Belgica is no exception.

We arrived on the last day of the Feast of the Three Kings, Sunday Jan. 6, 2013. The hotel street, Calle Villa, was blocked off by the police. The whole area was a riot of activity, and the very large town square and surrounding area was packed with people and activity. The Ponce police could not have been more helpful to us almost-lost tourists. They cleared the one-way street we found ourselves on, allowed us to back down it the wrong way, removed the barricades from the street that the Hotel Belgica is on, and found us a parking spot half a block from the hotel. Then barricaded the street up again once we were parked! And…they promised that we would not get a parking ticket once the festival was over. And we never did.

The hotel itself is old, hard to tell how old. The carved stonework and tile floors have been there awhile, that’s for sure. There are no elevators, no access for handicapped patrons. It’s only two stories high, with the second floor reached by 28 well-worn stone steps, two sets of them, one on each side of the narrow lobby and reception area.

Check-in was a little garbled, and there was a short-lived mix-up with our credit card billing by the not-quite bilingual desk clerk, quickly fixed the next day by a nice young lady who was bilingual.

Our second-floor room was a moderate size and had a queen sized bed and a single bed. It faced busy Calle Villa Street – the front of the hotel – and featured a narrow balcony that overlooked the street…a great place to enjoy a couple of cold cervezas from the small refrigerator in the room. It was very clean – just like the rest of the hotel – comfortable and perfectly usable.

Given the activity outside – the last day of the Festival and the nearness to the plaza – it was reasonably quiet. But this is the heart of Ponce, and like all cities it has its share of city accoutrements. Crazy unwashed street people, stray dogs, panhandlers, loud (sometimes VERY loud) traffic noises and so forth.

It also has proximity to a very, very nice town plaza, complete with a bunch of decorated lion sculptures, fountains, a beautiful Catholic cathedral, the original Ponce fire station – now the tourist center – a bunch of funky shops and cops about every ten yards. Ponce, at least this part of it, is very tourist oriented and seems quite safe. And the hotel is within walking distance to the world-famous Ponce Art Museum, the Music Museum, the Architecture Museum and several other points of interest. The Art Museum in particular is well-worth the 15 minute walk. Take the shuttle tour sponsored by the city. It’s only $2, runs about 40 minutes and covers much of the area surrounding downtown.

We were very happy with the Belgica. It was pretty much what we expected from a very old city-center hotel. It was very clean, the room was comfortable and well-equipped, continental breakfast included toast, yogurt, juices, coffee and muffins, the staff was very friendly and helpful. It was reasonably priced and centrally located.

If you are looking for absolute predictability and plastic perfection, don’t pick a place like the Belgica. It’s old, has a personality honed over decades, and seems like a comforting old grandma or favorite aunt: a few quirks here and there but someone you can trust, perhaps even love. If you can’t tolerate a big, loving personality, there’s a Ramada right down the street. And probably something much like it out by the airport.

But we’re glad we picked the Belgica. And would stay there again in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: the ones facing Calle Villa have a balcony
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  • Stayed January 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

This Hotel was the cheapest one we rented on our trip to PR- and it was fine. I thought it was weird that the little balcony we had had shutters for doors, I got a few mosquito bites that night, which was annoying. The hotel itself was cute and charming. The guy at the front desk referred us to a "great restaurant", and when I looked it up on Yelp later, it only got 1 star, and the "best coffee house" which tasted disgusting, I couldn't even drink it, and that greatly irritated me. I felt like he was referring us to a bunch of places that were tourist traps. We were there the day before New Yrs Eve, and the town was dead, and definitely not in a place where you want to walk around at night. We ended up going to the boardwalk, A LOT of locals there, different kiosks of food there, cheap, tasty food, and that was ok...Maybe I didn't like the city, and am taking it out on the hotel, I'm not sure. But there was a lot of noise in the early morning (started around 6, prob for NYE festivities? Not sure) and since there are no windows, we couldn't really sleep.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

I cannot fault this place. Excellent, friendly service, beautiful rooms, located right in the heart of Ponce. The building is neoclassical so is fantastic to be in, high ceilings and with lots of interesting and original features. Hot water, strong wifi, decent breakfast and all at a decent price. There is not much not to like.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Xenia, Ohio, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

We were right next to the square for the Christmas festival which made it so easy to get out and walk and see the sights. Our room was very clean and beautiful. The hotel building is very cool We parked on the street

Room Tip: Ask for a room towards the back for more quiet. We loved having a balcony on the street side with t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

The hotel is very clean and beautiful. The location is right off the main square so there are plenty of restaurants, shops and cafes within walking distance. Some staff couldn't speak English, some could. Very quiet, great sleeping. Parking was far away in a general parking garage not associated with hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

We selected Hotel Belgica because we wanted to be centrally located when exploring the city of Ponce. Unfortunately, being centrally located had a terrible downside. Christmas festivities start early in Ponce and are LOUD. Our first night, we heard firecrackers going off around 10pm. Soon after, a band started up in the square just outside the hotel. We went out and enjoyed the end of a little party in which Santa passed out candy to kids from the back of a truck. . . we thought that would be the end of it - but Santa's firecrackers came back at 5am, interrupting our sleep. Even without the holiday noise, the noise from trucks and traffic on the street was loud enough that it felt like we were sleeping in the square. When we asked for a quieter room, they said they didn't have one, and offered us pairs of earplugs.

We're city girls - and not at all unaccustomed to some street noise - but I can't imagine anyone getting a good night of sleep at this hotel.

The room itself was lovely, charming, and spotless. The management didn't put up a fuss when we checked out early. However, I can't imagine staying here again under any circumstances.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 Hotel Belgica

Address: 122 Villa St, Ponce 00716, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Ponce
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Ponce
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Belgica 2.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are in the heart of the historic district of Ponce. Rooms with cathedral ceilings and traditional balconies. Next to Plaza las Delicias and the Trolley Tour. Family owned and operated. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Belgica Hotel Ponce

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