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“The staff, the guests, and the location were all excellent!”

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Fortaleza Guest House
Bryn Mawr, PA
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The staff, the guests, and the location were all excellent!”
Reviewed May 24, 2011

Upon arrival, I met Tina, the owner, a truly nice woman. Israel, the manager, kept the place muy limpia (very clean). My bedroom shutters opened onto the balcony, which let a nice breeze into the room. Although, the street could get noisy at night, when I closed the shutters and turned on the fan, I had no problems with the noise and had a great night's sleep for the entire week of my stay. The other guests were some of the friendliest people, I have ever met. Tina's son, Ricky, manages the gift shop downstairs and seemed to be one of the most decent guys I have ever met. When I was leaving, Tina was kind enough to drive me to the airport, for much less than I would have paid for a taxi. I am retired and take a few vacations each year. If I am still in good health next year, I am planning on spending a month or more at Fortaleza Guest House. Thank you, Tina, Israel and Ricky for being the greatest hosts at any hotel I have had the pleasure to stay. I hope to speak with you soon to schedule a long stay next year, if not sooner.

Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank shoreman52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Saint Paul, Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2011

I've stayed in many hostels before, and this would have to be in my top 3 dirtiest hostel. My friend and I stayed in a one room with no windows but had A/C on the first floor. Our room smelled like someone had peed in the corner or the room. There's two shared bathrooms on this floor, one lacked a sink. Both were disgusting. Stay away from the kitchen--it's quite gross.

With all that being said, the cost wasn't too bad and it's conveniently located in Old San Juan. We had a taxi driver dropped us off; don't drive there. We were also very close to Condado, so we took a bus there for 75cents. It also helps to know a little Spanish, as the owner knew few English words.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank bheroa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these San Juan hotels

Sacramento
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2011

Traveling solo this trip - was looking for something cheap in Old San Juan. This place met those requirements.The location is convenient - right in the heart of OSJ. However, it was loud there - walls must be thin because I heard all the noise from the street and I was not in a front room.
Room was small , well worn , functional a/c with shared bath - all expected based on website. However, sheets didn't fit the bed (too small) and kept pulling off. Fan in room was filthy and I was afraid to use it and risk spreading the dirt everywhere. Floor was gross, would not recommend standing barefoot anywhere in the hotel.
The "shared bath" was actually 2 small bathrooms. In the primary bathroom, the toilet seat didn't stay secure to toilet - I almost fell off!! The second bathroom was so small that my knees banged up against the door when sat on toilet. This room did NOT include a sink for handwashing!! Instead, there was a non-functional bottle of hand sanitizer - not acceptable by my standards.
The kitchen was dirty and gross looking. I was afraid to use it or eat anything that came out of there. I ended up buying a gallon bottle of water and some individually wrapped pastries for breakfast which I kept in my room.
I didn't see anyone clean anything the entire time I stayed ( 4 days). The manager was usually on the internet or watching TV. The man who ran the place was not helpful in providing any info on OSJ, basically just showed me the room and took my $.
I have stayed at hostels before in various cities. I expected basic, but this was below my standards. Next time, I will pay more and stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JanuaryJules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 10, 2011

I think it depends on what expectations you have. I paid the highest price and expexted at least a clean room for that. I was disgusted when I found insects and especially cockroaches in my room. It was dirty and don't let me even start to tell you about the bathrooms... I learned that I'll pay more the next time and can at least expext a clean room!

  • Stayed January 2011
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank SarahDaFuchs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2011

Went to Puerto Rico and was not sure where we were going to stay. Stopped and asked for a near by hostel, I got recommended to Fortaleza. Upon arrival, the manager of this hostel was super friendly. Luckly, they still had two beds open. It's a 3 story hostel, well themed throughout. Location was perfect to walk around in Old San Juan. I would surely stay here again if I come back to Puerto Rico.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank drew4_25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 1, 2011

* Small rooms with the basics, nothing fancy. Some rooms have AC ($65/night) and others don't ($40/night). I didn't find the AC necessary at all--but then it didn't get that hot while we were there (upper 70s, low 80s) and the fan served just fine.
* Friendly, family-run operation with no website or email.
* This is the kind of place you crash when you plan to be out and about most of the time and don't think of your accommodations as a luxury place to lounge in--in short, a low-budget hostel-like joint.
* Surprisingly quiet considering the location. The only noise was people slamming doors.

Important to know: the manager, Katrina (or Trina?) can often be found working the souvenir shop on the first floor of the building (in case someone doesn't answer the door when you ring). Another phone number they gave me was (787) 295-8500, at which I reached an English speaker (I tried my limited Spanish with Rael, but didn't get too far).

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank KKRSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington Park, Maryland
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2010

Since there was no phone number or internet address to make a reservation, we took a chance and had our cab take us directly to the guesthouse which is a narrow building with a nondescript black door in the middle of the block on Calle Fortaleza. We rang the doorbell and were admitted by a courteous fellow who spoke little English but was able to convey that the charge for an un-airconditioned room was $40/nite or $50/nite cash for air conditioned. My daughter and I opted for a room on the 3rd floor with street view and tiny balcony but no air and with a nice fan situated above the bed which kept us comfortable. The room was small and clean having room for a double bed, a chest of drawers, a place to hang clothes and a chair. The kitchen and bath on our floor were clean and adequate and there was a small tv and some visitor literature on the 2nd floor lobby area. There are wrought ironwork doors between floors and a nice handpainted mural between the entrance and 2nd floor lobby. The free WiFi came in handy for our laptop and security there seemed good. We had a key to our room and a separate key for the front door to the street. I will say that if you are overlooking the street, the partying sounds from the clubs and nightlife do go on till after 3am sometimes so if you don't sleep well with noise, bring earplugs. The location is wonderful for shopping and walking everywhere in Old Town. We didn't get a rental car till we moved on to another hotel out near Isla Verde where there is adequate street parking. Parking in Old SJ is nearly impossible. I give the place a thumbs up for inexpensive hostels!

  • Stayed October 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mombonk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fortaleza Guest House

Property: Fortaleza Guest House
Address: 303 Calle de La Fortaleza, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 24 Specialty Lodging in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fortaleza Guest House is a small, old-fashioned style guest house for travelers looking for a nice, comfortable, clean place to stay in San Juan, Puerto Rico.Rooms vary from having fans, air conditioners, and balconies. There are 2 shared bathrooms and 1 kitchen on each floor, free WiFi, and coin-operated laundry.The guest house is in an excellent location, within walking distance of a variety of stores and restaurants, gorgeous plazas, and lively salsa clubs. We'd love to make your stay in Old San Juan unforgettable!Check in at 1pm and check out at 12 pmPay cash on arrival. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Fortaleza Guest House Hotel San Juan

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