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“old town oasis”
Review of CasaBlanca Hotel

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CasaBlanca Hotel
Ranked #5 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 7, 2013

A quirky boutique hotel in the old town close, It captures the atmosphere of the original San Juan. The Casablanca movie theme is amusing at first but I can imagine it becomes a bit cliched after a while. It is a 3 star location, so dont expect Sheraton luxuries, but if you are looking for some character then it is definately recommended.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Arthurwait
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce O, Manager at CasaBlanca Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Dear Arthur,

Thank you so much for your feedback! We love the CasaBlanca theme and the Moroccan style because it disconnects you from your day to day life and really transports you to a different time. Walking the streets of Old Town is very charming, you could almost feel how the Spanish conquistadors lived as you walk over the narrow cobble stone streets. One of my favorites is the street "Paseo del Gambaro" which I take every day from the parking lot to the hotel, it makes me feel like I am living in a movie. We hope to see you back some day!

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Reviewed April 6, 2013

The hotel is nicely decorated, and a lot has been done to compensate for its being an old structure on a crowded street. As the name suggests, the hotel takes its decorative theme from the movie.

The staff is decent, but not overly-friendly. "Free Breakfast" is basically toast and coffee, anything more is a-la-carte. There are no elevators, which makes the hotel difficult for mobility-limited persons such as my wife. In fact, unknowingly we had been booked into a 5th floor room, which was simply an impossibility for her. They did move us the a 3rd floor suite, which was better but still a struggle.

The rooms are nicely appointed, with complimentary WiFi, but my computer would not lock up to internet access in the suite. I could take it down to the 2nd floor, where it would lock up, then return to the suite where it stayed locked up for several hours. Then repeat the process. I suspect some form of an IP address conflict.

Overall, probably not a bad choice if you want to stay in the center of activity of Old San Juan. But it's not a high-end luxury hotel, by any means.

Room Tip: Front rooms can get noisy, but didn't bother us much. I suggest packing a "San Juan" s...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank agilberttx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce O, Manager at CasaBlanca Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Dear Agilberttx,

Thank you so much for your feedback! For all future guests please note that the number on the room is for the actual floor you will be on, and the letters are for the different room types. Let's say, if you book 5C you are booking on the fifth floor room C which is a standard queen size bed for $119. When you book thru our website you can see that the Suites are the letter B, and so forth, each room type has a different price.

We strive for five star customer service even though we are a three star hotel. I am happy our staff was good in accommodating your family to a lower floor, sometimes it is difficult to do that if the hotel is fully booked. We have since made sure a " No Elevator" notice is placed on our website booking page for everyone to know about this before they book. Other booking engines like Expedia or Orbitz, have a no elevator notice, but they display it in the amenities page and some guests never get to ready all the hotel details before booking. I went ahead and added it in the first line of the hotel description to see if this works.

We apologize for the internet situation, it turns out the WiFi receiver was not working on your floor. Our technician was able to put it back to work.

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Reviewed April 5, 2013

My wife and I travelled to San Juan with another couple. We really enoyed this hotel, it was clean and modern, the receptionist on arrival was extremely helpful and polite. The rooms had plenty of space with a very comfortable queen size bed, the en suite was modern and clean. The location was right in the centre of Old San Juan, so great for exploring the shops, the historic side of things, (or the bars!) We feel it was excellent value for money compared to other hotels. I would recommend this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: There is no lift so expect a hike up the stairs- it wasn't a problem for us
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Nathan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

After reading the mixed reviews here on Tripadvisor, I decided to give CasaBlanca a shot. The location turned out to be perfect for seeing Old San Juan. The employees were very sweet and welcoming. However, there were certain areas that could either be improved, or visitors should be aware of prior to booking.
The walk-up is imposing. Make certain you are in excellent condition or book a lower floor. The noise from the street is loud! During our stay the fire alarm went off several times (a day). The breakfast (provided free) would have been decent (if not minimal) coffee, pastries and toast - however, every day one or more of these items were depleted and took a bit of time to be replaced. Our room for two had two bath towels, yet just one hand and washcloth and no bath mat. And, I don't think I've ever been in a shower without a soap dish before. Or a shower curtain liner.
So, my expectations were such that I was not expecting a luxury property, so many little things could be done to improve their guests stays.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank foredan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Loved the location -- being able to walk around Old San Juan was a treat. Easy to walk safely to the waterfront and to the fort from this central location. The decor is very comfortable and unique. Our room was on second floor, and like a few other reviews, a bit noisy...but it really didn't bother us. Our room had a balcony out to the street, a beautiful view of the Old San Juan architecture. Make sure you stay for breakfast which included an organic menu. The chef has it going on!

Room Tip: If you are traveling with more than two, Room #2 right at the top of the stairs on the second floor...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank PamLM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

We only stayed here one night before we flew home, but this is a great place to stay in Old San Juan. The location is great, it's close to all of the tourist spots in Old San Juan, probably a 15 minute walk at most to any of them. The guys at the front desk are very helpful in telling you a place to park. They recommend the parking garage which was maybe $10 a day which is cheap in Old San Juan. Many restaurants and bars close by as well and the room had a balcony to hang out and take in the nightlife below. The only complaint was our bed sounded like an air mattress, not sure what was going on with that, but it was comfortable.
We will stay here again when back in San Juan.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ben L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

We stayed on the second floor of this charming historical hotel in old San Juan, Puerto Rico. The hotel is located in the center of most shopping, dining and site-seeing on foot. The brick paved roads and sidewalks are very narrow and the buildings very old so do be careful of traffic during the day. But at night the streets are filled with people walking to restaurants, night clubs, casinos and very few cars driving. A policeman or security person is on just about every corner and it is safe to walk about even at night. The CasaBlanca hotel staff are extremely friendly and helpful, suggesting great places to eat and sites to see. The rooms are small, ours had no closets, the water in the shower was funky turning hot and cold at random while showering with no soap dish in the shower, but the room was clean even though the walls could use a fresh coat of paint. I found it quite charming and nicely decorated. Silent movies of Casa Blanca were showing in the lobby and complimentary coffee and iced water are available in the lobby as well. We stayed one night prior to boarding our cruise ship bound for the Virgin Islands. I liked the hotel but there are no elevators and the hotel is five stories high, so bear that in mind when choosing to stay here, you will be climbing stairs. The roof top offers 5 huge bathtubs to relax in while taking in the views of the city and the bay, definitely worth the climb. If you are physically fit this is a very unique hotel to stay in from the beautiful chandelier hanging in the lobby to the romantic tubs under the stars on the roof.

Room Tip: Bear in mind this hotel has 5 floors and no elevator when checking in. However if you venture to the...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Leachwriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about CasaBlanca Hotel

Address: 316 Fortaleza St. | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Price Range: $132 - $227 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — CasaBlanca Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
New Elevator is up and running! CasaBlanca is a Boutique Hotel with 32 guestrooms with a lot of character and a personalized experience. We want you to love San Juan as much as we do by making sure your stay is pleasant and memorable. The structure is Spanish from the 1900's therefore rooms are mid to small sized, air conditioned and impeccable. Our beds are comfortable and equipped with microfiber linens and Hypoallergenic pillows, our bathrooms are small but private and unique, with amenities from the organic brand - Archive. Please ask front desk for complimentary items you might have forgotten to pack. Also available are: steamer, hairdryer, in room coffee maker and ice machine in lobby. Our Sun Deck offers guests a memorable experience with magical views of Old San Juan, watch the cruises as they disappear into the bay or enjoy the historical views of San Cristobal Fort next to the open Caribbean Sea. From tanning to reading, enjoy our comfortable lounge chairs, as well as our stone bathtubs provided for a deep relaxation in fresh water at your own desired temperature and time as it is open 24 hrs. Everything from our menu is available with one quick call to guest services from our service phone. Still worried about catching up with friends and family or posting your recent vacation pictures online, or maybe send a late work related email, not a problem, our high speed Internet is available everywhere in Hotel grounds. We are a smoke free, environmentally friendly, historically preserved Hotel where you will find a smiley face where ever you go! Cafe Americain conveniently located in the lobby serves a delicious breakfast every morning from 8 - 12 pm while streaming our favorite Hollywood movie CasaBlanca. Restaurant hours are 8am - 10pm Wed to Sun and 8am-11am for Mon to Tue. Offers a lunch menu selection of local cuisine as well as light options as sandwiches and salads. ... more   less 
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