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“Delightfully not derivative.”
Review of The Gallery Inn

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The Gallery Inn
Ranked #7 of 30 San Juan B&B and Inns
Litchfield Park, Arizona
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Delightfully not derivative.”
Reviewed May 25, 2012

This place is great. Full of color and character missing from the lifeless Hiltons and Sheratons. Walk out the door to the street and you're no more than a five minute walk to El Morro or San Cristobal. I'm not the kind of guy that expects to be treated like a king so I really enjoyed the levity from the graciously attentive staff. It was nice to deal with people and not corporate approved robots. Gallery staff gave excellent directions and suggestions for what to do and where to go.

Had hot water with good pressure and climate control. Only gripe was the wi-fi was a bit shoddy in my particular room but not a big deal. I would definitely book again though I think it would suit couples better than a single traveler since the place is so memorably romantic. Not suited for people who are stair challenged as the place does not have an elevator but wasn't a problem for me. You'll be glad you took the chance and booked this place.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Joey T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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834 reviews from our community

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English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2012

We stayed at the Gallery Inn for three nights in March 2012. The place is an eccentric 22-room charmer, full of art (especially statuary) with 20 or 22 rooms. Staff were friendly and the interior courtyard, where meals are served and there's a small lap pool, was pleasant -- parrots and all. The complimentary breakfast buffet was on the low side of basic, but such extras as omelets and french toast can be cooked to order for an extra charge. The location is unbeatable -- within close walking distance of not only the famous forts but also a number of interesting museums, including the Museo de las Americas, the small shrine-like Casals Museum, and the Galeria Nacional, which for our money outdoes the larger Museo de Arte, a cab ride away in the suburb of Santurce (it's worth the trip). At the Gallery Inn, you're within walking distance of more restaurants than you could patronize in a week. The Parrot Club and El Jibarito, a no-frills locals' favorite, El Jibarito, were our favorites. If you are planning to rent a car to explore other parts of the island, do it after your stay in Old San Juan -- parking can be a real character-builder. And the cab ride from the airport on Sundays can get snarled up in traffic jams for one festival or another.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the street (and flanking the front gate) can be noisy at night; don't put shoe...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank MikeHoulahan5832
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2012

Upon entereing, we were not sure that the iron gate was the door. There was no sign or anything marking the entrance. Once inside there are beautiful outdoor gardens. The Inn is old townhomes connected to each other, and to quote the website a "labyrinth." We loved exploring the passageways and finding new areas in the hotel. There are some winding steps that might be difficult for some to get up, although we did not have a problem. The wine deck on the top of the Inn views the whole city and was great to watch the sunset. The Inn itself was beautiful, the arch doorways, and lanterns, and art. The art was beautiful and complimented the Inn. The Inn also included some parrots. Not being a bird person myself I however found them to be charming, and charismatic, and had to resist petting them.
Our room had high ceilings and a small balcony which was gorgeous. The room however was very humid, our bed was a little damp. We could tell that they tried to minimize this, there was some bag behind the bed I've never seen before my boyfriend told me takes the water out of the air. We also controlled our own air conditioner. In a related topic, considering the place is an old structure, you could hear through the walls fairly easily. I woke up one morning to the people across the street having a normal voiced conversation (with the doors/windows closed). Also one night while washing swimming suits in the bathroom ( inside a separate door, inside the room), I heard someone sneeze (over the running water in the room I was in) in a nearby corridor. I don't even think they were immediately outside our room. Obviously though, knowing this was an old hotel we expected these things, and were more looking for the unique qualities in the hotel.
The hotel is in a great location. We could easily walk to the 2 forts, the port, and the museums. We stayed 3 nights and therefore bought the artist package which came with 2 glasses of wine, and a painting from the owner. We love the painting which is of Old San Juan, it is currently hanging in our bedroom.
Honestly the biggest negative for us was the price. We paid $600 for 3 nights with the Artist Package in what I believe was a Colonial Room. So with the package a room with a balcony, a painting and 2 glasses of wine was not much more expensive then staying in the room with no balcony without the wine or painting. There is a high tax rate in Old San Juan as well, we paid almost $100 in tax.
I couldn't stop looking at pictures online and knew I would love the hotel, so decided to pay a little out of my price range. Honestly I could tell that with limited rooms and the beauty of the Inn, they could pretty much charge the price they wanted for them. We would love to go back to probably the most beautiful and charismatic hotel that me or my boyfriend have ever been in; but I don't know how long it will take us to be able to afford it.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Crystaldawn3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southwest Harbor, Maine
1 review
Reviewed May 8, 2012

We stayed at the Gallery Inn for two nights in April after a wedding in Rincón. We made our reservation the morning of our arrival in Old San Juan -- the staff was helpful in accommodating our last-minute plans.

Finding the entrance to the hotel by car was a little tricky. There is no sign on the street for the hotel, the streets are narrow and prone to traffic. There is parking inside the hotel's gate, though, so once we realized that we had been driving back and forth in front of it for half an hour we were set! Parked the car and didn't move it until we headed out for the airport two days later.

Our room was small but had high ceilings and air-conditioning, which was a welcome comfort given the 90º+ heat. We had a shared balcony overlooking the "sculpture pool." The entire place is full of the owner's painting and sculpture. It's a very old building, so no elevator, but that didn't matter to us.

If you're looking for a typical, sterile hotel, book a room at the Howard Johnson. Check out the Gallery Inn if you are looking for personality, history and community in a thoroughly memorable setting.

Room Tip: The restaurant is also excellent. The chef is accomplished -- reinvigorates traditional dishes and i...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Alex_SteriPEN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2012

This is a quirky little inn that is full of twists and turns and interesting creatures and sculptures. We will definitely stay there again. We lucked out and were upgraded to the Ocean room -- huge room with a sitting area and a private terrace looking over the ocean. The rooftop terrace is wonderful. The breakfast is simple but filling and fresh, the pool is lovely, and the entire place makes you feel like you fell into a different world. Its location is excellent - we took a nice walk to El Morro and around Old San Juan the next day. The only suggestion I would have is to provide more vegetarian options on the menu. Very nice staff.

Room Tip: The Ocean room is a treat.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Brooke_MW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2012

I stayed at this property from April 20-21. Taxi from airport is about $25 US. Drive is about 20 mins from airport. Upon arriving at the property is very odd. It is an old concrete brick structure that has a heavy old rod iron gate. Beyond the iron gate is where your vacation starts. When you enter the gate, you are welcomed by parrots and art work, clay pottery, latin atrifacts that are to bizzare and neat to explain. We stayed in "Hector A" it was great. The room did not have a bathroom, but we had a private bath just outside our room in common hall way. There is an honor bar, fresh water and snacks available. There are multiple rooms, sitting areas evrywhere. The property owner Jan and her husband loaded us up on there golf cart and drove us about 5 minutes to another private brach house. This is a small home/bar sitiuated on the hillside. open deck for drinks, amazing ocean views. The area around this beach house is a littl slummy, but everyone is nice. Take advantage of the room top observation deck. Very nice views, and very romantic and exotic location for "intimate time" with your spouse. Brekfast is good, but milk was not ice cold, coffee was very close to battery acid. No flavor creamer, Orange Juice was great, fruit and breads were good. The toaster is a joke, very slow, and there is only one for the entire property. took forever to use and forever to make toast. Very unique sitting area for brekfast. This is a non kid friendly enviroment. while kids are welcome, it is a couples retreat. Food venders are nearby, but definatley a moderate stressful walk if your not in shape. You can take advatnage of daily food meals at the gallery, but they seeemed pricey. Ther is a CVS Pharmacy that sells alcohol, make sure you buy it there, cheaper than local liqiour stores. The movie "fast and furious" was filmed in the area of this property. For ll the political enthusiast, Michelle and Barrack stayed here when he was running against Hillary dor the Democratic Ticket. Pictures of them are in the lobby. I paid $218 for one night. very pricey but unique in the big scheme of things. I would not stay here for more than 1 night. Very open and airy.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
Helpful?
Thank Airhawk17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 29, 2012

No elevator, 2nd floor to 3rd, cork screw steps. Make sure you are not on the 3rd floor!

Room Tip: They put us 3rd floor, no elevator, cork screw stairs 2nd floor to 3rd. For the price, way over pric...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ed T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Gallery Inn

Property: The Gallery Inn
Address: 204 - 206 Norzagaray 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 Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 30 B&Bs / Inns in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Gallery Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This sprawling 22-room ocean-view boutique hotel features lush gardens, tree-shaded patios and secluded and private nooks at every turn. The Wine Deck offers breath-taking, panoramic views from the highest point in Old San Juan. The newly completed sculpture waterfall pool meanders through ancient brick passageways, past fragrant gardenias. Six active art studios and world-class piano recitals are all open to our guests. Unique, elegant and exotic: the Old World charm of The Gallery Inn. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Gallery Hotel San Juan

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