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“A Good, Not Great, Experience”
Review of The Gallery Inn

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The Gallery Inn
Ranked #7 of 30 San Juan B&B and Inns
Reviewed November 30, 2012

My husband and I stayed in The Gallery Inn, and it was charming, but we probably wouldn't stay there again. Our room was nice but small and not super clean. The art work and decor were charming, and the breakfast was fine (continental - not super fabulous but fine), but our bed was very uncomfortable, and the staff were not particularly helpful. The view from the rooftop terrace was incredible, and we had a nice time, but there are better options for the price.

Room Tip: Our bed was very uncomfortable. We only stayed one night, but we wish we would have asked before we...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank MSNMKE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 29, 2012

We’ve been to Puerto Rico many times and, with homework and planning, have given it a pretty good exploration. Our times in San Juan were usually at smaller boutique hotels in Condado and Ocean Park, which were lovely. But we were celebrating our 40th anniversary of meeting, and wanted to spend this visit mostly in Old San Juan. There were a number of tempting spots to stay based on our digging, but The Gallery Inn stood out. Fodor’s very positive review also had 5 “Cons” that all sounded good to us as well.
We arrived from Vieques, where the innkeeper/owner there had himself enjoyed a stay at the Gallery Inn.
The outside is subtle, with only a sculpture and a wrought-iron gate to mark the entrance, plus our cabby’s apparent confidence that this is the spot.
Once you’re in, quickly enough, you know that this place will be a treat for the eyes. It’s a complex structure, and there are interesting twists at most every turn, as well discussed in other reviews. There are paintings, expressive sculptures, and eclectic objects everywhere, and, unlike more modern places, this historical setting, as molded by owners Jan and Manuco, provides stimulating backdrops and surfaces underlying these materials.
A book about this place called “If Wall Could Talk” indicates that this has been almost a 50 year endeavor by Jan D’Esopo. It is clear that she remains a creative force and it was fun to watch her thinking. This place is also alive due to visiting musicians, artists and other performers.
And, finally, we just had a good time. The food was excellent, the setting wonderful, the view for the deck and the beach house terrific, a great jumping off point for our Old San Juan exploration, and good company with other guests, the owners and their staff and performers.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Judy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2012

This place is so romantic! It's old, it's got heaps of character, so old world with a bit of new. The Gallery Inn is in old San Juan with it's cobble stone streets surrounded by castle walls from the time it belonged to Spain. I loved the place, the staff were wonderful & helpful, the food was great, the atmosphere at the outside dinning area with the flamenco guitarist was a great way to start the night. I'll be back!!!

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank Allan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2012

We loved the kooky ambience, art and gardens of the Gallery Inn as we always like to stay in unique hotels. However, the hotel and rooms are open to the elements - there are ponds and water catchments everywhere, and we were hounded by dive bombing, super-fast mosquitoes. Given Puerto Rico is in the midst of a dengue fever epidemic, I would have preferred to have stayed elsewhere, where I didn't have to spray deet on before bed. Left Puerto Rico with approximately 20 bites, all sustained in the hotel.

The restaurant served a delicious dinner meal but I agree with other reviewers that the breakfast fare was some of the worst we'd experienced for the extortionate price.

The front desk staff engaged in lengthy conversations with each other while we waited patiently to be acknowledged.

Great location in old San Juan, great views, our room was clean, generally a cute place, but I believe it is overpriced and we would not recommend it to friends or family, especially in mosquito season.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
2  Thank abgb2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2012

I had the honor to stay at the Gallery Inn as a traveling artist and performer - a circus performer, in fact. Manuco built a rig for me and I performed Aerial Silks for the guests, putting on a spectacular show to go with their delicious dinners.

The rooms were beautiful, and my bedroom - tucked in a quiet corner with tropical garden just outside my window - was just a flight of stairs away from the roof, complete with 360 views of the ocean.

The gardens are also gorgeous - palm trees, orchids, and night-blooming flowers woven in and around the saltwater pool, while sculptures adorn every corner and wall.

Overall an amazing retreat for artists, a hidden gem tucked into a touristy area - the most beautiful acommodations on the island.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are beautiful, but ask for a view of the ocean if you're lucky, or if you'r...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Seanna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

We didn't find the Gallery Inn on any map and there's no sign out front, but when we stepped through the iron gate into a sanctuary of tropical plants, parrots and fountains, we were welcomed like family by the friendly staff and owners Jan and Manuco. We explored the labyrinthian hallways that led to stairways, secret gardens, a music room with a grand piano, and a treasure trove of art and antiques. We dined under the stars on garlic shrimp and arugula salad beside a wall of orchids while Felix serenaded us with his Spanish guitar. We stayed there five days and spent most of the time lounging by the pool listening to classical music, reading and swimming in the salt water beside a ruined brick wall decorated with sculptures made by Jan. Each room we peeked into was charming and eclectic, some big, some small, some overlooking the ocean, some opening to the pool.I had a fantastic massage by Valentino and celebrated my 60th birthday with my new best friends Manuco, Jan, her sister, some local artists and hotel guests, and a circus performer who had entertained us the night before. When she heard it was my birthday, Jan organized an impromptu party. This was my first trip to Puerto Rico and I'm already making plans to return to the Gallery Inn.

Room Tip: there's no elevator so if you have any trouble with steps choose a room on the ground level
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CynthiaGreenberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2012

Our overall experience at The Gallery Inn was good. It's an incredibly unique space--with hidden staircases, balconies, and fountains, lush plants and flowers, lots of art created by the owner filling every nook and cranny, and tropical birds if that weren't enough. Our room was spacious, and apartment like, with a large sitting room, bathroom, a patio and a balcony all located off the bedroom. And from the balcony we had an incredible ocean view.
Unfortunately, a strong musty smell permeated our room. Though a plastic bag was hung on the wall, I believe it said something like "DampRid," a mildewy like smell still hung in the air. The large collection of books in the room, though a homey touch, probably weren't helping with the smell.

The service at the Gallery Inn was friendly, and the hotel has an interesting history and cool, cinematic like ambience. I'd recommend it with reservation.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Terese_G3
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

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: $161 - $321 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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