The reviews over the past few days seem to be the most accurate, and therefore, I don't necessarily have to write a huge paragraph regarding my experience.
This hotel was HIGHLY recommended by many of my friends - unfortunately for me, these friends prefer charm over cleanliness and the ability to not breath in mold. If you're also into charm, and don't mind dirt, by all means this is the place for you!
The place is loaded with character. There are so many cute pockets that you can find to read in, there's always coffee, and each individual room is uniquely ornamented. The breakfast is also fine (there's yogurt, breads, jams, etc.), and you can drink wine on the roof which has a 360 degree view. It's quite beautiful. Additionally, the more expensive "suite" type of rooms are much dryer, and much better taken care of than any of the smaller rooms.
But then there's this:
The place is filthy, and also extremely damp. This combination is lethal - especially for anyone traveling who has asthma. The first room we entered was so damp and dirty that I actually could not breath. I tried to ignore it, but several minutes after sitting in there, we had to go downstairs to request a 'dryer' room. The fact that the very friendly and helpful attendant knew what I meant without me having to describe it says a lot. My lungs could not handle it. The second room was indeed dryer, but still very damp, moist, and dark. It had a door which opened onto the pool - which was nice - but unless you opened the door and kept it open, there was zero sunlight. Additionally, everything was so dirty you kind of didn't want to touch it.
I travel a LOT. I've stayed in all kinds of places - from sleeping on buses, to cabins with nets, to Four Seasons. I'm really not picky about where I stay as long as I'm paying the equivalent of what it's worth, and it is CLEAN. That's my thing. Cleanliness. It can be as ugly as it wants if it's clean. This place was filthy and moldy - but it's the kind of filth that only someone who really takes their cleanliness seriously is going to notice since the place is well-ordered. Things are where they belong, and it's neat. However, everything was just sooo dirty, and the smell of mildew was unbearable. For the first time, I completed regretted not staying at a boring chain hotel.
If you prefer charm over the ability over clean, you will definitely love this place because it's got that and then some. But if any of these recent reviews were available before I booked, I would have listened. I truly suggest that you keep these most recent reviews in mind, as they are VERY accurate regarding how this place currently is. And if you do book here, book one of the larger, more expensive, newer looking and smelling rooms.
- 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