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“Just the essentials”

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Castro Guest House Old San Juan
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Just the essentials”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2010

These reviews are pretty accurate with the exception of the exposed wires in the bathrooms...not sure what thats about. I had the room with the double balcony facing the main road, made for lovely mornings, and excellent evening views. I spend very little time in my room when I travel, this place gave me everything I needed and a huge space to soak it all in.
The fact is Old San Juan is a party town and having a bar downstairs is pretty awesome if you are travelling alone or just hanging for one night or so.
Quique is sweet, sincere, and real Puerto Rican (just like me!). Great advice and enthusiasm.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sanari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    3
    9
    8
    2
    1
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Families
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9
Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2010

Stayed in Puerto Rico en route to the Domincan Republic on both ends of our vacation. Booked 2 different hostels-both in Old San Juan. Castro's is located just above a nightclub that is open until 4am and you feel as though you are trying to sleep inside the night club. I would only recommend this place to young partygoers that plan to stay out most of the night because a good night's sleep is impossible. The bathroom is kinda scary (exposed wires, etc). Would suggest to stay around the corner at Fortaleza Guest House instead.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SheilabHouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these San Juan hotels

Washington DC
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2009

If you need a cheap place to stay in Old San Juan, this is a good option. Just make sure you get a balcony room - I don't think the other rooms have windows, but they do have AC. My friend and I stayed in a big, airy, basic, colonial style room with balcony on the 3rd fl. It was a very Caribbean feeling experience with the big wooden doors to the balcony open and the breeze blowing in off the water. We really liked it. The owner was an interesting quirky old guy who's cat came to visit us in the evening. It was nice. The communal bathrooms were less than nice. Not particularly dirty or anything, but the showers tended to back up if you spent more than 5 minutes in there. Great location. Would def. stay there again - just make sure to bring shower shoes.

  • Stayed April 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 0ut-0f-0ffice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, TX
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2008

I found out about this place from a friend of a friend. Actually stayed there a couple years ago, but didn't know the name of it till now.

This place has an amazing location. You are literally in the heart of Old San Juan. It makes me laugh when people complain about their room not being ready or the cleanliness (or lack there of) because you are paying next to nothing! If you want a four start hotel go down the street and pay 5 times as much. The bathrooms are communal and yes, I showered with my flip flops on, but it was not the first time in my life I had to do that. You get what you pay for and for $25/night it is an awesome deal.

I will be staying there next time I'm in Old San Juan.

  • Liked — LOCATION!
  • Stayed March 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MJ9462
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2008

This guest house is located in the middle of old San Juan. The owner does not speak English. However, he has a helper who does speak English. The hotel itself is safe and is located in a very old building. The prices range from 20-40 dollars depending upon if you have a balcony or air conditioning. If there is another person in your party, he will charge more. I think $25. Note that there is a tax, so it will come out to around $28. I don't think that this hotel is fully booked most of the time because he has about 28 rooms. The bathrooms are shared and don't appear to be overly clean, so bring shower shoes. Also, bring a towel and soap. The only linens provided are sheets, and they are definitely clean. The owner will give you toilet paper. If you are a light sleeper, do not request a room with balcony because there is a nightclub across the street. Request one with a window. Mine had the balcony. I loved it, but it was loud. I liked the hotel because it was cheap and has a lot of character. It was also directly in old San Juan. Also, I met another nice person there. Also, I really liked the owner. However, if you are squeamish about cleanliness and straight lines, don't stay here. This place is old and full of character. If you want the number to make a reservation, you can find it on the internet or in the "Let's Go" guide.

  • Liked — Character and owner
  • Disliked — Cleanliness
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Miss_Qween_Bee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2008

Well I read all the reviews here, and also had my friend in San Juan go and visit the guesthouse before I reserved, and I was ready for what it is when I arrived.

First the positives: You cannot be more centrally located in Old San Juan, the rooms are spacious, with high ceilings, it is reasonably clean (not marriott clean, but third world country clean, i.e. no obvious stenches or garbage), Quique, the owner is pleasant and candid, he doesn't hide anything from you or tries to misrepresent anything. Also there are 3 bathrooms on the second floor and 4 on the third, so no rush hour. The roof is very nice as well, if you have time, there is a beach stretcher, and a table with chairs to relax. Very nice views from above.

The negatives are that the house is old, the bathrooms are borderline clean, the bathtubs have hair and other stuff in them, obviously not cleaned often. QUique's father (nice old man) does most of the hoisekeeping and light cleaning, and there is a cleaning lady coming once a week. Many of the rooms don't have windows, but only a ventilation duct. The rooms that have windows have no glass in it, but just a hole in the wall, sometimes with blinds or curtain. The nice rooms are the ones with a balcony, but there are only only one per floor, so a total of two.

Every room has a fan though, which is enough in spring and fall. Every room has a fridge as well. The mattresses are reasonably comfortable and the sheets are clean (not changed during your stay). For $28/night for a room without an AC it is a great deal for old san juan, magnitudes less than anything nearby. For a solo, unpretentious traveler is more than adequate. Avoid the rooms in the corners, as they have been created by boarding up the corners with thin drywall, and there are openings at the top from where you can hear and see sounds and lights from teh corridors. Also the doors although locked with two locks, are very ligth and fragile, so take your valuables with you, though I felt very safe during my stay.

I am going to try upload some pics of the rooms later on. If you don't want to stay in old san juan, there are better places to stay for a little bit more in other areas of san juan, just be sure to rent a car, as buses are nrealiable, end early, and the drivers are often unfriendly, even abusive, won't let you board with luggage sometimes and yell at you to take a cab (since you are obviously a rich tourist)

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — bathrooms
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank capricornis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2007

The owner was not there when we arrived and the rooms which promised a balcony in each were not available. In fact, we had to put clean sheets on the beds ourselves. It is a cheap hotel and you get what you pay for. It sits above a night club called The Noise, appropriately enough and needless to say, between the questionable security (doors had to be padlocked while we were away), the noise from the nightclub, the disgusting bathroom down the hall, and the bugs, we got very little sleep and would not recommend it to unknowing tourists.

  • Stayed February 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank PastorPat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castro Guest House Old San Juan

Property: Castro Guest House Old San Juan
Address: 205 Calle Tanca, San Juan 00902, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 21 Specialty Lodging in San Juan
Number of rooms: 22
Also Known As:
Castro Guest House Old San Juan Hotel San Juan
Guest House Old San Juan

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