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Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan
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Reviewed March 11, 2013

It's probably the 4th time I stay in this Hotel in a 20 year period. The first two times it was very seedy. The last two times in the last eight years I would give it two and a half star for accommodation, but for location, it's the absolute best !! It is in the center of everything in Old San Juan. About three blocks from La Fortaleza, El Morro is about a 10 minute picturesque, Old world, incredible architecture that you could mistake with any city in Spain with cobblestone streets. You are in fact transported to another era, another time. Recommended very highly. Also, in my opinion, it is extremely safe, the police and security is everywhere. Go there..

Room Tip: A room with a balcony will cost you more.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank RAMON F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

We (party of 4) booked the hotel Plaza de Armas via the Internet based on the description, surroundings and price. We arrived with high hopes in San Juan.the trip from the airport was very pitoresque and when we arrived our disappointment of the hotel was big. IT started with a lobby which showed very poor maintenance (the painting - lobby furniture - reception area lights not working etc.). We got assigned our rooms (we had booked 2 rooms) and pretty soon it became clear that this very nice old looking building - next to the state department - was very poorly maintained.
In the lobby there were still signs of this being a Howard Johnsonn hotel - something I am still not sure of as on the Internet I could not find a reference to HJ Hotels.

It started with an elevator which actually was slower than when a "cripple'would take the stairs towards the 2nd, 3rd or 4th floor. Next we got a room with no telephone, no refrigerator, no airco remote control (the airco was just blasting fullforce continuously) and a remote for an outdated television set which was of the RCA make and the TVwas a different make - hence remote did not work. Neither did the safe - womething I always treasure as I do not carry my passports around.

When compared to our friends who got a different room it was clear that they had a refrigarator, airco remote and such although their airconditioner did not work very well and made more noise than anything else.

I must admit that the service of the people working there was very ok. THey were friendly and trying to help but I did noticed that the manager - Garzon - was less service minded as he tried to explain the shortcomings with very easy answers such as -"not every room has a refrigerator, depends on your booking" (Well, my friend and I booked our rooms togetehr via one credit card).

The big PLUS was the fact that the hotel is situated very much in the center of the Old San Juan area making it accessible for everybody. GIven the high security around that area I felt very comfortable with my wife walking aorund in the stores at all (opening) hours.

Overall though I will never (not intentionally) book this hotel again. FOr the same price one can get a hotel in Condado - not more than 5 km away - and visit the old center with a cab.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jerry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LuisGarzon, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2013

Thanks a lot Mr. Jerry for taking the time to share your experience in your last visit to Old San Juan.

I'm really sorry about what you feel in your recent stay but let me explain you a couple of things to be fair with other people that are going to read what you have written about our place:

1.- I suggest you that before you go any place on earth you need to make your homework trying to investigate as much as you can about the place you are heading.

2.- Yes we are not fancy but what we do have is a great location for being in Old San Juan, a clean, quite, peaceful and affordable rooms plus a great service oriented staff (Front Desk and Housekeeping) to help you in all your needs.

3.- You just came to our hotel in the middle of a maintenance process .

4.- We are not Howard Johnson anymore and we don't have the need to pretend one of them because we have our own identity.

5.- Our elevator is a Lula type which means that can not be a more modern one because of our historic characteristic. It allows 4 people or 1,200 pound. Besides we have people for helping guest with their luggages at all time. We are just a four stories building, so stair is just near the elevator for those whom wants to take advantage of exercising while vacationing.
For your information we are one of a few hotel aroun the area in our category that has elevator service.

6. Our air conditioning system do have control temperature in the roomand if you feel cold or hot in your room there is always a way to fix that situation if you requiere so. Our air conditioning system may vary from on room to another but always you can lower or rise the temperature and always you can TURN OFF the unit but as you mention the staff is very friendly and helpful and we always are trying that people feel at home and pleased them in any need they may have including TURNING OFF an air conditioning unit.

We have guest in our Hotel Plaza De Armas that have spent a long period of time with us (2 & 3 weeks in a row) and have been pleased with our services and with their room and if they have required anything in any moment have been addressed inmediately and without delay and the most important thing is that they have came back to stay even longer.
And their experience with us has been an amazing one at the point they want to share more time in our place.

Yes indeed we have the best location at Old San Juan because we have a great combination of facilities to get you around the old city: a taxi line just in the front and a trolley stop just in our door, but if you preferred walking, everything is just minutes away.

Yes, you can always look for other location nearby, but they will be always not like us. The combination of conveniences that we have allow us to be UNIQUE.

Jerry, allow me to tell you that your feedback help us to improve our services and property on a daily basis. It's our goal that any comment or issues that could be present during your stay are going to be addressed in a proper way.

Our principal concern is to meet the needs of each and every guest we serve and always try to exceed their expectations in order to make their stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

We want that every person arrives as a guest and always leaves as our friend.


Thanks again.

Luis Garzon
Hotel Plaza de Armas
“Where every person arrives as
our guest and leaves as our friend”

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

We stayed at the Plaza de Armas the night before our cruise. It was not what we
were expecting, but we loved it.
It is a boutique older hotel right in the middle of San Juan which was wonderful!
We did a lot of sight seeing the morning before the cruise and there was not
a problem leaving our luggage with them after checking out.

We had a room with a balcony which was great with beautiful views of the town
square and a nice breeze. I personally would not have liked one without windows.
We spent most of the evening on the balcony.

Will definitely stay there again if in Puerto Rico.
As other reviews said, do not go into this hotel thinking it's
a 5 star hotel.

The view, location, cleanliness and staff make this hotel!

Room Tip: I would get a balcony room for the view.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank marydan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Plaza De Armas Feb 23rd 2013, before a cruise and then again on March 3rd and 4th, based on trip advisor reviews. The first night we had a windowless room, which I thought might bother me, but it didn't. The 2nd part of our stay we had a French balcony on the 4th floor and the room was much bigger. I believe all the rooms with windows are called suites. As other reviewers have stated, this is a very basic hotel. Years ago, the rooms faced an interior courtyard, as many of the hotels did and some still do. Because of rain problems, the courtyard was roofed in. Yes, the 1902 elevator is small and slow, but it is in a historic building and do you have to be in a hurry?? You are on vacation!! Yes, if you can't do the narrow stairs ask for a lower level, if you don't want to use the elvator. No frills, but I felt it was very clean, the bed was comfortable, the staff are wonderful, the LOCATION is everything. It is in the middle of everything in Old San Juan. Trolley and cab stand right outside the door, Plaza de Armas is right across the street and is fun to just sit in. You can walk to almost everything and we felt very safe. Don't miss seeing the old forts, built in the 1500's. The green trolley will take you all over and it's free. It's a fun way to get your barings. If you want the Ritz, don't stay here, if you want a place to sleep for a great price, a great staff, and a perfect location in a very old city, the Hotel de Armas is great.

Room Tip: Lower level if old elevator or stairs are a problem. Ask for a suite, they have windows and are larger.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MNGal66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2013

A snow storm in Boston caused us to bring forward our departure to San Juan by a day so we were searching for a hotel with vacancies at 10pm. This hotel met our needs well, though I am not sure that I would want to spend more than a night or two there. It was a plain interior room, with no windows. Very clean, comfortable bed, nice shower. The air conditioning worked but was noisy, as was the bathroom extractor fan. The interior atrium is very interesting, kneed of a little love and attention, the staff were very friendly and efficient and the location cannot be beat. Perfect for a walking tour of beautiful Old San Juan. The hotel fit our needs for an extra night in the city very well before moving on to the originally booked Sheraton convention center, which is different in almost all respects.

If you demand all modern conveniences in a hotel then the Plaza De Aramas is not for you. In all honesty it is a bit over priced. But for a centrally located hotel with a definite charm and meeting all basic necessities try it out.

Room Tip: Be aware that some rooms are interior with no windows, but amazingly high ceilings.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Tim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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