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Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan
Ranked #29 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Reviewed March 12, 2011

OK I understand you get what you pay for and overall the hotel is acceptable. However be prepared for one thing after another if you stay here. Just a few things: ELEVATOR literally looks like it is from the 19th century..taking your life in your hands using it. CUSTOMER SERVICE is bad, rude, indifferent for the most part. They screwed up some details of our reservation and then copped an attitude about it before relenting they had made the mistake. One day the room was not made up and even after we reported it they never cleaned the room that day. One lamp in the room did not work at all. The AC did not work for the first two days. The soap was not replaced in the bathroom for the entire stay. The TV remote did not work, on and on and on...good luck if you stay here. If you do, LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank viajeroso71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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749 - 755 of 960 reviews

Reviewed February 16, 2011

We had a pleasant stay at the Plaza de Armas and enjoyed its quirky imperfections. Housed in a 17th Century building in the very heart of Old San Juan, the location was ideal. The vintage elevator wasn’t working when we were there, but it was fun to wind our way up the narrow stairs – it accentuated the age and history of the place and reminded me of passages I’d taken to rooms above old pubs in Europe. But it would be tight with large suitcases.

While there, we learned that there used to be only one bathroom per floor until about 7 years ago, so the building has been completely retrofitted to include more convenient modern plumbing (each room with it’s own bath) fairly recently. We did not mind small rooms, or dark rooms, as we only slept there. Our adventure was outdoors, wandering the fabulous blue cobblestone streets of Old San Juan and surrounds.

Our room and bathroom were clean, we had hot water, didn’t try the phone (we have cell phones) nor did we try the TV – we came in exhausted from our wanderings each day and collapsed and are not big TV watchers.

The staff was always friendly and helpful. There was no restaurant or food in the building while we were there – but there doesn’t need to be. There are fabulous restaurants everywhere. For breakfast, we went a few blocks to the Hotel El Convento (a $350 a night place) and had a wonderful breakfast in a beautiful setting for about $10 each. It’s not the Ritz, it’s not a resort, and it’s not a boutique hotel, but it doesn’t try to be, so if that’s what you want, this is not the place. If you want to be in an historic property right in the middle of Old San Juan for a pretty good value and can be easy going if need be about minor inconveniences, the Plaza de Armas may suit you just fine.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Vega_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2011

This was the second time we stayed in this hotel so we knew what to expect going in. This stay was absolutely the worst hotel experience I have ever had. The elevator was out of order so we had to carry our bags up the dimly lit, very tight stairs ourselves. There was no offer of help from the front desk. They even laughed when they said they hoped we had good muscles. Once we got to the room, the phone didn't work, the TV didn't work and we had absolutely no hot water. It wasn't even luke warm. It was ice cold. We also discovered that the safe didn't work. Since we had no way to call the front desk, my husband ended up having to make several trips up and down the stairs to get some of the issues resolved. The hotel was sold out so their only answer for the water problem was to offer us use of another room which was not being used because the front door often got stuck in the locked position trapping people inside the room. To which they once again laughed and said good luck. All in all, it was a horrible experience! We weren't expecting much since we had been there before but this was outrageous. Couldn't they hire a young baggage boy to assist customers with their baggage. Many customers are coming and going from cruise ships with luggage for 1-2 weeks. No offer of apology from the front desk staff, just laughs.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank chantal016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2011

'The hotel is in a good central locaton in old San Juan. You can walk to a number of bars, restaurants etc., and the cruise terminals. There is a free trolley car that goes all over the area which is great. However, the hotel is expensive ($140 US minimm ) with no breakfast. The rooms are big - not really clean though. I was able to remove marks on the wall - wonder why the cleaning staff doesn't try! The elevator was broken when we checked in and the staircase was steep and narrow. Went on an 8 day cruise - came back and the elevator was still broken. The area is very noisy with a lot of partiers coming and going at all hours of the night. So - buyer beware. If you want location and have ear plugs, you will be OK but I'd look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank BuffaloLake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2011

We staryed here 2 nights prior to our Carnival Cruise. The elevator was out of order. our room was on the 2nd floor and we had to drag our suitcases up two flights of stairs, and back down again. The phones did not work. There was hot water in the shower, but not in the sink. The mens restroom in the lobby was out of order and they had to use the women's. The rooms were small and barely enough room for our suitcases, and to walk around. We could only get 2 stations on the TV. There were no windows in the rooms. There was no coffee or continental breakfast. It was very noisy about midnight when some boistrous guests came in.
Pros: The girls at the check in desk were super nice and friendly. It was a good location as we could walk to many places. The trolly was free in the whole town & you could get on and off whenever you wanted. We were charged $135 per night which was way overpriced for what we got.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank GloNashvilleTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2011

The room was barely adequate. Absolutely no parking- you have to use a public lot - not a short walk back and certainly not cheap. The street noise gets very loud around five am with all the garbage and delivery trucks making their rounds. No sleeping through that. As the other reviews say, the elevator NEVER works and one local told us he was probably one of the last people to ride it when it was working- many years ago. Good luck finding the hot water setting in the shower.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank snowht5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2010

We stayed at this hotel the night before and the night after we cruised out of San Juan. We wanted a clean place, great location close to the cruise terminal, and nothing fancy. We accomplished all three of those goals.

First, everyone must be aware that the hotel is located in a 17th century building, so things are not the same as in recent construction. Some rooms have windows and others do not. We stayed in two different rooms (one with a window and one without), and they were both fine. The room was clean, the plumbing worked fine, and the bed was clean. It is an island nation on island time, so we knew that the American concept of "everything five minutes ago" was not applicable here. The elevator worked - it was small and slow, but worked fine.

The staff, when not being yelled at by rude tourists, were quite nice. They helped with restaurant suggestions, held our bags until our room was ready, and had taxis waiting for us when we needed them.

The location was phenomenal. The plaza right at the door of the hotel is one of the oldest meeting places in the city. Each night we were there, people were hanging out, visiting with each other, children were playing and celebrating the holidays. It was great for people watching. Also, there is a pharmacy (in case you forgot anything for your vacation or need a soda), numerous restaurants within walking distance, and a 24/7 little cafe in the plaza in case of jet lag.

We would stay here again.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank hudsonallen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan

Address: 202 Calle San Jose | Old San Juan, San Juan 00925-3510, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Romantic Hotel in San Juan
#14 Family Hotel in San Juan
Price Range: $79 - $164 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Plaza De Armas Old San Juan 2*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Hotel Plaza De Armas, located in the colonial district of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Hotel Plaza De Armas is for travelers looking to be in the center of Old San Juan. Hotel Plaza de Armas is a delightfully captivating colonial style hotel in the heart of picturesque Old San Juan, a city as rich in history as it is in culture. The colonial building features its unique and renowned antique elevator true to its history. In every direction you can find world-class shopping, dining and entertainment. Our completely unique location highlights spectacular views of the Plaza De Armas and puts you mere cobblestones away from 16th century Spanish fortresses, fascinating museums and art galleries. The modest standard rooms are windowless, excellent for a good night sleep. Suites overlook the city hall and Plaza de Armas. Hotel Plaza De Armas also offers high-speed Internet access in all common areas of the property. Even though everything is at walking distance, we have a trolley stop right outside our door and a taxi line across from the hotel .We look forward to your stay at Hotel Plaza De Armas! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Plaza De Armas
Howard Johnson San Juan
Howard Johnson Old San Juan
San Juan Howard Johnson

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