I too booked Andalucia based on the glowing reviews and walked away a bit puzzled. This place has a lot of potential but the rooms lacked warmth and aesthetically it was very spare. How about putting up some inexpensive local art? no art work on the walls. The bio indicates that one of the owners has a fashion background but Andalucia needs some love! Even on a budget, one can make a room more appealing - this is lacking at Andalucia. But as travelers, we make the most of our circumstances and still had a wonderful trip.
The biggest cons:
1. cannot open window - we stayed in one of the larger rooms with full kitchenette room #4 facing the front street. PR has been blessed with wonderful trade winds and the outside breeze is wonderful but you can't enjoy it inside your room. The windows are barred and there are no screens. Contrast this with the top 3rd floor PH where the owners reside - they have louvered windows so they can enjoy the wonderful PR breeze that I speak of as do almost all of the local homes in the area.
2. lots of noise - You MUST keep the A/C when you are inside because of the constant street noise (it faces a busy street with two-way traffic and we're from NYC so we're used to noise but it was very noisy and the windows are not sound-proofed). Even then, I had a restless sleep which improved with earplugs. On top of the street noise, there is constant construction both to the left of the house as well as to the right of the back of the house during the day. We left most everyday to head to the beach so the construction was less of an issue for us but it would have been nice to loll around the place one day - with the hammering noise and sound of drilling, this was just not possible. On top of this, PR has a local tree frog the coqui which frequently appears at dusk or after rain - it makes a sharp piercing call. We had to call Emeo to catch one in front the bushes by the window b/c it was so loud!
1. walking distance to beach - we loved being able to be at the beach in 5 minutes. It's not the best beach by PR standards but we were very happy with the almost non-existent crowds at the beach.
2. beach towels, toys, ice-chest available - all these items could have been better maintained but we appreciated the convenience, especially since we did not rent a car and came into PR by plane. You are welcome to take as many towels as you need and there was never an issue of running out of beach towels. There is also an outdoor shower to rinse off the sand before entering your room which we used everyday.
3. several restaurants nearby - we liked the ability to sample a different restaurant every day and enjoyed many of the meals in the area, all within a very short walking distance. Of course, everyone knows of Kasalta (which is overpriced for American brkt options, order a quesito or a mallorca instead and eat like a local for a song) but also La Tasca De Yiyo which was excellent (delicious sangria and identical priced menu for L/D). Avoid the french Boulanger restaurant (overpriced and very mediocre) as well as the Peruvian PK2 - food was not very good and sangria was overpriced ($28 pitcher versus $16 pitcher at Yiyo). We heated water for tea and reheated food using the microwave. I think actually cooking in the kitchenette would be a dicey proposition as the pots and pans are really of the inexpensive kind.
4. room was cleaned daily - no issues, the cleaning lady was competent and did a nice job.
5. low key vibe - we liked the low-key vibe of the guesthouse and enjoyed chatting with both front desk employees. They were very warm.
Overall verdict: I would return to Ocean Park because we enjoyed our stay there despite being underwhelmed by our lodging and would not consider staying at Andalucia nor would I recommend it to a friend. Would much prefer finding a place not fronting a busy street. Before booking rooms, ask if your property experiences street noise as Mcleary is a very busy street.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The beautiful Ocean Park beach is just 2 mins away and you will find yourself embraced by fine white sand, aqua-colored ocean and perfect blue sky. Then come relax and enjoy with your friends in our tropical patio and jacuzzi after a whole day in the sun. Each of our room is beautifully furnished with comfortable beds to make you feel like at home. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Andalucia Guest House Hotel San Juan