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“Budget hotel but great location”
Review of S.J. Suites

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S.J. Suites
Ranked #42 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Houston, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Budget hotel but great location”
Reviewed February 7, 2014

We booked this hotel 2 nights before we left on a cruise in order to be in the heart of Old San Juan. First the positives : 1) the location is great, when walking around old San Juan the hotel is not too far from anywhere we wanted to go.
2) the staff was very helpful, informative and friendly
3) the room was clean, shower was good
4) on our checkout day, they stored our bags for us until it was time to board the ship (even though the terminal wasn't too far , we found it more convenient to take a taxi to the terminal than to walk the cobbled streets hauling luggage)
The negatives: 1) the elevator was out of order. we were on the third floor, reception was on the second floor. Staff did carry our bags for us. after a full day of touring by foot, climbing so many stairs got tedious.
2) there were no windows. I have never been in a hotel room without windows. It gets a little closed in. however we were out and about most of the time , so no matter, just weird. There was a hair dryer but no phone, or clock.
3) the walls are very thin, and our neighboring guests were loud . I believe they thought they were the only people that mattered in the world.
4) about the air conditioning, it was cold, we like it that way. In a room with no windows cool air is better than no air. The first night some people complained and they turned the air down ( there are no room controls , it is all central air and controlled by only one thermostat at the reception).The result was that we were sweltering that night. I complained and the next night, it was nice and cold to sleep.
We are fairly easy going travelers and were happy with this hotel's location more than anything. This is a budget hotel not a five star and it was adequate for what we wanted.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mommabear77095
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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266 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
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English first
Princeton, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2014

We booked this hotel because we were arriving late one evening and the next day were heading off to Vieques so we knew we wouldn't spend much time in the room. The room was basic but totally fine. The only complaint I could make was that the air conditioning was blasting when we arrived and our room was freezing. I went to bed with warm socks and sweat pants on but woke up in the middle of the night in a warm, stuffy room. Sometime in the night the a/c was turned off and we went from a meat locker to a sauna. The elevator was not working when we arrived but was when we left--I would just expect not to have a usable elevator when booking this hotel. The highlight of our experience at SJ Suites was the warm, friendly and helpful staff. If the management knows what's good for them they'll treat the staff well because I would stay in this hotel again for them alone. They were welcoming, cheerful and helpful with tips on where to go and what to do. They arranged our taxi to the airport and when it was late were very concerned and sent someone outside to wait with us. He was on a walkie talkie to someone inside the hotel who was on the phone with the taxi driver (who was stuck in an unexpected traffic jam). They were not letting us miss our flight! Thanks to all the staff at SJ Suites for a wonderful time in Old San Juan.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stephanie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We booked this hotel the night before a 7 day Caribbean cruise leaving from San Juan as other reviews mentioned how close the hotel is to the cruise terminal. Not (always) true. Note that there is more than one cruise terminal in the "Port of San Juan" area. In fact, we were told that the terminal just down the hill from this hotel is typically used for cruises that are docking for the day--NOT cruises that are departing/returning to San Juan. These cruises typically leave from the Pan American Cruise Terminal which is a good 10-15 minute cab ride from Old San Juan. The fault is mine as I should have done more research, but please take note as it's a chance to save yourself from a not-so-great hotel experience if you don't need to.

As for the hotel, there were about 3-4 groups checking in late (11pm), two groups of which were older and needed assistance with their luggage as the lobby is on the second floor. The elevator was "broken" (reason for putting that in quotes is below) and thus we offered to help the older guests with their luggage up to the lobby. Unfortunately there were then given a room on the 5th floor (again, elevator is "broken" so needed to walk up 3 more flights to their rooms). Again, no one from the hotel offered to help them, so we helped them out. Upon checking out the next morning, however, the elevator (which still had the "out of order" notice on each floor) was being used by a different hotel employee. Very suspect as we were told upon checking in the prior night that it would be at least a week before it was functional again.

While the hotel is situated in a great area of old San Juan, you get what you pay for at this hotel. I was looking to save some money as I knew we'd only be there for a few hours (basically just to sleep before departing for the cruise), so I had an idea of what to expect for the money, but doing it all over I'd opt to pay a few extra bucks for a different place. There's a reason it's one of the lowest priced hotels in the area as the rooms are very basic, but even at that there are a few points that just don't make sense regardless of the price point. The shower curtain needed some help to stay up during the shower, hot water was hard to come by (cold showers aren't really my thing), and the door to the room had about a 6 inch gap between the floor and the door, so not only was there a lot of light in the room all night, you could hear absolutely everything that happened in the hallway.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeremy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these San Juan hotels

Shawnee, Kansas
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2013

We stayed at this hotel about three weeks ago. When we first got into the room at this hotel in the middle of old San Juan, I wondered what we had done. No phone, no windows, no clock and the walls were a little on the thin side. After a couple of nights there, we will probably go back the next time we are in San Juan. The hotel in general and our room in particular was very clean. We were especially impressed with the bathroom - it was spotless. The bed was comfortable, nicely made each day and the fresh sheets felt and smelled great. One test we have done in the past with hotel rooms is to walk across the carpets with new white socks on to see what happens. In our room they came up still clean and white. Since neither the lobby nor the rooms are on the ground floor, it is very quiet with no street noise.

This hotel is right in the heart of old San Juan, a 10 minute walk from just about everything including the water front, the forts, shopping, etc..

To top it all off the front desk staff was fabulous - they could not have been more helpful and kind. We were there to spend three days before starting a cruise. They called cabs for us and carried our substantial luggage up and down the stairs. They gave us great suggestions for restaurants with local cuisine and directions to places we wanted to visit.

If you are looking for an inexpensive, basic hotel with great service and clean rooms in the heart of old San Juan, this is a good one.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jon h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 30, 2013

Stayed 12/23-12/30/13. Originally given room on 5th floor. No functioning elevator resulted in 80+ stairs to get to room. Moved to 3rd floor which was only 35 stairs to the room. AC was common to the floor not room, it was either too cold or too hot. Room had no cups, no alarm clock, or phone. Spend the extra money and stay at either Hotel Milano or the Sheraton.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chi-Eric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 27, 2013

This is hands down the worst place I have ever stayed in. No windows, adjoining room separated by a flimsy door so every word can be overheard, shabby furnishings, no safe even though definitely needed, lift not working, unhelpful staff, smell, no ability to control air con - DO NOT STAY HERE.

Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Jay D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2013

We stayed here for one night before leaving on a cruise. The elevator was out of order, so we had to carry our luggage up to the 5th floor. Our room didn't have a window, and was freezing cold with no way to control the temperature. Overall though, not a terrible place to spend one night (we are two recent graduates looking to experience the actual cities we travel to, not necessarily luxurious hotels), but I wouldn't recommend this place for longer stays.

The location is great though, right in Old San Juan; and they held onto our luggage after we had checked out so that we could explore the city before our ship left.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bwtgreaves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about S.J. Suites

Property: S.J. Suites
Address: Fortaleza St. #253 | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > San Juan
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #42 of 47 Hotels in San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — S.J. Suites 2.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Old San Juan. Enjoy the rich history of Old San Juan. Old San Juan has an abundance of museums, stores, excellent restaurants, open air café, tree shaded plazas, majestic homes and buildings the let you appreciate its old beauty and architectonic peculiarity.Whether for a day or a week, by staying in S.J. Suites Hotel you are assuring that you’ll have a stay full of interesting things to do in Old San Juan, declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in (1983). Explore & enjoy the amazing array of points of interest in Old San Juan and then come and rest in one of our comfortable rooms.We're also conveniently located close to the Cruise Piers. There are over 40 points of interest steps away from S.J. Suites Hotel… so get ready to explore! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
s.j. Hotel San Juan

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