Da House Hotel
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TravelPod Member ReviewsDa House Hotel San Juan
Awesome guest house in the heart of Old San Juan - next door to a Live Salsa Club so weekends can bee a little noisy - so join in and dance the night away. Staff are super friendly and will recommend great places to eat and places to visit! Loved my stay here!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
I was a little worried going into our stay at Da House. Many reviews said that it was VERY loud due to the salsa bar downstairs. I knew I'd be fine. I've lived in dorms and stayed at many hostels in my day. I was more worried that my boyfriend would not be able to sleep and would be pissed at me for choosing it. I chose an interior room that was supposed to be "mostly quiet". Well, it was still pretty loud, but we were just fine and still managed to sleep well. I thought of the music as a kind of pulsating Puerto Rican lullaby.
The room was clean and had some cool artwork. Everything was functional but not fancy. The location was very good- just down the street from Castillo San Cristobal. The staff were great. I met the owners and they were particularly friendly and knowledgable. I listened to both of them as they helped other guests. They gave what sounded like excellent suggestions and tips with a genuine interest in providing a good experience. Compared to other accommodations in Old San Juan, it is a smokin' deal. There's a rooftop terrace too...but they need a bar up there.
Here's the bottom line- Would I recommend it to fellow backpackers or more relaxed,easy-going people?- 100% YES. Would I recommend it to my parents or the chain-hotel crowd?- 100% NO!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Good value, GREAT location, very noisy - even for us!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Da House Hotel San Juan
Da House - Clean place, a bit noisy
My wife and I stayed at Da House March 22-24. It was initially a little hard to locate even though I knew precisely which alley it was down. As others have noted, there is as yet no sign or other indication outside to let you know which door to go in; at first, I thought we were walking into a private residence. The double doors are located on the west wall at the north end of the alley (Calle de la Capilla) nearest the chapel for which it's named. Once you go through the doors, the reception area is up on the second floor, so just climb those stairs and you'll be cordially greeted by the very helpful staff.
By the way, if you rent a car, try parking at the Dona Fela Parking Garage on Calle Recinto Sur; 24 hours costs $13.58, if I recall correctly, and the garage is only a few blocks from the hotel. there are actually two parking garages located on Calle Recinto Sur heading west, so take your pick. You can also park at the garage on Paseo Covadonga. And as others have noted, if you take a cab, tell your driver to take you to the Nuyorican Cafe, as that is the better known landmark.
Bear in mind that there is no elevator, so be prepared to haul your own bags up the stairs. Not a problem if you're in good shape, but if you're traveling with a lot of luggage, be prepared to get some exercise.
The hotel is very clean and our room was basic, but nice. We stayed up on the 4th floor in a room dedicated to Lorenzo Homar, a celebrated Puerto Rican artist. The bed was very comfortable, the big shutters had openings to let in sunlight and opened completely to a view of the Fortaleza de San Cristobal. Construction is going on at the building directly across the alley, but we only heard that upon arrival and never again during our stay. The bathroom was clean and basic. I had to ask for cups and shampoo (which were quickly supplied). The water pressure in the shower was a bit too low for my wife's liking, but at least there was hot water and plenty of it. An exhaust fan runs in the bathroom when the lights are turned on. As someone else noted, the fan generates enough white noise to drown out the noise from the nightclub below, but the light stays on as well. I had the thought of unscrewing the bulbs, but never did it. Our room had great lighting, a simple desk and armoire. The air conditioning worked fine, but don't forget to ask for a remote control for it if you'd like to change it. You can also request to have housekeeping come in and freshen up your room. I did this upon arrival, but they never actually did come in. I don't mind an unmade bed, but running out of toilet paper is not a good thing. Luckily, the staff is very helpful and will do their best to remedy any problem.
The noise level from the club below was an issue, even on the 4th floor. I'm a heavy sleeper, so it didn't actually bother me, but my wife, who is a light sleeper, put in earplugs and was still woken up by the music and revelers below. The second night we slept with the bathroom exhaust fan on and that seemed to do the trick; the white noise helped negate the music/crowd noise from below, although you have to put up with having the bathroom light on all night. I would say if you're a light sleeper, are bothered by noise or go to bed early, this may not be the place for you.
The rooftop patio was nice. As noted in other posts, there is no bar, whirlpool, etc. at this time. But there are nice places to sit and enjoy the sun and breeze and look out over the rooftops to the fort and harbor. There is also a little balcony on the third floor that overlooks Calle San Francisco; at night, the stained glass windows in the chapel across the street are illuminated and it is quite lovely. There is also a little patio/balcony on the 4th floor overlooking Calle San Francisco and it is a nice place to people watch and relax. Bear in mind that none of the patios/balconies (at least that I saw) are private, so you may find someone enjoying themselves right outside your window or door. We were woken one night by a rather inebriated reveler up on the topmost patio professing his love and joy out over the rooftops.
Overall, a great hotel for the party crowd and budget minded travelers that can stand a bit of noise in exchange for a clean, comfortable place to stay. The location is great if you're looking to explore Old San Juan and if you love to dance or just want to be part of the social scene, you may as well stay here and join the crowd at the Nuyorican Cafe.
By the way, for breakfast, I'd recommend a quick hop west down Calle San Francisco to the Mallorca Cafe (300 Calle San Francisco). They have a reasonably priced breakfast menu with great coffee and a very delicious mallorca (kind of a press toasted, flaky pastry with butter and powdered sugar).
Great Place, Will Stay Again
This place was great! After a very delayed flight, I was nervous about the hotel. We arrived at 3am and were greeted professionally and with hospitality.
The hotel looks and feels like a european hostel, but with private rooms and bathrooms. Very clean. Modern furniture and super bed. It was a little loud outside, but it was also st. patrick's day.
It's also a great locaton, right in old san juan and walking distance to everything there is there.
Each room has works by a different artists, so it's pretty cool.
I would stay here again. The price was great, too. Did I mention the comfy bed?
Note though, that this is not your best western or comfort inn. It's unique, but I think it's awesome.
Lugar maravilloso, me quedaré allí de nuevo
¡Este lugar fue maravilloso! Después de un vuelo retrasado, me puse nervioso por el hotel. Llegamos a las 3 de la mañana y se nos dio una cálida bienvenida y con mucha hospitalidad.
El hotel parece un hostal europeo pero con habitaciones y cuartos de baño privados. Muy limpio. Muebles modernos y camas estupendas. Se oía un poco de ruido de afuera pero era el Día de San Patricio.
Está, también, muy bien ubicado, justo en el viejo San Juan y a poca distancia a pie de todo lo que hay en el área.
Cada habitación tiene cuadros de diferentes artistas- es muy guay.
Me quedaría aquí de nuevo. El precio era fantástico, también. ¿Mencioné las camas cómodas?
Fíjate que éste no es el mejor Best Western ni el mejor Comfort Inn. Es único pero yo creo que también es impresionante.
Good and Bad
We (young 30 couple), stayed at Da House for the first three nights of a week trip to Puerto Rico. First, I will say, you can't beat the location, right in the heart of Old San Juan, then again Old San Juan is pretty small. Our cab driver drove right by it. If it weren't for us knowing the street address, probably wouldn't have found it. No signs, no front door, you've got to walk down a somewhat sketchy cobblestone alley to enter through unmarked doors. Once you know where it is, its actually kind of nice and private. Then trek up the beautiful stairway (see photos) a couple floors to the lobby with your luggage, because there isn't an elevator.
The staff is absolutely great, trying to answer any kind of questions. Off to the stairs again to our terraced room (I think it was something like 90 stairs total). Beware, it is not a private terrace. Besides the neighboring room having access, there is also a common door for any guests to enter. It was very nice to sit out there however.
Rooms are basic, cozy, bright, and comfortable. The tiled floors throughout the hotel are beautiful as well as the interesting lobby. Room furniture is hit or miss. Our first room had no where to put clothing, not even a hanger. The bathroom door, when closed had an open cut out about 6 inches tall by 2 feet wide, so if you tried to use the fan to mute nighttime noise, you would be in a not so dark room. Which leads me to the pitfall. Club noise from downstairs and in the alley is a bit much, but tollerable. It was the construction noise starting at 7 AM that pushed you over the edge. Hot water would come and go as well, while the A/C worked great. I will attribute the downsides to it working out the kinks of a new business. They are very attentive when addressed. We commented about the noise and storage, and they allowed to move across the hall. There is no maid service. Lastly, things advertised were not available (to us at least): WiFi, rooftop tiki bar and whirlpool, room phone, free access to Nuyorican cafe, gift shop, and room service.
I would probably give them another try once I was assured that all the construction was complete. When and if that is accomplished I believe it could be a great value. If you are looking to be pampered though, look elsewhere. They do have the potential to be great!
Great to be in Da House!
My cousins, my partner and I all got the opportunity to stay in Da House in Old San Juan even though it's just getting started. We loved it! The prices are reasonable, which is very hard to come by in Old San Juan, the people are really really nice and very accommodating, and the place itself is stunningly beautiful. It's this big old building with old tile floors, high ceilings, and some beautiful balconies and a great rooftop. They're still finishing it up, so you get to see the 'work in progress,' and everyone's so concerned that you have a great time, and ask for your suggestions for improvement.
Every room is named after a contemporary Puerto Rican artist, and their original art is displayed in the room (and is for sale) - there are so many great touches to this place, and that's just one of them. Oh, another is that there are unique antiques in each room as well. It probably goes without saying that if you're looking for a generic Motel 6 kind of experience, Old San Juan is not the place to find it, and Da House is definitely not it. This is a one-of-a-kind place that you'll remember forever and keep trying to come back to. Some rooms are small, some are big, I think there are a couple of suites, and a couple open on to a gorgeous balcony, and everyone has access to the huge lobby (made me think of Hemingway's Cuba, not that we're contemporaries!) and the spectacular rooftop. Just call and ask them about your options and prices.
If you go clubbing in Old San Juan, you really want to just spend the night there rather than heading out to Condado or Isla Verde to leave the colonial charm for huge modern places, and Da House is perfect. It's right upstairs from the Nuyorican Cafe, run and staffed by a lot of the same folks, so you can enjoy the night life and then turn in for a rest, or rest for a bit and go back out on the town.
We had a great time, recommended Da House to all of our family and friends, and are scheming about when we can get back there!
Vibrant, Beautiful and Affordable
(Disclaimer: I visited Da House a month or so before it opened for business, and was given a tour by one of the proprietors in its final stages of construction. I have not yet had the pleasure of staying there.)
The location, architecture, cultural history, and sheer size of the building in which Da House is situated is not to be missed.
In my opinion, it will be mostly ideal for travelers interested in a vibrant cultural experience, and a great place to crash after being out and about, versus a quiet, solutide-inducing retreat from the bright lights, big city experience of San Juan. You prefer not to meet and share experiences other artists/musicians/vacationers? Maybe then stay at Da House a few nights, and relocate to a Hilton or Marriott.
My first person impression of the owners are that they are passionate about what the venue has to offer. They are making every effort to cater to their guests, and offer a warmth and enthusiasm not to be found in other hotel staff/owners.
This experience, combined with my delight in of a night of authentic, live salsa music, and locals dancing, in the club below, and the great location near fantastic restaurants, shopping, and cultural venues, marked Da House as a place to visit.
Note that it is smack dab in the middle of Old San Juan, yet in a slightly hidden side street almost exclusively traversed by foot traffic. And did I mention affordable? Once my schedule clears, I'll be there in an up/down scrape across a Guiro!
Lots of pros, one major con...
Da House has lots of potential. Lots of charm. Great location in the middle of old san juan. The employees are very helpful. Clean rooms. Great price ($80).
The Cafe Nuyorican is below the hotel. It is a fantastic little bar with live music seven nights a week. I enjoyed the salsa and jazz bands while I was in town. It seems to be a hip spot for tourists and locals.
However, the music can be heard thoughout the hotel. It is extremely loud. Most of the rooms overlook the alley where the Cafe entrance is located (as mine did). The Cafe-goers tend to hang out in the alley. The bands played past two in the morning every night. I found that closing the doors did not help. Neither did the earplugs. I would recommend this lovely hotel for heavy sleepers or night-owls.
Also, there is no daily housekeeping service.
Da Noisiest Place in all San Juan
I wish I could write that we had an enjoyable stay at Da House after reading the positive reviews posted on this site. Unfortunately, apart from a convenient location, nice-looking lobby and newly constructed rooms, there's not much on the upside.
As for the rooms, be forewarned: there's no place to hang your clothes, no phone even if you wanted to call room service, no high-speed internet (as the brochure and web site claim) -- not even a soap dish or drinking glass was provided. The roof deck appears to be under construction (as is much of the hotel) and has none of the following "whirlpool, showers, lounge chairs, and tikki bar" as the web site states.
Also, there's absolutely no maid service which is essential for a place like San Juan -- unless you enjoy sleeping in a bed full of sand tracked in from the beaches.
Skip the highest price rooms unless you want to share your "semi-private" deck with anyone who happens to wander through the hotel -- at all hours of the day and night.
In sum, this hotel is perfect for all-night hard-partying college students, insomniacs, or those interested in sleep deprivation experiments. The deafening music from the "cafe" below starts around 9 or 10p and continues until 4am. Then you're stuck listening to the revelers oustide for another hour or two. The construction starts up again around 8 or 9a. This is definitely da hotel to go if you want to leave more exhausted than when you arrived.
Discover Da House!
We stayed our first night in Puerto Rico at the Da House. We were so pleased we booked our last night night there too. The rooms are clean, charming and with modern facilities. The beds were very comfortable. The staff were welcoming and we felt right at home. The first night we stayed in a $80 room. This room had shuttered windows overlooking the street. What a delight it was to open those shutters the next morning and look out over the rooftops of old San Juan. The second night we were in a $100 room. This one was away from the street so a bit quieter and equally delightful. We were there on a Friday night and a Saturday night so yes there was some noise from the club below. But with the windows closed and air conditioning it is tolerable. Views from the rooftop patio of the city were awesome. An extra bonus was the amazing art work throughout the hotel. The next morning we found a great place for breakfast and a pharmacy only a five minute walk from the hotel. There was even a nearby Radio Shack where we bought camera supplies. One should definitely spend some time in the club too. Music was great, friendly atmosphere and the pizza yummy! The whole time we were there we kept pinching ourselves because we could not believe we lucked out with this great place in the heart of Old San Juan.
Cool hotel, great staff!
I stayed there 4 days and overall was VERY pleased. Everythign was new, the beds, the bathrooms were exceptionally clean! Very comfortable and centrally located in Old San Juan. Excellent cafe next door (among many restaurants in the area), and only 10 minutes from the airport. Not many complaints, staff was FABULOUS but I will say I wish I had known I was going to be on the 4th floor & the building DOES NOT have an elevator (carrying luggage was a bi%#*.) Also the views from my room were spectacular and the price we paid was excellent. If you're not familiar with the island, people there party very late into the morning!!! Thats just how it is and in the alley right next to the hotel there are 2 bars/clubs so be prepared to bring earplugs or stay up until 6am with the partiers!!! The noise & the stairs were a problem but besides that LOVED the hotel!! Parking close is a nightmare (THEY WILL TICKET YOU if you park where you shouldnt, read all the signs) but there is a parking garage just a few blocks byt the port called Doña Fela, its worth parking there!
TripAdvisor Reviews Da House Hotel San Juan
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