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Srp431

Hotel recommendations for San Juan

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Hi All,

Looking for hotel recommendations for staying in Old San Juan. We're looking for a hotel that also offers transfer from airport to hotel and also hotel to port. We're traveling in March 2020 on Freedom of the Seas, going to A,B,C islands on a 7 night Southern cruise. There are 2 kids travelling w/ us, so a pool is a must. We're staying 2 nights as-well.

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Thanks for all the replies. My wife was on the Freedom of the Seas facebook group page and someone mentioned that hotel shuttles are not allowed on the island of San Juan. Any truth to this. Its facebook, so I don't believe much.

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38 minutes ago, Srp431 said:

Thanks for all the replies. My wife was on the Freedom of the Seas facebook group page and someone mentioned that hotel shuttles are not allowed on the island of San Juan. Any truth to this. Its facebook, so I don't believe much.

I think that’s true.  I know they can’t have ride share companies.  Most likely they don’t allow shuttles either.

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1 hour ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I think that’s true.  I know they can’t have ride share companies.  Most likely they don’t allow shuttles either.

Well it is true, but is because of BS from the Taxi Association, even if you want to use Uber they can not pick you up at the Hotel lobby, you have to walk outside the main property to take it. 

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I was reviewing the Sheraton Old San Juan hotel. It looks like its within walking distance to the cruise pier? Is this walkable to the FOTS terminal and how long would it take, since we would be traveling with 2 kids and 4 suitcases. 

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Would not recommend walking to Pan American pier from Old San Juan, it may not look much of a distance on a map but with 2 kids +suitcases + the heat and a wife who will just be asking why you didnt call a cab the whole way there it would be better to just splash out the $10-$12 on an uber

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The pier you are looking at probably isn't the one you will be embarking from. The pier closer to old San Juan is usually used by ships in San Juan for the day. The pier next to a small airport is where we have always boarded. We have been very pleased with Uber when we are in Puerto Rico.

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9 hours ago, puertorican said:

Well it is true, but is because of BS from the Taxi Association, even if you want to use Uber they can not pick you up at the Hotel lobby, you have to walk outside the main property to take it. 

This has not been our experience at all, we cruise out of San Juan often (always stay at Hilton Caribe BTW).  While it is true Uber can't pick you up at the airport, we have NEVER had any issues with Uber picking us up right at the concierge stand at the hotel.  Also, I feel that the price difference between cabs and ride share in San Juan is the greatest of any major city i have been to, the cabs are VERY expensive, and the Uber rates very reasonable.

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Throwing in another recommendation for Old San Juan - check Air BnB. We stayed at an incredible villa in the heart of OSJ for two nights before our cruise and it came out to be much cheaper than a hotel when split with two other couples. 

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3 hours ago, KLA said:

Throwing in another recommendation for Old San Juan - check Air BnB. We stayed at an incredible villa in the heart of OSJ for two nights before our cruise and it came out to be much cheaper than a hotel when split with two other couples. 

I've been looking for this option, but no great choices for us.  

And I think the "KLA villa" no longer exists 🤯

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We cruised out of San Juan last January and have another in January of 20, we stayed at Canario Lagoon, check reviews, mostly 4 to 5 rating on reviews, this is not a fancy place, but very reasonable priced and the staff is awesome, we are going back just because how nice the staff was and the location, about 2 blocks from food and the ocean and sits on a logoon. We also found a cabbie that has a van and we used him exclusively, older gentleman , we would give him a pick up,time and he would always be early,  very safe and reliable, we will use him again, his van seats 12 I believe. I,still have his business card if I can figure out how to,post it.

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For us, if it is a 1 night stay, the Sheraton Old San Juan is the choice.  If 2 or more nights, the Caribe Hilton or one of the other resort hotels. 

We also want to try the El Convento Hotel but haven't yet.  What a premier location in the heart of OSJ.  Adjacent from that beautiful Church and right up the hill from the San Juan gate.  We had breakfast there once, but have not stayed.  Has anyone stayed there? 

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Our family favorite is: Hotel CasaBlanca https://hotelcasablancapr.com/  It is NOT new, there is no pool. It's old, cute, eclectic.. and the family suites have one main entrance door, one bathroom, a king size bed in bedroom 1 and two twin beds in bedroom 2. (So teenage boys can each have their own bed). Two tv's, WIFI, windows that open, and air conditioning. It's in the middle of Old San Juan. About $25.00 for a taxi from the airport to the hotel, then $12.00 Uber or $20.00 taxi to the cruise pier. There is NO 2 night minimum. Many restaurants nearby, the fort is close, and the sunset walk along the fort wall is fabulous. If you really want a pool, this is not the place for you! They do have neat rooftop stone tubs. Hotel Casa Blanca will hold your luggage if you are staying there, so it is also a nice place to stay post-cruise; just drop off your luggage, and they will text you when your room is ready (or return after 3:00 PM). It is really nice to be able to fly home early on  Monday, and not go through having to get off a ship AND fly 3 flights home all in one day.

It is nothing like the Sheraton or the Caribe Hilton. So set your expectations accordingly! I did not sleep well at the Sheraton. I slept well at CasaBlanca. 

There are also beachfront hotels in the Condado district, we stayed near the beach once at La Verdanza, it was good for a late arriving flight, we ate breakfast at the hotel, walked the beach, then headed to the ship. 

 

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@RCVoyager I have stayed at el convento and absolutely loved it.  Excellent location. Join the loyalty program for small luxury hotels so you can get access to member rates. If you stay, I would highly recommend getting a rate with breakfast included.  When I stayed, they offered continental breakfast to members of the loyalty program, but their terms have changed since then, I think.  They let us use the value of the continental toward anything, the servers couldn’t have been nicer, and the food was quite good.  Rooms are older, obviously, but well kept relatively.  I never figured out how to connect to hotel WiFi. Wifi didn’t matter much as I had decent cell signal anyway.  There’s a “lounge” area where you can get bottled water, coffee, and tea 24 hours.  They also put out a fruit and dessert selection during the day.  Small pool on the roof with decent area for lounge chairs - beautiful views, as long as you look past all the rooftop antennas.  I want to say there’s only 40-60 rooms, and not many use the pool so it can be a nice spot to cool off on a hot day, meaning everyday. 

If you need a car, parking is valet only and not outrageous at $15 a day.

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19 minutes ago, brian_md said:

@RCVoyager I have stayed at el convento and absolutely loved it.  Excellent location. Join the loyalty program for small luxury hotels so you can get access to member rates. If you stay, I would highly recommend getting a rate with breakfast included.  When I stayed, they offered continental breakfast to members of the loyalty program, but their terms have changed since then, I think.  They let us use the value of the continental toward anything, the servers couldn’t have been nicer, and the food was quite good.  Rooms are older, obviously, but well kept relatively.  I never figured out how to connect to hotel WiFi. Wifi didn’t matter much as I had decent cell signal anyway.  There’s a “lounge” area where you can get bottled water, coffee, and tea 24 hours.  They also put out a fruit and dessert selection during the day.  Small pool on the roof with decent area for lounge chairs - beautiful views, as long as you look past all the rooftop antennas.  I want to say there’s only 40-60 rooms, and not many use the pool so it can be a nice spot to cool off on a hot day, meaning everyday. 

If you need a car, parking is valet only and not outrageous at $15 a day.

Thanks for that review.  It is on my list.  It really is the heart of OSJ.

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On 9/28/2019 at 10:06 AM, Matt said:

I've been looking for this option, but no great choices for us.  

And I think the "KLA villa" no longer exists 🤯

Oh, what a bummer. We actually made a point of walking by it when we were in San Juan last Thursday and talked abut how amazing it was to stay there. 

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