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At Wind Chimes Boutique Hotel 2.5

Condado, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Private courtyard pool with a waterfall
  • Lots of outdoor space for lounging and relaxing
  • A cozy, nautical-inspired bar that caters to guests
  • Five-minute walk to the beach
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free breakfast at the property's sister hotel
  • Access to the whirlpool at the property's sister hotel

Cons

  • Rooms are dated, and some smell musty
  • Limited parking on-site for a fee or difficult street parking
  • Pool is small and not all of the lounge chairs have cushions
  • The hotel is located at a busy, noisy intersection
  • Breakfast is served at the property's sister hotel
  • No restaurant on-site
  • The grounds are unkempt and in need of landscaping
  • The neighborhood is undesirable
  • No gym or spa
  • Rooms by the lobby are noisy

Bottom Line

At Wind Chimes is a former 1920s Spanish Colonial home turned inn set in a transitional neighborhood, one block from the beach. Quirky in style and in need of updating, the budget-oriented inn offers 22 rooms, a small courtyard pool, and a bar fashioned after the hull of a sailboat. While close to Old San Juan and Condado, its off-the-beaten track location and unkempt 1970s style will not appeal to everyone. Those seeking a beachfront location and beach-inspired style might consider the Tres Palmas Inn or Osteria del Mar.

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Scene

This quirky Spanish Colonial inn, located just a block from the beach, delivers 1970s style, ample terraced outdoor space, and a small courtyard pool. 

At Wind Chimes, named for the mishmash of wind chimes hung throughout the property, is a quirky inn recreated from a former 1920s Spanish Colonial style home. It's set in a transitional, mostly residential neighborhood with tree-lined streets and a sprinkle of abandoned buildings; a block away is a lovely stretch of beach that's bordered by Condado to the west and Ocean Park to the east. In the mornings, the beach is alive with joggers, dog walkers, and groups attending yoga class beneath the canopy of trees.

Finding the At Wind Chimes Inn is not an easy task for cab drivers, but travelers who check in choose the off-the-beaten track property because it is easier on the wallet than most hotels in nearby Condado and Old San Juan. The 22-room inn is hidden from the buzz of the street by a solid white concrete wall adorned with tiny keyhole windows. Guests must first pass through a set of thick arched wooden doors and a tiny courtyard before entering another door that opens into a hallway. The small lobby and front desk area is short on lounge space with just a duo of velvet green chairs, walls adorned with colorful palm- and floral-inspired original artwork, and a long table that doubles as a coffee station in the mornings.

The inn houses a few rooms just steps from the lobby. Follow the hallway staircase and its wooden railing with carvings of tropical fish and sea turtles to the second floor for more private rooms and a shared, cozy library nook. Out the back door from the lobby is an open terrace surrounded by potted palms and overgrown bougainvillea in need of pruning. A small pool with a stone waterfall is surrounded by a collection of lounge chairs (with and without cushions), and there's a second-story wood deck in need of a new coat of paint above the pool with more seating and lounging opportunities. 

From the courtyard, a narrow path follows the hotel's exterior wall past planted palms and whimsical hand-painted murals of jungle wildlife to the Boat Bar, a long bar finished in shiny teak that resembles the hull of a sail boat. Additional rooms are located near the bar and on the second floor where another lounge-like space with daybeds is surrounded by a collection of wind chimes fashioned from shells, metal, and pottery.

Many guests who stay at the property ignore its outdated 1970s decor and use it primarily as a place to crash after a day exploring the sights of San Juan and its beaches. They frequent the pool in the late afternoons (it closed at 6:00 p.m. during our 2015 stay) and the bar pre- and post-dinner. The hotel's sister property the Acacia Inn, located across the street closer to the beach, offers guests additional amenities such as a huge whirlpool and a petite restaurant run by a French-trained chef. 

Location

The inn is located on the corner of two busy streets in the Parque section of the Santurce neighborhood, one block to the beach and a 10-minute drive to the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport

Map of At Wind Chimes Boutique Hotel

Despite its off-the-beaten track feel, At Wind Chimes is convenient to many key areas in San Juan. The hotel is sandwiched between the upscale Condado to the west and the laid-back Ocean Park to the east. A long stretch of golden sand beach is just a block from the hotel and the historic architecture of Old San Juan is just a 20-minute drive. There's not much along the immediate, mostly residential, block, but a handful of restaurants are within walking distance.

  • Five-minute walk to the Parque Beach
  • Seven-minute drive to the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
  • Eight-minute drive to Condado
  • 12-minute drive to Isla Grande Airport
  • 15-minute walk to Ocean Park Beach
  • 20-minute drive to Old San Juan
  • 30-minute drive to El Yunque National Forest
  • 60-minute drive to Fajardo Ferry Terminal
  • Two-hour, 20-minute drive to Rincon

Rooms

A variety of rooms located in two buildings featuring terra-cotta floors, high ceilings, and retro decor

At Wind Chime's 22 rooms vary in size from small windowless rooms by the bar to spacious two-bedroom apartments with separate dining and living rooms and full kitchens. The rooms have full-, queen-, or king-size beds with basic linens, denim-blue dust ruffles, drab bedspreads, and throw pillows that need replacement. Rattan furniture, tropical artwork, and small bathrooms with white tiles and scalloped pedestal sinks are also standard.

Rooms by the bar are small and dark and rooms in the lobby offer little buffer from the noise of guests coming and going. Rooms on the second floor of the inn offer the most privacy; some have outdoor terraces and separate living areas with sofa beds. Entering into the two-bedroom apartment is like stepping back in time to the 1970s; this space comes complete with bowls of colorful potpourri, outdated furniture, a dining table set with stained placemats, and artwork rich in tones of brown.

Features

A courtyard pool, lots of terraced outdoor space, and access to the whirlpool and restaurant at the nearby Acacia Inn

The inn's Spanish Colonial style is reflected in its thick white balustrade railings, multiple terraced areas, and courtyards finished in terra-cotta tiles. Guests will find no shortage of places to relax, either indoors in shared reading nooks or outdoors by the pool, on the second-story deck, or by the bar. Across the street is the Acacia Inn, a slightly more upscale property with a large, rectangular tiled whirlpool and a lovely, petite restaurant with a notable wine list and a menu crafted by a up-and-coming French-trained chef. 

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Address

1750 McLeary Ave, Condado, San Juan 00911, Caribbean

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