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S.J. Suites 2.5

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Exceptional location in the heart of Old San Juan
  • Walkable from many restaurants, bars, and historic sites 
  • Clean, quiet, air-conditioned rooms at affordable rates
  • Flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, private bathrooms, and orthopedic beds
  • Free tea and coffee available in the lobby
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the property
  • Elevator access to all floors

Cons

  • Rooms are dated and most lack natural light/views
  • Lacks on-site features, including a restaurant
  • No in-room air-conditioning control 

Bottom Line

S.J. Suites is a straightforward budget option in the heart of Old San Juan. While its 27 rooms are basic and dark (most lack windows and views), the location is a hit with guests. Situated in Calle Fortaleza, the property keeps historic sites, restaurants, and bars within walking distance. That's a good thing, as on-site features are pretty much limited to a lobby lounge with free all-day coffee. In short, S.J. Suites operates as a basic motel-style option best suited to travelers seeking a central, no-frills base from which to explore Old San Juan. Those looking for basic digs with more Old World character could try Da House Hotel. 

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Scene

A subdued facade and general vibe, on a pretty, cobblestone street 

Set on a narrow cobblestone street, S.J. Suites building stands as a fairly modern contrast to the colonial scene unfolding either side. With a gray-and-white facade, and subdued gold letter signage marking the entrance, the no-frills exterior pretty much sets the tone for what awaits inside. Comfortable lounge seating, four dining sets, and a big flat-screen TV often playing CNN fills the modest cherry-red and beige lobby. Here guests can relax, eat, or help themselves to a cup of coffee. The elevator leads guests to rooms unfolding over five levels to either side of the long hallways. The mood here is typically calm and subdued as guests generally don't linger and head out to explore the old city. 

Location

Right in the heart of Old San Juan, an easy walk from sites, restaurants, and bars

Location is easily S.J. Suites biggest selling point. It's set on iconic Calle Fortaleza, in walking distance to all of Old San Juan’s sites, restaurants, shops, and bars within 20 minutes. That includes Castillo de San Cristobal (seven minutes), Plaza de Armas (three minutes), Catedral de San Juan Bautista (six minutes), La Fortaleza (10 minutes), and Paseo de la Princesa (11 minutes). Major highlights are a little farther, but still walkable, including Paseo del Morro (16 minutes) and San Felipe del Morro Fortress (17 minutes). Old San Juan is chockfull of restaurants, bars, and cafes, and a number of revered eateries are set on Calle Fortaleza including Cafe Fortaleza (three minutes) and Marmalade (two minutes), which is arguably San Juan’s best restaurant. San Juan Cruise Port is a nine-minute walk away, and Luis Munoz International Airport takes about 20 minutes by car.

Rooms

Clean, quiet, and comfortable -- but bland -- with flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges

Available in Junior and King Suite categories, rooms are basic and on the bland side, but they’re clean, quiet, and serve as a comfortable home base to shower and sleep -- on orthopedic beds to boot. One major drawback is that rooms lack windows and therefore any natural light or view, however they’re hidden from the road, which means they’re typically nice and quiet. Decor is more practical than stylish, too, with muted tones like cream walls and taupe carpets with dark wood furniture. Upscale bedding in beige, deep blue, and white help balance the dreary earth tones. 

Junior Suites feature queen beds, while King Suites are more spacious and equipped with king-sized beds. All rooms provide flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and mini-fridges. All feature private bathrooms with standing showers, hairdryers, and a basic selection of toiletries. Rooms are all air-conditioned, but the building controls the temperature. There's both stair and elevator access to each floor. 

Features

Next to no on-site features aside from a lobby lounge, free coffee, and free Wi-Fi

On-site features are limited -- there's no bar, restaurant, or breakfast service -- but that doesn't deter guests much as the property is surrounded by places to eat, drink, see, and explore. The lobby area offers lounge seating, plenty of dining tables, and a microwave, should guests wish to chill out, or eat a meal on the premises. Self serve tea and coffee is also available here. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the hotel.

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Address

Fortaleza St. #253, Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Caribbean

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