HOTEL MILANO: OLD SAN JUAN
Occupying a 19th-century building among the restaurants of the SoFo district, this unpretentious hotel is within a 7-minute walk of Castillo San Cristóbal, Terminal Covadonga bus station and La Fortaleza, the residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico.
Relaxed rooms with conservative decor feature free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and minifridges. Upgraded rooms add city views.
There's an informal rooftop restaurant with a terrace; continental breakfast is available for a fee. There's also a bar.
The Hotel: Hotel Milano
Now I went back and forth about getting a hotel. We were really pushing it and it was getting hard to decide. Everything seemed so expensive in OSJ this time compared to before. The previous hotel we stayed at (and loved) was SUPER expensive.
I have first booked Casablanca, but it was a little pricey as well. Kendra decided she only needed a cheap place to sleep in for the night (we wasn't really planning on being in the room much and exploring most of the day) so I ended up canceling Casablanca and booking Milano with her. I was able to also find a discount code that made it even more cheaper and that was a score.
Now I know this place has excellent reviews....for the rooftop dining....but the hotel itself doesn't seem to get the greatest reviews. There's always complaints of noise too but yet it's right down the street.
Hey as long as it was a clean room with no critters or bugs, I'd be happy with the money I saved.
So when we got here we knew that check in wasn't until 3pm. They do hold your luggage in the lobby and they put a chain and lock around them, count the luggage and give you a receipt with the number and amount of luggage. Hmmm, ok works for me. Now the guy working the front desk seemed a little rude with his attitude and comments. I'm not sure if he was having a bad day or this is what he's always like.
We asked to use the restroom and they had it all locked up and you had to get a key to open the door (which is a space under the stairs) and then to the individual men and womens restroom). The door with the glass that looks like someones front door is the door to the restrooms.
They had an elevator but....you talk about super scary!!!! Only 5 people at a time and the thing felt like it was going to break when it came to a stop with a large thump and shaking. Eekkkk!
Notice the IT WILL GET STUCK!!! YIKES
We always took the stairs going back down...
The hallway area after coming off the elevator looked like this on each floor.
Each floor had a vending machine as well and it was only $1 for pop. SCORE One floor would have Coke and the next Pepsi.
The other odd thing I found was that you also had to have a key to get from that elevator area into the "hotel" hallway of your room. See the glass doors? This place was on lockdown!!!
Hallway outside our door. Now when you were in the hallway, you could hear people talking in the rooms. Those walls must have been paper thin. However, when we were in our room, we heard NOTHING at all...not from the hallway, not next door in the rooms and not outside. Weird.
There was also a very small ice machine located in the hallway.
Now onto our room....we booked the "Superior Room" with 2 full beds. The superior room comes with windows. Kendra ended up booking a regular room and it didn't have windows but did have small glass blocks at the top of the wall to let in light. She said it didn't matter to her what the room looked like right?
Well here's our room
Hallway coming in the door (on the right) and bathroom door (on the left).
Bathroom wasn't anything special but clean and it certainly was everything we needed.
Looked like paint chipped off the bathtub and needed resurfacing but it had hot water, it was lean, and water flow was good.
Now the closets were strange for sure.
There was a refrigerator in it with a "complimentary bottle of water"...like only 1 of them and I assume we'd have to share.
The thermostat was located in the closet
And so was the heater/air
There was a dresser and small tv along with a small table and 2 chairs. Now those beds...man were they bouncy. At one point I was laying down that evening, watching tv, and the hubby sat down quickly and I thought I was going to end up in the closet.
The view from the window was to the buildings across the street. The building directly across from the Milano appeared abandoned and had windows busted out.
The great thing about staying just about anywhere in OSJ is that you are within walking distance to everything from restaurants, grocery store, shopping, and of course all of the great sites to see.
I do want to mention....we did go back to the hotel at some point to finish our "check-in" and grab our luggage and put in the room before heading back out. Brayden had to use the restroom really bad and when we ask for the key the mean guy at the desk said "we don't have a restroom". Um....say what? We used it earlier. He got a sassy attitude and said "yea well this GROUP OF PEOPLE used it earlier and now it doesn't work" ....um, "group" of people? As in us? It worked perfectly fine when we were here and now you are saying neither one works???? Get the flark outta here. What the heck was wrong with this guy??? Now the other staff members that came after him and the following day were nice. But this guy, they need to get rid of him and his lousy customer service attitude.
Also, I want to mention Kendra's room. I swear I thought I took pictures, but I can't find them. Maybe it was on my phone I'm not sure.
However, her room looked like "a prison" she said. There was no carpet or wooden floor like ours and it was dark and dingy looking. Not nice AT ALL. She, of course, was wishing she would have booked a nicer room like I did. But hey, it was some place to sleep for the night and we were leaving tomorrow.
So would I recommend this place? Maybe...probably. If you are looking for a cheap night prior or after a cruise, you can't beat the price compared to most hotels in OSJ. The room we had was comfortable enough for one night and had everything we needed for our overnight stay. Kendra's room wasn't as nice, but she booked even a cheaper room. So, I guess you get what you pay for and cheaper rooms are available to fit anyone's budget. I would much rather stay in a nicer place (like Decanter) but the price was about 3x the amount of here during our stay.
The building itself is ok, a little old looking and everything is on lockdown and you have to have keys to enter each floor. There is a restaurant on the top floor (which we did not use) and I suppose that is why each floor is locked.
There is a pop machine on every floor and it's pretty cheap...which is a plus (for me).
The staff...well, I wouldn't say they were "overly friendly" but everyone we encountered was nice with the exception of the bald guy that was at the counter the day we checked in. They need to check him "out" of customer service.