“Da House” is the urban-latino pronunciation of “The House”, with the emphasis on “The”, the one, the space where it is happening. In this case, “it” is your vacation or visit to Old San Juan. You will find yourself proudly replying “In Da House” to inquiries as to where you stayed.
Our History: In the 1970’s this beautiful four story building in colonial Old San Juan housed the Centro Nacional de las Artes. The Centro was an artist collective that ran an art gallery, workshops for printing and silkscreening, and dance and music classes. In the spirit of this history we invite you to experience bohemian living in Old San Juan.
The price to get from the airport to our hotel in OSJ. $25
We arrived at the hotel a little before 7pm.
I had a hard time finding a place to book our hotel prior to our cruise. I searched for months and just couldn't make up my mind. The Old Sheraton was outrageous with their pricing now, as was a lot of the other places. I imagine the hurricane has some bearing on this due to some places still not being open.
I reluctantly decided to go with a place called Da House. There seemed to have mixed reviews on it and not many on here had actually experienced a stay there. I figured it's only for 1 night...how bad can it be? There's running water and a/c and electric. It would suit my needs at the time and was a decent price compared to other places. $157.07 for a "queen room with juliet balcony" whatever that meant. I had a feeling it was the same as our Sheraton room last time.
Our taxi pulled up and lifted our luggage out of the trunk then pointed down the alley. There's the entrance down there. Hmm, ok, we headed down to the "entrance" only to find several steps to the door. :confused:
We rang the doorbell and was buzzed in. Next would come the fun part. THERE'S NO ELEVATOR in this place...at all. We had to carry our heavy 45.7-49.4 pound luggage x3 all the way up to the second floor, which consisted of 4 flights of stairs because the ceilings in this place are T-A-L-L!
Huffing and puffing, we finally made it to the front desk. Hubby was a little perturbed to say the least. He asked about "help" in this place with luggage and we were informed "they have already left for the night". Well lucky him!
The guy at the desk said "Well at least you have a room on this floor (2nd floor) and you won't have to go up any more stairs. :rolleyes:
We checked in and headed to our room...
So here we are at the hotel...Instead of having an entrance and lobby in the front, on the main road, they have a gift shop.
The roads are brick and bumpy (which looks cool...until you have to attempt to roll your luggage down it). On the right is Da House and that door you see is where you enter the building. If was very hard to push your luggage on these roads. This road is on a hill and the entrance to the hotel is on the side up some stairs.
Looking up at the stairs and our adventure started. Also some pictures of the lobby on the second floor.
There are little rooms off to the side of the lobby. I guess this is like a gathering room for people. When you look online, you'll see people in these little area's off to the side "enjoying" their time at Da House. I did notice a room that had some games on a table to play. However, in 85 degree weather and no a/c, I can't imagine sitting there for any period of time to play them.
These areas are also open up above and go all the way to the roof with skylights. While it's very pretty, it also creates more heat coming in from the sun.
Notice the doors open...no a/c in the lobby area.
One of the rooms off to the side had a very large table. I guess maybe if you want to grab a bite to eat and sit down here for dinner?
We had one of these rooms right in front of our room as well.
Notice the busted window/skylight area? They must have had some damage from the hurricane.
The weird thing was, it was a piece of plastic and drywall thrown over it, which anyone knows that when drywall gets wet...
I imagine that's what is drooping down from the plastic...just an accident waiting to happen when it falls 4 floors down to that sitting area across from our room. Hopefully there won't be anyone there sitting when it happens.
This is our room: 206 Marta Perez. Now I'm just going to say this now...these pictures look A LOT nicer than in person. I'm just putting this out there right now!
The mattress sat on wood, without a box spring, and was very hard and uncomfortable.
The room is in an L shape and Sakari's "room" was off to the side.
Both "rooms" had a window/door that could be opened. Except one of the doors in Sakari's area couldn't open because it drug on the tile in the room. Or just the window portion could be opened.
There wasn't a balcony, just a railing and this is looking down.
Ok, on to the bathroom. The shower was super small. It looks bigger in the picture...maybe because I'm using a fish eye lens. But hey, I need to get use to this because I'm about to have a small ship room shower right?
Now notice the door to the bathroom. For everyone's viewing pleasure...no matter what you do!
Now let's get into the nitty gritty of this room...
I have never stayed in a "Spanish" type place but usually love the architectural buildings and Spanish tile work but...
Here we are talking some very old and broken tiles around the room and dips and uneven floors. It's hard to tell in the picture but this dip in the floor messed with me several times when I walked across it and forgot it was there. LOL
Again, not sure if this place had issues from the hurricane or not...looks like they had done some mudding/drywall and never repainted it at the ceiling.
There was this VERY small desk. It's like kid size. I assumed it was like most fancy regular hotels that have a "work station" type desk for your computer. I felt like a kid when I sat down with my knees touching the top. However, after sitting down and pulling out the computer to do a bit of homework...I discovered there wasn't a plug anywhere in site. So much for that!
Now look at this floor. At first I thought it was extremely dirty with mud. But after getting a closer look, it's actually the tile that is messed up.
Then after taking even a closer look at my bare feet at this point, it was actually dirty as well and needed a good cleaning. Yuck. Back on the socks went.
Taking a closer look at the room now that I'm a little disgusted with the floor, I look up (the ceiling are EXTREMELY high) and see the vents. Is that mold growing around them???
My husband is now giving me this look like I really picked a winner this time around. Hey, it's only for 1 night. We will live with it.
It was getting late and I had only had a non-existent breakfast sandwich and alcohol for lunch. I was hungry.
Time to head out and back down the stairs we went. Then Sakari yells "Hey mom, what's this????" as something scurries up the wall...
Yep, you guessed it...a roach. Now I'm sick to my stomach. Oh just fricken great.
It was extremely hot in the room. There was a sign on the door saying that if you are not going to be in the room to conserve energy and keep the a/c off. So the minute we came back on it went!
Um...On??? I couldn't get it to do anything. I went out to tell the front desk. He came to our room. He couldn't get it to work either. He said he would have to call maintenance. We opened up the windows and the door to try to get a little bit of air circulation going, but it didn't work too good. He later came back and said they were going to "reset" the a/c in our room (like kick a breaker or something is the way he explained it).
YIPPEE! It came on.....
....for about 5 minutes and off it went again. UGH!
Back to the front desk I went to let them know. He would once again call maintenance to reset it.
It came back on and shut back off and NEVER CAME ON AGAIN after that. Oh just great. By the time I went back to the front desk, he had already pulled out 3 fans and was getting prepared.
Now came the excuses...
"That's weird, we've never had a problem with the a/c before".
"That room has never had any issues" <--meaning what? Others do?
"Well at least you can open the windows all night for some air" Are you serious? I'm not leaving my windows open all night for bugs to fly in, pigeons to fly in and possibly mosquito's as well. I remember last time we were here all they reported was the West Nile virus going around and with the recent hurricane and dampness...I'm not chancing that! Then remember there was a restaurant/bar in the alley across from us. With the windows open, you could hear everything. With them closed, not so much.
...last but not least...(I'm still rolling my eyes at this one)...
"Your room ONLY is on an entirely different a/c system and not the same as the rest of the hotel. I'm not sure why. But the rest of the hotel a/c is working fine. It's just your room." SERIOUSLY? Why in the world would ONLY ONE room in the entire hotel of 3 floors be on a different a/c system? :eek:
Of course they said they were fully booked and couldn't offer me another room. He told me that the manager comes in at 7am and I should talk to him about it.
He provided us with 3 fans, 2 of which were on a timer of 60 minutes and you had to wind it up every 60 minutes...which means that after 1 hour of falling asleep, you wouldn't be getting any air from those 2.
This was not going to be a good night. A hard bed, the thought of bugs and no a/c. I headed off to take a cold shower to prepare myself for the night.
After the shower, time to try to relax...only how? There's NO T.V! Say what? The description online said tv. The room even said if there's a problem to call the front desk. Guess what? No phone either! It would be an early to bed night for us.
Rise and shine...or sweat I guess it was. I woke up in a pool of sweat. Yuck! It was 7:30am and I just couldn't bring myself to wake the family up because if they had a night like mine, then they needed their rest.
It was so hot and humid that there was condensation on the floor, which made it very slippery and you really had to walk with caution.
Shower time to clean up and smell fresh again...and of course to cool down. There was also a weird step up into the bathroom...which I immediately tripped on yesterday when we arrived, once in the middle of the night, and just because third times a charm...this morning headed to the shower. Hey, at least no one would be peeking in the glass door this early morning hour right?
After showering, I went outside to take more pictures of the areas I didn't get the night before because it was too dark. Time to head to the roof, where it's rumored (according to Da House) that there's a nice roof top terrace and swimming pool. Of course remember that they also said there was a/c, phone, t.v. and so on as well and none of this was true.
Yep, you guessed it...up the flight of stairs I went...around and around and around. Whew! Wait, then there's MORE stairs to climb after you get outside.
Some people had their own private terrace off to their room. I'm pretty darn sure that the pictures showing my particular room showed me as having one of these too! But it didn't.
So here we are at the top. Do you see a pool?
What about now?
Oh wait...there it is! Or is that a hot tub? Well I just had to go up and check. Yep, it was the pool!
I kid you not, it looks much bigger in the picture than it was. Now I know that you couldn't have some big pool up on this roof top because there just wouldn't be enough room (and I didn't expect it). However, I thought it might be a little bigger than this. But, had I stayed another night (shy of stabbing myself in the eye for booking more than 1 night), I would have actually gotten in here with Sakari. It would make a good "cooling station" for sure. It was hot out and I would have put it to use!
I was thinking that I also read something about a hot tub. Now there was something that was covered up with wood and I have no idea if that is what it "was". You can see the box in this next picture.
Remember the broken skylight?
Now take a close look at this picture...is it just me or do you see 2 satellite dishes on the rooftop? So what are they hooked to because it definitely wasn't my t.v.
There's another picture just to the left of there...yet ANOTHER satellite dish there as well. Somebody's getting some viewing pleasure...it's just not me!
Now let's take a look at some of the chairs they have for you to sit and relax on up here.
Yep, mold! It was pretty disgusting and this just shows me that this hotel had to have had some water damage from the hurricane.
I'm sure you can all tell my final thoughts (and your own conclusions as well) but thought I'd give a breakdown/list of things that just makes this place not worth staying at.
1) Mobility limited-no one with ambulation problems could ever stay here. The steps were horrid to carry luggage on.
2) No help from the staff when we were checking in or out...with luggage. It does list concierge service.
3) NO A/C and some BS story about our room being the only room in the hotel, of 4 floors, that was on a different system...ALSO, I did talk to the manager about that and he said "Nooooo, it's all on the same system". LOL
4) roaches-need I say more?
5) filthy floors and torn up with tiles missing and it looked like the room was unfinished with mudding/drywall.
6) Uneven floors: from one room to the next and into the bathroom
7) Glass bathroom door for everyone to see everything that goes on in there. Also, not appropriate for people that might be traveling together that are not a "close family". Site says "private bathroom" :')
8) Mold around the vents
9) Mold on the cushion on the chairs at the roof top
10) Broken skylights that looked like it could fall in on someone.
11) No t.v, No phone, No hairdryer, No iron...all listed as amenities included.
12) Work desk that was unusable (unless you were about 3' tall) and no plugs.
13) Slippery floor d/t condensation on the floor from the heat.
14) Plunge pool listed??? It says rooftop pool AND plunge pool. Hmmm
15) No ice machines. I forgot to mention this one. We wanted ice and I asked at the front desk and he grabbed an ice bucket and opened up a Styrofoam cooler and started scooping ice out of it. Weird.
16) Very hard bed and mattress. Site says "premium bedding"
If there's anything else I have forgotten, I'm sure I mentioned it in the review.
WOULD I RECOMMEND? NO WAY!!! Not now, not then, never again. :(
I do want to plead my case on booking this place however...I didn't completely go into it blind and not knowing what the rooms looked like. I did check their site and this is what I found...
When you look on their website, THIS is what you'll find for the pictures of the rooms that they advertise:
Wait, is that a phone and tv I see on that desk in the above picture???
Now tell me, did my room look anything like any of these pictures? They are definitely misleading for sure!!! What? Do they have 3 rooms set up like this to take pictures and the rest look as bad as mine? Or did I just get the raw end of the deal? Who knows.