The Gallery Inn Hotel

, San Juan, Puerto Rico
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The Gallery Inn Hotel

, San Juan
204 Calle Norzagaray - San Juan - 00901 - Puerto Rico Hotel Website | 787-722-1808
339 Traveller

Reviews - The Gallery Inn Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of The Gallery Inn Hotel

Gallery Inn best if you stay in a lot

from A TripAdvisor Member
The Gallery Inn is in an excellent location in Old San Juan. It is on the high north side on the perimeter road with buildings much lower across the road toward the sea. It is half way between the two forts, El Morro and San Cristobal, and a reasonable walk to all major old areas. There is a 360 degree view from the roof, even though there are lots of less attractive roof stuff, antennas, etc. Most rooms are decorated with antiques and arts. The better rooms are at patios or have an exterior view. There are multiple quaint patio gardens, decks and sitting rooms. They have a number of beutiful tropical birds. Thus much of the benefit is if you stay in the Inn much of the time while sightseeing. If you just sleep and go, you are spending money for the benefits you are not enjoying. The staff is generally friendly and helpful, although some do not speak English. The owners are live-in artists and do some work in the patio.

There are some caveats. We tried to save with a lower end room, $175 base price - cramped, hard to get to, limited aesthetics. In our room and I expect others the maintenance is marginal and kept up with untrained help. Some scary electrical conditions, a toilet that I had to stop running frequently, closet and other modifications that were not well thought out or implemented, etc. Room rates jump at about $50 for each level. In all of Puerto Rico check total costs, there are taxes that range from 18-22% on top of the base, there are unannounced fees at some places. Check access, we had to go up a very narrow steep spiral stair. They have rooms that are easily accessible, except possibly wheelchairs. Watch out at all older buildings if you have allergies. The Inn has fountains, vines, birds, enclosed spaces, masonry and old plaster. They are reasonably close to the commercial area and retaurants but you may want to be more central if you want to be in the middle of things or the hills and rough pavement are hard for mobility.

The Gallery Inn is well recommended if: Request a room matching your needs for access, size, view, amenities, budget. You stay in enough to enjoy the ambiance; otherwise there are other places that are cheaper. The location is ok rather than being in the center of town, e.g. children, mobility issues, shopping. Check out their website ------------------- or call.

Peace... what a gem!

from A TripAdvisor Member
We had the pleasure of spending 4 nights at the Gallery Inn. We felt "at home" immediately upon our arrival. We were treated like family and the staff was very accomodating at all times. The Inn's laid-back, bohemian, artsy atmosphere just adds to the experience. Surrounded by lush vegatation, paintings, and sculptures, one is totally removed from the outside world. It is so peaceful. Breakfast in the courtyards, consisting of fresh-cut fruits, juice, breads, and coffee, is enhanced by the sounds of classical music wafting through the downstairs areas. Each room is decorated differently with various types of art and it was a treat to see the artist's studio with works in progress. We really enjoyed staying in the Fillipe suite at the top of the Inn, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean just beyond the old city walls below. It was so relaxing sitting out on the deck at night in the hot tub, stars overhead, watching the lit-up cruise ships go out to sea- a nice way to end a day spent walking around Old San Juan. The Gallery Inn is truly a hidden gem and we look forward to returning one day.

Be sure to see your room first!

from JNG
My wife and I were stuck in San Juan for a night due to a flight delay from Guadeloupe back to the US (see our other reviews of hotels there). Some nice people who we met in G'loupe and with whom we were trapped at the airport had reservations at the Gallery Inn. Although we had a voucher from American for another hotel (about which we knew nothing), we decided that it would be much more fun to stay with our new friends at the Gallery Inn and did not mind splurging $260/night for what sounded like a unique, funky hotel in the midst of Old San Juan.

Bad idea. The public rooms of the hotel were indeed garden-like and funky, albeit bordering on creepy, littered with stone heads and other objects d'art. OK, the setting was at least interesting and thought provoking (which art should be, right?), and also, one does not live in the lobby. However, the experience quickly devolved from there. Although the hotel's web site pictures what appear to be some rather nice rooms, we were not taken to one of them. Instead, we were shown to a dimly lit room that had no windows, was damp, and was suffused with a musty, skanky smell. The carpet did not look like it had been vacuumed since Spain ruled the island. In addiiton, the dank smell permeated the primitive looking bathroom, which was also adorned with some mold or other growth. Once switched on, the air conditioning roared like a plane engine and did nothing about the smell of the room. On the bright side, the room was reasonably large and had a small sitting area.

If we were staying in a rainforest lodge in Brazil, or were paying $50 a night, we could have dealt with the accommodations. However, in modern San Juan, there was no way that we were going to stay in that pit at more than $250/night (especially since we had a free hotel option), and we promptly checked out, fortutunately, at no cost. We headed to the hotel supplied by the airline, which turned out to be a delight (the Wyndham Condado Plaza Hotel and Casino: large, bright corner room, king-size bed, floor-to-ceiling windows with ocean view and a large wrap-around terrace, and free! -- see our review of that hotel). Luckily, a happy hotel ending for us in San Juan.

Summary of Gallery Inn: A lot of people seem to like the place, so apparently some of the rooms must be nice. I, however, would avoid the place. If you insist on staying there, be VERY sure what room you are getting into.

P.S. The silver lining of our #$&@ American Air 24-hour flight delay was that we got to see a bit of Puerto Rico, where we had never before visited outside of the airport. We kinda liked the place and likely will visit again.

Avoid This Place!

from mguest
My husband and I had an unscheduled one night stay in San Juan due to being stranded by an American Airline's delay. Although we were provided hotel vouchers for the Wyndham Condado Plaza, we opted for the opportunity to stay in Old San Juan at a supposedly boutique style hotel. What a disappointment and a potentially pricey one at that. Although the reception area and courtyard were charming with lots of artwork and small fountains, our room (at ~$250.00 a night) was horrific. It was located just off the main courtyard and the overpowering mustiness, mildew, and overall appearance of uncleanliness was shocking. The room had no windows with only two large wooden doors that shutter one in from/against the courtyard. The bathroom consisted of a mildew laden sink, the separate shower stall (equally mildew laden) appeared to be very unclean as well and both facilites looked to be at least 30 years old. The AC unit did provide some cooling yet ultimately succeded in just stirring up all the mustiness. The bed had a worn bedspread and lumpy looking mattress.

The other couple that we were travelling with were provided a room in the back of the hotel, up a very, very narrow spiral staircase (only carry on suitcases could be brought up to the room). The room was not as musty but was also very dark. Although it was almost midnight, we requested to uncheck ourselves from this property (thankfully the receptionist was accomodating) and high tailed it to the Wyndham Condado Plaza. It is one thing to accept The Gallery Inn's lodging if one was staying in a less developed area and/or if the room rates were at least half of what was being charged yet in this day and age, and with so many worthy competitors (large chain hotels and boutiques alike), The Gallery Inn should be absolutely ashamed of itself.

creepy and WAYYYY overpriced...

from A TripAdvisor Member
Checked into this truly wacky (ie-creepy) hotel earlier this month and had that sinking feeling I made a big mistake. My husband and I were given a "suite" with an asking price of over $300. Well, let me tell you, this SUITE barely had room for anything more than a queen size bed and the "bathroom" was nothing more than an UNENCLOSED, dingey tub (no shower) right next to the bed (you could touch it), a sink against the wall, and a toilet in a STALL! It was truly horrible and we felt completely gouged. Also, this room faced an interior courtyard when we had expressly asked for a sunny room. (it was one of the stipulations upon booking) We were furious and miserable there. Nobody mentioned to us the bathroom situation or the size of the very small and unacceptable room. Not to mention the rugs in the room look never to have been vacuumed.(the whole place had a dirty and cluttered feeling) We are long past our college, youth-hostel years and would have been happy to pay $50 to stay here back then. Keep in mind that PR gets very humid at times, and the a/c in our room barely kept it cool. We kept asking the housekeeper if it was on and she showed us it was at full-blast. No fun, no fun. Definitely put a damper on our trip. Save yourself the aggrevation and stay at the beautiful El Convento. Really, a Holiday Inn would've been much better.

What a beautiful hole in the wall place!!!

from A TripAdvisor Member
The Gallery Inn was an incredible way to end our honeymoon. Friendly service, remarkable sights and truly a one of a kind experience. There are no words to descibe how unique this place is. The continental breakfast was croissants, mangos, grapes and some other tropical fruit, and the bar is an honor bar. We stayed in the Felippe Suite and loved every minute of it. There was a private patio with hot tub overlooking the ocean. We went out and enjoyed the nightlife and slept like babies.

This place is close to fabulous night life and the colorful, beautiful scenery of Old San Juan.

Do know that the cab drivers may have problems finding the street, so be sure to keep the Gallery's phone number handy just in case. And beware, this place may not be ideal for all travelers. There are a lot of steep stairs inside this place...but once you're there it's truly a treasure full of unending discovery.

But if you're into hidden treasures, definitely check this place out!!

Wow what bad service!!

from A TripAdvisor Member
We had to escape from FL during Hurricane Frances and instead of going home decided to take a few days in Old San Juan.

First of all it is an amazing place. But I think they charge too much. I believe in paying for things, believe me, I don't need a bargain, but when I pay a premium I want to feel like it was money well spent. It is charming, it is amazing in many ways, but just hope that you don't need anything taken care of by the staff. One staff member Manny was wonderful, the rest seemed to be missing some brain cells. So when manny wasn't around we knew we were screwed. Just one example: we were packing to leave waiting for our cab driver. We didn't get a phone call so we decided to call down to the front desk and ask for help with our bags. No body comes. We start lugging our bags downstairs and one of the desk clerks watches us bring down our bags. I ask if a taxi has come for us (we are the only ones checking out) and she says "Oh, that was for you, we didn't know who it was for, she's been here for a long time."

Turns out that our lovely taxi driver who we had met in town earlier that day, was worried that we might get stuck in traffic and had come early to pick us up. Now THAT is service.

So If you want to feel like you are staying with your stoner brother, but paying him, stay at the Gallery inn.

Expect a very very beautiful, interesting place, with no service whatsoever.

Great place to stay - read on.

from A TripAdvisor Member
Okay so the service isn't always incredible, but there polite and there's very much a family atmosphere. It would be silly to pass up some incredible rooms on that alone. I loved the place.

Beautiful!

from A TripAdvisor Member
Very welcoming! Management was just wonderful to us. The stay over night was perfect. Most relaxing in the morning, hangin' with the birds,and able to chat with Jan and others about their lives at the Inn. Love this place, will hold the memories in my heart forever. Thanks to all of you at the Gal. Inn!!!

A gem

from Beachlovers
It's beautiful...full of plants and fountains and sculpture...in a wonderful location in Old San Juan....staff were funny, attentive and kind...Our room (Niko?) was exquisite. The experience of playing the grand piano in the music room, looking north to the sea, with a glass of wine and the candles lit, was magic.
Breakfast was delicious...we sat down in one of the courtyards and it just sort of appeared. Fellow guests were interesting and friendly.
Only complaint is that the shower was truly bad.
It veered from hot to cold in a wild sort of way.
I'd brave the shower any time to stay there again!
We received a room upgrade upon reservation...I hear this happens quite a bit. For the money, you'll never find this sort of charm at a big "upscale" chain. Go for it!

Top Local Tips for San Juan

Mid-January Mid-January was perfect. Low humidity, cool nights, and daytime temps in hovering around 80 midday. Also no crowds unless a couple of cruise ships pull in.

Best breakfast/brunch at La Bombonera Visit this San Juan landmark for the bet mallorcas with butter and lemonade. The menu is pretty extensive, prices are reasonable. Has a Parisian café feel, you may also try the more elegant La Mallorquina.

flamenco beach, Bio bay, El Yunque When going to see the many great attractions on the east side of the island (flamenco beach, Bio bay, El Yunque) I would advise any traveler to stay in a hotel on the east side to have easy access to these sites. Flamenco beach and the bio bay are wonderful but will take an entire day and a rental car if you dont make accomdations in Fajardo. Secondly I would advise not taking the public ferry to Culebra Island ( where flamenco beach is located) or Vieques Island (where the bio bay is located) it is a long rough journey. Instead pay the extra money, book in advance and take a small plane or speed ferry it save you time and energy.

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Other names for The Gallery Inn Hotel

  • the gallery inn
  • Address: 204 Calle Norzagaray - San Juan - 00901 - Puerto Rico
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