More than just another vacation rental!
I offer a fully hosted experience in a historic house with three suites/museum/gallery in San Juan's vibrant Santurce Arts District.
On arrival, I'll meet you for check-in & take you on an Arts District tour including Plaza del Mercado.
My office for hotel/tourism consulting is onsite - so I'm here all day for any recommendations or assistance.
If you appreciate art, culture, music & history in a local neighborhood, this may perfect for you!
The casita suite is at the back of the ground floor of our house in the Santurce section of San Juan - the center of San Juan's Arts & Culture District.
Guests use the main entrance and reception gallery to the house, but you have a private locked gate to your casita's exterior courtyard. From the semi-covered 'gazebo' courtyard, you enter your bedroom/ensuite private bath on one side and your ’sunken kitchen’ with a sit-up bar/counter on the other.
The bedroom has a king size bed, flat-panel cable TV, Free Wi-Fi Internet, air conditioning, ceiling fan and closet area. The ensuite private bathroom has a sink, toilet and shower (no bathtub). Clean sheets and towels are provided on arrival.
The casita has a semi-open "sunken" kitchen (sink, gas stove, full refrigerator/freezer, microwave, coffee maker, electric kettle, blender, toaster, rice maker/steamer).
NOTE: The guest casita does not have an enclosed 'living area'. The bedroom and kitchen open to a private courtyard with 'gazebo-style' covering that keeps light rain away and provides shade during the day. However, when it rains heavily, the courtyard does get wet - so you may get wet going from the bedroom to the kitchen. You should not leave computers, papers or anything in the courtyard that may get wet, since we can have short showers anytime in the tropics. (See photos for reference).
NATURE ALERT: The house has a very open design that encourages open doors and windows. There may be small lizards in the courtyard (we like them - they're cute and they eat mosquitoes). Small birds and hummingbirds are common. If you're lucky, you'll hear a 'coqui' tree frog singing outside your window til about midnight. Mosquitoes blow in when the wind comes from the lagoons during rainy weather (we provide spay and have screens on the bedroom doors/windows) and the fan in the kitchen usually keeps them away.
All guests enter the house through the same gate and front door. Please make sure to always double-check the front door and the front gate by pulling it with your hand to make sure that it is securely locked.
You'll enter the lobby and have access to beach towels/chairs, suntan lotions, yoga mats, bug stuff, umbrellas, tourist info/guides and our coffee/tea bar.
Follow the garden passage to the right and you'll find your courtyard gate.
Interaction with guests
On arrival - I'll meet you outside the house and give you an orientation in the lobby at check-in before showing you to your suite.
After you get settled, I'll give you a tour of the neighborhood so you understand the history/development of the Arts District and where to find supermarkets, banks, restaurant, museums, bars, clubs and galleries.
We'll end at Plaza del Mercado where you can find restaurants/bars and the weekly 'street parties'.
I'll also point out how to get to Old San Juan, the beach at Ocean Park and the bohemian/hipster Loiza Street area.
I have my office hotel/tourism consulting and real estate at the back of the museum just off the lobby and is available from approximately 9am-9pm. I'm always happy to help with directions or recommendations and love getting feedback on your adventures in San Juan.
And of course, you're always welcome to visit the museum or Art Gallery.
Other things to note
Puerto Rico Tourism Company Hotelier ID 1113.
For reservations made prior to Aug 1, 2017 - 7% PR Room Tax is included in the rate you pay for accommodations. After this date, AirBnb will calculate and charge room tax as a separate invoice item.
A note on our 'open design': Although 99% of our guests love the 'indoor/outdoor' living, we've had some comments lately about noise.
The renovation of the house has been done with a very open layout - French doors open to the terraces, open eves and arched windows create a 'natural chimney, windows are mostly louvered wooden windows that allow trade winds to flow through the space.
Because of this open design - you will hear urban traffic sounds, plus the chirps of coquis (they stop about midnight), crickets that can be loud at times and some music from the recording studio next door or the dance school behind our house which rarely go past 11pm.
Air Conditioning is only provided in the bedroom. For guests who prefer non-air conditioned sleeping, open doors can provide great breezes - but also allow a higher exposure to urban sounds.
If you are used to central air conditioning and sealed windows - please realize that this house is not sealed and controlled. It would not fit the nature of the 100 year old historic structure - nor would it fit the way I choose to live in the Caribbean.
We have also had some comments about 'dirty floors' from guests used to central air conditioning and 'controlled environments'.
All floors in the house have floor tiles and are mopped the morning prior to your arrival. However, since the design of the house is very open - the constant tropical trade wind breeze brings in a fine soot-like dust that is common throughout San Juan and eastern Puerto Rico.
This is especially common in the summer when extremely fine dust blows from Africa's Sahara desert all the way across the Atlantic and covers the island. Puerto Ricans have a special local word for it - 'BRUMA' which is included in daily weather reports - with special updates when the dust will be heavy.
The 'BRUMA' brings natural fertilizer to the island, but also can also cause delays at the airport and form a layer you can see in the air when there is no breeze (check it out when you land at the airport - its not smog, but part of the Sahara desert suspended above San Juan).
Local folklore says that a summer with substantial 'BRUMA' means we will have an easy hurricane season since the heavy dust can slow down development of cyclonic systems.
The BRUMA dust/soot can appear even if floors are mopped every day - especially if you are barefoot- it is so fine that it sticks to your skin. Since we have open windows and doors in every unit and don't provide daily maid service, it can make the floor 'dirty' in a matter of minutes or hours depending on how the wind is blowing.
I provide a 'swiffer' in each unit so you can quickly give the floors a cleaning each day. However - if there is a heavy BRUMA - it will be 'dirty' again in a short time.
Local residents face the situation on a daily basis - so we tend to wear socks rather than go barefoot if we don't live in central air conditioning (our house only has airco in the bedroom of each unit - so BRUMA is a factor in other rooms).
This is a fact of life throughout San Juan and not something unique to this house or neighborhood. This is part of the 'charm' of the house, or could be a reason not to stay here, depending on your lifestyle and point of view.
This has been a factor for a very small percentage of guests - but since we are dedicated to guests having the very best vacation experience possible, I want to make sure that you are aware of this if it is a consideration for your lifestyle and choice of accommodations. Plus - the housekeeper asked to explain so you won't think he didn't do his job :)
Thanks for booking your suite in San Juan's Arts District!
I'll send a complete set of arrival instructions and neighborhood guide by regular email after receiving your reservation.
Please advise me of your airline/flight/time so I can track any delays and make sure that I'm at the house when you arrive.
ARRIVAL: Check-in time is normally at 3pm (earlier may be possible if your suite is not occupied the night before).
- If you have an early morning arrival, book from the night before and I'll meet you at any hour even if it is early morning - then you can go straight to your suite.
- If you arrive on an early morning flight and prefer to wait until check-in time, I usually will be at my office by 9:30am and you can leave luggage in the museum until your suite is ready later in the day.
DEPARTURE: Normal check-out time is 11am. There is no problem with early morning departures - just let me know in advance. Late check-outs can only be arranged once you get to San Juan since it depends on whether your suite is booked on departure day. If you have a very late flight, you can book an extra night, or leave your luggage in the museum until you head out to the airport.
CRITICAL RULE - ELEC/WATER: Turn off airco and lights when not in your suite. Report any water leaks or running toilets. Puerto Rico has some of the highest utility rates in the world - so please make sure that you turn off lights and air conditioners when not in your suite.
SMOKING: No smoking in your suite, but you can smoke in outdoor areas as long as you position so smoke does not go into the suite or public areas.
THE BAND NEXT DOOR: We love the guys from the indie rock band FANTASMES and their recording studio. However, this means there is music most days. Groups range from Reggae, Punk, Trance, New Age, Classical, Dance Hall, 50's Bop, Hard Rock and more. Some are fantastic - others just getting started. Our informal agreement is that they wind down by 11pm but sometimes they get carried away and don't realize what time it is. If they go too late, just let me know and I'll give them a call. Most guests love having the studio next door and we rarely have a problem - but something you should know before booking. Note: we always have earplugs available in the lobby if the band de jour is not your favorite genre.
Photo Identification required on check-in (I'll make a photocopy).
No children under 12 years without approval (per contract with the onsite museum). No pets. No parties or events without approval of the host.
HAVE FUN !!!!
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Living in San Juan for 15 years.
Originally from Connecticut, but lived in New York City for many years working in the travel industry and helping develop early online travel applications including Travelocity.
After the 'internet bubble' I moved to the small Caribbean island of Saba and ran a boutique hotel with my Saban cousins on one of the most amazing islands in the world.
My years on Saba were the most amazing experiences and a true 'Don't Stop the Carnival' lifestyle. When Hurricane "Geroges" destroyed the hotel I decided to combine online marketing and hotel operations experience and move to Puerto Rico to work as a tourism consultant. Clients included the Caribbean Hotel Association, Caribbean Tourism Organization plus hotels and resorts throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, Asia and Europe.
Travel extensively in the Caribbean for work, all over the globe for fun - but always glad to come home to San Juan!