The house was originally built in 1915. Second floor including typical 'Santurce Mosaics' was added in the 1920's.The casita is at the back of the house, so you enter through the garden passage.
1st Floor Casita - San Juan Arts District: Hosted
1st Floor Casita - San Juan Arts District: Hosted

Entire home/apt

2 guests

1 bedroom

1 bed
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1
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Ages 2 - 12
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2 guests maximum. Infants don’t count toward the number of guests.
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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 space

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.

Guest access

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.
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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 :)


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The space
Accommodates: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Bedrooms: 1
Beds: 1
Check In: Anytime after 3PM
Check Out: 11AM
Room type: Entire home/apt
Self check-in: Lockbox

Amenities
Kitchen
Essentials
Shampoo
Air conditioning

Prices
Cleaning Fee $65
Security Deposit $100
Weekly Discount: 10%
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Sleeping arrangements
Bedroom 1
1 king bed

House Rules
No smoking
Not suitable for pets
No parties or events
Not safe or suitable for children (0-12 years)
Check in is anytime after 3PM

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 !!!!

You must also acknowledge
Potential for noise - Recording studio next door. Normally quiet, but can be noise until 11pm and occasionally later.
Amenity limitations - Suite has 'inline' on demand water heater - susceptible to water pressure & may be variable when pressure from street is low & pump is activated.

Cancellations

Safety features
Smoke detector
Carbon monoxide detector
First aid kit
Safety card
Fire extinguisher

Availability
1 night minimum stay

97 Reviews

Accuracy
Communication
Cleanliness
Location
Check In
Value
Bethy User Profile
August 2017
I am not sure that I can do Richard and this place justice in a review but I hope to try. Even though Richard was going to be away for his own vacation when we arrived, he went above and beyond to communicate with me and made sure I had information about and the keys for our arrival. It was very comforting since this was our first time visiting Puerto Rico for the first time ever. As for the place, Richard gave us the upgrade to the penthouse and it was great, we had breakfast in the balcony often and the place is beautifully decorated and well equipped. Richard has clearly gone above and beyond to anticipate the needs of guests and just about anything you may need is offered. I personally don't think we could have had a better experience at a hotel because it was the right balance of being near tourist activities but also having the opportunity of being among locals. I highly recommend Richard and this lovely place and would certainly be staying there when we go back.

Elias User Profile
July 2017
This is a great place to stay at. Richard is a great host and he will give you plenty of advise to maximize your vacation/trip in San Juan as well as the whole island. He is very knowledge about what's trending in the neighborhood and will even give you a tour. The kitchen is fully equipped and he has a very extensive spice collection that you can use to cook. The room is very nice and clean and the AC works like a charm. We have already recommended this place to so many of our friends and we can't wait to come back. If I could give Richard a 10 star review I would totally do.

Brandon User Profile
June 2017
Our stay in Richard's casita was great! He was there waiting for us when we arrived from the airport and even gave us a walking tour of the area. Great location, staying here is a must if you visit San Juan!

Laura User Profile
May 2017
This place was AMAZING! We loved being able to live like a local. The area was in the process of gentrification so you meet a large assortment of people. There is all types of food places in walking distance and a grocery store was a couple of blocks away. The bed was comfortable and everyone in the neighborhood was polite and helpful.

Mike User Profile
April 2017
What an enjoyable stay we just had at Richard's casita. After only a few days, it felt like home. We stayed on the first floor with an open-air kitchen and sitting room, while the adjacent bedroom and bathroom possessed their own locking, sliding doors and excellent air conditioning. Richard looked after us in the best manner possible; his hospitality was nonpareil from our first late night greeting to our final moment of departure (and even after that, but that's another story). Depending on when you are reading this, you may remember the great Delta flight cancellation of 2017 (April). Our trip was in jeopardy when Delta cancelled over 3,000 weather-affected flights in three days. We were fortunate to receive a seat on standby and made it San Juan nearly 10 hours later than projected. No worries -- Richard accommodated us just the same and took us on a guided stroll down Ponce de Leon to the frenetic nightlife at La Placita in Santurce. There was where Richard bid his goodnight and where we partied our travel stresses away until the morning's early hours. Another delight we realized was all of the little things: umbrellas, coffee in the casita, fully stocked kitchen, quarters for the bus, beach towels and bags, and -- perhaps the part that most appeals to my late-night, bad decision making self -- a few bottles of Puerto Rican rum in the foyer from which you can sample. This was great because we forget to pack umbrellas, coffee for the casita, kitchen utensils, quarters for the bus, beach towels and bags, and rum. ;) One additional note about the location. It's close to one of the coolest places we visited: Lote 23 -- a collection of kioskos only a block away. We spent one night there imbibing and eating our way through the night. It's enjoyable and Richard's place make it oh so accessible. Other than that, most of the more famous "tourist" spots are a short cab or bus ride away; we are rigorous walkers and walked both to Old Town San Juan and Playa de Isla Verde from Richard's, but in both cases we took alternative transportation back. Don't hesitate. Stay at Richard's and relax. You're in good hands. Oh, and one more thing, don't forget to have breakfast right next door at Abracadabra. It's excellent!!

Mike User Profile
March 2017
Richard was fantastic! Gave us a quick but VERY helpful tour through the San Juan area!! The living quarters are so unique and fun! I absolutely would recommend staying here as it's so beautiful and there are so many places local to walk to... if you don't feel like walking you get your very own spot right in front of the door :-)

Angie User Profile
March 2017
My stay here was incredible! The pictures do not do it justice! I loved sitting in the partially outside kitchen each morning while I drank my coffee. The place was in walking distance of the beach, restaurants and music. Public transit picked up and dropped off at the corner and was easy to navigate. Richard was an amazing host, readily available to answer questions or to provide suggestions on places to go or things to see. I will definitely be back! Thanks, Richard!

This host has 244 reviews for other properties.

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San Juan, Puerto RicoJoined in November 2009
Richard User ProfileRichard is a superhost.

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!

Languages: English, Español
Response rate: 100%
Response time: within an hour

The neighborhood

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