|Minimum Stay||3 nights|
Suitable for childrenNo
Suitable for the elderlyAsk
|Theme||Budget, Historic, City, Downtown, Tropical|
Description from the owner
Not your typical vacation rental!
We are a consulting company specializing in hospitality and tourism located in San Juan's new Arts and Culture district of Santurce. We have a special interest in cultural tourism - hosting an art gallery and museum/research facility in our building - a historic 'Santurce' townhouse originally built in 1915.
After a complete renovation in 2010 we started renting our 'guest casita' to friends who wanted a unique place to stay in San Juan's arts district. Guests had a great place to stay at reasonable prices and we got lots of feedback about how travelers use the internet for research, booking and...Read more
Historic House & Suites - SJ Arts/Culture District
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Additional Location Information
There are no public busses from the airport - so a taxi is the best choice. Rates are fixed so you don't have to worry about the price. Fixed price is currently $18 plus $1 for each piece of luggage (tip not included). Late night arrivals may have a $2 surcharge.
After you complete your reservation, I'll send complete arrival map and instructions.
The house is located in Santurce, which is about a 14 minute walk 'across the highway' from the Condado and Ocean Park tourist areas. We're just a few steps from Ponce de Leon Avenue, that has frequent bus service to Old San Juan. This has become the center of San Juan’s new ‘Arts & Culture’ redevelopment area. Many guests comment that it has the same vibe as Williamsburg, Brooklyn with its emerging arts scene.
The house is across from a condo, next to a small residential hotel. There is a LDS church is on one end of the block and a Pentecostal church on the other. Abracadabra arts-café is right on the corner with Ponce de Leon. - local hipster hangout with the most popular weekend brunch in San Juan.
Our new next door neighbors are an indie rock band that lives upstairs and rehearses downstairs in their recording studio. They just came back from SXSW and are very considerate of us as neighbors. The agreement is - if they are ever too loud (no one has complained yet) just stop by and let them know. If you like the music, stop by next door and join a session or hang out with the band. They all speak English and are a great source to find out where the hottest hangout will be each weekend. Several other groups use the studio, but it is usually during the day or early evening. Most guests are very happy having their 'private house band' next door.
The past few months have seen a lot of new business in the neighborhood:
Andromeda Bar *& Restaurant is opening around the corner... international menu with local lunch specials every day.
New SELECTOS supermarket is just 3 blocks away in the Ciudadela Complex. Open from 6am to 11pm daily. They also have a food court overlooking the art museum that has daily lunch specials, rotisserie chicken, burgers, sandwiches, sushi, pizza, pasta, coffee bar, sports bar and indoor or plaza seating.
Planet Fitness has just opened across from SELECTOS and is open 24 hours during the week. You can join for $10/month but you now have to pay an initiation fee (but make sure you cancel on your last visit to avoid recurring charges). There is a more complete gym at the Galeria complex nearby for $60 per week.
Across from the plaza at Ciudadela is a new bookstore, bistro and bar. A few blocks away is a new 'eco-bar' - La Hoya, that guests report is fun and reasonable. The new Levels disco just opened and is doing well since Lady GaGa had her after party there on Halloween night. A new Indian restaurant is open and getting rave reviews - plus just started lunch specials, El Mason sandwich shop is by the museum and a new food truck 'DondeSea' has permanently parked just past Ciuadela... so you get an idea of how much the area is changing.
Easy access to theaters and museums and the bus to Old San Juan are the main attractions. Beach is about a 15 minute walk or 4 min. drive.
Arts & Culture:
Abracadabra - a 'local counter-café is located just a few feet away at the corner of Ponce de Leon and Calle Saldaña. Great food, local gourmet coffee, local craft beers and one of the best weekend brunches in San Juan. Frequent performance nights ranging from jazz to theater, circus arts, film festivals, comedy, magic and more...
Two blocks away on Calle del Parque, you'll fine the recently renovated Francisco Arriví and Victoria Espinosa Theaters. There is also the intimate El Josco cabaret which features Teatro Breve - San Juan's improv theater. Further down the street is La Respuesta Arts Space which features arts performances, exhibitions or becomes a nightclub featuring different bands or themes each night.
Continue walking down Ponce de Leon for 5 minutes walk and you'll find the corner of Ponce de Leon and De Diego Avenue. This is the traditional center of Santurce's Arts District. In the 1960's this was called the 'Times Square' of San Juan. Today, it is re-emerging as the center of the Arts District and there are new restaurants, shops, clubs and nightlife opening all the time.
If you continue down Ponce de Leon, it is only a 3 minutes to San Juan’s Fine Arts Center (Centro de Bellas Artes) with 4 theaters ranging from cabaret & experimental spaces to large theaters suitable for Broadway musicals, opera or concerts. The new Symphony Hall is just across the large plaza and home to the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra.
If you take a right turn on De Diego Avenue, its a 5 minute walk to the Puerto Rico Museum of Art (MAPR) with its intimate Raul Julia Theater and Laurel Kitchen|Art Space Restaurant by celebrity chef Mario Pagan (The Next Iron Chef).
Other performance venues are easy to reach by the M3 Metrobus that runs along Ponce de Leon Avenue. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, Metro Theater and Fine Arts Cinema are about a 5-7 minute bus ride. Old San Juan theaters such as the historic Teatro Tapia, Ateneo Puerto Puerto, or Casa de España take about 15 minutes by bus. Hato Rey theaters and the Coliseum area about 10 minutes in the opposite direction - but require a change to the new Tren Urbano for the 3 minute ride to the Hato Rey station.
The MetroBus M3 runs along Ponce de Leon Avenue from Old San Juan to the Tren Urban stop at Sagrado Corazon. Bus costs 50 cents - exact change required. Busses start about 5:30 am and run until about midnight. During weekdays, service is about ever 10-15 minutes - slower on weekends and holidays.
Old San Juan takes about 15 minutes on the M3. Get the bus one block away opposite Godfather Restaurant.
Tren Urbano is only two long stops in the other direction. Get the bus just at the end of our block. At the Urban Train you can change for the elevated train for the Coliseum, Rio Piedras Shopping, University of Puerto Rico, Centro Medico, Bayamón’s Sports Center or Bayamon Pueblo (town center).
Plaza Las Americas can be reached with the Metrobus 2. This bus runs about every 45 minutes and runs through the Hato Rey Business District before turning and running along Roosevelt Avenue to Plaza Las Americas – the largest shopping mall in the Caribbean. This bus is .75 exact change and stops at the corner of our block.
A taxi from the airport is approximately $20 -$22 one way depending on luggage and how much you tip.
PARKING: There is street parking outside the house. Like any big city, never leave anything visible in the car when unattended. You can also park in the Ciudadela complex. They don't charge for parking anymore, but its best to park in the area designated for Planet Fitness.
Ocean Park Beach: The best beach in San Juan is a 15 minute walk to “Parque del Indio” that divides Condado from Ocean Park. You can rent beach chairs/umbrellas - but there are no public changing facilities or bathrooms on this beach.
Escambrón Beach: You can also take the Metrobus #3 and get off near the Caribé Hilton at Parque Munoz Marin for Escambrón Beach which has rest rooms, changing facilities, food vendors and is very popular with families. It is also has San Juan’s best surfing at ‘El Ocho’ when the surf’s up! The bus ride takes about 15 minutes and then there is about a 7 minute walk through the park to the beach.
You can also take the T5 bus by the Museum of Art to Isla Verde Beaches.
We provide beach towels and usually have some sun screen that other guests have left.
ATM (ATH in Puerto Rico): There are two bank machines on Calle del Parque - just 2 blocks from the casita. Both accept major networks, but if you want to check on any fees, they are First Bank of Puerto Rico and Oriental Bank. There is also a Banco Popular branch with ATM at the corner of Ponce de Leon and De Diego Avenue.
o On the corner: Abracadabra - a counter café: New restaurant with young, hip, attitude open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a 'healthy, creative' menu that is not exclusively vegetarian - you can also get a burger. They have 'Hacienda San Pedro' gourmet coffee from Puerto Rico and Old Harbour Beer (the brew pub in Old San Juan). Very 'artsy' clientele - there is even a small stage for occasional performances.
o One block - Godfather (Dominican/Caribbean & Breakfast - open 24 hours on weekends). Cafe San Jorge - breakfast & lunch. Andromeda Bar & Restaurant.
o Two-Three blocks - La Casona (very elegant Spanish & Puerto Rican cuisine), Subway, Naturalia - Natural Food Shop with cafeteria, Arturos Pasta, Sabores local cafeteria. There is also the large new food court at the Selectos supermarket. The new bookstore - Libros AC has a bar and bistro. DondeSea Food Truck.
o Five blocks - Tren Urbano: Chinese, Al's Bakery, Don Juan Rotisserie Chicken.
o Five blocks - Fine Arts Center (8 min walk): Denny's (24 hours)
o Five blocks - Museum of Art (10 minute walk): Bistro de Paris (elegant French cuisine), Rigeletto (Pastries, Paninni, light fare, espresso). Hacienda San Pedro (Starbucks style coffeeshop), El Meson Sandwiches. Mumbai Indian Restaurant (with full-sized window from the street to the kitchen). The museum has Laurel - Mario Pagan's signature restaurant. Its expensive, but he's a celebrity chef you've seen on The Next Iron Chef.
o Five Blocks - Condado (10 minute walk): Bebo's Café (Puerto Rican Food), Under the Trees, Silk Road, The Plan B - pizza evenings and then late night dance hall.
o 10 blocks - Plaza del Mercado (15 min walk or short bus ride): Santurce's historic market has many popular restaurants that surround the traditional Puerto Rican vegetable/fruit/spice vendors. On Thursday and Friday nights there is a very popular 'happening' here where young hip executive types hang out, listen to music, drink and eat inexpensive Puerto Rican 'street-food' (you can also dine at the more traditional restaurants Special attention to José Enriquez, the latest celebrity chef nominated for a James Beard award and featured in Food and Wind magazine's top 10 chefs to watch issue. Look for the small yellow art deco house one block to the left of the marketplace. No name, no reservations - just show up and enjoy!
The nightclub scene is constantly changing and like most major cities - what is hot today is 'not' tomorrow. However, here are some of the current favorites
o La Respuesta is an arts space/disco/club featured in the NYTimes last year and still very popular with the young, hip, crowd. (2 blocks away).
o The Plan B is a pizzaria in the evening and turns into San Juan's favorite dance club at night. This area on Loiza Street in 'downtown condado' is emerging with lots of small pop-up clubs that can be interesting. (5 blocks away).
o Tia Maria is Santurce's neighborhood gay bar (4 bocks away) - Everyone goes for Tuesday night Karaoke with a latin-diva twist.
o Disco LEVELS across from Fine Arts - large disco in a former theater with guest performers and DJs. (5 blocks away). Lady GaGa had her 'after party' here when she performed at the Coliseum on Halloween night.
o El Local - Art Center and Indie Rock club near Fine Arts Center. Look for the lizzard mural at Levels Disco, go down the hill to the light and turn right.
o Plaza del Mercado bars/street party on Thurs & Friday. (10 blocks away).
The house has a very open design that encourages open doors and windows. There may be small lizards in the open areas (we like them - they're cute and they eat mosquitoes). They hate air-conditioning so they never come into the rooms. Small birds and hummingbirds are common. If you're lucky, you'll see a 'coqui' tree frog. Mosquitoes can blow in from the lagoons during rainy weather (we provide spay and have screens on the door/windows).
Location Type City, Downtown, Tropical
Rates shown in $ USD (change)
|Rate Summary||$100 - $115||$100 - $115||$650 - $700||$0||3 nights|
|May. 8 2013 - Dec. 31 2014
Casita Suite - Ground Floor
|May. 8 2013 - Dec. 31 2014
Penthouse Suite - 3rd Floor
|All Other Dates||$100||$100||$650||-||3 nights|
|Can't find rates for your travel dates? Contact the owner|
- Cleaning fee - $40 / stay - Other
Additional notes from owner
Cleaning fees are one time charges per stay (not per night). This fee covers cleaning prior to your arrival and when you leave. It does not include daily maid service. Extra towels, sheets, etc. are available upon request any time during your stay. For extended stays, light cleaning and linen change will be included once per week at a mutually convenient time.
AvailableUnavailable Last updated: May 06, 2013 ◀▶
What Past Guests Are Saying
Patricia and Justin
This place is a Gem
If you are looking for a unique and relaxing experience, this is the place. We came here in March of 2013 and stayed in the casita. The location, stay, and host were wonderful. Richard is so helpful and goes above and beyond to make your stay a breeze. I would recommend this place to anyone. The area is city like with lots of options for eating (even as a vegetarian). Everything you need is within walkable distance (grocery store, market, restaurants, beach, etc.) and there is also a bus system. Hope to stay here again in the future!
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Great place with an excellent host
This rental property was exactly as the picture show, Very nice place with some nice upgrades. House was very clean and Richard was more then helpful. Richard met us late that night when we arrived then walked us down to the food market. Gave us very good directions and restaurant choices. Toured us down to the local street party/market.
We stayed with friends and had both upper levels.
Would recommend it for anyone, but would think it would be best to have both levels, so you don't have to share the kitchen.
Connie and Brian
We fell in love with San Juan!
We can not say enough about Richard and his interest in the neighborhood and the arts. We did take a couple of walking tours with him and really got a feel for the neighborhood. We were very glad to not have a car. The bus is only 50 cents and taking it to old San Juan is a breeze. The beach was a 12 min. walk and beautiful. The Casita was very comfortable and private.
Check out the art collective at Roberto Paradise, the myriad of murals on the buildings, the nearby art museum, and the Mercado in the evening.
We felt so fortunate to have stayed in Santurce. We found the locals to be very friendly and helpful. I can not wait to see Richard's newest venture!
Bay Area, CA
Adventures on the Island
I had such a wonderful time here - where do I begin? My boyfriend and I really enjoyed our stay. Neither of us are into hotel life and prefer to be immersed in culture wherever we go. This spot gave us exactly that. You get your own keys to each area of the building so coming and going as you please is no problem at all. Richard was very welcoming and was also available whenever we needed him. He offered to give a tour but we're such nomads that we ended up wandering around on our own. We rented a car and overall,I think it was a good decision. There are cheap parking lots and Richard offers change for the bus if you go that route. Just beware of PR drivers... They may drive fast, may drive slow...may stay in their lane or wander into yours...lol. We had road rage really badly the first day but then we got the hang of how they do things.
We stayed in the penthouse by the way...loved it! Had just the right amount of space, plus a private patio. Everything about it is adorable - especially the shower and double sinks. I liked the decor and appreciated having little "extras" in the room, ie. small plates, silverware, and cups.The shared kitchen on the second floor was a plus. It was very well equipped so we cooked breakfast every day and sat out on that floor's patio too. There's a wonderful grocery store within walking distance and it'll have everything you need - liquor, produce, a variety of cheeses and meats... has it all.
The nightlife is really fun. Whether you like to go clubbing or are into more chill spots/bars, the options are there. We came across a live concert on the beach at night, complete with fireworks, and it was free! Everyone obviously enjoyed it and the vibe was very relaxed, yet fun. I also liked how people of all ages go out - not just young adults.
Least liked - driving style of the locals. That's minor anyway. Best liked - everything else! Both of us would go to San Juan and stay at Richard's again, for sure. It's addictive. ;-)
Second stay at Santurce gem
We've stayed at this place twice, and plan on going back in 2014. There are three options in the building: the casita on the first floor, the second floor, and the penthouse. We've stayed at the penthouse, which has a kitchenette, master bathroom, living room, and bedroom, as well as a small but adorable balcony with a fountain. You have access to the full kitchen and dining room on the second floor. It's so nice to have all that space just to relax in between all the cool things to do in SJ.
If you wish to stay in a neighborhood away from all the parties, but have easy access to the art Museum of Puerto Rico and the Museum of Contemporary art as well as a 15-minute bus ride to Old San Juan, this is your place. This past year, a large 24-hour supermarket opened up four blocks away. You are also within walking distance to Plaza del Mercado, a great place to buy fruit and get fruit smoothies. On Thursdays and Fridays, lots of little bars open up around the market, and there is lots of music and dancing. There are several restaurants within walking distance, from the comida criolla place Godfather's to upscale French and Indian.
Richard begins your visit with a tour of the neighborhood, which is just getting better and better. He is readily available to answer questions and make suggestions so you get the most out of your trip.
In 2014, we hope to bring two other couples with us and rent the whole place!
Ok, I have to say that in some ways I hesitate to write this review, because I would hate for this wonderful, wonderful place to become too popular!
Our experience here was absolutely wonderful. In fact, it made for one of the best travel experiences I have ever had. We chose "Historic House & Suites" because it looked like the kind of place we would be comfortable in, and because my husband was born just blocks away and grew up right around the corner.
Everything about the situation exceeded our expectations. From the location, which was ideal for us, to the beautifully restored and appointed historic building, to the graciousness and kindness of our host Richard, to the way we felt utterly and completely at home there . . . everything was as perfect as it could be.
We stayed in the penthouse and had booked the middle/kitchen floor for other family members who could not come after all, so we had the top two floors to ourselves. We especially enjoyed our morning coffee and evening tapas on the veranda, and the soft breezes that rustled the passionfruit vines right outside the bedroom in the night. The bed was ultra-comfortable, and the bathroom, with its glass blocks and shower that opened to the outside, was really special. The well-appointed kitchen even had cooking herbs right outside.
The rooms are full of little design details that one doesn't notice at first, but which delighted us continually throughout our stay.
For people that want a convenient hotel-on-the-beach experience, this wouldn't suit, but for those who are a little more adventurous and like the idea of a real home away from home, this is an ideal spot. We hope to return many times!
The room was great, the area is fantastic and Richard was very h
I went to Puerto Rico on vacation with my fiance and stayed here in the Penthouse room for three days of our trip. The stay could not have been more pleasant. Richard, the owner, has worked very hard to make the place a little haven for guests. He was around without being invasive and was eager to answer any questions about what to do in the area and how to get there. After making the reservation, he sent us a digital packet of information about the area and how to get around as well.
About the Location:
Just outside San Juan proper and Viejo San Juan, Santurce is a wonderful artsy area reminiscent of similar areas in atlanta, Ga or asheville, NC. It has a local feel, with most places within walking distance. You can take a quick bus ride into San Juan for only $0.50 per person, explore that area all day on foot or by trolley, then bus back for another $0.50. If you enjoy walking and don't mind public transit, this area is perfect. It is also within walking distance to Condado (one of the main touristy areas) and a short bus ride away from Isla Verde (a touristy beach area).
About The Room:
We stayed in the Penthouse, but would have been content with either of the other rooms as well. Very Clean and well maintained. The penthouse level has a private patio that is perfect for relaxing and reading. All the plants and herbs, plus the running fountain, make it seem like you are somewhere in the middle of the rainforest instead of a bustling city. There were some mosquitos, but Richard grows his own lemongrass, which is a natural bug repellent. I just rubbed some of that on my arms and legs and was fine. Everything else about the room was great.
About the Food:
There is a little square area not too far from the house that has some great food options. We didn't end up eating there, but
all in all, I was so happy to have stayed there and could not have found a better place. If you are looking for a five star, pampered experience, this is not it. But if you enjoy the feel of local culture and like to explore things on foot, you can't find a better spot.
Thank you, Richard, for such a wonderful experience!
Mi segunda casa
Si duda uno de los mejores sitios donde me he alojado fuera de mi casa, desde el principio todo fue de maravilla, Richard nos recibio como un autentico anfitrión, nos enseño toda la propiedad y sus alrededores desde bares, restaurante, supermercados y transporte. Es totalmente acojedor y muy limpio y sin duda es un buen lugar como base para ver toda la isla, Richard te asesorara de todas las dudas que te surjan, es un hombre encantador, es totalmente recomendable y sin duda cuando vuelva a Puerto Rico volveremos a ponernos en contanto con Richard
Don[--]t want the ordinary hotel[--];pool place? That[--];s the
I stayed at the Coqui Guest Suite for three weeks in august 2012.
Originally around ten nights were planned before moving on to other places in the west and south, but because I liked the place so much, I decided to stay there during my entire visit in PR and explore the island from there. So this should speak for itself.
Great place if you want that 'feel-like-a-local' experience. Perfect location as base camp - very easy to get to Old San Juan (by bus) or to Condado beach (15-20min walk). A new supermarket just opened close by (3min walk) with a big variety and fresh products. Parking is close, as is Highway access.
All the apartments are beautiful, clean, wonderfully decorated with a lot of attention to detail. Only downside during my stay was that the bedroom-balcony couldn't be used as its floor needed repair.
Your landlord is super friendly, provides you with more than you can think of and is always eager to help and give advice.
I truly had an amazing time there and can't wait to go back again. Thank you very much, Richard!
Great experience at a lovely house
My boyfriend and I stayed at the penthouse for 4 days, the experience was amazing, we couldn't ask for anything better. It's a very charming, comfortable and clean house, location was just perfect. Before the arrival Richard was very helpful, answered to all my questions about placed to visit and activities. I absolutely recommend this place and definitely will go back.
Romance with Relaxtion
We love this place and we raved about this place to all our friends and family. The owner Richard showed us the parts of San Juan and he even took the time to take us to a restaurant and I couldn't thank him anymore than we have...he was awesome and made our first time to San Juan wonderful to enjoy. I definitely say book the Penthouse suite...and the pictures on line just don't do the view justice...its fine details and you will enjoy. The location is great access to beach area and downtown scenery. Great restaurants near by and gotta go to the market area to get a good Pina Colada for $5 bucks... the bus system work great for us to get around and we walk alot too..you will love this place and the good customer service that comes along with it!!! Cant wait to go back!!!
An Unforgettable Experience!
My stay at Richards Casita Del Coqui was an unforgettable experience! From beginning to end the entire experience was pleasurable. The ease of booking with Richard through last minute reservation changes, to arrival in San Juan and to the Casita del Coqui. Richard paid the greatest attention the the smallest of details and took our vacation to another level!
The Casita is located in a quiet section of San Juan in the heart of the art District and is surrounded by museums, quiet residential areas, and a short walk from the beach. The location allowed for a quick walk to the supermarket to pick up groceries to fix authentic Puerto Rican dishes that could be found in one of Richards cook books (although he can personally coach you through a variety of delicious meals which we prepared in the kitchen at the Casita!)
The close proximity of the beach allowed for a nice walk to take in the sights and explore. The bus that runs by the Casita takes you to Old San Juan for shopping and sight seeing and beats the cab fare any day. The entire city is easily accessible from the Casita and should you catch a cab and the driver is uncertain as to the address of the Casita "Leonardo's" is a fail safe destination across the street.
The Casita del Coqui itself is as gorgeous as it is spacious and yet it can feel like a second home. I chose it because of the location and unbeatable price but the beauty of Richards Casita cannot be justified by any pictures. My party of three rented out the Penthouse and Guest Suite and we had more than enough space. The kitchen and dining room saw daily action as we cooked most of our meals and ate together as well as lounged on his spacious balcony on the second floor. The Penthouse Suite was perfect as a nice getaway in itself. Richard took great care in creating a comfortable suite which exudes luxury. With the balcony garden and fountain overlooking much of the area it gives a sense of being on top of San Juan.
Richard has captured the essence of San Juan and offers it as a gift to all who visit as a respite from home yet a non tourist perspective for those looking to see the Real San Juan.
Thanks Richard, I'll be back!!!
My husband and I stayed in the Penthouse pre-cruise, and could not have asked for anything better or different! We were looking for a more authentic experience of Puerto Rico (rather than the hotel/resort type locations) and we were pleasantly surprised with our discovery of Casita del Coqui!!
Beginning with our initial contact and inquiries of the property, Richard was fabulous! We arrived in Puerto Rico later in the evening (delayed flight) and he was gracious enough to wait for us, meet us at the house, and actually direct the taxi driver (thank you Richard!!). Then to top if off, assisted us with some dinner at a local restaurant. The following morning he took us on a tour of the area, pointed our various sights including restaurants, cafes, dance clubs, etc. This special and personalized touch was simply a fantastic way to start our vacation.
Although we only stayed 4 nights, it was just a fantastic experience. We found our way to the beach, tried various local restaurants, shopped, visited Old San Juan ... with out ultimate highlight being the abracadabra Cafe (right on the corner of our street).
We found the area to be very quite (except for the coqui ... which we loved ... some do not :)). With friends staying on the second floor, we had full access to the kitchen and dining areas. The Penthouse was absolutely beautiful and quaint. With 2 sliding doors which opened up the entire area to the outdoors, sitting and relaxing either inside or out was beautiful.
We would not hesitate to visit Puerto Rico again, and would definitely stay at Casita del Coqui! It is a "must see" for sure and an experience all in its own! Thank you again Richard!
Our Private Oasis
Our week at the Casita del Coqui could not have been more ideal. The Casita is charming and comfortable and gave us the sense that we were enjoying the ``real`` Puerto Rico rather than the crowds and resort atmosphere just a few blocks away! The atmosphere is relaxed and homey. Although there are two other suites they are on separate floors and you seldom glimpse the other guests.
There is something deliightful about sitting outside in the morning enjoying the excellent Puerto Rican coffee and luxuriating over breakfast on your private patio among tropical plants and a serenade of tropical birds as a background.
The kitchen is fairly basic but contains everything you need to make light meals and there aremany places to eat nearby. Puerto Rican food is reasonable and particularly tasty so we were pleased to be able to walk to several authentic restaurants. The servers were welcoming and very patient with our limited efforts to communicate in Spanish. More standard fair such as burgers, subs, pizza etc are also close as is a small grocery store which stocks basics you might need. A few blocks away there is a supermarket with a tremendous selection and some particularly yummy cinnamon cookies.
Most importantly the bedroom is peaceful and comfortable with a good quality king bed and nice linens. The little coqui chirps occasionally outside which just adds to the charm of your stay.
Richard is the consumate host, giving us a wonderful walking tour to aquaint us with the highlights and history of the arts area the night we arrived, pointing out different buildings and recommending restaurants along the way. He was always willing to help us plan our days giving us tips on transportation and highlights to see. One nice touch was the library of tour guide books we could take to leaf through and the basket of change available so we always had the right fare for the buses. There are also nice touches like available beach towels and chairs as well as umberellas for the tropicl rains.
The building is also home to a large art collection as well as a museum of authentic religious carvings and we were treated to a private peak and heard the histories of several of these treasures as well as learning some of the symbolism and Rican Culture.
Although we were several blocks from the beach and resort area they were both within walking distance as were a couple of museums. Busses are close, cheap, frequent and efficient with most of the city`s highlights within 15 minutes or so. We did rent a car folr a couple of days but appreciated thed calm of riding the bus as San Juan is a challenge to drive in. Richard mentioned that traffic laws were treated as `suggestions` and we did experience a couple of drivers doing U turns just in front of us on one of the many one way streets. (As the many of the streets accomodate just one car width this can make for some pretty hairy driving.)
This was a very enjoyable vacation and we feel that because we stayed at the Casita we came away with a sense of what life is really like in San Juan rather than looking back at this holiday as just another sandy beach somewhere.
Our mid-May stay at Casita del Coqui was like no other. My husband and I stayed in the beautifully designed/laid out penthouse suite, which was very spacious, comfortable and suited our needs quite well. The 2 sets of sliding french doors that opened onto the private balcony was wonderful as they brought in the cool breezes and opened the rooms up even more. Having access to a fully equipped kitchen, complete with fresh herbs, allowed us to create wonderful breakfasts which we enjoyed on the balcony. It made for lovely easy Caribbean mornings.
Richard was a fantastic host. He took us on a neighborhood tour when we arrived, showing us the local stores, night clubs and cultural venues. He recommended a few restaurants in the area, two of those we enjoyed immensely.
Richard was always easy to reach when needed, even if it was for some simple advice as to which bus to take to get to our destination.
We had a fabulous stay. Thanks again Richard for your hospitality.
Just what we were looking for
We did not want the typical resort hotel. This property was just what we were looking for. A comfortable home base, restful nights and a feeling that we were visiting Puerto Rico (as apposed to some gated resort that could be anywhere in the world),
Richard was a great host and provided a lot of local knowledge that got us around San Jaun with confidence and ease.
Home away from home
it was my first time to use trip advisor and visit puerto rico, and richard was the very first person i contacted. i did not even think twice about staying at his house after i saw the photos. i stayed at the casita for 3 (out of 5) nights only because it wasn't available the first 2 nights. i had to look for another place and would have stayed somewhere else during the whole trip, but i told richard in one of my e-mails i want those 3 nights at the casita, and to think i haven't even seen the place in person yet.
richard was very warm in welcoming me. he was very accommodating, friendly, and helpful. when i had questions and he wasn't anywhere in the house he was easy to contact by phone. he didn't make me feel like he and i just met. he's the kind of person you'd want to be friends with.
his house is nicely decorated and very clean. it's actually a lot better than a hotel, if you ask me. i love the pieces of furniture, the wall decors, and the rooms in his house. i also love the museum on the first floor. the house has everything, and the museums, restaurants, grocery store, and bus stop were just a few steps away. the attachment he sent with his e-mail had all the information i needed but he still made sure i knew where everything was by showing them to me.
it was my first time to travel alone to a place where i don't know anybody, but after meeting richard and staying at his house i am planning to visit again in a few months...alone, with my husband or friends. his house is definitely my home away from home. thank you, richard!
Beautiful Casita in Great Location!
We had a marvelous stay at Casita del Coqui. Richard is a terrific host! On our first day, he gave us a tour of the neighborhood and pointed out all the landmarks, good restaurants, and fun bars. We had such a blast in San Juan and can't wait to return. Thank you, Richard!
Casita del Coqui
Very comfortable, very reasonable, very well appointed with a private museum! Own parking. Near bus to old San Juan. Near highways east/west and to airport. Near art center and art museum. Host, Richard very helpful and provided a personal tour of the locality; including supermarket, F&v; market, restaurants etc. We will return.
Highly recommended 'taste of local life' in arts/cultural distri
This was easily the best experience I have ever had traveling. Richard, the owner, was extremely friendly and helpful-present always in the daytime and always a phone call away otherwise. He thinks of everything from giving you a walking tour of the area, how to cach the local bus system (50 cents), provides all the comforts of home and more!! Very comfortable house decorated with fantastic furniture and art/folk pieces. House is restored to it's original condition and has beautiful tiles, stained glass, wrought iron. For less than a price of a hotel room we had two stories (duplex for two couples) of the home with full kitchen, dining area, patios, terrace, fountain, etc. The airflow through the house was fantastic-the design keeps it cool and comfortable so we never used the aC. We used the full kitchen to cook at least a meal a day and store grocery items. Grocery store right around the corner with good prices. Market with fresh fruits/vegs within 15 minute walk. Very well secured/safe. Richard has thought of any possible need of his guests and goes out of his way to help in any way he can. Just an excellent experience. Thanks Richard!!
Clean, Quaint, Charming, Close to transportation, markets & rest
Casita del Coqui was a very charming, clean and extremely well maintained and run by Richard Holm. We rented the Duplex apartment which gave us the Guest Suite on the 2nd floor and the Penthouse Suite for 2 adult couples. It was very conveniet with parking in front (we rented a car) and was close to buses, a food market and restaurants. Richard was extremely easy to work with and very helpful with his guidance and suggestions. The kitchen was a full kitchen which allowed us to cook our meals. Located in the arts & Cultural District, the Casita was an easy taxi drive from the airport or from the Cruise Terminal. Very centrally located for exploring all of Puerto Rico!!!
Lovely place to stay
I truly enjoyed my stay at this place in april 2011. The place is very clean & homy and centrally located -- close to a museum, market, grocery store, good restaurants, beach, and good access to public transportation (buses). Richard was very nice and helpful. When I arrived, he showed the neighbourhood, where to catch a bus, good restaurants and place to go, which street to take, etc.
I felt so relaxed and refreshed after this vacation. This is one of the best vacations! Thank you, Richard!!
I highly recommend this place!
Perfect Place for Getaway
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Penthouse suite and absolutely loved it!!! Townhouse been restored to its original look with some nice modern touches. Great location with easy access to Old San Juan via local bus, and within walking distance to Plaza Mercado which is really fun on weekends. Many good inexpensive restaurants around. We felt very safe in the area. Great place if you want to stay in more local area and see how locals live. Richard is a great host and always has good advises on places to see and things to do. You should definitely give it a try!!!
New Berlin, Wisconsin
It was like a home away from home
My daughter and I enjoyed staying at the Casita del Coqui. We liked the fact that we were able to cook some of our meals at the casita, and also walk to some neighborhood restaurants. There was a grocery store close by. We also liked the fact that the Casita was away from the typical tourist area, so we were able to experience more of the culture. Also, Richard Holm was a great host as he was available to answer any questions about the area. I would love to return with my husband in the future.
Great local experience
My husband and I really enjoyed our stay here because it was away from the "touristy" area and offered a much more authentic experience. We enjoyed our privacy at the casita and the proximity to awesome restaurants like Godfather's and abracadabra. The bus was easy to use so we could visit Old San Juan at any time. The tour Richard gave us of the neighborhood was really helpful to get us quickly acquainted with our new surroundings. Definitely looking forward to another visit!
a great stay with local people
I usually stay in the tourist areas but this was an educational experience. I practiced more Spanish on this stay because of the locals... who are great people. Prices in the area were much cheaper than where I normally stay. As long as you don't mind a little walking this is a good place. Very cute place and clean as can be.
Great location, host and space.
Having never been to PR, we were looking for a spot that had local flavor, a nice walk to the beach and a unique space to chill out in. As soon as we checked in Richard gave us a walking tour of the neighborhood, which confirmed we made the right choice in selecting our apartment. The beach within walking distance was uncrowded and perfect. (and could rent umbrellas near by), the cafe a couple doors down (Abracadabra) was perfect for coffee, drink or wonderful meal. We stayed in the penthouse which gave us plenty of space (for three) to enjoy.
Made my visit to PR all the more enjoyable
This was my first time to Puerto Rico and my first solo trip and Richard helped to make it a fantastic trip. He showed me around the neighborhood, gave me tips on places to visit, and was overall very helpful. The condo was beautiful, comfortable and I felt right at home. Even though I was a young woman traveling alone I felt pretty safe and secure. Will definitely be staying here again on my next visit to Puerto Rico!
The home I wish to have as my summer house
It was our last-minute decision to locate Casita del Coqui on Tripadvisor as an alternative for hotels, as we've never stayed at a rental house before. I'm glad we did so! I can hardly imagine any hotel experience on a par with our two nights in Richard's Casita.
It is a truly unique experience to live in a penthouse surrounded by tropical plants and herbs, two stories above a tiny museum full of Santo collections and paintings from local artists. The house is thoughtfully maintained, spacious, spotless, and with an artful touch.
Richard hosted us like a local friend. We much enjoyed his little tour around Santurce the neighborhood, where the best art museum in Puerto Rico is just a few blocks away. We felt as visitors, instead of tourists.
I consider resting in a agreeable lodging essential for a romantic trip. Our experience at the Casita is certainly worthy of the price. I am especially grateful that due to our flight delay we missed our first night at the Casita, for which Richard didn't charge us anything.
In sum, excellent place, excellent host, one of our best lodging experience. The Casita is the home I wish to have as my own summer house. And Richard is truly a good friend.
Rice Lake WI
A purely Puerto Rican experience filled with culture & comfort.
This is a lovely place to stay. It was great having our own place to cook and a refrigerator to store our leftovers from restaurants. The bed was comfy, I slept very well. Richard is a great Host. He guided us from the airport, our bus rides and what to see and do while visiting Puerto Rico. I would go back in a minute just to stay here. Billy was a joy also with the Santos museum. Thank you so much.
A real San Juan Experience
We were going to SJ for a conference, and didn't fancy the expensive 'could be anywhere' hotel chains listed in the conference brochure. We found Richard on Tripadvisor, and originally planned to take his condo option. However, unforeseen circumstances led us to book the Casita and floor above instead. Once we figured out the buses to the Convention Centre, and experienced a few taxi rides, we had a great time in authentic surroundings. Richard gave us lots of help and advice on anything we wanted to know. He thinks of everything, but if you could add a hairdryer to the bathroom, Richard, that would be much appreciated!
On the corner is the wonderfully atmospheric abracadabra, a cafe/nightspot where we ate numerous times (friendly, good casual food, great value, and wonderful jazz in the evenings). The Casita also has a museum of santos (religious carvings) which were fascinating. This area is fast becoming the arts district, and the Museo de Puerto Rico is an easy walk away.
In the evenings it was lovely to sit in the inner courtyard of the Casita and listen to the musical cheeping of the tree frogs.
Many thanks to Richard and Billly for an excellent stay: we felt as though we came as guests and left as friends. We will go back another time when we don't have to make the trek to the Convention Centre, and can have more time to relax!
San Jose, California
We just returned from a 2 week trip to Puerto Rico and we loved the Casita. We stayed there 4 nights and then returned for a night before we flew back to the U.S.
The accommodations were perfect for our needs. The accommodations were comfortable, and private, yet we could interact with the hosts as needed. The kitchen was very well stocked with everything we needed to cook. The location of the Casita couldn't have been better. We were close to a couple of really good veg friendly/vegetarian places to eat. The grocery store is just around the corner, and the bus line just a couple of blocks away! We took the M3 to Old San Juan several times, to the Tren Urbano, and a different bus to Condado, and we could walk to Ocean Park.
Richard walked us around the neighborhood...that was a really nice service. It helped us feel better integrated with our surroundings. Both Richard and Billy knew everything about the area and were able to answer any questions we had (even after we left about other parts of the island!). The information packet that was sent to us was super useful and accurate. Everything from what to say to the taxi driver at the airport to where to eat in the neighborhood--super comprehensive. The ( free) WiFi connection was excellent (important for us). the access to the washer/dryer-a nice offering.
It is pretty obvious that the owners know the business...all of the guests needs have been anticipated (change for the bus, umbrellas by the door, mosquito wand, etc.. I can't wait to go back to the Casita!
The value was awesome...a really great deal for all we got (private kitchen, private courtyard, actual room, locl expertise, etc).
Charming, comfortable and affordable.
We had a simply lovely time staying at Casita del Coqui. We were very comfortable with the accommodations and absolutely loved the location. It was off the tourist-beaten path so we were able to feel immersed in the culture but it was also a very easy bus ride to Old San Juan. Every restaurant we tried in the area was good and they were all much more reasonably priced than the restaurants in the Condado and in Old San Juan.
Richard was every bit as helpful and accommodating towards us as is mentioned in the earlier reviews. He really goes above and beyond to make staying there a wonderful experience. The Santos museum was a lovely surprise and we were pleased to have a chance to meet Billy and hear the stories behind the Santos.
My husband was dubious about staying at a vacation rental rather than a hotel but went along with it to appease me. Now he is a true believer. Casita del Coqui will definitely be our first choice for accommodations next time we visit San Juan.
Loved our Stay!
My wife and I just recently stayed at the casita this past weekend in Puerto Rico which was our first time visiting. The casita was just perfect for 2 people. Very clean, king sized bed, air conditioning, and a fully stocked (cooking utensils) kitchen to cook meals in. The casita is in my opinion the best location if you are looking to rent a car and do day trips. You are a 15minute walk to a beautiful beach, resturants that are reasonably priced are within walking distance from the casita. Also a 10minute bus ride to Old San Juan which is a must see. Save an entire day for this! Bus is 50 cents one way, and the are nice. I highly recommend using this as your base, renting a car and going to El Yunque, culebra, and luquillo beach. Lastly, Richard the owner could not have been more accomodating. He went above and beyond, and highly exceeded my expectations. We are already thinking of when we can go back and would definatley stay here again!
A perfect and affordable place to stay with a very helpful host.
The bedroom was very clean. Small but not cramped. It opened out onto a small patio/kitchen area. The kitchen was well stocked and had everything a traveling chef could reasonably ask for. Overall very cozy.
When we arrived Richard was very helpful. He gave us a tour of the area; pointing out some cultural and historical landmarks in addition to the neighborhood stores. If you are a vegetarian (or a picky eater in general) I would recommend holding off on getting groceries until you find a supermax. They have a large selection of faux meats, cheese, and breads.
The cafe around the corner (Abracadabra) was great. Featuring organic and local ingredients it was a nice break from the glut of fast food in San Juan.
I can strongly recommend the casita. The room was great but Richard's knowledge and assistance were the superb. I wish I had checked with richard before making some of our other travel arrangements.
Way better than an expensive hotel!
We really loved the casita. Richard, the owner, was very welcoming and went out of his way to show us around the neighborhood and give pointers of how to get around, where to eat, what to see, and what was happening during the days we were staying there.
It was very clean and comfortable and the outdoor space was perfect - it made the space feel open and fresh. The space is actually not huge, but the openness makes it feel much larger. With a grocery store within walking distance, we were able to enjoy cooking our own dinner every night and then eating on the patio area. The only downside was all of the mosquitoes since we had arrived after a period of lots of rain.
The location isn't on the beach or in the middle of old San Juan, but it worked great for us because we rented a car and you could find a place to park. The bus picks up right on the street if you want to go into town, and if you want to drive all over the island you can easily do so from the casita.
With the price, the host, and the casita, that we found to be quaint and romantic, this stay was pretty much perfect!
Gerald and Diane
Home away from Home
We consider ourselves fortunate to have stayed as guests of Richard's in Oct.2010. The accommodations were very comfortable and we liked the option of a/C or ceiling fan in the bedroom. Richard was a perfect host, helped us get oriented, even recommended some local restaurants for eating out, and some local recipes for eating in.
Within ten minutes walk were the arts center and a national museum, also a fruit and vegetable market. Ten minutes more to reach a beautiful beach area or a local movie theatre. Or from the bus stop around the corner, next to the bank and supermarket, one bus ride (the M3) on a modern bus to Old San Juan, which is loaded with restaurants, parks, and places to visit.
The neighborhood of Santurce is in the midst of transformation. Lots of construction and renovation projects were underway.
We strongly recommend staying at Richard's for anyone who wants to experience real life in San Juan.
Gerald and Diane, Canada.
Miss the Casita!!
La Casita was everything a hoped it would be! It was very comfortable and perfect. I have always loved the Spanish style decor and this certainly had that.
Everything was convenient to get to and we always felt very safe. We had a rental but chose to take the bus or walked several days/nights. Richard and Billy where extremely welcoming and were always there when we needed them. The courtyard and kitchen was neat ( my fav)! We cooked several mornings/nights..it was great! I miss La Casita and can't wait to go back! Puerto Rico was outstanding! We saw and did a lot. Don't rely on the weather... when it says it will rain...it wil be brief and you may regret you didnt go. We were first time visitors and had a very good time discovering where my family came from! Thank You so much Richard and Billy! Hope to see you soon. Will Definitely recommend La Casita to my parents who are traveling in Oct.
Private, Comfortable and lots of Charm
The Casita del Coqui is my favorite place to stay when visiting Puerto Rico. Richard is the perfect host and is happy to answer any questions you may have about the area, local culture, cuisine, etc. It is very private and comfortable with lots of Spanish charm. I particularly love the open courtyard - perfect for early morning coffee or for looking at the stars with a glass of wine in the evening. The sunken kitchen is very convenient and has everything you need to make yourself breakfast , snacks – or even a full meal. The bedroom and bath have all the needed amenities – and is spotlessly clean!
The Casita is located around the corner from the bus stop so it makes going into travelling around the area very easy, economical and convenient if you don't have a car. And, since I travel alone, I feel perfectly safe here – as well as walking around the area in the evening.
I am looking forward to my next trip to San Juan and staying at the Casita again – it’s like returning to my own little home in Puerto Rico.
Casita del Coqui
My favorite place to stay in San Juan
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Casita, and it has now become our favorite place to stay while in San Juan. The location is excellent, in the heart of Santurce, close to the beach, the main highways, Old San Juan, and Condado. We love the clean and comfortable bedroom, and most of all, the private patio and access to a kitchen. The manager of the Casita is attentive to all the needs of his guests. We feel at home at the Casita, and recommend it without hesitation.