1st Floor Casita: Historic House: SJ Arts District
From $75 / night
Description from the owner
Description from the owner
Type: Apt. / Condo
Welcome to our guesthouse/museum/gallery in San Juan's Arts & Culture District. If you appreciate art, culture, music & history in a still 'rough around the edges' arts district, this may perfect for your trip to San Juan!
The guesthouse is managed by Caribbean Consulting - a leader in hotel and tourism marketing in the Caribbean. We have a special interest in cultural tourism - hosting an art gallery and museum in our building - a historic 'Santurce' townhouse originally built in 1915.
Since we work with culture & tourism on a daily basis, we rent three guest suites to give travelers a unique experience and help us get feedback about ...Read more
About the owner
About the owner
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1st Floor Casita: Historic House: SJ Arts District San Juan, Puerto Rico
Additional Location Information
Airport Transportation: 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.
Location: The house is located in Santurce, which is about a 10 minute walk 'across the highway' from the Condado and Ocean Park tourist areas. We're just a few steps from Ponce de Leon Avenue, which has frequent bus service to Old San Juan. This has become the center of San Juan’s new ‘Arts & Culture’ redevelopment area.
The house is across from a condo, next to a small residential hotel. A LDS (Mormon) 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.
New PUEBLO supermarket is just 3 blocks away in the Ciudadela Complex. Open 24 hours so even if you arrive late, you can head to the supermarket.
Planet Fitness is just across from PUEBLO and is open 24 hours during the week. If you have a membership for Planet Fitness at home, you should be able to use this branch.
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.
- Abracadabra - a '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 to the left on Ponce de Leon has the San Jorge Hotel and Restaurant (local breakfast and lunch on weekdays), Zal Si Puedes (Escape if you Can in local slang) gay bar with drag queens on weekend nights and a cellphone store. Our guests are welcome to use the coin-laundry in the Hotel San Jorge or use the front desk to book tours and rental cars.
- Two blocks to the right on Ponce de Leon is Calle del Parque. On the way you'll pass La Nueva Escalera for great drinks and loud Dominican music, you'll see the alley where Johnny Depp filmed some of the last scenes in The Rum Diary, Godfather II Restaurant and the bus stop to Old San Juan. Look for Subway and the recently renovated Francisco Arriví Theater.
Turn left on Calle Del Parque and there is also the intimate El Josco cabaret theater and Victoria Espinosa experimental theater. You'll also find El Taco and Cafe del Parque restaurants. 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.
- Back on Ponce de Leon,you'll see Mas Café, Santurce Discount and Libros AC Bookstore and Bistro. Across the street is the plaza for Ciudadela with Pueblo supermarket, pharmacy and food court plus Planet Fitness and Yolo Restaurant.
- Just past Cuidadela is DondeSea food truck, Arturos Restaurant, Naturalismo Vegetarian Cafeteria, another Subway and the entrance to La Girafa Verde - our 'open minded' disco.
A few steps more is the corner of Ponce de Leon and De Diego Avenue and Farmacia Luis. 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 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). Along the way, you'll see Tia Maria (neighborhood gay bar), Mumbai Indian Restaurant, Basico Healthy Kitchen, Hacienda San Pedro (local coffee plantation's coffee-house), BarriO restaurant, Gia Pizzaria, Café de Paris for some of San Juan's best French food and El Meson for typical Puerto Rican pressed sandwiches and great coffee.
- If you continue down Ponce de Leon, it is only a 3 minute walk 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.
- Five more minutes walk brings you past Levels Disco, 3XMan Boutique, La Hoya Eco-bar, Central High School and the Big Blue Church. The street across from the Big Blue Church as Ruben's 24 hour restaurant and the street to Plaza Del Mercado.
- 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.
- A little further on Ponce de Leon takes you to the Metro Theater and Museum of Contemporary Art.
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 11:30pm. During weekdays, service is about every 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 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 Urban Train stop.
PARKING: There is street parking outside the house. If no space is available - just move the orange cone in front of my garage and park there.
Note: like any big city - there can be 'smash and grab' situations - especially if people have GPS or leave items in the car. This happens all over San Juan, so its nothing special in this area, but it can ruin a day of vacation if you have to deal with reports/insurance, etc.
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.
Isla Verde Beaches: 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.
Banks: 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 BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentina). There is also a Banco Popular branch with ATM at the corner of Ponce de Leon and De Diego Avenue.
Nightlife: 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:
- 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).
- 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).
- Tia Maria is Santurce's neighborhood gay bar (4 bocks away).
- Zal Si Puedes is an intimate gay bar in the Hotel San Jorge with drag queens on weekends.
- La Girafa Verde (green giraffe) is our new 'open minded' disco. Rooftop lounge and terrace and second floor disco.
- Levels Disco - across from Fine Arts - open for special parties.
- El Local is a small but very popular club near the Fine Arts Center. Follow the street by the giant Lizard mural down the hill to the stop light. Turn right and look for the storefront.
-Plaza del Mercado bars/street party on Thurs & Friday but also good on Sat and Sunday. (10 blocks away).
- Abracadabra - on the corner has Jazz every Friday night and often has theater or other performances on Wed or Thurs nights.
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 see a 'coqui' tree frog. Mosquitoes blow in when the wind comes from the lagoons during rainy weather (we provide spay and have screens on the bedroom door/windows).
More About This Location
City vacations, Warm winter getaways
Nearest ferry port: Fajardo, 30 miles
Nearest airport: SJU, 2 miles
Car is not necessary