The San Juan Airport Doesn’t Want You to Find the Hotel
Important tip: When you land at the San Juan airport in Puerto Rico and see signs for the Airport hotel in Terminal D, don’t take them.
I did, and wound up detouring through all the other terminals, then baggage claim, resulting in a 5-10 minute unnecessary power walk at 1AM. (I would have taken a picture of the misleading sign, except I didn’t expect it to be misleading.)
Instead, follow signs to baggage claim and you’ll be A-OK, and at the San Juan Airport Hotel within minutes.
Eventually I got to the right place and a helpful security agent suggested I not take the stairs with all the hotel signage, rather I should walk around the corner cause it was shorter. Sure enough, it was. And since I was exhausted from a long day, I was grateful for any break I could catch.
By using the entrance around the corner you avoid down stairs and then up a long winding ramp. Check in was fast, not exactly a line in the middle of the night, and I was given a queen room on the 4th floor with a view of arrivals & departures.
The room was tiny, but totally fine for one person, two people would definitely have been cozy. At $158 a night I hadn’t realized that it was only a 2 star hotel but I found most of the Trip Advisor reviews to be pretty accurate. It was very basic, with very friendly staff, and most importantly, clean. And yes, the bed is pretty hard.
But everything was very air conditioned, a pleasant surprise when getting in late. I’d assumed it would have been turned off by housekeeping and I’d waste 30 minutes of sleep time waiting for it to cool down. Instead I was eager to snuggle under the covers.
Everything looked dust-free and no hairs anywhere in the room or bathroom. The tub is “no bigger than a pocket handkerchief” but spotless and mold free. And great water pressure and plenty of hot water.
I took a few minutes to explore when I arrived since I figured I’d want to sleep in as much as possible before my flight the next morning.
On the third floor there’s the highly advertised BJ’s Bistro sushi bar, a little more casual than expected (consistent with Puerto Rico) along with some billiards.
They do have a 24 hour gym which was tiny but well equipped. As well as a business center.
And the breakfast room. Reviews rave about the omelette station though I opted to sleep in a bit instead of grabbing breakfast.
Check out was fast and then the fun started. I exited the lobby which opened to a deserted ticketing desk area and shut down security screening. Ah, Terminal D must be around the corner. Nope. (no pictures because I was in panic mode)
Important Tip #2: Give yourself 10 extra minutes to walk to the check in area.
Turns out all airline check in desks and security lines had been moved to a central location, a brisk 5+ minute walk away. American Airlines had been right outside my hotel a few short months ago but now I was sprinting a bit to make sure I made it to the gate in time. I did. Barely.
And not everywhere was as well air conditioned as my room, so I showed up a little sweaty. Not the best way to start a vacation!
But, if you’re prepared in advance on how to find it and leaving enough room upon departure the San Juan Airport Hotel it’s a great option for a layover or early morning flights.
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