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Beautiful 1st Floor Apartment with Patio

Bedrooms 1
Property type apartment
Minimum Stay 2 - 3 nights


About the property

Apartment, 1 Bedroom + Convertible bed(s), 1 Bath, (Sleeps 4)

Charming one bedroom, one bathroom furnished ground floor apartment in historic Old San Juan, located in the residence of the late Master Puerto Rican painter Alfonso Arana.

This beautiful building of restored Spanish Colonial architecture is characterized by thick walls and brick-stone floors; all doors of the apartment open to a private, lush, interior garden. With ceiling fans throughout (no air-conditioned), this lovely apartment has an airy, tropical feel.

This is an “L” shaped, open floor plan apartment with a fully functioning kitchen. The bedroom has a queen size bed, and is separated by an archway from the living room, which can easily be used as a second bedroom. This setting is ideal for individuals, couples, and small families.

Our apartment is on Calle San José, the entryway of which is a gallery space of local artists. Around the corner you is the Cathedral and the City Hall and one block is the main square Plaza de Armas, the supermarket and open cafes.


•San Jose Church (1 block)

•La Casa Blanca, home of Ponce de Leon (1 block)

•The Cathedral, which houses Ponce De Leon's remains (Across the Street)

•Pablo Casals Museum (within walking distance)

•El Morro Fortress (within walking distance)

•Felipe Fort (within walking distance)

•San Cristobal Fort (within walking distance)

•San Juan Cathedral (within walking distance)

•Isla Verde Beach (7 miles)

•Condado Beach (3 miles)

•San Juan Nautical Club (3.5 miles)

Other Puerto Rico attractions include:

•Luquillo Beach (30 miles)

•El Yunque Rain Forest (25 miles)

•Arecibo Observatory (50 miles)

•Camuy Caves (50 miles)

More Details

Luis Alfonso Melendez
Member since: 2008
Speaks: english, french, spanish, portuguese, italian
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 15, 2018

Why Luis Alfonso Melendez chose Catedral

My father, Luis Alfonso, and his two sisters, Rosa and Isabel, spent their early childhood in Old San Juan. Their house was in the Caleta de las Monjas until their departure to France in the early 1970's.

In 1982 their father, the late painter Alfonso Arana, returned to buy this house in Calle San Jose and it became the family home. It is a beautiful building with the patio on the ground floor and beautiful terraces upstairs. My grandfather used to call it 'his Palace'....

In 2009, my father and his siblings, decided to open the house for guests, and furnished the downstairs apartment for vacation rentals. My father lives on the 2nd and 3d floor of the house, my aunts reside in Massachusetts and in Connecticut. We love our Old San Juan home and hope you enjoy your stay there.


Catedral Apartment Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • apartment
  • floor 1
Building Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 2:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Downtown ...
  • Near The Ocean
  • Adventure
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Full 1 - toilet , shower
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 double , 1 sleep sofa /futon
  • The apartment is equipped with a queen size bed and a futon couch that converts into a full size bed.
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Patio
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • duty free shops
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • golf
  • jet skiing
  • parasailing
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • sound/bay fishing
  • spelunking
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • wind-surfing


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(44 traveler reviews)

86% Complete
9% Complete
2% Complete
0% Complete
2% Complete
Beautiful 1st Floor Apartment with Patio
average rating of 4.7727275 based on 44 reviews

Great Stay After the Storm

  • 5 of 5

This is an apartment on the first floor with the decedents of a famous Puerto Rican painter living in the second and third floors. They are very active in the arts and a highly regarded family in Old San Juan. If you’re looking for a five star high end hotel and pay twenty times more, stay at the El Convento. If you’re looking to stay at a centrally located, private apartment ran by a very nice family, look no further.

  • Submitted: Jan 19, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 0

Cute apartment in Old San Juan

  • 4 of 5

Overall we had such a great time staying at La Casa Arana in Old San Juan. It was great to have a place to go that was so close to everything in Old San Juan. The living arrangements were comfortable and met our needs. The buildings in Old San Juan are not only old, but also have restrictions on what can be done to them (updating wise). That being said, there are a couple things that would have made this apartment just perfect. One is screens or something on the doors so they would fully shut and keep bugs out. It was a bit uncomfortable getting out of the shower only to have to grease up with bug spray, but the alternative was worse. There were also just some parts of the building that haven't been looked after (ceiling repairs, wood rot, etc.). Luis was a definite highlight. He was so extremely helpful not just in our accommodations but during the whole trip with questions we had about Puerto Rico! I would definitely return here again!

  • Submitted: Jul 5, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0

Location, Location .. .

  • 5 of 5

This is a great option for staying in Old San Juan. I spent four nights here in April 2016 and was able to explore the entire historical area on foot. It's large, private, and safe, with a private patio. There is a modest kitchen with stove, full size fridge, and microwave. There is no oven. There are many, highly-rated restaurants, bars, and coffee shops nearby. Four blocks down the street is Plaza de Armas. This is a perfect option if you're looking for a local experience. If you're looking for the Ritz Carlton and modern amenities, keep looking. There are many ceiling fans but no air conditioning. Parking is a huge challenge on this street and I would advise against getting a rental car. Furthermore--though it's poorly signed--parking appears to be limited to locals with a window sticker(?). Taxi from the airport is fixed at $20-$24 depending on surcharges for luggage and late night. (Avoid Uber, they are in a war with the cab companies.) Luis is a great host and while he lives upstairs, I never saw him beyond getting the keys. I would stay here again simply because of the location.

  • Submitted: Apr 16, 2017
  • Stayed: April 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

Perfect location! Wonderful hosts! Very nice apartment in the heart of Old San Juan. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Submitted: Feb 20, 2017
  • Stayed: February 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0

10 out of 10 would recommend

  • 5 of 5

The casa arana is magical. A perfect location, spotless, beautiful and spacious, we spent four perfect nights here and would absolutely recommend and return. Thank you to Luis for being such an incredible host!

  • Submitted: Jan 18, 2017
  • Stayed: January 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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2 0

A beautiful, enchanted, cultured place in the middle of Old San Juan.

  • 5 of 5

Words cannot describe my experience. I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful place to stay, nor a more gracious host as Luis Alfonso and Santos. They were so inviting, warm, wonderful and just everything I could ever admire in a fellow human being. Their hospitality is top tier, and Casa Arana is a gem in the middle of a beautiful old city that is so rich in history and culture. The place was spacious, impeccably clean, private, beautifully decorated and more than I could ever have hoped for. The sound of coqui chirping at night while we sat in the garden patio was magical! Luis Alfonso was so attentive, gave suggestions, and made us feel like family, I not only found my second home, but I made new friends. I am forever grateful for my experience, and it is everything I could have ever hoped for when taking my partner to Puerto Rico for the first time. I had been many times before, but never such a wonderful experience. I could write volumes of compliments, but I will keep it short and just say this is everything I could have hoped for and more. Please take a look at the art of Alfonso Arana, as well! Mind blowing surrealism that tells the story of Boricua life in a diverse array of textures, colors and mediums. Thank you Luis Alfonso, I am forever grateful!!!

  • Submitted: May 18, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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4 0


Car: not necessary

Our apartment is on calle San José, the entryway of which is a gallery space of local artists. Around the corner you will find the Cathedral and the City Hall. It is one block from the main square Plaza de Armas, where you can find a supermarket and open air cafes, wonderful restaurants and bakeries. We are very near the 16th century fortress El Morro and a 20 minute walk to the Escambron Beach.

Other Activities: Shopping, boating, biking


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $75
Additional Guest Fee $20 per person per night
Damage Deposit $100

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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