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Hotel Pension San Juan
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A TripAdvisor Member
Sacramento, California
222
Reviewed 17 January 2006

We stayed at the pension san juan for two nights january 8th-10th 2006. we drove our rental car from Cancun to Playa de Carmen and parked a few streets from the main drag and walked around to look for a place to stay since we had no reservations....most places were asking for 90-130 bucks a night and then we decided to look at this hotel...it does not look very inviting from the outside but we were getting tired of looking and went inside...a normal room was $50 a night with a/c, hot water, a fridge and a safe. We looked at the rooms and decided to stay there. they were safe clean and right on the main srtip...also just walk one block and you are at a great spot on the beach. They take credit cards there but they will charge 5% more so we just paid with cash. My one and only complaint was the noise level...there is so much going on in playa de carmen at night that you are bound to hear all of the music and bars, unless you are off the main drag. We also had very drunk and loud neighbors which didnt help. The hotel has a balcony sitting area and kitchen that is really nice that we used everyday. After our stay here we went to Tulum and then came back to Playa de Carmen to stay another two nights....we thought about being adventuous and stayting at a different place. after asking around we went back to pension san juan. They only had supierior rooms availible so we paid $60 a night and got cable tv and a bigger room. but of course it was still loud. Wonderful hotel...would stay there again.
Also if you walk to your left and turn down the first block there is a great restraunt on the left corner that if you buy a $2 beer they let you use there beach chairs and umbrellas all day, and the food is good too.

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
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7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
baltimore
118
Reviewed 2 April 2005

We wanted to go to the Mayan Riviera during spring break but at the same time, we did not want to compete with 135,000 drunk american teenagers for restaurant space in Cancun, so we chose Playa (as it is known by the locals) instead. I found Pension San Juan on the web and was attracted by its prices (US$35 and up/night per room) and its claim of being right at the main street. They were right about that! The hotel is centrally located at Quinta Avenida (Fifth Ave.), one block off the beach! I stayed with my wife, 2 children (9 and 10) and their nanny (20). Since we needed at least 4 beds, we had to take their biggest room which faced the boulevard. The room has a view of the street and people watching will entertain you for hours, as thousands and thousands of people start walking up and down Quinta Ave at about noon and don't go home until past 3 AM! We had literally hundreds of restaurants accesible within a 2-3 minute walk. No car is needed or recommended, since you cannot park in or near the busy streets leading to the main street. Service was great and friendly and the rooms were clean. The AC was C-O-L-D and there is a mid-size fridge and a full sink. There is hot water, which you do not need because tap water is not that cold and we needed the cool water on our backs after 6-8 hours at the beach or after the day-long tours in 90 degree weather. Beds were double or queen, and very comfortable. There was a TV with cable, but all channels but CNN were in Spanish, so the kids will have to watch Dora the Explorer in her original language (how kool is that!)

There is a full kitchen (sanz microwave) up in a nice balcony facing the boulevard on the third floor where you can cook and sit while looking down at the people walking below. If you are a light sleeper, take a room on the back side of the hotel; otherwise, be prepared to be awakened by singing flocks of "happy" locals and visitors roaming the streets until wee hours of dawn. But this should not be an issue the rest of the year. You HAVE to have breakfast at the HOT restaurant about 5 blocks away; ask the desk person at the Pension. Tour buses will pick you up right at the Pension doorsteps and they can give you names of reputable guides. Must see: Chichen Itza Mayan ruins, TULUM ruins and XCARET water park with its underground river. There you can swim with dolphins for 45 minutes but must call ahead and pay US $115/person. The exchange rate was around 10.50-11.10 Mexican pesos for a dollar and everyone will take dollars....plenty of banks and ATM's around. Do not waste money on overpriced Cuban cigars; go to the cigar shop kitty kat corner from the Pension, and ask for Don Mario; he is there every night "torciendo" (rolling) cigars and you can get a freshly made Mexican cigar (just as good or better than a Cuban; trust me, I know, I used to sell Cigars) for US $2-5 or buy a box of Veracruz-tobacco cigars to take home withour the hassle of US Customs papework for Cuban cigars. Speaking of Cuban, treat yourself to Mojitos and the best food south of Havana by having dinner at La Bodeguita del Medio, an official Cuban-government owned restaurant which E. Hemingway made famous on his books, and has several franchises in Mexico. Stay for salsa dancing after 9 PM at La Bodeguita; they have their own Cuban salseros! If the ropa vieja, moros y cristianos and the other cuban plates make you tired,, go for a capuccino a couple of doors down. You will also find sushi, stores and others in a very modern strip mall right past the Ferry piers, about a mile from the Pension. Bottom line: if you are looking for anything above 2 stars, look elsewhere...but if you want to have basic accomodations and save a bundle while spending all day at the beach and coming to a comfy room with AC and nice beds for less than $50-80 per night, then this is your place. Overall, an awesome experience. Will definitively do it again!

  • Stayed: March 2005
    • Value
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18  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2018
Google Translation

Room Tip: no recomendable habitaciones con vista a la quinta avenida por el ruido
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: May 2017, travelled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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