THE HOUSE OF ZEN
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
In the heart of Old San Juan, our open-air space welcomes artistic, adventurous travelers. Large windows face the open sea, rooftop cabanas are designed for a romantic, quiet escape, and the local nightlife, castles, beaches, and restaurants are just a short walk away. The floors are historic brick and the old wooden doors and windows are designed in classic Spanish style. Truly a unique island experience in the heart of a historic city.
The House of Zen is permanently closed.
This site is now an example of the interior design by Simon Hawk & Carrilyn Bonafe.
Feel free to contact us for design consulting and artistic inspiration.
260 Norzagaray San Juan Puerto Rico 00901
From Vision to Reality
My husband and I stayed at House of Zen for the first two nights of our 2 week trip to PR, and it couldn't have been a better experience. Carrilyn and Simon greeted us warmly with a bottle of wine and chocolates to celebrate our anniversary, and placed fresh bougainvillea all throughout the house. The place was INCREDIBLE. It's open-air, right by the ocean, and just a short walk (and I mean SHORT) from the heart of Old San Juan. The hosts were perfect. Peaceful and kind, and so thoughtful. We didn't book the entire place (just a room) so they were in and out while we were there (and even surprised us with one night all to ourselves as a sweet gesture. so kind), but honestly, it was more of a joy to have them around than it would have been to have had it all to ourselves! They offered their island expertise, drew us a map of the island, and recommended all of the most beautiful places/best restaurants for us to visit. The house is old, but I think that's part of what makes it so beautiful. For you practical people: There was hot water, wifi, privacy, a kitchen, and mosquito netting around the bed. A taxi from the airport cost us $25. There are amazing restaurants all around. There's no surf here, but it only took a 15 minute drive to find some. The area felt very safe. All in all, we loved our time here. We'll definitely be back. (Also, a fun side-note: Simon is a beautiful illustrator, and he's transformed some of the old, crackling walls into works of art! This was an especially fun and unique part of the home. Both Carrilyn and Simon have put a lot of thought and energy into creating a place that really feels full of peace and beauty, and they've done an excellent job. Our time there was nothing but wonderful.)
Simon and Carrilyn have truly created a house of zen. Overlooking the Carribbean Sea, this open air house is full of love and a majestic tranquility. From the hand made driftwood rooftop bungalow's, to the stunning mural illustrations on the walls, the attention to detail and creativity throughout the house is inspiring. The hosts are gracious, thoughtful and kind. Places, like people, can have a certain energy and these hosts seem to be in perfect harmony with their home. It was refreshing and energizing to live in such a space for a week. All the amenities you might need are provided. Showers are stocked with product, plenty of towels and Carrilyn even made our bed one day! I've never had a host make our bed in a Airbnb before. The home itself is exactly where you want to be. Right on the water (crucial ocean breeze) and steps the best bars and restaurants in Old San Juan. Can't recommend this place enough! We will be back :)
HOZ was a perfect jump off point for my boyfriend and I's long weekend in San Juan. The house itself was extremely unique and the quintessential reason you choose an Airbnb over hotels and their amenities. Everywhere you look in the house has beautiful artwork and great vibes. The lack of a/c was not an issue at all and we came in the beginning of Summer. I would highly recommend for couples, groups, and travelers of all ages. Our hosts, Simon y Carrilyn, were beyond welcoming without being over bearing or intrusive in any way! We even had Saturday night all to ourselves. Between the rooftop views, location, boutique feel, and relaxing common areas (we napped in all of them), this has got to be your best bet if you aren't looking to stay at the Ritz. The house is truly a "house of zen."
Group of friends
Group of 7 friends
"My friends and I were in Old San Juan for one night, and we chose to spend it at the House of Zen based on the pictures and previous reviews. Let me just say that everything is as good as it seems x 10000! It was truly one of the most unique places one could stay, and right in the heart of the city, surrounded by some of the more popular bars and restaurants. The house is very comfy, there are plenty of places to sleep, and the view from the top floor deck can't be beat. Simon was incredibly accommodating, going out of his way to make sure my friends and I had everything we needed for our time there. Our only regret is not staying at the House of Zen for longer!" - June 2016
" From the start our host showed genuine attentiveness in making our trip the best it could be. Communication was excellent, having all our questions answered quickly and effectively. He gave wonderful recommendations of what to see and how to see it. Simon and Carrilyn met us at House of Zen and were so warm and welcoming! They explained all we needed to know about the place and were even available by phone in case any issues arose (which didn't ). We loved the open air concept and though there were some bugs nipping at our ankles at times, bug spray is provided and you just need to use it. If weather permits you must sleep on the roof to fully hear and see the wonderful ocean. Otherwise, to help sleep, Simon has a few fans to keep the temperature just right and to act as white noise to block some of the street traffic at night, if needed. This location is so fantastic to truly feel like a local. You will not regret this choice! Thank you!!!!" - February 2016
“I didn't have the opportunity to meet Simon in person but he was very kind and welcoming, always easy to reach by phone. We stayed at the House of Zen for our honeymoon and it was love at first sight! This house is beyond what we expected, it truly breathes peace. It has the best ocean view, and a wonderful view of an original colonial ruins from the back of the house. I honestly could say this is the most magical and romantic place I've been in Old San Juan. This is the perfect place for a romantic and peaceful vacation.”