This is probably the best hotel in all Havana. Cuban standards may not be that high but if this hotel was to be in a city in the US it will be a 4 star hotel. I will describe my visit in parts
Check in/Check Out
I stayed at the new hotel but arrived at the old part. When I arrived a a guy opened the door, and I asked him if I could change currency, but he thought I was not a guest so he just told me no in a very impolite way, then he saw my bag and he was just embarrassed.
Then I walked all the way through a tunnel to the other side of the hotel. The check in there was fast and so the check out.
4.5 points out of 5 points
I'm sure that the rooms at the new part are the only hotel rooms build in this century. The design is basic but modern and it offers all the necessities you need. It has a small hd tv with a working desk and a so so comfortable bed.
The things I did not liked was the small space to put our clothes and a very weird bathroom. The shower doesn't has a door and there is a window in front of the bed.
Another negative point was that all of the furniture, even the closets, were dirty. And the view was not great.
And a big hint: DON'T TAKE THE WATER FROM THE MINI BAR, just go out of the hotel take a right and cross the Paseo del Prado there is a small grocery store with bottle of waters for only 40 cents!
4.6 out of 5
In my own opinion, the location is great. It's just next to the Central Park/Capitolio and the Paseo del Prado, in conclusion, the hotel it's in a very nice zone. It's also blocks away from Obispo Street and the Plaza Vieja with the best coffe shop: Cafe Escorial.
5 out of 5
The hotel, at least the new part, offers free breakfast. The buffet basically has cereal, cheese and ham, rice with milk, juices, coffee, and a chef that can do you several types of eggs.
There is also an ice-cream "store" but they are not that good. The bar at the old part is great, specially in the afternoons where you can enjoy the live music
My only complaint was the the very short room service menu, they only have 3 salads and 2 snacks.
Both pools are nice. The one at the new part is more much calmer and slightly bigger. The other one it's a bit more crowded but offers great views of the Capitolio.
I did not used the business center, because this hotel is one of the very few hotels in all Havana to have wi fi. They will sell you an ETECSA wi fi card, ( 1 hour 8 CUC, 5 hours 35 CUC) but you can only use it at the lobby of the old hotel.
There are also computers for you to use but more expensive.
Service was great, Cuban people are very courteous and hard working people. I did not had any problem with any employee, from the porter to the front desk clerk to the waiter, they were all absolutely great.
My only small complaint was the impolite porter at the old section.
It was around 240 USD per night, a bit expensive, but this is because we were 3 people and in the reservation it was marked only 2, so make sure to book your reservation with the exact number of people to don't get higher prices.
All of the other "5 star hotels" will be cheaper but they will not be as nice as this one. The only rival is the Saratoga which is an old hotel, very very pretty but extremely expensive. The Nacional is a nice historic hotel but it's ... old.
The price for other things, except the mini bar, was appropriate. I think that the rate I paid was more than appropriate and after all, it is the best hotel in all Havana, even the Air France ladies and "hot" Virgin Atlantic ladies come here.
Overall.. A 5 star or a 4 star?
It depends.. If you are based on Cuban standards this will be a 5 star hotel right away. But if this hotel was to be in a US city, the new part would be a 4 star hotel and I'm pretty sure the old part too.
If you want the best hotel with with all the basics you need, great service and a good location then this the hotel.
Get a good cell phone package. If you
dont find a cheap one, you can get a cellphone (25 CUC) and rent a line (3 CUC per day) and you can receive calls for free (1.20 CUC to USA)