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“Faded Grandeur...but still well worth a visit”

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Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Ranked #6 of 80 Hotels in Havana
Reviewed 20 February 2012

We arrived here late after being delayed at Holguin airport, but were quickly checked in and escorted to our rooms. My friend had a lovely large twin room overlooking the entrance with a large, wetroom (for single occupancy). I had a very nicely decorated large single room with a large bathroom...overlooking the garden and sea...what a treat...from previous reviews...I was expecting us both to have small pokey, dingy rooms...perhaps we were lucky...perhaps some people expect more...I had a great night sleep...a good shower...and a very good breakfast for each night of the entire stay (4 nights).

Breakfast - Ok...it's a challenge on the first day...but once you've worked out that you need to go in early or a little later...to avoid the tour groups...it's fine...the food is good quality and in plentiful supply...but the best bit is the man who makes fresh coffee...don't drink the stuff out of the machine...visit the man with the espresso machine! Wonderful.

We didn't eat in the restaurant, but enjoyed several cocktails in the terrace bar....a lovely place to sit and people watch.

Make sure you go on the hotel tour...it really is very interesting and informative...

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the gardens and sea have beautiful views, but the music from the bar can be heard...
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank JulesJEE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,653 - 2,659 of 5,647 reviews

Reviewed 20 February 2012

The hotel should be one of the best in Havana. The beautiful setting with the extensive delightful gardens overlooking the sea. There is a varueity of music and entertainment within the hotel. Sadly it is run with state run indifference to the customers. The quality of the food in the cafe was poor with indifferent service, the quality of the expensive drinks was poor - I can get an infinitely better Mojito in London. One or two of the staff were helpful but the overall atmosphere is indifferent. It is also 'out of town' so you need a taxi to the old town. On a previous visit we had things stolen from our room so had learnt to keep our cases locked and nothing untoward happened this time. Best idea is to stay somewhere else but visit the gardens.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank FoodiePenguin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2012

Visited the Nacional de Cuba in mid January with my wife and another couple. We were given a room with a great view of the sea and Malecon.

The beauty of this hotel is it's grandeur and history. Every area of the hotel is impressive and taking one of the free daily tours (meet in lobby at 11am & 4pm) is well worth while. Some reviews say that the hotel is a little tired but my view is that this is part of the character of this historic building. Would you describe an English stately home as tied?

We ate in the 'Film Corner' cafeteria and found this to be good quality food - pizzas & burgers. We had breakfast in the main buffet 'La Veranda' and found the choice excellent. Freshly squeezed orange is always welcome first thing!

The hotel has had a lot of famous visitors over the years and continues to do so. We were pleased to meet Fidel Castros son Alex who was holding a photography exhibition.

If you are going to Havana I would recommend that you follow in the footsteps of Johnny Weismuller, Jude Law, Frank Sinatra, Edward VIII and John Wayne and experience the history of this hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank redbrowny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2012

Having stayed here as part of a summer holiday I still think fondly of this hotel. It was grand, in a pre-Revolution sense. Architecturally it was beautiful and gave us a glimpse of how things were in Havana in years past. The view of the harbour was amazing, as was the lobby. The covered veranda around the garden and fountain was wonderful, the perfect place to soak up the ambience and enjoy a mojito.

Room Tip: Request a room overlooking the harbour - amazing scenery.
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Brett M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2012

We have stayed at the Parque Central several times in the past but always wondered what it would be like to stay at the Nacional.

When we arrived the check-in was fairly quick but ... we were shown to a room with a baorded-up window which could neither be opened nor seen through! not a great start. We went straight downstairs to complain and were then allocated a lovely corner room (No 329) with windows facing the sea and the central courtyard. We did, though, have to move our luggage and find the new room ourselves.

We stayed for three nights and on the whole it was a positive experience. The pool area is very nice and the staff at the poolside bar very pleasant and friendly. We slept well and the area is much quieter than the area round the Paque Central. Room lovely and bathroom spacious with a separate shower. We particularly enjoyed being able to have sunset and late-night drinks overlooking the Malecon. The breakfast was fine with ample choice, although I found the room where it was served (also used I think as the buffet restaurant, but we never ate there except at breakfast) a bit depressing.

The hotel is in Vedado which probably makes it not the best place to stay if it's your first time in Havana and you want to spend most of your time in the old town (about a 5 CUC taxi ride).
However the Vedado area is interesting as so much normal Cuban life takes place there, and the hotel is much used for conferences, seminars and concerts which can make it quite an exciting place to be.

The main downside is that it's very large, you can wait ages for lifts, and it can feel a bit chaotic. Would I stay there again? Probably, although the Parque Central would still be first choice if I was only staying in one place in Havana.

Room Tip: Room 329 very good. If you don't like the room you've been given, complain straightaway!
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank HispanophileLondon2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2012

this hotel was a nice historic hotel, from the out side and the front lobby and the back garden where great, where 5 stars
but the rest off the hotel was 3 stars, the hotel rooms have had there days
staff where not the best in this hotel,
breakfast was just so badly cooked and staff where so unfriendly
food out side was better,and havana was great

Room Tip: 5th room are quieter
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank nellyotis62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2012

Please see the photos and decide yourself. It's a beautiful building, but it is RUINED inside. Old and smelly blue carpets on the corridors, LOCKED frigobars, photocopied menus, bathroom falling down, bed falling down were some of the little problems that we faced in the state-runned-trash. If you are lucky to have a table for breakfast, it will be dirty. I woke up one day with a monster headache. Went to the frigobar to have some juice, it was locked (I understand this precaution in road's motels. But in a 'pretended' 5 star???!?!). I asked 4 TIMES for the keys and, as they didn't arrive, I went down, with that headache... and having to fight for a free table! DO NOT go. Stay away from this trash. Even considering you are in Cuba, there are other good hotels in town (such as saratoga, marques de san filipe y santiago de bejucal, etc)

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank LMVoyageur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Address: Calle 21 y O | Vedado, Plaza, Havana 10400, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Havana
#6 Luxury Hotel in Havana
#7 Business Hotel in Havana
#8 Romantic Hotel in Havana
Price Range: $191 - $698 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Nacional de Cuba 5*
Number of rooms: 426
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With an exceptional location in the very center of the city of Havana, facing the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the entrance to the Bay of the capital; with a rich and surprising history, combining: milestones; the validity of our history and national culture, have done that since its inauguration in 1930 has welcomed countless personalities of world history, culture, science, sport and politics. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nacional De Cuba Hotel
Nacional De Cuba Havana

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