We honeymooned here 10 years ago and found it to be a bit dirty and tired. We were expecting it though and went for the history.
The Habana Libre had overbooked and so sent us here for our first night of our trip while they sorted themselves out. The hotel has dramatically improved since then. We were shown to "Fred Astaire's room"-I bet! We noticed that most rooms seemed to be someone or other's room. It was comfortable and the bathroom worked properly.
They have not ruined the place by doing a strip out and renew type of refurbishment, rather they have fixed things and maintained the place better. I don't know if this is deliberate or due to lack of funds, either way they have managed to keep the opulent, grand atmosphere of this monumental Cuban landmark.
The bar was fabulous, the outdoor seating so comfortable and the bartenders polite and attentive.
Breakfast was a typical Cuban hotel buffet with a good range although the machine coffee was awful. There is a chap making better coffee at the end of the room too though. The orange juice was superb freshly squeezed in the machine in front of you.
I marked the overall down a point because of the blatant prostitution happening. Both the dirty old man foreigner guests and the "ladies" themselves were unbelievably overt. The hotel kept a check on it, a young girl was refused permission to go upstairs to the disappointment of a man in his 60s because they recognised her ID on their system. At least they are doing something.
In conclusion I think this is a must for at least a night, just to take in the grandeur.
- 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