I stayed six nights in the Hotel Nacional, after staying four nights in Cienfuegos at the Hotel Jagua, as part of a ten day tour of Cuba. It has a very interesting history, from its glamour days before the Cuban Missile Crisis, and its survival of the years to now. As far as being a comfortable hotel, and a first rate world class hotel, it is not. It is comfortable but is no longer world class. The bathroom fixtures are old and tired, the bed was old and tired, and I got a couple of bites from something during the stay. It was centrally located for our tour group and a wonderful place to watch the sunrise come up over the Malecon! I used it as a spectacular backdrop for photos of old cars as they passed on the street below along the Malecon. The peacocks that strutted around the property were interesting.
I enjoyed the view from the veranda and the entertainment each afternoon before dinner. I had breakfast each morning in the lobby level breakfast area rather than the "upscale" restaurant downstairs. There was never a crowd and the food was sufficient and similar to what one would find in an American mid-level hotel. Every time I ate there I would hear the voice of the tour guide saying that for ever tourist meal that the hotel served, that was one meal not available to the average Cuban.
Staff were generally attentive and polite except for the breakfast service. When food ran out, there were no replacements brought out.
When ranked against hotels in Europe or the US, and even South America, the hotel falls short as a good hotel. However, I rank it high for its historic past and its spectacular location above the Malecon.
- Also Known As:
- Nacional De Cuba Hotel
- Nacional De Cuba Havana