Hotel Mercure Sevilla Havane
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Sofitel...
"My boyfriend and I stayed at the Sofitel Sevilla in Havana, Cuba as part of a twin-centre holiday in Cuba. It was intended to be a dream vacation, but unfortunately was more of a nightmare for me.
The hotel was what I'd describe as 'shabby chic', and was perfectly situated in the old-town, set amidst cigar factories and a short walk from several of Hemingway's favourite haunts.
I cannot fault the friendliness of the staff, including the Cosmos representative at the hotel, however I became violently sick, presumably food poisoning, shortly after breakfast on the first morning! Normally I have a stomach of steel, but obviously not on this occasion.
Although my boyfriend was able to enjoy the rest of the holiday as a single visitor, I found myself hugging the toilet bowl and watching far too much CNN (the only English-speaking channel available) for my own good. Although I could not leave the hotel room for 5 days, and spent a fortune on Cuban prescriptions, I would still recommend Havana as a holiday destination for those wanting a glimpse into a fascinating political situation, but eat the food with caution!
- Travel date: Sat 14th of January 2006
"I was plesantly suprised by this hotel as my general opinion of all hotels in Cuba before I left was not to expect too much! Rooms were clean and of reasonable size and location was perfect. Only issue was the lift (elevator) - it takes forever to get to the ground floor - my friend and I were located on the 3rd floor so generally resorted to using the stairs - not so easy if you are on the 9th floor, disabled or have a push chair though! Leave plenty of time to get up and down from your room if you need to use the lift - you could seriously be waiting for about 20 minutes!
This hotel is located right in the centre of Havana and you are near all the major cultural points of interest.Most within walking distance of about 20 minutes and others a 5 minute taxi ride away.
We stayed for 3 nights in this hotel before heading to Varadero beach and I am really glad we did - whilst Varadero beach is stunning and the perfect place for a relaxing holiday - Havana is real Cuba.
On our second day we went on one of the organised city tours (booked through our travel rep when he came for a welcome meeting at the hotel) which was the perfect way to orientate yourself and get an idea of where all the key cultural places of interest were. The following day we spent the the day exploring the streets by ourselves. I can recommend having your photo taken with a 105 year old camera outside the Capital Building for 1CUC (about 60p) - pictures came out as old style back and white and looked really good.
We only ate breakfast in the hotel which was of a reasonable standard - lovely fresh bread and eggs cooked to order but aside from that the fruit was limited and everything else was a pastry! We did have dinner in the terrace bar on our first night - don't bother - food was not good and was very expensive for Cuba. Instead I can recommend a fantastic restaurant called Los Nardos just opposite the capital building (10 minute walk). Portions were enormous and food was beautiful, as were the settings of the restaurant. Average price was about Â£4-Â£6 for a main meal (including fillet steak!). There are also several other restuarants located near to this hotel - just ask at the PR desk in the hotel for recommendations and directions.
One word of warning - Cubans are generally very nice people but they are out to get whatever they can from you. Walking along the streets of Havana we were bothered every few minutes by someone wanting to show us a really good place, take us to a bar or sell us something. A polite no thank you seems to work though! Apart from one night when myself and my friend (2 girls in our 20's) were going to a bar just around the corner from this hotel and 2 Cuban men followed us in and invited us to sit and have a drink with them. My friend and I did not really want to but decided to just sit and have one drink and then leave - before we could leave after our first drink the 2 Cubans had ordered another round of drinks and asked us to stay - we said we wanted to pay for our drinks then and there and the bar man said no pay at the end this is how we do it in Cuba. ANyway - long story short - we stayed for a few more drinks and when it came time for us to leave we tried to pay for the drinks we had been drinking and the bar man also tried to make us pay for the drinks the 2 cuban men had been drinking. The Cuban men had told the barman up front that we had invited them in and asked them to sit and drink with us and that we would be paying the bill. The total bill was about Â£90 for the evening and my friend and I had agreed to pay about Â£60 of it but the Cuban men said they did not have the rest of the money and a big argument ensued where I had to threaten to call the police as they would not let myself or my friend leave the bar. A man actually stood in our way and refused to move. After several attempts at reasoning I then had to get really angry and start shouting for the police through the door before they would let us leave. SO BE WARNED!!!! Pay for your drinks as you go when you are in a bar and by all means get to know the locals but make sure you don't fall into the same trap as we did!
All in all, Havana is an amazing place not too be missed when you are in Cuba and this hotel is in a perfect location for exploring the city!"
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of September 2005
Viva Sofitel Sevilla!
"First of all: the hotel is in Cuba, so don't expect everything to be perfect. The hotel is great, a no brainer, just go there. In my opinion it is nicer than the NH Parque Central, which is a couple of blocks away. The Patio Sevillano, with constant live music, is the place for a mojito after long walks though Havana. The rooftop resturant has one of the best views I have ever seen. Just go there to admire the magnificent views, you won't regret it. The hotel is very well located, 2 blocks from Parque Cental, next to Museo de la revolucion. 4 blocks from the Malecon. I will go back to the same hotel someday."
- Travel date: Tue 6th of September 2005
Poor value for money
"Stayed here for 2 nights and was disappointed for a number of reasons. The hotel room was not adequately cleaned. The quality of the furnishing was poor and a little grubby . The air conditioning was not sufficient to cool the room adequately. The elevators in this building are extremely slow and you could wait 5 minutes in the lobby which is not air conditioned. The breakfast was also poor. The food preparation areas were not clean with cutlery on the table which has not been washed properly. On the positive side the restaurant on the top floor has a magnificient view of the city. Compared with the NH Parque central where we also stayed for 2 nights(which is cheaper,clean,cool, comfortable and has an excellent breakfast) , this hotel represents very poor value for money"
- Travel date: Mon 15th of August 2005
Will stay here again
"Ok myself and a friend stayed here last September (I know this review is a bit late), We thoroughly enjoyed it here, no problems with staff We had a small problem woth our toilet which was fixed within an hour, the rooms were large and COOL (v. important) the terrace restrount ontop of the hotel was closed during our stay (Hurrican Ivan had been a couple of days prior) but the bar and little terrace area downstairs was excellent bar staff very attentive and live music each night. the pool area was very nice, clean with a good snack bar, and a very welcome break from the heat.
All in all I encountered nor did I see anyone encounter any difficulties while here. And a tip for the first time traveller, (dont say it's your first time in Havana to anyone) this may help you get rid of the jinteros quicker (guys who walk around with you on the streets)
Oh and take a small torch as power cuts are frequent!"
- Travel date: Mon 15th of August 2005
Had great room
"Had great room so good stay. Cleaning a bit patchy despite tips. Nice pool. Good cafe open 24 hrs. Mojitos at Hotel Inglaterra are half the price and just as good"
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of August 2005
Wouldn't have stayed anywhere else
"We stayed in the Sevilla for 4 nights before heading onto Trindad. This hotel is exactly how you imagine buildings in Havana should look like, as are all the public areas inside. Aesthetically, it is perfect. We had set off to Cuba with not particularly high expectations of the service and the food. Everything we had read prior to the trip said both these areas left a lot to be desired. Perhaps because of our expections, we found both to be adequate at the Sevilla, the only exception being the service in the restaurant. We did only have breakfast at the hotel, never dinner, but there was always a good choice and always eggs cooked to your specification. On the downside, as per comments made by other reviewers, the service is the restaurant is bizarre. Meals are by way of a buffet and we discovered early on that we had to get up from the table separately because if we left it unmanned it would be cleared, or given to other guests!! It is common to get up to grab some sugar for your coffee and return to your table to find your coffee and all of your breakfast that you had barely started has gone and other people sitting at the table. Very confusing! You do also have to lay your own table quite often! On these matters, the staff varied from very helpful/apologetic to completely unresponsive. Perhaps we are too lenient, but once we realised the way to go about things this situation didn't bother us. It is all part of the fun of travelling. We never expect things to be the way they are in our own country. One thing that did irritate occasionally was that the restaurant always smelled very strongly of fried food - enough to make your clothes smell like it for the rest of the day, but on further travel across Cuba we found this was common place in restaurants! The courtyard bar/snack bar is an excellent hang-out after a day of sightseeing. Always live music and good drinks - particularly good atmosphere around happy hour/early evening. Our room wasn't the biggest we've ever stayed in but was big enough for it's purpose, very clean and nicely decorated. The pool is also a lovely area and the pool staff and pool snack bar staff were very friendly. Overall, we loved this hotel, it is in a great location and would stay there again."
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of July 2005
Great from outside, not so good inside.
"This hotel is great for visiting Havana and I would go there again for this purpose. Make sure you see the front entrance at night as well as at day-it is gorgeous. The room was quite big and spacious and it had a lovely view from the balcony. However, it was very musty and damp and we often didn't have running water in the bathroom. It was the first day after hurricane Dennis so this probably didn't help. The snack bar was great to look at with a very good atmosphere (live music the whole time), but the food was poor and overpriced. Same for the drinks. The buffet breakfast was chaotic and wasn't very good. Choose your timing carefully. The people working in there were not friendly. Ditto for the reception where after a week in Guardalavaca, they seemed very unfriendly indeed! The views from the 9th floor restaurant were amazing but we didn't have time to eat there so can't comment on the food. We think it's better to ask for a room with 2 single beds as opposed to a double as it would appear that this will get you a bigger and far superior room. Overall, it's ok but don't expect luxury."
- Travel date: Sat 16th of July 2005
Fantastic hotel in the heart of Havana
"We stayed in the Sevilla for 3 nights and couldn't have asked for a better hotel.
We were amazed by how luxurious the hotel lobby was and the rooms were large, light and airy. Ok so they weren't amazing by British hotel standards but you're in Cuba and this was definitely one of the best hotels in Havana.
The maids were fantastic, making towel swans and writing us little notes every day and the people on reception were always helpful.
Breakfast was really good (at the time I thought it was ok but after spending 2 weeks eating Cuban food I realised just how good the food at the Sevilla really was).
The main selling point of this hotel for me was it's location, right in the centre of old Havana. This means you can walk to all of the main attractions at any time of day (it is perfectly safe to do this). There are people who will try to get you to take their taxi or buy cigars from them from outside the hotel but we found that a polite 'no gracias' was enough to get them to leave you alone."
- Travel date: Sat 9th of July 2005
Loved the Sevilla
"Stayed here for 3 nights prior to a trip to Varadero and loved the hotel.
The room which was a single was spacious with a double bed. It was nice and cool thanks for the tiled walls and floor. I was on the 7th floor and over looked the pool and had a view of the Capitol (see pics). It also had a fridge which was great for keeping the botles of water cool.
The bathroom was well appointed with plenty of hot water and nice fluffy towels.
Food was good, better than most reviews of Cuban food generally led me to expect.
The breakfast was varied with plenty of fresh fruit as well as cold and hot meats, cheese, eggs, bread with loads fo fruit juice and coffee. A typical European style buffet breakfast really.
I had dinner once in the 9th floor restaurant which is a fantastic place with good views and also once in the buffet with the buffet having a good choice of meat, fish, rice and vegetables.
The lobby bar and the lobby itself is a great place to lounge around watching the world go by and the hotel also has a bank, cigar and souvenier shops and a pharmacy.
Electric points are 110v 2 flat pin sockets.
Well recommended hotel in a great location with friendly polite helpful staff and thoughly recommended.
Any Q's just ask."
- Travel date: Sat 4th of June 2005
"In may 2005 I staid one night at the Sevilla Hotel in La Habana. My room was really tiny as well the bathroom. It was the smallest bed- and bathroom I ever had in any so called 4 star Hotel.
The food in the rooftop restaurant is very mediocre to say at least. I had a peppersteak without pepper.
The big advantage is the location. And it's probably the only central located hotel with a garden and pool.
Would I stay there again? I don't know"
- Travel date: Fri 27th of May 2005