11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
We stayed at this hotel over Xmas for 3...
"We stayed at this hotel over Xmas for 3 days. Its location is perfect. Dead central but not noisy at all.
You have Old Havana at the front of the hotel and Havana Centro at the rear (where the real Cubans live and cheaper) and the sea and Malecon about 10 streets away in all directions! Brilliant! You're sort of on the corner near the harbour.
The rooms were enormous with huge ceilings and the beds were very big but were disappointingly hard. There was a huge picture frame with a padded sort of material picture adorned with tulips right across the back of the beds filling almost the whole of the wall. Very impressive!
The bathroom was lovely but the shower was hanging off the wall, (but still usable if you're careful) there was no toilet paper or holder and the shower curtain was very mouldy. The room was impressive and pretty but needed a really good clean!
The dining room was straight out of the 1920s with ornate ceilings and authentic furnishings with slatted windows and breakfast was pleasantly acceptable but the only minor complaint was that the fruit juice was out of a carton, not fresh, like the other hotels.
Right behind the dining room, there is a mosaic-tiled bar with a water fountain, what a beautiful, splendid, restful place this is, a real oasis.
The hotel guards were really fantastic, friendly and lovely. The receptionists were helpful too. Don't be afraid to ask them anything, they are the only ones who won't charge you!
Right outside your door, there is a taxi rank and horse and carriages. I would strongly recommend taking a tour round Old Havana in the horse and carriage to get your bearings and it costs 20CUCs, well worth it.
One word of warning though, they'll offer you cheap cigars and they suck you in and convince you that they're your friend and the only genuine people in Havana, DON'T DO IT - THEY'RE FAKES! You have been warned! Havana is well worth a visit."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of December 2006
Fine not great
"I was at the Telegrafo from 16 to 19 April. Front desk not friendly but helpful. Buffet breakfasts fine not ample, the fruit was awful but I found this true at the other Havana hotel we stayed at also, the fruit in the provinces is a whole different story! Had to obtain napkins (clean of course) and silverware from nearby tables as waiters rarely bothered to approach our bare table, this was true all three mornings. Coffee being an important part of my morning, instead of hoping a waiter would come by I went directly to the bar to get it. Main elevator broke down second day so had to use service elevator, at least we didn't have to climb stairs unless we wished to do so. The room was great as was the bathroom. The location is good, only a ten minute walk to Habana Vieja. I would stay here again despite the drawbacks, although I would also enjoy experiencing other hotels in Havana."
- Travel date: Tue 17th of May 2005
Good rooms - great location - when there's water!
"The Telegrafo is in a great central location for exploring Old Havana. The rooms are spacious with good decor and clean. The air conditioning is effective and quiet. There is a good bar with a nice atmosphere and typically cuban style service (slow). Breakfast is buffet style and adequate. We stayed here for 2 nights out of three booked - the first night the hotel had no water so we were efficienlty moved to an out of town hotel. This was inconvenient, but handled with precision and apology."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of February 2005
Good food, friendly staff but as with all Cuban bars, check bill
"Clean premises, good food in restaurant, but the service is v slow. As with all bars etc in Cuba check your bill. We dined there at least 10 times & only twice was the the bill was accurate, once the error was in our favour. Maybe arithmetic is not a forte in Cuba. Some times the error was the inclusion of items which we did not have (eg bread etc). Otherwise we were happy, food was tasty & reasonably priced by Havana standards - hence the number of return visits.
Bar has relaxing live music on Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun evenings.from a group of 4/5 talented musicians including a beautiful female singer (nice voice too !!!) The mucic while mainly Cuban has an international flavour & her interpretation of Procul Harem's "Whiter Shade of Pale" is particularly soulful.
Rooms are spacious & include a safe. Bar has 2/3 internet PCs for tourist use.
Only thing I didn't like was the fact that there is a "sentry" outside the toilets with plate on table for tips (I'm just not used to paying to perform bodily functions)"
- Travel date: Sat 11th of December 2004
Great location and a nice hotel
"We are just back.
Great location and elegant foyer. Lovely stylish bar and pleasant breakfast room. All the habaneux run hotels were of a similar standard.
Room was fine, clean , hot water, good bed, nice view. Helpful staff.Dont expect the Ritz anywhere in Cuba.
If you book direct make sure you have confirmed the rate.
Havana is superb"
- Travel date: Tue 23rd of November 2004
"I stayed in the telegrafo for two nights. During the stay I visited the bar, back the entry. This was a nice bar and I intoduced my friends. This was oke. But later I met my wife from Cuba. And I like to drink something with her too overthere.
But the waiter yeld to her what is she doing here and or I was staying in the Hotel. I said, yesterday etc..etc. Like dogs we throw out........."
- Travel date: Fri 1st of October 2004
great hotel in great location
"Stayed in the Telegrafo a few weeks ago.
hotel is lovely, excellent breakfast, staff friendly, rooms nice and clean
this hotel is very central for touring havanna and cocktails cheaper than in other hotels.
would go back to this hotel as good value for money and very central to havanna sights.
the only other better hotel is the five star - park central for a special occasion."
- Travel date: Wed 29th of September 2004
Good choice for old town
"Very well situated for the main sites in Havana. Service better than we experienced in many of the Hotels in cuba. Breakfasts good and their hamburgers are excellent. Other meals -sometimes food on the menu not available. Friends that visited us at the hotel said it was better than the plaza hotel also on the park
Get a first floor room (these have balconies that overlook the Central Park - great for people watching). Interesting decor as the hotel has left some of the original building arches in the bar area and decorated the wall their with a beautiful mosiac."
- Travel date: Wed 22nd of September 2004
Good hotel for Havanna
"The Telegrafo is a nice, clean hotel. Not spectacular but we had a good service. The receptionist gave us the number of a private Salsa instructor and that was really good. The rooms are very clean, modern and with good beds. The hotel is central.
No need to think about security, the advisor who wrote about it seems to be not a real cuban traveller. I have been all over cuba and can say the Telegrafo is a good deal. It is good situated too.
Just some other tipps to cuba:
Never talk to the amigos in front of the hotels, never ever buy a cigarre from them. If you travel around go to San Diego de los banos and buy cigarres there (1 Dollar and best quality).
The people in Havanna are all after your money, there are a lot of prostitutes, beggars, a....
but it is not all over cuba that way.
Go to Sancti Spiritus and Cienfuegos, wonderful places, very friendly people - if you want i can give you adresses for there too.
Just never stay in the Los Jazmines in Vinales, it is the worst hotel in cuba, from the service one of the worst in the world.
Cuba itself is great, just go to other places then Havanna or Varadero too!
wish you good holidays
- Travel date: Fri 17th of September 2004
Cuba's Boutique hotel
"When I first walked into the Telegrafo (and especially the bar area), I thought I must be in a Phillipe Starcke-designed hotel. The decor is funky and the rooms airy and quite comfortable. I found the service to be quite helpful and very eager to please. The location can't be beat - even if you elect to stay at another hotel, I would definitely advise staying as close to the Parque Central as possible. You also can't beat the price for the quality and location of the hotel. The rugs in the hallways are a bit warn, the towels were not thick and the one elevator is a bit slow, but these are the only drawbacks to the hotel that I can think of. The beds were very comfortable, the bathrooms large and the rooms spotless. I note that while the hotel is in a very good area, security is very tight there and if that is a concern for you, you wouldd feel quite comfortable there. There is also a safe in the room that is available for use for no extra charge. I would recommend the Telegrafo to anyone and plan on staying there again. The price included a buffet breakfast and the food was of good quality and as varied as any buffet I came across in Cuba."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of June 2004
Great rooms, service and location!!
"We stayed at the Telegrafo from 24 May to 6 June 2004. The hotel is great. Located at Parque Centro, it sits right between new and central Havana. The best of two worlds.
The hotel is of the Art Deco variety. Very stylish. You first walk in to the hotel into a cosy lobby, with high celings and marble floors. To the left is the restaurant, to the right the reception desk, shop and tourism desk. As you walk to the lift which is straight ahead you pass the bar on the left also. We stayed on the third (top) floor .
To go downstairs, you can always take the lift but I would recommend the gorgeous black marble staircase, which takes you directly into the bar area. Here you can e-mail your friends back home, (you have to buy a ticket from Reception though). It's best to do that quite early or late as the bar has a glass roof and the direct sunlght can make it difficult to read the computer screen. The internet was not as slow as I expected.
We ate out for the first week we were there but had a wonderful suprise when we decided to try the chicken sandwich in the bar one lazy day, it was so nice, we decided to go for the burger the next day. We were very unsure (Visions of the Mcdonalds flat hamburger came to mind, but when they came the burgers were amazing. A definite must, if you stay here.
There is a terrace bar, which overlooks the park. Its quite small with only about six tables. the great thing about here is that there are security guards on the entrance so you don't get hassled too much by people trying to sell dodgy banana cigars, and you get the music from the Inghilterra, a couple of doors down. The inghilterra may be slightly cheaper for drinks, but the service you get at the Telegrafo more than makes up for the 50 cents more! We went to the inghilterra terrace bar and waited for 20 minutes with no service so we went back to our own hotel. 15-20 minutes is about right for most of the hotels. We went on a bit of a pub crawl around the different hotels and by far the best was the Telegrafo, and they didn't skimp on the Rum like some of the more expensive hotels!
One word of warning though. I would recommend the Telegrafo to everyone but I would also warn anyone staying there to check the seals of the bottled water in the minibars in your room. We didn't notice for a couple of days, but some of the bottled water tasted a bit suphury. We checked the seals and some of the bottles ahd been filled with tap water! Not all of them, so when we realised we made sure to only drink the sealed ones. I did have a bit of a dodgy stomach, but didn't have the heart to complain because the Maid would have probably lost her job, and she worked so hard on keeping the room cleaned!
All in all, we had drink at the National, Seville, Inghilterra, NH Parque Centro and a few others. The Telegrafo is the BEST!!"
- Travel date: Fri 4th of June 2004