14 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Great place in Havana
"Lovely place in Havana...was our first trip to Cuba and didn't disappoint us at all, clean room with plenty space and marble bathroom, breakfast buffet with plenty of choice. A la cart restaurant good price and value. Fantastic view from our room over the city. Great loby bar with live jazz music, different every night!!! Piano player too...will recommend it."
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of August 2014
My review about Cohiba hotel
"Really enjoyed my stay at the Melia Cohiba in Havana - very nice hotel with great pillows! :) Food was excellent at breakfast and our last dinner at the Italian restaurant was good - pizza was excellent, pasta was a little bland. The pool area is beautiful, front desk people were very helpful - all in all, an excellent experience. Clean with excellent price money service product offer.
- Travel date: Sun 6th of July 2014
Brilliant isnÂ´t enought
"We went this may to this hotel with a group of colleagues from Columbia university in a mix work holidays trip. The hotel over exceed my expectations in an overall way. Would say that room was spacious and clean,very clean as the rest of the hotel areas too, 6 lifts takes you to the floor 21 in total ... we stayed at room 717 with nice city view. Food breakfast is buffet style with great variety , bars with live music every evening perfect to chill out after a work shift day, good price for money on drinks, try Mohitoes !! Staff is friendly and helpful ask for Hiran at customer service desk. Plenty people enjoyed pool but we didn't it looks nice any case.."
- Travel date: Mon 19th of May 2014
The Melia Cohiba hotel is a splendid, dazzling
"El Melia Cohiba is stunning for its great beauty, it is a hotel full of magic, delicacy, and many details, where the elegance and good taste are in every part of the hotel, whenever I go to the hotel I'm really impressed by the charms, there I feel intense feelings and deep emotions,
there are restaurants like the Med, Piazza and others more they are spacious, decorated with exclusive taste pools very clean and very comfortable for swimming, there are bars like the Lobby Bar Gran AÃ±ejo where listening melodies played on the piano by different composers, the reliquary a cozy place where you can take a good cafe, adorned with a special taste, La Casa del Habano a nice place where you can hear excellent bands and buy very good quality tobaccos and rums, the hotel has Center of business, internet WiFi, gym, shops, hairdressers, money exchange, is a hotel with all the comforts
desire to congratulate all the people who work at the hotel, but especially its Director General Juan TuÃ±Ã³n which is very entrepreneurial, trained, concerned, dedicated, I appreciate and value what makes every day, thank you, Marta
- Travel date: Fri 21st of March 2014
5* hotel in cuba? not possible...!?!?
"was completely supprised by this hotel, amazing, down to every last detail, was told you could not get 5* quality in cuba but this proves there wrong
the only draw back is that its not central"
- Travel date: Mon 28th of January 2008
World-Class Hotel in Havana
"World-Class Hotel in Havana
I was warned before coming to Havana that âhigh Western standardsâ do not apply in Cuba. Luckily for me, the Melia Cohiba is one of the more modern, convenient and well-serviced hotels in Havana. I would highly recommend the Melia Cohiba, Vedado to anyone visiting Cuba.
Positives: Great service generally, especially the concierge. Pool and surrounding area (including gym) are huge and beautiful. Room service is prompt and reasonably priced. Maids are excellent and trustworthy. Hotel is very well-located for restaurants, jazz clubs and the boardwalk (called the âMaleconâ). There is both a supermarket (not well-stocked) and an excellent jazz club called the âJazz CafÃ©â directly across the street from the Melia Cohiba. Although the hotel is relatively far from Old Havana, we made good use of the free, reliable hotel shuttle service almost everyday during our six-day stay.
Negatives: My one complaint about the hotel is the business centre, which is not well-staffed and is overpriced. It is also important to keep in mind that the hotel has not been renovated or upgraded in several years, so the room dÃ©cor feels outdated.
General Havana tips: It is a good idea to stock up on water at the supermarket as bottled water is better-priced at the market than at the hotel. Do not expect to buy any American-made goods, produce or fresh bread at the supermarket â like most stores in Havana, it is very low on goods. You can play tennis for Cdn$5 at the Hotel Nacional . We brought our own tennis racquets and balls so did not have to pay rental fees.
Beach tips: There are no beaches in Havana proper. We found a reasonably priced (Cdn$25 return) taxi driver to bring us to two beaches in the east: Playa Megano and Santa Maria del Mar. Megano was less crowded and had an excellent live band. Santa Maria was livelier, more popular among Cubans, but much windier.
Restaurant tips: Great restaurants where we generally ordered fish: Paladeria âLas Tres Bâ (Calle 21 No. 164 Altos, between K and L, Vedado), La Floridana (Hotel Florida, Calle Obispo 252), El Mercurio CafÃ© (Plaza de San Francisco â great for breakfast), La Taberna de la Muralla (Plaza Vieja), El Conejito (Calle M, between 17 and 19).
Great jazz and other clubs: La Zorra y el Cuervo Jazz Club (Calle 23 and O, Vedado), Jazz CafÃ© (across the street from the Melia Cohiba), El Meson de la Flota (Mercaderes 257).
Tips for a future trip: There is a Cdn$10 fee to use the minibar in the hotel room, regardless of whether you consume any minibar items. If you decide to pay for minibar access, you might as well consume Cdn$10 worth of items to make it worth your while (we did not). Two restaurants we did not have a chance to try: La Rocca (Vedado) and Los Nardos (near the Capitolio)."
- Travel date: Sun 30th of December 2007
"We stayed at the Melia Cohiba as part of a twin centre holiday with Melia Cayo Guillermo.
Fantastic hotel. Our room was excellent and the staff were very friendly. Good choice of bars and restaurants. An ideal location in Havana.
Another reviwer stated that the maids at Melia Cohiba are thieves. This is a gross generalisation. My wife left her watch in our room and we realised once we'd left Havana. However, the maid handed it into reception and it was sent onto us in the Cayo's. Therefore, it's a shame to cast the maids as thieves."
- Travel date: Sun 23rd of December 2007
"The Cohiba was not my hotel of choice. Would have preferred the N H PARQUE, but purchased a combo package with Varadero and could not substitute. Is situated in close proximity of the Malecon and that was (for us) the only attraction. It is otherwise a high rise, modern complex compareable to any of its' kind in other western cities we have travelled to. Found it very clean and service somewhat impersonal. We were kept waiting to check in while the attendant carried on a very lengthy personal conversation on the phone after our very slow ride from Varadero. I know, I speak fluent Spanish. So, I was not amused while she carried on and on......Was so tempted to say something but I have a thing about starting something on a negative note.
Breakfast buffet (INCLUDED) was very good but ordered a hamburger with fries (5 to be exact) to share with my spouse and two ginger ales by the pool on our last afternoon, 20.00 CUC'S. Very pricey. The other interesting aspect of the hotel was the view of the ocean and Havana. Havana was definitely a bitter sweet experience . A crumbling city that has stood still in time. Yet one cannot help but appreciate its' old world charm (WHAT IT COULD BE) and extraordinary people with amazing spirit. Took a long walk on the Malecon one night. It looked intimidating but the Cubans were friendly. There were small parties with people singing and dancing. Quite a unique experience. I wanted to see Havana before there is a MacDonald's on every corner. Just watch the pot holes when walking at night. Don't forget the street lighting is not very bright. Took a tour of all the Havana sights. Very interesting just very hot. The city is not dirty in the sense that there is garbage visible but obviously the smell is noticeable on a hot day due to the very outdated sewage system and a growing population. A city of contradictions- beauty, sadness, but unlike anything you will ever see. Keep an open mind and enjoy!!"
- Travel date: Mon 26th of November 2007
Great by Havana Standards
"Stayed at this hotel for 6 nights in late July 2007.
Hotels in Havana during the tourist season tend to fill up fast so most of the other hotels were already full by the time I booked (10 days before). At the time I would have prefered to have stayed at the NH Parque (which was full), but in hindsight the Melia Cohiba didn't let us down.
Firstly, before I would start - do not come here expecting western standards. Certain things in Cuba - notably the financial system and communications do not make this possible. You may book this hotel in Euros over the internet but be ready that you will need to pay in CUC's (Cuban Tourist Dollars) or with a non-US Credit card that will attract a heft surcharge (up to 10-12%). I recommend though that you book beforehand and confirm the rate. Rack rates in Cuba are exhorbitant. As for communications the business centre and internet was frustrating, but this had more to do with the communications that the hotel. Likewise global roaming calls on your cell in Cuba attract a charge of US$7 a minute.
The rooms (and for that matter the Hotel) are a little dated but again so is the whole city. Restaurants and the buffet breakfast were more than reasonable. The Pool scene was excellent. They had a cigar shop and bar on the 2nd floor which was a treat.
The one downside to this place was that is a taxi ride (10 mins) to the Old Part of Havana."
- Travel date: Sun 21st of October 2007
4 star Melia Cohiba
"This hotel looks old , when you walk in you still can feel the last pieces of the charm this hotel once had. The service and staff was good here compared to other hotels we have been to in Cuba. The room was like the hotel a little over dated. The swimming pool area was nice and the food there soso. This hotel is a little out of the city center (10 min by cab to old Havana). We also went to the National hotel and also this hotel needs to have some renovation. Overall one of the better hotels in Havana but like Havana itself it really need to have a facelift beacuse everything in the whole city is falling apart."
- Travel date: Fri 12th of October 2007
"After having some booking problems with Thomas Cook we were told we couldn't stay at the National as we had wanted, but there was availability at the Melia Cohiba. The travel agent had stayed there and said we would like it.
When we walked in it was a case of 'wow, we like this'. Our room had been upgraded to a suite on the 14th floor (there are plenty of lifts and plenty of bellboys to take your cases). We had huge windows overlooking the pool below, the sea, and a lot of residential Havana. The lounge in the suite had two settees, dining chairs and table (which was laid with fresh fruit, bottles of rum and water and cigars), an adequate put up bed for our daughter, tv, coffee maker and coffee, small table, mini bar, phone etc etc.
The bathroom had a good shower and bath, a loo (with a phone next to it!), bidet and good collection of complimentary toiletries.
The hallway of the suite had plenty of space for storing suitcases and luggage.
And our bedroom had two huge beds, complimentary dressing gowns, more than adequate clothes space (and even enough hangers) and a small table and chairs and a tv.
Everywhere was spotlessly clean and kept that way.
As for the rest of the hotel - there are five different restaurants there and several bars. We ate in the buffet restaurant there for two nights and were more than happy with the choice and quality of food, including for my vegetarian daughter. We also ate in the Havana cafe where the food wasn't quite as good but the entertainment in there more than made up for the food.
The swimming pool was very clean and good. There are two pools - one is about four feet deep throughout and the other six feet which also had a jacuzzi corner built into it. You are handed a fresh towel every time you go out to the pool which you just hand in at the end - no need for any money deposits and a clean towel every time. There were plenty of sunbeds around the pool and we always managed to get one with no problems.
There are a few shops within the hotel reception and also a small bank for changing money. The hotel is a small way out of central Havana, but the hotel provides a free shuttle bus several times a day to take you into the centre. There are booking facilities in the hotel for tours - and we booked the tour of Havana which we did one day, and then went back under our own steam the next day to spend longer doing the things that interested us.
There is a small supermarket directly opposite the hotel which we used to buy bits and pieces.
The Melia Cohiba is directly on the seafront and although it is not a beach it makes a lovely walk along the front.
The staff here were all very pleasant and spoke good English although our odd attempts at Spanish (Ola and gracias) were much appreciated and smiled at. As always in Cuba monetary tips were much appreciated by the recipients but didn't appear to be expected. Even one convertible peso (about 60p) bought a very grateful thank you in response.
We only had four days at this hotel before moving on to Varadero, but they were a wonderful four days and I can honestly say that anyone who books to stay here is not going to regret it. A wonderful hotel and certainly four star by English standards. If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask me and I will be happy to answer. But I can say if you are reading this and thinking of staying at the Cohiba, take my word and book it!"
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of September 2007
A higher standard than normal resort hotels
"We stayed at the Melia Cohiba for 3 nights as part of a twin centre holiday to Cayo Guillermo and Havana booked through Thomas Cook.
I was surprised by this hotel: for a holiday destination, it bore the closest resemblance to a European or American 4/5* that I have come across. It had the feel of a business hotel.
Rooms: The room we stayed in was a corner and although we hadn't booked one I suspect it was a suite: there was a superking-sized bed, an office area, separated from a sitting area with sofas by a wide pillar. There was one plasma TV facing the bed, another facing the sofas. Being on a corner, we had windows around 2 walls of the room, on one side facing Havana Centre and the sea, on the other overlooking the pool. The decor was similar to what I would expect of a UK 4* such as a Mariott or Crowne Plaza. The bathroom was large with a jacuzzi bath tub. The only fault I have of the room itself was that the air con vent in the hallway area (yes there was a hallway in our suite!) dripped quite heavily, causing a bit of a flood. We got round this using towels and a glass from the bathroom!
Pool: The pools were lovely, in particular considering it's city location - more like a resort pool. The pool staff provided you with towels and cusions for the sunbeds as soon as you arrived. The cusions could also be used as lilos on the pool!
Location: Although the Cohiba is away from the centre of Havana, a regular free (air conditioned) shuttle bus runs both ways during the day. There are bars, shops and cafes in the immediate vicinity. There is also a taxi rank immediately infront of the hotel and taxis are reasonably priced.
Food & Drink: Although AI in Cayo Guillermo, we were only B&B in Havana. The breakfast was varied and plentiful - I cannot fault it. We did not eat any other meals in the hotel, partly because of the prices (5*!) and partly because you're missing experiencing true Havana if you do. Make sure you go to at least one Paladar while your there - like eating in someone's private dining room!
Staff: On my way to Havana from Cayo Guillermo I lost my passport. At the time when we most needed help, the Thomas Cook representative was not available - she did not turn up to our welcome meeting and in fact did not put in an appearance for the whole 4 days, nor was she contactable on her mobile. Aparently she was in Varadero. The hotel staff helped with this begrudgingly - being a fluent spanish speaker, I could understand the comments made between themselves, not all so complimentarly. That said, they did help (more than TC!) and phoned the coach transfer company and airport on my behalf. We relied on my spanish and a trustworth taxi driver in the end to sort this all out and get a temp. passport form the Embassy. Staff were otherwise courteous, but did not go out of their way to be helpful.
I would still recommend this hotel as my negative experience is largely based on an issue that most people will (hopefully )not have. The hotel itself was fantastic.
On the twin centre holiday: I'm glad we saw Havana, although it was a tiring trip, with an early start in resort and having to change rooms when we returned. Being B&B in Havana when you are also paying for AI in resort is slightly painful too. If I were to do it again, I think I would choose the overnight trip - it's too far for a day, but I would expect 2 days to be enough. The heat in Havana is overwhelming, so you can't say out in the centre for long comfortably."
- Travel date: Thu 23rd of August 2007