10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Love the Ocean View
"My husband and I (age 30 and 35) have just returned from two weeks in Cuba. The first was spent at the Melia Habana. What made this hotel such a great experience was our complimentary upgrade to a Royal Suite on the 8th floor of this hotel. The room was amazing! Including, two full bathrooms, beautiful ocean view, flat screen televisions with satellite, two decks, and a king size bed. We are not sure what resulted in this special treatment, but suspect it was a combination of two things: spending 1 week at this hotel and that it was not full. The pool at the hotel was beautiful. The hotel is located on the ocean, although you would not want to spend time lounging at the ocean at this location. The restaurant food just so-so (although the italian was quite good). Not much effort put into the meals. Also, the hotel is quite expensive for meals etc..., if you go out of the property there are much better deals to be had on meals. Go to the international bank to change currency and be sure to get a receipt for monies exchanged."
- Travel date: Sun 15th of February 2009
Nice Lobby - Overnight guests poorly catered for
"Hotel lobby is very grand - certainly what you would expect for a 5*.
Its location is ideal if you want to see the tropicana show - and its not that far from Havana Old Town
The pool looked nice but this was off limits to "overnight" guests.
Our room was quite basic and i think this was one room kept aside for overnight guests (comparable to a travel lodge room in the UK - functional - but basic) and we were disappointed that the safe and mini bar were also off limits to overnight guests.
Tried to eat in the buffet but there were no tables available - after waiting 15mins we decided to grab something in the bar (we were short of time)
Food there was ok - had ham sandwich and chips - and it was warm (a nice change from most cuban buffets)
Lobby apart this wouldnt be classed as a 5* - but it catered for our needs."
- Travel date: Sat 7th of February 2009
it's better than most b8ut still not 5*
"Booked with The Holiday Place, which recommended this hotel.spent 2 nights here.
It's a better hotel than most in this city , but lacking in a few things . the rooms are very nice, the food is poor, after being in another so called 5* in varadero, this was a little better, but the maid didnt wash coffee cups and took a sofa out without asking or even nicely letting us know!! so if we had decided to have room service and just sit down after a long day we couldnt, and we couldnt be bothered to phone reception about it. they arn't out in the world and it shows which is a shame.
the food isnt great either for breakfast, there seems alot but you wouldnt eat it. also found it difficult to ask for a cup of tea or very hot water, in both spanish and english, yet the beach resort in varadero ,they were fluent in english,! this is supposed to be a cosmopolitan hotel and 40% were english, so they need to step up.
You only need a day here, and be carefull people do get mugged.
It's also very intimidating if you turn down the wrong road, im from a big city but this was worrying."
- Travel date: Wed 28th of January 2009
A superb resort in the centre of Havana
"A superb place to stay in Havana: massive hotel with swimming pools, tennis courts, restaurants, bars, cafes, cigar room in a relatively central location. Do ask for ocean view - it is amazing. Not a historic place, for history lovers, Hotel Nacional is a much better option. Service is great."
- Travel date: Mon 26th of January 2009
Beware of your cash and cards
"Hotel was very nice. Be careful not to leave any wallets/purses/bags even for the shortest period of time as this may give someone time to copy your card details and remove a small amount of cash whilst you are out of the room. You may then return home and find your cards have been used in countries you have not visited."
- Travel date: Mon 19th of January 2009
Overnight ending to Cuban holiday
"An amazing investment in Cuba. Beautiful building, well designed and excellent rooms make this a true 5 star venue. Arrival, check in and porterage were efficient.
As we were only on an overnight visit there was no time to sample the pool or other leisure facilities.
OK, now the negatives. Three requests to open the minibar were unsuccessful. One by phone, one in person and a final angry call all resulted in lots or apologetic words but no action. Room service was absolutely out as no one answered the phone!
The restaurant made better use of the limited Cuban resources but still not up to good 3 star level and certainly not 5 star. Just an extra glass of wine caused consternation amongst the poorly trained staff. Breakfast was a feast of luke warm tasteless facsimiles for hotel food. One cup of lukewarm coffee took ages and really the whole experience was damaged by the very poor catering. Oh and the main bar in the lobby had no tonic water."
- Travel date: Sun 11th of January 2009
Decent hotel, far from old Havana though
"Stayed at the Melia Habana for 4 nights over new year. It wasn't my first or even 10th choice, but the city was full. As such, I don't have any complaints other than the location is quite far from old Havana - about 20 minutes in a taxi.
The rooms are nice, the breakfasts good, the staff reasonable, and it has a great big pool. It's on the coast but not a beach and there's no beach access. It is a bit of a concrete monstrosity but once you're inside then you don't really notice. It has a wide range of restaurants and the food is pretty good in them.
If you're going to Havana to spend time in Old Havana, then I think there are plenty of better options. But if you want to be able to do a bit of tanning as well as exploring then this isn't a terrible choice."
- Travel date: Tue 6th of January 2009
Great Hotel, very unpleasant bellboy
"After 5 days in varadero, I stayed 4days inHavana.
When we arrived round 7pm, the bellboys took our luggage among others from the bus that brought as to the lobby of the hotel.
After a not fast check-in, the bellboy told me to identify my luggage. As I dont know very well spanish, i said something that him and another bellboy started to laugh at me, repeating it constantly.
We got to the elevator, and continued to pick on me! as we were on the floor going to the room, they started to talk fast about the brazilian soccer team (IÂ´m a brazilian). But in some way, I understood that they were telling that brazilians were bad people and continued tocall me names.
we arrived in the room, once more laughed at me about the wrong spanish word that i said previously and waited for the tip!
i didnt gave him any tip, because he didnpt deserve it at all.
I sw him, that he became angry.
The hotel is great, the room I was into was on the 9th floor, the "ServiÃ§o Real", with bigger rooms and special care.
nice breakfast, nice hotel, as the hotel is located at Miramar some 15minutes from the center, they have a free transport (be carefull, made reservation at the reception or the return, I even saw overbooking the bus, and people paying taxi to get back).
IN the day i was doing the check-out, the bellboy was there once again. Made another laugh at me, bu as he saw my angry face this time, he realized what he had done. I made a formal complaint writing down what happened to the General Manager of the hotel Mr Dario Estrany, as he let his card in my room!
great hotel, poor staf"
- Travel date: Sat 13th of December 2008
Reasonable hotel for an overnight stay
"We stayed here for one night in October as part of an excursion from Varadero. I wish we'd spent the whole time here as it was so much better than where we had come from - but that's another story.
A little brusque but efficient ("Goodbye" a la Anne Robinson)
Spacious, good ocean view, well equipped if looking a little faded. I guess it's about time for an upgrade. The walk to the room was via an open air walkway - a little dodgy if you happened to be there in Hurricane season. The sound insulation from the corridor was also non -existent.
Good buffet for evening meal and breakfast although the live music at breakfast time (two violinist) seemed to be more Stockhausen than Strauss.
A little way out of town but nothing a short taxi ride wouldm't solve. The beach looked a bit stony but the pools seemed OK."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of November 2008
"Having read other reviews for this hotel we were not sure what to expect but we were pleasantly surprised. We had a standard double room, which was very spacious and we had a sea and pool view, which was a bonus. The room was clean and well furnished. The bathroom had a bit of wear and tear but was clean and had everything you would need. The hotel lobby is amazing, you could lose yourself in it. The staff were mainly friendly. The only downside was the price - they were basically English prices. 4.50 convertible pesos for two white coffees - this was the same in restaurants and bars outside the hotel - I live in Portugal and would pay 1.50 euros per coffee in our local 5 star hotel - 60 centimos in a cafe. There is a courtesy bus into the centre of Havana several times a day, but the last bus back is 9.30 pm, however taxis are relatively cheap - about 8 convertible pesos back to the hotel. Overall I would recommend this hotel for your trip to Havana - it has the bonus of a large swimming pool which most of the hotels in central Havana don't have and believe me, you need it to cool off."
- Travel date: Tue 23rd of September 2008