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“Ambos Mediocre” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Ambos Mundos

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Hotel Ambos Mundos
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4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle Obispo 153, Havana 10100, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #33 of 76 Hotels in Havana
UK
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Ambos Mediocre”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

We stayed at the infamous Ambos Mundos for 2-nights as part of a package holiday as we were informed at short notice that our first choice hotel was fully-booked. We revelled in the idea of staying at a hotel with such strong connections with Ernest Hemingway and our travel agent's recommendation was very sincere and positive.

The location was excellent with very good bars and restaurants in the locality. The rooftop restaurant, where a well varied breakfast buffet was served, had good views over the sea and surrounding horizon. However, we found the reception staff incredibly rude and they had little time for guests. The check-in process was arduous, full of huffs and sighs, there was minimal communication or interaction and we were waved off in the direction of the lift and stairs.
The room was basic with high ceilings and we were fortunate not to be overlooked by the university building opposite. However, it was very damp with an unpleasant odour but all we had to do was open the juliet windows to air the room for a day. There was no hot water but we got by with tepid showers for the duration of our stay. However, considering the substantial price they charge and declared 4-star rating, this shouldn't be acceptable.

The only remedy was the location and the dulcet tunes played by the hotel pianist in the lobby area.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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342 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Most of the people don't remember the name of this hotel, they just call it Hemingway's Hotel.
Hemingway kept a room (#511 to be exact) here from 1932 to 1939, before he eventually bought a house and moved to Havana in 1939.
Hotel keeps some Hemingway's stuff and room 511 open to tourists. I didn't see the room, but there are plenty of Hemingway's photos at lobby area which is quite interesting.

Hotel Ambos Mundos (means Hotel Both Worlds) is in the center of old town Havana. What I like about it the most, is the wonderful and skillful pianist, (sorry I forgot his name). We would stop by here whenever we walked around old town, had a cup of tea, (it's too bad they don't have desert or pastry), and listened to him for a set.
He played American old songs and smooth jazz tones which are very different from most of the places here, it's a pleasant change!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, IL
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We stayed 3 nights during a group tour of Cuba. The place is dirty and shabby and poorly maintained. Service is marginal. There is one small old elevator but the elevator operator is also the bellhop and half the time he wasn't there to operate it. Our group had 8 rooms in total and we were all given internal rooms. The ventilation is awful and they all smelled like dank caves. Showers didn't work, the bathrooms were filthy and the linens stained. By the second night we had all moved to rooms with windows which at least provided some light and air. Unfortunately the shabbiness and filth were easier to see. Dirt and hair on a bathroom floor? Totally unacceptable. Breakfast on the 6th floor was mediocre but the view of Havana was lovely. Our room was on the 5th floor, so I used the stairs frequently. The last day there was dog poop on one of the landings. The staff seemed more annoyed than concerned when I told them about it.
Overall the location, though noisy, was great but in no way compensated for the sad state of this property.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

The rooms were vile and one room allocated to me smelt extremely mouldy and damp and the shower could not be turned off and I asked this room to be changed. The only other room available had 2 seperate beds so we had to sleep seperately for 2 nights. Very romantic.. Both bath towels provided were very dirty, murky off-white or grey with black marks where they had not been washed and were blood stained and one had deposits of what appeared to be ear wax. Both towels smelled of body odour. The bed sheets had not been changed and one had specks of discharge and body hair encrusted on the sheet. Totally vile.

The Ambos Mundos reception staff were disinterested and unhelpful. My girlfriend got stranded in another town on the first night and phoned through a message to me to say that she would not be able to get there for the night but Reception failed to pass this to me. I was very worried for her as I didn't know what had happended. The two women on reception when I checked in kept me waiting for 3 or 4 minutes while they were looking at their friend's baby photos. When I checked out in the morning, the woman on Reception kept me waiting for several minutes while she laughed and giggled on the phone to a friend.

A security man (Miguel) asked me if I wanted to pay for a prostitute to stay in my room and on another night a security man asked my girlfriend if she had a booking in the hotel when we we both returned hand in hand to the hotel one evening. The inference because she is black is that the Security man thought she was Cuban prostitute. She was very offended by this as was I.

I'll never stay at Ambos Mundos again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Virgin Holidays

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

As a start point to our holiday in Cuba we were slightly disappointed with this hotel due to the cleanliness and attitude of the staff at the Ambos Mundos hotel in comaprison to the Breezes Jibacoa Hotel, there was a vast and noticeable difference.

For location however, the Ambos Mundos is excellent, situated in old Havana and close to all places of interest. If you are going on a two week break I would recommend no more than 4/5 days in Havana itself.

In respect of the travel from the UK we could not fault Virgin Atlantic for the meeting and greeting and overall assistance.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
540 reviews 540 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 125 cities Reviews in 125 cities
168 helpful votes 168 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

Had 3 nights in the hotel of choice for Hemmingway, and it would appear they haven't refurbished it since he left! After prepaying for a junior suite we got a double room near the noisy elevator, our suite had been given to someone else! we did receive a prompt credit on our credit card to compensate for the difference. We finally got a room with a window and view over the plaza, one floor below Hemmingways. Breakfast was inedible, so didn't try lunch or dinner. Cuba overall is in a time warp and needs some help with basics like nicer sheets, beds and bath towels, and Ambos suffers these shortfalls as well. However, its is in a great central position, the tourist desk operated by San Cristobal with Iliana are very good and helpful. And if you stay there, you get a free tour of Hemmingways room.

Room Tip: A room with a window and away from the elevator not on level 5 as the sound of chairs scratching alo...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quorn, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

For location, this Hotel is hard to beat and is well within walking distance of most that Havana has to offer. However the hotel and the rooms seem to be well past their best and everything(like the rest of Havana) is need of serious refurbishment.It was however clean and hot water was available, which at the end of a 2 week stay in Cuba where hot water was not always an option, was very welcome. We stayed on the 5th floor, next door but one to the Earnest Hemingway room( a small museum - free admission to residents) The restaurent is on the roof and, providing a gale isnt blowing, is a very pleasant spot. Dinner from the menu was somewhat bland and breakfast pretty short on variation.

Room Tip: Look at the room first before you commit to staying, Floor 5 has good views
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Ambos Mundos

Address: Calle Obispo 153, Havana 10100, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Havana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Room Service
Hotel Style:
#23 Luxury Hotel in Havana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Ambos Mundos 4*
Number of rooms: 52
Also Known As:
Ambos Mundos Hotel
Ambos Mundos Havana

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