This is a classic grand old hotel of the pre-Castro era. Pictures of movie stars and political leaders who visited the hotel are in all the public areas, and the hotel reeks of class. That it is in communist Cuba, and is owned by the Cuban government in partnership with a Spanish company is still tough to reconcile. I know it's a tourist cash-cow, but still, it just doesn't fit in any way with a communist government.
Moving on...the rooms are old, but just fine. There is carpeting. We had two twin beds (would have preferred one larger bed). As an old property, the rooms aren't the same, so friends we travelled with had, by luck, a larger room with a better view. Still, ours was fine.
The room honor bar list did not include the in room coffee, and it wasn't listed as a billed item anywhere. However, when we checked out we were charged for the in room coffee. The cost was 1 CUC a day - not a lot, but I resent that there was any charge without some notice. There is also a charge for use of the room safe.
Public areas are grand, and I felt classiest sitting in the large chairs/sofas of the outside bar, just out back of the hotel. (Since there are several areas, specifying which makes sense.)
The Malecon is right there with the ocean beyond. That was a treat - at the end of the day we joined in the parade of Cubans gathering along the Malecon.
Breakfast buffet was large, but the omelet guy made one omelet at a time - it took forever! The first morning there was a machine that squeezed orange juice at the push of a button, but it was gone on our other mornings, replaced by a dispenser that gave watered down juice. There were lots of items to choose from.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With an exceptional location in the very center of the city of Havana, facing the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the entrance to the Bay of the capital; with a rich and surprising history, combining: milestones; the validity of our history and national culture, have done that since its inauguration in 1930 has welcomed countless personalities of world history, culture, science, sport and politics. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Nacional De Cuba Hotel
- Nacional De Cuba Havana