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“Great hotel, not a 5* breakfast” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Nacional de Cuba

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Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Ranked #6 of 78 Hotels in Havana
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 reviews
“Great hotel, not a 5* breakfast”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2013

Very nice decorated hotel with a lot of history. Breakfast is ok, but not a 5*, although a dinner in the "Comedor de Aguiar" is very good. The rooms are quite large and well decorated, the bathroom is clean but outdated.
The garden is beautiful and maintained perfectly.

Room Tip: 2nd floor rooms are the best
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GuestAms2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,174 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (891)
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London
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Hotel National for 3 nights in November. We had never been to Cuba before and wanted to see some classic Havana before heading to the coast. The National was a good base and felt like a Havana institution used by visitors and locals alike. The decor was classic but not too flashy or outdated and the rooms were spacious but plainly decorated.

The hotel is a short taxi drive up the coast from old Havana but taxis can easily be picked up from the entrance at no notice. They cost no more than 5 cuc into town for a Mercedes or you can get a classic for more. If you haggle it's the same price coming back for a standard, often really beat up car, but that is part of the fun of Havana.

There are three or four bars with pretty much the same setup of photos of past residents such as Winston Churchill and Hollywood and Havana legends. We preferred the veranda bar despite the weather.

Breakfast, and if you want it, dinner options at the hotel, are either a buffet affair in the main restaurant, pizza, club sandwich, or pasta in the cinema bar downstairs, or fine dining in the main restart in the lobby. We had the breakfast, which did the job.

The cafe Parisien night club is part of the hotel and by local account is the second best night spot in town. We booked the Saturday night via the hotel on the Friday and were lucky enough to get centre seats with a fantastic view of the stage. We are not regular Cabaret show visitors but the dancing and choreography was great and the full house really enjoyed themselves. If you go be sure to arrive at the club reception (outside to the right) promptly at 9 to avoid long queues.

It rained a lot while we were there so we could not really comment on the outside pool (other than it was well and truly topped up by the time we left :-) The last morning was sunny so we took advantage of the well manicured garden. Unusually the hotel has several huge 19th century canons and tunnels as well as a fantastic view of the sea at the bottom of the patio.

Overall, a good comfortable base for Havana.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Asti_75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
south england
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2013

We arrived @ this hotel by coach looking up at the grand building, which gave us the Wow factor
It was late evening upon entering the reception we were whisked off to a private check in immediately felt special. When we arrived in our room we were very happy with the standard of the furniture the comfortable bed curtains everything was very grand. It was all clean the bathroom was perfect the location was quite and perfect. After breakfast we took a walk around the hotel signed up for the history tour. The gardens were immaculate with a brilliant view across the ocean. There was so much to do there had no time to take a walk outside. All the restaurants were just brilliant with varied menus available. We were so glad that we decided to stay here before going off to the beach areas. Would recommend this Hotel to anyone thinking about going to Cuba. Starting here gives an understanding to what Cuba is about. One point to mention is the unusual post boxes in the Hotel by the lifts were brilliant however never has one card reached our friends and family to this day.

Room Tip: Non smoking quiet area of the hotel ask for sea view
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Teeheeitismee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lafayette, Louisiana
Level Contributor
46 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2013

I've been to Cuba a number of times over the past twelve years and have an opportunity to stay at a number of hotels (10 in Havana alone). Some hotels there are historic, some romantic, and some have good places to eat within the facility or nearby. The Hotel Nacional de Cuba has them all. If you envision a trip to include reading a great book in a stuffed chair on a veranda with strolling musicians, an outdoor pit with a smiling cook roasting pig, an extensive breakfast buffet, and a cigar shop on premises, I recommend the Nacional. An incredible fine dining restaurant. They have that too. The people who work at the Nacional are friendly, helpful and professional, from those in uniform who greet you as you get out of your car and take your luggage, to the efficient registration staff, to the people in the multiple restaurants and bars (greeters, servers, cooks, helpers) across the property to the ones who make the 1930's-style rooms sparkle. I'm going back again this month. Because of the season I had a hard time getting a room. Members of another part of their excellent staff, those who work in group and reservations, came through for me. I have other options. I wanted to return to the Nacional and am looking forward to another visit to this world treasure.

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view room if they have one available. If you are on the east side you will be able...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lsides
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
56 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2013

We were not able to stay at the hotel but did take the morning tour that the hotel offers. Fascinating. Estella, a retired history professor from the University of Havana took us through the hotel pointing out the beautiful details of the building and the rooms once occupied by both the famous an infamous. During the Cuban Missile Crisis a bunker was built on the oceanfront lawn of the hotel along with anti aircraft gun emplacements. The bunker is open for tour and Estella's description of the Cuban experience during the crisis is enlightening for those of us who only know the U.S. version. This is definitely worth a stop on your visit to Havana.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank JohnRWestman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lymm
Level Contributor
42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 12, 2013

My wife booked here because of the reputation of the hotel. I'm not sure how it earned it. The hotel itself had a great sense of faded grandeur and had been updated only as strictly necessary.

The rooms were decent if a little small and the breakfast (the only meal we ate there) was passable. This is billed as a five-star but would probably be three-star in Europe.

The staff were pretty unhelpful. The cashier at the front desk (you can only change money in Cuba) seemed to open and close on a whim. I witnessed one poor guy, who had arrived in the evening after the banks were shut only to be told that the cashier was not open - even though there was a member of staff manning it. In the state-run institutions, they haven't quite yet got the notion of customer service. I was prepared for that but I guess it's a shock to some not to meet with the rictus smile of a western customer service provider.

We didn't go to the restaurant in the hotel because we have frends, who gave it a bad review.

Do not get suckered into going to the Paris review evening (a nightclub part of the hotel). It's like watching the Good Old Days.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Starymaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
100 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2013

We spent a night here at the end of our Havana trip to visit family, as our Casa Particular was full that night.

This place was amazing from the standpoint of stepping back in time to the Cuba of pre-revolutionary times. Of course they display the obligatory revolutionary propaganda in the lobby, but this aside, you can easily envision stepping back in time to the 1930's. We ended up with a beautiful room overlooking the sea. The decor is a bit dated, but generally in fine shape. It looks as though they are systematically updating the furnishings. The A/C was ice cold!

I spent the 7 CUCs on an hour of WIFI but it was so slow I was able to get about one email sent in 20 minutes. Save your money and go to an ETECSA internet cafe in the city, which are considerably cheaper and faster.

Most of the staff was absolutely abysmal - uninterested and rude, and despite our fluency in Spanish, could not have cared less about guest satisfaction. Compare this to the Casas Particulares whose owners bend over backwards to ensure your comfort for about 1/5 of the price. I suppose there's a lesson in that about economic models and philosophies, but this perhaps is not the forum for that.

The included breakfast was also disappointing. Cold eggs and leftover luncheon side dishes from the previous day.

At any rate, by far the best feature of this hotel is the outdoor patio and lawn overlooking the sea. However this can be enjoyed for free without staying at the hotel.

Our recommendation would be to stay in this relic of pre-revolutionary Cuba for a night or two, but spend the rest of your time in one of the many fabulous Casas Particulares located throughout the city, where you will find much friendlier hosts, cheaper accommodation, and a taste of the real Cuba.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CBEB1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antonio M, General Manager at Hotel Nacional de Cuba, responded to this review, December 16, 2013
Dear guest:
We would like to thank you for choosing the Hotel Nacional during your stay in Cuba. It was a pleasure to know that you appreciated the fantastic gardens, your room, the views and the history soul of the Hotel in your only one night stay.
Definitely we will analyze all your comments including the infrequent opinion about the staff that we suppose were related with very specific situations.
Thank you for recommending the Hotel to the rest of the Tripadvisor community. Hopefully we will welcome you back anytime soon.
Best regards,
Antonio Martinez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Property: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Address: Calle 21 y O | Vedado, Plaza, Havana 10400, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Havana
#6 Luxury Hotel in Havana
#7 Business Hotel in Havana
#8 Romantic Hotel in Havana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Nacional de Cuba 5*
Number of rooms: 473
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Nacional De Cuba Hotel
Nacional De Cuba Havana

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