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“What a fantastic hotel”

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Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Ranked #6 of 78 Hotels in Havana
Gloucestershire, England
Level Contributor
202 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“What a fantastic hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2010

The Nacional may not be the most modern or luxurious hotel but it oozes character and class. We stayed here for three nights from 14th April 2010. Check-in was really swift with the group being checked together, we were given a room on the second floor which we later found out is the historic floor with a view towards the Malecon. Money changing had not been available at the airport but was easy at the hotel, make sure you change some money before going up to your room and that you get some small bills so that you are able to tip the porter. All the rooms had safes although you were charged 3 cuc a day for them, this is something I think the hotel should include. We had booked room only but the main restaurant was available to us as was the hotel's own themed cafe which was very reasonable and provided excellent food if you didn't want to go out for it.
Mojitos overlooking the Malecon at any time of day was a fantastic experience and one that you should make time for, even if you are on a busy schedule, these were the best Mojitos we had. We took a bus and walking tour of Havana organised by the rep which was good and informative but we also took a trip in an old convertible car and visited some of the areas which were not on the organised trips, well worth the 30 cuc it cost. The hotel is steeped in history and the free historical tour of the hotel with their own live-in historian is a must, she was entertaining as well as being informative and included the fortifications in the tour, it was especially interesting as she had been stationed there during the Cuban Missile Crisis at the tender age of 17.
I can't understand why some people have complained about this hotel, where else would you get to stay in a national monument! Yes the room was a little tired and could do with updating but for me this was part of the charm of the hotel. I didn't find the tourists in the lobby area a problem, people are going to visit a national monument. Staff at the hotel were friendly and helpful and tips went down well but weren't expected apart from the member of staff who sorted out the safe and then waited until he got a tip before leaving!
Don't be put off from staying here by the fact this hotel is not in the centre, or that it isn't the most up to date, we had a fantastic experience at this hotel which made our holiday.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank stanley10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,266 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
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2010

This hotel, stands out , its in a great location, is a beautiful hotel and should have some sort of award or something.

The hotel was phenomenal- the food was good and the loaction was good. We did not go to the beach, but used the pool areas.
The weather was scorching, but there were more than enough sun loungers and beach umbrellas to go around. The internet connection was fast and the staff were exceptionally helpful..

would go again all day everyday!!!

PS=when you first get there, there is a musty smell, this is becuse the hotel is very old and due to the salt and the sea, being right on our doorstep- after a few minutes you do not notice it!!

Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Travelflecsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancashire
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2010

I went with my sons (early 20's). We were all very impressed with the service not only from our friendly daily maid, the lovely Sylvia but also from waiters, bar staff and reception staff, not to mention Ernesto the lovely room service man!
Our room slept three. It was spacious, very nicely furnished, lovely bathroom and kept immaculate on a daily basis. It was on the 8th floor with a fantastic view of the gardens and the Maleceon.
The location was superb if you like watching Cuba life as it happens on the Maleceon and the amazing backdrop of the Straights of Florida plus all the old American cars and Ladas zippng along from dawn till dusk.
The Hotel is steeped in history and everything we saw had been renovated with taste and dignity. The Verandah was so beautiful and we saw a wedding party on our last night, what a lovely setting. Two pools, attentive and friendly staff. Loads of entertainment from local Cuban musicians, including Buena Vista social club...fantastic!
We only had breakfast, buffet style. Vast choice on offer from continental meats, fruits, yoghurts, cereals to cooked while you wait crepes and pancakes or sausages and bacon for the carnivores. However, if you are expecting USA or European levels of cuisine, you will be disappointed. Cuba still has problems importing food due to the embargo by the USA, lets hope Obama will change this...
The biggest difficulty was using my card to get money from the bureau de change, take cash and save yourself the worry of the system going down.
I intend to go back to this hotel, worth every minute of the nightmare journey and the Volcano disruption to flights.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank salbrae2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2010

The personnel of the hotel nacional is very attentive to everything you want, that makes up for every comfort that they can’t have due to the age of the hotel.

Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank moonmanBerlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicestershire
Level Contributor
50 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2010

We spent 3 nights here then off to cayo largo for 10 nights then back here for 1 final night.

Firstly can i just say I loved Cuba but in particular Havana - it was everything is was made up to be plus more. I fell under the spell like so many others....

I was expecting the hotel to be grand, great history and acrhitecture etc but the food and service to be rubbish. The rooms crappy and etc. I also got worried with the reviews about nice clothes and money going missing which I thought was bad!! BUT we never experienced any of this on ths occasion?

Both our rooms on both occasions were very nice. Yes slightly tired e.g. the blinds were broken and when you had a shower the whole of the malecon got a view!!

The brekfast was OK, like everywhere else don't expect high class food anywhere! The restaurant located outside open air was value for money and a nice experience but again don't expect anything but boarder average!!

The first day it chucked it down with rain then the rest of the time saw clouds but not a drop of rain.

The highlight of the hotel for me was the bar down on the patio. If it got windy just move up to the terrace bar. I think we went about the best time of the year and so was great, if you went when its windy and rainy then the \aptio would probs be out o fthe question!! I loved the Malecon and watching the goings on. The drinks were OK and very pricey - but worth it. Every opportunity I had I wanted to be here. On our last day we sat here drinking taking in Havana until 15 minutes before check out and pick up!!

The first time checking in was slow, they love their formalties and one desk for one thing another desk to ge tthe safety deposit box. This is one downside is firstly you have to pay for the deposit box and secondly you have to wait for the man to come activate it. Who seriously wants to hang around for god knows how long for that? Most people are cramming in as much as poss in a short time and don't have time to waste!! Needless to say our first night we went without because I wanted to get out!!

The second time we checked in was alot quicker as they had all of our passport details etc. 30 pesos for a late check out until 4pm. 50 pesos for checkout 6pm.

I really wanted to do the Tropicana show but the lady said the kids had to be 18 and so settled for the Parisian show which is alot cheaper and you sit upstairs (our two are 11 and 13). It was great - loved it and would reccomend but ultimately i wanted to see the Tropicana!

If you want a convertible ride we got 1 hour for 30 pesos. The car conked out after 45 minutes but we loved it so much and was a highlilght that we still give him the 30 pesos. Probs the best money we spent whilst there!

If you want very central location then got to the NP Central. If you like to drink and take in the atmosphere then this is the place to be. I really really enjoyed it!

If anyone has any further questions please ask - I did so when I was planning my trip!! I can only return the favour,

Enjoy and all the best Kirsty

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kir321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
314 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2010

A wonderful building and grand setting - well appointed with facilities. Lots of positives such as a sea view, lovely gardens, colonaded terrace bar and pleasant pool. However, also lots of let downs, stuffy drab room, noisy traffic and mediocre food and service combined with high prices made this second best of the two hotels we stayed in. Worth a visit but don't stay here for too long or for your main break. We'd recommend the Parc Central Hotel.
Do get a coco-taxi from here into town and along the sea front. Have some drinks in the hotel Ingleterra or at La Floridita too.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CaptainBlackmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe
Level Contributor
45 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2010

In it's day this hotel must have been fantastic - but it's day was a long time ago. This is a very disappointing destination. The staff try very hard but they simply have no idea what is expected of a 4/5 star hotel. The cocktail bar in the garden area was poorly stocked and the food we experienced was of poor quality and poorly cooked. OK, it is Cuba, but this place lacks soul and is cold. Our room and the corridors smelled musty and damp. Our main concern was one of safety. This is a 1930s building with high ceilings, long corridors and few exits. The liftshafts are open, so well ventilated. There are fire extinguishers but they would never be enough if the place caught fire. The building needs sprinklers but......this is Cuba.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dazzzle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
infmatter, Hospitality Manager at Hotel Nacional de Cuba, responded to this review, April 21, 2010
We appreciate every comment about Hotel Nacional de Cuba, because it means that our clients support us for the continuously improvement of service. Nevertheless, we really want to communicate to you the special care about the safety programs including fire safety measures.
We are certified “Protected” by the main authorities of the country, regarding fire safety aspect. That’s why we could confirm that the hotel carry out the Cuban standards about the minimum distance between extinguishers and the fire extinguish collateral system needed. Also we have an intelligent system for detecting fire.
In addition, we receive frequently several inspections from international turoperators to guarantee this kind of safety service to our mutual clients. Many clients and agencies are pleased due to our constant concern about the client safety.

At the present time, the staff and clients are celebrating Hotel Nacional de Cuba's 80th anniversary. However we can assure you that our building is a beautiful architectural and cultural jewel of 1930’s, with all the reasonable safety measures for everyone who visit us.

Kindest regards
Hospitality 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
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

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