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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Nacional De Cuba Hotel
- Nacional De Cuba Havana