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“Great building and location”
Review of Hotel Santa Isabel

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Hotel Santa Isabel
Ranked #19 of 79 Hotels in Havana
Manchester England
Level Contributor
80 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Great building and location”
Reviewed April 15, 2013

A very characterful hotel, lovely old building, great communal rooms downstairs and wonderful downstairs toilets! Our room was OK to good - spacious enough, nice bathroom with good water pressure but the actual bedroom was a bit gloomy. I really liked both the breakfast and the breakfast experience - you eat outside under the shady arched gallery that fronts the old town square - a very pleasant and relaxing experience, and the food was good.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JaneandNye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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404 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

One word to describe this place-palatial. My husband and I enjoyed a weekend here. We have stayed at many different casas and hotels in Havana and this was a special treat. We were surprised to see how gorgeous our room was after reading on trip advisor that many of the standard rooms did not have a window. We had an amazing room that included two massive window/doors that opened onto a long balcony.

The room was very well cleaned by the sweet cleaners who did an excellent job daily. We always had hot water during our stay. The breakfast is gourmet style and there is a huge selection to choose from on the menu, all included in your bill. Good food for Cuban hotel standards. I am sorry to read other reviews about corruption and hustling but none of this happened during our stay.

Clearly anyone giving this hotel a lower than 3/5 review has not traveled through Cuba and has non-Cuban standards and expectations. Also most of the complaints being made are unfair as they are out of the hotels control.

Some helpful Tips:

-Check in is 4 pm. You will be frustrated if you try to get your room earlier as it just won’t be ready yet. They can take your bags if you are early while you go explore the city.

-Drink at a bar nearby as the hotel bar is pricey.

-Even if the hot water kicks out for a bit has it often does all over Cuba remember you are in a tropical climate and even the cold water will be good enough. It is nice to wash the heat of the day off in cool water.

-Order lots of different things at breakfast and you are sure to like something and the portions are gourmet style small.

-Credit card machines are often down everywhere in Cuba not just here. This is not the hotels fault. Know the affects of the US embargo on Cuba.

-Rooms can be noisy during the day mostly because you are in Cuba! There is yelling, tons of music, roosters crowing, old buildings being restored and dogs barking. This is part of the joy traveling and seeing different cultures. We found the nights very quiet at this spot.

-Internet use is expensive and hard to use everywhere in Cuba. If you can, take a brake from using it till you are home again.

- If you have the luxury of having a car with you it will be difficult to find a parking space as you are staying in the most ancient part of Havana on a square that has no road on it. This is again is out of the hotels control.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sara C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
326 reviews
129 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013 via mobile

This hotel is located on one of the main squares and is a converted home. Our room looked over the square and was large with a four poster bed (brass) adorned with linen drapes. As the square is home to the daily book market patrons should be prepared for noise in the morning as the vendors rattle their trolleys across the cobbles.

WiFi is not available as is the case with most Cuban hotels but there is Internet. At the time of our visit it was inoperative but we were directed to another Habaguanex hotel, of which there are many.

Breakfast was taken either inside the restaurant or on the porch. Again there was an opportunity to choose many items off the menu. There is also an inner courtyard for drinks and light snacks.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SueKot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

This hotel is just perfect it is the oldest hotel in Havana.Very colonial it, is located in the old part of Havana.Staff were friendly and helpful.
Our room was on the side of the hotel,oposite another building.I chatted to the family who lived there.We had two lots of double doors to the balcony.
Take some ear plugs as it can be a bit noisy.
The rooms are large clean and comfortable
We changed money in the hotel but the rate was poor.There is a Cadeca (currency exchange) just along the road.

Room Tip: All rooms are noisy as the book sellers set up early in the square.Their carts have metal wheels and...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Agnes54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penang, Malaysia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2013

Excellent location right on the square in Havana Vieja. Located in a beautiful ornate building. I have stayed in 3 different hotels in Old Havana and by far this is the best I have stayed. Full of character, especailly the rooms. If you are looking for big, cold, touristy hotels, then do not stay in Old Havana hotels. Considering it is Cuba, i believe this hotel is a real gem. Big room with a rickety iron bed and a nice bathroom. What more can youa sk for. Ask for a room that over looks the square, throw open the french shutter doors and kick back and watch life going by. Only drawback is that there are porters pusing the trolleys with baggages on the cobblestoned street and this makes an absolutely racket. Will stay here again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Penangtravelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crawley,West Sussex
Level Contributor
266 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2013

From the outside this hotel looks exquisite and the position in one of the nicest Squares in Old Havana makes it appear as though you are onto a winner - just suspend any judgement until you get into the hotel. The public areas look beautiful and the open internal courtyard with 24 hour cafe a real oasis of calm.

We took a junior suite that afforded us a double set of windows overlooking the square.The sitting area large, but the 1970's sofa in a washed out blue pattern totally at odds with the rest of the building. The bathroom large, but tired and lots of brackets for broken shelves remain on the walls , my bedstead fell to pieces, the linen and towels thin and the AC basic.

i enquired as to WiFi and was told 'it's work in progress' , on enquiring about an adaptor for European to Cuban appliances I was told 'they don't exist in Cuba , despite being able to get one at the Saratoga Hotel up the road - i was hoping for something great on the 4th/top floor as it was in such a great position - such a shame that they had a complete terrace ( that appeared to have awnings for a bar area) - but now its locked and closed to the public !

Breakfast is basic in the Cafe on the ground floor - the 'buffet' is laughable , but then you find out you can order a la carte , which is an OK experience. We tried to exchange UK sterling notes - but were told 'they are not new ' so they would not except them and everything is done without receipts , which suggests it is not all above board here.

Our Tour Rep said that the hotel was converted 10 years ago - but since then nothing has been done and she receives many, many complaints like ours.

Room Tip: Go to the Saratoga hotel !
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AndyDave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Havana hotels

London
Level Contributor
40 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

We were "bumped" into this atrocious hotel when our hotel that we had booked wasn't available. REMEMBER THIS POINT AS THIS APPARENTLY IS THE NORM IN CUBA!
Where do I start: The staff were all unhelpful to the point of being rude, the wi-fi (I use the word loosely here) is a pc in the public corner of the bar/lobby area - in other words there is no wi-fi as we in the rest of the world know it! But the nastiest thing we had to contend with was the state of the room we were given - I think that we had 2 hours sleep thanks to bed lice or some such creatures biting us all night. When we arrived in the restaurant for breakfast the staff treated us like we should not have been there. Jimmy Carter may have stayed here but he better have a better room than we got! AVOID

Room Tip: Choose another hotel!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank JohnnyMisky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Santa Isabel

Property: Hotel Santa Isabel
Address: Calle Baratillo 9, entre Obispo y Narciso Lopez | Habana Vieja, Havana, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#17 Luxury Hotel in Havana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Santa Isabel 5*
Number of rooms: 27
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Santa Isabel Havana
Santa Isabel Hotel

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