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“Significant Architectural and Historical Artifact”

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Habana Riviera by IBEROSTAR
Ranked #25 of 80 Hotels in Havana
Reviewed February 11, 2014

This is a classic example of 1950’s architecture. It was designed by Miami architect Igor Polevitzky and has been preserved in essentially its original state. The lobby’s bright red carpet, accented with blue sofas (which are not really made for sitting), red chairs, and low-slung tables are stunning. The pool, diving platform, and cabanas also reflect that sleek ‘50s style. The stonework throughout the building is quite distinctive. It was built by Myer Lansky on an accelerated schedule in 1957 but was sacked when Castro marched into Havana in January 1959, when the contents of the casino (now an empty meeting room) were piled in the street and burned. Castro then held a press conference in the casino of this historic building. This hotel is well worth a visit simply for its architectural and historical significance. (I was told that the rooms are not as well kept as the lobby and exterior, and it is no longer a first-class hotel.)

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Woodroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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123 - 129 of 747 reviews

Reviewed February 4, 2014

My boyfriend and stayed at Habana Riviera over Christmas 2013 and were terribly disappointed to arrive and find that the pool and Wi-Fi were not operational. These were the two criteria we were looking for in a hotel and we paid a lot to stay there on this basis.

The staff at reception were rude and unhelpful and the best we were offered was that we could use another hotels pool down the road and pay for some internet in the business centre. It does turn out that WiFi in Cuba is pretty rare so I wouldn't suggest you even worry about it when booking.

Breakfast was good and the rooms were nice and spacious inside but did smell mouldy and old in the hall areas outside of the rooms.

Given the price, I would recommend staying closer to the old town and if you do stay at this hotel make sure you call to check that the pool is opened again if this is a feature you are looking for.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Lauren S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

The mildew stench of not only the room, but the unnameable smell that you can practically taste as the elevator doors open onto the 19th floor will stay with us for some time to come. Literally. We have had to launder our clothes 4 times and the mildew smell persists. The room cost $200 per night and while the views were striking, we could not access our balcony. We had to select a hotel quickly while already in Cuba, so were unable to read reviews in advance. Do not stay at the Riviera, but do visit the public areas of the building which are accessible from the lobby. They are fantastically preserved with original furniture, sculptures, murals, light fixtures, etc. The attention to design detail is a marvel. It offers a frozen-in-time glimpse into mob-era hostelry at its peak. P.S. If despite this warning, you decide to overnight it here, do not go anywhere near the blanket in the closet.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank MaryDante
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2013

Feel like you stepped back in time. The Riviera is from the time period long before I was born. Its from the late 50's, not only can you see it, you can also feel it.

It feels like you step back in time. The lobby, the restaurant down one level from the main lobby, the performance and live stage act's all make you feel like it could be the 1960's. I love the statue out front and the flag hanging 2\3 up the building off a balcony. It's got a great vibe.

The pool is huge. The view from the rooms is wonderful on either side. Our room looked out South East away from Havana and it was delightful, especially at sunset. The room had a nice bath tub (I am 6"1") and plenty of hot water.

The staff is great, always a taxi out front waiting for you and as the buffet and other food is concerned its the same as any other place in cube.

So why the low 2 star review? The mold was so bad. The rooms all smell like mold, the place is damp and moldy all over. If you have allergies to mold DO NOT even attempt to stay here. You will be miserable. Out of the 3 elevators only one worked and the constant power outages could have you stuck in a small box for half an hour.

Aside from that this place is great.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Ben M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013 via mobile

It seems to that had better times, however, the air conditioning never worked on my room, one morning didn't has hot water, there wasn't internet too, so you have to go to the next hotel.
The room service ask for tip leaving a note on each room, some of my colleagues said that some girls call them in the middle of the night to offer sex and the guards were very keen to offer girls.
The food at restaurants and the bar service was the best thing there.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
2  Thank Roberto G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2013

I stayed at the hotel for 5 days. As I have read in prior reviews, indeed this hotel needs some major renovations. We stayed on the 14th floor (corner room with balcony) and the ocean view was spectacular. The room was very musty. This is not a hotel for allergy sufferers or asthmatics. We realized this the first night and slept with all of the windows open after that. Air conditioning barely worked but it did not matter to us since we opted for fresh air. There was no hot water must of the time and the toilet didn't work properly. Every time we showered, the bathroom flooded, making it very slippery. We had a fridge in the room and it worked very nicely. We also had a old TV with cable and it worked most of the time too. But that didn't matter to us because we didn't go to Cuba to watch TV! There is no Internet available. One night, the elevators were out of power and from what I heard, this happens quite often. Eventually, we ended up walking up the 14th floors. No apologies were given to us. The front desk people were serious and at times, somewhat friendly. The lobby is clean with security around. We had a breakfast buffet every morning and the food was nothing to brag about. It was plentiful and the service was good. By the way, non-smoking rooms are not available. You should know, there is a small shopping mall on front (with a small supermarket) and there is also a Melia hotel next to it. Overall, we would give this hotel 2-3 stars. Not worth the price they charge for the rooms. Do not have high expectations, and try to stay positive. After all, this is a state-run hotel. Lastly, remember to tip nicely at all times... your stay will improve!

Room Tip: Ask for higher floors.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Frances R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

My stay at this hotel turned out to be what felt like the longest 2 days of my life.
Please, for your own safety, stay away!
-At check in I was told they have internet, later when I went to use it I was told they are "out of wifi cards and will not have any coming in"
-Dirty rusty shower and some sort of wood eating bugs destroying the closet and leaving a mess for us to sweep up twice a day.
-Rooms and hallways smell musty as hell
-WE HAD SOMEONE TRY TO GET INTO OUR ROOM AT 3AM BOTH NIGHTS. I HAD TO HOLD THE DOOR SHUT AND YELL TO GET THE GUY TO RUN OFF!! He had a card for the door, I was lucky that the dead bolt does not open with the card! I thought it was a freak thing but then he came back the second night at the same time and was pounding on the door and trying to kick it open. Very scary and the front desk phone line was off the hook from 3am till he left? Maybe they are working together? When I told the front desk staff they rolled their eyes and said they would "note it"
-Breakfast area was from the Soviet era, dimly lit and food a dog would turn away.
For a few more bucks a night stay at the Melia across the street, its top notch.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Roger1941
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Habana Riviera by IBEROSTAR

Address: Paseo No-1 e/ 1ra and Malecon | Vedado, La Habana., Havana 10400, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Luxury Hotel in Havana
Price Range: $197 - $373 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Habana Riviera by IBEROSTAR 4*
Number of rooms: 352
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Habana Riviera, located in front of Caribbean Sea, located in the heart of Havana City is. It has 352 rooms with views of the ocean and the city, 16 Junior Suite, 1 Suite, 2 handicap rooms. Stylishly modernist, the building's 50s look (and feel), Grand lobby, with original structure, furnishings and décor very well preserved. Spacious lobby bar set next to a row of large glass panels that place one almost literally next to the water, and the Mirador de la Habana restaurant with nice views of the littoral and city. Prestigious symbol of Havana City, its beauty, its Caribbean captivation, its cozy environment makes it into the most wanted hotel by the visitors. Services: Outdoor Pool, 1 Restaurant, Lobby Bar, Bar-Cafeteria by the Pool, Buffet breakfast included. Rooms: A/C, Minibar, TV, Safe. 3 Elevators. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Habana Riviera Havana
Habana Riviera Hotel Havana

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