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“Can't fault the location & Rooftop pool”

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Iberostar Parque Central
Ranked #1 of 79 Hotels in Havana
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Can't fault the location & Rooftop pool”
Reviewed December 17, 2009

Overall a great hotel. I understand the comments about it lacking Cuban character, but then if you want that you don't stay at an International chain hotel that has 250 rooms? I found all the staff very friendly, warm & efficient. The manners of some of the guests however were a little more lacking! Breakfast was really good. Huge variety, included everything you would expect from this kind of breakfast buffet - also sparkling wine. Aside from that we did not eat at the hotel. Had a few drinks at the bar - fairly reasonable, and the lobby bar is very nice - a lot more relaxed than similar hotels.

The location was fabulous, and the views from the roof top were amazing. Watching the sunset over the Capital building whilst in the jacuzzi? Priceless. Pool generally crowded & many airline staff, but we would normally go up there after a day of being out & about when people were starting to leave.

Rooms were great, pretty much everything you would expect in a 4/5* chain hotel. Clean, spacious, minibar, good beds, etc. Fabulous place to explore Havana from.
You were always approached upon leaving the hotel by tour guides, but they were always friendly and not too pushy. Again, saw guests being very rude to these people. They are just doing their jobs, a smile and a polite "no thanks" will suffice. It horrifies me when I see people shoo them away as if they are vermin. You are NOT better than them! Anyway, rant over.
Would recommend doing the 1 hour horse tour early on - good way to get your bearings for all the walking around you need to do! We also took a Coco Cab to La Castilla del Morro ( a must. the views are incredible and who doesn't like walking around old forts/castles? There was a little outdoor market, about 12 stalls so fun & friendly rather than being in a large indoor market) You cannot take the Coco Cabs through the tunnel, so we took a longer route (was 15CUC for the two of us.. normally max 5 CUC through the tunnel). The detour was great - saw a lot of Havana you wouldn't normally see & he detoured through some normal living towns in Havana where tourists wouldn't go. Much nicer than seeing things from a bus, or even normal taxi - and interesting to see the contrasts even between these towns. (one was like a shanty town, the other reminded me of New Zealand suburban bungalows.. with a bit more fencing)

Would definitely recommend - Havana is such an amazing city, I think it's criminal to spend a lot of time in the hotel anway, so fabulous location & pool were all I needed - eat out, explore, dance! Viva Havana!! Hehe. .

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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9 Thank WeezeNmD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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london
Level Contributor
88 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2009

I would agree with other reviews that it would be a 4 star elsewhere but for Cuba it is a very high standard. We deliberately chose efficient , but rather bland , comfort over character of some of the restored hotels and that is what is supplied. So i think it is a matter of personal preferences when selecting a hotel .

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank jools58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Teignmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
179 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 199 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2009

Stayed at NH for three nights prior to transferring to SRH at Varadero.

Absolutely no problems with this hotel, great location, good room (albeit that we overlooked a building site- the new extention being built) - only down point is that although there is a coffee maker in the room, they will charge you for the coffee and the in-house charge for bottled water is way too high... there is a shop accross the square that you can buy it at a fraction of the price.

Lobby bar has a good atmosphere, and yes, as in most international city centre hotels that I have stayed in there are some "working girls" present later in the evening, but they're not obtrusive and it's just "matter of fact".

Excellent breakfast spread and plenty to set you up for the day.

First night we arrived late and had some tapas in the bar, quite edible if not a tad dear, second night we had a meal in the steakhouse in the rear of the lobby - great meat, good portions, some obscure vegetables (this is Cuba) and a bottle of wine all came to approx £70. A bit pricey, but no complaints.

It's all been said about the roof top views and pool.

All in all we were happy with this hotel and I would definately stay there again.

Any questions, feel free to email ; merseygull@yahoo.com

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank merseygull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
257 reviews
184 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 265 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2009

We stayed at this hotel for 5 nights in November 2009. It is in an ideal location on the edge of the old town, just by the central park – Parque Central. We understand that it is a fairly new build within the last 4 years, and it has been sympathetically done to blend in well with its surroundings. It is also easy walking into the old town, and no more than 15 minutes walk down Obispo brings you to Plaza Armas and the port area.

We agree with other posters that this is not a 5-star hotel in the ‘western’ sense, but it is certainly one of the best hotels in Havana – we would say a 3+ or 4 star hotel, and stylishly decorated with charming staff.

We received a warm welcome from the reception staff and the room was very spacious and clean, with a huge bathroom that had a bath and separate shower. There were plenty of good quality toiletries too which were quickly replenished if required. Towels were changed daily, and our maid, Mabel, was very helpful and kept our room spotlessly clean. We were on the third floor and overlooked the Prado, but were never troubled by any noise and this being Cuba, there wasn’t much in the way of traffic.

Our holiday deal included breakfast and this was excellent. There was a good variety of food to cater for a range of tastes, with more than enough to eat for anyone. Pleasant staff too during the breakfast service. Other than eating breakfast, we did not take any other meals here and preferred to eat out. Looking at the price list for the hotel restaurant, our suggestion would be to eat out in Havana – it’s much, much cheaper and there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance. Our favourite was Los Nardos just opposite the Capitolio. We would recommend that you try to locate it in the evening when it’s open, as it’s difficult to locate during the day. However, at night you can’t miss it as there will be a queue. Note there are 3 restaurants in the building and be sure to get in the Los Nardos queue. The doormen are very good and we didn’t see any queue jumping and the line goes down fairly swiftly.

Back to the hotel. The pool on the roof is a real plus after sight-seeing all day and we made use of it every day. Yes, it does get busy but usually someone departs and you can find a space and it’s a great amenity in a busy city with great views too.

There is a money change/Cadeca in the hotel and the rate was the same as elsewhere. Just as an aside – to our surprise, we actually found Havana (actually all of Cuba), quite expensive and went through quite a bit of cash in 5 days.

Our only minor quibble with the hotel was that our electronic key card kept refusing us entry to our room – it happened 5 times over the course of our stay. Although it was rectified each time, it was an irritation.

We looked at other hotels whilst in Havana, including the Inglaterra, Nacional, Sevilla and Saratoga. We thought the only contender for No 1 hotel would be the Saratoga, but the NH Parque Central won for us, as the pool area is bigger and better equipped in our opinion.

If we are lucky enough to return to Havana, we would definitely stay at the NH Parque Central again.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank yorkspuds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hull
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2009

Absolutley adored this hotel, from the lobby to the breathtaking view of the Capitol building from our room overlooking the park on the 5th floor. Breakfast was very enjoyable with the omlette lady being an amazing talent.

Managed many an adventure in havana during the 3 days here as part of our tour in Cuba, thoroughly recommend the COCO taxis, and also an open top vintage car ride to the fabulous Tropicana evening...front section seats a must.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Backpackeratheart77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
27 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2009

The only thing I really loved about this hotel was the amazing breakfast spread. Otherwise it was expensive, lacking in character and the room decor was ugly and outdated. The location is central, but I preferred staying in Havana Vieja.
Of the two five star hotels we stayed in in Havana, I preferred the Hotel Saratoga because it seemed newer yet still more authentic, perhaps because NH is part of a chain.
Unlike the Hotel Saratoga, NH Parque Central had no in-room free wifi, which turned out to be a big hassle for us. We bought an internet card from the front desk but then went to use it and realized the rooms only have the 220 volt plugs which were the wrong shape for the computer cord and the battery had just died. Saratoga had both types. The room decor was totally unappealing to me. The carpet and bedspreads reminded me of a Motel 6. We did have a view of Parque Central but despite it being our honeymoon were given a room with two small beds, although credit to them they did allow us to check in early.
I found the lobby to be uninspiring/ tacky. For the price I would recommend the Saratoga especially for business travellers. NH did seem to be the more popular of the two for some reason, likely because NH is a chain and so seemed to have a lot of European followers, most of whom were soaking up sun at the rooftop pool. While the rooftop pool was nice it somehow seemed more Vegas-y than the one at Saratoga.
When it came down to it, I preferred the more authentic 3 star hotels in Havana Vieja, but if I did choose to return to a 5 star hotel I'd go with Saratoga.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank recycledracer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 9, 2009

Our first time in Havana with mixed experiences.
We stayed at this hotel for 4 nights before heading on to Varadero. As previous reviews state this is more like a 4* rather than 5* but because I probably expected this was happy with the general quality of the hotel.
Check in was without fuss (but without smiles), bedroom was large with a very comfortable hard kingsize bed, bathroom and bedroom very clean. Loved the rooftop pool, great views over the city, only problem was getting a sunbed, normally busy and didnt help that many sunbeds were being taken up by airline staff.
Was happy with the buffet breakfast, again my expectations weren't too high. Have to admit only had dinner in the main restaurant on one of the nights we were there, the steak I had was great! Other nights we dined out at state run and privately owned restaurants, definitely an experience and lots cheaper but food quality poor.
Location of hotel great, we did two walking tours (lonely planet), quite hard to follow but we did see most of central havana and havana vieja (hotel kind of in the middle of the two areas), hassled a bit which was sometimes annoying but still glad we did it.
Few negatives about hotel... staff in general I found unfriendly (a few were nice) & an item of my clothing went 'missing' from our hotel room (most expensive predictively), I informed our holiday company rep and she assured me is not a normal occurance but still clouds my memory of hotel.
Hope my review helps!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pallanc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Parque Central

Property: Iberostar Parque Central
Address: Neptuno, esquina Prado y Zulueta | Habana Vieja, Havana 10100, Cuba (Formerly Parque Central)
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Havana
#1 Family Hotel in Havana
#1 Luxury Hotel in Havana
#5 Business Hotel in Havana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Iberostar Parque Central 5*
Number of rooms: 427
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Also Known As:
Parque Central Hotel Havana
Nh Parque Central Hotel Havana
Parque Central Havana
Nh Parque Central Havana

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