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“Typical 50's Havana Hotel - but central and clean - be open minded this is Cuba!”
Review of Hotel Telegrafo

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Hotel Telegrafo
Ranked #8 of 79 Hotels in Havana
Surrey, England
Level Contributor
124 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Typical 50's Havana Hotel - but central and clean - be open minded this is Cuba!”
Reviewed July 16, 2010

First impression on entering Havana was - Oh poor things! All around seemed dilapidated and unfriendly BUT one has to stay there a few days to absorb the real atmosphere and the changes that are taking place. All Cubans wish to live here for work reasons, therefore the living conditions are pretty over-crowded and poor. The Telegrapo has been recently renovated to its original Art Deco appearance. We were travelling in a group and because is was a special birthday for me during my holiday I was upgraded to a suite, think it was room 210!!? It was huge, sparsely furnished but nevertheless very clean with a huge bed - just for me. If you want a bath here take a plug (hotels elsewhere provided them) - in fact my bath was a jacuzzi although could not use it without a plug and quite honestly didn't know how to operate it. The outlook from the sitting room overlooked some poor old apartments (a picture of which I will show) and my bedroom overlooked the lively Parque Centrale- so I had the best of both worlds. It was interesting looking out of the sitting room early in the morning all the locals cramming into taxis to go to work - we don't know how lucky we are! This is Cuba - please don't expect European standards. We had dinner in their restaurant on the first evening - not to be recommended - very bland and everything served with rice and potatoes. Breakfast was passable - with pretty good omlettes. The staff were rather officious,not particularly friendly, but in other places we stayed in Cuba we found them delightful. It must be very difficult for them serving the likes of us who appear to have everything! Take it as it is please - it's an experience and an adventure! The hotel is adequate, and in a very good position to see the city. A few of us had dinner one evening at Ambos Mundos (Hemingways respite for a while), on the roof top - the staff were great fun and we had pretty good food. Here you can see over to the old castle, and if you are there by 9pm you will hear the guns go off. Someone from Trip Adviser did recommend eating at one of the houses'Particular' we did try to find it but got lost in so never found it unfortunately. Across the square from the Telegrafo you can find a little shop to buy water cheaply until very late into the night- and you certainly need lots of it in June. Take a fan too as June this year was sooooo hot, even for the Cubans. A must if you want to try the original stawberry daquiries is the Floridita but don't stay too long as they are little expensive (another Hemingway haunt). Visit the craft market - another tourist venue - we flew along in one of the Coconut Taxis - but didn't buy anything - you'll see why but worth a visit. Plaza Vieja (Old Square) is wonderful - it's been restored and there's a great restaurant on one of the corners, can't remember the name but jolly good food can be had. The Tropicano should be visited, old fashioned cabaret and so colourful and fun - bit like Folie Bergere - in the open air and we were lucky to have a no rain evening - best tickets are the 80 CUCs where you are one step away from the stage, the more expensive are next to stage and the view is not as good. Eat before you go, there is a good Italien style restaurant next to the Telegrafo with very friendly staff too. Through the hotel we arranged a ride in a '52 Chevy - and we drove to the Malecon and through new Havana. - interesting and fun.
Beware - do not wear jewellery or decent stuff - as a couple of our group had necklaces ripped off their throats. The police really took this seriously and poor things much of their time was taken up trying to find the culprits - just do not take good jewellery with you. The Cubans do not want to have this reputation as they are trying very hard to gain the tourist's confidence - that's where the money is coming from to renovate the city. Another little hint - the Telegrafo does not have a pool so after a steamy morning visiting Hemingway's Finca, a friend and I had lunch at the Parque Central and used the swimming pool to cool down - superb! So all in all the Telegrafo was adequate but not 4*. One thing I would like to add which I found appalling, was that there were 3 Canadian business men with 5 young Cuban girls (13yr olds) allowed into the Telegrafo bar on one of evenings- disgusting. All in all the hotel was adequate for our needs.

  • Stayed June 2010
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Helpful?
4 Thank Pamelala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kent
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2010

We have just returned from 2 weeks in Cuba, 4 nights of which were spent at the Telegrafo. We started our 2 weeks with 3 nights in Havana and were astounded to be gievn a first floor suite when we checked in. The room was fantastic with massively high ceilings and 3 balconies. It also had it's own lounge dining area, which wasn't large but nevertheless a great feature. We both loved looking out from the balcony over the park and watching all the fantastic old cars as they went by. People watching from here was great too. The down side of the hotel is the food. We were unfortunate in that when we arrived at both the start and end of our holiday it was late in the evening and we were therefore stuck with having to eat dinner at the hotel. The first time we sat on the outdoor terrace at the front of the hotel and on the waiters recommendation opted for a fixed price 3 course meal, which was terrible. On our return to Havana at the end of our holiday it was again late evening and this time we thought we would get room service as the pictures in lobby and lift showed a rather nice burger and they claim their's are the best in Havana. On this stay we were in a standard 1 floor room which was fine for our 1 night stay, however the phone didn't work so we couldn't call down for room service so went down to the bar to get some food. We ordered the burgers and explained that we wanted to eat them in our room but the surly waiters made no offer of passing the order over to room service for us. We waited in the bar and finally got our burgers and fries and took them upstairs to eat (we weren't being anti-social, but we had a bottle of champers to celebrate our holiday in the room). The fries were cold and a very small portion and the meat part of the burger was fine, really chunky, but it came with a slice of ham and a slice of cold cheese stuck in a bun and that was it. Breakfast was about what you would expect in a foreign hotel, terrible coffee and toast is usually the safest bet. Overall we liked the rooms, some staff were nice but there were a lot of surly ones which don't do the reputation of the hotel any favours. Would we stay here again? Possibly but Park Central seems a better bet but lacks that old world character.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Debs013Kent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buxtehude, Germany
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 24, 2010

newly renovated hotel, take 2nd floor, rooms like for the president himself, balkony towards central park. the high price was its money worth, only the breakfast could be better and more variety.

Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank shuddyhh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, UK
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2010

A lovely comfortable hotel in a great location in the centre of Havana.

We chose this hotel over the NH Parc Central on cost. Having had a look at both you can see where the difference comes - the PC has more opulent surroundings and a pool on the roof. But for the cuban experience I think this is great.

I think the Rough Guide mentions loads of hawkers hanging round the hotel entrance, but we didn't have any problems. There are a few of the usual taxi, horse & carriage guys but they're not that insistent and are pleasant with it. There's a few old people selling newspapers which we now regret not buying as they actually were in english( a year old and socialist propaganda but interesting nonetheless!)

The breakfast isn't the best, but no one goes to Cuba for the food. They do lovely omlettes (trust me - pass on the cheese) or there's a cafe just right out of the hotel entrance that does lovely pastries. The Parc Central offers lovely shade and benches to sit on and watch the world go by. The hotel's bar is lovely and calming and a wonderful cool respite from the heat of the city.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jaffakake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton
Level Contributor
75 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2010

We stayed here in Jan 2010 for 2 nights.
Hotel was clean and comfortable. Nice room with large beds. TV, Safe and large wardrobe. We have a little balcony over looking Parque Central but not all rooms have balconies.
Breakfast was fine, tea, coffee, juices, bread, cheese and pastries etc. Bar area is great with a mosaic. There are two PCs for internet use. Just ask for one of the cards from reception and then log on. The cards can be used in quite a few hotels. Staff were all friendly. Bathroom was fine and lots of hot water though the lighting was a little dim in there. A little noisy from the road outside but the windows stopped most of the noise.
The location is really good. Near all the sites of Habana Vieja. Just opposite the tour buses stop to take you around Vedado/Plaza de la revolucion or to the playa este beaches. Highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Nikivara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
2 reviews
Reviewed April 18, 2010

My wife and I stayed here for a week in March 2010. You can really beat the location for convenience for the Old Town, Paseo de Marti (Prado), Malecon etc. It's very central. The rooms are comfortable and reasonably sized and we found the staff to be very helpful and friendly. Very good range for breakfast and the snacks in the bar/restaurant are good value.

Only negative thing about our holiday was the airline. We would not recommend Virgin Holidays under any circumstances. Delayed 4 hours on outward and three on return with no assistance from ground staff and poor service on board in both directions. Dreadful. Think carefully before flying with Virgin.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TomThumb50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2010

We stayed a week at the Telegrafo & found it to be a great place from which to explore Havana. The room on the 1st Floor had large windows to a balcony but was well sound-proofed & watching the old 50's cars & real Havana from the windows was a joy. the room was very clean, but no plugs in the bathroom (evidently quite normal for Cuba!).
The location is great for accessing the old town & walking along tor Prado to the coast. Breakfast was plentyful & the burgers in the bar were also very good. Nice outdoor area to drink & people watch with the obligatory live cuban band playing. If you don' want a pool but want a really well maintained hotel this is great - excellent value for money

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KopsKapers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Telegrafo

Property: Hotel Telegrafo
Address: Calle Prado 408, Havana 10100, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Havana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Telegrafo 4*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
GeneralThe historic city hotel was established in 1860 and was then located on Calle Amistad. Around 1888, it was relocated to its present position on the busy corner of Prado and Neptuno streets. In 1911 the hotel was completely rebuilt, and when it reopened it was regarded by the press of the day as the most modern hotel in the city and ranked amongst the top eleven hotels in Latin America. The hotel of today combines modern and colonial elements in its architecture to create a wonderful unity of present and traditional styles. On offer are a total of 63 comfortable guest rooms with excellent views out over the city. The inner courtyard with the original brickwork of its arches forms an interesting contrast to the new design features. The hotel has a large ceramic mural in the form of a collage, showing elements of Havana's colonial architecture and a fountain which appears to magnify the courtyard and its surrounding ruins. There are 54 standard rooms, three suites, and six junior suites available, in addition to a lobby area with a reception desk manned around the clock, a hotel safe, a cloakroom, a currency exchange facility, and lift access. Guests at this air-conditioned establishment may also take advantage of the restaurant, the snack bar, shop. Also available here is room service (charges apply), a public Internet connection (charges apply), and parking for those arriving by car (charges apply). MasterCard and VISA are accepted as methods of payment.Surrounding AreaA famous institution in Havana since 1888, this hotel has since the early 20th century been considered one of the best in all Latin America. It lies directly beside the beach and is only a few minutes on foot from the ''Museo de Bellas Artes'', the ''Capitolio'', and the ''Gran Teatro de La Habana'', famous for presenting the best opera and ballet performances in the city.Property-InformationThe elegant hotel restaurant specialises in Cuban and international haute cuisine. Its decoration creates a unique place with a classical ambience, ready to welcome guests back at any time. Its appointment with modern furniture creates a timeless atmosphere in the halls with stained glass windows. The restaurant is situated on the ground floor of the building and offers guests a breakfast buffet or an individual breakfast, lunch à la carte, lunch from a set menu (offered for groups), and a set menu in the evening.Room-InformationAll rooms are fitted with an en suite bathroom with a bathtub and hairdryer, centrally regulated air conditioning, a double or king-size bed, cable TV, a telephone, a room safe, a minibar, and either a balcony or terrace as standard. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Telegrafo Hotel Havana
Hotel Telegrafo Havana

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