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“Adequate, but noisy, poor breakfasts, and generally uninterested staff”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Raquel

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Hotel Raquel
Ranked #10 of 78 Hotels in Havana
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Adequate, but noisy, poor breakfasts, and generally uninterested staff”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2013 via mobile

The title says it all really. Quite an impressive building, but the experience was a let down for various reasons. Having travelled further in Cuba and stayed in casa particulares (essentially bed and breakfasts run by Cubans rather than the government) instead of hotels, I'd advise travellers to do the same.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Ray K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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693 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2013

At the end of a month long trip travelling independently round Cuba, we booked into Hotel Raquel for our 2 final nights in Cuba. Architecturally it is most impressive, and the huge, famous stained glass atrium does take one's breath away.
We received a very warm and friendly welcome from the Concierge, who wasted no time dealing with our luggage. (It is worth remembering that taxis can only get to within a block of the hotel, so luggage must be rolled/lifted). The Receptionist was friendly and efficient. Our room was huge and cool and the bathroom was like a little bit of heaven after 4 weeks on the road! The beds were very comfortable but for me only after taking off a noisy, sweaty, vinyl mattress cover.
Breakfast was very disappointing, watered down orange juice, even weaker coffee, and random meat products and eggy combinations. My advice is go elsewhere for breakfast. And no room service here. The breakfast put me off trying the restaurant in the evening.
If you choose to stay here you must be aware that you are choosing to be right in the centre of Old Havana, the streets are narrow and noisy, and this is also where Cuban people live and work. And there is a rooster nearby, and he is an early bird! So do not go if you want peace and silence for your beauty sleep. Do go if you want a big, cool place to stay and be right in the centre of things, live music, good food, galleries and museums are all on your doorstep.
FYI I enquired about the possibility of having manicures/pedicures in my room, The Receptionist had organised the arrival of a manicurist within 10 minutes!!
A graceful and pleasant experience if you eat elsewhere.

Room Tip: A balcony to the street is a great vantage point for people watching but not if you are a light slee...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Margie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carnac, France
Level Contributor
306 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2013

Strategically located in the heart of Habana Vieja , this outmoded hotel is a pleasant experience . .The building is a vestige of the glorius Habana . Don't miss a visit to the terrasse on the top floor. Rooms are large , some have no windows ...quiet... some have windows collecting street noise ...less quiet . The restaurant offers kosher menus . Service is limited as it can be expected of a government run hotel .

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank GuyCarnac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lot-et-Garonne
Level Contributor
400 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 251 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

The huge ornate lobby and immensely high ceilings provide a stunning welcome. This hotel is a world of charm on its own, so compatible with the feel of downtown Havana. Our room was also huge. Nice people - the usual Cuban indifference to maintenance and cleaning, and forgettable food. But a great experience.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank PeterFrance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2013

Romantic! Don't miss booking the rooftop turret for dinner for two or four. Surprise your spouse/partner for this once in a lifetime memory. We had spent five nights out dining, always accompanied by music and dancing. This was our last night at the Hotel Raquel. We craved a quiet evening alone together.

Our dinner was delicious and the courses were served in a timely manner. Our waiter without being asked, offered to take photos throughout the evening. They were in focus too!

Words such as "resurgence" "reemergence" "renaissance" "reawakening" enthusiastically come to mind when asked to describe the Hotel Raquel. This small art deco Hotel Raquel is an architectural gem, situated in the heart of old Havana, just two blocks from the Plaza Vieja. The Cuban government is discerningly choosing unique colonial buildings for restoration. Profits from one success leads to funding the resurrection of another. There is more than music and dancing in the nearby streets! Cuba is rising out of the rubble and proudly rebuilding it's finest structures. Hotel Raquel is an exquisite example of this metamorphosis. It is indeed a beautiful butterfly spreading its' wings to be admired by the world.

We stayed six nights in the heart of Habana Vieja. Although we arrived late after midnight, the huge wooden door swung open and a smiling doorman helped us to the front desk. The doorman had heard our luggage rolling on the cobblestones! Initially we hesitated booking the hotel as no taxis had direct access. It's approximately 5 short blocks. As we got out of the cab there were independent well-dressed entrepreneurial bellboys waiting to pull your suitcases for you! Problem solved!

Throughout our stay, we found the staff most warm and friendly. Our junior suite with very high ceilings had a wrap around balcony allowing us views in three different directions. As for the quality of sleep, yes the neighbourhood has a resident rooster. Personally if I did hear it crowing, it actually made me smile! Cubans are vocal. They don't all have telephones. If you don't want to hear the real sounds of the city from people yelling up three stories to their friends, then stay at the lovely Parque Plaza with your windows shut and your air-conditioning on. We could have put ours on but preferred the vibrant sounds of Old Havana.

Regarding breakfast, yes there is room for improvement. However as we had been out dining late we were never ravenous, so it was not something we dwelled on. Housekeeping was done promptly with fresh sheets and towels supplied daily. Our one wish was that the bottom sheet was fitted!

Step back in time into the art deco period; immerse yourself in this architectural Cuban gem. The stained glass ceiling, four stories above you, will simply take your breath away.

On a closing note, we are independent travellers and don't book package tours. We quite by accident found Cuba Travel Network online. Because of their personal knowledge and local connections they were able to take care of our hotel bookings and all of our special requests such as finding a driver and reliable car to take us to/from Vinales. We can't recommend them highly enough.

Room Tip: We were in room 103. I understand 203 303 are even better. If your room doesn't have a view, n...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Envisionary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, Tennessee
Level Contributor
33 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2013

Lots of charm in this Hotel. Its not the Ritz, but who needs that? Our party of 6 stayed in all three options, the junior suite on the roof, the junior suites on the 2 & 3 floors with balcony and a standard room with a balcony. The suites on the roof are spacious with nice baths. And you can walk out of your room onto the roof terrace for drinks in the evening. The rooms that have balconies onto the street can be noisy, rooster crowing, etc. but if you have a noise machine, good to do. Breakfast is provided and its kinda funky but really OK. Sometimes they will fry eggs the way you order them and there is always, juice, fruit, bread and cheese. Its OK. Not fancy but OK> Nice workout room in basement, nice bar on the main floor and great location. Perfect location in the heart of the old city. Clean, interesting, historical, and a pleasant staff. We liked our stay and would go back. Looked at other hotels in the old city. This is the best.

Room Tip: The junior suites are worth the extra. I likes being on the roof and those rooms are quiet.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jugheadlee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, Nederland
Level Contributor
158 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2013

To start with, the building is absolutely stunning inside and out. The rooms aren't bad either, although our room didn't have any windows and the room wasn't cleaned for 2 days (we stayed 3 nights). The bathroom was a bit moldy, but that seems to be quite normal in Cuba. The breakfast buffet was okay, but not of the quality you get at casa particulares. Location is very good, right in the centre of Havana Vieja and just off Plaza Vieja.

Room Tip: If you want rooms, ask for a room on the street side.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tissa010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Raquel

Property: Hotel Raquel
Address: Calle Amargura 103 esquina a San Ignacio, Havana, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#6 Best Value Hotel in Havana
#10 Luxury Hotel in Havana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Raquel 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
I would emphasize that the services offered are FREE gym and sauna for guests staying at our hotel It is also good to note that hotel guests are entitled to free parking ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Raquel Hotel Havana

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