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“One of the best options in Havana”
Review of Saratoga Hotel

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Saratoga Hotel
Ranked #5 of 81 Hotels in Havana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 11, 2012

We have been to Hotel Saratoga for 4 days in the end of 2011 and it is indeed a beautiful hotel, as intended by Habaguanex (the state-run company that's in charge of restoring old hotels and transforming them in charming, high-end ones). The location is great, near the main attractions of Centro Habana and a short walk to beggining of Habana Vieja. The room was decorated in a minimal, old-time good taste, with a special mention to the big bathroom (although it had a weak shower). We had one of the junior suites, with two balconies with great views of the Capitolio and the rest of the old town. Wi-fi worked just fine. The pool on the rooftop is little, but the place is good for a drink and some gorgeous views in the sunset.
Good service in the reception and concierge, but bureaucratic in the restaurant. Don't expect much from the breakfast, despite the wide offer, as well as the Anacaona restaurant: it is beautiful, but the food is mediocre, as it is usually in the state-run restaurants.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Emilia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 8, 2012

We stayed two nights at the Saratoga. At check-in we were shown to our room with a view ... which had windows at knee height (second floor)... the view would have required one to crawl to see it but the view price was what we were expected to pay. So my husband went down and spoke with reception and we were moved to a 6th floor room ... with a view of the park.

At check-in we were offered the opportunity to spend $20 each for a buffet breakfast which was way too pricey for our usual toast and coffee ... and we declined. So we went without breakfast because it was $20 or nothing ... splendid for a hotel what advertises itself as 5*. We did have a coffee in the adjoining bar but after enjoying Cuban coffee in Varadero earlier in December, the taste of this coffee was barely drinkable.

Our room was roomy but not really clean. The 110V was nice but the bathroom plug-ins did not work. The main covering on the bed was marked. Brown floor mats on either side of the bed may disguise a bit, but these did not appear to be fresh and no slippers were provided just robes. The bottle of water in the bathroom, we found out later (assuming this was to accommodate brushing ones teeth), was at a cost as well. The bottles were not marked for sale and we assumed(!) they were complimentary for hygiene purposes. The noise at night was huge and the second night I used earplugs which helped considerably.

We felt the gouge, particularly after staying at real 5* hotels in Peru.

The best part of our experience was the staff ... the mezzanine bar and Jorge the concierge, bell men, and reception.

The pool area had a great view. The Mojito I ordered was watered down and came with something in the mint leaves that should have never entered the drink. A replacement was given, so thank you.

The streets in front and down from the hotel were dangerous to walk on ... and it was not the people but the large holes in the sidewalk and at night poor lighting where the lights were working.

We had two lovely dinners at restaurants recommended by Jorge.

Leaving Havana was also interesting as the custom fellow took my passport and airline ticket only to tell me I hadn't given him a ticket. He left the booth long enough for me to jump up and pull both my passport and ticket back.

My husband purchased cigars and as were were boarding our flight we were called back as they wanted to see what was in his suitcase. Cigars!!! How many tourists purchase cigars in Cuba and how often would they not have seen this when x-raying bags. So a carefully packed case had to be unpacked and re-packed just before take-off.

So the question is ... do they want tourism or not? Cuba has a great deal of charm and the Cuban people are wonderful.

Room Tip: Choose rooms on the 3rd floor to the 6th. Exterior rooms would be nicer than interior.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank BusTravel2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2012

The hotels location is very good. Great view from the rooftop and nice and clean rooms. Hotel staff was excellent and the breakfast too.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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Thank Jay Jay O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2012

Stunning Hotel, delicious food and cocktails and charming staff. Rooms were perfect and really comfortable. and the rooftop swimming pool and bar is exceptional

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Flosspot1001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2012

I think that if you're looking to stay somewhere that reflects a 4* International quality hotel when in Havana, it comes down to two options. The Saratoga or The Parque Central.

I stayed at both recently and thought I'd offer a few comparison's;

The Saratoga has a great location overlooking the Capital Building and the Partagas Cigar building offering great views of the Havana skyline from the rooftop pool and dining area.

Both hotels are a few minutes walk apart and in great locations.

In my opinion, the room I had here was of a marginally better quality than The Parque offering very much a 'boutique' feel throughout the entire hotel. My bathroom at The Saratoga was very nice with a gorgeous walk-in shower and was fitted out to a high standard.

This hotel is smaller than The Parque and as such retains a smaller personalised feel to it.

On the flip side of this; when we went down for breakfast one morning, we could not get a seat in the dining room and had to take a table in the bar right next to the lobby. This will be an issue if you eat outside of an early start when the hotel is busy.

The pool area on the top flight also gets filled up quickly and sun beds are at a premium. We struggled to find one on a couple of afternoon's we returned to the hotel.

The bar and poolside food was cooked to a good standard and the service was good.

The main restaurant was 'OK' but not sensational if not a tad expensive. My preference was to eat at a local Cuban restaurant 'El Guajarito' a few minutes walk away from The Saratoga which was a nice option to hotel dining..

So; its a trade-off as The Parque does not offer the small boutique feel that The Saratoga offers but there is a lot more space meaning you can always get a table at busy times.

The Parque also has a nice comfortable lobby which is ideal for relaxing in whereas the lobby at The Saratoga is really for checking in only or waiting for taxis etc.

In summary, this is a very good hotel with the only few challenges being those mentioned at peak times. This hotel has bags of character and has a couple of nice bars. The location is great and you don't get so many hustlers outside The Saratoga that you get at The Parque.

Either hotel in my opinion is the nearest you will get to international 4* in Havana.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank DaveUKWorcestershire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2012

I recently stayed in Havana and had a few days at the Parque Central but then had to move to the Saratoga for a few nights as the Parque Central was full. Parque Central was fantastic. Couldn't fault it. My experience at the Saratoga was terrible. 1. It was the noisiest hotel I have ever stayed in (I've stayed in several others in Cuba and they've all been quiet). At the Saratoga all the bedrooms and corridors have floors and the acoustics are terrible. I could hear every single noise from neighbouring rooms and corridors, the worst being chairs and furniture scraping on the floor above me and next to me, which echoed really badly. Also, doors were constantly banging. Also shouting in the corridors. I never slept for more than an hour at a time as I was constantly being woken up with the noise (despite wearing earplugs). I can't understand why they can't put "felt shoes" or covers on the legs of the furniture to stop it scraping and something on the doors to stop them banging. 2. I asked to borrow an iron so I could iron a crease out of a top that had been in my suitcase. They said they didn't have any irons to lend to guests, and that I would have to send my top to the laundry. I said I didn't want it to be laundered, or ironed by someone else; I just wanted to borrow an iron for 5 minutes. But it wasn't possible. I've stayed at hundreds of hotels throughout the world (both expensive and cheap) and have always been able to borrow an iron. (Parque Central have ironing boards in the rooms). 3. I couldn't hang up my clothes properly as there was a shelf half way down my wardrobe with the safe on it i.e. all my dresses and long tops got creased as they were all screwed up on top of the safe and couldn't hang to full length. 4. Had room service twice and a couple of meals by the pool. Food very average and not as good as other hotels I ate in (and not nearly as good as Parque Central); also more expensive. Hotel definitely not worth the money and should only be a 3 star.

Room Tip: If you need a quiet night's sleep, stay in another hotel
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank CfromLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2011

On the edge of old Havana, the hotel was a treat to return to each day. We were upgraded for our first night because our junior suite had plumbing issues. The rooms were 315 and 316, both excellent with double balconies overlooking the side street and fabulous view of the Capitolio dorm. The sounds of the street were enchanting and not an issue at all.

Our only complaint was at check out. We had paid the bar tab the day before, but it was still on the bill, though it was argued, we gave up and paid it as we needed to get to the airport.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank charleston29464
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Saratoga Hotel

Address: | Paseo del Prado 603 esquina Dragones, La Habana Vieja, Havana 10200, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Havana
#5 Luxury Hotel in Havana
#9 Business Hotel in Havana
Price Range: $328 - $641 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Saratoga Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Saratoga best pool rooftop view in Havana, 5 star Luxury, 96 rooms and WIFI free. Other services Cradles Direct phone line Satellite TV FREE WIFI Air conditioning Safe in-room Minibar Room service Laundry and ironing 3 Bars 2 Restaurants Dinners and feasts service Buffet and A la Carte Breakfast Parking lot Luggage room 24 hours Reception Service Concierge Tour desk Car rental Business center Spa (Jacuzzi, masaje and steam bath) 2 Meeting rooms Baby sitter service Swimming pool ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Saratoga Hotel Havana

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