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“Central, but noisy!”

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Islazul Hotel Libertad
Ranked #10 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Edinburgh
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Central, but noisy!”
Reviewed October 17, 2013

This small, old, hotel on Plaza de Marti is very convenient for all of the central historical & cultural attractions of Santiago, including the Moncada barracks. It is housed in an old Spanish colonial building, with all of the letting rooms on the 1st floor, three of which overlook the main plaza, and the remainder located in an internal atrium. The ground floor accommodates the reception desk, lobby bar, and a pleasant separate dining room. There is another rooftop bar and terrace, open from 4pm, which offers good views over the city and surrounding mountains.

The internal rooms have no natural light, which keeps them relatively cool, and obviates the need to have the efficient air-con unit on all night. There is a room safe (2 CUC for the key from reception), a good TV, and an efficient, hot, shower. The room we occupied, number 206, was quite small, but adequate for our one night stay. There is no fridge.

We decided to dine out, so can't comment on the hotel's dinner offerings, but the breakfast was well presented and adequate.

The hotel staff were excellent; friendly & efficient. The receptionist was more than happy to 'phone ahead and book our hotel room for the following night, and the concierge exceeded my expectations by taking my hire car to a garage to have a puncture repaired, thereby freeing my time for more sightseeing & shopping! His help was very much appreciated.

Now for the downsides! Being in a very busy part of the old city, the hotel suffers from the attention of the hustlers & con artists who congregate around the main entrance. They have elevated their trade to that of an art form! Also, although both bars were closed by 10.30pm, the noise within the hotel continued until about 3am, then started again around 5.30am - a good nights sleep was, most definitely, not to be had! I had the distinct impression that the hotel was being used for the purpose of prostitution, so would be unsuitable for family use. The final problem was the noxious fumes emitted by the multitude of old trucks and cars passing by the hotel entrance - these fumes seemed to permeate everywhere!

For a one night stop, I'd have no problem about recommending this hotel for couples, but I wouldn't have liked to stay there for any longer.

Room Tip: The rooms onto the Plaza de Marti have natural light and a balcony, but suffer from street noise. Th...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
5 Thank romagaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013

An 18 room hotel located right on Plaza de Marti which is a very busy roundabout. My room was towards the back of the hotel and so I was not bothered by traffic noise. The rooms are basic but reasonable comfortable. My room had a high ceiling but no window and was a bit dark and in need of decorating. The tv did not work but the air conditioning was very effective(essential). The bathroom was small and smelt of drains but had a constant supply of hot water. The menu in ground floor restaurant is limited but the food was ok. There is a downstairs bar and another rooftop bar/disco which wasn't open when I was there.

The hotel is not luxurious but is very cheap and reasonably clean and the location is good only a short walk from bars and restaurants and most of the tourist sights are within 20 minutes walking distance.

Room Tip: Rooms away from the front of the hotel are quieter.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank cellargas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Stayed at Libertad in mid april for 3 nights .Hotel has recently been refurbished ,not,i might add to the usual Islazul russian decor,colonial Cuban is the theme. Good breakfast at the resturant,nice reception and bar area,and comfortable, clean rooms. If you stay there visit the roof bar for great views over Santago at night and have a really good mojito or five!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank davelfarr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2013

I stayed at the Hotel Libertad in March 2012 with 3 girlfriends. We were on a 2.5 week holiday travelling across the island. We paid about £15 a night on a deal we found on the internet. The hotel is situated at one end of Plaza Martes, a lively plaza that often has festivals / fiestas in the evening at the weekend. The hotel building is as you would imagine, old with some lovely touches. The stone staircase takes you up onto the guest room floor which has high ceilings and open ends, so the breeze runs through (essential in the heat of Santiago) giving a lovely view of the plaza. The rooms are basic with air con, TV and en-suite bathroom with shower, we had a view over the rooftops and hills - beautiful. There is a rooftop bar which stays open late if there are customers, where you can mingle with other tourists or locals. Their is an internet room with two computers off the lobby, roughly 5CUC for 30 mins. The lobby has a bar which is also handy and is frequented by locals and taxi drivers, who are constantly hanging around outside. This is hotel is perfectly adequate and I would recommend to anyone who doesn't want to stay in a Casa, but still wants a cheap place to stay.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank HannahRiv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gatineau, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

The hotel is centrally located adjacent Plaza de Martes. I was on the second floor where the main hall has some nice tile work and views to the Plaza de Martes in front. The room was clean and the air conditioning, TV, etc worked well. Despite being situated in the hustle and bustle of downtown, the room was relatively quiet, a nice respite. I've stayed in various Islazul hotels in Cuba and would say this is one of the better ones at the 2 star level. Was good value for the money. The breakfast (included) is served hot at your table (not a buffet) and was quite satisfactory.
I parked my rental car right in front of the hotel for 2 cuc paid at the counter. Beware of false parqueos in front of the hotel offering to watch over your vehicle.

Room Tip: Ask to see the room before registring.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank Azur173
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntsville
Level 4 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2011

As a special way to celebrate my friend’s 50th birthday, she joined me in Cuba for a week. We used Club Amigo Marea del Portillo as our base because we had both been to this wonderful little resort in rural Granma several times and absolutely adore it. From there, we drove to Santiago de Cuba with two Cuban amigos as our guides. It was a lot of fun but also proved to be a minor adventure.

We had been warned that the incredibly scenic coastal road between Marea del Portillo and Santiago de Cuba was also incredibly treacherous. Yes, I must admit, it was not without its perils. This road is not for the faint-hearted driver, or anyone without a significant degree of experience and confidence behind the wheel. I would highly encourage the use of a four-wheel drive vehicle, on a sunny day. Don’t try it after a rainstorm; the puddles can consume small cars!

I had booked space in advance at a hostel, using an online service, so we would be assured of accommodation upon arrival. It was clean and the rooms were cheap but there were other concerns, so we opted to relocate to Islazul Hotel Libertad for our second night in the city. It was a good move. I had read several reviews about this hotel and it seemed to have a generally decent reputation. I would not hesitate to recommend Hotel Libertad, although I cannot wholeheartedly raise two thumbs for the attached restaurant.

Breakfast was included in the price of the rooms, which seemed fine. However, the food choices were sorely limited by a lack of eggs, and the server was somewhat surly. When it became apparent that a second cup of coffee was too much to ask, we found a more pleasant place down the street. They were happy to serve us, even though it meant hastily dispatching someone to fetch coffee cups from another location!

But, back to Libertad...the hotel was clean and comfortable, both our rooms and the common areas, and all the non-wait staff were perfectly genial. After reading other reviews that touted room #214 as “best,” we had to ask for it. Alas, it was unavailable. We were given two rooms that faced the street and allowed us to look out over Plaza de Marte – great for people watching! I had been a little apprehensive about the possibility of having our sleep disrupted by traffic noise but there was really no problem. It’s a city; there will be noise. But, traffic sounds were offset by the gentle hum of the air conditioner. In my experience, it was not any noisier than some places I’ve stayed in North America, and I paid far less for the room in Cuba!

During our vehicular exploration of Santiago, I learned a few things about Cuba and Cuban men. Unlike the North American variety of the latter, cubanos are not averse to asking directions...every five minutes or so, in certain situations – such as when there are few road signs and the map you are trying to use does not seem to accurately reflect the actual streets. At any rate, we did eventually achieve our primary objective, touring El Castillo del Morro. And, along the circuitous way to the castle, we stopped at a random restaurant and had a very nice lunch.

While staying at Libertad, we were able to park our muddy little rental car in front of the hotel. It was perfectly safe and, in short order, also became perfectly clean, thanks to the zealous efforts of a nice young man with a bucket and a rag. From the hotel, we did a little exploration of the area by foot and, in the evening, strolled across the park to take in some live music. Since it was the slow season for tourism (October), the bar on the rooftop terrace of Libertad was not operating. Although there was no music, the view from the roof was spectacular, especially as the city was awakening and the morning mists were lifting from the nearby mountains.

All in all, we had quite a lovely time and it was truly a special birthday celebration. I would be happy to stay at Hotel Libertad again, when/if I visit Santiago de Cuba in the future – there are certainly many other historic sites in this grand old city I would like to see. Our drive “home” to Marea del Portillo was pleasantly uneventful, since we opted to return via the inland route, and there was minimal need to ask directions.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank JennyC-Muskoka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2011

Unimpressed with this hotel. At 32 CUC/night, we were expecting something a bit better than this. The door hardly locked, the guy at the front desk charged us 0.50 CUC for a phone call, the windows didn't open (and were covered!), and the room was tiny. For half the price, I went to the Casa across the street, and stayed for 20 CUC in a WAY better room. I would not bother with this hotel.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank smfische
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Islazul Hotel Libertad

Property: Islazul Hotel Libertad
Address: Aguilera No 658 e/ Serafin Sanchez y Perez Carbo, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Santiago de Cuba Province > Santiago de Cuba
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Islazul Hotel Libertad 2*
Number of rooms: 17
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Also Known As:
Islazul Hotel Libertad Santiago De Cuba

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