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“Overrated”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Havana

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Hotel Havana
Ranked #82 of 354 Hotels in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Overrated”
Reviewed January 5, 2014

This hotel gets a ton of positive buzz. I can see why, to an extent. But I'm wondering if the people writing all those glowing articles for national and international travel magazines have actually stayed the night here.

After check-in, which was quick and easy, I went to the basement bar. The bartender was, by far, the rudest human I've ever encountered. Service with a snarl. He clearly didn't want to be there. One of the other guests finally called him out in front of everyone and he toned it down ... a bit. Totally unacceptable.

Thankfully, the staff at Ocho (their restaurant) was much, much nicer. There were still issues there, though. The bartender there apologized -- without any prompting -- for the delays in getting my food and gave me a free drink. That, my friends, is good service. The prices are reasonable and the food is tasty.

I had a suite. It was nice ... wood floors, simple-yet-elegant furnishings, a sitting room with a couch and fridge, comfy bed. The refillable soap/shampoo/conditioner bottles in the tub are kinda gross. I understand they're trying to be eco-friendly, but it doesn't seem particularly sanitary. Also, as another poster mentioned, even though multiple sets of towels were left by the maids, there was only one -- yes, one -- washcloth in the room.

Also as previously mentioned, hallways were littered with dirty dishes. Seriously, someone can't come through late at night and/or first thing in the morning to pick them up?This place isn't that big.

I'm not opposed to paying a premium rate for a premium hotel, but Hotel Havana isn't there ... yet.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank imeasily_bored
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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316 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (80)
Date | Rating
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English first
Edison, New Jersey
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014

Having just come from an ultra-modern hotel, the old world charm struck us as we arrived: exposed beams; wide hardwood bannister up the staircase, and only 3 floors. We had the top floor corner room and could see a small piece of the Riverwalk from the bedroom window. Our room had different levels - entrance level, step up to the right into a bathroom that had a wonderful skylight, and up to the left to the bedroom area. The old-world theme continued in the room, with an old-fashioned Smeg refrigerator, and antique dresser and bedside stand. I would have liked to have paper to line the drawers as I was concerned my delicates might snag on the wood. Robes, handmade in Marfa, Texas, were provided in the rooms. I have to mention the pillows - fantastic - I ordered our own from Cuddledown.com when we returned home. Being on the top floor, and having a large open area for the staircase, the heat rose so that you could feel the temperature rising as you walked up each floor. The top level was really hot, but since the bedroom had its own controls, we were able to keep a comfortable temp in our room. We were very grateful for the heat because we were there during an unusually cold spell. There was a balcony available to everyone on the 3rd floor - there may have been balconies on the other floors too, I did not check. We didn't use it because of the cold, but it would be great in warmer weather.

Room Tip: Top floor (3rd) has very high ceilings and the corner room has a glimpse of the river walk. Our roo...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vacationdecider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisiana
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2014 via mobile

I stayed here with my husband & 2 adult sons, in two "king suites." Between the four of us, we have stayed in numerous old hotels & B&Bs as well as many 2-4 star hotels across the US, most countries in Europe, plus a few other places, and have never had such a disappointing experience.

We actually had a reservation for four nights but checked out after the first, even though we had to pay $497.41 for the second night because we hadn't "notified them 24 hrs in advance." (Rather hard to manage when our reasons for checking out early were due to our poor experiences the first 15 hrs there.)

We reported some of our complaints first thing in the morning, all of which the staff indicated were reasonable, but none of which they could "fix." We called the front desk at 11:00 am to tell them we had to leave as our sons reported that they could not sleep most of the night: The walls were so thin they could literally hear every single word of a long conversation between the couple in the next room, the loud but unintelligible voices & footsteps of the persons above them, and the sound of everyone coming up or going down the uncarpeted creaky wooden staircase outside their room. When the noise was still going on after 12:30 am, they called the front desk for ear plugs and were told someone would be right up to bring some. No one ever showed up.

Issues beyond noise prohibiting sleep:
* No closet, not even an open hanging bar, only a multi prong hook on the wall. When we complained, they said there was one room with a closet & one with a wardrobe in the hotel (both in use) and nothing they could provide us.
* The bathroom - door locked only with much manipulation. No place to put anything except on the pedestal sink and the back of the toilet (which had a tray with 10 tissues on it). The shower head was fine for me at 5',1" but no one taller. No amenities in the bathroom beyond a bar of soap and large squeeze bottles of shampoo, conditioner & body wash. (Economical for the hotel, but likely unsanitary, as I doubt they are washed after every visitor leaves.)
* Speaking of unsanitary, the beautiful floorboards had many large gaps between them with obvious dirt & other "stuff" embedded in these gaps.
* Our "king suite" consisted of a "sitting room" (apparently an enclosed porch as the window looked into it) that combined with the bedroom equalled the size of a basic / standard hotel room.
* Given the sitting area's 3 exterior, apparently uninsulated walls, if it was warm, the bedroom was hot. If the bedroom was comfortable, it was chilly.
* The refrigerator had only Mexican soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and plain water (at $7.00 a bottle). The freezer had frost inches thick & one very small ice tray that appeared to have been filled months before.
* Ocho, the lovely bar of which we had read, was quite charming but not at all relaxing since we sat well over an hour before getting any service.
* The restaurant was also lovely, like a long narrow greenhouse, with a glass roof and glass walls on three sides. Unfortunately, it was winter, and the restaurant was freezing unless you were next to one of the portable heaters placed between every two seating areas. We did not eat there. Also, given the temperature, none of the charming outdoor areas were of any use to us.
* There was no coffee in the room and none in the lobby either. We were told they use to provide coffee in the lobby but management had stopped that.
* For $17.00/night, we got to park our car outside in an uncovered and unguarded lot, open to the street in a "transitional" neighborhood.
* We had to carry our luggage up 12-15 stairs to the lobby and were offered no help to get it to our rooms, not even the use of a rolling luggage cart.

None of us can understand why this place has gotten such great reviews. We give it two stars for atmosphere, but found nothing else to recommend it.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank calicocat7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2014

We felt fortunate to be able to find a room available in this often fully booked hotel, and when I first saw our room, I was enchanted! Cute little retro fridge; enormous windows with wooden shutters . . . fabulous!

Soon enough, though we realized that the room simply wasn't set up well. For example, although we did find hangers in a drawer, there was no place to hang up our clothes! No closet, no armoire. Nothing. My husband ended up hanging a week's worth of shirts from the coat hooks on one wall & on the bathroom hooks, and I had to hang my clothes from the knobs of the window shutters. So much for charm! :(

When evening came, we realized that the room contained one (and only one!) chair, an uncomfortable wooden one. Only a few dim lights were provided, making it difficult to read or work. I tried going out to the lobby to read, but the lights there were just as dim.

The bathroom was very dimly lit, as well. No hair dryer was provided. The shower head (there was no tub) was so close to the wall that it was necessary to stand sideways to be under the water while showering.

And speaking of the bathroom . . . one of the most annoying things about our stay here was that we were provided only one clean washcloth each day, unless we asked for another. Two people; three towels; three hand towels, and one wash cloth. What's with that?! As small as the hotel is, one would think that after having been asked daily for an extra washcloth, the staff would have begun to provide us with one without a daily request. But they didn't. In fact, one day the housekeeping staff forgot to pick up our used washcloths at all, and when I discovered them that evening and asked for clean ones, the apologetic front desk person told me that they didn't have any more!

Worst of all, though, was the noise. We had a busy street outside one wall, and were next to the very noisy lobby with wooden floor creaking and people laughing as they came and went. Lying in bed, we could even hear the front desk person's response whenever she would answer the phone. That's how bad it was. Oh, yes, lots more noise from the room above us (thin ceiling), and worst of all was when the people in the room across from ours would come and go. Metal keys with large metal tags clanking against the metal door knobs and locks didn't help.

The staff people here were very friendly and willing to answer questions or give advice. We also enjoyed unique and delicious breakfasts at the attached restaurant. But, overall, there is no way I would ever stay here again.

.

Room Tip: Perhaps an upstairs room would have been more quiet?
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BlackjackHillbilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at Hotel Havana for two nights and while the hotel and the room was attractive to look at, the service, cleanliness of the bathroom and lack of amenities was disappointing. While it is not the most expensive hotel in town, at over $200 a night with tax it is not the cheapest either...so it would have been a nice touch if a bottle of water or a newspaper was complimentary. Things that were unacceptable included someone elses' hair in the bathtub when we arrived (which never left!) , a heater that didn't work and eventually started making the room smell like oil, lack of amenities and staff who were all nice yet unable to solve problems. At one point we asked if there was anywhere we could print our boarding passes and at first was told to go to another hotel. Luckily on the last morning we had a front desk clerk who seemed more on the ball who printed the passes for us and tried to compensate us for a mistakenly taken souvenir wine glass from our room - she was also a little taken aback that this and other issues had not been resolved prior. By the end of our stay our impression was tainted and we wouldn't recommend the hotel. It just seemed that no one was in charge - beauty no depth.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Fawnyyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lucy858
Level Contributor
52 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2013

Although this hotel is a bit off the beaten path, it is he perfect way to experience San Antonio. The bar and restaurant have great food and cocktails and offer views of the riverwalk. You're only a 5 minute walk from the Alamo, Riverwalk shops etc. But I will warn you, it's tough to leave this adorable hotel with the colorful yet rustic decor, giant bathrooms and affordable in room snacks.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lucy858
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
44 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2013

Recommended by friends, we booked far in advance for stay before a December wedding in the Texas Hill Country. With great expectations, imagine our surprise when the room we were given was off the lobby (noise to be expected0 while the windows were not only shuttered but also draped since they overlooked the bar! The net result was a large dark room with no where to hand clothes--no closet, no armoir. Add a surly receptionist, a dimly lit room, and uncomfortable furniture and you have what a boutique hotel is not supposed to be. Boutique hotels have charm and comfort, and Hotel Havana unfortunately has neither. Simply putting old furniture in a room does not produce charm!

On service, there was no porter to help with luggage and in fact no place to really store luggage until our room was ready, so luggage was placed behind the reception area. Directions to a good restaurant were imprecise. Helpfulness at the front desk generally lacking. Matter of fact responses and neither graciousness nor hospitality. Again a failing grade for any hotel, but especially a boutique hotel.

You can do much better in San Antonio or in fact in Havana.

Room Tip: Not on the main floor off the lobby; not in rooms where windows do not open. Perhaps not at this hot...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Danny L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Havana

Property: Hotel Havana
Address: 1015 Navarro Street, San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > San Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #82 of 354 Hotels in San Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Havana 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on a quiet stretch of the North Riverwalk known as the Museum Reach, directly adjacent from the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, Hotel Havana offers elegant accommodations in the heart of San Antonio. From the studios to the Penthouse Suite, each of the 27 rooms and suites is uniquely appointed and designed for comfort. All feature original Bastrop pine floors and are decorated with antique furniture, Turkish rugs and vintage Cuban artwork with an emphasis on creating elegant but uncluttered space for a restful stay. Our luxurious bed linens are custom made and bathrooms are stocked with Red Flower body care products. Each room comes equipped with our signature mini bar featuring local and international snacks, drinks and souvenirs.Hotel Havana is also home to Ocho, a restaurant and lounge space serving drinks and food downstairs in the intimate hotel basement and upstairs on the riverfront. The property was reopened in 2010 by hotelier Liz Lambert and Bunkhouse Group and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. ... more   less 
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