Hotel Nacional de Cuba

, Havana, Cuba
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Hotel Nacional de Cuba

, Havana
Calle 0 esquina a 21, Vedado - Havana - 10400 - Cuba Hotel Website | 7/873/3564
968 Traveller

Reviews - Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Historical Traveller Reviews of Hotel Nacional de Cuba

A very special retreat into the past

from A TripAdvisor Member
Have spent many visits to Cuba at the Nacional. Unless you can appreciate the history and the legacy (if only the walls could talk) of this Majestic Hotel don't stay there. It captures past glories and records a little bit of its history (in the back bar). They try and keep everything in top shape without modernizing this Grand Ol Lady. It has a charm that only few have. The Garden with the Rattan furniture, the Sea in front of you, the constant Music playing is worth the price of entry. Try the Tuna sandwich with Cucumbers and Tomatoes on French Bread. For $4.50 its one of the best deals in Cuba, delicious! The staff is wonderful, friendly and very helpful. Lissy is a sweetheart and will go far to satisfy the customer. The breakfast buffet with its variety of sweetbreads and Fruit is one of a kind.Truly a great hotel for those who can appreciate its past and present.

wonderful time in grand surroundings

from A TripAdvisor Member
We had a wonderful time in Cuba and hope to go back. We will definately spend MORE time in Havana rather than the 3 days we did last time and tour the real Cuba. Varadero was nice and relaxing, but not the real Cuba.

Fistfull of dollars needed!

from A TripAdvisor Member
Cuba ia absolutely amazing. we went in 2001 and it was the most fantastic experience we have ever had. The nacional was a great retreat but it was expensive - and the endless tipping was tire some - lm perfectly capable of carrying a bag 10 metres without paying someone to do it for me. We went to a bar, where there were no other foreigners, and they could not have made us feel more welcome. An incredibly hospitable nation - they may not have the same as us in possesions, but they seem to have a lot more in the form of community & happiness. We will return in a few years time to see how tourism changes the face of Havana, and Cuba, l just hope we wont be too dissapointed.

Just 3 and half stars

from JeffeyS
My expectations from the descriptions I had read were probably too much. This really is not a 5 star hotel as the seasoned traveller would come to expect. A 5 star hotel would not charge you $5 to use a pool towel. A 5 star hotel would not charge you $5 for a flimsy one page map of the town. A five star hotel doesn't generally charge you $5 to use their (slow) internet facility when you're paying an extra $80 a night to stay on their executive floor. A 5 star hotel doesn't charge you extra if you want a cappachino for breakfast. Quite simply, this is a very faded hotel that feels like an airport hotel, ie. very busy and not relaxing in the least. However, it may prove to be the "best of a bad bunch" insofar that I also checked out the Santa Isabel (Lonely Planet suggested this is the best) but would confirm that there is no swimming pool at this hotel which was important to me. If it's not important to you then I strongly advise Santa Isabel, small and elegant.

Slice of the 1940 decadence

from A TripAdvisor Member
Havana is amazing - it stretches on forever and the traffic and people buzz as in any metropolitan city. In old Havana there aren't even any traffic lights, no matter how busy or wide the intersection so be on your toes!

Yes, there is absolutel poverty - but all I could see when I drove along the Malecon (I think that is the name of the main road along the ocean, fronting on the downtown) was potential and the beauty taht city must once have been. The spanish-style architecture is awesome, although most builsings are starting to crumble. I just couldn't get over the miles and miles of fabulous architecture - especially when, all of a sudden, you'd pass one which had been saved! Refurbished and glorious, brightly coloured and out of another era.

Some reviewers claim shock at the poverty and the state of the infrastructure. I can see how it would be shocking if you weren't prepared. It was, however, exactly how I'd imagined it, and that was part of the reason I'd wanted to go. If I wanted to feel like I was in North America or a resort vacation, I would have gone to... well you get the picture.

Anyway the Nacional WAS just like out of a movie. I pictured gangsters or old Hollywood types rather than Agatha Christie characters on the magnificent veranda bar, however. I also saw the Beuna Vista Social club while I was there. I just sat staring at the lawns, the ocean, the furnishings and decor and it was inspiring. The rooms were fine - no frills, nothing GRAND, but fine - charming. The whole place was charming.

I'd go back there again, but I wouldn't eat those weird pink hamburgers you can get at the cafeteria on the corner. What WERE those?????
Whatever they were, they didn't kill me!

t imagine a better home base in Havana

from A TripAdvisor Member
Our family spent a week at the Hotel Nacional over Christmas. We were originally assigned to separate rooms, which were fine but nothing special. Upon inquiry, we were easily upgraded to a very comfortable suite with full ocean views, large, well appointed bedrooms and bathrooms and a common foyer/sitting room at a nominal cost - it definitely pays to ask if alternate rooms are available! The breakfast and dinner buffets were very good with a lot of variety. The gym is top-notch, tennis court is good(bring your own balls if you want to play), though the spa services are only okay. The hotel offers multiple venues for lounging, eating and drinking with live music everywhere that creates a great atmosphere. There isn't much to see within walking distance of the hotel, but for $4 USD, you can take a cab or coco taxi to the centre of Old Havana to explore the sights, restaurants, and entertainment. We checked out the big name hotels in Old Havana, and couldn't find anything that could match the Nacional for character, quality, variety and comfort. Highly recommended for a great holiday!

Busy, old style elegance

from agl120854
In a city which is almost falling down, the Nacional stands out. It is an old elegant, beautiful hotel. The public areas are spotless well maintained. We stayed on the executive floor which has it's own check in which expedited the process. Our room was quiet, clean and had a partial oceanview. Internet access is available on this floor for $10/hr and the inroom safe rental is extra. The hotel wasn't cheap. I would go back in the blink of an eye.

s past glories

from A TripAdvisor Member
I travelled all round Cuba in August 2003 and spent the last night of my holiday in this hotel.

My first impressions were of an impressive American style 1930's hotel and walking into the reception you are greeted by a long hall with chandeliers running the length of it.

Things took a turn for the worse with our room, however because it was poorly decorated and the bathroom was in need of serious attention.

Also the air conditioning doesn't work very well and my camcorder had condensation on it after leaving it in the room which hadn't happened anywhere else in Cuba.

We kept our room for the next day (and paid through the nose for the priviledge) because our flight wasn't until 11pm.

There are two swimming pools at the hotel but neither of them are great because they're not very clean.

In short I wouldn't consider using this hotel again if I was back in Havana. The hotel Sevilla is much nicer and also cheaper.

The only thing that did pique my interest was that two members of the Buena Vista Social Club were playing there on the Saturday night. Sadly this was the night we were due to leave Cuba so we couldn't see them.

I just got the impression that the hotel was only famous because of it's past, not it's present.

History!

from KerryLouLou
Just returned from 2 weeks in Cuba and spent the first 4 nights in the Nacional. We just loved it. All the public areas are stunning and brimming over with historical significance. Get talking to the staff and learn a bit about the place. The guy who staffs the museum in the grounds told us loads and loads. We even got to hear on of the Buena Vista Social Club sing there! We saw the Cabaret Parisien which was good but not exceptional. The buffet breakfast was good but the buffet dinner was average. Great burgers by the pool though! To be honest the room we stayed in on the 3rd floor did not live up to the grandeur of the rest of the hotel. Spectacular view over the hotel garden and out to sea and old Havana. The room was comfortable but looked as if it had seen better days! We visited other hotels, some had more luxurious rooms but none was as beautiful as ours nor as full of history. I can now say I have stayed in the same hotel as the likes of Churchill, Sinatra, Errol Flynn, The duke and duchess of Windsor, Nat King Cole, John Wayne, need I go on!!!!!

My favourite hotel in Cuba

from A TripAdvisor Member
The only reason this hotel doesnt get 5 stars are the rooms which are actually fine but coulldnt be called fivestar. Staying here was possibly the best part of my holiday, people come from all over the island to visit and take pictures, the hotel is by all accounts the most famous in Havana. The a la carte restaurant is undoubtedly the best thing about this hotel, forget Floriditas which is ok but overpriced, our party spent the same money in this restaurant and had better food and more drinks. The surroundings are also much more impressive. If I was to go back to Cuba I would undoubtedly stay at this hotel again.

Top Local Tips for Havana

Money Although traveller's cheques can't be replaced while in Cuba if they are lost or stolen, you can still have them replaced when you return home, and that's a whole lot better than losing cash. However, when you cash traveller's cheques (or exchange cash) at any of the CADECAs that we tried, you will be charged only the "commission" (between 5 and 10 percent, as I remember) - whereas if you use your credit card - whether for purchases, cash advances, or ATM withdrawals, you'll pay 11.25 percent on each transaction. Plus, for cash advances/ATM withdrawals, you'll also be paying that nasty interest, and for ATM withdrawals, the bank service charges, too. So - take some cash, some (non-AMEX) traveller's cheques, AND your credit card, just in case - you'll be well-prepared.

Trips Cigar Factory, Rum Tasting & City Tour are a must

La Torre This restaurant is situated on top of the FOCSA building (the big green and yellow one, it's hard to miss) the views over the city are incredible! Evening is the best time to go, wonderful food with fabulous views!

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Other names for Hotel Nacional de Cuba

  • nacional de cuba hotel
  • nacional de cuba havana
  • hotel nacional de cuba
  • Address: Calle 0 esquina a 21, Vedado - Havana - 10400 - Cuba
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