Our initial experience when booking into the Parque Central was a disappointing one. We were kept waiting over an hour at reception before our room was ready, despite the fact that we were checking in at 6.00pm and rooms should have been ready four hour earlier. We had booked a junior suite and when our room was finally allocated it was in the new part of the hotel, which involved us walking down a steep flight of steps with our cases, (no help was offered) walking along a passageway under a road, and then up an equally steep flight of steps. When we arrived at our room it was very disappointing. The bedroom and bathroom had no windows at all, and the tiny entrance lobby that gave the room its status as a junior suite had a small window over a roof. It was late, and we were tired, but we tropped back to reception, and made our dissatisfaction clear, in a courteous but firm way to a receptionist called Marina. We then went out to eat, leaving Marina to try to improve our accommodation. Initially when we returned an hour later, Marina reported that she had not been able to find us a better room, but was hopeful she would be able to do so the next day. However, by the time my wife and I returned to our room, there was a note under the door from Marina, in perfect English, offering an exchange. I returned to reception, was taken to a location in the original part of the hotel to a fabulous suite with a 100 feet corner balcony overlooking the front of the hotel and Central Park. It was a stunning suite, fabulously furnished and decorated, for which we were charged no more. Marina it turned out was typical of the quality of service throughout the entire hotel. The huge number of staff in the beautiful Mediterranean breakfast room were charming, courteous, and incredibly efficient. They were matched only by the absolutely exceptional food on offer. Fabulous arrays of fruit, a dozen hot meals, a plethora of different breads, pastries, cakes, cereals, and more coffee and fruit juice than an army could consume. Throughout our six day stay, neither the food, nor the service strayed from this extraordinarily high standard.
The hotel provided efficient and good value money exchange, a nice little gym, three super-fast lifts, a permanently manned office to book tours, shows and car hire, two great bars, and four restaurant areas, including one on the roof. The food during the day and evening did not quite match the exceptional standard of the breakfasts, but it was good nonetheless, still with fabulous service, and a great wine list. (Find the one with the flags on,- bigger choice and better value and even half the staff hadn’t seen it!)
The "Old Building"
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The swimming pool on the roof was beautiful, and provided a fantastic eyeline over the city, and the rooftop bar provided quick and reasonably priced service for cocktails or just tea and coffee if that is what you preferred.
There were lots of sunbeds and free towels available, and great food could be ordered which was served in an open air restaurant area just thirty yards away. Alovely place to spend an afternoon,- or an evening.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Most evenings there was some low key entertainment in the main lobby which was a large and comfortable area in which you could sit and drink, take a meal, or just watch the entertainment.
Other Comments: The location was, we believe, simply the very best in the city. Overlooking the exciting and vibrant Central Parque, with its hotels, restaurants, Havana’s main theatre, and the Capital building, we were just a short walk from all the sights and sounds of the old town, and only 500m from the end of the Malecon, the 10k semi circular route around the bay. Everything you could possibly need was on hand,- from rickshaws, horse-drawn carriages, taxis, walking guides … If you are visiting Havana this simply has to be the place to stay. But if our experience is anything to go by, stick to the "old building" rather than the new.