The building, a former sugar merchant’s house, is stunning; the location in Vieja is excellent; our room was largely fine (although the enamel on the bath was cracked in several places and there were uncomfortable plastic mattress protectors on the bed underneath otherwise decent sheets). Most visitors seem to be put on the third floor, which is pleasant enough, though the grand living quarters are on the second floor. Our view was over the top of neighbouring houses, which is to be expected in this central location. Staff. We came across one lovely, very helpful receptionist. The other one, Mariela, is aggressive and rude, and, frankly, seemed to us to be more keen on pocketing a few extra CUCs than providing a service. It was not just with us: we witnessed similar behaviour to an Austrian man who was trying to book an extra night. She basically told him he didn’t have time to book online, so pack up and get out of your room now. When disgusted by her behaviour, we asked to speak to a manager, she shoved a leaflet and a business card in front of us, told us she didn’t understand my Spanish, and said write your comments on the website. That said, when I tracked down the hotel manager who was in the building, she was charming, very helpful and, I hope, will soon deal with this problematic member of staff.
Breakfast. Why oh why do these hotels insist on serving ‘American coffee’ which is more like dishwater than coffee and decline you an expresso on the menu when they cost a mere 1 national peso just round the corner (there are 24/25 national pesos to a single CUC)?
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