We stayed here for two nights; the bookends of our trip, June 13th and 27th. We booked online with www.cubaism.com and got the best price after considerable research; about $100 CAD/night for bed and breakfast. We booked this landmark hotel for the location, access to bank, stores and to be able to say we’d been there. We stayed on the 12th and 15th floors respectively and they gave us ocean views even though we hadn’t paid for them. They weren’t busy and were clearly doing renovations to the main floor and Polynesian restaurant (which was closed). The 24-hr restaurant had no mixed drinks except Cuba Libras. There was no lobby bar at the time we stayed there, except for a smoky room near the elevators that didn’t serve food. The hallways smelled mouldy and the air conditioning barely worked in our rooms. The showers had very little water pressure and the beds were well worn, as were all the furnishings. We weren’t given the minibar key (or asked if we wanted it) and our keys didn’t work on the safe. We were so tired after the international flight on our arrival and the domestic flight from Santiago on the last night that we didn’t investigate these issues, but it seemed a lapse in basic service for such a highly rated hotel. On the plus side, the rooms were both quite spacious, the towels were generous, there was a separate vanity area from the main bathroom, and the views of the Malecon were stunning. The best thing about this hotel was the sumptuous hot buffet breakfast with everything from smoked salmon to 4 kinds of fresh juice. The only disappointment was that there was none of that famous Cuban coffee being served – just a machine that dispensed cafe Americano or cafe Cubano. Of the six hotels we stayed at in a little more than two weeks, this was the most expensive, and the one we were expecting the most from, so it was a disappointment not to have better service and to find things so worn.
Was relatively prompt both times, but the second time it was after midnight and the receptionist did have some trouble with our voucher. It worked out OK, but neither time did they ask us if we wanted access to the minibar or the safe. They wouldn’t let us check out the second time until they had checked the minibar, even though we didn’t have the key to it, and the elevators were so slow that it delayed our checkout by half an hour to check.
Restaurants and Bars:
Mostly closed. Breakfast buffet was the best feature, except for the lack of decent coffee.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
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