More about Melia Habana
When travelling to Havana...
When travelling to Havana PLEASE, PLEASE stay in 'Melia Habana' hotel. It's excellent!! I would give it six stars if possible. Excellent food, excellent rooms, excellent views, excellent decoration...
It is expensive in the area, which does not mean it is expensive compared to other five-star-hotels in the rest of the world.
Melia Habana - solid hotel
First thing first, it is Cuba and they don't have access to everything that other Caribbean nations do. Secondly, how can you judge on one night people (for the ones staying one night in a tour)? Maybe if you had stayed longer, the patio door would have been fixed and the phone as well.
For me, the food is not great but the 24 hour bistro is dependable and good. My maid was a doll and she would leave notes every morning and I would leave one for her as well. The staff was friendly but not overly so like you would find in say, the Dominican Republic. The A/C was so effective, I shut it off a couple of times for it not to be so chilly. The live band at night was nice and the service at the lobby bar was good. We would go to restaurants in the area and the ride to old Havana was not very long and fairly priced. Oh and a bottle of 3 year rum waiting for me in the room is always a welcomed sight!
Terrible the worst service ever!!
Hotel ugly looking 1980s large box.
5 Star but thats a joke as there is no service.
Room very large with sea view but looks like it was in the middle of being modernised.
All the staff we can across very rude and some of the most unpleasent people I have ever come across.
Service in resturants terribel imposible to get tea or coffee. Most of the food cold overcooked. Very noisy and tables too close together.
Very good hotel, in a nice quiet area
The previous reviews sound to me as if we went to different hotels. Maybe they were just unlucky (something that can always happen in Cuba, where predictability is not something you should count on) but we spent 13 nights at this hotel and it was very nice for us.
The room was perfect: spacious, with sea-view, clean, the air conditioning worked ok. The service maids may miss to replace a towel every now and again after doing the room but - again - this is Cuba, not Europe, and it was far from being the end of the world.
Breakfast was spectacular, with live music played on violins!
There was a lot of choice and, yes, I have to agree that you had to chase the waiters to get some coffe sometimes but - I repeat - that's Cuba: if you can't deal with things like that, don't go to this country.
We met a very rude waiter a couple of times, who would try and make us sit in the tables nearest to the door, so that he'd work less. But it's safe to wait for him to finish his rant, say thanks, and then ignore him completely and sit by the window, next to the swimming pool. Lovely.
As for the distance from the town centre: yes, I agree that it's far away, and a cab ride costs 10 dollars. But there's a free bus provided by the hotel (which doesn't always run, you have to check!) and, anyway, being that far, and in lovely Miramar, was good for us. It's good to have a break from Old Havana.
You can have a quiet walk in Miramar; while the same cannot be said of Old Havana, where locals hassle tourists in a very tiring way.
Also, we rented a car, which was great not only for moving around in Havana but for going to other nice places in the country, like Trinidad.
All in all: we had a great holiday, although I'd say we stayed for too long in Havana. I wouldn't spend more than 3/4 days in it, and then I'd happily stay another 3/4 days in an all-inclusive hotel by the beach in Cayo Santa Maria.
Certainly not a 4 star hotel!
Thankfully only stayed overnight at this hotel as it was part of the Havana 2 day trip package. Although the room was very large with two double beds, I found it frustrating that the balcony doors could not be opened and the room telephone did not work, so if there was an emergency (fire) a trek to the bathroom phone would be necessary as the phone there worked. Not impressive! The air conditioning was rather paltry, so the humidity was compounded.
The food was just about bearable, some barely warm rather than hot. However, if you love pork you'll love the food, even if it's cold, as this meat seemed to be pervasive in this hotel. In short, there is a lack of variety of food. Yes, I did find some staff were unfriendly. Would I venture back to this hotel? Not if I can help it!
Glad only stayed the night
Stayed as part of 2 day tour of havana, before flying home. Although may not be fair to judge the hotel on one nights stay, it seems a lot of it's clients only stay one night (as is convienient for the Tropicana NightClub), so maybe could be expected to be set up for this sort of traveller.
Rooms good size, two comfortable double beds, but a rather musty smell (non-smoking room), but powerful shower with (really) hot water and was for 1 night so not worth complaining about.
Food seems to be a constant in other peoples reviews about this hotel, and it's going to be my rant as well. The food at Dinner and Breakfast was terrible! Cold, unappetising and at the end of the day a very poor reflection of the hotel. It may have 5 stars and a 2000 Sq Metre pool, but if your guests don't like the food then the stars and pool ai't worth toffee!
Location is good for the Tropicana (which is what l guess it's used for, but this means it's a fair ride into the city centre and l would have preferred a better location without the pool and better food!!
Unfortunately, as l said many people stay here as part of an overnight tour, so get no say as to where they stay, however if it helps I spoke to some air france air crew who said they were staying there for the last time, following their complaints, so hopefully it may improve!
Good choice when visiting Havana
I stayed at Meliá Habana for 2 nights in late January. In this review I'll talk about my experience at this hotel and in Havana City.
First of all, I didn't like the location of the hotel at first sight. It's situated in Miramar district, far away from the city centre. Luckily, as soon as I arrived I found out there was a free shuttle to old Havana many times a day. This turned out to be very convenient because the bus goes along the Malecón and the bus driver talks about the main attractions along the way, so the ride is very pleasant.
About the hotel, it's huge! It has marble everywhere and despite it's a bit old fashioned, the general appealing is ok. There are some elements which should be recycled, such as curtains and all that. I had the sensation that with little money they could do a lot to improve the image of this place, as it's a beautiful building.
Many rooms face the ocean. The rooms are big and air-conditioned. Beds are very comfortable. Each room has a mini bar but you have to pay for the beberages. But you can always buy a bottle of water outside and cool it in the mini bar. Again, the blankets and curtains should be changed as they look rather old. The bathroom is all made of marble and it has a lot of space.
The hotel is situated in front of the sea, but there aren't any beaches there so you can't swim. There's a very nice and big swimming pool, though.
On the ground floor you find 3 or 4 restaurants: buffet (rather expensive), Italian, Chinese and a snack bar. We prefered the Italian one because it wasn't expensive at all and pasta and pizza were really good. Food is gourmet like in both the Italian and Chinese restaurants.
Breakfast is served at the buffet restaurant and it is really good, the best breakfast I had in Cuba. There's a wide selection of food and the juices and shakes are made of fresh fruit. Besides, It's the only place in Cuba in which I saw maple syrup. The pastry is very good, too. If you can, go before 9 AM as it's quite difficult to find a good table after that time.
Finally, we didn't take any excursion because we had little time and apart from that they were quite expensive. Cuba is a very expensive destinations for Argentinians, as the CUC is more expensive than US dollars! I would have loved to go to the Tropicana, but the best seats cost 90 CUC. We were 5 so it would have been a lot of money. During the day, we walked around Havana. It's a nice city and it has impressive architecture from both the 19 th and 20 th centuries. It must have been a very important city in the past because even in Buenos Aires you don't see such a rich architecture as in Havana. It's a pity many buildings are falling down. What I didn't like is that many Cubans are very pushy. When they know you're Argentinian they want to sell you coins and notes with Che Guevara's face. And if you refuse to buy them, they get angry.
And if you are hungry and want to eat in downtown, I highly recommend a place in Obispo street called 'Europa'. It's a great place with fine architecture and good traditional Cuban food. It's not expensive at all.
Well, that's it. I hope this info helps you get an idea of what to expect at both Meliá Havana and the city itself. Have a great time in Cuba!
Havana OK not Great
Right, left the lovley Holguin to go to Havana for 3 nights. Arrived at the airport to transfer and waited 2 hours before the one and only plane in Holguin airport arrived from the UK. Then we boarded the coach to take us to the plane and waited on that stuffy coach for an hour. Anyhow arrived in Havana on the Saturday night Feb 9th 2008 around 8pm. Met the holidayplace rep who guided us to the coach and didnt say much apart from meet at another hotel (from where we were staying) in the morning, we decided to give that a miss. Arrived at the hotel, very rude check in staff, hotel lobby looked very nice what you would expect from a 5 Star hotel, live band was playign real loud. We got to our room Standard, was quite big two double beds together. Bath quite average size. Floor was dirty so had to wear flip flops all the time around the room.
Room - Not Clean even after leaving notes for the maid.
Big room, nice balcony
Mini Bar - Never filled up - Useless staff
(Tried charging us for drinks we never had on check out)
Anyhow went out to find some food in one of the restraunts, quite quiet around 11pm but found a nice place that did some nice food. Sandwiches etc, crashed for the night and slept well
Woke up to the loudest Thunder Strom I have ever heard, from 5am. Looked out the window and saw lightning flashes on the see. Did not even realise we had a sea view room until the morning, Weather looked crap for that day so we thought we would hold out to see if it changes before going out.
Breakfast - Dont expect anything special. Quite average, I was helping myself to fruit and a chef just came and took the tray while I was serving myself - shows you how rude they are in Havana. (Well the MELIA HAVAN)
Decided to get a cab to Old Havana - as the check in staff told us about a free bus but did not mention we had to book as its only a 12 seater. Got to Old Havana and got soaked as soon as we walked out of the cab, Puddles everywhere, it really is OLD HAVANA. Some idiot kept pestering us about a horse and cart city tour and kept following us. In the end we got so soaking wet (30 mins) decided to go back to the hotel.
Got a free ride later that evening back into town from the hotel as there was a cancellation that evening but no free ride back, so we took the bus around 6pm as the weather had cleared up went out for a walk in Old Havana to check it out found teh Bodegita del Medio famous Mojito bar well cool place very small but cool. Had a little wonder around and all we saw were stray dogs one attacking peoples ankles and biting them. We found a restraunt that looked busy on catherdral square so went back there later in the night. What an experience the most laid back service in my life, waited over an hour and 15 for starters and then another hour for mains, by when we were not even hungry but the food was nice too much meat though. Not sure of the name but its teh main restraunt outside the catherdral (on catherdral square) and watch out for the mad dog that might attcack
Next day got up eary had our cheap breaky and got the bus booked for our free ride to town, spent the afternoon there, went to the famous bars for Mojitos - Del Boa something, and the other for daquiris / floridita (this one is lame) just go for the Mojitos well worth its called Bodegita del Medio
Checked out the revolution Museum - Waste of time serious did not teach me a thing about anything.
Took the horse and Carriage tour as we were quite tired, well worth it.
By now we were bored so decided to go back to the hotel for some cigar smoking experience, and dinner as we were bored of what we had seen so far, Found out the hotel has a asian restraunt so went there that evening and ordered food fit for a king, Food was Ok stick with the starters mains was not that nice.
Oh by the way right next to the hotel is a shopping center with Lacoste , Mango, Addidas etc also a supermarket go here and get your beers (take a bottle opener) water crisps snacks etc very cheap
Tried to arrange for us to go in the VIP Lounge at the airport with our reps they told us to arrange it at the airport when we see the reps - WWW.HOLIDAYPLACE.CO.UK
Terrible - Terrible - Terrible
Waited 45 Mins as only one person knew how to do this. then our bill had like an additional $92 for lobby bar drinks, hold I said whats this and they removed it then tried charging for drinks from the mini bar - we explained we had no drinks in the fridge to drink and asked everyday for it to be filled but it was never done.
Time to go on the Tuesday, coach picked us up 15 mins late, then picked up all the other guests from other hotels around the corner.
Arrived at the airport and hour flight is delayed by 5 hours, NO HOLIDAYPLACE REP IN SITE. everone had exchanged their peso back to GBP so we couldnt even get a drink food etc. We all looked in vain to find the Reps an hour had passed and still no reps. We had to ask the Cubana Sales desk to call a number for us which we had for emergency and the lady we spoke to was convinced the reps were there prior to us arriving (I dont think so)
Anyhow we found the reps whoe told us sorry but the flight is delayed and nothing they can do we had to wait for check in to open at 4pm - bearign in mind we were at he airport at 12pm
We asked for drinks / food but they said we cant do anything, and went to the snack bar themselves while we all had to cue up to get our bags wrapped in cling film for what reason? no one explained. We asked to be upgraded which we were happy to pay for as the Airline is very bad, were told NO when were told there were upgrades available. When we questioned the Reps about paying for the VIP lounge they said dont worry will sort it when you go through check in - when we finnally got through the REPS HAD MUGGED US OFF AND GONE HOME.
waited another 4 hours for the gate to open - no VIP Lounge and had the worst hamburger in my life was like Glue or something in a bun disgusting
Going to Sol Cayo Coco, does anyone know the price for a overnight package trip to Havana? or is it cheaper to book flights/accommodation seperate?
RE: cayo coco
Hi, i was at Cayo Coco in March this year, staying at Sol Cayo Guillermo, we did the overnight trip to Havana with the Tropicana as part of package, the whole thing, including flights, hotel 5* Melia Habana, and Tropicana show, and all meals, was £169.00, that was with Thomas Cook, and was booked via their reps in Cayo Coco.
A real bargain, and thoroughly enjoyable too, is NOT worth doing just the day trip, too long a day, and very tiring too.
Have a great holiday in Cuba, lovely country, and fab friendly people too, can't wait to go back.
Pleas mail me if i can help further: firstname.lastname@example.org