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zanne Nov 29th, 2011 09:01 AM

Havana hotels
Melia Cohiba vs El Nacional Hotel, which is nicer?

qwovadis Nov 30th, 2011 02:14 AM

The Grand Hotel has all the action history

noisy crowded overwhelmed staff crowded with tour groups.

Melia quieter not in the center of things out toward HAV for deals NH Parque not bad too

So it sort of depends on what you want action or nicer/quiet

Happy deciding!

tower Dec 26th, 2011 07:59 PM

The Nacional, as qwovadis says, has history...some of it pre-Castro glamorous (celebrities, lavish shows) and some gritty (gansters/mobsters like Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano. etc)..We were fortunate to see the Buena Vista Social Club perform at the Nacional a few years back.

As for lodgings, we thorughly enjoyed the <b>Condes Villa Nueva</b> in Old Habana, once the main lodging for the tobacco barons. The location is very central to what's happening, it has a very good restaurant and large rooms.
Here are some scanned pix which also feature the Villa Nueva, with some weak shots of the aforementioned Nacional and the BV Social Club. You will certainly enjoy Cuba.

tower Dec 26th, 2011 08:10 PM


Web site for Conde de Villanueva:

How are you planning to enter the country? If you'd rather not say, please excuse the question.


Odin Dec 27th, 2011 01:39 AM

The Nacional is interesting to visit whilst in Havana but personally I would recommend staying in Old Havana as the Nacional is quite far out. Same with Melia Cohiba although that one is closer. We stayed at the NH Parque Central which had a very good location.

Frances Dec 28th, 2011 05:55 AM

In 3 nights in Havana we stayed in 3 different hotels. We also visited the Nacional and walked by the NH Parque Central.
Whilst I'm very glad we saw the Nacional I am also glad we didn't stay. It was massive and not accessible to the rest of Havana without transport(once you had walked it once you probably wouldn't do it again).
The NH Parque Central was in a great location but possibly noisy as it is on a major traffic island. People I met who stayed there have liked it very much.
We stayed our first night in O'Farrells -a few blocks back from the waterfront. We had booked in the Floridia but when we arrived they told us the were moving us to another hotel out of the old part of the city. We refused to go. They said there was an electrical fault in a number of rooms on the floor where we should have stayed and the room was out of use. I said that I didn't see that this would be a problem and could I please see the room. They refused. So I said we'd sleep in the main foyer on the setteees they had there. This necessitated a number of telephone calls to the manager who had now gone home- it was about 9pm. They then said that we could go to the O'Farrell- a few blocks away. We agreed to look at it and liked it very much- except that the room had no windows but this was not the problem that I had thought it might be. It was newly renovated and full of character. The next morning we asked if we could stay but I was now marked down as a troublemaker and told that we WERE moving back to the Florida.
The Florida was nice -old, had double doors to a verandah over the street which looked as if it might collapse at any minute.
We returned after 5 days in Trinidad and stayed at the Raquel. Again lovely, restored quiet.
I would stay in any one of the three again.

JeanH Dec 28th, 2011 06:03 AM

It's been several years, but, we stayed at the NH Parque Central when we were attending the International Jazz Festival.

It was an ok hotel, not a place I would ever choose if traveling independently. However, as an American, I felt very fortunate to be in Havana at all...

Anyway, once you walked into the Parque Central, you could have been in any mid level hotel in any city in the US. Except that the food was truly awful. And, according to one of my fellow travelers, the scotch selection was awful...

I thought the Floridia looked awesome at the time. Maybe one day....

Canuck_at_Canada_eh Dec 28th, 2011 02:25 PM

Check out some of the hotels run by Habaguanex in Havana. They are mostly smaller "boutique" type hotels with lovely charm and less of the glass'n'chrome style.

If budget isn't a problem, I'd take the Santa Isabel in a heartbeat. Wonderful location and it will be a stay you will remember.
One other that I've been in but not stayed at is the quirky Los Frailes, one that I'll choose my next trip.
And the Palacio O’Farrill has a courtyard that is one of my quiet and sane retreats to sit and sip a cold beer and simply relax in the atrium's lovely atmosphere.

Enjoy your stay in Havana and while my personal opinion is to go for the rustic and skip the glass and chrome, the choice is really up to you.


tower Dec 28th, 2011 02:56 PM

Steve says: <i>Check out some of the hotels run by Habaguanex in Havana.</i>

Zanne...(and Steve)the Villanueva is a Habaquanex hotel.

wicosmogirl Dec 31st, 2011 02:49 PM

I just spent 5 nights at the Melia Cohiba earlier this month - it is a large hotel that attracts business travellers as well as tourists. My room was comfortable and clean, although I did not spend much time in it. The pool area was nice and not too crowded. The breakfast buffet had a good variety - overall the hotel staff was pleasant and helpful. I did spend two evenings at the Hotel Nacional for performances, and it is a beautiful, historic "boutique" hotel, but I don't know anything about the accommodations. There seemed to be alot of activity in the evenings - more "lively" than the Melia - the grounds were quite nice.

jjude Jan 3rd, 2012 03:22 PM

We are booked to the Quinta Avenda Habana. Anyone been there? Pretty good reviews on Tripadvisor.

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