Nacional de Cuba Hotel, Havana City Cuba. 5 stars.
Start based on 46 reviews
- Destination: Havana City
- Address: Calle 21 y O, Vedado, Plaza, Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba, Zona Postal: 10400
- Phone: 53 7 836 3564, 64, 67
- Accept child:Yes
- No price
Description: Nacional de Cuba Hotel Cuba
One of Cuba’s most iconic hotels, Nacional de Cuba combines the features of an old Las Vegas Strip hotel with a picturesque Havana location, & will especially appeal if you enjoy spectacular shows, classic cars or history. Hotel Nacional de Cuba has hosted a range of famous visitors, particularly screen idols from Hollywood’s golden years, & the hotel has preserved several historical rooms which can be viewed on free guest tours. Nacional de Cuba is an elegant hotel from a different age & is itself a popular tourist excursion, with beautiful features & artwork as well as memorabilia from famous guests. Classic car lovers will especially enjoy Nacional de Cuba as they can see vintage American vehicles every day on its large, looping driveway & there are shows every Saturday. The grounds & terrace at Hotel Nacional are beautiful places to relax & sample the hotel’s signature pina coladas & mojitos, while enjoying views of the sea & Old Havana. There is a great choice of food & inexpensive drink at Nacional de Cuba with 4 bars, a buffet restaurant, 2 a la carte restaurants & a snack bar. One of the highlights of any stay is the Parisian nightclub with its spectacular floor show, while there is also live music in the lobby veranda every night. The hotel can get busy with tour groups & service standards can dip at times, with the buffet restaurant often busy at breakfast, so Nacional de Cuba hotel may not suit anyone seeking peace & quiet. Nacional de Cuba is a famous, landmark hotel that is admittedly starting to show its age. But if you like great entertainment, beautiful views & the idea of strolling in the same beautifully kept gardens once enjoyed by Hollywood royalty, you should try this hotel. Every Saturday from 4pm till 8pm the vintage car and bike club, Amigos de Fangio, show-off their treasures, below the Hotel Nacional.
Mapa de Nacional de Cuba Hotel
24 hrs. emergency medical service, art Gallery, bell boy, buffet, business centre, car parking, car rental, conference rooms, disabled facilities, gym, hotel shop, laundry & dry cleaning service 24 hrs., luggage storage, massage, money exchange, multi-language staff, no smoking rooms, Piano bar, post office, Reception 24 hrs., room services 24 hrs., safety deposit box in room, satellite tv, swimming pool, taxis, theme Restaurants, tourism bureau,
Vista al Golfo: Found in the Hall of Fame, it is entered through the Vedado salon. A tranquil spot to have a drink and talk about the Nacional’s history. The walls are covered with shots of better-known guests like Benny Moré, Betty Grable, Frank Sinatra, Francis Ford Coppola, Gabriel García Marquez, Geraldine Chaplin, Jean Paul Sartre, Spencer Tracy and many, many more.
Los Jardines: If you keep going through the main entrance doors you come out into the gardens, where the huge Spanish-style arches open onto an elevated and lovely view of the sea. A beautiful fountain with peacocks prancing about make for a relaxing environment, and there is top-notch entertainment, including weekend fashion shows, barbecue specials, live music and a mini-version of the hotel cabaret show. The cocktail special called Jardín Nacional is a lovely rum and fruit combo, and fits in perfectly with the garden’s atmosphere.
Aire Mar: Next to the Aguiar restaurant, with a wide selection of domestic and international wines. The star of the former is San Cristóbal, a superb dry wine with the first name given to Havana in the 16th century.
Havana cigar bar
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The Hotel Nacional de Cuba is a historic luxury hotel located on the Malecón in Havana, Cuba. It was designed by the famous New York firm McKim, Mead and White and features an eclectic mix of architectural styles. It opened in 1930, when Cuba was a prime travel destination for Americans, long before the embargo. Among its first illustrious guests were artists, actors, athletes and writers such as Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Keaton, Jorge Negrete, Agustin Lara, Rocky Marciano, Tyrone Power, Rómulo Gallegos, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Marlon Brando and Ernest Hemingway. The hotel’s reputation as a deluxe host is backed by patrons such as Winston Churchill, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, scientist Alexander Flemming, and innumerable Ibero American Heads of State and European monarchs. Minnesota (United States) Governor Jesse Ventura stayed at the hotel while visiting Cuba on a trade mission in 2002. In 1933, after Fulgencio Batista's September 4, 1933 coup against the transitional government, it was the residence of Sumner Welles and was the site of a bloody siege, which pitted the Cuban Army officers who had been instrumental in the overthrow of Gerardo Machado (August 12. 1933), against the non-commissioned officers and ranks of the Cuban army who supported Batista. Despite heavy losses due to the presence of the extremely accurate Cuban Olympic Rifle team, the Batista forces prevailed. A number of officers were shot on surrender. In December 1946 it hosted an infamous mob summit run by Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky and attended by Santo Trafficante, Jr., Frank Costello, Albert Anastasia, Vito Genovese and many others. It was memorably dramatized by Francis Ford Coppola in his film The Godfather Part II. By 1955, Lansky had managed to persuade Batista to give him a piece of the Nacional. That same year Pan Am's Intercontinental Hotels Corporation took over management of the hotel. Lansky planned to take a wing of the 10-storey hotel and create luxury suites for high stakes players. Batista endorsed Lansky’s idea even though there were objections from American expatriots like Ernest Hemingway. Under Lansky's impetus, a wing of the grand entrance hall was refurbished to include a bar, a restaurant, a showroom and a luxurious casino. It was operated by Lansky and his brother Jake, with Wilbur Clark as the front man. The new wing of the elegant hotel, consisting of Clark's famous Casino Internacional, the adjoining Starlight Terrace Bar and the Casino Parisién night club (home of the Famous Dancing Waters) opened for business January 1956 with a show by Eartha Kitt. The casino and clubs were an immediate success. According to an unpublished article sent to Cuban Information Archives around 1956-57, "The bar was tended by local bartenders, and the casino managed by gentlemen from Las Vegas." By the spring of 1957 the casino, sublet by the hotel for a substantial rent to Lansky, was bringing in as much cash as the biggest casinos in Las Vegas. The casino was closed by Fidel Castro in October 1960, nearly two years after the revolution. After years of neglect due to the disappearance of Cuba's tourism following the Cuban revolution, the hotel was mainly used to accommodate diplomats and foreign government officials. After the collapse of the USSR the Cuban communist party soon reopened Cuba to tourists in search of monetary support. Despite its restoration during the 1990s the hotel no longer carries the status and impact it once did. But its remaining splendor and history serves as tangible remainder to Cuba's past times. The hotel has been depicted in several films and is a popular photographed and painted landmark. The last scene of the 2001's movie Nada + (Nothing more) takes place in top of the Cascade Fountain in the Hotel grounds. Image:Hotel Nacional de Cuba lobby.JPG|Lobby of Hotel Nacional Image:HotelNacionalMusicians.jpg|Musicians at the Hotel Nacional, Havana. October 2002 Image:HotelNacionaldeCuba.jpg|Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Havana. October 2002 Image:Cuba011.jpg|Hotel Nacional and The Cascade fountain from Malecon Avenue.
nacional de cuba
More than just a wonderful place to stay, the grand hotel is an art deco landmark, with magnificent gardens overlooking the Malecón.
Emblematic Hotel Nacional de Cuba means pride for Havana and admiration from foreigners. Located just off La Rampa, this is Cuba’s Grand Hotel, opened in 1930.
Cuba's most emblematic hotel. Winston Churchill and Al Capone stayed here. Located on Havana's Malecon with a romantic patio and garden.
“History not luxury ”
The worse thing about our trip over the last few weeks to cuba was staying in this hotel. My husband emailed to ask for upgraded room because it was my 60th and we were completely ignored when checking in and requesting this. We had a good view from the room across the Malecon but I didn't fancy taking my shoes off because the carpet was awful. The bed was good and the sheets were clean. The shower was about 30 years old and I wouldn't dare take a bath maybe it had been cleaned but it was old, worn, rusty and disgusting. Our first evening there we went down to the cliff top bar, sat there for 15mins and was completely ignored we got up and left. Most of the staff in the reception area were not at all friendly and the only time I saw a happy face was before we left and the chambermaid was expecting a tip. Buffet breakfast was poor and the snacks in the bars were just as bad. I thought it was absolutely terrible that we were charged highly for using the room safe. I suppose the history of this hotel was good but I wished I had stayed elsewhere and just visited.
“Aa hotel that survives on its past ”
I was expecting a 5 star hotel with first class facilities. The hotel has been wonderful in the past with a hall of fame of visitors to the hotel with people like Frank Sinatra and many, many more. Staff were unfriendly, apart from the hall of fame bar, the under white table cloths were stained Nd grubby. The White table cloths were covered by blue cloths that were changed when tables were cleared but the White cloths were not changed only covered up. Totally unhygienic. The quality of food was poor and breakfast omelets not cooked properly. It was a nightmare to check out as check out took place at the cashiers desk and only one member of staff mans this desk.
“Grumpy, rude staff ”
It was my first time staying in Cuba and I was so excited to visit Havana and wanted to stay in the 'best and most interesting' hotel. I never write reviews but feel compelled to write this as I was very disappointed. Interesting the hotel was, the history is amazing and we ended up with a beautiful room which was the only positive thing to say about this experience. The room however had blinds in the bathroom that didn't close so I was exposed when having a shower to the whole of the street outside. Staff are very rude - I think they think they are doing you a favour as you are staying there. Check in - our cards were practically thrown at us with no explanation of anything and I had to ask twice about the safe etc. First night we wanted to book the Parasian caberet but the tour agent was more interested in chatting with her friends and their children than booking so I just walked off and hence never booked it. Restaurant the back of the hotel was beautiful for the first night, the waiters in there are old school and very polite and friendly, although filling their trolley with empty dishes and leftover food right in front of our faces whilst we were eating was not pleasant. Breakfast is horrendous, DONT BOTHER. Food is ok, staff just walk into you and one of the chefs just slammed his trolley into me and didn't even apologise. They are rude... Miserable and my opinion is don't work there if you are that unhappy..... The worst was check out .. The lady didn't smile, didn't ask us about our stay, slammed the card machine in front of us then went off to serve someone else. She didn't even acknowledge is it was like we have your money now do one... My partner then had to ask her for the receipt and she huffed and puffed and again practically threw it at us. She should not be front of house DO NOT STAY HERE .. Visit as the history is amazing and it's nice to see who has stayed and the exterior is amazing but the staff ruin it. They need to come over to England and learn how to treat customers as if they carry on doing that people won't stay. I am severely disappointed as it is not cheap to stay here but I will never go back not even for a visit now...
“Two separate stays in ten days ”
I would have rated this hotel at 3* for the first three nights, and at zero stars for the last night. Generally this is what you would expect to find in such a poor country, with old fittings, worn furniture and electrics that only just about work. On the plus side it has a good history and presents that in a good way. The staff were not very good I have to say on either end of our stay, but the receptionist on our second arrival outshone even Basin Fawlty. We had a disaster return from Holguin where the Russian plane broke down and we were delayed badly. We finally arrived at the Nacional at 5.20am eighteen hours late, we had had no sleep since 5am the previous morning, and were looking forward to some good sleep and relaxation before having to leave at 3.30pm to travel t the airport to fly home. Nothing could be further from the actuality of what happened. We explained our problems to the check in receptionist who was unsympathetic and surly from the outset. I asked for a delayed checkout to help our energy levels and was point blank refused despite several protests. We were told that we had to come down to reception again at 8am to organise that, right when we should be sleeping. Stupid bureaucracy. So on going to bed at 6am I put the 'Do Not Disturb' flag o the door of our room, only to be rudely awoken at 9.20 by the room staff who knocked briefly and barged in. Awful. e paid wel for this accommodation and feel very badly let down. This has to be the worst hotel experience in my whole life.
“Fantastic grounds, rooms a huge disappointment ”
This is a really difficult hotel to review. Having read many previous reviews I was not expecting 5* luxury and was prepared for a dated hotel with a lot of history. However the room was even worse than I was expecting. The first room we were given smelt really bad, musty, sweaty and slightly of tom cats! Also the air conditioning did not work and the toilet did not flush. After some discussions the receptionists agreed to change the room to one that did not smell (except slightly musty), and had working air conditioning and a functioning toilet. On discussion with other guests, it appeared many had asked to swop rooms for similar problems. The whole hotel is very dated, whilst I understand it is a museum and full of history, I don't think this should prevent them replacing the filthy stained carpets and old stained curtains. On the positive side, and there are plenty of positives, the gardens and bars are gorgeous and the view over the Malecon and ocean were worth putting up with the poor room. We found all bar and restaurant staff to be helpful, kind and efficient. The cocktails are a bit pricy, but the setting is so lovely it makes up for this. It was great having a place to sit outside and relax without the constant barrage of people trying to sell things. The pool area was also really nice. The room was quiet and I slept really well, which was not the case in central Havana. I do understand the hotel has character and I am glad we stayed there, it just needs a huge refurbishment. And finally it is crazy that you have to pay to use the room safe, this should always be included.
“Needs urgent refurbishment ”
Great historical landmark Hotel but with its current conditions it would be rated 2 stars...especially the breakfast hall and service need to improve. With a proper renovation this Hotel can become a worldwide known iconic Hotel. But as it is ? will not recommend to overnight, just go for a drink at their beautiful gardens
“Iconic , just visit..and see the bunker ”
Perched high above the ocean, this hotel is quite a sight. I can only imagine what it was like in its day . Once inside , it's dark and a little musty. The Churchill Bar was not open on our visit!The lobby is interesting, lots of photos of the famous who have stayed there. We arrived from our downtown hotel , in style, in a pink Cadillac convertible. We went directly outside to have a mojito on the outside terrace overlooking the ocean. We thought we would walk the grounds, when we saw a sign to the Bunker! What a find, the bunker was used during the Cuban missile crisis in 1961. Built into the side of the hill at the Hotel, it's tiny, has a large window with telescope looking out onto the horizon at sea. There is a timeline exhibit of the episode, it was free and very interesting. A visit to the Hotel is a must....
“Certainly seen better times ”
Spent a couple of nights here and got to say the hotel in my opinion has seen better times and is now trading off it's reputation. Rooms were very dark, furniture antiquated and air conditioning was very noisy. Breakfast was a bun fight with no supervision whilst dinner was better but pretty average. Best part of the hotel was sitting overlooking the ocean drinking cocktails along with an exhibition in the grounds of the missile crisis which was pretty good.
My husband and I stayed at the NDC in October 2014 as part of our honeymoon trip to Cuba. It's definitely more 3 star than 5 star on the services and amenities, but it's a great place to visit for a few days. First impressions were very good; it has an impresive lobby area that gives you a real sense of nostalgia for the hotel's glory days. Our room was located on the 7th floor, featuring double aspect windows with views of the courtyard and bay. First thing that hits you is the smell - just a really old, musty aroma - the kind you get when you visit an old person's home. I must say however that after a few minutes you totally forget about it. We were greeted with a bottle of champagne in our room, which was a nice touch. The room decor is very classic, with lots of wooden furniture. The bed was quite high and firm, and we had no complaints about that. The minibar is pretty basic - water, beer, some snacks - but did the job. The bathroom was clean, and everything worked fine. My other half found the shower very confusing, but I seemed to work it out pretty quickly, so I think that was just him. The courtyard area outside is very nice, it's a nice place to chill out and watch the world go by while sipping a few cocktails. Most of the bar staff were very good and were quick to come over to take your order, although we found if you tipped that seemed to help. Although on one occasion we paid for our drinks, expecting to get change and leave a tip out of that before we left, however they just didn't come back with the change. We only had breakfast included in our stay as we tended to be out in Havana for lunch and dinner. The breakfast was a usual buffet affair, with lots of choice. Personally I tend to prefer a plain breakfast (cereal or toast) so I didn't try a lot of what was on offer, but it looked to be cooked well. One evening we booked into the Parisian dinner and show next door. It was a bit of a let down if I'm honest. First of all we asked what I think is the maitre d' on the door to take a photo of us; he kind of huffed and puffed a bit but did take it, however when we looked it was a bit blurry and rubbish. Obviously it had annoyed him so we didn't dare ask him to take another. The food was ok, nothing magnificent, with choice of 2 starters and 2 main dishes. The show had great dancers and singers, however after about an hour it started to feel a bit repetitive, and we did leave early. Evening entertainment is lacking and if we were there any longer than the 3 mights I think i would have gone stir crazy. All in all however it's worthwhile seeing, just don't think fool yourself into thinking it's going to be luxury!!
“Feel the history ”
On arrival you can feel the history in this hotel.It has great ocean views and the outside space is ideal for drinks in the evening while people watching.I would definitely recommend the daily tour of the hotel as it is fascinating and our guide was very knowledgable.The rooms are well lived in and the plumbing is due an overhaul as it is noisy and struggles to cope with the demands of modern holiday needs.The evening entertainment was pleasant and the food average for a hotel of this standard.The location is good and within easy walking distance of a great jazz club and the Bid Red Bus Tour.
“Over-rated throwback to the days of Batista ”
This hotel is a "standard," but it's old and tired. Service is ok, or even good, depending on who is providing it. Food? Blah. Cost? Expensive for Havana. There are far better choices. Try the higher ranked hotels, or even better, the casas, listed here.
“Its All Been Said Before”
I have nothing really to add to those comments made here and frankly it will make no difference to this iconic hotel. It is impressive and grand in both size and style, the service is OK but nothing special. The Veranda is a must in Havana, stop and have a cocktail but give the food a miss, there are some great Paladars nearby. The rooms are a real lottery, on our first visit we were in an old, damp smelling unrenovated room however on our return at the end of our holiday we were in a newly updated and renovated room which was of a very good standard. Don't bother with the breakfast buffet, it was one of the worst I have experienced anywhere. Overall, this is one of the places you stay to say you have stayed.
“Impressive building but overpriced ”
The Nacional is one of those hotels that you have to experience in Havana, but unfortunately it feels like it trades on it's reputation a little bit too much. Good points are the building - it looks amazing and the grounds overlooking the Malecon are perfect for an evening drink plus two decent sized pools. Our room was a good size but felt tired, even with the nice period furniture - the carpet and bathroom weren't clean at all. WiFi is available (about £3 per day) and is surprisingly fast for Cuba - don't try streaming a movie or music, but you'll be able to send emails and search the web on it. Service was friendly but not outstanding. Breakfast was a buffet - wide but random selection and variable quality, excellent fresh local fruit though. It's an experience - chaotic with staff randomly walking into you and hordes of holidaymakers looking confused! This hotel frustrates and amazes in equal parts - fantastic location and building but you pay a high price for a standard which would barely be acceptable in most other countries at this price point, but I suppose that is a theme across Cuba!
“Certainly an experience ”
We are pleased we only stayed here one night, but it was worth it for the hotel tour alone. It's a little on the expensive side, compared to perhaps the quality you get at Iberostar Parque Central. Full of character, but resembling faulty towers (observe the room number direction plaques and see if you can work it out!). Even if you don't stay here, the hotel tour is truly very interesting.
“Old charm but old rooms ”
Wonderful gardens and views, amazing old world charm. Food range in cafes respective and limited. Staff variable quality. But maintenance is average and rooms quite dated? Claims to 5 star but really 3-4 by world standards. But a must do in Havana. Pricing is good
“inital impressions misleading and possible electrocution ”
Stayed at Nacional from 26th Sept - 3rd Oct. Upon arrival I agree that the hotel does look impressive and inviting, oozing with plenty of character and history. However by day 3 the hotel lost it's appeal and sparkle and did appear to look shabby as you looked further behind the scenes. For instance the dinning chairs were we had buffet breakfast the chairs were full of hair and crumbs including previous spillages on the chairs, regardless which chairs you decided to sit on and the ledges were exceptionally dusty. The buffet was only just average and as I helped myself to some water from the water dispenser a cockroach ran across the tap. We stayed in room 705 it was not very clean in particularly the soap dish/handle set in the bath was full of scum behind it and dirt from months of previous showerers. In the room there were 2 rocking chairs not much room to get around the bed and you often stubbed your toe. The coffee maker the plug dangled very loosely from the socket bare electric wires visible and I was getting fed up with the bangs from the socket and risks of possible electrocution. I reported this and a gentlemen arrived and advised me next time I wanted to make a coffee was to take the machine into the bathroom and he demonstrated to me how to boil the water whilst balancing the machine dangerously over the sink. I could not believe or hear what I had seen and heard. I dread to imagine the health and safety aspects? risks of boiling water and breaking the glass flask from the machine. However when we checked out we were charged for the mini bar we explained that we did not use anything from the mini bar they said that sachets of coffee that the room maid left daily is chargeable which I was not made aware of this and in addition was not listed in the mini bar menu so be warned it is not complimentary. My other advice is if you are intending to stay longer than 2 nights I would certainly consider choosing another hotel, just go for a visit and take part in there daily tours of the hotel 10.00am and at 3.00pm.
We only stayed for two nights and literally slept in the hotel and that was it, we were too busy sightseeing. However, the room was clean, the food was good and the staff seemed pleasant. Good location too. We didn't use the pool purely because we didn't get the chance but it didn't ever look busy. We had a room on a high floor as well which meant we got great photos.
“Truly Classic Hotel”
I don't suppose the Nacional is everyone's cup of tea, but it makes you feel like you're part of Havana's great history staying there! The rooms are a fair size and although the décor and furniture is a little dated, hey, so is the hotel... and that's why we chose it! The busy entrance hall is a cool place to grab a seat in the corner and people-watch. There are things that I could mention, but don't be put off. I believe you have to stay in the Nacional at least once in your life (many people have, famous or otherwise) and I'm glad I did. OK, we found a strange insect on the floor of the bathroom (not a cockroach - not sure what it was!). OK, so the toilet blocked, but only once, and it was fixed within 30 minutes of reporting it! But you don get a large TV with BBC World available, which was not what I expected. Sadly, the bar service left a little to be desired. Bar staff aren't attentive enough - you can sit for ages and not get a visit from the barman to ask if you want another drink. And then they forget what you had ordered. But the girl on reception was always helpful, and our waiter in the Veranda Restaurant on the first night was a gem. The food is average, but better than I expected, and as one reviewer mentions, breakfast is a bit of a brawl, but you get a lovely omelette if you're willing to queue for a few minutes. It takes about 30 minutes to walk to the old part of Havana, or take an old taxi - if you want a cabriolet ask the concierge and he'll get you one in a minute. A classic taxi to near Plaza Vieja costs about 7 CUCs. There's a good (working) ATM in a bank entrance about 100m north of the square (down the street diagonally opposite the Factoria Plaza Vieja bar) that's actually available 24hrs. Go on, stay there! I saw a lot of hotels in Havana that were a lot worse, and not one that looked better!
“Great days and Fabulous Staff ”
Had a great time while i visited Cuba and this great Hotel full of History!!. The walls could wright a best seller with all the people that have stayed or passed by this wonderful place. Wish i could remember the names of all the staff i came in contact with because they all deserve recognition for their splendid work at making you feel at home. The lady at Pasarela, believe her name was Lisey ( Julia Nelsy Cabrera) went over the board helping us a a difficult situation with Credit cards!! The girls at the bussiness center Deyanira, Elianet and yanset also deserve a round of aplausse :)
“A fine place to stay.... ”
Spent 4 nights in the nacional hotel as part of a large group, I really enjoyed staying here as there is a lot of history in the place. The room I stayed in had a nice sea view which also included the pool and the gardens, The room itself was not bad, not the best in the world but it all worked. After all this is cuba... Breakfast buffet was a bit of a scramble at times, but found the breakfast filling and set you up for the day. Had one evening meal in the hotel, this was very good value when compared with other places out in havana. The terace bar was a most relaxing place to spend the early evening before heading out to explore havana in the evenings, it is easy to get taxis when required and the hotel is about a 40min walk back from the old town. I would stay here again if back in havana. There is currently some refurbisment work being carried out in the lobby and ground floor areas, but the the result is stunning.
“Beautiful historical Hotel ”
Hotel Nacional de Cuba is one of a kind and hard to compare to other hotels: On one hand it is a five star big Hotel with all luxury: a few restaurants, bars, beautiful garden and all the services you expect from a 5 star hotel: room service, bell boys, nice breakfast (if you hire a not too expensive suite, you can have separate breakfast at the 6th floor!) But then: This is Cuba: It?s old, out dated with all it?s charms. Do not expect a modern rain shower (As in the modern tourist hotels in Varadero). Here, you can hire a suite and find yourself showering in your bathtub, holding the shower faucet in your hand. That?s the Cuban Style and charm! We stayed here from 30/10 till 3/11/2014 in a suite with separate living- and sleeping room 836/837 with Ocean view!
“Faded Glamour but very atmospheric, Family trip in 2003 ”
June 2003, 3 adults and 2 boys age 4 and 6 years. We started our 4 week family adventure in Cuba at the Hotel Nacional and purposely avoided any government organised package tour and definitely avoided Valadero completely. I got a spanish speaking friend to phone in advance and book us rooms, connecting en-suite double rooms, it was easy, or so I thought... We started in luxury and style at the Nacional, then after that we moved to Old Havana to stay in a very basic but very friendly Casa Particular to get the full Havana experience (highly recommended too). Standing proudly at one end of the Malecon, the Nacional de Cuba is a cinematic and atmospheric 'old school' grand hotel looking out to sea and overlooking the famous seafront. Inside you really could picture Sinatra strolling through the grand lobby in the (bad old) pre revolution days... It still had that rat pack vibe. Things had changed from those days and on closer inspection the hotel was a little tired and tatty in places, but we loved it all the same. The service was a bit hap hazard but the food was ok by general Havana standards, you couldn't expect gourmet cuisine anyway. It was a truly wonderful few days for us all, so many magic moments, ordering a mojito from the bar in the garden at sunset while watching the locals promenade the Malecon, jumping at lightning and thunder from a dramatic summer storm whilst watching from our rooms and savouring a fat cigar and rum in the colonial furniture on the sunny terrace. The kids loved a pizza and the pool complex. At check out it turned out that the rooms I'd booked were more expensive than I'd been quoted on check in, I pointed this out and the staff were understanding and gave me the initial rate after I had a slightly nervy wait in the lobby to clear it all up. So no complaints at all and lots of great memories. A unique experience but all the better for contrasting with staying in peoples homes in the Casa Particulars, that was a truly unique and special experience. Cuba is great for families and kids if you make a bit of effort and don't mind a bit of adventure, we travelled right across the country in taxis from Havana to Trinidad in the south at back up to Cayo Levisa, a once in a lifetime experience. Nic and family, UK
“Charismatic and convenient: a well-functioning piece of history ”
While it is occasionally tempting to see in the Hotel Nacional de Cuba fading grandeur being overrun by day-trippers, it is still a charismatic and affable icon which has a lot to offer the hotel guest. There is history in these walls - but there is also decent service, decent food and on the executive floor the best wifi I found in the whole of Cuba. The stunning grounds sit overlooking the ocean and the Malecon, and the grand entrance leads into the old lobby, onto the verandah and then out onto the gardens overlooking the Straits of Florida. It is a spectacular must-visit destination and, while you can visit it without being a hotel guest, is there not a certain joy in being able to call this your home (albeit a temporary one)? Wander the gardens in the morning, sit in the wicker chairs with a book and too many mojitos in the afternoon, watch the sun set over the ocean - all things done better with the ease and ownership that comes with staying at the hotel. In addition there is a very good tour of the grounds, only open to guests, which reveals the history behind the hotel. It is generally run by a professor of history and it is a unique opportunity to see the rooms which Al Capone and Fidel Castro have occupied, as well as the defence tunnels that overlook the bay. Finally it should be said that the executive floor has notable benefits. Usable wifi in your room is a luxury in Cuba which is not often replicated, and the service was personable and of international standard. It is no wonder that the film festival is based here and that was an added treat during my stay. There is no doubt that this is not as polished as the newer luxury hotels elsewhere in Havana, and that some of the facilities eg the pool are not quite as spectacular as they are elsewhere. Nevertheless this is an icon where a stay is not only a unique experience but a sensible option.
“Steping into History ”
An older classic hotel with beautiful grounds and views of the ocean. Lovely ambiance even though the rooms were a bit older. The veranda, drinks, music and cigars were perfect. The ocean breeze and people watching are not to be missed.
very nice hotel comfortable rooms, food no different to anywhere else in cuba (bland). lovely view out to sea, its a place you usually only see in old movies so was lovely to stay here, if you're visiting Havana I would recommend this place even if only for one night as our stay was
“Very Historic and impressive lobby and outside sitting areas. ”
This hotel has a beautiful lobby and bar, with awesome outside sitting areas to enjoy mojitos and cigars. It was lovely to walk around and learn of the MANY famous people that have stayed at this hotel. The rear of the property overlooks the ocean, and there are many urban areas to walk to, or coconut cabs and taxis are nearby. The rooms are a bit dated, but they were clean and comfortable. The breakfast buffet was the only meal we ate there, but it was good with many varieties of food items. The coconut cabs can take you to El Floridita (Hemingway's bar) in about 10 minutes or less for about 7 dollars, which is also near large squares with many places to eat, drink and be merry, as well as shop and view the architecture and art. Quite enjoyable!
“Lots of Character, Beautiful Grounds ”
This beautifully maintained gem from 1930 is more than likely the best hotel in Havana, with a rich character that makes you feel like you've been transported back in time. The building is nice, the restaurant is gorgeous and the grounds are absolutely stunning, with beautiful views of the Malecón, Havana Bay, and the Atlantic beyond. The service is great and the staff are attentive and friendly. As with any old property, you have to have a little patience with things that aren't quite right: the windows in our room (302) would not close all the way, and so there was some drafts. Also, the carpet on the floor was old and wrinkled, but I understand the hotel is going to tear it up and replace the original tile, which would be a great improvement. Taking everything into consideration, I would definitely would choose to stay at the Nacional again when I go back to Havana: the attention is impeccable, the hotel is gorgeous, and even if it is not perfect, I doubt I could find a better place to stay in the city.
“Atmospheric and has character but............. ”
A lovely old hotel. Full of character and a bit of a trip back in time. The rooms however are in need of some TLC and investment. While the standard response from the hotel management to reviews on this site is that the character of the place would be lost if the rooms were improved this is simply not the case. While our room was acceptable the air conditioning leaked and had obviously done this on many occasions before to judge by the musty smell. The fact that there was a carpet on the floor (surely unnecessary in the climate) simply exacerbated the problem. The bathroom blinds were faulty and missing some slats and to judge by the paintwork around the windows it had been applied by a visually-impaired chimp. In short the rooms could be upgraded without losing any of the charm, in the same way that money has obviously been spent on the lobby area. But would I stay here again? Yes. It has something about it that's special.
“Still a favorite and beautiful haunting ground! ”
I started coming to the Nacional personally when i started sending groups to Cuba in the early 1990s. Honestly it is my preferred location to start my groups in Cuba. The grounds are exceptionally situated and the vistas phenomenal enjoyable. The hotel itself is a historical gem of an era that is well acknowledged and visible at every turn. I've read a lot of comments about this hotel's poor service and want to clearly state that really the service is quite wonderful now. Improvements have been noted over the past few years. I ask travelers to ditch aires of entitlement and work on those lil "Por Favors" and you will get much, Much!,farther. From the bell hops and servers, to the gents that fixed my AC this past year all are gracious and responsive. Honestly the only real recommendation I have is to rip out the old carpets, thus my one recommendation is bring socks or lil slippers after your shower!
“First visit of Havana ”
First of all it is realy fantastic old famous Hotel in havana. I like atmosphere in the lobby. Elevators are realy beautiful and original. All my impression is like you are in 1930-1940 years. Also was very intresting excursion around hotel at 10-00a.m. in the morning. Inteh evening it was dansing and performance of some dansing Cuba people. All coctails in the garden were very good. View on the Atlantic Ocean also fantastic. This Hotel yas personal spirit of the old Havana and I was absolutely satisfied with my staying in it. Of cource some furniture and walls are not in a good quality, but keeping in mind age of this Hotel it is nnormal. I recommend to everybody to spend 3-4 days in this Hotel during the visit to Havana.
“3 day trip ”
3 day trip prior to a week on the beach. Read the other reviews and was fairly worried prior to arrival. Yes the hotel is old, however it is bursting with history, spotlessly clean and our only complaint was a noisy fridge which we turned off giving us peace overnight. Peacocks in the grounds are truly amazing as were the local bars in very close proximity. Not in the heart of old Havana but only a short taxi ride away. Do not be put off with the negative reviews. Well worth a visit.
“Decadence, opulence and a historical working museum/Hotel ”
Being a frequenter of the Parque Central Hotel in old Havana, we began and finished our escorted tour of Cuba at the Hotel Nacional on this occasion. As soon as you enter the somewhat grand if not grandiose reception area, it's like taking a step back in time. Many of the original fixtures, fittings and traditions have been retained. Because of the volume of throughput of guests, there are two check ins, on the ground floor and I believe on the sixth floor. Cash exchange is also undertaken in two separate venues, the main one adjacent to the restaurant on the lower ground floor. Breakfast is in the lower ground floor restaurant which is spacious and offers a good range of fayre including freshly fried eggs and omelettes cooked with the fillings of your choice. The restaurant staff are friendly, helpful and attentive. The rooms a quite spacious, clean with comfortable beds. The air con is efficient and quiet. Some of the room furnishings are looking tired through wear and tear, but this is Cuba. The restaurant on the main ground floor is quite breath taking and has retained its traditional character, oozing both opulence and decadence. An A la Carte menu is available as well as a fixed price menu. You can enjoy a very decent starter, main course and dessert including a glass of wine for 22CUC's. You can wander throughout most of the Nacional at will though a tour guide would take you to all the points of interest which I would recommend. This includes the famous, (or infamous) 'Hall of Fame' which could easily be re christened 'The good, the bad and the ugly'. If the Nacional has one drawback, it is its location. Despite being directly facing the Malecon and the Ocean, it is somewhat remote in relation to Old Havana so a taxi ride would be a must, though the taxis are plentiful, (usually Lada's) and cost only 5 CUC's. Would I recommend the Nacional? I wouldn't like to think I was staying here for more than a couple of nights but surely you cannot visit Cuba and not visit the Nacional.
Authentic hotel, great swimmingpool, friendly service. A cocotaxi drive (3 CUC) away from havana vieja. take into account that hotels in Cuba are dated and that prices aren't cheap. Don't forget to try the pina colada!
“Perfect location and such style! ”
This is a wonderful colonial style hotel in a perfect location with great staff, lovely grounds and full of history. Our room was spotless and very comfortable, overlooking the gardens leading on to the Malecon. A perfect base for exploring Old Havana and people watching along the Malecon whilst enjoying the hotel's hospitality - great mojito and daiquiris! It is very close to the Torres restaurant, a must for the wonderful views and great food. We had four nights here, it wasn't enough, there was so much more to see and do.
“A wonderful iconic hotel.....a treat! ”
Have stayed here 4 times and it never fails to impress! Beautiful old building, elegant and special. Service excellent. Staff friendly and helpful. Slightly out of town, but a fab position on the Malecon over looking the sea......easy taxi access to the centre. Buffet breakfast very substantial and varied. Best place to stay to truly 'feel' havana/ Cuba ..... Would recommend....
“Havana's legend itself ”
Amazing history, perfect location (right at the sea side and within 10 minutes by taxi to the Old Havana), fantastic views, beautiful gardens and swimming pools with peacocks walking along; Great breakfast buffet, and restaurants and food outlets at the hotel and in the gardens - plenty to choose from. Wish we had more time to take a tour of the history of the hotel - which takes place in the morning. The most impressive were shows in the evening: Copacabana and Buena Vista Social Club - that is the must while in Havana. The only thing for improvement could be: very dated and not easy to clean bathrooms.
“Stunning historical place with lots of character!”
It was a pleasure to stay in this hotel. From the moment we have arrived to the moment we have checked out we were impressed by the grandeur and the history of Nacional. Check in service was very efficient and despite asking or having booked anything special we were allocated splendid historical room right next to the presidential suite ? room 235 in which Errol Flynn once stayed. It definitely made our stay. I really don?t understand people complaining about the décor or dated furniture. It is Cuba and it is a historical hotel, anyway we have found our big, specious corner room very charming and the view was breath-taking. Bed was very big, comfortable and (silly thing) but I really liked the long narrow pillows. The whole hotel oozed history and we really liked the art deco style ? I loved the big chandeliers in the hallway and the well-kept gardens. Make sure you admire the hotel from the Malacon ? it is a unforgettable sight and the waterfall on the corner is rather charming. If you didn't know it is considered a symbol of history, culture and Cuban identity . The guns that made up the old Santa Clara Battery are on exhibition at the garden, they were declared part of the World Heritage Site. Hotel Nacional de Cuba was declared a National Monument - that is enough to stay there and experience the history of the place. Anyway let's start with food: breakfast was plentiful and just about interesting for 3 days? stay ? any longer and it would be repetitive. It was nice to find a station with freshly ground coffee in the corner of the dining room and a smoothie section. Very good and attentive waiting staff. Due to heavy rain we have to stay in one night and had dinner at 'Comedor de Aguiar' restaurant (located in the main lobby). We had set menu for 25CUC and it was ok but nothing to be raving about. Same sort of meal can be booked as a part of the Parisian Cabaret deal - at a cost of 55CUC. To be honest I was expecting more for that money, dishes were a bit tasteless and my partner?s fillet Mignon was raw on one side. Again very good and attentive staff. I regret that we haven?t found the Cafeteria "Film Corner" in the basement before we decided to have dinner at Comedor. It was serving simple snacks and I suspect that a burger and fries for 7 CUC would have been more satisfying than dinner at the above posh Comedor. There is a buffet dinner at "La Veranda" costing 25CUC but I have read in the reviews that it is not very good. Unfortunately the Creole restaurant "La Barraca'" in the gardens was shut during our stay. Shop with souvenirs a bit pricey. Cannot comment on the pools since we were too busy sightseeing to use them. We were exploring the grounds around 10 am and got a private tour of the war time tunnels ? amazing experience and yet another reason to visit this historical hotel. We regret that we were too tired after exploring Havana to see the Cabaret Parisian ? I bet it would have been an experience. Hotel is located by the see and you can walk along the Malacon to the old town, it is a bit of a trek but views are worth it and if you get too tired there is always somebody asking if you need taxi. La Rampa street with restaurants and a very interesting craft market is walking distance away and you can walk to the Hotel Libre where you can catch a sightseeing bus for 5CUC - I recommend it as nice and easy way to see a lot around Havana. There is plenty of taxis around the hotel and number of classic cars to take you for a tour ? it should cost around 30-35CUC for an hour in a classic car. Go early in the morning to avoid hottest part of the day and make sure driver takes you to Parque Almendares and Isla Josefina ? well worth the visit and there is a great viewing point where you can get good testing pina coladas. We recommend staying in Nacional as it is such big part of Cuba?s history and it is an experience not to be missed. Just one little tiny complain, sometimes the staff at the money exchange booth in the lobby seems to completely ignore customers and just go about their business without a word of explanation.
“Far above expectation! 4 Star! ”
Travel to Cuba for Americans is far easier and legal (if you care) than most of us know. We choose a single group tour from Knoxville sponsored by our local architectural restoration organization. This may have been why we were booked at the Hotel Nacional. GREAT! The building is beautiful! The restoration is perfect! The lobby is a knockout! The Reception is efficient and friendly! The property is Swiss clean! The rooms are well appointed as you would find in any first class hotel and better than most! Beds are firm with high quality linens. There are several restaurants. We only used the Cine Cafe, small meals, sandwiches (Cuban sandwich to die for), pizza looked great. Breakfast buffet...WOW! I'm not normally a fan of buffets, but this is impressive! Oh and very good, eggs to order not just hot table scrambles. While the exchange rate is the the same .87, try to exchange at the front desk cashier whenever possible. The other place is slow.
“Nice atmosphere ”
Was a busy hotel, just went here for a drink and a look at the exhibits. Actually saw some shops!!!!! Was lovely and old fashioned, had that smell of varnished wood and an old fashioned lift. Was really nice and cold in reception which was a pleasant relief from the humidity.
“El Nacional de Cuba”
The Hotel is very well maintained and is filled with history and interesting stories of its existence since 1930. It is really worth it to lodge in it and enjoy the tour and the excellent aatmosphere. You will enjoy the guided tour they offer!
“like stepping back in time ”
we had a 3 day trip to this hotel in sept 14 oh my breath taking was not the word I thought I was in a scene from poirot art deco lovely apart from the fake autographs on the wall I cannot complain all though other people in our group did well done for trying to keep this amazing hotel un changed if I ever visit Havana again you will definitely be on my top 1 list we stayed in room 262 right by the lift no issues food was not great but hey I was enjoying my self to much people if you go to Havana this is well worth a visit
“Just Stopped In For A Drink ”
I don't want to misrepresent my review by stating that we spent a night here. Our delegation just stopped in for a drink. We walked into the massive front lobby, toured a room that was being renovated and looked at the many photos of famous faces, and went out on the lawn. We were served promptly and efficiently, while watching the cars go back and forth on Malecon, with a terrific view of the bay and Havana.
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