Saint John's Hotel, Havana City Cuba. 3 stars,
Start based on 42 reviews
- Destination: Havana City
- Address: Calle O e/ 23 y 25, Vedado. Ciudad de La Habana
- Phone: (537) 8333740/8344187
- Accept child:Yes
- $ No pricePer person
Description: Saint John's Hotel Cuba
In El Vedado area, a few meters away from La Rampa, Havana
Mapa de Saint John's Hotel
- 45 % of people enjoy this
“Stay somewhere else ”
We were travelling as 1 couple and 2 singles. On arrival, we were given two rooms on the 10th floor. The toilet covers were broken and the air conditioners were very noisy. The wall was not insolent, we can hear the noise from roof top bar. The buffet breakfast was included and has not many options. The house keepers were not sincere. We have been stolen our gloves, our tee-shirts and also our cash. It seems that they have checked our stuffs everyday. There are 2 restaurants that we could like to recommend that the Wahoo which is near of hotel Habana libre and the restaurant of St John hotel, not the Plaza. Lovely food and cheap. To take a taxi, it is recommended to walk to hotel National de Cuba. Same price for newest taxi.
“Terrible the toilet didn't even flush ”
This hotel is run down and very dirty. Staff were nice and breakfast was good but the condition of the hotel is very poor. Our toilet didn't flush, our windows would not close and when we spoke to reception about it they didn't seem to be able to help. There was a pool but again it was in very bad shape. There are much better hotels that are much more central than this one.
“Horrible customer service”
We had 2 rooms for one night and thank god it was only for the one night! There was a disgusting smell in one of the bathrooms which we complained about, but the manager refused to refund us our money, change our room, or even apologise. I would never recommend this 'hotel' to anyone.
“No Hot Shower! ”
What a dump! How can they rent rooms here when you can't take a shower, there is no hot water. When we complained we were told there was nothing that could be done. Turns out the boiler had been down for months with no plans on getting it repaired. They wouldn't give us a discount, or even a cup of coffee as compensation. There was a cold snap in Havana so the water that did come out was freezing? We didn't shower for 3 days. The roof top pool was as green as pea soup. Please look else where!
“WARNING - This hotel will ruin your trip!”
Stayed here for 10 nights and couldn't wait to leave. On arrival our luggage went missing and we were told to come back the next day after 9pm. Not wanting to pay 40CUC for an unnecessary taxi trip back to the airport we asked a woman in here 50's at reception if she would call the airport office to check the cases had arrived. After 15 minutes of trying to convince her she did it (resentfully) and was told to call again in an hour, this she completely refused to do (we offered to pay for the call) resulting in us wasting money on the taxi. This was typical of their attitude concerning anything asked of them, they seem to hold all guests with utter contempt and make it clear to you that even the most basic service will not be performed without a heavy regular tip. The same woman tried to short change a friend when converting cash by 10CUC, when he pointed out the difference she offered another 5, again he told her it should be 10 at which point she threw his money back at him and told him to change it somewhere else angry that she couldn't take her "unofficial commission." The first night I was told I couldn't use the safe because it was too much effort to find the person who dealt with the keys, refused a second key because there wasn't one, refused food at 10pm because the chef was having a drink in the bar and had expensive taxis automatically booked for us every time we went to go out. In addition the toilet seat was broken and kept sliding off, the swimming pool was full of rubbish and closed (as it is most of the year apparently,) the window didn't lock yet there was easy access to it in the form of a ladder and don?t eat the breakfast unless you have a lead lined stomach, there is only one option, fried egg and toast which they cook while smoking over it. I got food poisoning after one meal which lasted until I got home. All in all I didn't expect western standards from Cuba but this hotel is a real low point as I found through paying to eat and use pools in other nearby hotels which were fine. Even if you have already booked Hotel Saint John, do yourself a favour and pay the cancellation charge then rebook somewhere else it?s the only sane thing to do!
“Unfriendly, worn out, not worth the money, but good location ”
We spent 3 nights at the St John and only had one morning on which we had enough warm water in the bathroom to take a shower. Other days,not enough water and cold. Hotel is worn out, everything is broken or almost, paint coming from the walls, staff at the reception extremely unfriendly. Breakfast is Cuban basic, tablecloths are full of dirty stains. So far the bad news. Located in Vedado however you avoid the tourist crowd (they don't come deeper in Havana than the Capitolio) and see the real Havana. Before the revolution Vedado was for the rich with villas and gardens full of flowers. Now it is an eroding but fascinating area with fine art deco examples in large and small buildings. Had great walks to the old city and coming back along the Malecon is just great after a day surrounded by heavy polluting 1950's cars.
“Basic with unfriendly staff ”
The rooms are basic and clean. But I you don't really get much for what you pay, the staff were not helpful at all, at one stage we complained as there was a really loud noise on our floor and they just stared at us blankly. Breakfast is included but I barely at the food, not at all good. The staff at the roof top pool bar were friendly and we enjoyed a meal there (it's safe jsut to stick to chicken and rice). However, this hotel is not worthy of the four stars and any time we needed elp or asked a question you felt as though you were intruding on staff's time. Lots of useless "doormen" standing around with nothing to do.
“Never stay at the Hotel St. Johns again ”
I stayed at Hotel St. Johns while on the 50th Anniversary Tour. I foun d the hotel room to be clean and pleasant. HOWEVER, there was NO hot water, turning the tap on did not produce ANY water, hot or cold. Someone entered my room while I was taking a nap, and stole $300 from my waist wallet, which I was wearing tucked inside my undershorts. They also stole a hearing aid battery from my hearing aid which, was on the bedside stand. I would not recommend this hotel to my worst enemy, in case that person got even more unhappy with me. I DEFINITELY think this is one of the worst hotels I have ever stayed at. The location is great, a couple blocks from the Malecon. If the owners would do some work on the place, they would have a real money maker. Lucien Lenoire
“Don't Do it! ”
Stayed here for a few nights on a tour around Cuba. The worst place I've ever stayed. Staff were very very rude, room very basic and very dirty. No hot water, and the bed sheets were horrible. Manager chucked people I was traveling with out of their room because he claimed they hadn't paid - even though they had printed confirmation of the booking and payment. So they had no money and no where to stay! Still they wouldn't listen. Breakfast is very very basic - couldn't even get a slice of toast! There are so many other places that are cheaper and so much nicer. So I would shop around first.
“Avoid if at all possible”
We stayed here as part of a gap tour and if i had my choice again i'd pay the extra to stay elsewhere. You wouldn't dream of showering without flip flops on. Hot water is nowhere to be seen. Bathroom is not clean at all but what ever about the bathroom the bedroom is ten times worse. The cream walls are full of dirt you might find hard to imagine but i mean dirt all over them a wash would greatly improve them. Curtains are filthy and our room even had blood stains on the curtains. The chairs in the room aren't even clean enough to sit on they look like they were pulled out of the back of a skip and placed in the room Bedspreads also are filthy dirty and i wasn't brave enogh to use. The pillow is and i'm not joking the size of a hand towel folder over. Breakfast was poor enough also. Some staff bellboy and bar lady were very nice all others couldn't pass comment on. Gap should really charge more rather than have persons start and finish an excellent tour in such a kip. All i say if you can afford it say somewhere else. This place is over priced and would be better off to close the door and knock the place down.
“Stay somewhere else! ”
Arrived at St John's Hotel, Havana late at night after a 5 1/2 flight delay. We were travelling as 2 couples. On arrival we were given two rooms on the 5th floor, one room had mould growing on the wall, the bathroom absolutely stank similar to a mens urinal! Our friends were given the room next door, when they opened the door to their clothes closet, the wall was soaking wet and mouldy obviously a leak somewhere between the rooms. On informing the bell boy (who was very helpful) we were moved to two rooms on the 7th floor which looked as though they had been relatively renovated, the pillows/ pillow cases were disgusting with grey marks on them but these were readily changed. The towels were changed every day and also the sheets changed regularly. The air con unit was very noisy and only operated at one high speed!The roof top bar was not open at all during our stay. The buffet breakfast was included and taken at a nearby hotel and was of a reasonable quality. There are a few bars and restaurants nearby, we stumbled on the Waoo restaurant which was a definite bonus, lovely food and great surroundings!! Its around a 30 minute pleasant walk into the centre of Havana from the hotel along the Malecon. Hotel is better suited as a hostel.
“OK for the price ”
The location is the biggest bonus. The breakfast (cereal, fruit, toast and eggs) and rooms are adequate and I found the reception staff and the bellboys to be friendly and helpful. On the downside the noise from the rooftop disco and even the street is fairly loud (esp the disco) so earplugs are needed. Hot water only worked sometimes. The rooftop pool has nowhere to sit or lye in the sun next to it. Worst of all some loose change was removed from a zip compartment from my bag once my room had been cleaned - only 4 pesos but you don't expect cleaning staff to be rooting through your bags!
“Friendly Hotel BUT VERY BASIC ”
I stayed at this hotel for 16 days. If you enjoy warm water or hot water showers in the morning it is going to be a flip of coin to see if you get one in the morning. I moved three times in the hotel until I found one room that had warm water. The shower head didn't work and the water dribbled out which was all the pressure I was going to get unless I turned on the cold water which was COLD. Depending on the time of the morning you awoke would also decide if the water was going to be warm or a steady dribble of cold. On the St John's website they state they have internet which is not exactly true. I was told I had to go the Habana Libre or National Hotel to get the internet which was at a cost of $10 per hour versus $6.00 as advertised by St John's. Breakfast offered by the St John's is held in the Vedado hotel and not worth getting out of bed to visit. They offer cold scrambled eggs, some fruit, confectionary machine coffee (awful), black beans, cabbage, a few sweet rolls, and fresh fried eggs if you wish. As far as currency exchange works you only receive the dollar amount in the exchange. The change portion is always kept by the reception staff. They offer a disco in the evening on the 15th floor. To use it you must pay $3.00 even though you are registered at the hotel. The safe in your room is of good quality but also requires a $2 per day payment in order to use it.. There is a restaurant across the street called the Wabcamba which you need to watch if you decide to eat there. The price on the menu will not match the price charged and in most cases your change will not be exact. I caught them three times trying to cheat me during my stay. The staff is great but keep your hands in your pocket. Be aware there is a young male bartender who will try and make under the table money from you by charging three or more customers for one beer he had purchased early in the morning. Overall a very poor hotel except for friendly staff.
“Very Basic Hotel but Good Location.”
This hotel is used by Intrepid Travel as their starting point for tours of Cuba. Use only as long as you have to. Ensure that all your luggage is securly locked during your stay. Buy only sparkling water ( aqua con gas ) in the bar. Still water may just be local tap water, even though the bottle may be sealed. Do avoid unless you quickly want to learn the phrase '' Donde está el bano '' Also ensure you get your change whey purchasing from the bar as somrtimes they 'forget'. If there is a tour guide from Intrepid Travel present, the service improves dramatically.
“Tired over priced hotel but the staff were helpful ”
Avoid this hotel if possible. It is quite run down, expensive and provides only very basic facilities. One positive is the staff make every effort.
“A bad start to Cuba ”
I should have known better when we arrived at the hotel and were told there was no hot water. The lack of hot water was not a problem as the temperatures were in the mid 30's and we mainly wanted to get cool. We had a spectacular view of the Malecon on the sixth floor but only one lift was operational. Our rooms were cleaned each day and lovely towel decorations featured. We had to change rooms to get a room safe and there was a daily charge for the safe. The single beds had threadbare sheets and old mattresses. Parking was on the street and we had to pay money to a local to watch out for it. The worst thing for us though, was the fact that the toilet didn't flush and we had to use a bucket to flush it! Good points were that the reception staff were friendly, the breakfasts next door were OK although repetitious - if you didn't like eggs you were in trouble. Pizzas at dinner were good (the restaurant is actually listed in the Lonely Planet for their pizzas). The mojitas in the bar were good and the pool was small but clean. There was a tour operator in the hotel through whom we organised a very nice private tour. Our time in Havana was definitely coloured by the jaded hotel we stayed in for three nights.
“Try another hotel ”
The hotel was a major disappointment. The rooms were dirty (i.e. dirty fingerprints on the walls, light switches, mildew), toilet flusher did not work. the toilet tank never filled completely and NO hot water. Breakfast was below average and if you are a vegan - you are out of luck. They offered a sausage type thing they labeled as 'stuff' - the cheese wasn't and the selection of fruit was very limited. OK omelets. Our room was on the 12th floor, one floor beneath the club- which kept us up until 3am. The AC was ineffective and you couldn't open the windows completely. The pool was empty. The only plus was this hotel was in a different area of Havana which got you to see more of the real Havana but i would not recommend it to anyone.
“NOT worth it!”
This was my third trip to Havan this year. I always like to try a new place. Boy, did I chose wrong this time! There was no hot water and when I called the front desk I was informed that the hotel doesn't have hot water - ever! For part of one day, we had no water at all! The room floor was not swept once during our five day stay. They did change the towels, even though we hung them up, so they wouldn't do that. Breakfast was mediocre at best and very sparse. The pool water looked like it hadn't been cleaned in several months. Drinks at the bar cost more than other bars just around the corner. Last time I was in Havana I stayed at the Hotel Deauville, where I paid less than half what it cost me at the St. Johns and the service, cleanliness, food, were all head and shoulders above this place. I wouldn't send anyone to the St. Johns Hotel in Havana!
“Not Recommended ”
We stayed at the St John's for one night at the start of a Gap tour. On the plus side, the location near the Hotel Nacional and lots of restaurants is good. Also, the lobby is nice enough, and the breakfast was average by Cuban standards. Our bathroom was adequate, and I have no complaints about the cleanliness. The main negative is no hot water - some of our group stayed there for three nights and never had hot water. The rooms are pretty grim, too - very dingy walls, tired furniture, thin mattresses and bedding. I would recommend staying in a Casa Particular in Havana - much cheaper and nicer, and you get to meet a Cuban family.
“Bad or just plain comical ”
This has to be the funniest place I have ever stayed. If you are happy staying somewhere that will ensure there will be a problem with your room then this is the place. A friend of mine had to change her room four times! Your room may smell bad, the shower may not work, the a/c will be too loud, your bed linen may not be clean or you may have a view into someone else's room. Having said that, the staff are actually very helpful and do try their best. Moreover, when I stayed here, my room was fine aside from the leaking and very loud a/c. You just have to laugh as this will symbolise your experience in Cuba. The hotel is located a short taxi ride from old habana and other attractions. The area feels safe and there are a few places to eat nearby. Do not expect to be impressed by the breakfast, though you can normally secure a good omlette. Finally, it is important that you keep your belongings secure as another friend of mine had some money taken from his luggage.
“Not worth the money ”
We were there on march 26th and there was no warm water and the staff could not tell us when they expected this to be fixed. The 'lovely' swimming pool on the roof was being overhauled which left the hotel full of construction workers going up and down with the elevator. not much of a stay seeing as we paid 70 ? per night for this very basic hotel. positive: + good location + resturant was ok negative - not worth the money - airco was very loud - staff was not so friendly - rooms are old and worn down
“OK, I guess ”
This hotel is quite basic in every way, but is one of the cheapest hotels in Havana (NB. in Cuba you don't exactly get what you pay for): 1. Service - hotel staff were on the whole, relatively friendly, and by Cuban standards, quite helpful 2 . Rooms - passable - many marks on the walls, pillows about as thin as I have ever seen, mattress uncomfortable - certainly not luxury (or even average by US/European standards), but relatively clean 3. Location - good location in Vedado with a view of the Malecon, but I would recommend staying in Old Havana (Habana Vieja) or Centro Habana to be closer to the action
“OK if you have to stay here ”
Luckily we booked this hotel online through a Cuban agent, Umbrella Travel. We were on a tour with GAP Adventures who wanted twice the price for an extra night (and charged per person, so we paid only $75 CDN with Umbrella Travel instead of $140 CDN thru GAP). The hotel is adequate, clean enough, they have safes in the rooms. There's a good tourist bureau desk in the lobby to help with booking day tours and transport. It is well-located for the tour (meaning, access to money exchange, restaurants, the Malecon, Hotel International). If you're staying a few nights, do whatever you can to get a higher floor. The hotel is quite noisy, especially on the weekends when there is entertainment in the lobby - it reverberates up the stairwell. Truthfully, I would much rather stay at a Casa Particuliar than this hotel, it's just not worth the money or the lack of sleep. The pool and rooftop bar are closed for construction. Frequently there is no hot water or the elevator is broken. Be sure to open a new soap every day so that the maids can take your used soap. Breakfast is OK, fresh cooked eggs and pancakes, bread is good. There is a very good paladar within 2 blocks called something like the Huron Azul - looks scary on the outside but the inside is a fantastic collection of antiques and walls are full of art. Food is pretty good, clean bathroom. Ask exactly where or look in the GAP information binder at the front desk for the address. Meals $10 - $15 for dinner, note that the bread and fruit on the table is an extra charge (cheap) if you eat it.
“Four nights at Saint John's Hotel, Havana.”
The hotel isn't too bad, considering the general level of Cuban lodging, and it is definitely very well situated, next to "everything" in the heart of town. Positive: nice personnel (reception and chambermaids).. (I didn't check their knowledge of foreign languages since I speak Spanish). Tasty and varied breakfast. Lots of floors and lots of rooms. Negative: cleanliness, and maintenance, could be improved. Lots of music of all kinds (salsa, rock) in the neighbourhood, so... bring earplugs along if you want to make sure you'll sleep early ;) "Bizarre", to say the least, ladies nodding at the reception ;) They have a PC with Internet connection, but it requires special cards which are hard to find.
“Three-star hotel? Maybe if you lower your western standards. ”
We stayed at Saint John`s for 14 days. During that time we wrote down a list of pros and cons of the hotel: PROS: -Beautyful view from our room (on the 12th floor). -Clean rooms. -Haydeé, our friendly housekeeper. -Centrally located in Habana Moderna close to the Malecón and Hotel Nacional de Cuba. CONS: -The room was clean BUT the pillows were extremely dirty. They have probably never been washed. -You`re lucky if you get any hot water at all (or sometimes any water in general). -The toilet didn`t flush properly. (We used a waterfilled trashcan to assist the toilet) -The staff in the reception is very indifferent. When we asked them about something, they just shrugged their shoulders and answered "I don`t know/take a taxi/OK". No service what so ever. -The doorman stopped us in the door and tried to sell us some cuban cigars - very unprofessional. -The breakfast is...ok. Depending on your nationality and breakfast habits you might get tired of the unhealthy breakfast (white bread, sugarfilled cakes, pancakes and salty beans). Awful juice! -We stayed on the 12th floor and could hear the all the noises from the traffic down on the streets as if it was right outside our window. Music from the bar on the 14th floor could also be disturbing. -The lobby smells like old cigarette smoke. Some general advices when staying in Cuba: -Always make sure you receive the right amount of change after a purchase. We discovered that they systematicly try to shortchange the tourists for 1-2 CUC. -The restaurant Marakas next door to the hotel has a pretty ok pizza, but stay away from the lasagne. It tastes like bad quality frozen lasagne and we had to run to the toilet a short time after eating it. -Restaurant Sofía on the corner of the hotel has cheap food and evening entertainment but we had bad luck with the fish filets and salad. We both got food poisoned and had to spend four days in our hotel room. Cuban hand and food hygiene is not exactly the best.
“I get the feeling they're doing the best they can. ”
Everybody working in this hotel seems to be friendly, from the reception staff to the concierge to the bellboy to the bartender. At breakfast, I was greeted with a smile, and the lady who made my daily morning omelet did so with cheer. This ain't The Ritz, but the sheets were clean and TV and air conditioner worked. I've only stayed in two Havana hotels, but they both have the same problem with hot water and water pressure (as in, they just don't exist). This seems to be a situation that most Habaneros have learned to live with. A hot shower is the only "luxury" I truly missed at Saint John's.
“Budget Hotel with Really Great Location ”
This was our first visit to Cuba and we were not sure what to expect from a hotel rated as 3 stars in Cuba. What we found was a room that was very basic but met all our needs. The linens were clean and the bathroom had been updated with new fixtures. There was ample closet space and plenty of hangers Water pressure was not too bad considering we were on the 11th floor. Sometimes there was not enough hot water but hey, it?s Cuba, not Canada. There was cable TV with a few English channels which was a welcome surprise. The BEST thing about this hotel is the location. It is two blocks from the Malecon, one block from Calle 23 (La Rampa) and two blocks from Hotel Nacional. We visited the Hotel Nacional almost daily as the views from the terrace areas at the Nacional are beautiful. The WORST thing about this hotel is the noise from the music at the Disco on the 14th floor. We had requested a room on a higher floor in order to have some view but this meant we were awake most of the night from the loud music at the Disco. We knew there was a disco but we did not know that on the nights it was open, it would run until 3 am. If you decide to stay at this hotel, try to choose a room on a lower floor. You will not have a view but you are not in your room to see the view for most of the day anyway. You can go to Hotel Nacional for much better views than you will get out of your room at the Saint John?s and you will be able to sleep. The breakfast offered by the St John's is in a dining room on the 2nd floor of the hotel. They have an omelette station where you can also get plain fried eggs if you do not want an omelette. They also offer scrambled eggs, black beans, cabbage, potatoes, mixed vegetables, toast, fresh fruits and fruit juices. They have coffee and tea as well as a few types of cake and pastry. The omelettes were tasty and prepared fresh so they were hot. The rest of the food offerings were often not hot and therefore not as tasty. As to other amenities, the hotel does have internet access in the lobby and there is a charge. We did not use this service so we cannot speak to the speed of the connections. There is a small bar at the back of the lobby where you can get most anything you want to drink. You can have your drinks at the tables there or take them to your room. In general, the staff was friendly and helpful, right from the front desk clerks to the bartenders. We had no problems with maid service or with anything missing from our room. We would stay at this hotel again for a return trip to Havana (just on a lower floor)
“Great Location, OK Rooms, But The Maids Steal ”
Stayed here about two weeks altogether, enjoyed the room and location. There is a great dance venue on the top floor, and the staff are friendly and helpful. However the 8th floor maid ate my cookies. I didn't mind at first, so each day I left a tip for her and the rest of the packet of cookies. I put the other packet away for myself but she ate those too. This was a minor irritation compared to the maid on the 9th floor. First one of my bras went missing, and when I reported it to the front desk, it found its way back to my room. Then the maid asked me to give her my hairbrush. I said I needed it for the rest of my trip. It wasn't until I arrived in London that I discovered she had taken some makeup. I wouldn't say it if i wasn't absolutely sure. Leaving a generous tip every day didn't seem to help. Another woman in my group also complained of losing makeup and another one lost a wig, all staying on the same floor. I would stay here again but the hassle of locking up all your belongings every time you leave the room would be annoying.
“Fusion of old and new Havana ”
This was my first port of call in Havana having just arrived from London. Taking the stance that the American embargo has created many problem for cuba I was no too upset. This is a 2-3 star hotel at most! What is it with toilets without toilet seats? I had to view three rooms prior to accepting a room. The room I got was non the 11th floor over looking the Malecon, on the left the Hotel National and to the far right Faro (La Punta or Parco Morro-Cabanna). This is truly a view to a kill!!!!!!! Sunrise in perfect view over the atlantic and sunset in the evenings. Staff and especially the security were very helpful. The room was large and the air con worked : very noisy but essential in the humidity of this rainy season. Even on 11th floor hear a drop of water at the entrance!! Rooms is definietly outdated and the bathrooms are well pass sell by date! Only luke warm water available and on wash basin impossible to get cold water as lever was obstructed by the low shelf! Breakfast buffet is on the 2nd floor with no views and being Cuba the food was poor. But hey can get a good breakfast to sustain you for hours. Staff in breakfast buffet hall polite and no desire for tips! If half board it is downstairs next door to the so called Italian resturant. The food for dinner is acceptable but you have to pay for your drinks whether soft or alcoholic. Never had the experience to use swimming pool as under repair and was unaffected by disco on 13th floor. The hotel is located in Vadedo 2 mins from the sea front Malecon. Outsdie opposite 24hrs shop and there are all types of taxis within easy reach. Bus stop 2 mins away and the buses of interest are P5 to Capitolio and P16 to Plaza De la Revolucion. Very safe area! This hotel by its very nature alows one to see and meet true Cubans: we live side by side and easy to strike up a conversation. The hotel's money excahnge was very competetive and they have internet access in lobby. There is also the travel company located at the front. Its sister hotel Vedado is located 1 min walk away. Pleasant friendly stay for six days. This has the real potential to become a jewel in the crown. This is a hotel though with faults I would happily stay in again! Better to be here then Parqu Central!!!
“NOT QUITE SURE I'LL BE BACK THERE... I'D RATHER PREFER THE HOTEL NACIONAL ”
Only the basics... Only what you expect when staying at La Havana. Tour advisors (by the font door) are mainly the only nice and service-oriented people you'll find there. A 6 out of a 10...
“Better available at similar price, lock your luggage! ”
This is an Intrepid tours starter/finishing hotel so you may not have other options but would advise against using it longer than necessary. My room mate and I left luggage unlocked and she had money stolen from various hidden places such as dirty laundry bag and mine undoubtedly searched. Not nice feeling. Culprit almost certainly chamber maid as hotel said only two employees access and other person had proof nowhere near that floor at time in question whereas chamber maid was working on it! Noted same chamber maid still there 48 hours after incident and fuss been made. I changed money at front desk (and if starting a tour it is likely to be Saturday evening so you might feel no option) and didnt get good rate - or a receipt!! Always ask for one. I didnt know about this when just arrived and still jet lagged so fuzzy thinking. Agree with earlier poster re cold showers at times including when I arrived and in a "better' room I had paid quite a bit for. Loo plumbing not perfect but throughout Cuba loo paper into basket and not the loo and previous occupant might not have realised this. I thought the breakfast just ok but slightly irritated by obvious tip demands with basket right in front of where you request your eggs fried or scrambled...Also the coffee was cold on my first morning when I came down in final hour of breakfast service and lukewarm one other morning mid service. I ate an evening meal there the first night which I thought reasonable and operatives pleasant. Noise an issue. There is a top floor bar and party venue and noise very disturbing especially when a band playing. I had earplugs but could still hear it! There is a nicer hotel up the road (turn right from hotel, one or two blocks) which certainly for my non Intrepid nights would have been similar cost, maybe cheaper, and which changed money at better rate with receipts but only found at end of trip so too late! Has a minute swimming pool on top floor. Nowhere to change, cramped space and water was dirty. If you dont have to stay here I would advise not. If with a tour just be aware and especially keep luggage locked.
“A good 3 star hotel with a very central location and helpful staff- 4 week stay ”
I am just back from 4 weeks of volunteer work in Havana. I stayed with a small group at Hotel St John's the entire time. There have been many negative reviews but going with modest expectations I enjoyed my stay there. Yes there are issues with hot water; it was often warm or tepid, but every day I was able to have a shower. We had a visit from someone staying in a nearby resort and at times they did not have ANY water. This happens in Cuba! The hotel is clean, air conditioned and each room has a safe. There were spectacular views from my 11th floor room. Breakfast included a variety of fresh fruits, white breads, yogourt and juices. There were always omelettes and pancakes. The lobby bar and nearby coffee shop are open 24/7 and there are always several staff out front. The attached Italian restaurant and the lobby bar serve good food in the 5 to 7 CUC range. One can walk to many places from the hotel. The hotel staff were very helpful, and being there a month we got to know them. One member of our group became ill and required surgery. Everything was facilitated through the hotel nurse and doctor. The hotel staff were concerned and just super throughout this time. Some of them visited the hospital. For us, the St John's was a home away from home. The location is close to La Rampa where all major airline offices are located. It's also 5 minutes walk from Hotel National where one can sit outside and enjoy a drink of coffee with beautiful views of the Malecon and the water. I plan to go back next year and know people who have stayed there annually for several years. My one complaint is that there was a period of 10 days where they did not have cards to access the internet at the computers in the lobby. This meant going two blocks to Havana Libre or the Hotel National where it cost 10CUC an hour and the business centres closed at 8 p.m.
“For one night ”
Hotel has a location that is pretty far from the old centre and that's why it's not the best alternative for a tourist that wants to wander in the old town. For one night sleep it is quite OK, when you accept that in Cuba nothing is working perfectly. Hotel is clean and rooms are not the smallest ones. The showel might give you a warm water which is "luxury" in this county. The breakfast is not very attractive, but it is offered to you. The service in the reseption desk is depending on the person that is in shift, as always in Cuba, but you should have the printed voucher with you if you have made a reservation in the internet. Otherwise they might put a demand that you have to pay twice (in internet and in hotel again). In Cuba internet reservation seems to be a new thing and people are still working with papers and anythingis not valid if you don't have a printed paper. Probably this is not even close to the worst places in this city, but several nights might be a nightmare. We got this from the internet less than 40 euros which is reasonable price compared to the service that you get. Internet costs 6 CUC per hour and it is quite slow but working. All in all this is the worst place I've stayed in last years, but when taking the price into account, I, however, gave three stars. If you have to pay more than 70 euros, the hotel will be worth of one star.
“It has its good point and not so good points! ”
I traveled to Havana in Feb of this year for three weeks to volunteer and teach English at the University and a Children's Centre near the hotel. The location of the hotel is great, close to everything, except with that being said the main intersection there is highly known for being pick pocketed. The hotel is ok nothing fantastic about it to be honest. There were many days that we didn't have water in the morning and when we did I personally never had a hot shower any of the days I was there. Breakfast was nothing to brag about, but you have eggs, toast and fruit and coffee so it was fine with me. The staff at the front desk were extremely sweet and helpful with me. I have to stay they were great. I had visited another part of Cuba to visit my boyfriend and the tour operator in the front lobby arranged by bus tickets for me without fail. The staff would assist me with calling my boyfriends mom as my Spanish wasn't so great and really made it easier for me when I needed to call them as we had a family emergency while I was visiting. The staff at the front bar where amazingly sweet and always cheerful. And Victor who used to be the dance instructor - who is no longer there as far as I know, helped me improve my Cuban style salsa dnacing and kept me company most nights while I waited for my boyfriend and in return I helped him practice his English. I have to say for the most part the people where great. It isn't a luxury hotel, but it isn't horrible and I enjoyed myself.
“A good place as a base ”
We stayed here at the beginning and end of our GAP tour in July/August 2007. Having read reviews on Tripadvisor we knew it wasn't a luxurious hotel and weren't expecting much. It turned out to be fine - yes, it is dated, things don't always work properly (the shower leaked everywhere, and hot water was sporadic), the staff can be slow (it took forever to check in, but we got there), but it is close to the Malecon and central enough to get around the city. The bar on the ground floor does great Mohitos and beer, and the air conditioning in our room worked well. We didn't use the pool on the roof, although we went up to see the view, which was fab. Hotel St John is also a short walk from the National Hotel, which has a lovely bar and great entertainment.
“A good three star hotel; great location ”
I was back to hotel St Johns for three weeks this year. They have upgraded the furniture and improved the hot water system. Staff were very helpful and friendly.
“Very good for what you pay! ”
Stayed for 3 nights Nov 2011 before heading to Trinidad. A very warm welcome from all staff, clean room, central location and hot shower. When we got to our room the air con was not working but straight away was fixed. The breakfast is good and again very good service. The location is good, central where you can walk everywhere during day or night. At the top of the hotel there is a night club open to all, it gets really busy and sometimes they got good music and you get to entertain with the locals but CAREFUL with the manager, a tall baldy guy who is very rude and try to overcharge foreigners. Overall a very good 3 star hotel with lovely helpful staff!
“A good, friendly hotel. ”
I have stayed at Hotel Saint John's for the past 4 years...each time for over 4 weeks. Over that time, I have had nothing but a positive experience.. People have to realize that Cuba, for all the advances they have made in medicine and education, is not Canada...Cuba does not have access to all the things we take for granted. On my last trip to Havana in March, 2011, I had go into hospital for emergency surgery and spent 9 days in the hospital before being released. Every day, staff members from the hotel would visit me, often with their family and bring me treats...fresh fruit, juice, etc. Even my chambermaid, who has "taken care" of me for 4 years, came to visit...is that an indifferent staff with poor service?? There are a couple of people who work at the hotel who could improve their interpersonal skills, but these people are found in any hotel...in Cuba and in Canada. I have NEVER had anything stolen...and I have left money and other valuables on the end tables quite often. Are ther hot water problems? Yes. Hey, when the temperature is 30 degrees plus, a cool shower can be refreshing. Do things need to be repaired and painted? Yes. Is it worth the price...YES!!! I will never stay anywhere else when I visit Havana; the staff...the bartenders (especially mi hermano Cubano Pedro), chambermaids, front desk staff, everyone has become a part of my circle of friends. This is Havana...not Toronto...if you want a resort experience with all the amenities that it can offer, then go to a resort but if you want to get to know the real Havana and meet real Habaneros, go to the Hotel Saint John's with an open mind and be embrace a true Cuban experience.
“Nice, Affordable, Great Location ”
I stayed here 8 nights with my husband. Our friends also had a room here. We all found the hotel comfortable with a spacious lobby, a cosy bar, and friendly staff. The rooms had all necessary amenities including hot water. The location is a short walk from the Malecon or the Hotel Nacional. There are good local restaurants and a coffee bar nearby. Breakfast is included in the price and has enough variety to suit most people. Old Havana, the tourist destination, is a half hour walk or an inexpensive taxi ride. I enjoyed being outside the tourist area and found there was lots to see and do in Vedado. There is a night club nearby with, literally, world class musical performers. If you want to feel posh one day just meander to the Hotel Nacional for a drink or a meal. I recommend Hotel Saint John's to anyone who is not in the "resort" mind set.
“St. John's is a fine three star hotel that worked well for me, for a week ”
The plan was to stay for two but I stayed for seven days. The in room safe, the view (Malecon, La Rampa, Old Habana) and the location were the selling points. You are in the Vedado and everything that you could need here. The staff people are there for you. The other reviews were fine to read. There is a nightclub upstairs. I wanted to be left alone and just had the maid service do two short things in my room and provide me with a towel which was brand new out of the package. The in rooom safe accomodated my 10" computer while it was in the case. The Malecon is very busy at night with festive people. Mostly all of the people of Cuba are very well educated and professional. The Cuban people are do appreciate a beverage or a friendly gesture as the access to food and money does not appear to be plentiful as the US Sanctions and embargos literally put the squeeze on the Cuban economy; the Cuban people don't say much about it; they remain proud, hospitable and festive with the 1# literacy rate and medical services in the world and an independant country alliance of the world. I don't drink but do wish that I shared more clothes, beers and food with these fine people. There is a lot of propoganda about Cuba; I am still amazed at how nice and comfortable these people are to interact with. You will find that St. John's is a fine place that will work for you; bring a good attitude, understand that you are in Cuba and enjoy yourself as I found it very safe everywhere I went. The people might be making enough to buy a soda or a beer per hour; these people have a good grasp of calculus, history and professionalism. Wow! A cuban man told me that he could easily get four years in jail if he is walking with two strangers at the same time, and women may lead or follow if you are out at night. There are a lot of police that just want things to go safely as people calmly drink out in public as the law is a Common Law system. July 5th 2009
“Reviews unfair to Hotel Saint John's ”
I have stayed at Hotel Saint John's on 2 separate occasions; last year for 28 nights and just this past month for 32 nights. This year I found that there was plenty of hot water except for 2 short periods. The staff remembered me from last year nad were friendly and efficient. The rooms, although basc, are clean and comfortable. I left money out on several occasions and nothing was ever taken from my room either when I was there or when I was out. this is not a luxury hotel but if that is what you are seaching for then perhaps a resort is a better choice for you. I plan on returning to Cuba next March for a month and intend on staying at the Hotel Saint John'e as I feel it offers good value for your money, is clean, has a friendly staff and is located in the most vibrant park of Havana. Don't be put off by the negative reviews...book a night there yourself and then decide.
In El Vedado area, a few meters away from La Rampa, Havana's entertainment hub. It is also a prominent feature in this bustling part of the city. It guarantees guests the familiar warmth of personalized and attentive care. With the plethora of activities organized for visitors, the Saint John's is the hotel of choice in the Cuban capital. On the top floor is the Pico Blanco bar, known as the Rincón del Feeling, livened up with music of the forties sung and played by their best-known interpreters. Havana's "José Martí" International Airport, 9.3 miles.
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