Santa Isabel Hotel, Havana City Cuba. 5 stars,
Start based on 43 reviews
- Destination: Havana City
- Address: Baratillo # 9 e/Obispo y NArciso Lopez.Havana Vieja
- Phone: 537 860 8201
- Accept child:Yes
- $ No pricePer person
Description: Santa Isabel Hotel Cuba
Located just a few meters away from the foundation place of the Village San Cristóbal de La Habana, the regal splendor mansion of the Santovenia Counts became, in 1867, the favorite hotel for ship-owners, artists, traders and distinguished travelers who chose it due to its comfort and elegance. After being reopened, in the late 1990's, the Santa Isabel hotel still keeps the comfort and distinction that always characterized it. Besides, the building also maintains many of its original architectural elements. This typical colonial mansion consists of spacious rooms; decorated in the old 19th century style, an elegant restaurant and an exclusive inner courtyard. From its magnificent viewpoint-terrace, guests can enjoy a perfect view of the Havana bay and many of the ancient constructions of the city. A sumptuous nest for couples in love.
Mapa de Santa Isabel Hotel
business centre, car parking, disabled facilities, hotel shop, laundry & dry cleaning service 24 hrs., luggage storage, no smoking rooms, room services 24 hrs.,
El Globo (the balloon) cafeteria is outside the hotel, its name from days gone by when it was a balloon launch. The spot now is a wonderful place to get drinks invented by the bartenders, including the Santa Isabel, made with whipped coconut, blue curacao and lemon. Their exquisite Obispo cocktail is concocted with white rum, orange juice and grenadine, and there are many Cuban classics: Mojito, Daiquiri, Havana Special, Cubanito, Cuba libre and Cuba Bella. Its light food menu includes ham, cheese and vegetable sandwiches, tuna, chicken and hot or iced tea.
The El Condado restaurant is another fine surprise, and in addition to their habitual international menu, they offer 17 different varieties of traditional Spanish cooking. Some are so ancient that many of today’s Spaniards don’t even remember them! The house specialty is a superb Cuban chicken dish called Pollo Mayombe.
The Santovenia Snack Bar has both a food and drink menu, and the chef suggests the orange-garlic pork, roasted ham with mango sauce, or tortilla a la Habanera.
- 79 % of people enjoy this
“Unpleasant staff and a rip off ethos”
First of all, would like to say that old town Havana is a beautiful place - it is almost like a living museum. It is so strange to see such beautiful (and crumbling) buildings still used as regular houses by regular people, who use the amenities and squares as they were meant to be used. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of hustlers and schemers who drag the place down, hassling and badgering tourists, trying to rip them off etc. This hotel is old town Havana in a nutshell. The building is beautiful - however, the ethos of this hotel and some of the staff seem to be to hustle and rip off tourists. I guarantee you they will not respond to this post, as i notice they haven't for all the other poor reviews. 1. We booked a terrace room (312), and paid a little extra for the terrace. Room was poor quality for even a 3 star. When we went out to the terrace there was no table or chairs, I went down to reception and asked if we could have some. "Oh no," was the response, "the terrace is closed due to maintenance." There was no sign anywhere stating this, and there was no building/ painting work etc that I could see anywhere! Other rooms had tables and chairs. 2. We went down to the bar and ordered two drinks (a gin and tonic and my partner a mohito). The barman tried to pawn Havana club on me saying a rum and tonic is a much better drink. Twice I had to politely tell him no, gin. He didn't take it too well. When waiting for the drinks, I read my keycard - when you check in you are entitled to two free cocktails at the bar.This was not mentioned by the hotel reception or the barman. When he came down with the drinks I asked him if they were free, and showed him the keycard. He argued with me, saying only the mohito is free (it says this nowhere on the keycard). He then charged me 8 CUC for the G & T!! Bear in mind, the average working wage for a cuban resident is 20 CUC per month. 3. That night, it got unbelievably hot in the room, the AC was terrible. We drank water during the night from the mini bar. We couldn't find a price list anywhere. Still we drank it, we were parched. 4. Next morning we asked for a late check out (check out is 12, we wanted to leave at 4). The lady at the desk said, ohh it's 50 CUC. It was as if she pulled the figure out of thin air (I'm being polite, seemed like she pulled it out of somewhere else). I agreed, and asked if i could convert you euro to peso to cover the cost. She gave an exhange rate of 1.20 to do this. Again, this was written no where and she seemed to pull it out of thin air. Every other hotel we had stayed in in Cuba gave a rate of 1.27 to 1.29 - obviously i declined and walked down to the nearest bank to change my money. When i got back to the checkout, fee had gone up to 52 CUC. 5. Whilst there, a nice Swiss family were checking out. They used the coffee machine, and the receptionist was trying to charge them. Again, there was no price list in their room, nothing to say this wasn't complimentary. They were being charged 6 CUC (again I stress, average cuban wage is 20 CUC per month!). I asked reception for a price list to see how much our water cost, we were also being charged 6 CUC. Crazy stuff. 6. Obviously I argued with them, saying you can't charge people extortionate prices and not highlight these prices in the room. Receptionist started blaming the maid for not putting price lists in the room, not her problem. With that, I walked into the bar, and asked to see a drinks menu - low and behold a G&T was 6 CUC, not 8 - ripped off again. I went back to reception, showed them the menu and told them i was overcharged (despite the fact that really the cocktail should have been free). All they did was give me the 2 CUC back. If you want to stay in a hotel with very unprofessional reception workers, a dodgy barman, and an ethos to rip off the customer, by all means stay here. Also, service at breakfast is painfully slow - we sat there for 30 minutes waiting for a ham and cheese sandwich when only three tables were occupied (despite there being 4 waiting staff). We also stayed in the hotel Saratoga in Havana - staff were all very professional, everything was up front, and it was a genuinely pleasant experience.
“Hotel Santa Isabel 23 August 2013”
I was one of a group of three that stayed here, we were attracted by the central location of the hotel. Sad to say, it was truly atrocious. We were shown an empty suite and asked whether we would like to to upgrade our room booking for 100CUC for 3 nights stay - we declined this when we saw that there was a cockroach in the bath. On the third floor where the rooms were allocated, there were several large puddles of water in the common area. The windows in the room were not watertight so there was water leaking into the room. We were allocated the rooms 312 and 314 and were disgusted by the dirtiness (clumps of hair, mosquitos, cockroach), the air-conditioning was not working in 312. The next morning, we waited around 1 hour for our breakfast. The last straw was when the concierge tried to sell us illegal cigars when we were in the lobby, right after warning us not to buy from anything other than official sources. We decided that we could not stay in the hotel any longer and checked out at 10.45am.
“Avoid at all costs!”
We were "bumped" into this atrocious hotel when our hotel that we had booked wasn't available. REMEMBER THIS POINT AS THIS APPARENTLY IS THE NORM IN CUBA! Where do I start: The staff were all unhelpful to the point of being rude, the wi-fi (I use the word loosely here) is a pc in the public corner of the bar/lobby area - in other words there is no wi-fi as we in the rest of the world know it! But the nastiest thing we had to contend with was the state of the room we were given - I think that we had 2 hours sleep thanks to bed lice or some such creatures biting us all night. When we arrived in the restaurant for breakfast the staff treated us like we should not have been there. Jimmy Carter may have stayed here but he better have a better room than we got! AVOID
“Lacking modern conveniences ”
The Hotel Santa Isabel used to be one of the best hotels in Havana, where dignitaries and celebrities from around the world would stay. However, the hotel has since deteriorated and is definitely not worth the $200+/night price tag. The rooms, while lovely -- especially if you get one facing the plaza, are in need of some sprucing up. The rooms feel somewhat heavy and dark and a little outdated (ie rugs and couches should be replaced and walls painted a lighter color.) The hotel also lacks modern conveniences. While there is wifi in the lobby, it is slow and spotty at best. Not to mention the hotel did not even sell the cards needed to access the wifi while we were there. We had to walk to another hotel to purchase them. The telephone in one of my colleagues rooms also did not work, and each day I had to ask the front desk to reactivate my room card, which was a nuisance. In addition, the majority of hotels have banks within that will exchange at a much favorable rate. The Santa Isabel does not and so you end up losing 3-5% if you exchange money there. For business travelers, this hotel is an absolute nightmare! Finally, and most worrisome, one evening, I returned to my room to find the door slightly ajar and the television on. I am guessing that the housekeeper did not shut the door properly after she tidied up the room. Thankfully nothing to my knowledge was missing; however, from then on I never felt that my belongings were 100% secure. The one, and in my opinion, only draw to the hotel is its location. If you are looking to stay in the heart of Old Havana then this would be a good choice for you. What it lacks in modern conveniences, is made up for by its charm and location. That being said, I do not plan on staying at the Hotel Santa Isabel again, and don't really recommend it to others- at least not in its current state.
“La Habana ”
We stayed at the Santa Isabel Hotel in La Habana this past summer. It's a nice hotel, very well located closed to the cathedral and most important monuments. When we arrived, we felt the cuban atmosphere immediately. During our check in they where proposing us a better room for 85 pesos per night. Wuau!!! 85 pesos per night is what they'll owe un 3 months salary... Obusly, we denied it. The rooms where nice and confortables, there is only the bath rooms that need to be changed. The staff at reception, is not very nice. We met three different girls, that where everything except from polite and nice. They din't even make the effort of making clients feel confident. The barrier it was made from the begining. Hopefully, the valet and security men where charmefull and made our stay nicer. Breakfast was a really experience. It takes at least 30 minutes to get started, it's "a la carta". Very poor and not well presented. You can figured out that they are not very happy at the kitchen... At last, at the end of 1 hour time of breakfast, you get your "fresh orange jus" that is everything except from fresh. Concluding, it's a nice hotel if you want to be well located. If you're looking for a hotel experience, don't go there. And be prepared for giving tips! if you don't do it, you won't receive any courtesy.
“The hotel is a beautiful building but.... ”
...yes BUT. The room we had was very nice, very old fashion but we liked it. As soon as we entered the room , I had to fix the toilet as it would not flash. That same evening, we had a couple of drinks at the bar, and...we were told that we could NOT charge it to the room, we had to pay cash. Next morning, the breakfast was just horrible! The five or six waiters just standing around doing nothing... We had to ask for the milk for our cereal several times, and then, they brought one small glass of milk for my husband NOT for me.... Coffee? We asked many times to be served coffee and had to wait for over 20 minutes... And our eggs? We're hard as rocks. The nicest thing at that hotel was friendly porter, who looked after our bags while we went to the Museum and had lunch... As for the price? One night was over us$ 350.-
“Great if you want 'Faded Glory ' but ...... ”
From the outside this hotel looks exquisite and the position in one of the nicest Squares in Old Havana makes it appear as though you are onto a winner - just suspend any judgement until you get into the hotel. The public areas look beautiful and the open internal courtyard with 24 hour cafe a real oasis of calm. We took a junior suite that afforded us a double set of windows overlooking the square.The sitting area large, but the 1970's sofa in a washed out blue pattern totally at odds with the rest of the building. The bathroom large, but tired and lots of brackets for broken shelves remain on the walls , my bedstead fell to pieces, the linen and towels thin and the AC basic. i enquired as to WiFi and was told 'it's work in progress' , on enquiring about an adaptor for European to Cuban appliances I was told 'they don't exist in Cuba , despite being able to get one at the Saratoga Hotel up the road - i was hoping for something great on the 4th/top floor as it was in such a great position - such a shame that they had a complete terrace ( that appeared to have awnings for a bar area) - but now its locked and closed to the public ! Breakfast is basic in the Cafe on the ground floor - the 'buffet' is laughable , but then you find out you can order a la carte , which is an OK experience. We tried to exchange UK sterling notes - but were told 'they are not new ' so they would not except them and everything is done without receipts , which suggests it is not all above board here. Our Tour Rep said that the hotel was converted 10 years ago - but since then nothing has been done and she receives many, many complaints like ours.
“Would not stay here a second time ”
This hotel has all of the attributes one would want in Havana. The location is excellent, the building is authentic but they are the only good things about it. The receptionists were unhelpful, verging on rude. The maids were aggressively wanting money every morning for substandard room service. The advertised wi-fi did not work and the credit card facilities apparently did not work either. I was suspicious about this and would suggest that they simply wanted cash. The rate of exchange for euros to CUC was the worst we came across in Cuba. When we booked we asked for a room overlooking the Plaza de Armas but we were given a room in the very back of the hotel which was quite depressing. We would not recommend this hotel.
“Not to our taste! ”
We visited in November 2012. For our first 3 nights in Havana we stayed at the Parque Central and found it to be excellent. We moved on to Guardalavaca for 10 nights before returning to Havana for the last night before returning home. Unfortunately the Parque Central was full and we stayed at the Hotel Santa Isabel. We found the service from reception staff to be unwelcoming and quite unpleasant. Our bedroom was adequate but nowhere near as pleasant as Parque Central. We felt the bathroom was poor. The terrace balcony was very pleasant overlooking the plaza but it would have been nice to have some loungers on this terrace as the roof garden was under construction and closed. The doorman offered to sell us cigars and asked my husband how much his trainers cost!!! There was no Internet access -we were told this was not working. We were unable to use a credit card at this hotel- apparently not working. The rate for exchanging money was poor in comparison with the bank. Breakfast was OK but nothing special. We paid extra money for a later check out but were not offered a receipt or any written record of this until we asked for one. We didn't eat at this hotel but did enjoy a very good Mojito in the bar. For us, this hotel lacked atmosphere although I realise that some people may prefer this quieter location. If you're looking for a place to stay in Havana I would suggest you check out the reviews on the Parque Central - that's definitely where we would stay if we return. We really enjoyed Havana and found it fascinating.
“Good location quite neighboorhood at night ”
I have heard so many good reviews over the time feom friends and tripadvisor about Hotel Santa Isabel I guess I had lots of expectations. We stayed at junior suite. The only good thing was the location and being a small boutique hotel.First of all rhe toilet seat and its seat cover were not matched. Considering there are no seat covers in most of the restaurants, having a seat cover is an advantage. But one expects more if its a 4 star hotel. I don't kn?w if all rooms have carpets but we stayed at 2 different junior suits which both of them had carpets. But they have not been vacuumed for ages since the hotel don't have a vacuum cleaner. Small details like this makes someone very sad once you think the effectsvof embargo over Cubans people. Other than that it was a very comfortable colonial style room. I am sure it was one of the best hotels of its time. The personel are very friendly and helpful. But its quite expensive once you think 1 cuban peso is 1 ? or 0.87 $. Ofcourse This is not hotel's fault since its goverment policy for robbing tourists.
“Great location, stunning building, poor staff ”
Before visiting I read many reviews and thought that it couldn't possibly be true that the staff in this hotel were on the fiddle. The location and building and even the room that we had were stunning, ours was a first floor room overlooking the Plaza de Armas. The rooms were large with a seperate sitting area, decoration was sparce but well maintained. That's where for me the good things end, the air conditioning was useless and the safe was opened using the room key (don't think this is the safest) which also turns the power on, so remember to take both keys with you and not leave one plugged into the wall powering the a/c when you leave the room Staff were the poorest I have experienced in Cuba, we checked in very slowly mainly due to a man changing a large amount of money. We were then advised that we could change money but not for twenty mins, but they would call to let us know, the call never materialised. When leaving the hotel an hour later we asked could we change money and hey said yes, exchanger ate given was extremely poor (about 12% lower than everywhere else) On checkout they tried to charge us for items in the mini bar that we had not used and then argued that we had used them. We then left our bags with the bellboy and went out until our pre-booked arrived 4 hours later. We arrived back at the hotel 30 mins before the taxi was due to pick us up and retrieved our bags, after about 10 mins the bell oy said our taxi was here and walked us around to the main road, on arriving no taxi was there so we were forced to stand in the baking sun for 20 mins, although every two mins the bell boy would tell us our taxi had left and that we need to take a different one, complete scam as our taxi arrived at exactly the right time. Nice hotel and would recommend just be on your guard for all their scams
“Seen better days ”
Beautiful old building, unbeatable location on the Plaza de Armas, and easy walking distance from just about everything. But the rooms (we had a junior suite) are shabby and poorly maintained. This is no reflection on the housekeeping staff, who did their best. The furnishings are well below average, and the fabric of the hotel is in a serious state of dilapidation; paintwork, tiles, grouting, windows, all need a major attention. The toilet required a plumber twice during our stay, and the lift worked for only a couple of days during the week we were there. More than repair, the place probably needs a top-to-toe renovation. The level of service varies from average (reception) to exceptionally good (porter and security). We arrived at 1.30 a.m., and also had a 3.30 a.m. departure, and the porter and security guard on duty were extremely helpful at a time when we really expected very little! The Habaguanex group have a strange rating system: the Santa Isabel is rated 5 stars, as is the San Felipe, which is very modern, beautifully renovated and well equipped. And the prices are similar. The Santa Isabel has more ambience, but otherwise there's simply no comparison. So we're not sure what's happening. Certainly all this is well known locally -- several people we talked to in Havana rolled their eyes when we mentioned the hotel, and said it was badly maintained. A pity -- but serious investment would be required to bring the Santa Isabel up to the level that one would expect from the building and the location.
“Nice building, great location, rooms need renovation ”
We stayed one night at the Santa Isabel since the San Felipe was full. The colonial building and patio are nice. The location is great - right on Plaza de Armas. The rooms, however, do not meet that level - they feel old, undated and un-serviced. We paid the same price at the San Felipe hotel, which was MUCH better.
“Hmmm, mixed review of this hotel ”
Lovely building (it's quite special to stay in such an old and historic building); amazing location in the Plaza de Armes and within easy access to all of the old town; very spacious room (upgrade to a junior suite, which we got at a very good rate). And even though our room faced the plaza it was not at all noisy at night.The shower too was excellent. That's the upside; the downsides are the awful breakfast; the bed was not too comfortable and the sheets didn't fit); the hotel overall is a little musty and could use an upgrade; but worst of all is the total lack of service. Given that all the hotels are government owned (and most of the restaurants) it can't be that difficult to provide training that emphasises the importance of providing at least some service; fortunately the paladars are getting it right.
“For the Price .. Hotel OK ? just about ”
Had a room with balcony looking on to square which made up for a lot ???. Good Points - Great Location to see Old Havana - Found most staff to be friendly & helpful - Breakfast was good other than slow service Negatives - AC in room did not work well ?told reception on first day who said would have checked, but on day 2 still not working properly.. room was cooler with balcony door open than with door closed & AC on full - Bar in courtyard , expensive & lacked atmosphere - A lot of Internal corridors are open to elements so be careful of slippy marble floors after rain - Asked for a 1 hour late check out as had a late departing flight and was told it would cost CUC$50 ... said thanks but no thanks?. For good food at very reasonable price visit ?Mini Brewery? in Plaza Vieja. Excellent grilled skewers paired with their house beer. As you step out of hotel turn left? go for 100 yrds??.. then next left ? go straight for about 10 minutes walk. until you get to square. Relaxing spot to chill
“Wonderful Location..........Slow Service ”
Great location within the old part of havana. This makes seeing the sights a doodle, however, sadly this 5 Star establishment is more like a European 3 star. Much room for improvement but I am sure this will come in time.
“5 stars in Cuba is NOT like anywhere else ”
Don't be surprised when you have to brush your teeth with bottled water. Although the hotel is beautiful, or at least the original architecture is beautiful, the service is lacking. Upon reflection I simply don't think the population of Cuba has any idea what the rest of the world is used to for service and what 5 star hotels typically provide, so it's nor thier fault. This hotel would be a strong 3 star hotel. That said... It was one of the nicest ones and has a great location. The National hotel was gorgeous and more update, but you have to take a taxi everywhere. At least at this hotel you can walk all around old habana. Over all, we liked the hotel, even though they didn't have bananas so we brought them from the market, and my hair could never really be clean... it is Cuba after all. So nice hotel, just don't expect 4 or 5 start treatment. Oh, bring ear plugs. There are street dogs and book sellers outside that will wake you up around 6:30am everyday.
“Nice exposure, low quality ”
Very Nice location. Promising but breakfast is very poor. Service is slow And not always accurate. Don't call al THE reception, extreme costly!!!! Central location And Nice restaurant at THE back, Il Templete. No roof but you won' t see it from THE front.
“Best location in Havana ”
The hotel Santa Isabel has a unique location in old havana and can be used as an excellent home base to explore the city. It is very comfortable, with helpful staff, and provides a serene start to the day with breakfast on the terrace overlooking the square. The design and architecture of the hotel is worth a visit alone and I am very happy to have chosen this property, despite a few small defiencies. Don't expect flawless internet (maybe a good thing on holiday). Do use the safe in the room.
“Great location in Old Havana ”
The Santa Isabel is located in Plaza de Armes and close to all the attractions of old Havana. You can easily walk to the Cathedral, interesting squares and many good restaurants and bars. Our room had a lovely large balcony overlooking the square.
“Superb hotel ”
The hotel Santa Isabel is beautiful ! Perfect location , very nice breakfast . Of course in Cuba there is a limit , even in a five stars hotel , of comfort and maintenance . For this reason my only objection is the overpriced rooms. In generally L'Havana is quite expensive for what you get , but it's worthwhile to spend some times in the old city.
“excellent location, excellent bar”
This hotel is located in Old Havana, very close to great restaurants, and a 15 minute walk from the largest indoor market in Havana. My room was very large, with a 20 foot long balcony. The adult beverages at the bar were some of the best I had in Cuba. The bar is in a pretty atrium with an open ceiling. I recommend the jumbo Pina Colada. There are many sitting areas for small groups to gather on the second and third floors. There is an elevator, however, if someone doesn't close the gate to the elevator, it can't move when called. The bathrooms on the first floor just across from the bar are beautiful with all the walls completely tiled. The included breakfast was confusing. Instead of having a buffet, they have a menu, and you ask for whatever you want. Service for breakfast was slow, and not very welcoming, but that wouldn't stop me from staying there again.
“superb hotel in old Havana ”
Santa Isabel was a delightful find and stay. Hotels in Cuba are not on par with international ratings due to their limited ability to acquire the necessary items to stay top ranked. That being said ... Santa Isabel has done an admiral job and a place I would definitely return to. It is on the same price range as the other 4 to 5 star rated hotels in the old city. If you are wanting something cheaper I would recommend the private owned rooms that have been allowed since 2011.
“Nice Hotel ”
After the return from Cayo Coco we had one more night in Havanna and we decided to stay in the middle of the Havanna Vieja. The Hotel itself is a litlle old but has nice room and the rooms on the first floor (facing the Plaza de Armas) have nice big terraces. Breakfast was a la carte and good. Overall a nice experience.
“Beautiful building and great location ”
The hotel is well placed, looks good inside and out. Breakfast taken outside under arcade, good service and food. Interior atrium with bar. Rooms are comfortable with good terraces on second floor at front and balcony on first floor, both facing afternoon sun
“Good Location, good staff, bit pricy ”
We stayed two nights in November 2013, staff were all helpful (nearly all spoke English fortunately for us) but you do have to re-iterate what you'd like for breakfast (served outside, brought by waiting staff) - they didn't write down what we asked for and forgot to bring various things both mornings! Our room had a dull view of the back street and if you like your lie-ins then beware of the second-hand bookstall holders wheeling (noisily) their trolleys down the street in a morning. The room is large, clean and tidy, with safe and minibar etc The cleaning staff left us a nice note hoping we enjoy our holiday (and no doubt 'fishing' for their tip!) There is a roof terrace but it's not for use - you can go up there but it's in a state of disrepair. We had breakfast here but had our evening meals in town so can't comment on the food or bar. Booking was easy - done online before I left, it was a bit pricy though - I'd have expected more for what we paid, especially when I compare to what we paid elsewhere. You won't be disappointed though - it's a great place, fantastic building in a good location.
“Great Hotel, Great Location”
After reading many reviews about the staff being on the fiddle, we were abit weary! I do agree with most people that the fact that you have to use you door key for the safe is bait odd. But we locked our things in our cases, not a problem. We arrived at 11pm at night, check in was easy, and the bellboy took our cases up to our room. Orginally was 301 on top floor overlooking the harbour, couldn't complain with the room, thought it was lovely. We went down to the bar for a drink as after a 10 hour flight which was delayed before we left we were in need of a beer! One of the night porters asked if we smoked cigars, which we don't, but he showed us his little room where he had lots of different types of cigars. All good prices, but as i say we don't smoke them, and nor do our friends! Breakfast was served outside looking over the square which was lovely. Good variety for breakfast too, they do like to serve coffee very strong so make sure you say you would like more milk! Would advise you sit near the kitchen end, you'll get served quicker. Bathroom basic but when you're only there for 3 days like us, it was fine. Air con was abit rubbish, but we coped. They were decorating whilst we were there, and after our first day my other half changed up some money at reception. We didn't have any problems doing this. They said they were trying to find us, as the room we were in was quite noisy (we didn't complain) they apologised for the noise and moved us to room 305, so then we had a terrace view of the square which I was more than happy with. It was also a bigger room. We went out for a walk, got caught by one of the men that does the horse trips, it was 930 in the morning, we thought why not, over an hour and 10 cuc each. Great tour around, which was good as it gave us our barings. So when we got back, we just walked around, and as long as you can see the Capitol building you're ok. The market that has got the trains outside is really good. Be prepared to haggle. We got some good bargains in there, including paintings and handbags. Some of them are quite pushy, but just say no and walk on. The food in there for a snack is also very nice. Basic but as I say good for a snack on the go. The hotel is easy to find after you've been out for the day walking around or out at night. The square during the day is filled with an old book market, and some vinyl too! The mojito's are the best we had during our stay in Cuba. The hotel has visitors during the day where a band plays and the guests have a mojito, then leave again. But 'mosquitos like you when you drink mojitos' theres something in them that just attracts them! Which is a nightmare. So after Havana we realised and didn't drink one till our last day. All in all, we enjoyed our stay here, thought the staff were helpful and friendly. It is great place as its close to all the restaurants, paladors, and bars. And not far from the main central part of Havana. Walk round take it all in, although when walking careful, the pavements are abit wonky and some roads have been dug up. But who cares, it's Havana, and I wouldn't change our stay for the world!
“A good colonial Hotel on an emblematic plaza of La Havana ”
The Hotel Santa Isabel is located in a very well known Plaza de Armas in the Habana viaja, part of the city which is in renovation for more than 20 years. You are really in the heart of the colonial center of La Havana, arounded by restaurants, musicians and and books sellers in a very secure spot of the city. And what is not bad, in the pedestrian part of la Havana. The staff of the hotel are perfect professionals and will help you with luggages, answering your questions and so on. They are friendly and the quality of their welcome is refund in the quality of the hotel. Without being huge, the room we got was large, clean, not very modern but working well, and, extra charm, with a terrace on the plaza. The breakfast was included in the price, and you could ask for what you wanted in the annexed restaurant, eating under the arches, absolutely charming. Even if presented as a 5 stars hotels, it is not, far from that, but is a quality hotel, what is already worth in Cuba and not so frequent. There is no pool, no health center, fitness of business center ... not very cuban, all this stuff. Only real weak point, but not due to the hotel management but to the regulation in Cuba, the wifi is not free, reachable only in the lobby, extremely slow and with special cards costing 8 dollars per hour. So forget it, think about holidays and not about connection when you are on the island! Enjoy!
Lovely old building with charm and character , rooms a little dated but perfectly adequate clean and air con worked. Well situated to walk around Havana,. As warned breakfast very slow first day but improved when sat nearer the kitchen
“Great location and hotel but could be improved ”
My husband and I stayed at The Hotel Santa Isabel at the end of our time in Cuba in Sept 2013. Already familiar with the area after a 3 day visit to Havana at the start of our trip, we chose this hotel for its central location. Upon check-in at the hotel we were informed that all standard rooms were fully booked and we were upgraded to a suite. The receptionists were friendly and helpful, and we very much appreciated the upgrade. The hotel itself is beautiful from the exterior, and the suite we had was spacious and overlooked the stunning square in Habana Veija. The maids did a good job of cleaning daily (which made a change from previous hotels in Cuba), and the breakfast served out on the terrasse was varied and plentiful. I do think that perhaps the hotel would benefit from some careful renovation here and there, especially in the bathrooms and a few public areas. I was also dissapointed to discover that despite having an incredible rooftop terrasse, this was not currently in use during our visit. I hope the hotel are in the process of perhaps renovating this area as I am sure guests would appreciate having a place to enjoy lazing in sunloungers with a cocktail whilst taking in the views. I felt the hotel really lacked open spaces to relax on the whole. The only really negative thing I wish to mention is that two of the service staff in the foyer area tried to sell us cigars, not just in an informal and casual way but rather harrassed us. We experienced this out on the streets, I did not expect this in the hotel too. I also thought it was rather dissapointing that the hotel charges to hold your bags for the day. We had a later flight on our departure and left the hotel at 17.00. The hotel is not cheap, and I would have expected this to be complementary. On the whole though a lovely hotel and an excellent location to explore Habana Veija.
“Great building and location ”
A very characterful hotel, lovely old building, great communal rooms downstairs and wonderful downstairs toilets! Our room was OK to good - spacious enough, nice bathroom with good water pressure but the actual bedroom was a bit gloomy. I really liked both the breakfast and the breakfast experience - you eat outside under the shady arched gallery that fronts the old town square - a very pleasant and relaxing experience, and the food was good.
“Good Location ”
This hotel is located on one of the main squares and is a converted home. Our room looked over the square and was large with a four poster bed (brass) adorned with linen drapes. As the square is home to the daily book market patrons should be prepared for noise in the morning as the vendors rattle their trolleys across the cobbles. WiFi is not available as is the case with most Cuban hotels but there is Internet. At the time of our visit it was inoperative but we were directed to another Habaguanex hotel, of which there are many. Breakfast was taken either inside the restaurant or on the porch. Again there was an opportunity to choose many items off the menu. There is also an inner courtyard for drinks and light snacks.
“Pleaseant hotel on the square ”
Lovely old ornate building which was refurbished (maybe 10 years ago?). Very good central location beside the square but you cannot drive right up to the door (and there is no parking) available), though as in all of Cuba someone will always "watch" your car for a fee. Rooms were comfortable and clean. Nice big bathrooms, though there was one occaision when there was no water (apparently this is normal though). A/c, free WiFi, TV and bar fridge. Plenty of storage space which seems uncommon. Nice breakfasts. Somewhat noisy early in the morning with noise from the square - vendors wheeling carts across the cobbles, but not too bad. Biggest disruption to sleep was when for a special occaision the fort next door fired its cannons at about 11.00 p.m. Note the check in time is 4.00 p.m and check out is midday. For Cuba I would rate this 4 star, verging on 5, though it would not deserve that rating elsewhere.
“Stunning hotel, incredible value ”
We had 2 amazing rooms for the price of a good b&b in UK. Mine had a huge roof terrace, my sons had a suite with 3 balconies. Breakfast menu (included) was extensive and very good. Drinks in the centre courtyard bar equally so. I don't like the area - far too touristy, but a great base to set out from. Very helpful staff. I would rate it far above Hotel Nacional in Vedado
“One of the nicest hotels ”
We had the choice between the Santa Isabel and the other top hotels in Havana. After visiting them all as part of our discovery of the city, I think the Santa Isabel is the nicest: - Great location in Old Havana where most of the interesting things are - Very nice breakfast (lot of choice, so we didn't get bored even after 5 days) - Friendly staff - Amazing architecture, and very nice room (we got one on the 3rd floor with a shared terrace) On the negative side, but I don't think it is the hotel's fault specifically, the WiFi connection is erratic (and a bit expensive).
“Beautiful old hotel, great location ”
We stayed here for 3 nights on our honeymoon in April 2014. The hotel is a lovely old building looking over the Plaza de Armas. Our room had a balcony overlooking the square and we loved it. Breakfasts were plentiful and very tasty, the courtyard bar very atmospheric - even when it rained. Our room was spacious and comfortable - air con was a treat!
“Best setting in Old Town Havana ”
We were moved to this delightful hotel for 1 night as the Ambos Mundos (which we were booked into for 3 nights was full) and were so delighted with the room and old fashioned ambience that we asked to stay here for the 3 nights instead of going on to the Ambos Mundos which was in a noisier location especially as the roads were being dug up outside. Quite few other people had been moved too and all had the same opinion. The Santa Isabel is at one end of the pretty Plaza Armas and is lovely and quiet yet a 1 minute walk away to the main Opisbo with all it's bars and music, great at night to just walk back to your hotel. Breakfast (try the recommended breakfast on the menu as it has a little of everything on one plate) is taken outside and you can watch the book stalls setting up across the road, you will get hassled by beggars but the odd peso isn't much to give away, as is the bread sometimes if they want it. We just loved this place, the perfect location.
“Great location and ambiance ”
The hotel has the perfect location with the Plaza de Armas in front of the hotel and the Malecon or ocean drive behind it. Easy to walk to all the tourist stops and restaurants. Try for the corner rooms, they are actually suites with windows on 3 sides and has one king bed.
Stayed at Isabel only 1 night. Oh how I wish we had stayed longer. We chose this hotel as a treat for a friends birthday. Perfect location. Beautiful building. Gorgeous bedrooms. Staff very friendly and even let me play the piano. My favourite hotel in Havana.
“5 stars for Cuban standards ”
One word to describe this place-palatial. My husband and I enjoyed a weekend here. We have stayed at many different casas and hotels in Havana and this was a special treat. We were surprised to see how gorgeous our room was after reading on trip advisor that many of the standard rooms did not have a window. We had an amazing room that included two massive window/doors that opened onto a long balcony. The room was very well cleaned by the sweet cleaners who did an excellent job daily. We always had hot water during our stay. The breakfast is gourmet style and there is a huge selection to choose from on the menu, all included in your bill. Good food for Cuban hotel standards. I am sorry to read other reviews about corruption and hustling but none of this happened during our stay. Clearly anyone giving this hotel a lower than 3/5 review has not traveled through Cuba and has non-Cuban standards and expectations. Also most of the complaints being made are unfair as they are out of the hotels control. Some helpful Tips: -Check in is 4 pm. You will be frustrated if you try to get your room earlier as it just won?t be ready yet. They can take your bags if you are early while you go explore the city. -Drink at a bar nearby as the hotel bar is pricey. -Even if the hot water kicks out for a bit has it often does all over Cuba remember you are in a tropical climate and even the cold water will be good enough. It is nice to wash the heat of the day off in cool water. -Order lots of different things at breakfast and you are sure to like something and the portions are gourmet style small. -Credit card machines are often down everywhere in Cuba not just here. This is not the hotels fault. Know the affects of the US embargo on Cuba. -Rooms can be noisy during the day mostly because you are in Cuba! There is yelling, tons of music, roosters crowing, old buildings being restored and dogs barking. This is part of the joy traveling and seeing different cultures. We found the nights very quiet at this spot. -Internet use is expensive and hard to use everywhere in Cuba. If you can, take a brake from using it till you are home again. - If you have the luxury of having a car with you it will be difficult to find a parking space as you are staying in the most ancient part of Havana on a square that has no road on it. This is again is out of the hotels control.
“Perfect hotel ”
This hotel is just perfect it is the oldest hotel in Havana.Very colonial it, is located in the old part of Havana.Staff were friendly and helpful. Our room was on the side of the hotel,oposite another building.I chatted to the family who lived there.We had two lots of double doors to the balcony. Take some ear plugs as it can be a bit noisy. The rooms are large clean and comfortable We changed money in the hotel but the rate was poor.There is a Cadeca (currency exchange) just along the road.
“Gen of a hotel ”
Excellent location right on the square in Havana Vieja. Located in a beautiful ornate building. I have stayed in 3 different hotels in Old Havana and by far this is the best I have stayed. Full of character, especailly the rooms. If you are looking for big, cold, touristy hotels, then do not stay in Old Havana hotels. Considering it is Cuba, i believe this hotel is a real gem. Big room with a rickety iron bed and a nice bathroom. What more can youa sk for. Ask for a room that over looks the square, throw open the french shutter doors and kick back and watch life going by. Only drawback is that there are porters pusing the trolleys with baggages on the cobblestoned street and this makes an absolutely racket. Will stay here again.
Probably Cuba's most elegant hotel is the Santa Isabel located on the best location in the middle of Old Havana (Habana Vieja)
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