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“7th Stay at Acuario”
Review of Hotel Club Acuario

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Hotel Club Acuario
Ranked #61 of 80 Hotels in Havana
Reviewed 20 June 2011

I just returned from my 7th stay at Club Acuario in Havana and again I have nothing but great things to say. The hotel has had a few upgrades and a few new faces but it still has the charm I found in my first stay.

The main attraction of the hotel is the location. It is not one of the mega resorts you find lining the beaches but it is close to Havana and provides a wonderful small resort atmosphere. The staff are wonderful and do go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable and happy. The food in the buffet is standard Cuban fare, but there is lots of it and they do very well with what they have. The pool bar is always open and the bartenders friendly and talkative.

The rooms are a little dated but are comfortable. The bathrooms are clean and functionable. The AC is "ok". Sometimes you will get a bit of water with iron in it, but it is an older facility and that comes with time. It is a solid 3*. The only complaint this time was the Lobby Bar and Reception lacked any AC, and in these summer temps make time unbearable.

Staff who really shone by going above and beyond are: Michel, Herle, Alex, Tamara, Sarah, Julio, Mario, Arturo and Valentin. These key people always have a friendly smile and take their jobs in hospitality to the next level.

I will be back again.
Jackie

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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12  Thank jax76ca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 May 2011

I ( a 27 year old female) went with my best friend for 8 nights in the middle of May at the tail end of Tourist season. We weren't sure what to expect after some of the reviews but were pleasently surprised! The marina provided interesting boats to look at and meant it was cooler than being in the city. The hotel was up to our cleanliness standards although not spotless and there was a few little stores within the compound area for neccesities. We took the free Shuttle or taxis into the city or on day trips each day but did check out most of the hotel amenities.

Location wise it's about 20 minutes from old havana which is about 15 dollars for a cab if you want to stay after the last shuttle. Being farther out also meant we got a breather from the hustle and bustle of the city once back at the hotel and were close to other areas of the city with a different flavour than old havana. There were also 2 security posts restricting entry which was comforting. Because we went at the end of the tourists season there weren't too many other guests, those who were there were well off young families from cuba and other south american countries which made for a good cultural exchange. The front desk spoke enough english to help us with everything we needed and most of the other staff had basic english.

There was internet access in the lobby to research what we wanted to do the next day or send an e-mail to family. The food wasn't great by north american standars but definitely edible. They had a pizza and pasta bar but I had a lot of Grilled chicken, rice, cucumber, tomato and fruit- all things that taste the same no matter where you are in the world.
I did find the tap water was treated so that my hair always felt filmy but that was rectified by using the pool which rinsed off the film. Also the main bar beside the pool uses pretty small plastic cups (so as not to break near the pool?) Other guests had brought travel mugs and had their drinks made in those which is what I would do next time.

When we looked into booking there were only 2 all inclusives near the city of Havana, this one and the Tropicoco. We did go to the Tropicoco for a day at the beach and would definitely recommend the Acuario!!!!! The Tropicoco was surrounded by young drunk cubans, had a much smaller pool, and we heard from a fellow traveller had a lot of male sex tourists.

At the Acuario they had 4-5 english language tv channels in the rooms which was nice for relaxing. There is a music hut beside the pool that plays loud music into the night and kids yelling in the pool in the morning so if you want sleep ask for a room at the rear or closer to the lobby although the view won't be as nice.

All in all we each had a comfortable and interesting all inclusive trip for under 900 dollars and spent another 400 on gifts, eating in the city, cabs, daytrips etc. (and don't forget tips!)

My onebig tip would be if you're looking to relax in the sun, be waited on hand and foot, eat 5 star meals and be in modern surroundings....DON'T GO TO CUBA, that's what mexico is for!
If you want to see an interesting mix of colours of people, being creative in their struggle for survival, in a rough but beautiful environment, with music at every turn then Havana is the place to go.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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17  Thank notwelltravelled_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VILMACiudadHabana, Director Comercial at Hotel Club Acuario, responded to this reviewResponded 2 June 2011

Dear Customer;
Grateful for their comments regarding our hotel.
It was sad that you could not sleep well because the music of the live shows we do every night in the pool at the Hotel, where they act various groups of Cuban traditional music with a show that has the characteristics of the Tropicana show.
However we did not have any objection to change the room if that had been her desire, because our aim is to satisfy customers and make your stay pleasant.
Thank you very much for your comment and we are inviting you to return to our hotel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2011

The service was great , they wanted us to be comfortable. The room was a little rough around the edges , but the view and location definitely made up for that. The marina being right there is a huge plus especially if you like deep sea fishing for Marlin, or just want to go out and do some snorkeling, or diving or even just for a cruise and Marlin Nautica prices are very reasonable. I just loved hopping on a shuttle and going into Havana to see the history and culture , there is so much to see and do from this resort we will have to go back next year and see some more :):):)

Room Tip: 37 block to 39 block have the best views.
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank hyperlink_3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2011

We found the Marina interesting but didn't think about the diesel smell from the boat engines. Every time we opened our patio door, it was evident but that was not their fault. There was no lock on our patio door and we were on the first floor. hmmm. The pillows were like flat hard slabs, ended up rolling up my sweater for a pillow, the bedspread was dirty so I was careful to fold the sheet back over it. The sheets were clean. The bathroom had been retiled but it smelled like the sewer, the shower head was so old it was plugged and sprayed against the wall and ceiling and the drain was so slow that we stood in 4 inches of water by the end of the shower. There was no beach, we knew that but the pool was no fun to sit around, crumbling patio stones and not enough shaded chairs, pool was cold. There were only 3 staff members that seemed happy to have guests. Pedro, the person that helped us with our bags, Leticia, the gal that gave us a wonderful back massage and the hair dresser. The rest warmed up by the end of the week maybe because we're polite and tip well. The elevator was out of order and they initially had us on the third floor . I need ankle surgery and my friend has a heart condition so we requested to be moved, hence the 1st floor flop of a room. We were there for a week and the elevator was still not fixed by the time we left, although they tinkered with it daily. We travelled with friends and 3 of us ended up with diarhea and 2 were vomitting, we're nearly seniors and it was not from over drinking. Certainly from something we ate ( very few guests so the buffet was minimal) or from the green coconuts they cut down and served drinks in.The food less than average but we did have a very good lobster dinner (VIP pkg) so we knew they could do it. We met people from Montreal that have stayed at good 3 star resorts in Cuba but this is certainly not one of them. My husband and I still work and only take one holiday a year, so we were disheartened. The music at the pool was too loud and too late, ah well, couldn't open the patio doors anyway. Loved being close to Havana, next year we'll stay at one of the historic 5 star hotels in Old Havana. They were fantastic works of restoration. The people we met in Old Havana were superb, the food amazing, the tour guides excellent. Wonderful ambience. We love Cuba but Club Acuario was a disappointment. It was cheaper but way too expensive for the mistake it was.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Patrooshka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2011

We stayed all inclusive for a week for $1100.00 direct from Saskatchewan Canada. This was our second trip to Cuba . Next time would stay downtown Havana. That way you would have less bus riding. If you are yauhting or diving this is a good place because it is a yauht club.
We were greeted by a nice Cuban gentleman called Petro. He always was happy and had a smile for you. The staff in general are great but are suffering from lack of business/tips.
The food was a little iffy but we picked through and alwayes found something to eat. You have to ask for different food and they will prvovide. We had some good meals and some poor ones.
The rooms needed a lot more TLC. But after leaving our made a few nice tips she brought our room up to an aceptable leval of cleanliness.
Entertainment was basicly the same every night and the bar snacks consisted of grilled ham/cheese or hamburgers that is all.
If we go back we wouls stay in Havana for sure. If you want beach you should stay in Veradero.
In general we had a good time but would pay extra for a better place next time.
We strongly recomend the you sign up ror the tours well worth the extra money. Remember Cubans love Canadians you will be treated well all over Cuba.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Gerry0164
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2011

Having read Trip Advisor reviews on the Club Acuario, we did not expect much when we checked in. So the defunct elevator was not a surprise. We were happy to be on the 1st floor until almost midnight. That's when the blaring pool side stereo finally shut down. But was followed within minutes by bongo drummers & rhythm sticks pounding the beat for the next round of revelers. At 2 am my wife went down & pleaded with security to quieten things down as we hadn't slept for nearly 24 hours. We had left Vancouver the previous evening & arrived at Varadero around 8 am in the morning with a further 3 hour drive to the western extremity of Havana at Hemingway Marina. Our room turned out to be right above the 24 hour bar & party central. The hotel was filled with teachers from Chile & Uruguay (mainly female) in Havana for the 25th Latin American Pedalogical Congress. So there was no chance of switching rooms. The Sunwing info on the hotel said there were seven free return shuttles a day into Havana. Reality was that there were three. Our Sunwing rep warned us that you should be prepared to take the taxi if the shuttle was overloaded - about $25 from Old Havana back to Hemingway Marina. With all the teachers there, the buffet was under pressure. Anything tasty only lasted a few minutes. The line up at the grill was worth the wait for tasty omelettes, fish and chops. Cutlery & glasses were at a premium. The bread & buns were good. But there was often no butter. Coffee was only available at breakfast from a machine. The 24 hour snack bar by the pool specialized in hot dogs -never saw anything else. Somehow we got a reservation for the a la carte restaurant & enjoyed a steak. Tried to make another reservation at the front desk, but never did get a confirmation from them as promised. The piano bar was enjoyable as a number of guests were excellent pianists. The bar had a limited liquor selection - ie, no brandy or whiskey. Had Cinzanno on ice, which probably was quite healthy. With a constant wind, the pool was pretty cool. Night time temperatures were about 12 C. The only entertainment was a small group with guitars at dinner. A young chef joined them as a vocalist. On Sundays the Marina area turns into the Havana "Daytona" until the traffic police get it back under control. Seems you squeal your tires accelerating & then slam the brakes on to avoid hitting cars turning onto the main road. We were amazed at the multi-million dollar yachts flying the American flag tied up at the Marina. The US boycott is obviously not for the rich & connected - probably does keep the riff raff home though. We spent an anxious Sunday trying to confirm our return flight. The number we were given was always busy. A front desk clerk helped by contacting another number - I then spoke to the person who said they would call back to confirm. They never did! So we were ready for our 2 am pickup in a 28 passenger bus for the two of us. We spent an hour zig zagging around Miramar to kill time until the next pick up in downtown Havana at 3 am. These people decided to take a cab to the airport so we had the bus all to ourselves out to Varadero. The people we met at the hotel made up for all the inconvenience. My wife gave a teacher from Chile a cheap Maple Leaf pin. The next day the teacher gave her an 18 carat pin from her city in Chile. After generous tipping ( a rarity at the Acuario) our level of service improved dramatically. While we would not recommend the Acuario to a friend, if the price was right we would not hesitate to stay there again. The staff were great. We enjoyed meeting several people from the UK and Alberta. The all-inclusive puts a cap on outlays in Havana - which is an otherwise expensive city. We felt far safer in downtown Havana than in downtown Vancouver. The Cuban people were friendly & gracious. Music is everywhere & constant. If we wanted better food & accommodation, we could always go to a Varadero 5 star. But we much prefer the charm & unknowns of Havana to the certainties of a stay in Varadero. Finally, there is no sandy beach near the Club Acuario. The ocean pounds into a rocky foreshore.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Oluf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2011

I went for the diving so I was not disappointed. The Dive center staff were excellent as were the hotel staff. The hotel is a bit removed from the other tourist attractions, but good for what I wanted. Also if you take a walk outside the marina, you can meet some interesting people.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank Gordon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Club Acuario

Address: Calle 248 y 5ta ave | Marina Hemingway, Playa, Havana 10400, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #61 of 80 Hotels in Havana
Price Range: £55 - £106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Club Acuario 3*
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Also Known As:
Acuario Hotel Havana

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