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“Nice Hotel”
Review of Hotel Santa Isabel

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Hotel Santa Isabel
Ranked #20 of 79 Hotels in Havana
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Nice Hotel”
Reviewed 13 February 2014

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.

Room Tip: Fisrt floor rooms on the Plaza de Armas side.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Bibanel83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reading
Level Contributor
56 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2014

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

Room Tip: At front of hotel
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Victoria02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2014 via mobile

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 knıw 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.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AresK_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
67 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2013 via mobile

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.




Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank sunshine_d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Yorkshire
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2013

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.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ThebassmanYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
portsmouth
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2013

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!

Room Tip: Top floor room 305 looks over the square
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank domb1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
164 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 December 2013

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

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Santa Isabel

Property: Hotel Santa Isabel
Address: Calle Baratillo 9, entre Obispo y Narciso Lopez | Habana Vieja, Havana, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#17 Luxury Hotel in Havana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Santa Isabel 5*
Number of rooms: 27
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Santa Isabel Havana
Santa Isabel Hotel

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