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“This is not a hotel it's a theme park ride.”
Review of Habana Riviera

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Habana Riviera
Ranked #50 of 79 Hotels in Havana
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
187 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 206 helpful votes
“This is not a hotel it's a theme park ride.”
Reviewed 20 April 2013

If you like to experience living history then one night in this joint is a MUST.It's a time capsule with authentic furniture,decor and fittings unchanged from the '50 with smells included.I swear Frank Sinatra used my sheets!Unfortunately, the balconies from the larger ocean view rooms are a death trap with concrete crumbling floors and roofs and exposed rusted metal frames,which do make it more of a white knuckle experience.The thrill continues with lights out,should a bathroom trip be necessary and the nerves of steel required then to either;brave the archaic electrical fittings OR risk an encounter with any crawling form of wildlife in the dark.Neither my wimpy self nor my macho partner had the guts to empty our suitcase/sleep unclothed or walk barefoot on the carpet from the black lagoon...............
Just when you think the ride is over;the damp dark subterranean journey through breakfast looms(including cold spagetti,no not lukewarm or underheated : COLD SPAGETTI as an option) - To be fair,to the Riviera it boasts an exterior magnificence and a lobby and bar which are spectacular and these deserve a tourist visit possibly including the evening entertainment (which did look and sound very Carmen Miranda) but to misquote Groucho Marx
"ah! The Riviera I spent six months there one night....."

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank mary v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rio Vista, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2013

In January of this year (2013), I traveled to Cuba. As I am an American, the trip was arranged by a travel company that has a license to take Americans to Cuba via "a cultural exchange". I can't possibly convey how horrible this hotel was in words, but I will try. The rooms: don't let your bare feet touch the carpet, it's filthy. The room had a powerful smell of decay & mold. So strong in fact, that the odor still remains in my suitcase & I'll have to dump it. All my clothes smelled as well. There were no bulbs in the lamps & we were unable to utilize the plugs (even though they were 110/220. The safe was broken, the toilet didn't flush properly & you were lucky to have warm water for showering. The front desk was called many times, but their idea of customer service is not answer the phone at all. The food; very, very bad. You could only get coffee by pressing a button on the vending machine. Yuk!! and Cuba is known for its wonderful coffee. In the hotel lobby, we had two opportunities to talk to Cuban prostitutes which was actually a very interesting & informative conversation. We were told how difficult it is for Cubans to provide for their families. In conclusion, Let me explain that I have traveled to several 3rd world countries, but have never, ever stayed in such a disgusting hotel. There are many beautiful hotels in Havana, but don't waste your money staying at the Riviera.

Room Tip: There aren't any good rooms. There were 27 people in our group & we all had the some type o...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Garnet44265
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Havana hotels

Curacao
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2013

I stayed here for 3 nights.
I read all reviews before, and i have to say, you need to understand that you are in Cuba, and not an european or american 5 star hotel with can offer everything.
The hotel is old, yes. The stay was very kind, and willing to help.
top floor has a great view. And yes you need a taxi to go to old Havana. Cost 6 CUC

I think if you expect a fancy 5 star modern hotel, then you better don't go to Cuba.
Beds are clean every day. towel are clean and fresh. So no problem there.

happy traveling :-)

Room Tip: Topfloor (20) has of course the best view. I would choose ocean view. Because of the wind. if you wa...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank tropenman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2013

This is possible the worst hotel I've ever stayed in. Our room stank of damp and something that we suspected might be some kind of insecticide - it made us feel nauseous. The carpet was filthy and covered with stains. Breakfast was inedible, and served in a sort of damp, dark basement. This hotel is not fit for purpose and should be closed immediately on public health grounds. Avoid at all costs.

Room Tip: If you really cannot avoid staying here (in other words if you've already paid and can't get...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank fred j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2012

I had stayed at this hotel this past May for my last 2 nights in Havana. Prior to this I had just finished a bus tour of Cuba and had stayed in 4 other hotels. This included 2 hotels in Havana. 2 years earlier I had done another tour and stayed at 2 hotels in Havana - 1 motel on the island and the rest home stay. So I was quite familiar with Cuban hotels.

I choose this hotel as I wanted to stay in another area of Havana and be close to the Malecon. I had stayed at the Nacional before. The price was inexpensive which was what I wanted also.

Yes, you do need a taxi to get to Old Havana - and the price is negotiable. Tho of course going to/from adds up. Coming back one has to negotiate more.

I was taken up to my room which was on a top floor. Wow - what a view of the ocean and the Malecon. High ceilings. Lots of hot water - full force in the shower - a toilet that worked - a clean bathroom. Lots of light - my previous 2 nights were spent in a hotel room with no windows and extremely low lighting. So the view/light was heaven.

I did find the bed a bit hard but after 1/2 hour one was used to it. The pillow was flat but I had extras to build up the height.

I had the windows open 24/7 so it was nice having fresh air.

When I was there I had no problem getting an elevator and was up to my floor in no time flat.

Yes, the furniture is dated and the carpet wasn't in the best condition but I did find that with other more expensive hotels. Fortunately, I didn't have any mould or bugs in my room. Sheets were clean and lots of towels.

One has to accept that they are staying in a dated hotel. For the price I paid this was acceptable.

During my tour the best omelette I had was at the Riviera. Finally, I had a cup of tea at breakfast that was made with hot water not lukewarm water. Also, I had dinner there one evening and it was a good deal for the price - which included a drink and the fish stew was delicious.

This was the only hotel where the trio (which was really good) that played during dinner didn't approach me or other diners to try to sell their cds or ask for money.

I liked the large lobby and checked out all the sculptures.

There is a major art gallery/museum within walking distance of the hotel and there are some beautiful homes in the area.

If you want 5 star just walk across the street to the Melia Cohiba - checked out the jazz bar 2 nights. - really enjoyed it.

I didn't feel that I was in a hotel for "tourists" as most of the guests were speaking Spanish.

Overall I quite enjoyed my stay there. I was travelling alone and felt safe.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank 400Rose123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Picton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
144 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2012

I spent three nights at what once was a 4 or 5 star hotel in the 1950s. The building is falling apart due to the lack of maintenance since the 1950s. But hey! Beware the entire Cuba has been frozen in time and the entire Cuba is falling apart due to the horrendous regime that have been ruling the country with an iron fist. People in Cuba are amazing and so were the staff of the Riviera Hotel. Everyone wants to help you and be your friend. If you stay here and don't mind the old furniture and feel then its a great hotel. Please if you travel to Cuba no matter where you stay bring with you chocolates, candy, sweets, toothpaste, shampoo and soap and give it to the staff working at the hotels this items are like gold for the people of Cuba. The staff was so grateful for all the gifts I brought for them. You will feel very good for the good and little happiness you have brought with those gifts to the beautiful people of Cuba.

Room Tip: Make sure they put you in floor 17. All rooms have ocean views.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank JosePablin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, New York, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2012

unbelievable this hotel is almost a ruin. the all hotel is in terrible condition, very poor service, dirty, the included breakfast is terrible, i DO NOT recommend to any body to spent a night in this hotel , it's not worthy.

Room Tip: the general conditions of all rooms are terrible
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jesus F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Habana Riviera

Property: Habana Riviera
Address: Paseo No-1 e/ 1ra and Malecon | Vedado, Havana 10400, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#27 Luxury Hotel in Havana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Habana Riviera 4*
Number of rooms: 352
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Habana Riviera, located front to the impetuous Caribbean Sea, with its romantic Malecon and in the heart of Havana City is imposed by the special atmosphere that offers its environment. Its architecture offers an eastern atmosphere of rare exoticism and novelty. The 16-storey Habana Riviera looks like something out of 1950s Las Vegas or Miami, an airbrushed postcard taking one back to a very different time and world. Stylishly modernist, the building's 50s look (and feel) carries past the revolving door entrance over to the grand lobby, whose original structure, furnishings and décor have been very well preserved. The spacious lobby bar is set next to a row of large glass panels that place one almost literally next to the water, and the Mirador de la Habana restaurant has very nice views of the littoral and city. A less publicized detail is the modern artwork that graces the lobby and entrance to the hotel, which includes pieces by renowned Cuban sculptor Florencio Gelabert - a fact that could prove of interest to anyone with an eye for modernist art. Through the years, the Habana Riviera has been able to maintain its refinement. Sculptures by artist Florencio Gelabert and suggestive and valuable wooden works and other artistic jewels reinforce the building's seductive flavour. Prestigious symbol of Havana City, its beauty, its Caribbean captivation, its cozy environment convert it into the most wanted hotel by the visitors: poets, dancers, painters, actors, Premiums Nobel writers, artists of all kind, ambassadors, officials, presidents and famous world figures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Habana Riviera Havana
Habana Riviera Hotel Havana

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