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“The Mildew Hotel”
Review of Habana Riviera

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Habana Riviera
Ranked #44 of 79 Hotels in Havana
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The Mildew Hotel”
Reviewed 31 December 2013

The mildew stench of not only the room, but the unnameable smell that you can practically taste as the elevator doors open onto the 19th floor will stay with us for some time to come. Literally. We have had to launder our clothes 4 times and the mildew smell persists. The room cost $200 per night and while the views were striking, we could not access our balcony. We had to select a hotel quickly while already in Cuba, so were unable to read reviews in advance. Do not stay at the Riviera, but do visit the public areas of the building which are accessible from the lobby. They are fantastically preserved with original furniture, sculptures, murals, light fixtures, etc. The attention to design detail is a marvel. It offers a frozen-in-time glimpse into mob-era hostelry at its peak. P.S. If despite this warning, you decide to overnight it here, do not go anywhere near the blanket in the closet.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank MaryDante
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 December 2013

Feel like you stepped back in time. The Riviera is from the time period long before I was born. Its from the late 50's, not only can you see it, you can also feel it.

It feels like you step back in time. The lobby, the restaurant down one level from the main lobby, the performance and live stage act's all make you feel like it could be the 1960's. I love the statue out front and the flag hanging 2\3 up the building off a balcony. It's got a great vibe.

The pool is huge. The view from the rooms is wonderful on either side. Our room looked out South East away from Havana and it was delightful, especially at sunset. The room had a nice bath tub (I am 6"1") and plenty of hot water.

The staff is great, always a taxi out front waiting for you and as the buffet and other food is concerned its the same as any other place in cube.

So why the low 2 star review? The mold was so bad. The rooms all smell like mold, the place is damp and moldy all over. If you have allergies to mold DO NOT even attempt to stay here. You will be miserable. Out of the 3 elevators only one worked and the constant power outages could have you stuck in a small box for half an hour.

Aside from that this place is great.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ben M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Havana hotels

Santiago, Chile
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 December 2013 via mobile

It seems to that had better times, however, the air conditioning never worked on my room, one morning didn't has hot water, there wasn't internet too, so you have to go to the next hotel.
The room service ask for tip leaving a note on each room, some of my colleagues said that some girls call them in the middle of the night to offer sex and the guards were very keen to offer girls.
The food at restaurants and the bar service was the best thing there.

Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank Roberto G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newark, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2013

I stayed at the hotel for 5 days. As I have read in prior reviews, indeed this hotel needs some major renovations. We stayed on the 14th floor (corner room with balcony) and the ocean view was spectacular. The room was very musty. This is not a hotel for allergy sufferers or asthmatics. We realized this the first night and slept with all of the windows open after that. Air conditioning barely worked but it did not matter to us since we opted for fresh air. There was no hot water must of the time and the toilet didn't work properly. Every time we showered, the bathroom flooded, making it very slippery. We had a fridge in the room and it worked very nicely. We also had a old TV with cable and it worked most of the time too. But that didn't matter to us because we didn't go to Cuba to watch TV! There is no Internet available. One night, the elevators were out of power and from what I heard, this happens quite often. Eventually, we ended up walking up the 14th floors. No apologies were given to us. The front desk people were serious and at times, somewhat friendly. The lobby is clean with security around. We had a breakfast buffet every morning and the food was nothing to brag about. It was plentiful and the service was good. By the way, non-smoking rooms are not available. You should know, there is a small shopping mall on front (with a small supermarket) and there is also a Melia hotel next to it. Overall, we would give this hotel 2-3 stars. Not worth the price they charge for the rooms. Do not have high expectations, and try to stay positive. After all, this is a state-run hotel. Lastly, remember to tip nicely at all times... your stay will improve!

Room Tip: Ask for higher floors.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank Frances R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2013

My stay at this hotel turned out to be what felt like the longest 2 days of my life.
Please, for your own safety, stay away!
-At check in I was told they have internet, later when I went to use it I was told they are "out of wifi cards and will not have any coming in"
-Dirty rusty shower and some sort of wood eating bugs destroying the closet and leaving a mess for us to sweep up twice a day.
-Rooms and hallways smell musty as hell
-WE HAD SOMEONE TRY TO GET INTO OUR ROOM AT 3AM BOTH NIGHTS. I HAD TO HOLD THE DOOR SHUT AND YELL TO GET THE GUY TO RUN OFF!! He had a card for the door, I was lucky that the dead bolt does not open with the card! I thought it was a freak thing but then he came back the second night at the same time and was pounding on the door and trying to kick it open. Very scary and the front desk phone line was off the hook from 3am till he left? Maybe they are working together? When I told the front desk staff they rolled their eyes and said they would "note it"
-Breakfast area was from the Soviet era, dimly lit and food a dog would turn away.
For a few more bucks a night stay at the Melia across the street, its top notch.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Roger1941
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belgrade, Serbia
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2013

One can feel the spirit of the former luxury. Friendly staff and great food....get a room on the top floor,because it is a beautiful view of the ocean....The hotel is a good location.You can enjoy walking to melakon....You really can not go wrong!!!

Room Tip: Get a room on the top floor!!!!!
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ana Marija P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2013

Myself any girlfriend made the mistake of staying at this property for two nights in October 2013. Foolishly, we only read the reviews after having stayed there, and pretty much every review I have read is 100% correct. We couldn't have got a worse first impression; to say the front desk staff are rude is a massive understatement. Very unhelpful, extremely uninterested and generally not what one would expect of a supposed 4* property. The rooms smelt extremely musty, and the bed felt like it was part of the original fit out in the 50's. And the worst part - it's not even cheap! I would seriously reconsider staying here. The only good thing is the view.... But its certainly not a $200USD a night view.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank goughyz
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 Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#25 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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