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“Not as advertised with a non genuine host”

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House in Front of the Sea
Ranked #111 of 270 Speciality Lodging in Havana
Sooke, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
170 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“Not as advertised with a non genuine host”
Reviewed 7 March 2014

We booked for three days online before coming to Cuba and were quick to find that The House In Front Of The Sea is not really in a casa particular in many aspects, it is simply a hostel in someones house. 4-5 rooms are rented out which means a lot of people are in and around the house the entire time which also means the prices for a room are lower than other casas in the city. The apartment itself was a lovely little place but the one thing you are not aware of from the advertising is that while the house is indeed facing the sea, it is not mentioned that a four way motorway is between the house and the sea and it is unbelievably loud with traffic all day. It is nice to watch the old cars along the highway for a bit but after a few minutes the noise becomes to much so it's not really that enjoyable to sit on.

Our room was small and the furthest away from the common area so we thought it would be very quiet. It was not. We could very easily hear the other guests coming home late at night and chatter from the common area. The final night was the worst as we were woken up at 11:30pm to a trumpet and guitar being played in the common area with people cheering and clapping. I'll repeat that. A trumpet playing IN the common area at 11:30pm with loud singing. We were livid! We didn't sleep much that night. Besides the noise the room was nice with a small private bathroom, fridge and huge armoire for our clothes. Unfortunately the bed was the least comfortable bed I've ever slept on as the springs would make so much noise and jab you all over the side that you were sleeping on.

I feel the worst part of our stay was that the host Chely was not genuine in the least. At the start of our stay she was very friendly and chatty but by the second day she was all but icy cold to us, we assume it was because we were not spending any money in her casa on food or drink. We were told this happens at a lot of casas in Cuba but it was sad that it happened here. Why would we spend 1CUC on a coffee in the casa when just outside we could get coffee for 1 peso? Why would we buy breakfast for 4-5CUC when a five minute walk away we could get a wonderful breakfast and juice on the street for 20 pesos? I am not sure why so many other reviewers are saying the breakfast is such a good price at this casa, have they never walked the streets to see the prices there? I think it is terrible manners to treat guests any less just because they refuse to spend 5-25 times more on food in the casa than out on the street. When leaving on the third day we barely even got a smile or a good bye from Chely even though we were model guests while the other guests were terribly loud and inconsiderate.

To sum it up. If you want to stay in a loud, hostel like enviroment and be treated less than other guests who buy food in the casa then this place is for you. I run a B&B in my country and I could never fathom treating guests like we were treated here. I'd never return as there are far too many other choices in Havana.

Room Tip: The room furthest from the common area is the most quiet an the smallest. Still loud though.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Dirty_Bindle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chelyn2013, Propietario at House in Front of the Sea, responded to this review, 20 March 2014
I am really shocked with your opinion. We are used to getting honest opinions and suggestions. We are not a shelter. We are a guest house and we thank all our guests who stay at home and use a little of your time to review us and this undoubtedly helps us to work better where we need it. Between you and me there was a misunderstanding yes, it is true, Nothing related to the purchase of food. Nothing related to my treatment of clients , I know how important they are all for me but we live in community and there are rules we must all follow .

We have never pressured anyone to eat foods in our guest house and no one is less precious not to. We did not even do bad propaganda to some street food despite knowing as local we are than to prepare some of it do not comply with the established rules of hygiene or for example the coffee that you mention it costs 1 peso is not coffee at all it is only pea roasted that the locals abstain from consuming many times . At home we just provide our services and help with all due respect to anyone who requests it. About " honest" suggestions which you mean of course that I take very seriously and our future guests will benefit from the changes made ​​arrangements thank to you , Thank you for your time
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62 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
83 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2013

the bedroom itself is quite basic but has everything you need and you do have the run of the apartment so you can help yourself to some glasses ect from the kitchen and go and sit on the balcony and have a drink, either your own or they will sell you something alcoholic or otherwise,
the people are friendly enough and the breakfast is very nice, location is quite good right on the malecon,there are some eating places next door but are not very good,but if you go a couple of blocks to the left you will find quite a lot of resturants/bars ect, the first bar on the corner will try to rip you off by overcharging you on the beer prices, he will try and charge you 2 CUC for local beer
when everyone else is only paying 1, also the open top tour bus goes past there, just put your hand up and they will stop

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank CardiffMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarasota, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 September 2013

Enjoy my stay again in Havana with fresh air and hospitality of the friends of the hotel.

Joseph the chef is amazing and super attentive, prepared some amazing breakfasts only for 4 CUC, also were willing to help me with advice on what to do and how to travel cheaply, thanks and success in business

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank fnitti4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kenner, Louisiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2013

Friendly staff helped us with booking taxi and other great houses in other cities.clean rooms.the best breakfast we hav in cuba.and a delicious lobster for dinner.incredible views of the sea and the city,highly recommended thank you.

Room Tip: The rooms are in perfect condition.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank lizc281
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, BC
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2013

We arrived by taxi from Jibacoa and within minutes of arriving felt like we were visiting old friends. Debra and Chely did everything to help make our 2 nights memorable. We had dinner there the first night, and what a difference from all-inclusive resort food. Lobster will make all the difference. We also had 2 breakfasts and we all felt bad that there was so much food left over after each meal. meeting other travellers staying there and sharing stories is what makes casas so much nicer than hotels. The help with where to go, and making phone calls to upcoming casas
is all part of the great experience

Thank you so much
Dan $ Jean Brown and familia

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Dan_JeanVancouver_BC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingsbridge, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
188 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 December 2012

The location of this Casa is supurb, easy to walk around Havana and the view to the sea was nice as was watching the traffic go by from the balcony. We made the mistake of not eating dinner in the Casa, I am sure it would have been better than eating out as breakfast was lovely.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Digory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2012

I stay for four nights and chely and jose ( the owners) make my stay in habana one the most memorables trips.
I personally recommend this place ,the food is very good ,and the view is impressive
The rooms are very clean with high ceilings
and also you have your own bathroom and your own fridge
Also the place is close to a lot a places ,the malecon ,old Havana just to name a few.
.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Cmolina01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about House in Front of the Sea

Property: House in Front of the Sea
Address: Marina 111, Apartment 2-A | Between Vapor and Principe, Havana 10300, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #111 of 270 Speciality Lodging in Havana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 4
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
House In Front Of The Sea Hotel Havana

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