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“Be aware of a couple or two people approach you in Havana, Cuba”
Review of Melia Habana

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Melia Habana
Ranked #2 of 80 Hotels in Havana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 December 2012

My partner and I are first time to Cuba. We have visited two cities. One is Havana and other is Varadero. We are like Varadero very much because of people and have a long nice beach right behind the Hotel.
Now, we know why most of tourists like to go Varadero or other cities in south of Cuba.

Everyone if you want to go to the city of Havana,please everyone have to be aware of a couple or two people approach you.
They are very nice and friendly to you bur that is a trap. They will take you to the bar and have a drink but you do not order but the waiter offer the drinks to you and your guests. as the same time as the couple keep on talking to make you feel comfortable in the bar. The couple will ask you, can you buy one more drinks for them then you will have a trouble to pay the big bill for only a water with lemon drinks before you leave the bar.
We met a couple of people at the airport had a same situation as us to pay a high bill for only drinks.
So far our holiday in Cuba is nice and happy specially n Varadero..
Wish you all have a wonderful holiday in Cuba.

Room Tip: Over all the hotel is good except the washroom and shower are not clean. Ocean view is best to choos...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Fisherman W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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914 - 920 of 3,540 reviews

Reviewed 20 December 2012

This is a modern luxury hotel with quiet well furnished rooms, good restaurants, beautiful pools(we did not swim) and pleasant staff. If you want a modern upscale "island" on the Island, this is where to go. Only critique is that the plastic matress covers were very noise whenyou moved in or out of bed.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank sunsfanatic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2012

I visited Cuba for a week in November 2012 on a special license granted by the United States, and stayed at the Melia Habana as this was the hotel chosen for our tour. There are other more quaint and probably somewhat nicer hotels in Habana Vieja but for logistical reasons, this hotel made the most sense considering the size of our group (20+).

Please read this review with the understanding that a visitor from the United States cannot expect to go to Cuba and have everything exactly the way it is at home. This is a very different society with different cultural norms and different challenges. There are some things about this hotel that I wouldn't tolerate on a business trip in the U.S., but with an open mind for the differences between the countries, I was able to not let these things bother me. Considering everything, I was overall quite comfortable with my stay at this hotel.

First I will list the positives:
1. Beautiful swimming pool with clean, cool water and prompt service from the pool attendants
2. Nice location right on the shoreline with an expansive northern view of the Florida Straits
3. Sliding doors to the balcony so you can keep the doors open on cool nights and fall asleep listening to the crashing surf (and boy was it crashing!).
4. Most of the staff seemed to be professional and courteous, willing to help me practice my Spanish or speak excellent English if necessary
5. Room was quite a bit larger than I expected and the beds were very big
6. Relatively modern bathroom with adequate toiletries and a functioning bidet (a nice treat for an American traveler!)
7. Well maintained executive lounge with buffet breakfast, internet (slow by U.S. standards but really not too bad for some internet browsing/e-mail), and money exchange on the 9th floor
8. Lobby bar is open 24 hours (!!) and the drinks are very reasonably priced.

And these are thing things that need some work:
1. The air conditioning in the room was not cold enough for my comfort. It was cool enough that I was able to sleep fairly well but I would have preferred it to be about 5 degrees F colder.
2. The maid service appeared to be a little bit perfunctory. She did what was needed to be done but we noticed that some spots in the bathroom were still there after 4 days. She could have been a little bit more diligent in her duties.
3. The sheets and blankets were quite rough and not very comfortable
4. I will not list this as a fault of the hotel because this is the way things are in Cuba - but be aware that smoking is allowed almost anywhere, including the public areas of the hotel
5. Pool closes at 10:00 PM. I am not sure why - perhaps a security issue? If I were on a holiday vacation with friends or family during a hot summer period I would want to be able to swim past 10:00 PM.
6. The hotel is located about 20 minutes away from Habana Vieja
7. The hotel is located on the shore but there is no swimming beach anywhere in the immediate area

All in all, a decent hotel. It has something of a large, business-like, impersonal feel but in general it allowed for a comfortable and pleasant stay.

Room Tip: Try to get a room with a full view of the ocean (not a partial view). Also, the 7th-9th floors are...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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7  Thank Texan1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2012

Slightly offputting at first site - large, impersonal, letters dropping off the signage ... however the room in the special Level 7-9 section was large and well equipped with a large marble bathroom - very clean, really comfortable beds and quiet. Pretty good breakfast. The place grew on me. Staff were courteous and not pushy. Food and drinks in the lobby bar were expensive and bad so we didn't use the restaurants preferring to try out a number of paladars to check out. If the weather was hot the large pool would be a nice retreat after being downtown. Only real problem with the hotel is that it is 20 minutes fast drive to the old town and better restaurants. There is a free shuttle to a fixed point but if the timing doesn't work you may spend 10-15 CUCs each way on a taxi - and some of the taxis are beyond smelly and uncomfortable.

Room Tip: Levels 7-9 have special service and separate breakfast area as well as a bar/lounge.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jill2Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2012

This hotel is well located for the business district I needed and has frequent and easy access to the town centre, but if I were coming for a holiday, or extending my stay, I would try one of the smaller hotels in the old town centre, for more Cuban atmosphere.

Staff at the Melia were courteous and not overtly seeking tips. Breakfast OK, but no more so than a budget hotel. Room large and comfortable and clean, but very shabby on closer inspection, threadbare patches on arm chairs, great chunks of wallpaper peeled off. My guide for my days off said that everything was affected by the salty air, but I think it was more to do with the humidity. The hotel was designed to have huge balcony window boxes, but even though they were served by a watering system, they were empty or had crisp dead plants. It would have looked wonderful if they had been alive, but presume cost of maintenance was too great. If so then remove them.

Hire a guide for at least the first sightseeing day. I was taken to places I would never have thought to venture and Havanna architecture is just fascinating, as is Cuba's whole history, particularly if your guide was around in 1959.

Struck down by traveller's stomach on day three which was disappointing and which in 40 years has never happened before, and curtailed my sightseeing, but I rush to say that it was not the fault of the hotel, more to do with the loos in town being pretty grim. Suggest visitors take ample hand sanitiser as a precaution.

Great pizza downstairs, good for when yet another large meal is too much.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank cosmicstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dario Alejandro F, General Manager at Melia Habana, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2012

Dear Aylesbury,

We have read carefully all your reviews, specially those referring to the maintenance of the rooms areas, letting you know that they were reported and checked by the departments involved.
We appreciate that you have sent us your comments and if you want to return again to Havana, whether for business, or for take us as a reference.
Regards
Darío Fernández

Director General
Hotel Meliá Habana

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2012

For some reason we arrived at this hotel on our honeymoon and were congratulated at being married in our room with Cava and Chocolates even though our wedding is not until next year. The staff insisted on wheeling our bags to our room then stood and waited for a tip and put their hands out which I found very disconcerting considering we had just been picked up from the airport and had not even had chance to change money yet. I probably would have given them something when I got money changed had they not been so forward in putting their hands out.

We were very happy with the room, however we barely used the huge pool as we were out and about in Havana the whole 3 days and it takes about 20-30 mins to get to the old town on the free bus (note there is also a big red step on step off tour bus which costs 5 CUC per day and goes right past the hotel into the centre).

We tried a pizza from the Italian the first night as we arrived late and it was surprisingly good, at about 10 CUC (£7.50), however the feel-good factor was short-lived, the breakfast was pretty awful and after a long day out in Havana we arrived back at the hotel late again and decided to get a snack in the cafe bar and our meals were so bad that we ended up getting a full refund of our 18 CUC after the waitress admitted that the meals were terrible (they actually gave us different items than what was on the picture on the menu!). The worrying thing is that this cafe supplies room service 24hr a day as well as well. That was the last time we ate at the hotel though, we had an great meal at El Floridita the next day.

We purchased all our water over the road, there is a small cafe over there and there is also a supermarket - see if you can get there without being engaged in conversation numerous times, this is much cheaper than the hotel.

Overall, Havana was amazing, I loved our room in the hotel, slept amazingly well listening to the Ocean. I didn't look forward to breakfast, but I thought the Daiquiris in the hotel were fantastic and it was interesting for people watching, especially watching the young girls on a night out with their grandads.

If I went to Havana again I'd probably get a hotel in the centre as the 20-30 minute drive out to the Melia Habana was a drag and I'd like to be close to the centre for a change. I do think 3 full days in Havana gave me a chance to see everything I possibly could in this city though and was just enough. The hotel has lost a mark for it's food but this seems to be a general problem with a lot of hotels in Cuba, even the toast has to go through the toaster 5 times to toast though, which is excessive! Check out the bread, cheese, ham and boiled eggs for good safe bets at breakfast!

Room Tip: Get a Sea View Room, leave your door slightly ajar and fall asleep listening to the waves
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank DidsburyRed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dario Alejandro F, General Manager at Melia Habana, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2012

Dear DidsburryRed

Thanks for writing us and also we are pleased you enjoyed your Honey Moon in Cuba. We have paid special attention to all your comments, which we appreciate because they allow us to feedback, and learn about our points of improvements. We regret that our service of food in some of our restaurants did not meet your expectations, which has been analyzed by our management.
About our Bell Boy service, we are concerned about what you tell us because it does not correspond to our daily work, this type of behavior is enormously far from the good practices of our staff. Just remember that here there is a hotel where if you give us another chance we will receive you with pleasure once more.
Regards
Darío Fernández

Director General
Hotel Meliá Habana

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Reviewed 12 November 2012

I have been already several times in the Melia Hebana., located at seaside in the better area of Havana. The old city center can be reached by taxi or the hotel bus shuttle easily.

On the first sight the hotel looks like an international 5-star hotel. The lobby especially has a very nice flair and the rooms are clean. Unfortunately the cuban problems do not stop at the hotel: Missing spareparts are showing the leck of maintenance. Broken flags, crumbeling veneers at the doors and furnitures, broken airconditions etc.

The breakfast buffet is average with canned orange juice. But in general the staff is very friendly and well trained.

Room Tip: In den oberen Etagen gibt es die Zimmerklasse "Servicio real" mit WLAN und einer Business...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled on business
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Thank cargomover2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dario Alejandro F, General Manager at Melia Habana, responded to this reviewResponded 2 December 2012

Dear Sr
First of all we would like to thank you for being a regular client and also for sending us your personal viewpoints on the hotel.
On the other hand we truly regret your notice on the maintenance at some facilities and your comments regarding the buffet restaurant.
We really appreciate your opinions on our staff and would like to ask you to continue visiting us in your future trips to Havana
Regarding
Darío Fernández

Director General
Hotel Meliá Habana

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Melia Habana

Address: Ave 3era, e/ 76 y 80 | Miramar Playa, Havana 11300, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Havana
#2 Romantic Hotel in Havana
#2 Family Hotel in Havana
#3 Business Hotel in Havana
Price Range: £172 - £348 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Melia Habana 4*
Number of rooms: 397
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Miramar, overlooking the sea, 20 minutes from airport, 5 minutes from Havana Convention Center. 397 rooms, 4 suites, 12 Junior Suites, 98 Royal Service, sea view with balcony, Full bathroom, Air conditioning, Satellite TV, Safe, Minibar, 220 volts. Restaurants: Italian, Oriental Fusion, Grill, cafeteria and Buffets, 5 bars, Swimming pools with children's area, Babysitting service. Sauna, GYM, Massage, WI-FI Internet in all the hotel, Meeting facilities. Live Music. Free shuttle to old Havana. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Melia Habana Hotel Havana
Melia Hotel Habana
Melia Hotel Havana

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