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“Best little hotel in Havana”
Review of Hotel El Bosque

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Hotel El Bosque
Ranked #52 of 80 Hotels in Havana
Reviewed 10 January 2009

Note that several of the reviews on this page are for Hotel Kohly, not for Hotel El Bosque. The two hotels are near each other and owned by the same company. I've never stayed at the Hotel Kohly but I heard that it's not good.

I've stayed at the Hotel El Bosque twice, and was pleased both stays. The rooms were clean, the beds comfortable (unusual in Cuba!) and the staff was friendly and helpful. They all spoke English. It's close to the Viazul bus station, the neighborhood is quiet and safe, and you're on the river, which is a big tropical park, so you breathe clean air. The prices are reasonable. Best of all, IMHO, it doesn't feel like you're in Havana. It feels like the countryside. Of course, if you want nightlife and jiniteras, this isn't the hotel for you.

My complaints? The outdoor bar had loud music until after midnight, but after that it was as quiet. Also one night the hotel was full and all the phone lines were busy, so I couldn't make a call.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled solo
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6  Thank Chapayev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 - 51 of 124 reviews

Reviewed 5 January 2009

I stayed at this hotel for a total of 3 nights with my family on an Explore Family tour. The hotel is ok in some ways for a budget hotel. However, it is dirty, the bathrooms were unclean, the room fridges either smelt horrible when they worked & the walls were mouldly. On the plus side the beds were very comfortable & the rooms had air conditioners, which worked to a fashion.

The swimming pool & surrounding areas are nice. The water is very cold at this time of year. The main areas of the hotel are fair. There were noticeably a small number of prostitutes walking the hotel each evening, but this was not a problem.

Take earplugs. The music in the bar blares out every evening until 1am, even though the bar is invariably almost empty. The next door Italian restaurant/snack bar is cheap & the food edible (with the possible exception of what seemed to be deep fried pizzas!). The hotel breakfast is well documented in other reviews!

The hotel s a long way out from Havanna Vieja (30min taxi ride) but the fares are cheap by Western standards. The local area of Kohly is reasonably upmarket & safe.

Explore usually make good value choices on their hotels. The rest of the hotels we stayed in were good or excellent. I assume they chose this hotel because of the swimming pool, as there is not much else to recommend it.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank paul w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2008

It comes down to how much you paid for your trip. I had a good deal so I took it. I only stayed there for 2 days and used the room as a storage for my luggage. Water is cold, bathroom if filthy. The neighborhood is, you can take taxi pirata from the hotel, around 4-5 CUC to get to Central Havana. The city is full of them, they are cheap and safe just make sure to make deal before and always have exact change to give him. There is one taxi pirata outside all the time, it's a red Lada. He has some one working at the hotel so the allow him to be there but he tends to be more expensive.
You can bring outside "visitor" for 20CUC witch you pay to the security.
The exchange rate is very bad, better go to the bank or change it at the airport. You can rent a safety box for 2CUC per day.
The breakfast is good with large selection.
The place is full of regular Cubans that come there to enjoy the pool for small fee. During those 2 days I noticed that night staff (including the night manager) has the tendency to try suck you in to buying them beer, bottle of rum. I don't care about any of that but I just don't like if someone thinks he can take you for a ride.
I will not stay there again only because of the water....I hate cold water.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with friends
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3  Thank AndyTo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2008

Very plain and simple... Its clean and its safe. It serves a buffet style breakfast which is average just as other buffet style meals in Cuba... so in other words it will fill the spot, and even though it is mediocre, you wont get sick from eating it. Coffee is bland, but the 24 hour snack bar makes good espresso and cuban coffee... Say hi to the girls sitting at the snack bar, they are quite friendly. There is a pasta/ pizza place right on site which provides decent and inexpensive food. No beach, only a swimming pool. Taxis are at the front which will take you to old Havana within about 10 minutes. On average it costs 8-10 CUC but if you hail a cab from the street (Panataxi) you may get there for 5 CUC. The Pinar del Rio, los Vinales trip is amazing. You can purchase a tour from reception. Overall the staff is outgoing, although you may come across an odd one that seems a little disgruntled. But I didnt come there for them anyways so it doesnt matter really. I like this place because it is in a residential area and it is not your typical tourist trap type of a resort, more like a condo style apartment building.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled solo
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4  Thank Swashbuckler416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2007

This hotel is a dump the service was the worst service ive had in my life and guess what ? they ran out of beers that are made right in Cuba we checked out and went to National hotel.

Stayed: July 2007
Thank braca058
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2007

I went here on a trip to Cuba, luck for us we didnt stay at the hotel very long as we were traveling. The first day I lost my wallet on the way to the hotel and the staff at the hotel were not helpful. It took me a very long time to communicate with them regardless of my hand expressions. Finally, they said they would try and call my sunwing travel guide. They told me they called and no one was there. We left the hotel for 4 days in car travelled Cuba (which was great!) Upon arrival back to the hotel they told me that they tried to call but it was busy ... after finally finding someone who spoke english I was able to communicate and asked them for the number, when I called I got ahold of my rep on the first try ?? but it was busy for them for 3 days. Anyways, we decided to go swimming the pool was freezing and we had to get out. The rates for gifts, food and other things were way above what I have traditionally paid at other hotels in the last 3 years that I have been to Cuba. The evenings came and so did the "locals" if you are interested in half decent food and prostitutes this hotel is for you if not dont go. We left my dad for 1 minute and a gorgeous girl approched him for sex. I spoke with another male who came by himself and I who was approched 4-5 times (I saw once when he was eating - scavengers) The second last day that I was there I drank rum by the pool till 4am. A Cuban who worked there approched me and we talked. He wanted to show me something, (should have known then but foggy due to the drinks) he tried to kiss and touch me. I said I had to go to the washroom and ran to my room jumped into bed locked the door of course....if you can believe it all of a sudden I heard a key hoping it was my dad, I sat up .... it was the same cuban who worked there ... and he had gotten a key to my room. I talked to him when he tried to reach for me again. Finally, (I think cause I was getting loud - and my fmailys rooms were close by) I talked to him and lied said I would meet tomorrow -- I said anything to get him to leave... believe me , he left ... I was so scared I didnt sleep a wink., nor did I tell my family (my sister once we were back in Canada) I didint tell my dad.. but I am on here to go to every feedback website to warn people. Cuba is a great place I have been there 4 times now infact, its one of the safest places to travel I think but stay away from this resort if you are young and female staying in a room alone.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled with family
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7  Thank brandygirl20022002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2007

For a budget hotel - definitely above average -- We had a room for one week on the 5th floor, Feb 28th - march 6th, 2007. It was clean and neat and the towel and bedspread sculptures everyday were a real treat -along with a small bit of fresh flowers.

The show around the pool is impressive (only some nights) and during the day the pool was clean and chairs were great. Bring a large towel, though!

The Pizza place on the first floor was fabulous and inexpensive; and the breakfasts in the 2nd floor restuarant were the best meal, usually ,that we had all day. The breakfast was a buffet style with a chef making omlettes and fried eggs, which were great. (i notice that other reviewers complained about breakfast but we found it more palatable than a lot of the food in Havana. Just all bland lland bland which we had heard but just didn;t believe. )

There was French style bread (all white) and a toaster -- butter and cheese at the back of the room by the cereal although maybe all gone if you come late! The coffeee was pretty bad (weak) and the food was really bland, but that pretty much goes for all the food, all the time in Havana, and I assume alll of Cuba, since we were chastised more than once for wanting to add Tobasco and told that it was bad for us! "It will hurt your liver", we were told. Anyway, breakfast had lots of fruit, eggs and mystery meat and sometimes vegetables. . . We were satisfied every day!

Anyway, the hotel is fabulous, though a cab ride away from almost everything. It is cheaper to walk to the main street corner by the bridge and get a Havana Taxi or Panataxi but it is only about one - two peso's cheaper to go to Old Havana than using the OK Taxis in front of the hotel. . . .

I feell like we are probably the only Canadians to go to Cuba in the winter and not go to the beach! But we had a reallly fabulous time walking around Havana, listening to music, talking to people, drinking Mohitos and Daquiris and talking to Habeneros. We did the museums and really see his as a place that works - without capitalism -- hard to orient yourself if you are a big "consumer" as there is not much to buy!

The hotel is only a cheap taxi ride from most things (and is close to the Tropicana though we did not go because it is over $100 Can each to go and beyond our budget!) but it is bit inconvenient to not just be able to "pop back" to the hotel for a rest etc. For us it was worth it for the savings.

The best restaurant we ate in was El Ehibe or Ahibe (t is one of the more famous restaurants in Havana, so every cab driver will know it ) in Miramar. They serve a chicken in orange sauce, a great Mohito and actually serve salad with your dinner (if you are used to a lot of vegetables- take fibre - I have no idea how vegetarians eat in Cuba.) Also one day when there were big waves along the Malecon (that's how we knew that there were big waves) we went and sat in the bar in the back, outside (kind of the beach except there is no beach on the waterfront) at the Commodoro Hotel in Mirmar -- the waves were smashing against the cement dock and the sun was shining and the garlic shrimp WERE the best thing that we ate in Havana.


Have fun, we plan to go back soon. There is a very big paper shortage in Cuba - take notebooks and pens and also aspirin and tylenol to give away. Lots of papel hygenica (toilet paper) in the hotel, but not much in many other places, or an attendant expecting a peso to provide it.

People who were staying at resorts that we met said that they were asked a lot for clothes, hats and T-shirts, although we did not experience that -- people were looking for money for pharmaceuticals and loooking for headache relief - hard to come by!

9  Thank NovaScotiaEmma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel El Bosque

Address: 28A e/ 49A y 49C | Reparto Kohly Municipio Playa, Havana, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 80 Hotels in Havana
Price Range: £65 - £209 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel El Bosque 3*
Number of rooms: 60
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Bosque Hotel
El Bosque Havana

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