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“On the Edge of old Havana”

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Armadores de Santander Hotel
Ranked #15 of 79 Hotels in Havana
Vancouver, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“On the Edge of old Havana”
Reviewed 28 February 2014

I have stayed at the Armadores de Santander five or six times over the last decade and alawys enjoy my stay. Rooms are large, but make sure to ask for a room with a view. The beds are not the best and the breakfasts fall short of Havana standards. The staff is friendly and the small bar is cozy. Staff is friendly and helpful. The best thing about the Santander is location. It is on the edge of Habana Vieja and away from the bustle and noise of some of the other four-star in the area. A block away is the Dos Hermanos bar, frequented in olden days by Hemingay, Errol Flynn, the mob, and Garcia Lorca. The ferry to Regla is just across the street.

Room Tip: Insist on a room wth a view.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kit K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Baltimore, Maryland
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2014

This is an old hotel, poorly restored but with some nice flourishes. Their third-floor balcony cafe (mostly closed but you can take your own drink) is a great place to have a beer or glass of wine and watch traffic at the ferry and waterfront below, plus a great view of the orthodox church dome that is not available from the street.

Our first room was on the first floor at two levels: a small living room with a small balcony overlooked the waterfront, and a narrow steel spiral staircase led up to a windowless loft bedroom and bath. When the water worked (This is Havana -- it was iffy in the mornings.) the bathroom was fine, and the bedroom was small but functional. The elevator was broken much of the time, so get a lower-floor room. After we returned from a trip out of Havana we came back and were assigned a new, inner windowless room. It was quite roomy, all at one level, but a bit suffocating for lack of windows. the hotel staff was responsive and accomodating, within the limits of what they could do. The location is great, on the edge of the Old City. Very safe and handy to bars and restaurants. There is a hotel bar/cafe but it is nothing special, although their outdoor tables at street level are fun for people-watching. Bottom line: it is a state-owned hotel in a great location but with all of the handicaps that are endemic to today's Cuba. Keep your expectations low and you will be okay.

Room Tip: Ask for an outside room on a low floor (elevator is prone to failure).
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank William H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montclair, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2014

I just returned from a people-to-people tour and my group of 10 spent 7 nights at the Santander with a one night break between day 4 and 6. It was a good thing we all had a sense of humor, which was essential to staying here. Each of us had stories to tell - ants crawling all over the sink, the occasional roach, ceilings peeling and floating down over the bed, no windows, a narrow circular stairway in the two-tiered rooms, tubs that were (we are all over 65) very difficult to get in and out of with no mats in them and no hold bars, electricity not working (and just imagine you're in a room with no windows), a/c sometimes on, sometimes off, low water pressure, no water, no hot water, toilets that didn't flush (we had to ask for a bucket in order to flush the toilet - they went out and got us a new bucket and the handle promptly broke) and the grand finale - a pipe bursting in the dining room and water cascading from the ceiling (one of us got drenched). As I said, we all laughed because otherwise we would have cried. It made for great breakfast chatter.The location is wonderful but very noisy. The staff is lovely however. The food is decent, breakfast was always good. The hotel is a faded grand dame that needs some serious help. Caveat emptor.

Room Tip: avoid interior windowless rooms!!!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gypsy279
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Havana hotels

boulder, colorado
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2014

My group and I stayed at the Armadores de Santander for four days at the beginning of our Cuba trip. It only takes a bit of research to realize that the luxury tourists are treated to in Cuba is extremely different from what the normal population endures. My expectation were low after reading several reviews, so I was extremely pleased when we were treated to a lovely room and hotel overlooking the bay. Yes, the tub was a bit on the rusty side and the water did not always run warm, but the hotel, like much of the tourist sections of Havana, are a trip back in time with twenty foot high ceilings, tile floors and furniture from an earlier era. The room was very comfortable and certainly large enough. Early morning I could step out on the porch and watch the day begin. Breakfast was always enjoyable and tasty. and evenings up on the patio bar were wonderful. The staff was willing to accommodate. It was an easy walk to many parks and attractions, both of the upscale tourist variety and the hard core living accommodations of the regular population. If you want a tiny taste of what this country has endured, this is a good place to do so.

Room Tip: We did a people to people tour and lucked out. We had room 214 overlooking the bay and had no compl...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank rigsby_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2014

In its day this must have been a lovely building but that era concluded some time ago.

The location is good with only a few minutes walk from Plaza Vieja and the roof bar is lovely too. I do appreciate that maintaining old buildings is costly however but there is little excuse for bad service. Within our group we had at least two rooms with no window resulting in a very damp smell, one with no loo, one with no ability to lock the door and the list went on. When the issues were reported they were met with the response that there was no alternative available which was doubtful.

If i was ever back in Havana I would look to a other hotels before going back here.

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms with no windows 101-105 from memory and I suspect similar on higher floors.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Amanda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2013

What a nice hotel, in a good location, facing the port and 2 minutes from the three main plazas The immediate port area and customs buildings are extremely run down, as is most of old Havana.. The hotel itself is a splendid piece of history and I think we were probably lucky as we were assigned the best bedroom in the hotel, a suite with a sunken jaccuzzi bath in the middle of the bedroom, a giant sized four poster bed and a separate sitting room. No problems with erratic water supply or non functioning toilet!! The reception staff were so nice, especially Tamara. Outside the hotel, was a wonderful 1956 Chevrolet taxi in pristine condition, which whisked us around the main sights at a reasonable price.

Room Tip: ask for the room with the jaccuzzi!!
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank lifestorey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level 6 Contributor
203 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2013

The historical building itself is beautiful, aswell as its location in the bay. The room is big, but poorly equipped, no place to open the suitcase, the bathroom was not very clean (cochroach), no hangers for the towels and the flush never worked properly, altough we informed the reception from the first day.
What was the big plus are the super friendly women at the reception, specially to mention Tamara, she speaks good English and was always very helpful, altough maintenance didnt solve the toilte flush. Overall its ok, but I rather pay a bit more for the Santa Isabel or Saratoga Hotels nearby.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank PhoenixSaoPaulo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Armadores de Santander Hotel

Property: Armadores de Santander Hotel
Address: Calle Luz 4 | Esq San Pedro, Havana 10100, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#13 Luxury Hotel in Havana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Armadores de Santander Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 32
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Armadores De Santander Havana
Armadores De Santander Hotel Havana

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