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“Handy, cheap, great location” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Islazul Hotel Libertad

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Islazul Hotel Libertad
Ranked #7 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Handy, cheap, great location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2013

I stayed at the Hotel Libertad in March 2012 with 3 girlfriends. We were on a 2.5 week holiday travelling across the island. We paid about £15 a night on a deal we found on the internet. The hotel is situated at one end of Plaza Martes, a lively plaza that often has festivals / fiestas in the evening at the weekend. The hotel building is as you would imagine, old with some lovely touches. The stone staircase takes you up onto the guest room floor which has high ceilings and open ends, so the breeze runs through (essential in the heat of Santiago) giving a lovely view of the plaza. The rooms are basic with air con, TV and en-suite bathroom with shower, we had a view over the rooftops and hills - beautiful. There is a rooftop bar which stays open late if there are customers, where you can mingle with other tourists or locals. Their is an internet room with two computers off the lobby, roughly 5CUC for 30 mins. The lobby has a bar which is also handy and is frequented by locals and taxi drivers, who are constantly hanging around outside. This is hotel is perfectly adequate and I would recommend to anyone who doesn't want to stay in a Casa, but still wants a cheap place to stay.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank HannahRiv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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58 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
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English first
Gatineau, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2013

The hotel is centrally located adjacent Plaza de Martes. I was on the second floor where the main hall has some nice tile work and views to the Plaza de Martes in front. The room was clean and the air conditioning, TV, etc worked well. Despite being situated in the hustle and bustle of downtown, the room was relatively quiet, a nice respite. I've stayed in various Islazul hotels in Cuba and would say this is one of the better ones at the 2 star level. Was good value for the money. The breakfast (included) is served hot at your table (not a buffet) and was quite satisfactory.
I parked my rental car right in front of the hotel for 2 cuc paid at the counter. Beware of false parqueos in front of the hotel offering to watch over your vehicle.

Room Tip: Ask to see the room before registring.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Azur173
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntsville
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2011

As a special way to celebrate my friend’s 50th birthday, she joined me in Cuba for a week. We used Club Amigo Marea del Portillo as our base because we had both been to this wonderful little resort in rural Granma several times and absolutely adore it. From there, we drove to Santiago de Cuba with two Cuban amigos as our guides. It was a lot of fun but also proved to be a minor adventure.

We had been warned that the incredibly scenic coastal road between Marea del Portillo and Santiago de Cuba was also incredibly treacherous. Yes, I must admit, it was not without its perils. This road is not for the faint-hearted driver, or anyone without a significant degree of experience and confidence behind the wheel. I would highly encourage the use of a four-wheel drive vehicle, on a sunny day. Don’t try it after a rainstorm; the puddles can consume small cars!

I had booked space in advance at a hostel, using an online service, so we would be assured of accommodation upon arrival. It was clean and the rooms were cheap but there were other concerns, so we opted to relocate to Islazul Hotel Libertad for our second night in the city. It was a good move. I had read several reviews about this hotel and it seemed to have a generally decent reputation. I would not hesitate to recommend Hotel Libertad, although I cannot wholeheartedly raise two thumbs for the attached restaurant.

Breakfast was included in the price of the rooms, which seemed fine. However, the food choices were sorely limited by a lack of eggs, and the server was somewhat surly. When it became apparent that a second cup of coffee was too much to ask, we found a more pleasant place down the street. They were happy to serve us, even though it meant hastily dispatching someone to fetch coffee cups from another location!

But, back to Libertad...the hotel was clean and comfortable, both our rooms and the common areas, and all the non-wait staff were perfectly genial. After reading other reviews that touted room #214 as “best,” we had to ask for it. Alas, it was unavailable. We were given two rooms that faced the street and allowed us to look out over Plaza de Marte – great for people watching! I had been a little apprehensive about the possibility of having our sleep disrupted by traffic noise but there was really no problem. It’s a city; there will be noise. But, traffic sounds were offset by the gentle hum of the air conditioner. In my experience, it was not any noisier than some places I’ve stayed in North America, and I paid far less for the room in Cuba!

During our vehicular exploration of Santiago, I learned a few things about Cuba and Cuban men. Unlike the North American variety of the latter, cubanos are not averse to asking directions...every five minutes or so, in certain situations – such as when there are few road signs and the map you are trying to use does not seem to accurately reflect the actual streets. At any rate, we did eventually achieve our primary objective, touring El Castillo del Morro. And, along the circuitous way to the castle, we stopped at a random restaurant and had a very nice lunch.

While staying at Libertad, we were able to park our muddy little rental car in front of the hotel. It was perfectly safe and, in short order, also became perfectly clean, thanks to the zealous efforts of a nice young man with a bucket and a rag. From the hotel, we did a little exploration of the area by foot and, in the evening, strolled across the park to take in some live music. Since it was the slow season for tourism (October), the bar on the rooftop terrace of Libertad was not operating. Although there was no music, the view from the roof was spectacular, especially as the city was awakening and the morning mists were lifting from the nearby mountains.

All in all, we had quite a lovely time and it was truly a special birthday celebration. I would be happy to stay at Hotel Libertad again, when/if I visit Santiago de Cuba in the future – there are certainly many other historic sites in this grand old city I would like to see. Our drive “home” to Marea del Portillo was pleasantly uneventful, since we opted to return via the inland route, and there was minimal need to ask directions.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank JennyC-Muskoka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
69 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2011

Unimpressed with this hotel. At 32 CUC/night, we were expecting something a bit better than this. The door hardly locked, the guy at the front desk charged us 0.50 CUC for a phone call, the windows didn't open (and were covered!), and the room was tiny. For half the price, I went to the Casa across the street, and stayed for 20 CUC in a WAY better room. I would not bother with this hotel.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank smfische
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Santiago de Cuba hotels

Eleuthera
Level Contributor
127 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2011

I have stayed at Hotel Libertad on a few occasions, usually for a quick night or two. The Libertad is in an excellent location, across from Plaza de Marte and roughly half way between the Melia hotel complex and hotel Casa Granda. There are many restaurants and drinking spots within walking distance and the walk around this neighborhood is not at all boring being that it is centrally located and in one of the busiest parts of town.

The hotel has an "old charm" character to it being housed in a century old structure similar to the Casa Granda hotel but at a fraction of the price. There is a lobby bar and a large rooftop terrace (when it is open) to wet your whistle. The restaurant on the main floor is one of the better ones in Santiago in my opinion and the same kitchen serves dinner on the rooftop, again when it is open.

The rooms are well furnished but somewhat small & disappointing considering that a few have no windows and the ones that do, can be loud with commotion seeping in from the outside neighborhood.

A quaint, decent hotel except for some of the loungers who hang out in the lobby. It seems to be a hang-out for some of Santiago's not-so-finest. Watch who you deal with here. Recent renovations now have the lobby coloured pink. I don't know what that is all about and would rather they paint it back again.

A recommended place to eat or sleep if location and value is what you are looking for.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CubanWaters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gateshead
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2011

We organised our own city break during a 2 week all inclusive in Guardalavca. We travelled by Taxi from Guardalavca with a wonderful taxi driver called Oro (if you are in Guardalavaca and need an English speaking driver to take you on a tour, ask around for Oro - he is great).

We loved this hotel as it was Cuban, Wanted a break from Europeans and Canadians at the all inclusive buffets and this hotel did not disappoint. The hotel is simple but clean, the building has an old sytle charm. Best of all for us was that there was entertainment on the rooftop bar on the Friday night and we got to enjoy and evening with Cubans, cooling their heels on a Friday night,

Santiago itself is a lovely city and if you do need to get away from the package holiday layout for a bit, this hotel is a good and cheap option.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DonegalKate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
572 reviews
268 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 459 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2010

We stayed at Hotel Libertad in Santiago de Cuba and enjoyed he "experience". It was a doddle to find. We came in on the motorway and kept going straight and that led us into the Plaza de Marte here the hotel is located, without the need to enter the one way system. You can park your car directly in front of the hotel on the Square.

I would preface any of the things I have to say about Cuban hotels that one has to remember that they are "Cuban" hotels staffed by Cubans, and you have to think of them in that light. Frommers say of the Libertad. "Fronting the busy Plaza de Marte...Only half of the rooms here have windows, and you will definitely want a room with a window. No. 214 is the hotel's largest and best room. All have simple furnishings, and small, but functional bathrooms "

Well we were in the said room 214 and that is certainly the room you want. It has a window overlooking La Plaza de Marte, and is great for people watching from your window. On the downside the room is noisy at night from traffic- Cubans tend to use their car horns a lot, and in addition the old engines do make a great deal of din. You would not call room 214 "luxurious" by European standards, but by Cuban standards it was. The hotel foyer had bags of character and had been well restored.

Hotel Libertad is on the edge of the town centre, about 800 meters from the main square, but is conveniently place for most things, and you will not have to walk too far to cover all that the centre of Santiago has to offer

The only problem we had was in the restaurant, where with only one other table and a waiting staff of 4, they managed to avoid coming near us for 15 minutes, and in the end we just left and ate in town. Breakfast was really "standard" Cuban, unmemorable, neither good nor bad.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank moraira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Islazul Hotel Libertad

Property: Islazul Hotel Libertad
Address: Aguilera No 658 e/ Serafin Sanchez y Perez Carbo, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Santiago de Cuba Province > Santiago de Cuba
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Islazul Hotel Libertad 2*
Number of rooms: 17
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Also Known As:
Islazul Hotel Libertad Santiago De Cuba

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