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“Fun and Funky Hotel Havana”
Review of Hotel Havana

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Hotel Havana
Ranked #102 of 357 Hotels in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 June 2014

If you love the funky creativity, old-world ambiance of a fun boutique hotel with excellent and discreet service, check out Hotel Havana. It is located on the northern section of the San Antonio Riverwalk--near the busy restaurants, bars and shops but just far enough away to be peaceful and quiet. The lobby is classic, dark-stained wood with high ceilings. The atmosphere is Cuba-retro-elegance, and we were told many of the antiques are from Cuba. Rooms contain stocked retro-refrigerators with curved edges in 50s colors. The staff and service are wonderful, and you get the feel off being in a private hotel off the beaten path. The restaurant Ocho has a smaller menu, but the food is all excellent; the décor is retro-hip; and when they open one wall of windows, you can eat overlooking the San Antonio River. The bar downstairs is candlelit; the drinks are excellent and the bartender is super friendly. My husband and I went here for an anniversary even though we live in San Antonio, and I go to Ocho to eat whenever I can. Try the Cuban Sandwich with a mojito, and you will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: We had a smaller room and it didn't have much of a window. You might want to ask about views.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TaraSA2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ashley C, Director Of Operations at Hotel Havana, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2014

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. We are so glad that you spent your anniversary with us and took the time to write this great review regarding your experience. I have passed your comments to the staff throughout the hotel and restaurant. We truly appreciate your business and we hope to see you again soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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161 - 167 of 343 reviews

Reviewed 19 June 2014

Hotel Havana on the River Walk was the perfect place for a romantic weekend trip. Cool, comfortable, charming. The restaurant "Ocho" was amazing. Breakfast was out of this world! It was also great for drinks and dessert. Get a table overlooking the River Walk. This place is on the quieter part of the River Walk, but still a convenient location. I will recommend Hotel Havana to anyone and I will absolutely stay there again.

Room Tip: Get a room overlooking the River Walk.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank TexasTraveller512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2014

My husband and I went to Hotel Havana for our 1 year anniversary and we couldn't have been more pleased. I am a clean freak and normally don't like the look or feel of hotels, but this was clean, had loads of charm, and the staff was incredibly helpful. From the tall ceilings, to the hard wood floors, to the historic building, Hotel Havana was a charming retreat. Ocho had amazing food and the location was right on a quiet, beautiful part of the river walk. It was about a 10 min. walk from all of the restaurants on the river walk. I couldn't recommend this place more and I look forward to coming back for a visit!

Room Tip: We had room facing the east, which allowed a lot of light during the day. If you want a room facing...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014

We made our trip to visit family and see the sites of San Antonio. After checking rates we decided to try the Hotel Havana again. We had stayed there when it was first open about 3 years ago. We knew some things had changed, like the addition of an eating place in the atrium.
Our rates were really low, we knew it was a bit of a walk to the actual hubub of the river. Funny thing is we got the same exact room that we got 3 years ago. We had hoped to see another side of this quaint place. We parked our car and carried our own bags up to the room. Got settled in. We were not surprised to find no closets, as we remembered this from our last stay. The room is decorated in Cuban style, down to the dark plantation shutters on the windows.
These shutters caused a problem that we did not encounter on our last stay. We had stayed there in the spring. A much cooler time of year. This time, after 2 evenings of a very hot room, we discovered the dark shutters attract the very hot Texas sun at sun down and heated up the room. So much so we thought the A/C was broken. We did tell the front desk and they did get someone there to look at it even though it was about 8:30 at night. We stayed in the bar until about 10:30 waiting for our room to cool.(Story on that latter) The second night the room started to heat up around 5:30, we were getting ready to go for dinner so we gave the front desk a heads up. They sent someone again to check it out. This time they offered us a drink voucher, which we took, but never used. By the 3rd night we discovered that if we opened the shutters a bit they would not heat up and the room would stay cooler thus the A/C worked fine. I told the front desk about this at check out, they looked at me like I was crazy.
There was also one day we had to wait an hour before we got hot water??
We had breakfast at Ocho one morning. It was great. Not really overpriced for being in a hotel. The night we spent in the bar we never got any service from the bartender until we asked for it. He was busy talking to a very loud group of men.
And the pump on one of the shower products never worked, Even when I took the pump out hoping they would replace it with a new one they did not.
So what did I really think of this 2nd stay. I believe I would rather pay the extra and stay in a full service hotel closer to the action on the river. I would rather have some one offering to open the door, carry my luggage, and pay attention to my requests or complaints. This place is good for a girls weekend, maybe a 2 night stay. But other than that.....
I would have thought maybe they might give us another room when the thermostat registered over 80 degrees two nights in a row. But we got 2 drinks.

Room Tip: If going in the summer don't get a room with windows on the west. Also know that the beds are o...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank monkeytrashman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

First impressions can be lasting impressions, and my first impressions weren't great. Fortunately, other things improved our opinion of our stay at Hotel Havana.

I found no information about parking on the website, so I sent an email asking about nearby parking options. Didn't receive a reply 24 hours later, so I called. No answer. Let the phone ring a VERY long time. Called back later and reached someone who was apparently distracted but did answer my question, "Parking is available in a lot next to the hotel for $17 a day." Conversation over. I'm sure there are other options, but they weren't offered, so we used the lot next door and it was very convenient.

All 27 rooms are uniquely decorated we are told, so I expected that our studio would not be exactly like the photos, layout, and descriptions on the web; however, #34 was disappointing and frustrating.

The photos and layout of the studio rooms on the website show a chair and a small refrigerator, and our room had neither. It also shows a tub, though ours had a shower only. Written descriptions on the web and our booking receipt stated there is an iPod docking station (no) and a desk (no). Oddest of all was that the photo shows a dresser, but we had no dresser or, in fact, ANYWHERE to put clothes or damp towels other than a single wall-hung swivel coat rack that already held the two robes they provide with the rooms. Seriously.

There were two tiny bedside tables that had only a few inches of free space to put ANY personal items (book? glasses?) as the rest was taken up by phone, lamps, clock, and ice bucket & tray with drinking glasses and corkscrew. That left the floor for our clothes and the bed frame to dry our towels. No place to sit except on the bed. A couple of showers in the open, curtainless shower left the bath mat soaking wet and, again, no place to hang it. Really, someone on the staff should try to spend a weekend in that room. They'll quickly discover how unworkable the situation is, especially for two people!

On the bright side, some reviewers complained about noise and poor sleeping conditions, yet we found our room—on the third floor in the back away from the street—to be nice and quiet and the bed very comfortable. The room had no windows, which probably contributed to the quietness, but the slanted ceiling above the bed had two skylights that provided some outside light along with privacy.

Another highlight of the room was that the AC was as cold as we wanted it on the recent hot humid weekend. The "Red Flower" toiletries were lovely, as were the robes. And per other descriptions on the website, our room had a large flat-screen TV, wireless internet, and hair dryer (hunt around if you don't see it; ours was tucked discretely in a muslim bag below the mini-bar snack bowl, of course). The room and bathroom were very clean except for the ice bucket lid, upon which I could've written my name in the dust.

Some reviews mention getting access to a nearby gym, but no one mentioned that to us during our stay. Maybe it's no longer an amenity. I also saw some people were offered free or discounted parking. Perhaps not with a studio rental. Ice must be obtained from the desk staff, so plan accordingly.

The hotel has three lovely terraces (one on the third floor overlooking the street with a glimpse of the Riverwalk) and two on the second floor (street side and back). The ground floor also had a porch with seating at the entrance. We saw only two other couples on the terraces during our stay—both enjoying lounging in the hotel robes. Great places for lingering over glasses of wine/beer (if you have a fridge!) or coffee and tea and the newspaper. Speaking of which, we appreciated the complementary coffee and local and NYTimes newspapers provided in the lobby. Would be very nice if they offered black tea, as well, so tea-drinking caffeine addicts don't have to roll out of bed and go straight to a restaurant.

There is a B-cycle rental station at the hotel, which would be really handy for those limiting their travel to around the Riverwalk and downtown. I highly recommend biking instead of dealing with a car and parking.

Other highlights include the staff, who except for the person who answered my pre-arrival phone call, were ALL helpful, enthusiastic, and professional. The OCHO restaurant was also wonderful. Great décor, food/drink, and staff.

We found the hotel's location to be perfect for us. The northern portion of the Riverwalk is peaceful and there are interesting dining (La Gloria) and entertainment options (museums) within a reasonable walk from the hotel along the new Museum Reach part of the Riverwalk, in addition to other dining choices even closer just downstream (Acenar).

Despite this uneven review, there's a lot of charm to the Hotel Havana and we will consider it the next time we stay in San Antonio. We hope the care and attention to detail evidenced by some aspects of this hotel will be applied to all of the rooms next time we visit. In the meantime, we caution you to chose one of the more expensive rooms unless you're a single person with no luggage and no need to shower/hang up towels.

Room Tip: 34 was quiet, but had other challenges. Perhaps other rooms at the back of the hotel and on the thir...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank summercamper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2014

We only stayed here for one night, passing through town. Our room was simple, but tastefully decorated. I liked the wood floors and the bed that was super high off the ground. Bathroom was clean.

What knocks this rating down to a three is that this hotel just doesn't offer some pretty obvious amenities without having to ask. The front desk attendant has to fetch ice for you, for example, and there was no mini fridge in the room. Most hotels have a little booklet with information about services, check out times, etc. Our room just had no info whatsoever and we had to keep calling down to the front desk to ask basic questions. It seemed more like an inn than a real hotel in some ways.

Three good things: nice sitting areas on the balconies outside and the guy at the front desk at checkout was very friendly. The location is convenient to the riverwalk and most of the typical touristy stuff.

That said, I'm not sure I could justify the price we paid versus a chain hotel. Generally, we prefer to stay in unique places, but since we were traveling through and not spending a ton of time in the hotel itself, the charm wasn't really worth 50+ extra bucks to me.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank pourtant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

Spent a long weekend at Hotel Havana back in March. My girlfriend and I are from Austin and don't get down to San Antonio much. After this visit we decided that we need to come back more often and stay at the Hotel Havana.

We heard about the property after staying at the sublime Hotel St. Cecila (stayed there last year for a stay-cation and are doing so again this July.) We found out that Hotel Havana, Hotel Saint Cecilia, and Hotel San Jose (in Austin) are all run my the same management.

It feels like an old mansion because it really is! They light some really great incense in the lobby which you can buy easily enough. The stairs are super creaky but it adds to the ambiance of the property. Room was amazing, good view of the area and we loved the vintage refrigerator and furnishings, after waking up from an afternoon nap I felt like I was in another era.

Location is great too, right near downtown but on a side street so you don't get as much traffic. However, around 4PM to 7PM there is a steady parade of city busses passing by the hotel. It's actually fun to watch, head out on one of the three balconies facing the street with a glass of wine and count how many whiz by. There has to be a city bus depot nearby. Also, there's a bit of construction going on right next to the hotel right now. We couldn't hear it if the windows are closed but it was a very minor annoyance and didn't detract from our stay. However, if you make reservations in the near future I would give them a call and ensure that you're either facing toward Navarro St. Again, not a big deal as we were facing the construction and didn't have a problem but we were out exploring all day.

The restaurant 'Ocho' is definitely worth visiting. Drinks and food were outstanding, try to get a table towards the back next to the railing. It was a lot of fun to watch the small tour boats going down the river as it started to get dark.

Hotel is directly adjacent to a walkway that leads to the river walk. A very quiet part of the river walk I'll add. So great to wake up and take a stroll in the morning while it's still cool. Great to have a coffee and watch the ducks swimming around before it gets to crowded.

Staff was excellent. I can't recall any of their names but the front desk staff was friendly and efficient. Had to call down for a few items, I forgot deodorant as I always do on trips but housekeeping had me covered after just giving them a call.

Really happy to say that Hotel Havana is one of our favorite hotels now. Loved our time there and can't wait to head back down!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank tanstaafl82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Havana

Address: 1015 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205-1321
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Texas > San Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#63 Romantic Hotel in San Antonio
#68 Business Hotel in San Antonio
Price Range: £105 - £253 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Havana 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on a quiet stretch of the North Riverwalk known as the Museum Reach, directly adjacent from the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, Hotel Havana offers elegant accommodations in the heart of San Antonio. From the studios to the Penthouse Suite, each of the 27 rooms and suites is uniquely appointed and designed for comfort. All feature original Bastrop pine floors and are decorated with antique furniture, Turkish rugs and vintage Cuban artwork with an emphasis on creating elegant but uncluttered space for a restful stay. Our luxurious bed linens are custom made and bathrooms are stocked with Red Flower body care products. Each room comes equipped with our signature mini bar featuring local and international snacks, drinks and souvenirs.Hotel Havana is also home to Ocho, a restaurant and lounge space serving drinks and food downstairs in the intimate hotel basement and upstairs on the riverfront. The property was reopened in 2010 by hotelier Liz Lambert and Bunkhouse Group and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Havana San Antonio, Texas

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