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Travel Blogs from Havana
... and she made a couple of phone calls. On Saturday morning I will be picked up by a taxi and go to a hotel where I can organize a trip for that day. Hopefully this all works out. I took Elina’s advice and stayed in tonight because she said it isn’t exactly the safest place to walk around on my own at night. Tomorrow I’m going to check out some other parts of the city, hopefully it’s a bit cooler than it was today, but I doubt ...
... of plazas to admire, together with churches, a couple of art galleries, cafés and pedestrian streets with a surprisingly large number of shops.....not very well stocked and with no concept of window dressing, but still more shops than I'd seen elsewhere. The locals have ration books and queue outside shops in hoards, until they are allowed in one or two at a time! I'm no great fan of shopping, other than in food markets, but this looked positively torturous. Avoiding ...
... the ends and put them in board with half diameter shaped receptacles until they had 10 cigars in the board and then it had a top added and was put into a stack with a weight on top, the press. The cigar is turned after 10 minutes and then the outer leave is added.
The cigars are then graded for colour, as the tobacco leaves vary in colour and the QA system unrolls some to check the correct leave distribution. The cigars are then labelled and moved to the selling ...
... the Malecon will be a glorious sight 10 years from now. We checked out Hotel Havana Libre (the famous 5 star hotel that Fidel "liberated" and worked out of the 27th floor for the first two months after the Revolution) and walked to the Universitad de Havana (Havana's University). I was really impressed by the University. It was fairly small (for a huge city) but the buildings were very impressive, old colonial style that ...
... was some souvenir shopping and a lot of compliments coming from every corner! You can buy pizza for $1, but its through a window, so I am not sure I trust that!
The next morning waking up to clucking roosters is a bit odd! 6 floors up surrounded by concrete buildings.
Its 33 degrees, so Charlotte and I hit the beach!
SANTA MARIA has THE clearest water I have ever seen!! The sky reminds me of an Australian sky, the sand ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Florida Havana
Already needs a refresh
Great location an easy stroll from the Plaza de Armas and Plaza de San Francisco, and neither too far from the Parque Central (also less than 10 mins stroll).
The public areas pleasant enough, The (over-priced) food at the restaurant is as unremarkable as in most of the rest of Cuba
Our suite (Room 22 on the second floor) was quite large, with 20ft high ceilings, but despite having been relatively recently renovated, was already showing signs of wear and tear, that you could either describe as characterful or unhygienic: large areas of peeling paint, brown and green mould, to match the overwhelming mint/lime colouring of the rest of the hotel. The main bed was comfortable, albeit furnished with the ubiquitous roll of foam that passes for a pillow throughout Cuban hotels.
The sofa bed was very poor quality and uncomfortable.
The air conditioning was effective and unusually quiet, but I can't understand why you'd go to all the trouble to refurbish a beautiful building only to cut out large chunks out of the most incredibly ornate coving for air conditioning vents - it certainly ruined the ambience of the room, which in fact is the main reason (other than location) that you'd choose one of the habaguanex hotels.
The marble floors were clear but really clean.
The bathroom was functional but with leaky plumbing, made worse by an ineffective shower curtain.
Front desk staff were as diffident about service as anywhere else, but the maintenance men fell over themselves to repair our son's push chair, and refused to accept any tokens of our appreciation.
The maids were efficient and largely invisible, except for the standard 'wishing your dreams come true' tip-reminder note - also ubiquitous in Cuban hotels. A relatively standard trick: the maid who did some of our laundry (not cheap) decided to iron (at extra cost), against our instruction.
The best hotel that I stayed at on my three visits to Havana during my Cuban adventure.
Extremely friendly,polite and helpful staff.I was upgraded to a corner suite room on arrival, well three rooms actually all with balcony!.The hotel exudes colonial charm and sits on one of the main pedestrian throughfares,Obispo, in Old Havana. It really makes you feel part of your surroundings...you can smell the history!
Believe me if you can forego the use of a swimming pool then you will not do better than to book yourself into this hotel.
For your information the other hotels I stayed at were the Raquel and the Parque Central which were both good hotels in their own right but were always runners up to the Florida when it came to service and all round charm and appeal.
A little expensive but very nice
Lovely large rooms with beamed ceilings and big bathrooms, simple elegant furniture. Charming inner courtyard. The location is great, right on the busy Calle Obispo.
Breakfast was disappointing. Overall the hotel is a little expensive.
Our room was unavailable when we arrived which seems to be a recurring problem in Cuba.....
We checked out several other hotels while in Habana and would also reccommend Raquel, Santa Isabel, Ambos Mundos (slightly scruffier but fun), Telegrafo and Sevilla if you want a pool. Don't reccommend Nacional or Parque Central. Much better to stay in old or central Havana if you are on a short stay.
Great location but can be noisy
The hotel was great, and as people have mentioned, it has a fabulous location and the staff are friendly.
It has a piano bar with live music most nights in a very well sound proofed room. However, the hotel can be noisy when this bar closes at 2am - mainly due to drunk people finding their way back to their room - although having done this myself once, I can't really complain. It's the mojitos.
As another reviewer also commented, the car park gate at the side of the hotel is very squeaky and can wake you.
Only one criticism of the hotel itself, which is that the bedroom floors were always dusty and dirty so I don't recommend bare feet, especially if they are still slightly damp from the shower !!
No problems with dodgy plumbing.
Location, Location, Location
This hotel was excellent. We stayed for 2 nights in October 2004.
The hotel is full of character and the courtyard area is lovely.
The room was ideal - very high ceilings, with a lovely marble bathroom. Our room had a fridge. The breakfast at the hotel was fine too.
Its the location that makes it, right on the Obispo, but still quiet. Walking distance to anywhere in Havana Vieja.
Top tip: Ask for a tour of the Grand Theatre -- its spectacular and we got to see a ballet being rehearsed.
Good location to walk around Havana Vieja. Our room (Junior suite) was big enough with veranda, People are nice, the bar has nice atmosphere, the pianist there was very good.
Great hotel in old havana
We stayed in this charmingly renovated hotel in July - lovely accommodation - clean, friendly, very well located. Breakfast was a good buffet, covering all tastes. Only the creaking car park gate at the back of the hotel sometimes woke us up - but that can't be helped! no issues with power cuts or dodgy bathrooms, as in other hotels....
Hotel Florida - fabulous
The Hotel Florida is in a grear location, right in the heart of Havan Vieja. Beautifully restored, with huge rooms, lovely and helpful staff and great breakfasts. Highly recommended!
Hotel Florida-by far the best
If you want to be in the most historic part of Havana-in Habana Vieja-this is by far the best hotel. It is a confortably small hotel with aproximately 15-20 rooms. The building is a renovated stone colonial structure with beautiful rooms. The cielings in the rooms are 12 feet high with iron balconies that look over the narrow walking street in front of the hotel. The bathrooms are marble and tile. It is like being in a palace; the rooms open up to inner courtyard with corinthian collumns surrounding the lobby below. Suprisingly, the Florida was the same price as the other hotels (the Plaza, Inglaterra, Sevilla, Ambos Mundos, etc) but at least three times as beautiful. We unfortunately stayed at the Plaza for the first 6 days of our 8 day trip. Next time will be spent at the Florida.
A great place to stay in Havana
This is a wonderful hotel (for Cubans standards). Located in Havana Vieja in a renovated colonial building. Clean, not too big. A great band plays in the bar almost every night.