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Historical Traveler Reviews Habana Riviera Havana
Loved Havana City
After reading all these review i stayed a litle worried because i had choose H. Habana Riviera for my 3 nights at Habana City.
I've stayed at the Hotel on 28, 29 and 30 January 2006 and i never found cockroach anywhere, the room was clean, except the carpet that have some spots/stain. The WC was also clean. Just the decoration's room wasn't actual.
I have never expected 30 min for elevator, i've just waited 2/3 minutes and for an old hotel i founded it very eficient because in few seconds we get the 10th floor.
The breakfast doesn't correspond to a 4** hotel (at least in Portugal) but we didn't get hungry, we ate (eat in the past?!!?) what we want, we add omelets every days (and other kind of eggs), fruit, cookies, rice with vegetables, jam, cheese, toast, tomate, etc.
It's true that around the hotel there is no fun, but with 5 CUC(5€) you can get the city center in a few minutes and if you go in a Cocotaxi you can get a beat of carsmoke, but we have to think that the majority of the cars have more than 20/30 years. Don't get worried because there are also new taxis.
About cuban people, i found them friendly, i don't have any complain about them, just some employees at the hotel door weren't very frindly.
El mejor hotel que he estado
No tengo ninguna Critica ya que durante el tiempo que estuve 9 dias me trataron Divinamente fue de lo mejor por el momento tanto en el trato como sus restaurantes y sobre todo su comida y desayunos excelentes conparables al hotel Melia Cohiba para mi gusto y esto que cada año voy a la Habana
I wasn't planning on writing a review but after our experiences in the Havana Riviera I would like to warn all the future guests because nobody deserves staying in the worst hotel in the Caribbean. I should have paid attention to the other reviews and I would have been better off staying in some other place or never going to Cuba at all.
Flight: Getting on a Cubana de Aviacion plane is an adventure for itself. Must have been an old Tupolev aircraft from the 50´s or something. Well, the flight is an hour from Cancun - no big deal though but don't expect anything on the plane.
Havana Airport: Takes a while to get your squeezed stuff back and then the Cubans treat you like criminals (I'm not even American) at the immigration before finally getting out where weird people expect a fortune just for putting your suitcases in the trunk of a 50´s taxi.
Check-Inn Hotel: Seemed to me that we bothered the receptionist because it took her like 30 minutes to hand out room keys to 3 people at the desk. While you are waiting she exchanges endless life stories with her co-workers without even noticing that guests are still waiting.
Room: Basically ok. There is hot water, towels, cable TV, almost clean... Don't expect a toilet seat though (there are no toilet seats in Cuba at all) and if you find a cockroach big as a rat, just close your eyes and crash it with something big. Well, the power jams down every 30 minutes for about 2 minutes and most of the bathrooms are leaking but we could live with that. If you have a sensible back, bring a wheelchair for your way back - the beds are killing you.
Food: Well, well... At breakfast there are never ever salt, plates, spoons or decent food at all. Some toast, ham and cheese but just if you get up early enough to still get something. After 9 p.m. there is no food left but a cup of almost warm coffee can make your day. Don't even bother asking the wait-staff. They will not even look at you and all you hear is that there is no more food - or salt, or plates, or silverware or whatever. By the way, if you find a table, prepare yourself to share it with about 320 flees. After our first breakfast experiences we preferred having lunch and dinner outside.
Pool: 4 days out of seven there were no pool towels and we had to bring towels from the room. The lawn chairs (if you get one) are broken and rock hard, the pool water is salty and the wait staff prefers hanging out among themselves. Weekends are open for public (50-100 year-old male tourists from the west with 18-20 year-old local girls) which pretty much means that you have to show up early in order to get a chair at all.
Facilities: Some clothes stores, a little supermarket with about 8 bored employees, a money exchange booth (the employee had us wait about 20 minutes outside because her mum was there and she couldn't take care of paying hotel guests) and then the best of all: THE ELEVTOR!!! There are three of them and get ready to spend at least 30 minutes waiting and another 30 minutes going up and down with another 10 guests and countless employees ( where the hell are the employee elevators ) until you finally get off the right floor. Sure, you can take the stairs but crossing 12 offices before you even get there is no fun at all.
Location: Don't expect fun or entertainment in or around the hotel. There is one shopping mall ( one supermarket and some little clothes stores ) across the street and a flea-market ( just some pictures, shoes, cigars and countless Fidel caps ) 5 minutes walking distance. A cab ride to Old Havana costs you like 5 bucks and gets you to a place full of smog (all over the island) where you get a headache and a sick stomach after walking 10 minutes around. Besides that you get home deaf because honking seems to be a national sport in Cuba.
Employees Attitude: I saved the best for last: once I was told Cubans were supposed to be friendly and warm. After one week in hell I can say, all they want is your money. No smiles, no friendly word, no help - just rip offs, scams and hostility (I repeat, I am not American). Wherever you go, you seem to bother them. The entire staff at the hotel is rude and hostile, you are treated as a dumb tourist and to them you are just an open wallet.
Folks, stay away from Cuba and if you really want to go, do yourself a huge favor and don't book the Havana Riviera.
I leave my e-mail, feel free to contact me anytime for further information!
Unbeknownst to me my travel agent switched me to the Neptuno which had just been hit by the hurricane and so landed at the Riviera. It is dirty,the air conditioning barely works, and I had no hot water. It took 24 hours until I could get lights in the bathroom and only 2 out of 4 lamps were working. None of the public rooms had air conditioning so by the time I had breakfast in the 96 degree, 97 % humidity I was soaked to the skin.
Could be great
This hotel could be great if given a South Beach-style rehab. The pool area especially could be very special. But until then, it's quite subpar. A 1-star hotel by US standards at best. But it is definitely a step back in time. In its prime, I'm sure it was great.
Horrible! The one word that describes this hotel. The rooms were filthy, dust bunnies all around the room and stains all through the carpet. Our bathroom ceiling was covered in mold. When you showered the bathroom would flood. Employees were very rude and would often pretend they couldn't speak English after you just finished a 5 minute conversation with them. Food was terrible, dead flies all through the lettuce and they don't cook their hamburgers enough. My boyfriend ordered one and after one bite he couldn't eat anymore because it was dripping with blood. There are no toilet seats in the woman's lobby bathroom. The only pool at the hotel is right next to the highway and had a 2 inch layer of algae on the bottom. After staying 3 nights out of 7 we left and came back to Canada. We had booked our trip through Conquest and we're suppossed to be at a 4 star beachfront resort in Varadero but it overbooked so we got sent to the Riveria. Conquest did nothing to compensate us for the mistake. This hotel is rated a 5 star in Cuba but it would find it hard to even receive a 2 star rating in Canada. Don't waste your money on this hotel!
Riviera- The return of Meyer Lansky & the mob
This is the hotel built by the mob in the 50's, reminiscent in style to the Miami Beach hotels of the same vintage. It has recently been renovated, more ore less. The public spaces are in good shape; the carpeting in the rooms needs a cleaning or better still, replacement. The lower level restaurant offers reasonably good food, heavily based on chicken & pork. On the 20th floor there's a small restaurant with a great view and good food. This hotel offers good value, if you can bear in mind that you're in Cuba, where since the revolution, a tradition of good tourist hosting is just getting off the ground.
Possibly one of the worst
As a travel agent I stayed in many Hotels in CubaThe Riviera offered dirty rooms, torn carpeting andpoor staff. I took a tour of 30 people to this hotel of them 26 had serious complaints, toilets running over, bathroom unclean, articles stolen. One had been threaten due to a phone bill which was not ther's and they were refusing to pay. Never again at the Riviera there are to many wonderful hotels there.
Great Experience at the Riviera
My mom, sis & I went in the first week of July this year. The suite we stayed in was both inexpensive and very nice. Complete with a clear view of the sunset, it was a very pleasant experience. We're planning another trip before the end of the year.
A true Cuban Experience
Was there in June 2003 and had a wonderful time in Havana. As a single male traveller I was never wanting for lovely female companionship and good friends as long as the US dollars held out.The Riviera is a good 4 star. The restaurants are pricey but the food is good and definitely all Cuban fare. I only saw one other tourist there in the 2 weeks and most guests were cubans from around the country. The staff was terrific. I was taken to a hospital for confinement due to suspected SARS and when I returned they offered a big fruit basket and some warm words of encouragement. The hospital is a whole other story. The shops in the basement are expensive with mostly knock-offs coming from Panama. The Carocal shop is for basic needs and is priced fair. The pool is huge and deep and three feet below the deck so getting out can be testy. All of Havana is only a 4 dollar taxi away and the cocotaxis are a real hoot. They charge 50 cents per kilometre and are an open air motorized covered cart. The room was a dissapointment on the 9th floor, No balcony and the room was dirty by my standards...mostly stained carpets etc. The elevators work well and one big annoyance is the cards for the room, power and safe lose there codes every day or so which means a trip to the front desk. They will provide a small fridge on request that will make one tray of ice cubes every 3 days. The washroom however was worthy of 5 full stars. They even had a sink stopper which is rare in Cuba. The hotel has a nightclub called the Copa room and is very expensive. The show was cancelled several nights I was there due to total indifference and 60 USD is a lot of money to a Cuban person. I got this hotel as part of a package so it was reasonably priced but I would never pay 125 a night otherwise. Vedado is full of very good Casa Particulares to rent for 35 a night. The stret hawkers called Jinteros assault you as soon as you walk out but they are harmless and not at all agressive. ASfter a week, they can be fun to talk to once they get to know you and believe me...Cubans have phenominal memories...especially for a mark if you fall prey to one of their scams. The security in the hotel is tight beyond belief and eyes were on me at all times. The lobby bar is 4 bucks us a beer and 7 for a rum based drink. Vodka and gin drinks are not worth mentioning due to price and quality of the bartending. This hotel could raise itself to a five star if they hired an international chef and put some money into the rooms. The mattresses are horrible and the pillows were only 2 inches thick. I put my neck out the first night but they have a doctor there 24 hours a day to give you a \n asperin and a free massage. Don't let me put you off going because they do have better rooms with terraces and the restaurants higher end menus realyy aren;t bad if you don't mind 60 dollars a plate. Next time to Havana i will stay at the hotel National as it is the same price and a true 5 star.
TripAdvisor Reviews Habana Riviera Havana
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