Travel Blogs from Havana
We spent the last few days in Havana, it is so much different than Mexico! We got there by flying through Panama, which was horrible because it took us a full day to get there. So we really only had four days. We stayed at the Hotel Inglaterra, which was ok but I think that next time we will stay at a Casa. The first day we spent on a walking tour …
I got a wake up call from the hotel at 4:10am, that I definitely didn’t ask for and was not expecting. I guess it makes sense that they do that for everyone who is on this flight to make sure you don’t miss the rescheduled flight. Good thinking. I had a quick shower and then went downstairs to grab a quick breakfast before getting the bus. It turns out the breakfast they put out for us was a couple of sugar cookies and little bottles of water. ...
... wherever possible, we found a lovely little family run palidar with a handful of tables on a patio up a flight of stairs. The chef chatted with us about our options and offered me a seafood kebab which was delicious and packed with lobster, shrimp, fish and vegetables, all very fresh. We then journeyed east to La Plata in the Sierra Maestra mountains, the highest mountains in Cuba. We stayed at a hotel miles from any town, where customer service was non existent, the food was dire ...
... of Washington University's buildings, and the campus had a nice feel to it. Since the semester was over, there weren't that many students around so unfortunately we didn't have a chance to talk to any of the students but it would be interesting to take a class there. I heard it was a good University (Cuba has a 99.5 % literacy rate) and I did meet some Europeans who were studying abroad at the University. Then we made the long ...
... hot and covered in white loungers and umbrellas. We indulge in Lobster and Pina Colada`s while surrounded by bands and bongo`s, people dancing in the water shaking their booties, jet ski`s, and paddle boats, It feels like a scene from a Nelly music video! Everyone has a bottle of Havana Club Rum, and I can only see two other gringoes! I take to the water for some silence, laying starfish, I can only hear myself breathe... So peacefull.
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Inglaterra Havana
Beware of type of room given
I stayed at Hotel Inglaterra between 22nd and the 25th of April.
We were a group of 9 family members from Portugal and our ages varied from 20 to 55: me and my wife are 30 years old, my parents are 55, my in-laws are 45, my sisters are 25 and 20 and my sister-in-law is 22.
We reserved 3 double rooms and 1 triple room.
All rooms looked alike from the inside: They were old looking and there were tiles falling from the bathroom. The rooms also had a noisy air conditioner (which in some rooms only worked as a fan) and a TV with international channels such us CNN, Cartoon Network, ESPN, etc.. Also had Spanish channels (TVE), German, French, Chinese channels, etc...
Some rooms had a mini frdge and others didn't
The main differnece between rooms in this hotel are the views. I don't understand how it is possible but for the same price you could get 3 types of rooms:
- rooms with a superb view to the main square of Havana "Plaça Central". The triple room had this view and was funtastic. With a view like that you don't even think about the conditions of the room.
- rooms with view to the (nosiy at night) side street.These rooms are reasonably good.
- rooms with no view. These rooms had no circulation of air or light since the windows opened to the inside corredors of the hotel. If you had your windows open for air, all the other guests would see inside your room. These rooms were terrible.
Inspite of having asked, by fax, prior to my arrival, that all rooms got a view to the main square or at least to the side street, they gave us , for the 1st night these terrible interior rooms. I do not understand how a 4 star hotel could offer this type of room for the same price as all the others.
The first night we got interior rooms but since some guests left the next day we managed to exchange the 3 double rooms to rooms with views of the side street. Which were nothing compared to the interior rooms. All rooms with view had a small varanda.
I would go back to this hotel again providing i didn't get an interior room.
Breakfast is simple but not bad. they have bread, jams, milk, some fruit, ham cheese.
Didn't have lunch or dinner at the hotel but it looked ok.
For dinner there is an excellent italian restaurant a block away at the corner of Prado and Neptune. The meals here were devine...
Located near the lobby there are 5-6 computers for internet. The cost is 2-3 pesos for half hour.
If you want to use a VISA card in CUBA make sure that your bank is not American since they will not accept it.
In some places you could use Visa card (as long as your bank is not American) but they charge a commission of 11 %.
There is an ATM machine near the hotel but we didn't end up using it. Ask the ckerck at the hotel how to get there.
The hotel had electricity of 110 V. So if you are European bring an adaptor. Beware because some hotels in Varadero use 220 V. I advise you to bring an adaptor just in case
the location is superb...if you like Havana this Hotel is located in the center of it. You got musicians playing Cuban music in the Hotel's esplanade and, in the inside bar and restaurant, at night, you have a piano bar or somebody playing violen.
Buy a map of the streets of Havana and go to "Old Havana". It is worth seeing it. In Havana, i suggest you start off in the Capitol area near Plaça Central. Walk on the "Paseo del Prado" street all the way to the ocean and a fort called "Castillo san Salvador de la Punta". Facing the ocean, continue to walk to the right and go to the handicraft market and to Plaça de la Catedral and go to the "Bodeguita del Medio" for a drink called the "mojhito" This is the nicest area of old havana. Then, if you whish to see some more go to Plaça des Armas and from here to Plaça Vieja. The Cuban music, the smells, the people will leave you overwhelmed.
There are also some things to see in the more modern and cleaner area of "Vedado" but Old Havana is a special place.
In Havana you will have many people trying to sell you things and asking you for money if you take their pictures but in the touristic spots I mentioned there is a lot of police and nobody will hassle you if the police is around since it is against the law for Cubans to hassle or talk to tourists.
There is also little crime in Havana...we walked threw some non touristic spots towards the old port with no problem...only people looking at you funny but harmless. Don't be however careless or negligent.
I must say that after reading so many articles about giving Cubans presents, i brought a bunch of shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, pencils, t-shirts, etc...but I was told that most Cubans sell the stuff you give them and unless you give them something that is really good or a brand name they won't really appreciate it. I only gave stuff to people who looked really really poor.
Some people will sing for you, they will give you flowers, they will let you take their picture...but they will always expect something in return. Anybody you talk to on the street or even most people aren't genuinely nice...they are always expecting things from you. You give if you want but I decided not to give unless I felt the person was pure hearted...they have been spoiled by tourists....some places they even treat you badly if you don't give them anything...so it's time to stop spoiling them....and don't worry because their life expectancy is of 76,6 years average which is better than many highly developed countries...they also look happy all the time so who are we to feel sorry for them...
As for the weather, I was told that from November to March it could get cool in Cuba...down to 10ºC even. I got 30ºc everyday and plenty of sun.
The rainy but hottest season is from May to October and from June to October you have a chance of getting a Hurricane. So check the weather before you go so you are more prepared or have a chance to change your destination.
I always used "factor 50" sun protection cream and still got some sun burns from walking around in the city. I have light skin.
The location of this hotel is superb, but the rooms are quite basic for the price you pay and be warned - On our first night we checked in late and the receptionist refused to activate the safe in the room until the next morning. We went downstairs for a drink at the terrace bar and thought we had taken all our valuables. Unfortunately, a check the next morning revealed that we had left some money in the unlocked safe (the rooms are very dark) and half of it was missing. We tried reporting it to the police and met with the manager of the hotel and their head of security who yelled at us and basically accused us of lying. I don't know whether anyone else has had similar problems, but be careful. For the price, there are other much nicer hotels in Havana.
Das inglaterra war sehr schön und gediegen
Zu Beginn meines Aufenthalts wurde mir ein zwar ruhiges aber leider fensterloses zimmer angewiesen. Also als Tipp: beim einchecken drauf hinweisen, daß man/frau was mit fenster möcht. ich glaub das personal verweist auch deswegen gern auf fensterloses, weil manche leut sich über die musik von der darunterliegenden bar beschweren, aber das ist habana und das gehört dazu, mir hätte da was gefehlt. weiters ist das inglaterra ein wunderschön renoviertes hotel mit angenehmem ambiente und einer einzigartigen lage. die menschen, die dort arbeiten waren freundlich bei gleichzeitig wohtuendem abstand. ich war sehr glücklich dort, schlief wunderbar in dem breiten, sauberen bett, erfreute mich täglich an den aufwändigen handtuchfiguren, die mir das personal hinterließ, am abend spielt eine liveband und man/frau kann auf der terasse das leben habans miterleben, ohne selber zu sehr ausgesetzt zu sein. ich hatte trotzdem das gefühl, mittendrin zu sein. ich werd mich jedenfalls wieder dort einquartieren.
Enjoy a capuccino
The downstairs dining room is charming and the perfect place to read or write postcards for an hour while sipping a cappucino!
Stayed here for 3 nights on a tour of Cuba. The hotel was fascinating and the staff very friendly and helpful. A lot of the rooms face a atrium and therefore have no windows but this is made acceptable by the fact the place reeks of class, charm and style. The location in the old town of Havana is simply ideal. I would recommend this hotel to anybody travelling to Havana. The bar at the front of the hotel is the ideal place to sit and have a snack and drink watching the city go by.
Okay just to sleep in
Stayed in the Hotel Dec 20th and January3rd 2005 with my family. The first rooms were okay facing onto the square. One of the second rooms was very noisy facing on to a busy side street. The other room had no windows and felt like being in a cave. I also thought they were dirty but the lighting was so dim it was hard to tell.
The location is brilliant and the public rooms have great character.
Stayed at the hotel 3 nights 26 - 28th Sept.
Location is excellent. Breakfast is awful, don't bother. Get something elsewhere, it's cheap enough.
Food at the top floor was excellent. Views stunning. Richard behind the bar knows some really good restaurants. Great one opposite Central building, huge portions. Although the soup was very salty.
Rooms are nothing overly special, but you can feel the history. Try to get a room facing the square, great views to wake up to. Don't be afraid to ask if something doesn't work, they are very helpful.
Go now before it changes
We stayed at the Inglaterra at the begining of October and loved it.
Its like a slice of history and as Cuba develops as a tourist resort I am sure it will be "improved" and lose its charm. We had a third floor room with a balcony overlooking the square, the room was spacious and clean, the hot water was sporadic and the air conditioning fairly noisy but effective. As a base for looking round Havana it could not be bettered. The roof terrace had amazing views but the pavement cafe was the place to sit and watch the life of the city. There was even a brass band concert there on the Friday afternoon, it spread over the pavement and nearly brought the traffic to a standstill. The breakfasts were fine, not the best Ive had but the setting more than made up for it. As to Havana itself it is hard to describe in words, the buildings range from beautifully restored to total ruins. We took a horse drawn carriage ride which was great, the guide spoke basic English and kept stopping to take us on little walks round and into buildings we would have missed, otherwise just get a map, a guide book and walk round. We found the people very friendly, a couple asked us for money, a firm "No" saw them off but mainly they wanted to chat about Michael Owen, Ali G and the Beatles. Don't miss the Tropicana, expensive but worth it, drinks are very dear but once the show starts they bring complimentary rum and coke. Have a drink in El Floridita as well, eat at El Patio next to the Cathedral and at Hotel Nacional which was superb.
Location Location Location
Location cannot be any better. Room are a bit tired but since we were not there for the hotel facilities but for what Havana has to offer we were not disappointed. It's a walk to everything and has a lovely Opera house just to the left. Buffet breakfast was included which was adequate. The Mojito's were the best I had in all of Cuba. Paid $90 for a double room for the night.
Nice Location, that's the best I can say.
The Inglaterra is a very pretty old building located conveniently in the middle of downtown Havanna. The rooms, however, are small and not exactly clean. I paid $120USD for a double for one night which wasn' t the most expensive place in town but wasn't a bargain either. The balcony of my room did over look the big square that was constantly busy and full of people to watch. Noise doesn't really bother me but a lighter sleeper might be kept awake. Water was hot. Safe didn't work. The best part of the hotel are the little restaurant and bar on the first floor and patio.