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TravelPod Member ReviewsCountry Inn & Suites By Carlson Albany
The Melia Habana is some distance from downtown, but one can take the free bus shuttle into town and return. The four restaurants on the property are all excellent, and highly recommended.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Albany
Above average hotel
Good service/amenities and clean. Nice view from rooms facing the seaside. Equivalent to Canadian 4 star accomodation. A bit far from old Havana -- around 15mins by taxi (+/- $10 taxi ride or one can use the free hotel shuttle).
Could do better....
Our first impression when we arrived at this hotel and were being shown to our room was that we had arrived in a prison! The rooms are set in long narrow rows around a quadrangle, which reminded us of the inside of a prison.
The room itself was fine, clean and spacious (although the shower curtain was smelly!). We did not really use the rest of the hotel's facilites as we were only in Havana for a couple of days and spent most of our time sightseeing. However, we did have breakfast here, and were very disappointed. The service was not up to the standard of a supposedly 5 star hotel - the staff looked disinterested. There was not a huge variety of food available. To top it all off I found a hair in my pancake one morning!
To make matters worse on our departure the staff tried to overcharge us for a late checkout, despite the fact that we had asked earlier that day what the rates were.
Great hotel, even with a toddler
Stayed here with our 2.5 year old daughter in Feb05, and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had a great room overlooking the ocean, huge, gorgeous balcony, marble everything, very clean, good service. Food was ok, not great - it was better in Varadero. While there were not a lot of children at the hotel, it wasn't really an issue, although I did feel a little uncomfortable when she was loud during dinner. Staff was great to her. There wasn't a lot for her to do aside from going to the pool, but we spent most of our time in Havana anyway so it was fine.
Our plan was not all inclusive, so we went through more money than we expected, for lunch, water, drinks, and taxi rides into Havana. There is a free shuttle bus, but it wasn't always convenient. You can buy water and drinks from the restaurants, but there is a market around the corner at a fraction of the price.
While it was a bit of a pain to go back and forth to Old Havana, we noticed that none of the hotels in the old city seemed to have nice balconies the way ours did. Since we were travelling with our daughter, we weren't taking in a lot of the nightlife so it was nice to have a big, comfortable room with a balcony to come back to since we were in for the night every night by 8!
Verdict - would definitely stay there again.
A class act
My wife and I stayed at the Melia Habana for one night only but we could easily have made it a week. We received excellent service, the hotel staff were polite and curteous, the food was very good the whole hotel was exceptionally clean and tidy. As the heading states "a class act".
One of the best in Habana
Dont know why people with no knowledge of were they are visiting talk the way they do to a place like Cuba, I was skeptic at first and now that I am writting this review after just arriving home, I will say that this hotel and many other in Cuba are excellent to stay at, in this Melia hotel, rooms are very comfortable, bathrooms are large and with a bathtub, towels are plush and large you can even use it at the pool, buffet for breakfast is plentyfull you can ask for a omellete to a sunny side up eggs, juices at large amount , breads with a variety, sliced to buns, dinner, i was surprised to see stone crab clams as many as you can eat, in Miami they are 45.00 and up for 3 clams, at the buffet for 25.00 dollars you you eat and drink all you can, the pool is good, and yes they ask you if you are a guest at the hotel, too many jineteras, Cuban name for prostitutes, dont blame them( the security) for asking, it is their job, a mulato woman and a white man, a prostitute with a visitor, I felt secure at this hotel, they also carry a safe deposit box which is handy, never saw a fly, but you see fly's all around the world.
I was harassed the whole time because people thought I was Cuban it
seems to be that they can not conceive the thought that some one from a Latin America country would visit. The whole time they looked at me as if I was a Cuban Prostitute and that my husband who is white was the person who was paying me to be there. I will never visit again I have never been treated so bad!! it was extremely disappointing me.
Millions of flies in lobby
The lobby is swarming with flies. The lobby needs a revolving door. This might help keep some of the flies out. Instead, it has automatic glass doors that separate when the electronic eye detects you. Unfortunately, the doors are always open, because people are constantly exiting/entering the hotel. And unfortunately, also, flies enter the hotel with the people. The hotel is modern and attractive. Service is below average throughout.
Excellent hotel in Miramar
We spent one night at the hotel staying on their "VIP" 9th floor. This is a big modern hotel equivalent to a good four-star hotel in North America Rooms are spacious with very comfortable beds and great views of Havana and the ocean. Bathrooms are very nice.
When you have a VIP room you also get access to their VIP bar on the 9th floor where you get access to an excvellent compliementary buffet for breakfast lunch and dinner - if you are not planning to eat out the food is very good and it saves you the cost of eating out.
The hotel is located close to the ocean (no beach) at Miramar, which is a more modern, attractive and spacious alternative to staying dowtown.
Note it is a 15-minute drive downtown although taxis are cheap.
Pleasant, nice location and good service``
Nicely located in the Miramar section of Havana. The sea is outside your porch and a nice view of Havana. Good service, friendly staff and an excellent breakfast to begin a day.
Hotel Melia Habana Review
We went to Cuba for our honeymoon. In Havana we stayed at the Melia Habana Hotel. As honeymooners we were provided with an incredibly big an comfortable room overlooking the ocean (by the way you can't swim in it). We were given a bottle of rum, a big basket of delicious fruit, and sparkling wine. The service was good in this respect. Architectural speaking, the hotel is nicely designed with a big swimming pool (although somewhat cold) and gardens with native vegetation. However, we found uncomfortable people asking if we were guests in the hotel. For instance, once I was reading next to the swimming pool when the person in charge of cleaning the pool and giving away towels asked me, in a rather rude way, if I was staying in the hotel. I quietly said yes, and he insisted I give him my room number, which I did and showed him my key. After this, his voice changed completely. He apologized and told me he was asking these questions because I was not using a hotel towel. For god sakes, I was reading! And there was no sign saying that it was prohibited to be in the swimming pool area without a hotel towel! Anyway, needless to say, he spoiled my day. I don't understand why if they have problems with people getting in, they don't use surveillance cameras instead of having big guys questioning everybody. We were asked three times in one week.
On another note, we found the hotel was very far from downtown. In their brochure, Melia Habana, mentions a 10 minute distance and even says it is possible to walk. This is completely false. Downtown is about 10km away and only if you take a helicopter you can be there in 10 min. A taxi will charge you US$10 to take you downtown, and it will take you around 3 hours to go walking (my husband tried it). Complimentary transportation is available from the hotel but the first bus runs at 10:30 am and the last bus comes from downtown at 7:00pm. The latter is quite unfortunate because Cubans have dinner at 8:00 or 9:00pm and downtown fills up with music everywhere in the evening. Wherever you go to eat, dance or simply have a drink you find live music. It is an experience you shouldn't miss. If you go back to the hotel, you'll find that there is no music, shows, or anything to keep you entertained. In addition we found that the food was rather expensive. A simple hamburger with fries (forget about the lettuce and tomato) is US$8.50. A small pork snitzel with salad on the side is about US$9.50. A croissant (small size) is US$2.00!! The dinner buffet is US$25. Beverages are equally expensive. While the normal prize for a mojito (typical Cuban drink) in tourist places is US$ 2.50-3.00, you pay US$4.50 in the hotel. Even if you want to go elsewhere, you'll find there is nothing around the hotel. There are no places to walk around or anything of interest nearby. I would definitely recommend anybody to go to Cuba for holidays, but I would suggest to stay in a hotel in downtown Havana where you can enjoy the people, music and food. Hotel Nacional is the best around, but it is also the most expensive. Friends staying at Cuba Libre and Vedado said that while these were not luxurious places, they were clean and well kept. If you still want to go to a Melia Hotel, I would recommend Melia Cohiba. It is much closer to downtown although you will still have to walk for good 20 minutes.
TripAdvisor Reviews Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Albany
Travel Blogs from Havana
... cool beer to drown it all down, I headed to use the hotel internal cafe.
Cuba travel tip 7. Internet is a headache in this country. It takes you 20 minutes to browse through 4 pages of internet. Hotmail is banned in this country. I bought an 1/2 hr internet pass and spent all of it just trying to sign in into my hotmail account. So please don't forget to pack PATIENCE in your bag when you get here. The pages are all to Spanish default. So good luck trying ...
We have arranged an airport pickup by the casa particular we intended to stay. A quiet old man with a new Korean yellow cab waits for us and stops on the way to the city for me to pull some Cuban Convertibles (CUC) out of the ATM. That happens at the second stop, at the first there are neither Moneda National nor CUC in the machines. It's Sunday and the streets are empty. Not even the famous get-together stretch of the Malecon, one block from ...
... like you where in the 1930's. We went in to the hotel plaza and had our first mojito it was so good and not that expensive about 20kr. Then we carry on see people men and women smoking big cigars. Find a bar and had a few beers I saw that a bottle of Havana club rum cost 4 U.S. Dollar I knew then that this was going be a good country for me and julia :). We heard back and went ...
... City have to watch for holes. All you hear is people yelling out to each other, kids playing, the men sing noise to attract your attention, men eyeing off all the girls, people sitting in cafés watching.There are people asking for money but don,t keep harassing. We have had piña coladas, rum n cola, moijito but still to have famous daiquiri . Maybe tonight,,,, ...
... to practice maneuvering an unfamiliarly heavy bike, but the streets got wider, the trees leafier, and Dan reported from behind me, “I like this!” A little later, “I feel good!” I was feeling a bit stressed with the traffic and navigation, but he was in explorer’s mode and loving it.
I had planned for us to stop the first day after about 30 km at around Playa Baracoa, a seaside village, but it was only around noon, and the village ...