Travel Blogs from Havana
... occasions. NOTE: We celebrated another great journey to Cuba.Appearance :
They simply say "smoke ...
Jose Marti, 1853-96, the most famous Cuban patriot, is venerated by Cubans of all political stripes; the airport, parks and plaza are named for him; his statue has a prominent place in Little Havana as well as in every other Cuban city or town of any size. One of the more recent is along the Malecon, near the U.S. Interests Section; he is holding Elian Gonzalez in his arms and pointing (accusingly) toward Miami. Marti was ...
... in our next entry!)
Huge thanks go to Ian and Michelle for all their research, rescue attempts, bank visits and late night/early morning phone calls! We are also extremely thankful to three new German friends that we made (Michael, Mike and Frank) who generously lent us some CUC so that we could buy water, food and pay airport tax! We would be living under a bridge in Havana right now if it wasn't these people.
... to hassle us at some point).
While we waited for our flight, I snapped some pictures of the baggage carts coming-off the plane that just arrived from Miami. On the flight down I had seen the amount of goods that passengers checked at the counter, but seeing it all piled high was impressive. The 45 minute plane ride was smooth and the U.S. customs and immigration folks were efficient and did not grill us on where we had just gone (they did ask for the ...
... Cuban standards. We stayed a short while and left him with groceries and money. Perhaps it was the age difference, but I didn’t really feel the family connection.
Everyone we met today was very friendly, non-intrusive, and had an overall sense of happiness that was only tempered when the conversation turned to some of the hardships they’ve had to endure, especially regarding the scarcity of food and lack of freedom. Regardless, I felt welcomed by every person we ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Saratoga Havana
Spent 3 nights here in the middle of our holiday. This hotel is advertised as a 5 star hotel and it certainly felt like it. There were staff everywhere to open the door, help with your luggage etc.
Saratoga hotel, Havana - Great!
Excellent except for breakfasts which were only luke warm and the poached eggs were solid. Raul, the concierge, is very helpful and pleasant. Rooms very comfortable and well appointed. Bars are very good and the bar staff are knowledgeable. All in all - terrific.
I stayed here on business for 6 days in September 2006. It was my second trip to Cuba and my second trip to Havana.
I agree with most people here and believe the Saratoga is an excellent hotel by cuban standards. Fortunately the problems with the hot water where solved when I went there so no cold showers for me!!
My new husband and I stayed here for the start of our honeymoon in Cuba. It was one of the better hotels we experienced throughout our trip however, it is important to realise that Cubans have no notion of what good service actually is. The conceierge Raul was, however, more than attentive to our needs and was very helpful provided we were firm with what we wanted to do and did not just go along with his suggestions (what he described as the most amazing restaurant with a pretty terrace and an exclusive private dining experience was, in fact, a shack in his friend's garden, a 45 minute cab ride away with the usual selection of grilled meat with rice and beans and every other person in the hotel eating there too). That said he is useful for local information. The Saratoga rooms are spacious, clean and (for Cuba) tastefully decorated with a nice view of the square, Capitol and Patargas cigar factory. Food is terrible, the paladares were so much better than any restaurant we tried, including that of the hotel. The rooftop pool is without doubt a major boon in smelly Havana. Yes there are problems with hot water but this is the case with the whole of Cuba and mostly occurs in the middle of the night. And yes everyone is on the make, after a tip, giving you a recommendation, both inside and outside the hotel, this can get tedious but it is mostly harmless. Having taken a look at other hotels in Havana it is probably one of the best, but at no point will you feel pampered or looked after as you would expect in 5 star hotel. Many of their efforts to be helpful are in fact laughter-inducing (if you don't laugh you will cry). The hotel offers a welcome respite from the exciting, hot street-life of Havana. Ultimately, Saratoga tries hard and for that we were grateful.
We stayed on our honeymoon in November. Loved the place. Excellent facilities for havana and it had just opened. Found the staff really friendly and the hotel in excellent condition throughout.
The best in Old Havana
Of all the historical hotels in Havana, the Hotel Saratoga is by far the best. We stayed in a room overlooking the Capitola Builiding and the parks, Wow, what a view.... The room was beautiful and very comfortable. The pool on the roof overlooking the city is spectacular. The only negative was the quality of the food on the morning buffet. Overall, I highly recommend this hotel if staying in Havana, just make sure you adjust your expectations when traveling there.
Hotel Saratoga was my first experience of a 5 star hotel in Cuba, and compared to the 5 * Sandels Hotel Princesa Del Mar in Veradero, it was very good.
A Very Good Hotel
We stayed at three different Hotels in Havana, The Saratoga, NH Parque Central and the Nacional. This Hotel was the best of the three. We arrived late 11.30 pm, however we were welcomed most heartily with a cocktail. The room was large and clean and the bathroom was spotless. If I were going to Havana again this would be my first choice without a doubt.
A further thought - if a swimming pool is important to you then unfortunately this hotel only has a small pool on the roof but it does suffice.
The Saratoga is a newly renovated luxury hotel very well situated across from the park and Capitolio. Since it's on the outer edge of where renovations are taking place it borders a more run-down area of old Havana which gives you a good sense of local life in all its decaying, noisy, musical beauty.