Hotel Mercure Sevilla Havane
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TravelPod Member ReviewsHotel Mercure Sevilla Havane Havana
Wonderful historic hotel about a 5 min walk from the Capitolia and the waterfront. Great base to explore the city from. Staff were very good - and really appreciate a tip!
Don't forget to leave something for the room staff - they do a terrific job.
Rooms are very large and well kept.
Look for Eric, a local tour guide who is based on the roadway just outside the fence of the pool area. He has a 1957 Dodge in fantastic condition. Excellent English and he's happy to take you all around Havana.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Mercure Sevilla Havane Havana
Stayed in Januarty 2004. The staff here were so friendly! Everyone tried to make us feel like home. Our plane was delayed about 12 hours, and as such didn't arrive til about 3:30 am. There were staff expecting us, with cool drinks when we arrived in the lobby. Most of the night staff didn't speak good English, but made every attempt to try their best. We received a room with a broken lock, then sent someone to fix it right away (keep in mind it's like 4am). The next day they installed a new lock on the door. They even offered us another room...
My daughter and I spent 3 nights at the Hotel Sevilla on arrival in Cuba before heading for the beach at Varadero for the remainder of our 2 weeks. The hotel is ideally situated for exploring the old town and is a reminder of the grace and spendour that once existed in imperial Cuba.
The rooms are spacious and clean. The breakfast on the groundfloor is much preferable to that on the 9th floor. If you book by internet, make sure that the correct dates are on the confirmation, otherwise you pay the rack rate (an addition of 80%). Each time, when I tried to phone abroad and the line was busy, I was charged $ 4.00 - and that was corrected only after a heated debate.
We stayed in Hotel Sevilla for eight nights in May 2004. We were given a large and spacious room which was beautifully decorated and clean. However, the walls were ridiculously thin and we could hear everything our neighbours said (or screamed during the night...). Also, the big window was to the hotel's cafe where they always had a band playing. It was wonderful in the beginning but got a bit tiresome when we were sick in bed in the middle of the night.The chamber maid was extremely friendly, asked about our health when we were ill and each day arranged our towels into different swans and hearts.
Stayed one night , then went to Vinales for four nights and back for one night, so I had two different rooms, one with queen sized bed and the other with 2 3/4 width beds. both overlooked the center air shaft so not much of a view. Safety deposit box comes with the room, great.
Bathrooms clean and well lit. Internet in the lobby $4 for 1/2 hour, so so in speed, funny keyboard. grub average but hot chocolate fabulous!.
Cashing traveller checks depends on timing as the girl showed up when she felt like it and was not too friendly. If you had to leave befor 9:30 am, good luck. Location great, but Ienjoyed myself more in the Casa Particulars
I stayed at the hotel Sevilla in Havana in September 2002 for 4 nights.
I stayed at the Sevilla for three nights in mid January, 2004. If you want to feel like you are in old Havana - the Cuba of the 20's thru the 40's - this is the place to stay, if you don't want to deal with the steep prices of the Nacional along with their rather over-the-top arrogant staff. The Seville is beautiful. It has been renovated almost completely both inside and out - and they stuck with the old architecture and old styles of a bygone era. Very tastefully done. The indoor/outdoor courtyard bistro and the rooftop restaurant are both lovely. There is also an outdoor pool and pool bar.The location of the hotel couldn't be better if you want to walk around Old Havana. It is situated adjacent to the most famous, beautiful and clean tree lined pedestrian boulevard. The hotel is also directly across from the Fine Arts School which is in a lovely old building. The Revolution museum is kitty-corner to the hotel and the famous theater, two art museums and Batista's old Capitol building (now the Institute of Sciences) as well as the waterfront and several famous city squares and cathedrals are all within several city blocks from the hotel.Also within a couple of blocks are the Plaza and Parque Central Hotels. I would rate the Sevilla 4 1/2 stars by American standards. I toured several hotels in the city including the Plaza, Parque Central, Nacional, Havana Libre and Cohiba and in my opinion, the Parque Central is #1 - but very American and 5 star. The Nacional is #2 and the most beautiful old hotel in the city. I toured the Nacional and attended a show there. However, I found the staff to be arrogant and macho and I was overcharged for my drinks at the show. Although the hotel is more grand than the Sevilla I would go back to the Sevilla.On the main floor of the Sevilla there is a hallway of shops and services including cigar and liquor sales, rental cars, tour bookings and money exchange. I booked a cabaret at the Nacional Hotel, rented a car for a week and got American cash utilizing three different services at this hotel.Renting a car is extremely expensive and the prices didn't appear to be very negotiable - we all seemed to be paying approx. the same rate for a mid size car $85 a day ($60-$75 for a compact) - same rate if you take it for a week which I did. Often cars are not available at all. The make will likely be a Peugot - it will be relatively new - but you will get it dirty and they won't clean it for you - they'll just tell you it's already been cleaned even when you show them the dirt. The gas tank will have just enough gas in it to get you to a gas station. My gas gauge didn't work - but the car ran beautifully. Pot holes, horse and carriage riders, oxen-cart riders and bicycle riders and pedestrians are your biggest threat on the roads in the country side. If the people are holding ropes across the road, they are trying to stop you and they will tell you the road is closed - the road is likely not closed - they just need a ride somewhere and they will promise to show you the "detour" in order to get the ride. Picking up people was always a positive experience as they desperately need transportation and they help you with directions. No matter what anyone does for you they all just want one dollar for it. Just make sure you have lots of one dollar bills - they go quickly but you get help. There are NO road signs or street signs in the countryside, so maps are of little help. I didn't speak Spanish either - but managed quite well, as some folks have a little broken English. I hope this helps anyone planning a trip. Be prepared for absolute abject poverty within the city and in the countryside. The only automobiles that don't burn more oil than gas are the government owned taxis, police cars and government owned rental cars.There are little hostels and restaurants that are private and I ate at one restaurant near the the site of the old fort in Havana and it was a very casual, cute, outdoor cafe with lobster and crab dishes running between 10 and 15 dollars. Eating at any of the big city restaurants and hotels means you're eating at a government owned facility. The really elegant restaurants within the city are not private.The best thing to do in order to get a more personal view of the city and its people is hire one of the english speaking hotel workers on their off day and pay them $20 for a full day tour of the city plus meals and cabfare. I did that and had a wonderful experience. They won't have a car but will negotiate good taxi fares. Everyone I spoke with only worked 3 days a week - every other day. The salaries don't vary much - everyone seems to make between $7 and $10 a month no matter what they do.The hotel workers are often very educated professionals who chose to quit their profession, desperate for tip money. I tried to tip as much as I could afford.The city of Havana is unique in the incredible architecture - old columns, mosaics and arcades abound wherever you look. The potential is mind boggling, the poverty staggering. In general terms they are an obviously educated population and there are no visible street people.
I was travelling in Cuba in August with my girlriend and travelled all round the island. Of all the city hotels I stayed in this was the best.
Bad beneath the surface
The Sevilla looks highly impressive when you walk into the reception area, with extensive tiling, spacious area, etc. When you get to your room, reality sets in. Rooms are tiny, grimy, air con hanging off the wall, and generally about the standard of a back-packers hostel. The staff are just about as inadequate. Then you find out that the place is a training centre for hotel staff, and that the main block used to be a hospital. It's all very 1920s historic, but I would never recommend it, except as a cuariosity.
Not money's worth
The standard of the hotel is pretty average. For the price you pay you do not get your moneys worth. The room we were given was very small and we had problems with warm water. But one has to bear in mind that all hotels are to this standard in Havana, unless you go for the 5star superior hotels. If i had to revisit (which i hope i will because i just fell in love with cuba) i would choose a hostel. These are very pretty little hotels, which are much cheaper and the standard of the rooms and facilities are the same.