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Hotel Nacional De Cuba | Havana Reviews

Havana Reviews Jessica Gutierrez

Jessica Gutierrez was invited to spend two nights at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana.

I got in into the lobby of the Hotel Nacional de Cuba at about 6pm and was quickly ushered to my room by the bellboy. I wasted no time and wandered back down from room 209 to the gardens and grounds, which are fantastic. A nice gentleman from the United States offered to buy me drink; he’d been at the Hotel for 6 days and offered to show me around the pool and gym areas. The whole look of the Hotel Nacional struck me as “old world”, nothing like the 5 star hotels nearby or maybe just a little bit similar to the Hotel Habana Libre in style but, alas, maybe not function.

Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Stunning views can only really be obtained from the gardens, since the pool is kind of sunken down into the back of the hotel. The whole experience is a bit like stepping back in time I guess. As I was reviewing the Hotel I stayed in two rooms but both looked and felt tired, carpets are soiled and, in general, were in need of some serious modernization. However, if your time is spent in the other areas of the hotel, the rest is very good indeed.

The hotel has this looming mystique about it, impressive to look at from the outside with its great terrace to the rear which overlooks the Havana Malecon. My American friend and I found two comfortable places to sit and enjoy our evening cocktail. The lobby of Hotel Nacional is extremely impressive indeed, maybe a bit too extravagant based upon the rooms you end with but, once again, this hotel is all about the general “feel” of the common areas than being stuck in your room.


I hadn’t been to Old Havana for quite a while so, as I know it well, I took with my American friend the following day. This gave the hotel time to put me in my north facing room (they moved all my bags and stuff as a courtesy). We spent all day wandering around Old Havana and then had ice-cream at the Coppelia which is just up the Rampa Avenue that borders the eastern flank of the hotel Nacional. Once back at the Hotel I went straight to my (new) room to change and freshen up. My first impression of this north facing room was – WOW – what views! The same old tired décor as the other room but, brightened up by the setting sun and, of course, that panoramic view of the Malecon. If you decide to stay at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana, I highly recommend getting a north facing room.


Overall, this hotel sells because of the glorious 50s (I wasn’t alive…), times past and infamous historic guests. If you are looking for a polished functional room and latest technologies, then sadly, you should look elsewhere. However, if your time at the hotel is mainly spent wandering around and chatting (like I did) this hotel is a peach.

BTW – You can now book all Cuban Hotels through our website, we chose the best options, low rates and payment in 32 currencies. When you book it helps us create more reviews!

Hotel Nacional hotel Reservations

La Cascada Paladar Havana

Havana Reviews Jessica Gutierrez 2

You notice right at the front door that the La Cascada Paladar is a place where you can find something for everyone and an amazing selection of dishes. Ideal for either romantic encounter or simply a quick lunch in their beautiful courtyard. La Cascada is owned by Aliosmar Pérez with whom I met and discussed the Paladars rise to fame in Havana. He told me he names his restaurant after Chinese pictorial art of which he is an avid collector.

La Cascada Habana

Chef Huang Guo Shu offers a varied menu of Chinese, Cuban, Spanish and Arab food which looks delicious of the photos however I only tried the jerk chicken Cuban style. The other numerous patrons seemed extremely happy with the food as I noted while there.

The bar’s specialty is the famous Mojito Cascada—a classic Cuban mojito with a cascade of red wine, quite frankly, although not sounding too delicious the mixture of the rum and wine, it was actually very nice. Entertainment was great with singers (both patrons and staff), TV karaoke and video clips playing on the two large TVs in the dining area.

Club Havana Miramar Review

Jessica at Club Havana

Address: 5th Ave. between Calle 188-192, Miramar Havana

My Review of Club Havana Miramar was done just before the one at Parque Josone Varadero for our sister site but, it’s only now that I’ve gotten round to submitting it. Sorry…

First off, those of you who know me are aware I play a – mean – game of tennis, in fact outside of swimming, it’s my favorite sport. That’s why reviewing Club Havana Miramar was an ideal opportunity for me to brush up on my game. But we´ll get to that later.

Miramar Club Havana

Club Havana is a private Club that is minutes from all the hotels listed below and charges an admission fee to enter. The 25 CUC entrance fee is so small compared to the value of this place that it borders on the ridiculous for what you get. Some hotels like the Palco actually include Club Havana admission in their room rates, so if you feel you’d like to spend some time here after reading my review of Club Havana Miramar, you could always book at Hotel Palco and get in every day for free!

Firstly a bit of history…

During the 20s to 50s the building that is now Club Havana Miramar was the Havana Biltmore Yacht and Country Club, founded in 1928. Back then the Biltmore was an upper class venue where the aristocracy of Havana would send their kids to learn to swim, sail, row and learn other nautical activities. Parents were able to socialize with other members while their kids took lessons.


The Biltmore in Havana was part of the Biltmore property empire which still includes the Biltmore Hotel in Miami. However, since the Cuban revolution, the property was left in disrepair until the early 1990s when Abraham Maciques, a personal friend of Fidel Castro and founder of both Cubalse and the Palacio de Convenciones (Havana’s convention center) took a liking to the dilapidated property and decided to create the Club situated here today, Club Havana Miramar.

So there are no beaches in Havana?

I thought I’d start by dispelling this myth. As we all know, there are Havana’s Eastern Beaches of Megano, Santa Maria del Mar, Guanabo and Tarara. But, these are at least 25KM from Havana’s center where most tourists are likely to be staying. Club Havana’s little secret is that it has the ONLY beach in the center of Havana and, as you can see from my photos, it’s a nice beach at that.

Club Havana Miramar Jet ski

Not very large but it’s a natural beach which offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities beyond the nautical activities offered at Club Havana which include; fully PADI certified dive center, jet skis, Catamarans, Kayaks and peddle craft.

Restaurants at Club Havana

I ate at the amazing Chelo restaurant situated in the main building which is a proper dining experience and proper dress code is required.

El Chelo Restaurant Club Havana

Probably better to visit for a formal/romantic lunch or dinner. Nevertheless, there’s the beach restaurant situated next to the two large swimming pools and is better for informal snacks and excellent full-on meals. It’s an open restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating.

Club Havana Swimming Pools

Club Havana Cuba

There are two large pools at Club Havana, one is a rectangular Olympic style pool while the other is an irregular shaped pool, typical of Vacation resorts, being ideal for kids and adults of all ages.

Gym, Sauna and Jacuzzis

Let’s start by saying that Club Havana has probably the best gym I have seen in Cuba. It’s the first building you come to as you enter the Club on the right and, offers a myriad of weight machines and abundant free weights. There’s a great juice bar at the entrance where I sinned and decided on my daily “Red Bull” fix instead of one of the many natural “made-to-order” blended fruit juices.

Club Havana Gym

The male and female changing rooms are enormous and include lockers, free towels and powerful showers. A door from these leads to the semi covered Jacuzzis and enclosed Sauna Rooms.

Tennis and Racquetball

Yes!! One of my favorite games is the centerpiece of Club Havana.

Tennis Court Club Havana

The Club has two full size Tennis courts and two outdoor Racquetball courts which are accessed from the back door of the changing rooms. The courts are standard cement based but, ideally have the natural fine coating of sand us tennis players enjoy when playing on this type of court. The male tennis coach and I played two games and then I retired for a spot of sunbathing…

The beach at Club Havana

Club Havana Miramar from Beach

At the back of the main building is a longish white sand beach with ample sun beds and parasols. While not wide, compared to beaches out in the eastern part of Havana, it’s just perfect to sit and relax. There’s a small thatched snack bar at the far end which is ideal for a quick refreshing drink.

End note

Club Havana Entrance Miramar

It appears to me that Club Havana is badly publicized. Or maybe the “eliteness” of the Club is better for it having few guests? If you are staying at any of the hotels listed below you’re just minutes from Club Havana and your “day at the beach” in Havana. Admittedly, there’s an entrance fee (unless you’re staying at the Hotel Palco) but, its small change for what you get so, I highly recommend this place if you are looking to spend a day at the beach in luxurious surroundings with a pinch of snobbishness


Jessica Gutierrez – Havana Reviews Team

*Hotels near Club Havana Miramar

Hotel Palco – Includes Free Admission

Hotel Neptuno Triton

Occidental Monte Habana – Free Bus

Hotel Quinta Avenida – Within Walking Distance

Hotel Occidental Miramar – Free Bus

Hotel Acuario – Within Walking Distance

Hotel Copacabana

Hotel Comodoro – Within Walking Distance

Hotel Melia Habana

Welcome to Havana reviews!

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Not only do we compile reviews from locals & tourists but also foreign residents in Havana contribute to Havana Reviews also.

The very best reviews and up to date profiles of current services in Havana Cuba are vital because Cuba is changing fast and some places, Hotels and venues change overnight. That’s why at Havana reviews we offer only the latest opinions on everything about Havana Cuba.


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Hotel Saratoga Havana Review

Hotel Saratoga old havana

Address: Prado 603 esquina Dragones | Old Havana, Havana 10200, Cuba

Havana Reviews A++ management, Colonial Havana Location, 5 star service, that breakfast!

The team stayed at the Hotel Saratoga Havana this year and it’s definitely one of Old Havana’s best hotels. Somehow the staff seems to get the guest experience just right despite being rather cold in their demeanor with guests, compared to more jovial Cuban Hotels. Of course the Hotel Saratoga Havana is a 5 star property and as such the staff may simply be applying the formal rule with guests. However, after the team had stayed at other hotels in Old Havana, the Hotel Saratoga Havana seemed almost clinical in its efficient but devoid of character services. The rooms are all quite large even the standard room and our overlooked the street onto the recently renovated Capital Building. The washrooms are oversized and the best we have ever seen in any hotel in Havana. The Saratoga’s king size beds are comfortable and not too hard or soft and the room sound proofing is perfect, especially when you consider that the hotel is situated on one of Havana´s busiest intersections.

Hotel Saratoga Havana

Room service is fairly priced for this type of hotel and our room was kept in good shape during our two night stay. The room included breakfast and what a breakfast! This is probably the best assortment we´ve seen at any Cuban hotel and, even North American hotels would find it hard to compete with what’s offered here. The rooftop pool and fitness center has great views over Havana down to the seafront. The bar on the Mezzanine level is a great place to have a few drinks before visiting the town.

Our stay at the Hotel Saratoga Havana was one of the most expensive we’ve experienced in Cuba. Nonetheless, if you are looking to stay in Old Havana, want absolute luxury and service plus, have the money, then it’s going to be very, very hard to get anything better than this hotel. The Parque Central Hotel competes on star rating but somehow misses the spot in regard to the attention to detail offered at the Hotel Saratoga Havana. It’s hardly perceivable but it’s there, and if you stay here you’ll understand what we mean.

Havana Hotel Saratoga

The Hotel Saratoga Havana is within walking distance of every Old Havana attraction; therefore location is a non issue. It also has unique views out onto the Capital Building and the bustling streets of Old Havana.

Hotel SARATOGA Havana is one of the few hotels that do not require prepayment or deposit to Book.

check rates hotel saratoga havana