Car rental and tour desks plus money exchange services
A drive away from Old Havana's attractions
Some maintenance issues and wear (common for Cuban properties)
Temperamental Wi-Fi connection, especially in rooms
Property doesn’t reflect local culture
Removed from the city center, the four-pearl Four Points by Sheraton Havana sits in the tranquil neighborhood of Miramar surrounded by embassies and an ecological park. The area has its advantages, such as ample space for a freeform pool that always seems to have open loungers. A free shuttle also takes guests to Old Havana in 15 minutes. Its 186 rooms, including eight suites, have lovely bathrooms and balconies, some with sea views. But the property does seem to lack Caribbean character, and some maintenance issues mar the otherwise upscale offerings. Travelers looking for a four-pearl hotel with more character closer to the city's main attractions could try the Hotel Nacional de Cuba.
A tranquil property with grandiose public spaces catering to business travelers
Aiming to impress, the hotel's entrance opens onto rose-and-white marble floors circling a clover-shaped fountain. On all sides, thick columns support the ceiling bordered with little painted details of famous Cuban monuments. All of it seems to convey a stately look that bellies the fact that the building was constructed in 2010. (Some of the nude statues, however, are clearly made in this millennium and lack any Grecian grace.) While tasteful, the hotel’s lobby also has little in the way of Caribbean atmosphere, apart from some wicker seating. But that changes once guests head to their rooms: The hallways abandon the softer green-and-rose color scheme for a throbbing bright yellow, perhaps an attempt to lighten these dimmer spaces. And in a few corners, peeling paint and cracked plaster show ongoing issues with maintenance, a common struggle for properties in Havana.
Most guests are business travelers drawn by the hotel’s location near the city’s convention center. But some families also appreciate the property’s nearness to an ecological park and its pool -- something most central Havana hotels lack. Despite a few kids splashing around, the vibe throughout remains tranquil, breezy, and removed from any urban noise.
Away from Old Havana, near embassies and the convention center
This hotel is located on its namesake street, Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue), one of the city’s main drags. The neighborhood, Miramar, is a relatively upscale area surrounded by big embassies and across the street from the city's “Centro de Negocios” (convention center). An ecological park is right behind the hotel, and a beautiful Catholic church (Inglesia de Jesus de Miramar) is to one side. While the area is calm and contained, it’s far from Old Havana and the beach. But Four Points by Sheraton Havana operates a free shuttle that goes four time a day to the historic city center. It takes a 15-minute drive to reach Old Havana. José Martí International Airport, can be reached in 25 minutes.
Spacious rooms with attractive bathrooms, but some wear and tear
Rooms range in their color schemes: Some have louder tropical
colors like bright oranges and greens. Others are softer with orange-striped
bedspreads, massive white leather headboards, and Art Deco-style writing desks. Ceiling molding adds a little architectural interest. Suites are similar to Standard Rooms but they’re bigger and use more yellow in their decor. The hotel also contains Premium Floors and a smoking floor. Minibars (stocked with rum),
flat-screen TVs, coffee- and tea-making facilities, and AC are all standard. Rooms claim to have Wi-Fi (a rarity in Cuba), but guests report that the connection is fragile at best. Rooms also have balconies, and views are either of the sea or the ecological park. Not all balconies are
furnished, but the hotel is in the process of changing that. Bathrooms are a
highlight with beautiful tilework in a range of green hues. Magnifying mirrors,
hairdryers, and a few individual toiletries are standard. And rooms have both
walk-in showers and shower/tub combos. Despite the newness of the property,
some wear and tear is already apparent in scuffs on the furniture and
loose stitching on upholstery. (Note, this is an issue with many properties in
Cuba.) Some guests also report issues with the air-conditioning and plumbing.
Full range of features including a pool, two restaurants, and shuttle service to Old Havana
The hotel’s freeform pool is remarkably serene, even when the hotel is at capacity. It’s surrounded by sun umbrellas and blue loungers, many free for the taking, and adorned by two footbridges. Though there’s pipped-in music by the poolside snackbar, the pool's location is relatively quiet, right by the ecological park. Outdoor showers give a spot to freshen up. Wi-Fi is in all areas including rooms, though the signal is strongest in the lobby. Guests can purchase hourly Wi-Fi cards from reception. (This card system is used throughout Cuba; cards were 5 Cuc on our visit.) There are also several features that cater to the Quinta’s business traveler clientele including five meeting rooms. Two restaurants are on-site, one buffet, the other a la cart. There’s also a lobby bar and two snack bar serving drinks and light bites, one by the pool. Breakfast is included in the room rates, but it gets mixed reviews. The gym has free weights, flat-screen TVs, weight machines, and a variety of cardio options including up-to-date treadmills and spin bikes. The on-site spa offers 15 types of massage services plus a sauna, steam bath, and multi-jet “Scottish shower.” A beauty salon also offers hair and nail services and facials. But this space in particular suffers from bright yellow and orange walls and chipped plaster. For families, cribs are available on request as are babysitting services. The lobby has both car rental and tour desks in addition to money exchange, laundry services, and phone and fax services. There’s a free shuttle that runs to the historic city center four times a day. Wedding services are also available.
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