• Centrally located near restaurants, shops, and nightlife
  • Pleasant rooms with air-conditioning, coffee-making kits, and flat-screen TVs
  • Some rooms upgrade to minibars and balconies
  • Lobby bar and alfresco patio are great for people-watching
  • Nearby restaurant with free hot breakfast daily
  • Wi-Fi available in the lobby (fee)
  • Pope Benedict XVI visited and blessed the hotel in 2012
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  • Restaurant is across the street and food is mediocre
  • Some rooms are dark and windowless
  • No parking available
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Bottom Line

Following new U.S. State Department regulations issued November 9, 2017, Americans are prohibited from staying at this hotel. Read the full list of restricted businesses here. As a former monastery, the three-pearl Hotel Los Frailes offers plenty of history and a healthy dose of religious-themed kitsch, right down to staff members dressed as friars. Beyond the tiny lobby bar, free hot breakfast, and loosely affiliated restaurant a short walk away, the best feature is its location near dozens of restaurants, shops, galleries, and attractions in Havana’s busiest, most tourist-friendly quarter. Each of the 22 rooms is clean but dark, and comes with the essentials of air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and coffee-making kits; some offer minibars and balconies. Pope Benedict XVI blessed the hotel during his visit in 2012. Although it’s a bit dated, Hotel Conde de Villanueva offers similar rates and amenities in a more dramatic, sophisticated setting.

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Oyster Hotel Review

Hotel Los Frailes


Historic former monastery that feels equally authentic and kitschy

The exterior is distinctly Havana-inspired with pastel and white trim, wrought iron railings, and vintage metal lanterns. The former monastery pays homage to its past with religious related decor and original architectural elements. But, the execution borders on kitschy -- the staff friars wear brown frocks, a curious metal monk sculpture is placed outside the lobby, and a bench seat with a second monk sculpture is available for goofy tourist photo ops. The small lobby bar with live music and adjacent lounge are popular among guests and non-guests who venture in from the busy pedestrian mall outside. Pope Benedict XVI even blessed the hotel's cocktail during his visit. Collectively, the space provides ample foot traffic to ensure the vibe is humming day and night. While children are welcome, the nature of the property attracts more couples than families.

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On a bustling, tourist-friendly pedestrian mall within walking distance of attractions

The central location on Teniente Rey is within walking distance of dozens of restaurants, shops, galleries, and nightlife. Many of the city’s most popular historic attractions -- Plaza de Armas (Havana’s oldest plaza), Castillo de la Real Fuerza, and Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba -- are five minutes away on foot. Parking is unavailable, although it’s unlikely to bother most guests. For any attractions not within walking distance, taxis are the most reliable form of transportation. However, without proper meters, fares are often at the whim of the driver. The best bet for travelers is to coordinate transportation with the hotel’s front desk. Havana’s José Martí International Airport is 35 minutes away by car.

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Dark rooms with air-conditioning and flat-screen TVs, plus optional minibars and balconies

Rooms mimic the religious-themed decor found in the lobby. Dark, Mission-style wood furniture, distressed stucco walls, and a monochromatic brown-on-brown color scheme provide the distinct sense of sleeping in a monastery. The lack of windows in many rooms only adds to the drab vibe. Standard Rooms are small, bordering on cramped, with just enough room for the furniture. Junior Suites upgrade to more square footage including a separate seating area. Only the most essential amenities are provided, such as air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs (with Spanish-language programming), and coffee-making stations with electric kettles. Some rooms also feature minibars and balconies. As is true of most of Cuba’s small hotels and inns, in-room Wi-Fi is not available. Bathrooms offer a bit more sophistication with floor-to-ceiling tile walls and inlays, plus bidets, shower/tub combinations, and generic shower amenities.

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A lobby bar with an alfresco patio and a nearby restaurant for free, hot breakfast

As a small property, there are few amenities beyond the tiny lobby bar and restaurant down the street. The former offers a steady service of mojitos and locally-inspired cocktails from a limited alcoholic menu. The crowd is a mix of guests and non-guests who pack the lounge to enjoy occasional live music or head to the alfresco patio to people watch along Teniente Rey. The nearby restaurant offers free hot breakfast and a la carte lunch and dinner options. 

Unfortunately, the location directly on a pedestrian mall means there is no parking nearby. Paid Wi-Fi service is available in the lobby (with a prepaid NAUTA Internet card). We found the service relatively fast and reliable by Cuban standards.

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Best Rates


  • Air Conditioner

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Basic Television

  • Cable

  • Free Breakfast

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Mini Bar (with liquor)

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.