Hourly fee for Wi-Fi is higher than at other Havana hotels
Fee to use sauna (except for Level guests)
No AC in open-air atrium lobby
The upscale, 397-room Melia Habana has a firm place as one of the top handful of hotels in Havana, along with the Parque Central, Melia Cohiba, and Hotel Nacional. Its huge outdoor pool is the largest of any city hotel, many of the spacious, clean rooms have sea views, the 24-hour lobby bar is vast and elegant, and there are multiple restaurants, from a 24-hour cafeteria to a buffet to a formal Asian a la carte. It's a hub for business travelers as well as the occasional celebrity (Katy Perry and Mick Jagger both stayed here). Guests who upgrade to the Level get free Wi-Fi -- a rarity in Havana. Its Miramar location is a 15-minute drive to Old Havana, but there's a free shuttle.
A massive, upscale business hotel in Miramar that ranks among Havana's best
Even though the Melia Habana doesn't live up to its advertised five-star status, it is still one of Havana's best hotels. It draws many business travelers thanks to its Miramar location, and guests hail from Mexico, the U.S., Italy, and the U.K., among other countries. Though some families with young children do stay here, the vibe overall is mature and suitably subdued, although its size can mean occasional lines at the reception desk and money exchange counter.
The hotel impresses in large part due to its scale: The building is centered around a nine-story open atrium with gardens and a koi pond, and the 24-hour lobby bar adjoining reception is vast and high-ceilinged, with a suspended red airplane sculpture, a bar housed in a round standalone structure reminiscent of a birdcage, and marble everywhere. The gold trim, and green and white marble, lend a late '90s aesthetic -- which makes sense, considering the hotel opened in 1998.
The Melia Habana has seen its fair share of high-profile guests, including Mick Jagger and Katy Perry in 2015. The Grand Suites here are among the most modern accommodations we saw in Cuba. Those looking for a more affordable option in Miramar could consider the H10 Habana Panorama, which is sometimes about half the price, but it's not nearly as nice. Leisure travelers who would rather stay in Old Havana might prefer Hotel Saratoga or the Parque Central.
Melia Habana is in the safe, residential, and upscale Miramar neighborhood, where many foreign embassies are located. It's next to the rundown Hotel Triton Neptuno (we thought it was an abandoned building, but it still operates as a hotel), and past that is the mid-range H10 Habana Panorama. It's across the street from the Miramar Trade Center (this proximity is why many business travelers choose to stay here), and adjacent to the Galeria Comercial Comodoro, a shopping mall with designer goods (the entrance is at the end of the road nearest to the sea, past a construction site).
12-minute walk to Iglesia de Jesús de Miramar
13-minute walk to the National Aquarium
Five-minute drive to the Malecon
Five-minute drive to National Circus
15-minute drive to Old Havana
30-minute drive to José Martí International Airport
Clean, spacious rooms, some with balconies and terrific sea views
Though they're not exceptionally modern or stylish by international luxury standards, rooms still rank among the nicest in Havana. They have tile floors and in most cases, beige, brown, and white color schemes. They have two beds that can be pushed together or separated; the size of each is somewhere in between a twin and a double. Each room can fit three adults or two adults and a child, and an extra bed can be requested, as can cribs. All rooms have wickerlove seats, flat-screen TVs with channels in English, Spanish, and French, minibars with soda and beer (Level guests also get liquor bottles), safes, and coffeemakers. Plugs are European and adapters are available.
The terrace is the most significant amenity that all rooms share (and one that most competing hotel rooms lack); some rooms have excellent sea views. Bathrooms have green and white marble tile, shower-tub combos, and bidets. Wi-Fi is available in all rooms (not a given for Havana hotels), but it's a pricey 5 CUC per hour (it's 2 CUC at most hotels), except for Level guests, who get unlimited free Wi-Fi. Guests access Wi-Fi using cards with access codes that are good for one hour; the time doesn't have to be used in a single session.
The Level rooms are on floors seven through nine. Guests in these rooms get 24-hour room service, a welcome cocktail, and access to a seventh-floor lounge where a free breakfast is served. Turndown service is available upon request.
Room categories include the Classic Room (the standard category), Classic Sea View Room (there are a whopping 151 one of these, so sea views are not hard to come by), the Level Standard Room, the Level Sea View Room, the Level Grand Suite (with a giant jetted tub in the bathroom), and the Level Junior Suite.
The biggest city pool in Cuba, an elegant lobby lounge, multiple restaurants and bars, and a free shuttle to Old Havana
The highlight at Melia Habana is undoubtedly its massive outdoor freeform pool with views of the sea. It has two swim-up bars (one with access from dry land as well; only this one was staffed during our visit), a fenced-off kiddy pool area, a hydromassage area, a long narrow stretch suitable for laps, and nice wicker loungers (a definite step up from the blue mesh and plastic variety found at most hotel pools). Towels are provided in the rooms and exchanged at a towel hut.
The big buffet restaurant serves breakfast (included), lunch (if there's enough interest), and dinner; half- and full-board packages are available. The Italian and Asian a la carte are located off the open-air atrium; both have outdoor seating near the lobby gardens (no AC) as well as air-conditioned indoor seating. The Italian restaurant is known for its tasty pizza, and the Asian restaurant draws businesspeople from the nearby embassies. Both are open for lunch and dinner. There's a super modern, trendy sports bar facing the street, with red and white furniture, a huge TV screen, a Tuesday salsa party, and Friday salsa classes. The sprawling lobby bar with a water feature, hanging airplane sculptures, and lots of red and dark wood chairs is open 24 hours, and is one of the grander spaces in the hotel.
There's a big gym off of the lobby with modern cardio machines facing the atrium and a lower level with weights, strength training machines, and spin bikes. The sauna costs a fee to access (except for Level guests), and massages and salon services are available.
Souvenirs are for sale in glass cases near the entrance to the cigar lounge, where a wide selection of cigars and liquor is for sale. Internet is provided in the business center (where non-guests are also allowed) and in the rooms; it is 5 CUC per hour for guests, as opposed to 2 CUC per hour at most hotels. Money exchange services are on-site.