Modern gym with ocean views, sauna, and massage room
10-minute drive to Old Havana
No grounds, unlike Hotel Nacional across the street
Wi-Fi doesn't always work in rooms
Some minor wear and tear, despite renovation completed in 2013
No free bottled water
This 220-room upscale 19-story chain hotel is one of the most modern options in Havana, and is usually more affordable than the Melia Habana in Miramar. It reopened in 2013 after a 12-year renovation, and its decor is inspired by its 1950s roots. A lovely rooftop pool, cool bar, modern gym, stylish Italian restaurant, free breakfast buffet, and attractive, well-maintained rooms (half with sea views) help make this a standout option for the price in Vedado. Leisure travelers should note that it's about a five-minute taxi ride to Old Havana.
Upscale chain hotel with mid-century modern style (and roots)
The NH Capri La Habana reopened in late 2013 after a 12-year renovation, making it one of the newest and most modern hotels in Havana. It lacks the grandeur and garden grounds of the Hotel Nacional across the street, but those who prefer a more contemporary style will be happier here. The hotel originally dates to 1957, when it was a mafia hangout, and some of its original character was preserved in the renovation -- for example, the original terrazzo floor in the lobby, the light fixtures, and a statue in Carrera marble. Upstairs are mint-green hallways and accent walls (except on the Executive floors). There's an out of use entrance in the lobby to the next-door nightclub (once the casino, before gambling was outlawed). Overall, though, the feel is chain-like, and the neutral modern furniture in the lobby is already showing significant wear.
Many guests hail from Germany and the U.S. The location in the modern heart of the city, sandwiched in between Miramar and Old Havana, allows it to appeal to both business and leisure guests. The views at this property are a major selling point, and at 19 stories it's one Havana's the tallest hotels. There are no outdoor grounds, though as the Hotel Nacional across the street is open to the public, many guests choose to walk over for cocktails in its gardens.
The NH Capri holds its own well against pricier hotels with higher advertised star ratings, including the Nacional and the Melia Habana; it's a reliable choice and a good value. Cuban star ratings are often inflated compared to international standards, but the NH Capri comes pretty close to living up to its advertised 4-star rating.
In Vedado, a block from the Malecon and a five-minute taxi ride to Old Havana
NH Capri La Habana is positioned across the street from the Hotel Nacional and within walking distance of the Malecon, the famed seaside promenade that has earned the nickname "the sofa of the world." It's also a minute's walk from La Rampa, the nickname for Calle 23, home to many popular bars and nightclubs. It's not walking distance to Old Havana, but there are usually taxis out front to transport guests. This neighborhood is called Vedado, and it's in between Old Havana and Miramar, the modern part of the city where many embassies are located.
Three-minute walk to the Malecon
Five-minute drive to Old Havana
Eight-minute drive to La Cabaña, a large 18th-century fortress
15-minute drive to Miramar
30-minute drive to Jose Marti International Airport
Modern rooms with mid-century inspiration; half have sea views
Standard Rooms here aren't up to advertised four-star standards, but they're modern (if a bit chain-like), with tile floors, mint green accent walls, green bedding accents, and light wood furniture, all inspired by the hotels 1950s roots. The bathrooms are also modern, with walk-in showers and rainfall showerheads; only suites also have tubs. There is a bidet sprayer but no full bidet. Amenities include flat-screen TVs with an impressive number of channels in English (Showtime, Discovery, ESPN, CNN, HBO, and VH1), safes, ironing boards, minibars, and coffee/tea makers. Standard Rooms start at 18 square meters (193 square feet) and have two single beds either pushed together or separated; they can fit three people and an extra bed can be provided. Windows open for fresh air.
Though the hotel only reopened in 2013, there is already some wear showing -- the occasional fabric stain, scuff mark, or in the hallways, carpet stains. The carpets help minimize noise but are difficult to clean and maintain in Havana's humid weather.
Floors four, 16, 17, and 18 are Executive Floors, and guests on these get access to an exclusive breakfast buffet in the top-floor Italian restaurant; at a future date they might also have a separate check-in area. Executive Floor guests get their first Wi-Fi card for free.
It's well worth the upgrade to a Junior Suite or Suite. Decor in these rooms impresses; they're some of the only rooms in Havana that can truly be called stylish. Expect cool gray, red, and white color palettes and a modern look; the duplex Suites with downstairs living rooms are popular with both honeymooners and business travelers.
A rooftop pool with panoramic views and a tasty, stylish top-floor Italian restaurant
The highlight of NH Capri La Habana is undoubtedly the rooftop pool. It's small (and much smaller than pools at hotels with grounds, such as the freeform monstrosity at Melia Habana), but for many the sweeping views will more than compensate. The poolside bar here is open until midnight (the pool itself is open until 8 p.m.), and there are stairs down to the Blue Bar, a trendy spot with a color palette to match its name and sunset views that stays open late (usually to around 2 a.m., but the friendly bartender there during our visit, Alan, said he'd stay open as late as guests wanted). The lobby bar is open 24/7, and room service comes from here.
The main buffet restaurant is on the basement level, and the breakfast includes items such as pastries, jams, cheeses, yogurt, and omelets. It has a cafeteria vibe, and also serves lunch and dinner. Guests can book half-board rates. The Italian restaurant on the top floor, La Florentina, has posh, hip decor and great city views. The spacious gym (also on this floor) is one of the most modern in Havana, and has two treadmills, an elliptical, a bike, free weights, a strength machine, and ocean views. Fruit, towels, and water are provided, and it is accessed via room card; there are also a sauna and massage room.
There are meeting rooms on the fourth floor that fit up to 50 guests each. Wi-Fi is available in the rooms, lobby, and at the pool; guests must pay 2 CUC an hour (cards with access codes are provided and don't need to be used up in one session). As is typical for Havana, the Internet can be unreliable and slow.
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