A new hotel nowhere near ready to accept paying visitors
Avaliou em 21 de Março de 2020
This Hotel is otherwise known as Monte Hermoso, and is in San Francisco Square in Havana. I recently stayed for 4 nights on a bed and breakfast basis, departing on the morning of Tuesday 10th March. There’s a real paradox here, because the rooms are of a high standard; very clean, newly decorated and spacious. However, the management and staff are completely inept, devious and unhelpful. I’ve listed my particular gripes below:
Taxi drivers, local tourist information centre staff, and in fact everyone I spoke to whilst in Havana did not know that the hotel existed. This was made more confusing because the hotel address on the company website is incorrect, exacerbated by the hotel effectively being known under two different names (but still people knew neither of them!).
The Taxi driver who transported me from the airport could not find the hotel. It took 1hr to find it after he eventually rang the number I had for the hotel (which was not even for the hotel, but for a sister hotel in Havana), and after much confusion I arrived to find generally disinterested staff.
Furthermore, I sent a package of non-contraband items to the hotel ahead of my holiday, which did not arrive. This was because like everyone else, the Cuban postal service did not know of the hotel or its location.
Cuban Wifi is challenging at the best of times, but occasionally connecting in the hotel to check out places to visit, etc, was important to me. The hotel WiFi did not work at all during my 4 night stay. It was suggested that I go to the sister hotel to use their WiFi. This made planning activities from day to day extremely difficult.
The breakfast was appallingly bad for a 4-5 star hotel. Cereals were stale (I had to ask for these as they weren’t routinely brought out), fresh fruit - such as pineapple - had been plated and left out in the open for some time after being cut, and was warm, crusty and dry. There were no tomatoes, sausage, chorizo, hot cakes, butter or French toast most days. Bread was stale (but quickly microwaved warm to try and hide this), and even when I ordered pointing at Spanish words on the menu, the wrong items were brought. Coffee was made haphazardly, with coffee grains floating in the cup. It was so bad it became a little funny – a proper Faulty Towers experience, with waiters repeating orders, but then bringing completely random items. Some stale pancakes topped with really unpleasant chocolate syrup and soggy cold carrots (yes, carrots) was a particular highlight, when I’d kept it simple and asked for French toast.
Not having Wifi access, I made the mistake of asking for a restaurant recommendation on the first evening. It was the only time anyone took an interest in me and I was literally marched to one nearly by a staff member, who got a kick-back for her trouble. It was rhe worst meal I had during my 4 night stay.
The minibar ripped me off to the tune of 10 CUC for 2 small sachets of nuts, which I believed to be complimentary. These items were not listed properly on the minibar tariff. I ate evening meals that were less than 10 CUC in Havana.
All in all, for the amount I paid and considering the hotel's proclaimed rating, I expected a significantly more professional and supportive experience. The staff clearly had little training. I did make a written complaint requesting a small refund to the hotel management, which has been ignored. With some effort, good management, training and a focus on customer satisfaction it could have been very positive given the location and standard of renovation and room quality. I felt completely second class and treated like an idiot by hotel staff.
One to avoid until they get their act together.
A new decent hotel in a very good location but needs improvement
Avaliou em 11 de Março de 2020
Glad to be the first person reviewing this hotel in Tripadvisor!! I was told this hotel opened in early 2020. It is very new, clean with nice deco, room is spacious and well serviced. So new that most taxi drivers don't know this hotel, so you have to ask for Plaza de San Francisco or San Francisco terminal. The hotel is just located there opposite the terminal and one block to the right of the church.
Location is excellent at the Old Quarter, few mins walk to Plaza Vieja, 10 mins to Plaza de la Catedral where you may spend many hours of street hovering. Yet it is only 30 min to La Capitolio if you don't spend too much time in the shops and restaurants. A couple of excellent restaurants just at the back of the hotel.
It has a bar/restaurant but don't expect too much from it. Breakfast can be very slow when busy. Last time it had about 15 guests at breakfast and took them 45 min to serve an omelette!!
Have to mention the cigar shop: I reckon (and confirmed by a separate local tour guide) that the cigar shop at the lobby has the best price in town. I bought some from a local supermarket and turned out 20% more expensive than this shop. The manager in this shop is very knowledgeable!