Hotel Kohly (Av. 49 y 36A, Rpto. Kohly, Playa, tel. 07/204-0240, fax 07/204-1733, comercial [at] kohly [dot] gav [dot] tur [dot] cu, www.gaviota-grupo.com, CUC50 s, CUC65 d) is a 1970s-style property popular with budget tour groups despite its out-of-the-way location. The 136 rooms have tasteful albeit simple furniture. Most have a balcony. Facilities include two modest restaurants, a tour desk, car rental, bar, and 10-pin bowling alley, plus a twice-weekly cabaret.
Nearby, and run jointly with the Hotel Kohly, the Hotel el Bosque (Calle 28A, esq. Av. 47, tel. 07/204-9232, fax 07/204-5637, www.gaviota-grupo.com, CUC45 s, CUC60 d) has 62 modestly furnished rooms with French windows opening to balconies (some rooms only). It has car rental, a laundry, and a tour desk. There’s no restaurant; guests must walk downhill to Club Almendares.
Used principally by package-tour groups, the bargain-priced Hotel Copacabana (1ra Av., e/ 34 y 36, tel. 07/204-1037, fax 07/204-2846, www.hotelescubanacan.com, CUC58 s, CU70 d year-round) is an oceanfront hotel with a Brazilian flavor: an Itapoa steak house, Caipirinha bar and grill, and more. The hotel, including all 168 rooms, was undergoing a total refurbishing at last visit. Facilities include a swimming pool (popular with locals on weekends) and discotheque.
Refurbished in 2008, the beachfront Hotel Comodoro (1ra Av. y Calle 84, tel. 07/204-5551, fax 07/204-2089, www.hotelescubanacan.com, from CUC61 s, CUC76 d standard year-round) has 134 spacious rooms, including 15 suites, with modern furnishings. Some rooms have a balcony. The contemporary lobby lounge opens to four restaurants, several bars, and a meager bathing area. It adjoins a major shopping complex. A shuttle runs to Habana Vieja five times daily.
The Comodoro’s Bungalows Pleamar (CUC61–150 s, CUC76–150 d year-round) are the closest thing to a beach resort in the city. The 320 aesthetically striking, two-story villas (one-, two-, and three-bedroom) are built around two sinuous swimming pools.
Way out west, Hotel y Villas Marina Hemingway (5ta Av. y Calle 248, Santa Fe, tel. 07/204-7628, fax 07/204-4379, comercial [at] comermh [dot] cha [dot] cyt [dot] cu), in the Marina Hemingway complex, offers modestly attractive waterfront suites and villas with terrace, TV and video, safe, and kitchen.
The lonesome Hotel Chateau Miramar (1ra Av., e/ 60 y 62, tel. 07/204-1951, fax 07/204-0224, www.hotelescubanacan.com, CUC95 s, CUC120 d standard, CUC150 s/d junior suite, CUC170 s/d suite), on the shorefront, aims at business clientele. The handsome five-story hotel has 50 nicely furnished rooms (suites have whirlpool tubs), a pool, elegant restaurant, and business center.
Aiming at convention traffic, the Hotel Palco (Av. 146, e/ 11 y 13, tel. 07/204-7235, fax 07/204-7236, info [at] hpalco [dot] gov [dot] cu, from CUC74 s, CUC94 d low season, from CUC91 s, CUC111 d high season) adjoins the Palacio de Convenciones. The 144 rooms and 36 junior suites are spacious and have modern decor in lively colors. Facilities include a business center, elegant restaurant, split-level pool, and small sauna and gym. It sometimes has low-season specials that include car rental.
The Spanish-run Barceló Habana Ciudad (5ta Av. e/ 78 y 80,tel. 809/200-227-2356, www.barcelo.com, CUC114–233) opened in 2010 with 186 rooms and a colorful contemporary decor.
Directly across from the Miramar Trade Center, Hotel Meliá Habana (3ra Av., e/ 76 y 80, tel. 07/206-9406, fax 07/204-8505, www.solmeliacuba.com, CUC225 s/d standard, CUC500 suites), with its huge atrium lobby, is a luxury hotel that aims at a business clientele. The 405 marble-clad rooms and four suites are up to international standards. The executive floor offers more personalized service plus data ports. Facilities include five restaurants, five bars, a cigar lounge, a beautiful swimming pool, plus tennis courts, gym, and business center.
The Spanish-managed Occidental Miramar (5ta Av., e/ 72 y 76, tel. 07/204-3584, fax 07/204-9227, www.occidental-hoteles.com, from CUC100 s, CUC130 d year-round) lives up to its deluxe billing. This beautiful modern property features a mix of neoclassical wrought-iron furniture and hip contemporary pieces in the vast marble-clad lobby. Its 427 cavernous rooms, including eight junior suites, eight suites, and five handicap-accessible rooms, are done up in regal dark blue and gold. Cabarets are held beside a huge swimming pool. It has a beauty salon, squash court, health center, tennis courts, business center, and three restaurants.
Tucked behind the Occidental, the garish Montehabana Aparthotel (tel. 07/206-9595, www.gaviota-grupo.com, CUC80–175 s/d) has pleasantly furnished rooms, studios, and one- to three-bedroom apartments, notwithstanding its tasteless architecture and lack of facilities. At least the atrium lobby is flooded with light, and you have the Occidental Miramar at hand for restaurants and services.
With an exterior of blue-tinted glass, the mammoth and contemporary Hotel Oasis Panorama (Calle 70, esq. 3ra, tel. 07/204-0100, fax 07/204-4969, comercial [at] panorama [dot] co [dot] cu, from CUC90 s, CUC120 d) might be too gauche for some tastes. Still, I like the decor in its 317 rooms, all with Internet modems. The executive rooms and suites get their own top floor restaurant. Other facilities include a piano bar, squash court, Internet room, Italian- and German-themed restaurants, swimming pool and deck, plus top-floor piano bar with live jazz.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition