Islazul Caribbean

Islazul Caribbean
3.383.383.383.383.38
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As expected.

, Winnipeg, MB
2017-04-20
Exactly as expected for a cheap Cuban hotel. Food was basic but plentiful, staff was either great or a little indifferent but the location, price and cleanliness were on point. Great for singles or adventurers that do not intend on spending hours in a gorgeous hotel. [Details]
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Certified

Best location

, York, ON
2015-01-12
Best location in the middle of Havana.
Friendly people at the front desk.

And yes, don't expect much, the hotel only 2* ;-) [Details]
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The strong points
Location, people.
The weak points
Breakfast.
Certified

Five-star location for two-star price.

, Outremont, QC
2014-10-25
The best parts of this hotel are its location. You are in the middle of the best part of tourist Havana: 3 blocks from the water, 3 blocks from Old Havana, and 3 blocks from all the 5-star hotels where you can get internet and entertainment. The staff is friendly and willing to accommodate you without a moment's hesitation. [Details]
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The strong points
Location, location, location, and staff.
The weak points
Only 4 rooms have windows. I was lucky enough to have one for half my stay. For breakfast, they sometimes served rotten fruit. If you want a hot shower, 3am is a good bet.
Certified

Good Budget Hotel

, Calgary, AB
2014-04-23
I don't think this hotel would be appropriate for a first timer or even a second timer to Cuba. You have to know the country a little better to appreciate it. I echo the comments from recent reviewers re: lobby small and a bit stuffy due to no aircon or air circulation, rooms clean but small and dark, no view other than the rooms at the front of the hotel facing the Prado, good aircon in the room, comfy beds, basic set breakfast, not much English spoken outside of the hotel staff so it helps to know some Spanish in Havana. If the staff seem testy at times, keep in mind that they work some long hours, often 12 hour shifts. Prices in the bar were as good or better than most places on the Prado. The location is great for exploring Old Havana, with lots of beautifully restored museums and restaurants (paladars), with reasonable prices ($10 to $20 per person for a meal). The paladars were hit and miss but two close ones I liked were #61 Havana Street in old Havana and also the California in Centro on Crespo near San Lazaro. A little further away, also liked Imprinta on Mercaderes near the Buena Vista Social Club off Plaza Vieja. All had nice decor and good food. Keep in mind that the portions will be smaller than Canadian restaurants. A few less calories never hurts anyone, especially on vacation. I arrived at the hotel at about 5 in the morning, after an overnight flight and a 2 hour minibus ride from Varadero. Check in time was noon so I just stacked my bags in the lobby, sat down, ordered a couple of coffees from the barman, and brushed up on my Spanish notes. The Sunwing package didn't include breakfast on the first day but I always carry a few granola bars in my carry-on, just in case. Always order “cafe con leche” , or expresso coffee with foamed milk, in Cuba. It's the best way to drink it. The lady at the front desk found me a room around 8 am (thank you Jusmilla) and I crashed for about 2 hours.
The Prado out front is a beautiful place for an evening stroll but be aware that every Cuban who starts a conversation with you will eventually ask for money. I never hesitated to respond politely to a greeting but just calmly said no to money requests. I figured I was already contributing to their economy through my hotel, meals, purchases of rum and cigars, and museum entry fees. I don't go to Cuba with unlimited funds and my budget doesn't include feeding half of Havana. That's supposed to be Fidel's job. Some of them will ask why you won't give them money. My response in Spanish was to ask them if they wanted to be my friend. When they invariably said yes, I said that friends you have to buy are not real friends. After a few days, the requests started to dry up. I don't mind tipping people for service in Cuba but don't agree with giving people money for nothing simply because they aggressively ask for it. By the way, this is not done anywhere else in Cuba but Havana, in my experience.
In summary, a good budget hotel in a terrific location that gives one time to explore Havana in greater detail than a one day trip. There are some hidden gems – it's a world heritage site for a reason. [Details]
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The strong points
Great location, good security
The weak points
Low cold water pressure made it hard to set water temperature. A couple of showers were cold.
Certified

ISLAZUL CARIBBEAN

, Toront, ON
2014-01-17
I did enjoyed stay at Islazul Caribbean hotel..Front desk was very professional..good location..downtown.I will stay next time at this hotel ..good price.. [Details]
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The strong points
locations
The weak points
water
Certified

Best location for exploring havana!

, Ottawa, ON
2014-01-04
my friends and I had pretty low expectations after reading the reviews, but as soon as the bus pulled up, we were so pumped! The hotel is right on the Prado where all the artists set up daily. It is literally a 2 minute walk to get to Obisbo, the main drag in old Havana, and it therefore borders both old and modern Havana. The front lobby is small with a cute bar that is open 24hrs. My only complaint is that it often gets smoky, but that's just how it goes anywhere that doesn't have regulations on smoking. Our rooms were clean and had air conditioners. The maid staff were really friendly and we kept all of our important documents and money in the room and nothing was ever stolen or ruffled through. Be sure to tip at least 1 CUC daily! In fact tip all service staff in the city. The included breakfast was nice; an omelette, toast, fruit, juice and coffee. the coffee there is delicious! It took me awhile to convince my friend to avoid the all inclusive thing on this trip, and when we found an accessible pool at the hotel across the street, all thoughts of disappointment were gone for her. The Seville, just across the street, has a really nice pool that anyone can use daily for 15 CUC. the best part being that 12 CUC of that goes towards drinks or food, so really the pool is just 3 CUC. it was so great to explore the city all morning, then grab your bathing suit, walk across the street and hang poolside while you listen to the musicians along the Prado!
Just up the Prado across from Park Central is the Park Central Hotel, where you can buy cards to access wifi if you need to.
Things I wish I knew about Havana before going:
1)toilet seats are a rare find. the hotels have them, but nowhere else really. Ladies, prepare to hover.
2)toilet paper and soap is also rare. keep small change on you so you can buy small amounts outside the bathrooms. bring hand sanitizer.
3)exchange your money at the airport or just use the bank machines. the few banks in cuba have ridiculous line ups that last all day. also, the machines will only take credit cards from Canadian banks, and it would not accept my debit card. not a lot of places take credit, so make sure you have cash. also, the bank machines run out of money quickly. go in the morning, and don't get stuck out on a sunday night needing to hit the bank machine, it will likely be empty.
4)there is no consistency in the cost of food at the Paladar's. one place charges 4 CUC, the place next door charges 15 CUC for the same thing. The food is pretty much the same everywhere, so go low. and I hope you like pork, because it's everywhere.
6)learn Spanish. the locals do not speak a lot of English.
7)the beach close to Havana is about 45-60mins away by bus (5 CUC return) or a 10-20 CUC cab ride (way faster though). the beach is nice, but avoid the area around the Tropicoco Hotel, the sand is full of old straws and beer cans and other garbage.
8)Cuba is so different from anywhere down south I've travelled. bring what you need. stuff is hard to find there.
have fun! it's an awesome city!!! [Details]
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The strong points
Location/ Arts/Culture/ Friendly people
The weak points
food is not great/ toilet seats are hard to find outside of hotels
Certified

A bit better than what i expected

, Scarborough, ON
2013-11-27
Our first hotel room was great (room 302)it faced the front and had great views, a working shower(thankfuly with hot water) and the beds were clean and comfy. Unfortunately our last night there we got moved to a different room (room 501) due to something being wrong with our old room (never got told what exactly was wrong with it). The second room unfortunately was not so great. While it still had an amazing view and was clean, the shower had no shower head (it was just a long hose) and there was no hot water which meant we were forced to bathe with ice cold water. The breakfast was simply but still very tasty. It consisted of a plate of fresh fruit along with 2 eggs (your choice of how its cooked), fresh toast with jam and butter, and your choice of fresh fruit juice, tea, coffee or warm milk. The first few nights there the service we got was AMAZING! While some of the staff didn't speak fluent english they were able to accommodate any request we had and were more than willing to help us find our way around the city. Unfortunately our last day there the receptionist was extremely rude, gave us nothing but attitude, was very unprofessional when she started talking about us (and other people in the lobby) to the other employees in spanish (i may not speak spanish fluently, but i understand it perfectly) and was not helpful, or willing to help, with accommodating us with a later checkout since their checkout time is 12pm and our bus driver wouldn't be showing up until almost 4pm. Which then caused us to have to sit in the lobby for almost 4 hours and essentially waste our last day in Havana. With all that said, i would still reccommend this hotel to those who are looking for something cheap and close to downtown Havana, just make sure you don't get room 501 or your showers will be very short and extremely cold!! [Details]
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The strong points
Location, location, location! Great value for the price. Tons of locals and not too many tourists. Close to shops, restaurants and attractions.
The weak points
Some rooms are below standards, some of the staff is not very helpful, and a strong smell of smoke as you walk in since no one goes outside to smoke. Not really a place i'd want my kids to stay.
Certified

Great little hotel

, Ottawa, ON
2013-04-02
Rooms are clean, staff was friendly, and great location. [Details]
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The strong points
Perfect location
The weak points
Internet was down all week
Certified

Great location

, Ottawa, ON
2013-04-02
Great location, friendly staff, and clean rooms [Details]
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The strong points
Location
The weak points
Prado can be noisy.
Certified

Lets be real here

, Sutton West, ON
2013-02-14
I have visited Havana many times. I always know exactly what to expect. The hotel was just basic but clean with ceramics and rough plaster etc.... most rooms have no windows. we had 2 rooms both safes were not working. We did not bother moving. Breakfast was very basic. In Cuba you must always subtract 1 to 2 stars from advertised star rating. I would not bring loved ones or youngsters here. good for single partiers man. Its a bit of a dive, don't expect more you cheapskates!!! ha ha ha.
in case, if you have not been to Havana, or don't travel much, here is a little insight. The Old city is a BEAUTIFUL PLACE to see many unique things building, hotels and churches , fortresses and history, in the Barrio or back areas you can really see Cuban culture and life ....however I seem to relish the negative. Out in the front street (Prado) lies the beautiful stinking polluted City Where the bisneros approach you offering chicka's, cigars, taxis etc. The standard line is "Hello My Friend Where You From ? " The thing to remember is, you never have to worry about violence or muggings because they are a non violent culture whom are very loving to each other and their own families. To these people the tourists are just dumb white spoiled jack-asses undeserving of money and a good life. The term is "Yuma" or sub-human. in some cases they are right, as some tourists may fall in love and hand out large amounts of money and materials thinking they are helping, oblivious to the reality that these people will steal ANYTHING they can at ANYTIME. they are great actors and actresses. remember they work together on all levels even when you are sure prices etc, are legitimate. they all work together some crafty a subtle leading many tourists they can down the garden path. It is funny to see middle class tourists handing a cab driver $20.00 cuc = 500.00 CU. for a 1.00 or 2.00 cuc ride. or a middle age man absolutely certain that his cuban woman really loves him ha ha ha ....THEY ALL SEE YOU COMING AND THEY ALL HAVE A TIGHT NETWORK. (I hope the above may save some hard working newbee's some money) as far as the cuban economy I won't loose any sleep. btw don't ever leave anything on a table or in a cab or even in this hotel lobby. you will probably never ever get it back they all lie together and think you are a joke while smiling and appearing kind. check your pockets don't carry valuables in a bag. also keep in mind, if cubans are seen walking or talking with you, the police will always check them out. one nice thing is that the police seem to really watch tourists, and are trained to severely punish and oppress scamming cuban people. when I get off the bus at the hotel, I dump my bags and then I head into the back area of the stinking polluted, crumbling city and I look around at the apocalyptic zombie structures and creepy cars in the middle of the night, and I yell "WTF am I doing here again" AAaaaaaggghhhh. .....Then again I have the same reaction when I step back off the plane in Toronto. ha ha [Details]
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The strong points
location. nice hotels and sites in area. you can see cuban life.
The weak points
Pollution, mainly from the 1950's Zombie cars, mostly all converted to diesel, other autos. SCAMMERS Bisneros ha ha ha
Certified

Great hotel for the price

, Windsor, ON
2013-02-11
I stayed here for one week and I was able to experience La Habana in a way I never did before. Hotel was nice and clean. Room was small, but I haven't spent much time inside. But it was perfectly fine. I have nothing but good things to say about this hotel. [Details]
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The strong points
Location
The weak points
None - I really thought this hotl was awesome for what I paid for.
Certified

As expected

, Regina, SK
2012-02-24
The hotel is a two star in Cuba-so do not expect luxury.I asked to upgrade to the 201, 301 etc as they have windows- we were told sun wing does not have access to the windowed rooms. We did have air conditioning. It was quite clean as the staff were very hard working. They were friendly and as helpful as they could be. The elevator as others have described it is as big as a large coffin- but it did not break down while we were there.
The restaurant and bar staff were great- the front desk staff for the most part were helpful, but they do tend to drift off to sleep at night so do not expect a wake up call if you require one. The location is great for walking to many interesting sites in Cuba and if you are tired there are always many bicycle or car taxis available. [Details]
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The strong points
location
The weak points
the elevator
Certified

Hotel Caribbean Havana

, Surrey, BC
2011-12-20
My one week package to Havana Cuba was at the Hotel Caribbean on Prado, in Havana. It's approx 3 long blocks from Parque Central (central park). The location is fantastic. It appears to be a medium budget hotel, that had European tourists, as well as the odd Cuban businessman travelling. The rooms were small sized and plain, but clean. Room 408, what i was originally given was too tired in the decor/plumbing dept. Miraculously, Juanita, the maid, asked if I wanted the more sumptuous room 401 and i grabbed it immediately and threw her a few CUC's for the upgrade. It does face the Prado so you get all the noisy traffic/night club noise but after 14 hours a day out and about i crashed when my head hit the pillow. Mind you the large window overlooking the main drag was a great view. You could open it up if you wanted to dry a towel or a shirt. Room 408 had a small window that opened up the the hallway - too noisy and no sunshine.
The room was easily kept cool with the functional wall air conditioner and the TV worked well. There was plenty of hot water early in the week until the hotel filled up and it was zen like cold showers for the last 3 days. The hotel was safe with a door person at all times and an attentive reception desk. The staff had good English and were able to answer my questions and handle my needs. The cafe/restaurant attached to the hotel lobby was popular with guests and locals. The prices were very good/cheap and the meals simple - the spaghetti and pizza were very tasty. My package included breakfast only - a one egg omelette, dinner roll with peach jam, a small fruit plate, juice and coffee. It's not the mountain of food i eat from a Veradaro buffet but it actually was all i really needed. Check out was noon, however my bus for the airport would be a 11pm pick up so i got to keep the room for the extra 12 hours no charge. Classy move.
For what the hotel lacks in elegance, the staff certainly make up the difference. Would I stay here again? Well the Parque Central Hotel would be a nice treat, and i found some apartments on Calle San Rafael for $25 CUC's a night (with kitchen) - i'd stay at the Caribbean hotel if i could get the best room in the house (401/301?) again. I hear other rooms weren't so....."sumptuous".

My front street facing room had a lot of noise from the street traffic. That maybe an issue with some. Hot water issues in the last 2 days. Test the air conditioner as mine was great and made the room comfortable and enjoyable that much more after the Havana heat. Inspect the room before moving in. This hotel had a few ugly ducklings. [Details]
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The strong points
location, location, location
The weak points
too many chullos hanging outside the front door
Certified

Baseball in Cuba

, Ajax, ON
2011-03-10
Great trip. Would stay here again [Details]
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The strong points
Bare minimum. Just what you need. Great location and a bed to sleep. Little cafe was better than expected with great tasting food. There was also a great Paladar (home run restaurant) two doors down. I had a balcony room
The weak points
Only two rooms on the front with a balcony, I could see how this could affect a good review. Traffic noise was bad but I never slept in or was in my room much.
Certified

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