The Melia Habana is an impressive five-star hotel overlooking the sea in the upper-class neighbourhood of Miramar, Havana which is just a short taxi ride away from Old Havana.
We arrived in Cuba with an open mind knowing that five-star is not remotely like the five star the rest of the world uses as a benchmark. But Melia Habana truly exceeded our expectations. Placed in another country perhaps it wouldn’t hold this rating but we couldn’t fault our stay.
Our main motivation for booking a hotel outside of Old Havana was to allow us the opportunity to escape to the sanctuary of our hotel if the city chaos and heat got too overwhelming. But the final deciding factor on choosing this property over the multitude of others was they offered a free and direct shuttle throughout the day to Old Havana, giving us one less thing to worry about and budget for.
Melia Habana Overview
The Melia Habana had everything to make our stay enjoyable, on arrival we were greeted by a massive lobby with a flowing stream and palm trees. On checking into our room it didn’t disappoint either, the room and bathroom were both unbelievably spacious, light and spotless but the true delight was that we had a sea facing view and could open the patio doors to let in the breeze and watch the sunset from the comfort of our bed, which just happened to be super comfy.
The hotel looks like it is set in a tropical forest overlooking the sea. Snaking its way around the property and between the palm trees is the hotel’s magnificent pool, complete with swim-up bar.
Another huge perk is they offer free, fast and reliable wifi and internet, that extends throughout the hotel. After staying in the Melia Habana we moved to their beach resort in Varadero where the wifi was almost non-existent. So having free, fast and reliable internet in a Cuban hotel is actually a rather big deal.
Exchanging currency, booking day tours and the city shuttle bus was all a simple and seamless process handled by the friendly staff at the reception and concierge desk.
Food & Drinks
We had been forewarned that the food in Cuba was nothing to rave about. We went in with our expectations lowered and once again this hotel managed to exceed them.
Melia Habana has a range of a la carte restaurants, a cigar lounge, two pool cocktail and snack bars, a 24-hour café and room service to ensure you never go hungry. As well as their main buffet breakfast restaurant that overlooks the tropical gardens and pool.
On our first night after a slightly delayed flight and a long bus journey to get into Havana we arrived ravenous. And promptly went to La Scala, the hotels Italian à la carte restaurant, for an early dinner. They gave us a complimentary bread basket with a cheesy dipping sauce that left us wondering how we could sneak some home it was so delicious. For mains I had handmade linguine with pesto and husband had a four cheese pizza which was the true dish of the day and tasted as good as anything we have had in Toronto.
Come breakfast time I am easy to please, simply serve Nutella (or at the very least chocolate sauce) with pancakes or crepes and you have won me over. To my true delight, they had Nutella crepes! But they also had a make your own grilled cheese sandwich station. So I quite happily sustained myself on grilled cheeses and crepes for 3 days, and couldn’t have been happier.
Otherwise, they had all the usual buffet breakfast offerings, which honestly consisted of more variety than we expected. From fruit platters, yoghurt, cheese, cold meats and salmon to an array of breads, omelette station and a few pastries. Some of the dishes were a miss and lacked seasoning whilst others were just as good as you would get at any resort buffet.
Book This Hotel If…
You are looking for all your creature comforts from home and a place to escape from the bustle of Havana. I love the convenience and comfort of knowing that there is always someone helpful there to ask where to go, what to do, where to eat.