Iberostar Parque Central Hotel
What We Love
- The rooftop pool and its views of some of the city’s most distinctive buildings
- The address adjacent to picturesque Old Town puts Instagram-worthy sights within easy reach
- Live Cuban music in both hotel bars
What To Know
- There’s a fee for WiFi
- The hotel is divided into two sections: colonial (for those seeking atmosphere) and modern (best for updated amenities)
- Only some rooms have balconies
Parque Central tells a winning story of old and new, from its place on the borders of central Havana and Old Town to its look: Spanish colonial architecture, French windows and doors, and an aesthetic that recalls romantic old Cuban films make this enormous property one of the more picturesque in Havana, while a newer, more modern take inside is still quaintly charming. It’s a perfect jumping-off point for exploring Cuba’s capital as a whole, but with many of the offerings guests make excuses for to stay behind to experience—including a Cuban Cigar lounge, live music, and a rooftop pool from which to take it all in.
Guests have their choice between two atmospheric eras. The 427 rooms are divided into two groups: the older, more character-filled colonial rooms have a restrained palette and furniture that calls to mind 1970s James Bond films. Connected via an underground tunnel, the newer, more contemporary rooms feature pops of color and gleaming bathrooms, some with dual sinks. All have double-glazed windows to minimize street noise – a thoughtful touch.
There are two lobby bars, both of which host live Cuban music events – ideal for jet-lagged guests without the energy to venture further afield. There are also three restaurants: a classic steakhouse with candelabra-topped tables, another serving Mediterranean-style fare, and Mirabana, where guests dig in to innovative and classic Cuban dishes and floor-to-ceiling windows look out over the city. The rooftop pool is the biggest draw, particularly during hot Havana afternoons.
Surrounded by plenty of stunning historic buildings and branching avenues, the hotel’s location on verdant Parque Central can’t be beat. It’s only a short stroll to Havana Vieja, the old quarter, and streets that look like old postcards come to life, with classic cars in myriad colors regularly passing by. The Capitol Building and Havana Pier are also within walking distance, as is the legendary Bar Floridita, a Hemingway haunt that dates back to 1817.
How to Get There
The hotel is centrally located to many things in old Havana which is why we picked it - and it had a good rating. Remember - you are in Cuba and this is an extremely poor country. This is not a 5 star hotel like in the U.S. Our room was satisfactory - for Cuba. I would not say that it was nice. Once you walk around and see the extreme poverty, you will be much more appreciative of your accommodations here. The staff was friendly, and we found that the concierge was especially helpful getting us into the very few private/public restaurants that have sprung up over the last few years. DO expect to tip the concierge for his assistance. The cool old cars are parked out front and ready to take you for a ride any time you like. DO go for a ride. These are all fun old cars that are in decent shape. They are privately owned by the well to do- who have drivers drive them for a cut of the profits. Very few Cubans have cars - and the rush hour in Havana is non-existent because of this. Go to the top of the hotel for drinks about rush hour - and you will be shocked by the few cars on the road. The roof top bars are really nice. The one by the pool was our favorite. We went up at night after dinner too. Lovely spot, really. Expect them to have nice cigars that you can purchase and some GREAT aged rum. THE new from the top is spectacular. View the city, and all the way to the water. What you will also see from the hotel rooftop is how Havana - even in the touristy areas- is just painfully impoverished. From our perch on the roof top we could see three families living on top fo some of the other rooftops with shacks and out door areas divided among families. Old hotels were taken over after the revolution and are now home to many families who have spalls places in these old buildings, with limited electricity, and no means to repair their homes and buildings. The internet system is WEIRD. You pay for a card that you scratch a code off of, and you use that card to get onto the wifi. Remember that it is lily that the cuban government is going to get into all of your data. So if you are worried about privacy, or have trade secrets or private client data on your laptop - do take a clean laptop sans data to Cuba. I mailed a few post cards from the lobby mail box - it to THREE MONTHS for recipients to get them ! Oh my goodness ! . I mailed one to myself as well to be able to gauge time for the mail from Cuba. So if your sending an important letter, don't drop it in the lobby mail box. Otherwise, enjoy the humorous amount of time it takes to get a post card ( oh, without a mark on it, by the way , showing your stamp was posted --, and just picture the guys in the email room reading your post card and tossing it in a heap to one day go on its intended way. The lobby reminded me of old lobbies in hotels in Spain like - 30 years ago - in remote areas. It is a central stopping point for venturers. We really liked the location of this hotel We felt safe, and aside from one scary encounter a few blocks from the hotel, we felt very safe. The staff was kind, the room was modest but clean. This was a good home base for Havana. Next time we go, we may try a different hotel, but still look for one with walkability.
Absolutely loved this hotel. It's in a fantastic location and has brilliant air conditioning. I would highly recommend staying here. Gorgeous food and great service all round. Really nice vibe and atmosphere.
My husband, daughter and I stayed at the Parque Central for three nights in late June 2018 before going on to the Royalton Hicacos in Varadero for eleven nights. The Parque Central was a lovely hotel where everything seemed to work so well. It was so hot in Havana and it was such a relief to get back to the hotel and rooftop pool at the end of each day. The buffet was good and the breakfasts very nice. All the tours we had booked worked well. The hotel was very centrally located and the atmosphere was not threatening. Very close to the Museo de la revolucion, the Paseo del Prado and other great places. Would highly recommend. Staff also helpful and money changing on site.
I've visited Cuba many times and stayed at various hotels in Havana. Next to perhaps the newly opened Kempinski (where I haven't stayed), the Iberostar Parque Central is probably the best in Havana. The location is great, very central, the lobby is spacious and lovely, the roof top pool and the views are fantastic. I don't think any other hotel in Havana can match it, in this regard. The Nacional by contrast is impressive but extremely dated, and it's a taxi ride from the old city and most of the sights.
I had a great room at the Iberostar, 401, with a double balcony fronting directly on the square - couldn't have been better. The room was spacious and bright. My complaints were with:
The plumbing, the bath tub if you tried to fill it, it took the best part of an hour if the hot water didn't run out which it did on two occasions. Iberostar doesn't embrace or can't obtain US plumbing (Moen etc.) so you had the typical seemingly either too hot or too cold deal (typical of Euro plumbing) in both the shower and the bath tub.
The bath towels were so thin and worn I couldn't tell the difference between the bath mat and the intended towels. Not sure if this is just an Iberostar/Spanish thing or reflects a supply problem in Cuba, but they were pretty dismal by US standards.
They didn't restock the bar fridge or the coffee pods until I mentioned it to the front desk and then they promptly forgot again.
I had to kill four small cockroaches running around in my room. The maid didn't vacuum because the bodies remained on the carpet.
The room had two US plug outlets (the rest were European), but these were not the most conveniently located.
The breakfast buffet was pretty much the same buffet that you get at all of the major hotels in Havana, i.e. the Nacional and the Melia Cohiba. Service in restaurants was better than most but variable and not stellar.
I would recommend the Parque Central as compared to the other options in Havana, but you have to remember that this is Cuba and the experience will not be on par with what you might expect at an equivalent North American hotel.
Excellent all round. The rooms were spacious and comfortable. There was constant live Cuban music in the lobby creating an awesome vibe. Location was perfect, close to all main attractions and to the old city of Havana