As part of my quest to test the variety of hotels in Havana during the pandemic, I decided to spend two nights at the Hotel Memories Miramar Havana in East Havana only minutes from the beach.
This review was made in the spring of 2021, and so some of the details may have changed as Cuba has reopened its society.
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Lavish Weekend At Memories Miramar In Havana
The Memories Miramar hotel is situated on the east side of Havana, in the Miramar area which is a high-end and luxurious residential area of the city.
The bustling ambiance and beautiful sights of Havana that you will want to enjoy are only a short taxi drive away, while your residence is calm and quiet.
The garden and pools look gorgeously blue and delicate at first sight.
Coronavirus Safety At Memories Miramar
When arriving at the reception area of the Memories Miramar Havana, the staff is super welcoming and helpful.
All the precautions for health and covid measures are in place, from the nurse checking the temperature to the availability of disinfectant in public areas.
Memories Miramar offers stays with bed and breakfast or half-board but does not have an all-inclusive option.
Most hotels in the Havana area do not offer all-inclusive, as most guests in Havana do not want to stay in to eat when there is a buzzing city outside!
I booked a half-board two-night stay, which includes two breakfasts and two dinners. The room I booked is also a deluxe version and is equipped with a large bathtub that I am seriously looking forward to enjoying.
Included in the booking is a two-hour wifi pass for each booked day. For first-time travelers to Cuba, you should be aware that the internet and wifi are not readily available everywhere.
It is also often slow, time-restricted, sometimes totally absent, and always restricted by international sanctions. The most important buzzword I have for you here is VPN!
Also read: Wifi In Cuba 2022 | All You Need To Know!
Miramar Havana Deluxe Room With Ocean View
The room is spacious, bright, and has a separate lounge area in addition to a large bathroom and a gorgeous view of the sea in the distance.
The bathroom also provided the jacuzzi-style hot tub that I love!
The hotel offers rooms in the range from standard room up to senior suite quality, ranging in price from $160 to $237 per night for half-board in August 2021.
Dodging the disappointment of the not-available turquoise pools, I head downstairs to the bar for a drink outside instead. At least I can enjoy the airy space and the view under the palms!
Pool bar and 24-hour service
On the second attempt to order, the bartenders were able to provide me with a chilled glass of white wine, as the first order got mixed up and I ended up with chilled baileys (!) instead!
The hotel has a pool bar outside as well, in addition to the inside 24 hours serviced bar.
In general, the hotel crew was all very accommodating throughout the stay. Everyone made an effort to make up for the fact that many things were not available in Cuba at the moment of my stay there.
The kitchen staff was still able to provide us with delicious sandwiches of the day, containing whatever was available at that moment.
Also, we discovered that the hotel has a clever kitchen garden outside, providing fresh salads for the hotel guests.
One thing that you need to know is that the bar does not accept cash as payment, which is unusual in a country where more than 90% of the transactions are done in “effectivos”, or cash.
Surprisingly you can not put the check on your room in order to pay everything upon check-out.
Although probably not a problem for most people, lots of little transactions might make your bar visit more expensive than planned depending on your credit card costs – so be aware!
Cuban Hotel Breakfast
Lurking into the breakfast restaurant fifteen minutes to ten in the morning after a long evening on the patio, it is a pleasure to see that tasty warm toast is still on the table.
The Memories Miramar Hotel is able to serve a large and delicious traditional Cuban breakfast to your table (covid-rules). Eggs, ham, cheese, toast, and fruits along with my morning drug – steaming hot black coffee.
After breakfast, you can take the rest of your coffee outside to enjoy in the airy shade before you start your day.
The Miramar beach is located an easy five minutes walk from the hotel. As most beaches are currently covid-closed to the public, unfortunately, the nearest I got was the view from my room on the 5th floor right now.
Under normal circumstances, the hotel is an excellent starting point for a beach day minutes away in your slippers.
Memories Miramar Hotel Gym
The Memories Miramar Hotel normally has a well-equipped gym and a spa for guests to enjoy. As long as the pandemic rages, the facilities are unfortunately closed.
One activity that is still available though, is tennis! There are several tennis courts for you to enjoy, and the hotel can provide an instructor if you are new to tennis and need some guidance.
In the hotel lobby, there is also a shopping zone where you can find a selection of clothes, sporting and water outfits, hygiene and beauty articles as well as tourist items.
Miramar Havana Hotel Restaurants
Ending the day in the hotel restaurant with a three-course meal was also convenient and tasty.
Memories Miramar has a sports bar called route 66 open from 11 am to 11 pm serving drinks and light meals. Also, the restaurant El Patio serves a buffet lunch in the daytime and a la carte dinner in the evening.
There were no a la carte options or choices for the included evening meal during my stay, which may be an inconvenience for some people. I was served a set three-course meal both nights and was satisfied with the variety and quality of the meals.
If you have any allergies, be sure to tell the front desk beforehand as there currently is no choice when you are seated at the restaurant in the evening in this pandemic day and age.
After the meal, you can step out onto the patio and stay for as long as you like in the outside bar zone. This area is open 24/7 (and it is ok to bring your own music too – like most Cubans do with their portable bocinas).
Just make sure you are able to get up before check-out time!
Wrap-Up Hotel Review Of Memories Miramar 2021
- Service: Under the covid circumstances the service provided was very good.
Staff did their best to make the stay pleasant within the current pandemic rules and shortages. The bar that is open 24/7 is also very convenient.
- Information: Not good enough.
Guests need to know beforehand from web pages or warning upon booking if services are closed or unavailable during the stay.
- Price: Ok.
I paid $169 per night for a Deluxe Double Room half-board in May 2021 which I think is a good overall value under normal circumstances.
- Convenience: Not good enough.
It was not possible to purchase drinks or meals to your room number and pay at the end of your stay. Each purchase needed to be paid separately in the bar, with your credit card.
Also, wifi is limited to two hours per day per guest. It is not possible to buy extra wifi time at the hotel, and it is not possible to use normal wifi cards purchased from the Cuban provider Etecsa. Some hotels have wifi included, or limitless access to buying wifi cards.
- Ambiance: Beautiful!
The hotel lobby area, restaurant & bar, and the outside space are gorgeous. I would love to spend poolside time here when things are as normal!
- Conclusion: Although the hotel is beautiful and I enjoyed the stay, I do not think it quite lives up to the standards it should. The closed facilities, limited services, and selections available make the stay feel overpriced under the current circumstances.
Extra credits for 24-hour service, and helpful and service-minded staff!
Do you have any questions about Cuba? Leave a comment, or send me an e-mail! Happy to help!