Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski

Havana, Cuba

The hotel

Part of the fabric of hypnotically beautiful Old Havana, this Grande Dame of the city sits among its champagne-coloured buildings and World Heritage sites. Virtually at its feet you’ll find iconic El Floridita, where Hemingway used to hang out – but reach its rooftop and you’re rewarded with city views, with El Capitolio and Central Park two of your closest neighbours. You’ll have infinite opportunities to soak up those city scenes while you’re up there, with an al fresco sitting room, poolside cocktail bar, panoramic restaurant, and urban-chic pool, whose glazed screen separates you from the sky beyond. There’s no mistaking your setting downstairs either – with the elegant rooms’ French windows framing the city, and the light-flooded cigar lounge fringed with eight balconies, so you can gaze out over Central Park as you sip Cuban rum, while the Cigar Sommelier hand-rolls cigars.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Spa
  • Swimming Pool
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Internet Access
  • Close to City Centre
  • Restaurant

Where is it

In the hubbub of Havana’s elegant old city, surrounded by its picture-postcard UNESCO World Heritage sites, this hotel has a direct view of the Capitol and Great Theater of Havana, and overlooks Bar Floridita, where Hemingway used to drink. It’s also 10 minutes’ drive from Castillo del Morro. Transfer time from Havana Airport: 35 minutes.

Hotel information

246 rooms and suites. All with high ceilings, French windows facing the old city or patio, flatscreen TV, WiFi* and tea and coffee-making facilities. Patio Rooms have street or inner courtyard views. Each has 1 king-size or 2 twin beds, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Breakfast option: available at a supplement.

Deluxe Rooms have city views, with 1 king-size bed or twin beds, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Grand Deluxe Rooms have 2 large French windows and city views. Each has 1 king-size bed or twin beds, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Hemingway Junior Suites have a bedroom, a separate living room with 2 large French windows, and views over the patio or old city. It has 1 king-size bed, with 1 extra bed allowed, sleeping maximum 3 adults or 2 adults and 1 child.

Junior Suite Constante is a corner suite overlooking the city, and boasts a separate living area, 3 large French doors/windows, walk-in closet and large bathroom with rain shower, bathtub and 2 sinks. With 1 king-size bed, 1 extra bed allowed, sleeping maximum 3 adults or 2 adults and 1 child.

Patio Suites have courtyard views, large living room with separate dining table, and large bathroom, with 1 king-size bed, 1 extra bed allowed, sleeping maximum 3 adults or 2 adults and 1 child.

Suite Mezzanines are two-level suites, overlooking the old city. Downstairs there's a large sitting area and the bathroom complete with rain shower, and upstairs is the bedroom plus an additional larger bathroom with shower and bathtub, with 1 king-size bed, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Suite Esquina are large corner suites, overlooking the old town. There is a large living room with separate dining table and 3 large French doors/windows, large bathroom with rain shower, Jacuzzi bathtub and 2 sinks. With 1 king-size bed, 1 extra bed allowed, sleeping maximum 3 adults or 2 adults and 1 child.

San Cristobal Panoramic Restaurant (casual menu specialising in Caribbean seafood, rooftop, open for lunch and dinner). Confluencias (casual international menu with buffet breakfasts, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner). El Surtidor Pool Terrace and Bar (cocktail and Hispanic-inspired tapas menu, open for lunch and dinner). El Arsenal Lobby Lounge & Bar (light breakfasts, international cocktails and snacks, and afternoon tea, coffee, and homemade pastries, bar open 24 hours, with dining Thursday-Sunday 10.00am-12.00am). Constante Bar (cocktail and tapas menu). Evocación Tobacco Lounge (cigar lounge, with Cuban rums and famous spirits).

Bella Habana Pool (rooftop swimming pool and sundeck). Spa Albear by Resense* (1,000m2, with sauna, steam room, and treatment experiences*). Fitness centre.

Designer shopping arcade. Concierge service. WiFi*. Classic American car service* (airport transfers and city tours in vintage cars).

2 nights 23 Dec '19-5 Jan '20 and 23 Dec '20-3 Jan '21.

* Denotes local charge

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (444)
  • Very good (112)
  • Average (41)
  • Poor (29)
  • Terrible (37)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Excellent F&B staff at rooftop bar and terrace !

Jan 17, 2020 jpeyco Tokyo, Japan

We very much appreciated the F&B team at the pool terrace and rooftop bar. We were part of a wedding party visiting Havana and wanted to have a nice dinner on the terrace after the chapel wedding. We realized the property was very popular and busy and called to make a booking, and Mr. Andreas made a real effort to accommodate our group for our… Read more
We very much appreciated the F&B team at the pool terrace and rooftop bar. We were part of a wedding party visiting Havana and wanted to have a nice dinner on the terrace after the chapel wedding. We realized the property was very popular and busy and called to make a booking, and Mr. Andreas made a real effort to accommodate our group for our wedding afterparty dinner and drinks. He arranged to have a table ready when we arrived overlooking the old city. Ms. Gretchin also warmly informed us of our booking details and made us feel welcome that day. We had an excellent dinner and found the F&B team to be very sincere and professional, including Ms. Cathryn, Mr. Yesnir, Mr. Ricardo, and through to the bar with Mr. Sandy. The F&B team provided strong menu recommendations and drink suggestions which our wedding party enjoyed very much, including a special dessert request for the wedding party which was very well received. We were also warmly treated at the front by Ms. Elisabelle and Mr. Mauricio, which rounded out an obviously well-run F&B team. The property was nice but it was the service that was exceptional. We are very grateful. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Service levels and food not in line with its high end international client base

Jan 6, 2020 woodside27 Liverpool, United Kingdom

First of all, I completely appreciate that this hotel is based in Cuba where standards of service and hospitality are very different to Europe and the US so I will try to make this review as fair and balanced as possible. The good: the location is excellent and the building itself is stunning. The rooms are large and comfortable, although I was… Read more
First of all, I completely appreciate that this hotel is based in Cuba where standards of service and hospitality are very different to Europe and the US so I will try to make this review as fair and balanced as possible. The good: the location is excellent and the building itself is stunning. The rooms are large and comfortable, although I was surprised there was no bath tub and that I had to request a hairdryer for the room. I would have thought in a hotel of this calibre that a hotel would have already been in the room. The pool area is beautiful and there is a cool vibe around the rooftop pool. The spa is also excellent, as is the gym situated within the spa. I had a massage which was pricey (100 CUC for one hour plus 10 CUC compulsory service charge) but very enjoyable. The spa itself is a hidden gem within the hotel - definitely worth checking out even if you don’t have a treatment. The service, on the whole, is pretty abysmal for the amount of money you pay to stay here. The worst service of all is in the rooftop pool bar. The bar/poolside restaurant on the roof is a hot spot due to its views, so naturally it’s really busy. People are regularly being turned away because there aren’t enough tables, although half the people at those tables are themselves waiting lengthy amounts of time to be served or be brought their bills. If staff were more attentive and tables were allocated per waiter (it seems all very messy the way tables are adorned to diners), then not only would the incumbent diners be served quicker, but those wanting and waiting to dine could also do so. I waited 45 minutes for a bowl of plain white rice...which leads me on to my next point about the food. The breakfast buffet is varied but the pastries are rather hard and there are often flies hovering over the cooked meats and smoked fish. I hardly ate outside of the hotel during my trip, but still suffered with travellers tummy throughout my time in Havana. I would recommend Western travellers avoiding anything raw including fruit or vegetables which cannot be peeled. I appreciate that Cuba is not the world’s best place for an incredible culinary experience, however, a 5 star hotel such as Gran Manzana should consider their client base and understand that the food they have on offer is not even 3 star standard, let alone 5. It is also very pricey for what you get. For example, careful to avoid the meat at all costs, I opted for a vegetarian pasta dish at the poolside rooftop bar. It was 14 CUC and was literally just penne pasta in olive oil with a bit of dried basil sprinkled on the top and you had to put on your own Parmesan. Again, I appreciate culinary standards in Cuba are pretty low but given the stunning views from the rooftop of Gran Manzana and it’s high-end international client base, its kitchens would benefit massively from a menu revamp and better chef. Look at La Guarida - it’s reputation has people waiting weeks just for a reservation. There’s no reason why San Cristobal (Gran Manzana’s “fine dining” panoramic rooftop restaurant) can’t be the same if it had decent kitchen staff. I should note at this stage that the natural fruit juices Gran Manzana are able to whip up in the second floor bar are excellent and the papaya juice in particular is great for anyone suffering with travellers’ tummy. The lady who is the host at breakfast (so sorry, I didn’t catch her name!) is very pleasant and was massively helpful in fetching me some bananas from the kitchen when they were not out on display at the breakfast buffet after I told her of my stomach problems. Back to the service as a whole - one evening I requested an additional towel. After 20 minutes, the towel had still not been brought to be despite the lady from house keeping telling me on the phone that it would be 5 minutes. After an additional 2 calls to house keeping and another 20 minute wait, the towel was eventually brought. The lobby is also quite small and there are often long queues for reception, the concierge and the money exchange. The staff do not apologise for your wait once it’s your turn. Additionally, the Wifi access they give you is limited to 50 hours and also contains both a very long user name as well as a long password, mostly made up of numbers. Every time you lock your phone, it logs you out of the Wifi. Once again, I appreciate Wifi is a relatively new concept in Cuba but I feel the Wifi access the hotel offers is not in keeping with international clients expectations or standards. All in all, this is a hotel which is easy on the eye but it needs to realise it has international customers who are used to better hospitality for the very high prices they are paying to stay here. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Mr. Angelos

Jan 6, 2020 Traveler544963

The hotel that none of the personnel and i mean literally none ever smiles. We checked late night around 22:30 on the 2nd of January. A lady at the reception chewing a gum with monstrous movements of her chin without a single “welcome, smile, maybe happy new year (i ask a lot) checking us in. Try to pay with our credit card she said we do it… Read more
The hotel that none of the personnel and i mean literally none ever smiles. We checked late night around 22:30 on the 2nd of January. A lady at the reception chewing a gum with monstrous movements of her chin without a single “welcome, smile, maybe happy new year (i ask a lot) checking us in. Try to pay with our credit card she said we do it through link next morning cause system no working but we need to pay first night (2 rooms) in cash 1023 euros to let us sleep in 😂. Paid the money (good we had cash) went to sleep. Next day at breakfast no smile no welcome. We order eggs Benedict came after 30’!!! tasting dull. Cleanliness of the hotel is descent though my daughters bed sheet had holes. This continued all 3 days we were guests. The hotel is in a great location but you get the feeling inside are working public employees with no literally no interest to make a client feel like home. Havana is great/ people we met outside the hotel are fantastic and we had great time. Try the restaurant Chef Ivan (its on google maps) just 5 minutes walk from the hotel and pass by to do the reservation on your own as concierge never replied to our request for a reservation. Kempinski its a shame sharing your name with such a service, if you are looking for a descent hotel as rooms and building and location its a good option but forget about the service is not existing. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Cuban Boutique Lifestyle

Jan 6, 2020 JCTRAVELMAN Miami, Florida

While traveling to Cuba you might ask yourself how modern does is actually get. Of course when traveling to Cuba you expect and want to see the classic cars, Cuban cigar rollers in the street, old historic buildings and beautiful beaches. As much as I want the classic and rustic old city vibe I want modern and newer hotel accommodations. The Gran… Read more
While traveling to Cuba you might ask yourself how modern does is actually get. Of course when traveling to Cuba you expect and want to see the classic cars, Cuban cigar rollers in the street, old historic buildings and beautiful beaches. As much as I want the classic and rustic old city vibe I want modern and newer hotel accommodations. The Gran Hotel Manzana is definitely on the top of list for hotels in Cuba. The 5 star luxury property is situated in the heart of the city with modern and lifestyle amenities. It’s gorgeous views from the rooftop pool are spectacular. The breakfast buffet was great with the city views from the grand shutter doors and balconies. Don’t hesitate in spending a bit more to stay here. You will not be disappointed with the hotel, service or views. Stay in this boutique hotel while roaming the classic streets of Cuba. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating 5 star hotel with 0 star service

Jan 6, 2020 hugmee

The hotel is well located , great views from the pool deck , and modern gym. That’s the good Then we come to service standards , in short they simply don’t exist , they are clueless, 6 th floor restaurant is well furnished, but the staff don’t take notes, wrong food comes, quality of food is awful for a 5 star hotel , Avoid , Management you… Read more
The hotel is well located , great views from the pool deck , and modern gym. That’s the good Then we come to service standards , in short they simply don’t exist , they are clueless, 6 th floor restaurant is well furnished, but the staff don’t take notes, wrong food comes, quality of food is awful for a 5 star hotel , Avoid , Management you should remember the Brand your representing Read less