The Hotel Santa Isabel has perhaps the best location in the old city. On the Plaza de las Armas, the second-floor rooms have French doors and stained glass windows that lead out to balconies over the square, giving views of the locals, the tourists, and the bookseller stalls that line the plaza every day. Just a few blocks from the Museo de la Revoluccion, the cathedral, and the main tourist drag of Obispo, it's right in the heart of the old city. Converted from an 18th-century mansion into a hotel, its elegant courtyard and 20-foot-ceilinged rooms exude the luxury of former centuries.
However, its dim lighting and electricity, the fairly hot water, and the 1950s mattress feel just plain old, and none too luxurious. The lack of carpeting throughout means you're likely to hear the occasional bang or shout. And oh yeah, the dogs barking in the Plaza are charming, but not at 2:00 am.
So it depends what you want: if you need bright lighting, a gym, and the usual American amenities, the new Sheraton out in Miramar may be your best bet, even though it's like staying in Queens. But if you want the Times Square experience (at about a Times Square price), try the Santa Isabel. More
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