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The Hotels of Havana

The best places to stay in Cuba’s capital city
Gordon Mott
From the Print Edition:
Havana—The Insider's Guide, November/December 2011

(continued from page 4)

This hotel could easily be one of the top five in our rankings. It is a bright and spacious hotel, on a beautiful tree-lined square, the Plaza de Armas, one of the prettiest squares in the city. It faces the wonderful Museum of the City of Havana, and is diagonal from the Castillo de la Real Fuerza.

The rooms are big, with high ceilings, and 10 standard rooms on the top floor share the hotel’s top floor terrace with views to the east. It is ranked among the country’s five-star establishments, but we found it just a little starker compared to several other top hotels. However, this hotel will make you feel like you are in Havana, and its location on the edge of Old Havana makes it easy to get in and out.

Hotel Telégrafo
Prado 408, esquina Neptuno, La Habana Vieja
Tel: (537) 861-1010

This is one of Habaguanex hotels in Old Havana that is virtually indistinguishable from the others. But each has something unique, either in location or décor. The Telégrafo is near the Parque Central on Prado. It has a great atrium bar with  exposed-brick walls and large palm trees, and a circular staircase heading up to the room floors. There are 63 rooms. The décor is standard Habaguanex with simple furnishings and brightly colored walls, and a modern bathroom.

Hotel Raquel
Calle Amargura 103, esquina San Ignacio
La Habana Vieja
Tel: (537) 860-8280

The history of this hotel includes references to Cuba’s Jewish traditions, including a stone engraving of the Star of David in the reception area. Art Nouveau décor sets this hotel apart from the other Old Havana establishments, and as you enter, you get a true feeling of a turn-of-the-century grandeur. There are 25 rooms, with amenities including wireless Internet in the lobby, room safes and satellite TV service.

Hotel Park View
Calle Colón, esquina Morro
La Habana Vieja
Tel: (537) 861-3293

This is a value hotel. I mention this hotel because it is clean and simple, and well-situated. If you are truly on a budget, the approximately $60-a-night rooms can’t be beat. It’s near the Fine Arts museum and the Museum of the Revolution, and it’s just steps from the Paseo de Prado. There are 55 rooms, and they have all the usual amenities of the other Habaguanex hotels in Old Havana. But it doesn’t have the charm or location of some of the other hotels, just a great price for a simple room.

miramar/vedado hotels
These hotels are west of the city along the ocean front, or in the Miramar section and Vedado, which lies between Miramar and Old Havana.

Hotel Comodoro
Av. 3 y Calle 84, Playa, Ciudad de La Habana
Tel: (537) 204-5551

This hotel is undergoing some renovation. Good thing—it is a bit faded around the edges. But this remains one of the most interesting hotels in Havana because of its winding pool area and the bungalows that line the meandering pool. The rooms are Spartan but comfortable, and for anyone who frequented Havana in the mid-1990s, there will be a lot of fond memories.

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