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The 5 Best Hotels In Havana, Cuba

Apr 17, 2008
The biggest seller on Captivating Cuba is, without doubt, holidays to Havana. It's no wonder - not only is it the island's capital, it is also alive with culture, history, nightlife and salsa music! You could spend many months in Havana, and not find every intriguing nook, and exciting cranny.

But whether you wanted to stay in the capital for a weekend or a month, there's one thing you cannot do without: accommodation. Lodgings range across all budgets, but there are some wonderful and atmospheric luxury hotels in Havana if you know where to look. Here are the five best hotels in Havana, Cuba:

The Nacional

One of the most famous hotels in Havana, the Nacional has graced the city's skyline since the 1930s. Located within spacious grounds on the seafront, the Havana hotel's rooms offer stunning views across the sea, and over the cityscape. The ambience isn't quite matched by stays in the hotel itself though, explaining why it's one star short of 5 - the rooms are functional, but not luxurious, the service is sometimes patchy and the food is often disappointingly average. If you can afford it, the Executive Floor is better served - otherwise, the gardens, pool and history more than make up for the slightly disappointing feel of a stay at this Havana hotel.

Saratoga

Deserving each one of its 5 stars, the Saratoga Hotel in Havana boasts breathtaking views of both the port and the skyline, and overlooks other architectural treasures including the majestic opera house. Another one originally built in the 1930s, even in its early days it attracted artists and socialites from around the world. In terms of facilities, to this day it's the paramount in luxury: a magnificent rooftop swimming pool, and splendid rooms - many decorated with tasteful long cushioned window seats ideal for watching street life unfold.

Santa Isabel
Right at the heart of Old Havana, this hotel is the place to be if the old town is to be the focus of your stay. Authentically refurbished from its days as being the palace of Count Santovenia, rooms overlook the Plaza de Armas, the charming colonial square at the centre of the old district, sporting a fountain often filled with tuberoses! Some of the rooms feel a little outdated (squeaky beds and the like) but, if you can afford it, the Santovenia Suite offers a level of luxury that's pretty hard to beat. It's also worth nothing that this Havana hotel's bar offers some of the finest cocktails in the city!

Condes de Villanueva

With only 9 rooms, you'll be lucky to book a room in this charming little family run Havana hotel. With only 8 other sets of guests, you really feel the personal touch: excellent, friendly family service and a sense of history that seems to follow you out the double doors of this converted merchant's house right into the centre of old Havana. Tucked within the former slave's quarters of the building is one of Old Havana's finest cigar shops, making this a solid choice for fans of fine tobacco.

NH Parque Central

Blending the culture and history with modern high standards of service and attention, the 5 Star NH Parque Central hotel is placed within easy reach of Havana's main points of interest. One of the best hotels in Havana (and Cuba!), in terms of comfort and amenities, the NH Parque Central Hotel has it all - huge, comfortable rooms, quality food, an air conditioned lobby and bar/restaurant, and a splendid rooftop pool.

Truth be told, any of these Havana hotels make a fine place to hang your hat, while in Cuba. Whatever your budget and interests, you're never far away from the culture, history and atmosphere of Cuba's unforgettable capital.
About the Author
Emma Lelliott is the general manager of Captivating Cuba, an independent Cuba holiday specialist. Hotels in Havana, Cuba make the perfect base for a tailor made holiday to explore the island, with Captivating Cuba.
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