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Santa Isabeñ Hotel

The development of tourism in the Cuban capital dates from the most important years of the Spanish colonization when ship owners, distinguished traders and travelers of the metropolis made the Cuban capital a customary site to pass by during their trips.

Many of those first hotels as well as other luxury ones that endowed Havana with great splendor during the fifties still keep their glamour and comfort.

Among the oldest hotels, there is Santa Isabel Hotel , in the same core of Old Havana. This place has welcomed celebrities like Pedro Almodóvar, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Willis or the First Lady of Luxembourg. The beautiful mansion belonged to the Jaruco Counts and later to Santovenia Counts. It was built in the first years of the 18th Century and became a hotel in the year 1867 as an initiative of the American Mr. Lay from New Orleans, who bought it; this place was considered the citys most favorite hotel at that time. In 1997, with more than one hundred years and after a great restoration work it reopened its doors with 27 rooms decorated at a colonial style.

Another emblematic and old hotel very close to Santa Isabel is Inglaterra Hotel. It is located in Parque Central and it was inaugurated in 1875 in one of the most elegant buildings of Old Havana declared today Heritage of Humankind because of its cultural value. This hotel was very popular during the 19th Century due to its famous Café known as La Acera del Louvre, a gathering place for those that favored the independence ideas.

The Park View Hotel dates from the first years of the 20th corresponding to those of the Republic times. It was founded in the year 1928 and it was one of the first hotels in Cuba to operate with American capital. It history is linked to the American mafia. It is said that in 1935 the hotel was inspected because one of the most famous criminals in United States in the thirties named Alvin Karpis was accommodated there. The Park View reopened its doors in the year 2002 completely remodeled.

The Ambos Mundos Hotel located on the central corner of Obispo and Mercaderes streets is undoubtedly the hotel that attracts more tourists. This hotel was the place chosen by Ernest Hemingway to stay during his first visit to Cuba at the beginning of the thirties. There, in a room of the fifth floor, that today is kept just in the way he left it; he began to write For Whom Does the Bell Toll? and other short stories. He said that this place was a good place to write. The writer liked the service of this place and he always praised this as well as the beautiful view he had from his window, very well positioned. He saw the Cathedral, Casablanca and the port of Havana.

The hotel was built in 1923. It is distinguished by its discreet eclectic architecture of its façade and among its attractions, there is the beautiful Roof Garden, located on the hotels last floor with a delicious grill and one of the best vies of the Old Havana.

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