The trade and travel bans which have prevented Havana keeping proper pace with the rest of the world might almost be considered a gift to travellers. Because this city is magical. From the old American cars to the bright colours the graceful old houses are painted, to Che Guevara - who looks back at you from numerous walls, murals and chests, to the crumbling sea wall and the constant rhythm in the air. For many people the best places to stay in Havana will be in Old Havana, where rows of mansions around graceful plazas have been converted into small hotels. But if you’re looking for something quieter then our Guru’s list of the best places to stay in Havana has something for you too.
Pirates, revolutionaries, Hemingway, salsa: Havana’s history is so rich with fascinating stories that you could spend your whole visit unravelling the past and entirely miss this city’s indefatigable charms. Which would be a mistake, because although the paint is peeling in many places, the sea wall looks like it could crumble at the next big wave and much of the city smells slightly of diesel fumes from all the old bangers kept, miraculously, on the road, there’s plenty of life in this city.
There are so many places to start exploring.
Havana’s central handicrafts market, the Centro Cultural Antiguos Almacenes de Deposito San Jose is definitely worth adding to your itinerary, as is the Museum of the Revolution, housed in the former Presidential Palace and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes - art museum.
If you’re at all interested in religious architecture or cemeteries, then the Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón with its eerie and elaborate memorials is also worth a stroll through. And then there are Havana’s museums - pf course there’s a Hemingway museum, but there’s also a Napoleon museum. Havana is just full of treasures.
If you want to make sure you get a reservation in one of the best places to stay in Havana, plan well ahead....this island is becoming one of THE places to go!
Havana (esquina a Dragones,)
The most iconic hotel on the island. Typical Cuban style with its classical facade and heightened grandeur, blended with contemporary design for chic effect. Roof top pool with unrivalled views over Havana, lobster restaurant and Cuban cocktail bar, and spa services. Romance, heritage, and style.
A stunning colonial mansion set in a privileged location on a plaza. Sweeping marble staircases, classical facades, balconies, and a charming Spanish courtyard. Romantic bedrooms and suites have antique furniture, stunning city scapes from the rooftop, and an excellent restaurant.
A colonial 18th century building with stature, previously an aristocratic residence. A classical facade with contemporary interiors. Rooms and suites are simple, some have hot tubs and DVD players. Stunning views over the city from the rooftop terrace. Well positioned in the Old Town, good value.
A bastion of the former days of Cuban sophistication this hotel is awash with old school glamour. Classy, spacious bedrooms are decorated in antique furnishing and dark woods. There is an impressive museum and sitting room. Lovely gardens overlook Malecón sea front.