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Hotel Santa Isabel, the magnificent former mansion of the Counts of Santovenia, was opened in 1867, and soon became the favourite haunt of ship owners and artists alike.
Since it reopened in the late 1990's, there is still a distinctive colonial style. The mansion consists of spacious rooms decorated in old 19th century style, and from the terrace you can enjoy a wonderful view of Havana Bay and much of the old town. Condado restaurant serves up local specialities in elegant surroundings, while there is a less formal atmosphere in the shady Spanish-styled courtyard which adjoins the lobby, where guests can enjoy a fine cocktail or quiet read at one of the tables surrounding the central fountain.
Why we love it
In 1830, the incumbent Count arranged for a hot-air balloon carrying a flower-decked basket to be launched off the roof terrace in honour of princess María Isabel Luisa, hence the hotel name.