Hotel Santa Isabel
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.
The Hotel Saratoga is located on the edge of the 'Old Havana' district, the historic heart of the city, opposite the Capitol Building and Fraternity Park.
Rebuilt on the site of the old Saratoga, which was one of the city's famous hotels in first half of the 20th century, the new hotel is of neoclassical style.
Most of the rooms have large French windows and ironwork balconies. From the rooftop swimming pool, bar and gym there are great views across the city towards the Bay of Havana and the Caribbean Sea. There are two further bars, offering a selection of Cuban cocktails and cigars, and the restaurant serves Cuban and international cuisine.
Other facilities include a massage room, 24-hour room service and a concierge. Many of the city's top sights are within walking distance, including the Partagás Cigar Factory just a couple of hundred metres away.
Why We Love It
The Anacaona Restaurant is named after the famous female salsa band that used to play at the Saratoga in the 1930's.
Iberostar Parque Central
The Iberostar Parque Central, built in tune with its surroundings in the heart of the old quarter, combines the elegance of Spanish colonial style with modern services and facilities - not necessarily a given in Havana.
The 278 comfortable rooms have an elegant ambiance, and we recommend the Superior rooms, which are bigger, have a sitting area and a better view. There is a large Greek-style swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, snack bar and gym on the top floor of the hotel with splendid views across Havana. The hotel has an á-la-carte as well as a gourmet restaurant, an open lounge lobby bar, and a small shopping arcade.
The hotel is located - appropriately enough - on Parque Central, near the Capitol and theater Garcia Lorca, famous for its excellent ballet. Within walking distance are the cathedral of Havana, the Plaza de Armas, shops, museums and much more.
Why We Love It
Best of all is one of the rooms overlooking the park, most of which have balconies.
La Reserve Vedado Havana
La Reserve Vedado Havana is a charming, beautifully-restored colonial house located just on the outskirts of bustling Havana on a residential street. The vibrant experience of Cuba's capital is clearly reflected in the art and design within its walls, and its privacy and character will make you feel right at home; like you're one of the locals.
This boutique house offers a selection of nine luxury rooms and suites. The property proudly displays a selection of work by contemporary Cuban artists plus, with graphically tiled floors throughout the house and a balance of minimalist design with antique furniture, each room has its own identity. All rooms feature air-conditioning, bathrooms, flat-screen TVs and some units even have their own balcony.
There is a continental breakfast available every morning at the hotel, and although there isn't an in-house restaurant for the evening you are within close walking distance from a handful of fantastic eateries. Once you have finished your activities for the day and want to relax, head to the tropical outdoor seating area and bar where you can eat, drink and unwind.
Located in the cosmopolitan Vedado district, you are truly in the heart of the action, giving you chance to also explore Havana on foot. Venture out a little further on your walk, or take a short drive out of Old Havana, and you'll find Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta and La Bodeguita del Medio.
Why We Love It
The house is perfect for guests that interested in all of the attractions, local food and sandy beaches, but who are after privacy and an intimate feel to make a home away from home.