Sensual and sultry communist Caribbean capital, home to captivating, crumbling architecture, and enlivened by dance, music, avant-garde art and cocktails. Impossible to describe, there’s nowhere else quite like it.
Recommended place to stay:
Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana
Official star rating:
Havana’s first five-star hotel is still its best: oozing class, and in a perfect position on the edge of the historic old city. Rooms are light and bright and comfortably cooled by air con; the rooftop infinity pool is a balm with its extraordinary views of the baroque facades of grand buildings; and the breakfast spread is the most sumptuous in the city.
It’s a one-minute stroll to the heart of the old town; the Ladies in Red Kempinski concierge reserves top restaurants for dinner; and tutti-frutti coloured classic American cars wait outside to whisk you off to other parts of town.
The Kempinski is perfect for those who like luxury and want to be at the heart of things.
The Kempinski faces a cobbled square which is closed to traffic save taxis arriving at the hotel. The surrounding historic Old Havana streets are busy by day but fairly quiet at night as the attractions it surrounds are open by day but the main clusters of restaurants and bars for nightlife are found much deeper into Old Havana.
The hotel is opposite the Museum of Fine Arts (Universal Section) as well as Ernest Hemingway’s favourite bar, El Floridita. It’s a short walk to all the attractions of Old Havana, as well as Central Park with the Alicia Alonso Theater and the Capitol Building. Behind it is the gorgeous art deco Bacardí building. Taxis are available very close to the entrance.
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