The Porto Santo hotel is located at one end of the Baracoa Bay, only 3 km (1.8 miles) away from the city, with excellent views on the Bay and the city, and a small beach in the vicinity of which a replica of the famous “Cruz de Parra” (The Grapevine Cross) can be found at the same place where it was planted by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
Ernest Hemingway had many reasons when he said that the Hotel Ambos Mundos is a good place for writing. It was here that he finished his book “Death in the Afternoon” (1932), and started his novels “New Green Hills of Africa” (1935) and “To have and have not” (1937). The room No. 511, where the Nobel Prize in Literature stayed during the thirties of the past century, is nowadays a small museum treasuring several of his belongings.
Palacio O’Farrill hotel at its origins happened to be the residence of Don José Ricardo O’Farrill and O’Daly, was a rich trader who came from the County of Longford, in Ireland, and arrived in Havana in 1715. He became the owner of several sugarcane mills, was linked to the slave trade and founded one of the wealthiest families of the country’s colonial era.
Armadores de Santander occupies three buildings from different epochs and styles, which have been submitted to a rehabilitation process for adapting them to their new function. Nowadays recognized by their facades showing different colors, these three edifices together form the hotel, where the distinctive seals and the original elements have been respected, such as the Carrara marble stairs, the central cupola with its paintings, several walls in the rooms and the interior columns at the bar and the lobby.
History and modernity merge into this building who was the property of Don Sebastian de Peñalver to the end of the eighteenth century and, early at the following century, it passed onto the IV Marquis of San Felipe y Santiago successors.
Histories of illustrious families, like the ones of the Counts of San Ignacio and Casa More, and of opulent businessmen surround the building nowadays occupied by the Hotel Florida, founded in 1885. Adapted to the likings of the American and European markets, this became one of the Cuban capital most renowned hotel. The building sheltered a hotel until 1952, and during the thirties it was also the site of the Club Británico de La Habana.
The Hotel Marqués de Prado Ameno has reborn in the midst of arcades and stone columns, with the spirit of the old years and the elegance of a place distinguished by the explosion of color. Fragments of its mural paintings from different epochs adorn the walls of galleries and rooms, while pieces collected from archeological excavations comprise the hotel’s decoration.
The Hotel Terral is the first hotel from the Compañía Habaguanex S.A located at the Malecón, the famous Havana’s coast-line avenue. In front of the so-called “city’s porch”, the installation owes its name to its privileged location, which facilitates the building receiving the nocturnal air currents blowing from land, in Spanish called “terral”.
The hostel occupies the house at the corner of the Oficios and Obrapia Streets, a residence built in the seventeenth century, exhibiting features of Arab influence in its architecture. The ancient house’s owner was Baltasar Sotolongo y González-Carvajal, who served as Havana’s alcalde ordinario (regular major) in 1781, and in December, 1803 at the time of his death, was Regidor del Ayuntamiento (Alderman of the city Council).
With an architecture resembling the city’s most ancient Hispanic-Mudejar houses, the hotel occupies a residence built in the eighteenth century, and belonging in the nineteenth, to the family of Don Pedro Regalado Pedroso y Zayas, Commander of the Order of Isabel la Católica.
Illustrious personalities visiting the city were guests at the house nowadays occupied by the Hotel Beltrán de Santa Cruz. At this elegant eighteenth century mansion stayed the German Baron Alejandro de Humboldt, the eminent scientist who has been considered as Cuba’s Second Discoverer, as well as three French princes: the Count of Beaujolais and the Dukes of Montpensier and Orleáns; the latter having become afterwards the King of France, Luis Felipe I.
The Hotel San Miguel, located close to the Havana Bay, stands in a building acquired and modified around 1923 by Mr. Antonio San Miguel and Segalá, a cultural promoter and distinguished writer, who had been the Director of the La Lucha, a Havana’s newspaper of great importance during the 1895 Independence War.
Sobriety and intimacy distinguish the ambience of this hotel located at the place that used to be the mansion of Claudio Martínez de Pinillos, Count of Villanueva, a famous personality of the nineteenth century, who had great influence in the social and economic flowering of the Island.