Old Havana has more than 20 hotels in a relatively small territory. You will find lodging facilities of different categories and styles, but all of them, no matter whether they are tall buildings or small inns resembling ancient Spanish taverns, all of them have their own singularity that identifies them with the unique and special place they are located in.
Most of the hotels of the historical core of Havana are pretty different from those of the rest of the city. They are generally smaller and provide the visitor with a cozier environment. A distinctive characteristic is the fact that most of the buildings used as lodging facilities are jewels of Havana 's or Cuban architecture. Traditionalism is also a distinctive feature of these lodging facilities of several kinds, among which we can encounter hotels as such, or inns, a more reduced and more traditional variant. Among these, you will find the Hostal Los Frailes, where the personnel wears traditional friar garments; and the Hostal Valencia, famous for its prize-winning paella in prestigious paella contests, even in the very Spanish city of Valencia .
Reputation precedes most of these hotels and inns which are identified for their renowned character. For instance, the Santa Isabel Hotel used to be the luxury residence of the Count of Santovenia since the second half of the 17 th century. It continued to be so until it became the oldest hotel of the city in 1867. It has been recently restored and it has lodged illustrious guests such as the famous Hollywood actor Jack Nicholson, in 2000, and the American ex-president James Carter in 2002.
Another example is the Ambos Mundos Hotel, famous since the 1930’s for having lodged in its room 511 the American novelist and correspondent Ernest Hemingway. There, he wrote part of his novel “For Whom the Bells Toll”. Nowadays, the room, which is considered the best of the hotel owing to its magnificent view over the Obispo Street , is open to the public as a museum.
Take our advice: do not choose at random. In the varied offer of lodging facilities in the historical core of Old Havana, you will surely find the space you have been seeking for to stay for some time in this dreamlike corner of the world that will take you to other time in the history and culture of this city.