Cuba Hotels

Written by Abby Luttrell
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Cuba has been open to tourism since 1980, and many international hotel chains have partnered with the Cuban government to upgrade and enhance all Cuban facilities. There is now a wonderful range of Cuba hotels, from brand-new hotel towers overlooking the bay in Havana, to centuries-old pensions in historic districts. When you book your trip to Cuba, you will have quite a selection to choose from, including hotels, holiday villages, and even caravans and horse trekking.

Cuba hotels vary from the classic Hotel Nacional de Cuba, with its imposing, elegant building overlooking the Malecon seaside promenade, to the intimate Ambos Mundos Hotel, where Hemingway took up residence on the fabled fifth floor. You can still go to the two bars where Hemingway was a regular, the El Floridita and the Bodeguita del Medio, where the Mojito cocktail was invented. Other famous patrons of the Bodeguita del Medio are Nat King Cole, Pablo Neruda and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

You can visit Hemingway's charming bungalow in the suburb of Finca La Vigia; tours are available, and include his library of 8,000 books. Another must-see is the Tropicana nightclub, in the suburb of Marianao. The Tropicana was famous for extravagant floor shows with lavish costumes; it opened in 1939 and headlined Nat King Cole and Josephine Baker, among others. Set in a huge estate, the Tropicana is surrounded by a romantic tropical forest that is flood-lit at night.

Cuba Hotels In East Havana

If you're staying in one of the more economical Havana hotels in eastern Havana, across the harbor from central Havana, don't despair--there are wonderful attractions on your side of the bay. If you have children, they will be delighted to tour the old fortress that was Havana's main defense against pirates. Built in 1589, the Castillo del Morro has tours of the ramparts, and its lighthouse offers the best view of Havana and the bay. The nearby modern (1763) fort of San Carlos de La Cabana has a nightly Canonazo, where at 9 p.m. soldiers in historic 18th century dress fire the cannons and have a son et lumiere (sound and light) show.

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