Monday, May 28, 2012

Hotel Sevilla, Havana, Cuba

Hotel Sevilla, which is located right in the centre of Havana, is a great place to start discovering the city! You can walk to the Capitolio, Gran Teatro and Parque Central in less than 5 minutes. Paseo del Prado, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts) and the Museo de la Revolucion are literally around the corner.

But besides practical or logistical reasons to book this hotel, there are are other grounds for choosing the Sevilla, namely the history of the building. It was built in 1908, making it one of the oldest (still existing) hotels in Havana. In the thirties it became the place to be for the Italian-American mafia... The guest list included notorious mobsters and movie stars alike. Al Capone, Santos Trafficante, Enrico Caruso, Bola de Nieve, Josephine Baker and Gloria Swanson were guests here.

Hotel Sevilla is also the decor of the famous novel "Our Man in Havana" by Graham Greene. Something that I really liked, were the many pictures in black and white hung up in the lobby, depicting guests, celebrities, historical events, etc. That really makes you feel like you're part of history as well! Could I have been sleeping in the same room as Al Capone?!

Talking about the rooms... they could use some refurbishment; the same goes for the breakfast room. The colours used on the walls and the antique furniture look great though, but the bedspreads, curtains and chairs should be renewed. However, I love Hotel Sevilla. The lobby is very attractive, the views are stunning, especially from the roof top restaurant!!! And then there is the Patio Sevilliano, where you can enjoy live music every day.

To top it all off.... Hotel Sevilla is one of the 3 hotels located in the centre of Havana, disposing of a pool! A very nice way to relax after sightseeing all day. You may think you'll walk around from dawn to dusk... but the heat, the humidity, the noise and the traffic can really wear you out.

Last but not least, the staff was very kind! Anabel from Relaciones Públicas helped me out every time by booking restaurants, providing information on salsa clubs, museums, etc. I will definitely go back one day!

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