Hotel Nacional de Cuba
An Overview by Authentic Cuba Travel
Sitting on a high bluff overlooking the Malecon, this is Havana
's signature hotel, and it's loaded with atmosphere. Two massive turrets loom overhead as you approach the entrance along its palm-lined driveway. The long, tiled lobby, with its high ceilings and heavy painted beams, is the heart and hub of this joint, and it's almost always bustling.
The Nacional de Cuba is an Architectural Landmark
that has captivated visitors over seven decades. Declared "National Monument" for its patrimonial value in 1988, it features 426 rooms, amazing lounges and modern comfort.
The rooms themselves are large and well-appointed, although somewhat drab and showing their age. Over half the rooms have ocean views. Some rooms still have the original floor, bed frames and furniture from the 1930's. There is actually a Historical Floor where many celebrities left their presence, like Ava Gardner, Johnny Weissmuller and Bola de Nieve.
The property is full of columns and arches that show a singular confluence of neoclassic and neocolonial designs with art deco. The hotel has a vast lawn area on its high bluff that opens out toward the sea.
A spot we recommend is the "Compass Card," an outdoor terrace made of marble inlaid in the pattern of a nautical compass. This is a great place to grab a table for a sunset drink overlooking the Malecon, with giant cannons protecting you on either side.
We also recommend going to the "Hall of Fame", a very special place with an exquisite decoration displaying on the walls the celebrities' pictures who have been to Cuba over the last half century. You can enjoy live music while ordering some of the Cuban most recognized drinks, and you can play your favorite songs in the jukebox. Everything is arranged to provide pleasure.
The Nacional hotel in Havana has the longest list of celebrity visitors in the whole of Cuba. Holiday making celebrities included actors Errol Flyn, Marlon Brando and Buster Keaton, historical figures Winston Churchill, Alexander Flemming, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, and even various Italian-American gangsters such as Lucky Luciano and Frank Costello.
Movie stars like Kevin Costner, Johnny Depp, Robert Redford and Pierce Brosnan, filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg, and models Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss also prefer the elegance and comfort of the National Hotel of Cuba.