A more central Havana location would be hard to find, with Ernest Hemingway’s old drinking hole, Floridita, and the entrance to Calle Obispo, the gateway to bars, restaurants and key sights, such as Havana Cathedral, just 20 metres from the hotel doors. Parque Central’s also on the doorstep, lined with colourful Chevys, Buicks and other classic cars.
Billed as Havana’s ‘first true five-star luxury hotel’, there’s certainly plenty of sparkles, from chandeliers and mirror-tiled columns in the lobby right up to the rooftop infinity pool’s glittery tiles that catch the sun. Interiors are elegant, with whites, silvers and greys livened up with touches of colour, mainly pink.
The rooftop stands out, with a swimming pool and terrace bar with tables that glow pink after dusk, creating a mellow clubby vibe. The view at sunset, from El Capitolio and Parque Central across to the seafront Malecón, is hard to beat.
With high ceilings and light flooding in through French windows, there’s a feeling of space inside the guest rooms. Deluxe rooms overlook the unique city of Havana, silvery chandeliers hang over beds with comfortable mattresses. There is a spacious working area, private safe, flat screen TV, mini bar and automatic coffee machine.
The bathrooms are equipped with a large mirror hanging over a sink that’s set in marble and a walk-in rain shower with a mosaic of glittery tiles. Bathroom amenities are Kempinski own luxury brand.
Confluencias Restaurant, where breakfast is served, has window tables looking out over Parque Central and an extensive buffet, including legs of Serrano ham, Parmesan wheels, hot dishes, pastries and bottles of champagne. On the top floor, there’s casual food served at El Surtidor Pool Terrace and Bar and a more refined menu at San Cristóbal Panoramic Restaurant with some of the finest views in the city.