If you are visiting Cuba and looking for a more intimate experience than those offered by the huge hotels that are dotted around, why not check out these boutique options?
The 96-room Saratoga was built in the 1930s, and sits across the street from El Capitolio in the centre of Havana. It’s within walking distance of many of the main attractions, and there’s a rooftop pool and spa where you can relax after a long day of sightseeing. Celebrity fans will be pleased to hear that Jay Z and Beyonce stayed at the Saratoga in 2013.
Take a trip back in time at the Florida, a grand old hotel in Old Havana. Opulent furnishings, marble columns and an impressive restaurant make for a great hotel experience. Sip on a mojito at one of the two hotel bars, or order a bottle of wine to sip in the courtyard. It’s luxurious without slipping into pretentiousness, and the atmospheric cobbled streets of the old town are just outside your door.
The Casa Granda lies on one corner of Parque Cespedes in Santiago de Cuba. Since 1914, the elegant building has housed a hotel that welcomes guests to Cuba’s second city. Sit on the terrace overlooking the square below, or head to the air-conditioned bar to take a break from the heat and humidity.
This 1920s property is the only real boutique hotel among Varaderos all-inclusive resorts. You can almost feel the history here, with Winston Churchill just one of a list of distinguished former guests, and the upstairs bar provides great views. Breakfast, dinner and a round of golf at the Varadero Golf Club are all included in the room rate, which makes a stay here a very good deal.
New lodging options continue to pop up as Holguin establishes itself as a tourist destination. Chief among them is the Encanto Caballeriza, a three-star, 21-room property that is housed in a 19th-century building in the centre of town. It was previously a stables, which explains the horse riding theme of the decoration and the El Establo bar. While it’s not a luxury hotel by any stretch of the imagination, the Encanto Caballeriza is a good option for those who want to spend some time in Holguin.
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