Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Havana, Cuba
Moderate Heritage

Since it first opened in 1930, the Hotel Nacional has been an iconic feature of both the Havana skyline and Cuban history. With a guest list that reads like a who’s who of the rich and famous, a stay at the Hotel Nacional is to play your own part in a story that is still unfolding.

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The Hotel Nacional is one of the biggest in Havana and boasts both the largest grounds, surrounded by picturesque gardens, and most dramatic setting, rising above the Malecon with sweeping views out to sea. Internally, the hotel boasts a grand entrance, cathedral like corridors and palatial public areas.

Located on Taganana hill, the site on which the hotel was built was originally the Santa Clara Battery which dates back to the end of the 18th century; part of the battery remains preserved within the hotel’s extensive gardens and includes 2 large coastal guns.

Opened in 1930, and targeting the dominant US tourism market, the Hotel Nacional immediately took its place as the most luxurious hotel in Cuba and the place to stay and be seen. A troll through the guest list of the hotel reads as a Who’s Who in the world of entertainment and politics – Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Marlon Brando, Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill are just some of the thousands of famous guests the hotel can boast of.

And yet the Hotel Nacional is far from being the luxury hotel that people expect or even fear. A lack of investment over the years means that rooms are comfortable but uninspired while, beyond the outward grandeur, facilities and service levels often don’t match guest expectations or the hotel’s own potential.

In terms of location too, the Hotel Nacional is located in slightly scruffy Vedado, some 10 minutes’ by taxi from the historic attractions and charm of Old Havana where most visitors now prefer to base themselves.

If you do still wish to stay at the hotel, our general advice (where practical and applicable) is to stay at an Old Havana or casa particular at the beginning of your holiday and perhaps end with a final night at the Hotel Nacional.

Location

Facing the seafront Malecon, a taxi-ride away from Old Havana

Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Calle 21, Havana, Cuba

Best:

The tremendous sense of history


Err:

The hotel's best days are behind it


At A Glance

    Food & Drink Food & Drink

  • — Choice of bars
  • — Choice of restaurants
  • — Room service

    Features Features

  • — Swimming pool
  • — Extensive gardens
  • — Fitness centre
  • — Cabaret theatre

    Rooms Rooms

  • — 426 rooms in total
  • — Seaview room option

View on TripAdvisor

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