Hotel Habana Libre: Former Habana Hilton
Majestically overlooking Havana from its convenient location in the upbeat busy El Vedado area, Hotel Habana Libre is where the action is. For business and tourism, travelers are ideally situated to take advantage of the exciting surrounds in one of Cuba’s most historic hotels. Hotel Habana has been hosting international guests since it opened amidst much fanfare in the spring of 1958.
No stone was left unturned as President Fulgencio Batista threw his considerable support behind the efforts of Conrad Hilton to construct what was the hotel Habana Hilton, one of the busiest and most popular Hotels in Cuba prior to the Revolution. The Habana Hilton was the tallest and largest hotel in Latin America and featured a Trader Vic’s, gaming casino, first rate nightclub, supper club, pool and rooftop bar among its unique amenities. Originally, the hotel was operated by the American Hilton Hotels Group.
The restaurants, bars and lounge areas as well as the 572 guest rooms were magnets for the rich, famous and notorious during Havana’s heyday. The casino boomed, the stars performed and the hotel’s 25 floors were alive with intrigue. The noted Los Angeles architectural firm of Welton Beckett & Associates collaborated with Cuban owned Arroyo-Menendez to oversee construction of what was at the time not only the most prominent hotel in Latin America but was also one of the most spectacular resort hotels in the world.
Always accustomed to hosting international guest and events, Hotel Habana Libre is one of those unforgettable and charming hotels that has some cracks but compensates with highly trained and courteous staff. With seven busy restaurants, a number of popular bars and round the clock room service, the amenities outweigh the dated trimmings. Add to the hotel’s formula one of the hottest locations in Cuba and this hotel deserves consideration for your business travel of for People-to-People accommodations.
Hotel Habana Libre has 572 rooms, 532 of which are double standard rooms, 37 junior standard suites, 1 spectacular Presidential Suite and 2 Senior Standard suites. All rooms include appealing amenities and are more spacious than rooms at more contemporary hotels in Cuba. Like other hotels, this one has the 110 volt outlets so be sure to take your adapter.
On the hotel’s upper floors, guests have clear views of the city and well as out to the Caribbean. The rooftop bar and patio is one of the most popular areas of the hotel. Private, quiet and high, guests are treated to the full spectrum of blue water, blue skies and pulsating Havana.
Each of the restaurants has its own unique cooking style and theme. For example, El Barracon specializes in Italian cuisine while Polinesio has the finest Oriental dishes in the city. The Ubicacon restaurant is known for its spicy Creole cuisine and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Siboney Bar is open 24 hours a day and is active at all times of day and night, like Vedado itself. Astonishing art by some of Cuba’s renowned artists lines the walls. Music from local performers permeates the air and delicious cocktails and fruit concoctions stand ready to make all guests and hotel visitor feel welcome.
But, what separates this hotel from others is that the staff is on the job and eager to assist guests. A stellar concierge service, attentive wait staff and a corps of service personnel tend to the various needs of business people, locals and tourists from around the globe.
Travelguidecuba.com is not a licensed People-to-People tour provider but works closely with International Expeditions, a licensed provider. This International Expedition People-to-People tour is licensed (CT-2013-299822-1)by the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to engage, organize and conduct authorized people-to-people travel to Cuba that engages participants in meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba.