Cuba’s Nacional Hotel is one of the most loved and visited hotels throughout the area. When visiting the country, you have a special place to stay and when people stay within this hotel, they recommend it to anyone and everyone that is thinking of visiting the area, as well. This is one of the best hotels, so knowing more about the extensive past is a must.

Cuba’s Nacional Hotel

Cuba’s Nacional Hotel

The Early Beginnings

The land that the hotel now sits on was once known to the Spanish government as prohibited, because paths were once prohibited in the area that went to the beach. The area was under frequent attacks in the past by pirates, and other bandits during the time, making it prone to a lot of violence. The garden currently holds two of the main canons that were used to defend the site during the time that the English came in and took over.

One of the coolest parts of the hotel is that it sits on the Loma de Taganana, a famous cave. This cave was known and used for centuries prior to the construction of the hotel over the site. Some of the rooms throughout the hotel are named after these caves.


The Decision to Build the Hotel

This decision was made in the 1920’s. American Firms came together with an idea, plans and the role to build a luxury hotel within the grounds that would house tourists and residents of the area at higher rates, with more amenities and comfortable, safe rooms.

The hotel currently has many of the original artwork, paintings and decorations that were first put into the hotel when it was constructed. This gives it an elegant, yet old world feeling while leaving its roots and history within the halls and rooms of the hotel. The architectural features of the hotel make it one of the most interesting in the area, since it is nothing like the other, older buildings, or even the newer ones.


Opening the Hotel

The Hotel Nacional De Cuba was opened on December 30, 1930 after long years of building and perfecting the look and structure of the building. The ballroom housed the grand opening with the many of the builders and the most prominent in the area.

One of the biggest pieces of the hotel’s history is when it was bombarded in 1933. It was a revolt, and since some of the officers were staying within the hotel during the time, it was the place of attack on these officers during the night time hours in October.


Key Notes of the Hotel

Some of the guests that have stayed within the hotel in the past include, but are not limited too, Johnny Weismuller, also known as Tarzan, Edward VIII, Errol Flynn, Meyer Lansky, Emilio Roig and so many others.

Sir Winston Churchill was also one of the most prominent to stay within the hotel during 1946, when he visited the Cuban Government.


In 1946, the hotel was blocked off to normal traffic because one of the biggest Mafia gatherings. It then accommodated most of the big names within the Mafia in each of the rooms, and not letting others have rooms when they came to stay in the area.

The hotel was home to many famous people over the course of 12 years such as Ernest Hemingway, Gary Cooper, Carol II of Rumania, Ali-Khan, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and so many others.


As time moved forward with the hotel, so many others came and went. They would make this place their official hotel for their stays in the country. It was home to many movements, protests and places of sanctuary to those that had nowhere else to go. It is one of the oldest buildings within the capital that is still standing, and being used for it’s original purpose. This is why in 1998, the hotel was declared a national monument. This is due to the architectural values, and the history that the history holds. As time moves forward, it will be preserved with time. They have won many awards, and continue to live through the history and the future ahead.


If you’re considering a hotel to stay when visiting Cuba, consider this hotel. Not only do they have a diverse, rich history with many of the original pieces still within the walls, but they have a comfortable, laid back atmosphere where you’re able to enjoy your vacation.

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  1. Joe Froggatt on July 19, 2015

    Have visited Havana twice on a cruise ship and visited Hotel Nacional – very enjoyable, particularly the caves; hope to visit again for two weeks and stay at Hotel Nacional.

    Cuba, a great Country.

    I was in the British Royal Air Force in 1962, the time of the Cuba crisis which made my visit to your caves so interesting and significant.

    I wonder if there is anyone connected with the hotel, or anyone else who remembers that time and would be willing to let me know the thoughts of the Cuban people at that time.

    Thanks. Joe F.