Old Havana: There are a number of options in this part of the city. The upside is that you walk out the front door and have many of the city's landmarks nearby. The downside is the noise, especially at night, and the wandering musicians and revelers coming out of bars and clubs that stay open late. hotel Ambos Mundos (Calle Obispo 153) is a good option, in the $100s. This is a clean, comfortable, simple hotel, well located. This is where Ernest Hemingway wrote 'For whom the bell tolls' years ago in room 511, which is kept exactly as he left it. At the top end, try the Hotel Santa Isabel which has hosted movie stars and presidents, starting in the $200s. Santa Isabel is located on the Plaza de Armas, so you cannot get more central than that. Tip - if you want this hotel, book way ahead as hotel only has 27 rooms.
Centro Habana: Two recommendations are The Parque Central, and the fairly new Saratoga. The Parque Central is run by Iberostar, and I would say is a good 3 star hotel. Note - the hotel has 2 wings, a 'classic' wing facing the Park, and the more modern wing, facing the side street. The 'classic' rooms are decorated in a nondescript, Ramada Inn 1970s decor - but - clean and efficient. the 'modern' wing is more streamlined and contemporary. If you have clients who are noise-averse, book rooms facing the interior courtyard (No view) which are very quiet. Both wings have rooftop pools, a welcome oasis after days of sightseeing in Havana. Food, service, staff, are all helpful and willing, if at times under a great deal of duress handling groups and big arrivals/departures.
The Saratoga is, in my humble opinion, the best hotel currently in Havana. Hotel opened in 2005 and faces the Capitol building and a large park.Hotel offers 96 bedrooms in various configurations, and all have very comfortable layouts, big modern bathrooms, and good service. The hotel also has a super rooftop pool with breathtaking views of Havana in every direction. The hotel's main restaurant, Anacaona, is considered one of the top tables in the city. Tip - if you have top clients requesting unique layouts, book one of the 2 level duplex suites. the hotel also has a number of interior-facing rooms (no view) that are very quiet. Contact here is Susel Real Martin firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be able to help you, as she is the head of sales and marketing. Rates here start in the $200s for single and $300s for double occupancy.
Vedado: The Most famous hotel in Cuba, by a mile, is the Hotel Nacional. The property goes back to 1930 and hosted presidents, Winston Churchill, Al Capone, movie stars, and celebrities of all sorts traveling through Havana over the last 80 years. As far as setting, nothing tops the Nacional. You arrive via a wonderful palm-studded avenue and walk into a grand, busy, noisy, lobby with high ceilings and lots of history. The hotel has 2 pools, vast gardens and terraces, and overlooks the Malecon and the El Morro fortress in the distance. Unfortunately -- the hotel is very tired and needs a major overhaul. The rooms, elevators, beds, hallways, are all in great need of a renovation. Service is spotty as the staff is overwhelmed with the zillions of people in the lobby (guests and " looky-loos " taking pictures) and the demands of groups from all over the globe, arriving hour after hour. I would recommend coming here for a drink after dinner (live music is offered nightly on the terrace, which is charming) but -- stay elsewhere. You've been warned!
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