Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Old, Opulent and Ornate


 The Nacional de Cuba Hotel is the Grände Däme of Cuban hotels. 

The Hotel Nacional de Cuba is an historic luxury hotel located on the Malecón in the middle of VedadoHavanaCuba. It stands on Taganana hill just a few meters from the sea, and offers a great view of Havana Harbor, the seawall and the city.
The New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White designed the hotel, which features an eclectic mix of styles. It opened in 1930, when Cuba was a prime travel destination for Americans, long before the United States embargo against Cuba. In its 80+ years of existence, the hotel has welcomed many important guests.

The hotel was built on the site of the Santa Clara Battery, which dates back to 1797. Part of the battery has been preserved in the hotel's gardens, including two large coastal guns dating from the late 19th Century. There is also a small museum there featuring the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. During the crisis, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara set up their headquarters there to prepare the defense of Havana from aerial attack.

The Hotel Nacional de Cuba is a symbol of Cuba's history, culture, and identity. The hotel is a World Heritage Site and a National Monument, and it was inscribed in the World Memory Register.


The three views are taken of the rear of the hotel, leading to the cocktail area and the malecón overlooking the sea.  This is the first hotel in which we stayed, and the one I loved the best because of the amenities and the historical aspect of the hotel and the richness of its past. A little worn in spots, this great Grände Däme is an icon of Cuba's past.

28 comments:

  1. belle architecture et sympa ce bord de mer

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    1. Andy, there are certain travel agencies that have a license to take Americans to Cuba on humanitarian and cultural tours. Obama, as Clinton did during his Presidency, opened it up a bit for us. While there we could not use cell phones, internet to the states (if it was available at all), American money and no credit cards, alas!! I hope that it continues to open up for everyone, but we've got to get rid of the economic embargo first, which most of us think is pretty inhumane. The angry, politically conservative and powerful Cubans in Miami are one of the forces that keep the embargo as it is. Cubans loved us, tho!!

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    2. One error, regarding internet...it was possible to use it but almost impossible to get service. But any connection to the US as indicated above was not possible.

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  4. it looks beautiful and I love the view.

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  5. I love grand old hotels like this too. I'm loving this! Janey

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  6. So exotic! You are a fine ambassador and this is going to be a wonderful series.

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  7. Fantastic Kate, what a wonderful place to stay, a lot of history there.

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing your photos from your trip.

    The grand hotel reminds me of the Breakers in Palm Beach.

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  9. Very grand indeed.
    ann

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  10. I remember when I was a kid, all the music shows that were be filmed in Cuba. This is a grand looking hotel and the view is wonderful. I can see why it would be a favorite.

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  11. And who's the old, opulent and ornate lady in the bottom picture?

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  12. It's been a dream of mine to go there! Amazing!

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  13. It looks very nice.

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  14. been looking forward to hearing about Cuba.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  15. Welcome back, Kate! Glad you enjoyed Cuba. Although I've visited several countries in Central America and the Caribbean, I've never been there.

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  16. So who's the old, opulent and ornate lady in the bottom picture.
    Not ornate Kate, by any chance?

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  17. I think it's marvelous you got to stay in such a historic place!

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  18. What a treat to stay there. I wonder, Kate, who has been responsible for this hotel. Has it stayed in private ownership?

    And I do like your Cuban look!

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    1. Kay, go to this website and it will give you a wonderful review of the hotel's history and current status.

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    2. Oops! I forgot to add the website: http://www.hotelnacionaldecuba.com/en/history.asp

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  19. The hotel looks lovely.
    What a wonderful adventure to be able to visit and tour.
    Like your choice of words for the letter O.

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  20. Your photos are a delight and show off this grand old place so well. As I recall, lots of movie actors stayed here as did many members of our American mafia.

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  21. What a wonderful place. I would love to visit there one day.

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  22. The hotel does appear to have fine bones, but it could use a facelift. Even a pressure wash would help a lot.

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  23. Everyone who has been to Cuba, or was from Cuba, loved it and described it with a past of grandeur:)

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  24. Hi Kate! Just catching up over here! Glad to hear you had a wonderful trip to Cuba! Y'all are so lucky to be able to travel so much. I have been getting the travel bug, but for now, I must focus on clay & paying the rent- ha ha. If I have any pots left over from the sale, I'll let you know ;).
    You could also check Pasqual's (Santa Fe) online gallery for micaceous pots.
    Hope you are well & happy!
    :)

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