Hotel Nacional de Cuba***** is a hotel with history and the only
one in Cuba that`s a monument. Even if you don`t stay at this hotel it`s still worth a visit. See the beautiful hall, garden and terrace to enjoy the view. You can see in the evening “Cabaret Parisiën”. A dazzling show of Cuban music and tropical costumes. This luxury hotel is located on the Malecón in Havana. It’s on the tip of the Punta Brava that once a notorious pirate stronghold in Havana was. The Ordoñez gun is still in the garden of the hotel. The hotel was designed by the famous New York firm McKim, Mead and White and features a mix of architectural styles. It has a Spanish – Moorish touch and is built with clear Art Deco influences. The hotel opened on December 30, 1930 its doors to the first guests. Cuba was a prime travel destination for Americans and they also received many famous guests. Artists, actors, athletes and writers such as Ava Gardner, Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Keaton, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, Marlon Brando and Ernest Hemingway. Furthermore, it was visited by celebrities like Fidel Castro, Winston Churchill, the Duke of Windsor, scientist Alexander Flemming and many Heads of State and European monarchs. The guest list also includes the names of gangsters like Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Vito Genovese and many others. This is reflected in the film by Francis Ford Coppola
“The Godfather Part II”. In 1955 Lansky managed Batista to give him a piece of the hotel. Lansky renovated the large hall and built a casino that was an immediate success. The casino was closed by Fidel Castro in October 1960. After years of neglect, due to the disappearance of tourism, the hotel was mainly used for diplomats and foreign officials. Despite the restoration in the nineties, the hotel no longer has the status it once had. What remains is a piece of history and nostalgia of the past of Cuba.
For more information about “Cuba…a special island” take a look at my blog: http://holidaycuba.blogspot.nl/