Art Nouveau and Jewish Influence

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by airynfaerie on December 17, 2009

One of the beautiful hotels in "Habana Vieja", the old section of Cuba's capital city, is the Hotel Raquel. Just take a glance at the detailed architecture of the exterior or step into the stunning lobby to know that there is something special about this place.

There's usually a very friendly host to welcome you to the hotel, and as you walk inside take a minute to take in the Art Nouveau style. The lobby is full of columned open spaces with high ceiling, soft colors and marble statues. Built in the early 1900s, there is an almost French feel to the interior, and a very romantic atmosphere. One of the most beautiful pieces in the building is the colorful stained glass ceiling to the open atrium! Don't miss it even if you stop in quickly to take a look around.

Located near San Francisco Square and in the heart of Habana Vieja, this hotel has 3 floors to explore. Only 25 rooms offer a more intimate feeling and each room is simply and elegantly decorated. Rich in art, this hotel highlights works of some great Cuban artists, which you'll find pieces in each room. Prices are quite moderate, and includes breakfast.

Enjoy a meal at the restaurant in the lobby. There is a old Hebrew connection to the history of this hotel, and located in walking distance from the city's main synagogue, this restaurant is one of the best places to enjoy Jewish cuisine. Enjoy a mix of cuban influenced Jewish disheds like borsht and latkes at pretty good prices. You'll also see the nod to Hebrew culture by the Star of Davids affixed to places around the hotel.

For an extra treat, visit the roof top terrace or the in-house sauna and gym. Even if you're not staying at the Hotel Raquel, it's still worth a quick stop inside to check out the architecture and maybe sit down for a meal.

• Calle Amargura, No. 103 esq. a San Ignacio
• (537) 860 8280
Hotel Raquel
Calle Amargura, No. 103
Havana, Cuba
(537) 860 8280

© LP 2000-2009