Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, Havana, Cuba – Review

View from the hotel's rooftop lounge

By Jonathan Spira on 26 June 2018
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The big news in the hotel world was the 2017 opening of the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski in Havana, the city’s first proper grande dame of a hotel to open in the island nation. Located in the historic Manzana de Gómez building, Cuba’s first shopping mall in the center of Old Havana, the hotel is truly in a class of its own.

An oasis in a city that’s somewhat crumbling and dilapidated, it clearly signals great opulence with understated service, elegant furnishings, and plush accents found throughout the property.

Outside the hotel is Parque Central, lined with the city’s colorful 1950s Buicks, Chevys, and other classic American cars that ferry tourists to their destinations, and Ernest Hemingway’s favorite daiquiri watering hole, El Floridita, and across the street is the 1927 Museum of Fine Arts with its collection of Canaletto, Gainsborough, and classical world sculptures.

A drink at the Gran Hotel Manzana's rooftop bar

A drink at the Gran Hotel Manzana’s rooftop bar

THE ROOM

My Grand Deluxe room had a large entrance area lined with more closets than I’ve seen in some penthouse suites. The overall décor was contemporary with an abundance of white and various shades of gray. Some elements such as the desk and chair and mirror-anchored sitting area seemed somewhat more classical although there was no need to remind me I was in Havana with the incredible views of the city’s daily life immediately available through the large windows.

The spaciousness continued in the marble bath area, which featured a large walk-in shower, a separate and equally large soaking tub, a commode, and two sinks with ample counter space for toiletries. A small stool was thoughtfully provided adjacent to the sink, presumably for those who were weary from their travels.

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