Cuba is finally opening its doors to America, and to luxury living. What a sight it is to behold. Enjoy unprecedented access to all things Cuban. From Hemmingway’s haunts to the National Ballet, experience Havana from the lively city streets, in the heart of the capital. Stay in deluxe colonial palaces, and be transported back in time. Explore Havana’s many jazz clubs, all while the classic Cadillac cars rush by. Be among the first to discover Havana.
The stunning colonial architecture of the Capitolio in Havana.
Havana is a place steeped in history. And the best place to find it is in The Museum of the Revolution. Inside is the boat that Fidel Castro and his rebels used to travel from Mexico to Cuba to fight the hated Batista regime. You can’t get more authentic than that. If all that history builds up an appetite, a local secret, Los Nardos, is located right in front of the Capitol Building. It is unassuming on the outside but simply beautiful inside. You’ll find traditional Cuban food served here – the best rice, black beans, and pork you will ever have. If you are looking for something a little more upmarket then Tomás Erasmo Hernández, the charming owner of Mama Inés, is the man you are looking for. He prepared Fidel Castro's food for many years.
Outdoor restaurant in a large plaza in Havana.
For something less traditional but just as luxurious, try the best place in Havana to eat lobster. The late Gilberto Smith Duquesne was one of Cuba's first celebrity chefs. He was hailed as 'the king of lobster'. His grandson, who has the same name, has now set up El Figaro. For the adventurous eater try the lobster sautéed in white wine, coffee, cream and cognac, one of the signature dishes.
The Cuban flag hanging from a window in Havana.
There is many a bar worth a visit in Havana, each serving up incredibly fresh rum cocktails to die for. However, none are quite as famous as La Floridita, Ernest Hemingway’s old hang out. It's small and cozy, with wood paneled walls and a 1920’s vibe. Enjoy a quiet drink with friends amidst the live, old-style Cuban music playing in the background. Alternatively, for something more modern, head to 304 O'Reilly for a mind numbingly good cocktail. Located in what used to be a toy warehouse this modern bar/restaurant is the flagship of young entrepreneur José Carlos Imperatori, who is carving out the 'new' Habana Vieja. Downstairs is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail. Upstairs there is the restaurant and Imperatori's intriguing and eclectic art collection.
Old Fifties cars on the streets of Havana.
For the classic Havana experience, and to get the classic Havana dress there’s only one designer who has an up-market offering, Jacqueline Fumero’s beautiful designs frame her Café & Boutique. Fumero's designs range from flamenco-style eveningwear to frocks in vivid taffetas. Embrace the Caribbean and treat yourself to something suitably colorful.
Wear your purchases out at one of the many nightlife options in Havana. The best night has to be Café Cantante Mi Habana. The crowd is a sweeping mixture of people, from Cubans to tourists. It's the place to dance, with live music every night. Have fun with your friends and enjoy one of the many famous cocktails of Cuba, a daiquiri, mojito, or perhaps a Cuba libre. Drink to the rum soaked spirit of this fascinating luxury Caribbean destination. Or, if you’d rather see it served up in front of you, check out Club Tropicana, a feast of theatrical showgirls, dancers, performers and music that you won’t ever forget, no matter how much Havana gold rum you’ve had.
Make sure that you check out the vibrantly colored classic cars that you will find everywhere in Havana.
When all is said and done, you need to relax and recuperate after exploring this vibrant nocturnal city. Chill out in the nighttime breeze from the Malecon, the waterfront, and watch the bright lights of the cruise ships pass by patient fishermen. Or take a drive to the Varadero and the uncrowded rolling white sands of this unexplored local beach for some peace and quiet.
A cityscape of Havana.
Havana is a place of crumbling walls, striking culture, and architectural forms inspired by brutalist styles. Havana appears as an unlikely anachronistic space of timeless beauty. If always alludes to the cultural and political history that steeps this mysterious and romantic spot in the Caribbean, about to be reshaped by change. Be sure to see Havana as it will never be again.
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