Habana Vieja And The Pirates Of The Caribbean

Pirates are real and memorialized in the ancient heart of Havana. Old Havana is the most exquisite part of the city. The oldest city in La Habana is also one of the largest cities in the Caribbean. The best remedy to experience Cuban magic is on foot.

Old Havana’s intricately stunning churches and plazas that scintillate a rainbow of colors are perfect for people-watching. Listening to live music, while having lunch and admiring the city’s fascinating architecture, is a wonderful experience. From Plaza Vieja to Plaza de las Armas and north from Parque Central to the bay, you’ll reach the waterfront, the famous Malecón. From kids cutting school to locals fishing for their dinner, there is life in Malecon. With movie productions and photo shoots, there’s no better place to feel the Havana vibe than Malecon.

The ‘Apple’ at the center of the city is –
The Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana.
‘Manzana’ translates as ‘apple’ in Spanish, but it’s also a colloquial term for ‘block.’ It’s an appropriate name as the property occupies an entire block on the Paseo Marti. This long avenue, dating back over 200 years, is comprised of peaceful green areas as well as bustling streets. It is still popular with tourists and locals alike. Located within the historic Manzana de Gómez building, the hotel is close to many of Havana’s main tourist attractions, including El Capitolio, the Great Theatre of Havana and Central Park. The famous Castillo del Morro is just a 10-minute drive away. Manzana de Gómez connects the four main streets of Neptuno, San Rafael, Zulueta and Montserrate. It fronts onto El Floridita, the famous cocktail bar that was a favorite with the writer, Ernest Hemingway. It is also flanked by the beautiful art deco Bacardi building and the Museo de Bellas Artes.

Kempinski Hotel
With its rhythm, rich culture, warm-hearted people and of course its legendary vintage cars, Havana is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. In the 19th century, taking a stroll along the main streets of Old Havana, ‘to see and be seen’ was popular entertainment for locals. Obispo Street was the focus for morning walks. Paseo del Prado, its shops lit by oil lamps, was the place to be seen at nighttime.
Many of Kempinski Hotel’s elements are designed to honor the building’s pedigrees, display its history and showcase its artistic values. During renovations, a construction crew found one of the remaining sections of the 350-year-old colonial-era wall that was built to protect the Old Havana residents from pirates. The section of the Murallas can now be seen on display on Level Minus One of the Hotel.

Inspired by the site’s traditional affinity with arts and the area’s wealth of theatres and galleries, Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana has commissioned Cuban artists to create works for the new property. Artwork and photographs from contemporary Cuban artists are an integral part of the hotel’s décor, such as the images of featured artist Claudia Corrales.
Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana offers guests a choice of 246 luxury rooms and suites. Extravagantly high ceilings and French windows open out onto the old city, creating a sense of old-style grandeur with European luxury.
From the rooftop terrace, with its immense swimming pool, you can enjoy spectacular views over Old Havana. Spa Albear by Resense is at the heart of the hotel’s wellness and fitness facilities, offering its guests pure relaxation.
One of the three restaurants, at the hotel, provides panoramic views from the sixth floor. San Cristobal Panoramic present dishes inspired by culinary culture with distinct Caribbean cuisine. Guests, non-residents and locals have a choice of three bars and lounges to mingle. One of the lounges includes a cigar lounge and Constante Bar, which overlooks the world-famous El Floridita Bar.

Cuba is famous for its original cocktails. The daiquiri, the mojito, the Cuba Libre and their sanctuaries can be found in Old Havana where Ernest Hemingway, El Papa liked to drink at the pre-Revolutionary bar La Bodeguita del Medio, which is a landmark, and remains open for the curious. El Floridita is another one of the famed spots for the daiquiri, which was invented there.
If you’re in the mood for some elaborate dishes, visit Grados by Raulito Bazuka, or La Guarida, a beautiful restaurant with great views and delicious local food. Playa Santa Maria is a gorgeous beach and only a 30-minute drive. To enjoy authentic Cuban beats, visit Brecht Theater or the Corner Café. Sundays there is a jam led by the percussionist from Buena Fe at El Pazillo and features a great program of live music.

For more information on Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, please visit

Elle Taylor