Walk in the footsteps of luminaries, watch Cuban cabaret shows and enjoy a night of luxury at this historic art deco-style hotel.
The Hotel Nacional (officially Hotel Nacional de Cuba) is a celebrated hotel and major landmark of Havana. It has hosted famous personalities including Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Winston Churchill. Visit the Hotel Nacional to admire its striking architecture or spend a night in rooms previously inhabited by celebrities.
Learn about the hotel’s history. Inaugurated in 1930, the hotel originally had a strict policy of not allowing Cubans to stay as guests. The dictator Fulgencio Batista took control in 1933. In the same year the structure suffered damage during the tumultuous Battle of the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. It became a hotel again soon after that and was the location for the 1946 Havana Conference, a meeting of Sicilian and U.S. mafia leaders. Francis Ford Coppola referenced this event in the movie The Godfather: Part II.
As you approach the hotel, gaze up at the façade’s mix of art deco and neoclassical styles. Step inside the lobby to see traditional Cuban and Moorish elements. Note the sparkling chandeliers, wood-carved mail slots and a brass letter box. Spot the coats of arms of Catalonia and Castile and León, Spanish regions that have greatly influenced Cuba.
Browse photographs and memorabilia of the hotel’s esteemed guests in the Hall of Fame. They range from actor Fred Astaire to mafia boss Lucky Luciano and creative genius Walt Disney. In the garden a series of subterranean tunnels tell stories about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Look for the two huge cannons, which were part of the 18th-century Santa Clara Battery that once occupied this spot.
For the complete hotel experience, treat yourself to an overnight stay in one of the suites. A list of rooms where illustrious guests have stayed is available at the reception desk. Dine in restaurants with accompaniment of Cuban cabaret performances and live piano music. Enjoy views of Havana Bay from the garden lounge and relax at a poolside bar.
The Hotel Nacional faces the Malecón in Havana’s Vedado neighborhood. Join one of the free guided tours, which take place daily. Non-guests are welcome to visit the lobby and gardens.