Sevilla - Hotel Description
One of Havana’s Oldest hotels (the establishment turned 100 in March of 2008), the Sevilla has many stories to tell and is privileged in more ways than one.
A popular meeting place for Cuban high society from the time of its inauguration in 1908, in the late thirties the property came to be owned by an Uruguayan with ties to the Italian-American mafia (a notorious character like Santo Trafficante owned shares in the venture). Mobsters, however, would not be the only well-known figures to frequent the hotel: in addition to Al Cappone, luminaries like Enrico Caruso, Graham Greene and Josephine Baker grace the long guestbook.
The Sevilla is situated off Prado, close to Malecón and to places of historical and cultural interest such as the Capitolio and Gran Teatro (a short walk north or south, respectively, takes you to these locations). It is also well located for touring Old Havana and its colonial centre: nearby Obispo takes you to Plaza de Armas, one of the epicenters of the sightseeing circuit.
Inside, the large, spacious lobby combines elegance with a welcoming, cosmopolitan atmosphere which is altogether refreshing. Unlike other establishments in the area, the appeal of this spot is not exclusively visual or historic: in addition to the traditional Cuban music performed by a trio (a nearly ubiquitous offer), the hotel organizes salsa and campesino music days (when a grille is set up in the patio), and a professional troupe stages flamenco performances twice a week. Once a month, original silent films are projected on a screen assembled in the lobby area, to an amusing piano accompaniment that tries to set the mood, attesting to the establishment’s inventive commitment to culture.
Other attractive features include the palatial Roof Garden, an enormous and supremely elegant restaurant with great views of the city, an arcade with shops which adjoins the lobby at its far end, a money exchange locale, and a meeting room which can seat up to 45 people. The hotel is also one of three in the area that boasts a swimming pool, and the poolside facilities are surprisingly well equipped (there is a modern gym, a sauna and massage service).
With enough atmosphere to please visitors seeking historically interesting properties, the Sevilla combines class, a lively cultural scene and an excellent location.