“The only worthy autograph of a man is that which he leaves written with his works”

Jose Martí

What could be more appealing to the traveler who is an art lover than to book and stay at hotels with their very own art patrimony. As one wanders through numerous Cuba hotels beautiful art works flood the eye with their magnificence and authenticity.

The Nacional de Cuba is a landmark hotel, which preserves the architectural and decorative magnificence that has captivated its visitors over its more than seven decades. Declared “National Monument” for its patrimonial value in 1988, in its featured 426 rooms, amazing lounges and modern comfort, this hotel shows some great value including an oil landscape by Enrique Domingo Ramos.

The property is full of columns and arches that show a singular confluence of neoclassic and neocolonial designs with art deco. Some rooms still have the original floor, bed frames and furniture from the 1930’s. There is actually a Historical Floor where many celebrities left their presence, like Ava Gardner, Johnny Weissmuller and Bola de Nieve.

When walking around the bustling corner of 23 and L at “El Vedado” district there is always a work of art that catches the attention. That is the amazing mural painting by Amelia Pelaez on the façade of Tryp Habana Libre hotel (former Havana Hilton). This facility, opened in the late fifties, houses a wide collection of contemporary Cuban art, which includes Clepsydra, a sculpture by Rita Longa in the lobby and paintings by renowned artists like Rene Portocarrero, Mariano Rodriguez, Servando Cabrera and Alfredo Sosabravo.

Since 2007 this modern hotel has added a mural painted by artists from the “Somos lo que hay Project”, a beautiful fresco that was placed in the lobby. It gathers artists from different generations and esthetics such as Nelson Dominguez, Lian and Li Dominguez Fong, Esteban and Alejandro Leyva, Ever Fonseca, Ernesto Garcia Peña, Eduardo Roca, Juan Moreira, Alicia Leal, Javier Guerra, Sandor Gonzalez, Manuel Comas, Herminio Escalona, Vicente R. Bonachea, Kike Wong, Enrique de la Uz, Rafael Perez Alonso, Eduardo Abela and Mayito Gonzalez.

Among Havana hotels, the Habana Riviera also offers valuable works of art. Situated next to the Havanan sea wall (malecón), this born-in-the-fifties hotel holds an ingenious architectural structure. The magnificence sculptures and duomo by the great Florencio Gelabert were restored, and so was the internal mural painting by López Dirube, witch remains as the artistic heritage of the hotel.

The Melia Cohiba hotel has acquired works from some of Cuba’s best contemporary artists as well. This luxury facility is recognized for its distinguished decoration that features oeuvres of famous painters Flora Fong, López Oliva and Zaida del Río.

If you seek a colonial atmosphere in your Cuba hotel choice, there are fine Old Havana hotels that boast a classic ambience and a rich cultural heritage. In this Cuba destination, art lovers are able to enjoy charming patrimonial places, the colonial and eclectic architecture of its buildings and the fusion of diverse styles.

The Sevilla hotel is one of these lodging accommodations that have preserved a priceless artistic heritage. Visitors looking for historically interesting properties will be pleased at this facility, because it is one of Havana’s oldest hotels (the establishment turned 100 in March of 2008), featuring a classy setting in its large, spacious lobby and rooms.

This traditional and classical property displays a truly Spanish atmosphere that can be appreciated as the hotel exhibits different architectural and decorative elements of remarkable Mudejar influence. The traveler will immediately notice it while catching a glimpse of its intricate façade. The sculptures of Jacopi and the “Aldeana” portrait by Ramos Martínez are some of the artistic features of the hotel.

On the other hand, the Inglaterra hotel, opened in 1875, it is one of the oldest hotels in town and it is another fine example of Cuban hotels linked to fine arts. Due to its preservation, relation with history and national culture, The Inglaterra hotel was declared a National monument in 1981. Travelers will discover a part of Cuba’s heritage within this facility.

The contrasts of different architectural styles and designs will hold your interest. The building features a beautiful neoclassical façade while the interior decor recreates the atmosphere of the colonial period with a strong Mudejar spirit. The interior spaces are decked out with gorgeous stained-glass windows, colorful mosaics, Spanish heraldic symbols, window grills, and lavishly ornamented ceilings that confirm the eclectic tendency of this city and its period. There is also a lovely sculpture “La sevillana” by Perinat, which symbolizes a Spanish female dancer, and collective mural paintings. Plus, if you stay there, you will find out that Cuban artists have designed every 3 months the menu for this hotel.

The Plaza hotel is one appealing option for those who recognize the value of a colonial era hotel that retains the glamour of the turn of the century. Opened in 1909, the Plaza boasts an eye-catching façade and incredibly beautiful lounges that take us back in time. Most visitors can’t help to notice the impressive lobby’s ceiling with an elegant bronze chandelier. Other alluring features of this classic hotel are its colonial patio, a picturesque fountain from the same period, abundant vegetation, exotic birds, sculptures and colorful stained-glass windows.

Hotel Raquel is another interesting proposal within Old Havana hotels that reflects a Jewish flavor. This intimate building exhibits an art nouveau style and expressive eclectic architecture, while some of its spaces allegorically evoke the Hebrew culture. It also shows great artistic features like the majestic sculpture of the ground floor and its beautiful marble columns. Plus, there is an impressive stained glass work to appreciate at this inn. All hotel floors and rooms are decorated with works of art of prestigious Cuban painters.

But if you prefer a lodge with a postmodern flair, then visit the Hotel Parque Central, which combines colonial and modern architectural styles. This distinctive facility is full of tropical woodwork and lush greenery, and some of its acquisitions include pieces from Cuba’s best contemporary artists like Sosabravo, Flora Fong and Adigio Benítez.

The Santa Isabel hotel, former mansion of the Counts of Santovenia, also houses plastic Cuban artists’ works and pieces in rooms and lounges, in order to recreate the elegant atmosphere of the 19th Cuban century. The hotel’s façade maintains its colonial flair, where colorful stained glass windows are the main part of the decoration. Its halls are festooned with lamps, vases and figures of great value. The whole ornamentation compels the visitor to be transported back in time.

Art lovers can also find patrimonial works of art in other Cuba destinations. Just to mention a few, at Varadero beach the Varadero Internacional hotel features a 1950 fountain, and a marble and stone table surrounded by walls decorated with beautiful paintings. The Jagua hotel at Cienfuegos province gives its guests the chance to enjoy a wonderful view of Cienfuegos Bay or the green nature of Sierra del Escambray, but also offers a lovely decor where porcelain vases, a Mudejar style bronze lamp and a painting of Aldo Menendez González catch the eye of any visitor.

In the hot city of Santiago de Cuba, the Casa Granda hotel features a marble statue of Venus, while the “El Colony” hotel at the International Diving Center of Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) shows sculptures of Rita Longa and a nice painting of E. Garcia Mata that represents “the treasure island” with colorful pirates.

So, if art is your thing and you are planning a visit to Cuba, you can live through a cultural experience with Cuban art in your own lodge. Just drop by and discover these inner treasures in Cuba Hotels.

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