Hotel Encanto Mascotte is a small boutique hotel located in San Juan de los Remedios- the 8th villa founded by the Spaniards in Cuba-, province of Villa Clara, relatively close to the popular keys of Villa Clara (Cayo Las Brujas, Ensenachos and Santa María) and famous for its “parrandas” (traditional parties).
Remedios has the simple charm of a place that has barely changed in many many years. Hotel Mascotte is housed in a beautiful colonial house that is practically on the town's main square and therefore close to everything there is to see and do. Small and intimate (only 10 rooms) it also features a bar and a lovely inner backyard plus it has been restored and decorated with taste.
In fact the word “Encanto” (which means “charm” in Spanish) , is a fairly new brand of Cuban hotel chains: Cubanacán and Islazul, which aim to classify these hotels as “boutique” or “hotel de charme”, as French call this type of accommodation, generally with not many rooms and lots of character.
(The word can sometimes be found abbreviated to an “E” and used as part of the name and at the entrance of these lodgings).
But together with the positive aspects of sleeping in an old mansion from the XIX century and sharing it with few other guests come some disadvantages. For Hotel Mascotte these are: the lack of elevators and the fact that stairs are very steep ( making it unsuitable for physically disabled guests). And the need for a new update, since the hotel’s looking tired and plumbing issues can sometimes be found in the rooms, on top of missing toilet seats, non-working hairdryers and lamps, among others.
Speaking of rooms, they differ in size and comfort. While a couple of them feature balconies that overlook Remedios’ main square –making them more interesting but also noisier; others have no windows and therefore no natural light. Some are really tiny, while others feature plenty of space.
All in all, a very charming place that we recommend visiting for a day or two, maybe on the way to or from the keys, to experience a completely different flavor of Cuba.