Hotel Inglaterra opened its doors in 1875 and was declared National Monument in 1981. The oldest Cuban hotel that still stands, it is located on one of the busiest corners of Havana, very near the Opera, the Capitol Building and facing the Parque Central, in a perfect spot to explore the city.
Its beautiful neoclassical façade contrasts with its interior decor, featuring beautiful stained-glass windows, colorful mosaics, Spanish heraldic symbols, window grills, candelabras and intricately worked ceilings.
The extravagantly decorated lobby has a bar and a restaurant that whisk you off to Morocco with their arabesque archways and green, blue and gold tiles. In the main bar there is a sensuous bronze statue of a Spanish dancer - La Sevillana- which gives its name to the bar.
Rooms are spread among three floors and are, while comfortable, basic and somewhat tired, with noisy old air conditioning and needing paint here and there…one can tell they lived better days. Bathrooms also need refurbishment.
The rooms at the front offer great views to the park and are good if one wants to watch and hear the hustle and bustle of the city, not so good if a good night rest is what one desires, since they are noisy, even at night.
One of the hotel’s best features is no doubt the wonderful roof top terrace, offering a jacuzzi, sun loungers, a bar, live music at nights and fantastic views to the park.
Breakfast is adequate but there are better places to have dinner. Service is OK without being exceptional.
The Cafe Louvre, in front of the hotel, was known in colonial days as the Acera del Louvre and was a focal point for bohemian society and for rebellion against Spanish rule. A plaque outside the hotel entrance honors the "lads of the Louvre sidewalk" who died for Cuban independence.
Today it is as lively, traditional music groups always play for the tourists and locals enjoying the entertainment and the drinks.
All in all a historic hotel in a beautiful old building, charming but definitely not luxurious.