Hotel La Rusa (the Russian woman) is a simple but charming three story hotel offering basic amenities and rooms in a great location, and with lots of history since one of the city’s iconic characters lived here until her death.
La Rusa was Magdalena “Mima” Rubenskaya, a Russian lady who settled in Baracoa in 1917 and inspired the character “Vera” in Alejo Carpentier’s novel “The Rite of Spring”.
Madame Rubenskaya turned her house into a hotel in 1953 and since then hosted important personalities in politics and the arts, some of whose photos still adorn the walls.
She was reputed as an active supporter of the revolutionary movement during the 1950’s and so Che Guevara, Fidel and Raúl Castro were among those who stayed in her hotel.
(One can still visit Che Guevara’s room, and even book it, in advance. More information about Madame Rubenskaya can be found in the museum at Fuerte Matachín).
Location is perfect for exploring the city and the surroundings since it is right in the center of town, facing El Malecón and hence offering lovely views of the sea and of El Yunque, one of the symbols of Baracoa, a flat top hill that looks like an anvil.
The hotel was renovated in 2009 but was kept rather simple and basic. There's a small lobby-reception and 12 standard rooms, all with a balcony and featuring modern although little bathrooms. Most of them have twin beds.
There’s also a bar and a restaurant specializing in sea food.
No medical services are offered but the International Clinic is situated only a few meters from the hotel.