Palacio O’Farril is one of the Old Havana hotels managed by the office of the City Historian. A gorgeous palatial building which was once the house of Don José Ricardo O’Farrill and O’Daly, an irish immigrant who made a fortune on sugar in Cuba and who founded here one of the wealthiest families of the nobility in the colonial times.
Completely and elegantly renovated, the hotel features 38 rooms today, a cozy inner courtyard with a very old well, an underground original “aljibe” (a cistern, a reservoir of water) and a magnificent skylight on top of it enabling the use of this area, which is the core of the mansion, even during the rainy days.
There is also a restaurant, and a snack bar decorated with jazz allegories and boasting on one of its walls a hand written thankful note from Arturo O'Farrill, pianist and director of New York’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, who stayed at Palacio O’Farrill during Havana’s Jazz Festival 2010.
Rooms are attractive and Spartan, but very different one from the other: Some feature balconies with views, high ceilings and king size beds, while others have no windows nor views.
In each floor, there is an attractive sitting area with period related furnishing to sit and read, chat or have a coffee amidst tropical plants.
Location is fantastic since everything in Old Havana is within walking distance, including the Malecon (Havana’s seaside promenade) and the area is very safe, day and night. This would be the hotel’s main feature, together with the beauty of the building itself. Facilities and service are adequate, but many visitors consider the hotel does not shine up to its 4 star ranking.
Staff is friendly and breakfast is OK while its restaurant is not so popular among guests, who generally prefer to eat at some of the many available in the proximities.
All in all, a beautiful place to stay for a night or two, excellenty located to explore Havana.