Built in 1888 and once regarded as the best hotel in town and one of the top ten in Latin America, Hotel Telégrafo was reopened in 2002 after a total restoration that melds some of its classical elements with a contemporary vogue.
In the inner courtyard the exposed brickwork of the arches contrasts with the modern design of the building, highlighting the combination of colonial and modern elements in its architecture.
But Hotel Telégrafo’s main virtue is its location, on the emblematic corner of Prado and Neptuno, facing Havana’s Central Park, only a couple minutes' walk from the Capitol Building, very near El Malecón (the seaside promenade), the 4 main plazas of Old Havana, and many other hotels, restaurants and bars.
Its 63 rooms are of good size and face either the street or the inner courtyard containing the bar, probably the nicest area of the hotel due to the natural light coming from the skylight and the ambiance created by a huge mural by Cuban artist Eduardo Rubén, which covers practically all the walls with fragments of the colonial architecture of Havana.
The outdoor terrace is also very nice since while sitting there one gets to enjoy the buzz of one of the busiest parts of the city: the coming and going of tourists and locals, the old American cars, bici-taxis and even horse drawn carriages.
What does it miss? Well, the hotel could use some maintenance: a lick of paint here, a new bulb there...….and a swimming pool! But to get to know Havana by staying in the very heart of it, this hotel is perfectly suitable, comfortable and clean.