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Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Discover the Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Vedado, Havana and why it has received such honors from UNESCO 

Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Hotel Nacional de Cuba
© Wilder Méndez

The Hotel Nacional de Cuba (National Hotel of Cuba), built in 1930 in an eclectic Art Decó, Neoclassical and Neocolonial style, has been declared a National Monument due to its artistic and historic value. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular postcard pictures from Havana. It is located in Calle O, cornering Calle 21, in Vedado, Municipio Plaza de la Revolución, Havana.

The hotel has also been made part of the Memory of the World Programme by UNESCO, being the first hotel to receive this kind of honor. 


It has a large list of important clients, from politicians, artists, and scientists, to well-known members of the Italian-american mafia. Some of the most famous are: Edward VIII, Prince of Wales; the writers Ernest Hemingway and Rómulo Gallegos; Nelson Rockefeller; the first person to discover Penicillin, Alexander Fleming; the boxer Rocky Marciano, Frank Sinatra, and movie actors such as Marlon Brando, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Fred Astaire, or Pedro Vargas. Nowadays, the hotel exhibits on its walls old photographs of some of its guests.

Part of its historical importance is owed to October 1933, after the putsch of Fulgencio Batista, when 300 officers came to stay in this hotel, where US Ambassador Sumner Welles was also staying, and with the intention of asking a favor. But to their misfortune, Wells left quickly before Batista’s troops opened fire in the hotel, killing 14 of them.

Another historical event took place in December 1946, when American gangsters Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky arranged one of the most important meetings for the American mafia, at which Frank Sinatra supposedly gave a private concert, however the artist has always denied this claim.

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Calle O, cornered with Calle 21, Vedado, La Habana - Cuba.

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