The First True Luxury Hotel in Cuba Opens its Doors to Guests

Since Obama’s relaxing of relations between the United States and Cuba (which the Trump administration is working hard to unravel), the latter has been a hot topic among travelers. But, the island’s tourism infrastructure has seen precious few updates since the revolution leaving a distinct dearth of luxury accommodations. In short, there has been little to no luxury (by American standards) hotel development in decades. Until now …

Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana

Last month, the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana opened its doors in historic Old Havana as thew newest luxury hotel in Cuba. The hotel is situated in the iconic, century-old Manzana de Gómez building which was once home to Cuba’s premier, Euro-style shopping arcade. The revamped architecture and design deftly blend into the surrounding neighborhood. The redesign added a host of luxury appointments, including three restaurants, three bars, a beautiful rooftop pool deck, a penthouse gym, and a massive, modern spa.

Every space takes inspiration from Cuba’s rich history. The sophisticated Evocación Tobacco Lounge is a modern gentleman’s cigar lounge (no, not that kind) with a selection of local smokes and fine aged spirits. Its eight balconies afford intimate views of Cuba’s Capitol Building and Central Park. The bold, flagship Bar Constante was so named for the barman who devised the now-famous Hemingway Daiquiri. A rooftop restaurant on the sixth floor is situated in a beautiful glass space with panoramic views of the city’s UNESCO-protected old quarter. Much of the decor also pays homage to Cuban art and culture. The work of Claudia Corrales (granddaughter of Raúl Corrales Fornos, who was among Fidel Castro’s official state photographers) hangs in the halls, and an intimate museum is situated in the hotel’s basement.

Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana

Each of the 246 rooms and suites features a stunning design by renowned South African studio Archipolitan. All boast tall ceilings, louvered French doors that open to balconies overlooking the old city, and an understated color palette with tasteful pops of tropical color. Some bi-level suites also boast sleeping lofts. Additional amenities — in-room Wi-Fi, rain showers, and flat-screen TVs — feel modern and luxurious by any standards, but especially so relative to most of Cuba’s lodging options.

As one might expect, all this luxury comes at a price. Nightly rates start north of $500 USD.

Living

Kickstarter, a Team of Designers, and a Determined Owner Brought the Jennings Hotel Back to Life

The Jennings Hotel is the hotel that isn’t. It doesn’t offer food service. It doesn’t have a lobby. It doesn’t have televisions. And not all of the rooms have private bathrooms.
Food & Drink

Mail-Order Meat: Where to Order Quality Meat Online

Need a cut of steak? Some pork? A few lobster tails? Skip a trip to the store and these premium delivery companies.
Living

Urban Loft Meets New England Farm in Ben’s Barn in Maine

Throw in some mid-century modern touches and Ben’s Barn is a beautifully eclectic home that’s sure to stand the test of time.
Living

The Best Presidents’ Day Sales on Sheets and Bedding

Presidents' Day is the best times to treat yourself to luxury bedding deals.
Outdoors

4 of the Most Dangerous Hikes in the World

You'll need a healthy dose of fear and a desire to push your self to the edge — just not over it.
Travel

‘App in the Air’ Could Help Travelers Survive the Next Government Shutdown

It's like an airport survival kit in your pocket. It will be handy long after the government shutdown ends (again).
Travel

10 Reasons to Visit Norway in 2019

The picturesque ruggedness of Norway is just part of the appeal of what may arguably be one of the most beautiful countries on the planet.
Travel

The Palms Casino’s Newest High-Roller Suites Have a Bowling Alley and Whiskey Room

The Hardwood Suite is a basketball-centric masterpiece, while the Kingpin suite is a bowling bro's paradise.
Travel

Celebrate Your Single-ness This Valentine’s Day with a Cheap Vacation

Contiki is looking to make solo celebrations even better with deeply discounted travel packages for Singles Awareness Day.
Travel

Win a Private Island Getaway for You and 7 of Your Closest Friends

Bring the entire squad on an ultra-luxe Belizean getaway worthy of a one-percenter.
Living

The Jamaican Villa Where Ian Fleming Created James Bond is for Rent and It Is Amazing

You can vacation at the birthplace of secret agent 007, complete with butlers to make your martinis.
Auto

PlugVan Converts Most Vans Into Full-Fledged Campers in 5 Minutes

Your van can be backcountry-ready for the weekend and back to work Monday morning.
Travel

Enjoy a Different Kind of Island Life at this Private Scottish Escape

Eilean Shona is a self-described, lakefront “Neverland” where visitors are encouraged to appreciate the lost art of sitting still and doing nothing.
Travel

Travel Switzerland Like a Gentleman Aboard the Luxury Glacier Express

You can sip cognac like a sophisticate aboard Europe's most iconic and breathtaking rail journey.