- Hotel Florida, Havana (tel. 7/862-4127): This is probably my favorite of the Habaguanex properties in Old Havana. The building features a wonderful open-air central courtyard, checkerboard marble floors, and oodles of colonial-era charm. The whole operation is elegant and refined, and located right on the pulse of things on busy Calle Obispo.
- Hotel Saratoga, Havana (tel. 7/868-1000): Set right on the Paseo del Prado, with stunning views of El Capitolio from many of its rooms, this hotel has the most comfortable and luxurious rooms of any hotel in or near La Habana Vieja. Add to that a wonderful rooftop pool and bar, and this hotel is clearly one of the top choices in the city.
- NH Parque Central, Havana (tel. 7/860-6627): This modern, upscale hotel dominates the northern end of Havana's small central park. It boasts luxurious spacious rooms with marble bathrooms and a lovely rooftop pool. Its ultramodern stylish annex, the NH Parque Central Torre hotel, is now open.
- Hotel Los Jazmines, Viñales (tel. 48/79-6205): With a spectacular setting on a hillside overlooking the Viñales Valley, this is the best option in town. If you land one of the third-floor rooms with a balcony, you'll forgive the somewhat smallish rooms and minimal amenities. Los Jazmines makes a great base for exploring this region.
- Hotel La Unión, Cienfuegos (tel. 43/55-1020): Housed in a marvelously restored colonial mansion right in the heart of downtown Cienfuegos, this is one of the nicest boutique hotels in the country. With a couple of interior courtyards, neoclassical furnishings, and architectural touches, La Unión captures the elegance and charm of Cuba's bygone era. It's worth the small splurge for one of the spacious junior suites.
- Hostal Encanto del Rijo, Sancti Spíritus (tel. 41/32-8588): The concept of small boutique hotels with historic character is catching on in Cuba, and this boutique hotel in Sancti Spíritus is among the best of its kind in the country. In a beautifully restored colonial mansion, it has massive rooms with restrained decor, and it just might rank as the best hotel bargain in Cuba.
- Gran Hotel, Camagüey (tel. 32/29-2093): In the heart of Camagüey's colonial quarter, this 1930s hotel has real old-world character, a selection of atmospheric bars, and a small terrace pool. The Gran Hotel offers tons of style at a bargain price -- especially if you get one of the spacious corner rooms.
- Hotel El Castillo, Baracoa (tel. 21/64-5194): This hotel has history, charm, and a location to die for. Inside the walls of one of the town's oldest fortresses, up on a hill where the pool comes with splendid panoramic views of Baracoa and the bay, this is the kind of place you won't want to leave. Relaxed and unpretentious, it suits Baracoa perfectly.
- Hotel Casa Granda, Santiago de Cuba (tel. 22/65-3021): It's not Santiago's biggest or most expensive hotel, but the Casa Granda, in an elegant landmark building on Parque Céspedes in the heart of the city, is the place to stay if you want to be in the heady mix that is the Oriente region's capital. Renovation has dramatically improved the rooms, and the terrace bars are among the best people-watching places in the city.
- Hostal Basilio, Santiago de Cuba (tel. 22/65-1702): This little hotel, operating under the boutique Hoteles E brand, is in a beautifully restored old home in the heart of downtown Santiago de Cuba. The good-size rooms have very high ceilings with ornate crown molding. Throughout the hotel, you'll find attractive tile work on the floors, wainscoting, and smart bathrooms.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.