La Reserva, Vedado

Rates from US$180

Photograph by Hector Loea.

Overview: This 1914 villa, in the heart of the Vedado area, has been converted into a luxurious, 11-room boutique hotel that features Cuban art and furnishings.

The rooms: The prettily tiled rooms include supremely comfortable king-size beds and shuttered and curtained windows. The ensuite marble bathrooms are sleek and top-notch.

Dining options: Breakfasts of eggs, toast, fresh yogurt and Cuban coffee are served on the garden patio. Lunches include sandwiches and pastas, and there is an alfresco cocktail bar.

Good to know: The hotel concierge can arrange everything from restaurant reservations and outings in classic cars, to event tickets and day trips within and beyond Havana.

Nearby: The lavish marble, art deco and decorated tombs of Christopher Columbus Cemetery are just five blocks away from the hotel.

SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana, Prado and Malecón

Rates from US$430

Photograph courtesy of SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana.

Overview: With panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, this new hotel is aimed at hipster visitors and its 250 rooms celebrate ballet along with son and salsa music.

The rooms: The delicate, rose-pink ballet rooms, and the snazzier silver and mauve vibe in the salsa suites, come with standalone bathtubs and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Dining options: Enjoy breakfast at Cosecha restaurant and French-inspired Cuban cuisine for lunch or dinner at HI SO on the top floor. There is also a ground-floor chocolatería.

Good to know: The hotel offers a program of cultural events, a spa, boutique, cigar shop, rooftop bar and infinity pool with impressive views of the city and ocean.

Nearby: Old Havana is at this hotel’s doorstep. Walk up Prado promenade to the Revolution Museum, Museum of Fine Arts and the Cuban baroque Grand Theatre.

Gardens, Old Havana

Rates from US$250

Photograph courtesy of Gardens.

Overview: This impeccably restored, century-old colonial townhouse with patio garden features contemporary Cuban art, a sun terrace and spacious dining room.

The rooms: All of the rooms come with four-poster beds, windows dressed with linen drapes, contemporary marble bathrooms and are air-conditioned to keep you cool.

Dining options: À la carte breakfasts of eggs, toast, meats, cheese and avocado mash are served at a long, communal table. Dinners are tailored and cooked by an in-house chef.

Good to know: The thoughtful concierge can arrange bespoke experiences, such as a day spent with a local photographer, salsa classes or meetings with Cuban painters.

Nearby: The lavishly restored, gold-domed Capitol building, home to the third largest interior statue in the world and open to tours, is five blocks away.

Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinkski La Habana, Old Havana

Rates from US$540

Photograph courtesy of Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski.

Overview: With its softly uplit, wedding-cake white facade, this hotel is a welcome debut in a city unused to luxury hospitality since the heady days of the 1950s, when Ginger Rogers and Nat King Cole sang in pleasure palaces for Americans on vacation.

The rooms: Guests will admire the purple, green and grey splashes of colour in the 246 rooms featuring high ceilings, huge beds and louvered windows—many with views of Havana’s central park.

Dining options: The tropical green splendour of the first-floor Constante Bar and poolside El Suritidor Pool Bar serves as a refreshing retreat from Havana’s humid streets.

Good to know: It’s the rooftop terrace, showcasing a jaw-dropping downtown view, that truly shines in the Caribbean sun. The Bella Habana infinity pool is flood-lit at night and spills over the Havana skyline—all columns, chubby cherubs, scrolls, perky palms and neon signs.

Nearby: Take a short walk behind the National Capitol Building to the lively Sia Kara Café and settle in for a night filled with cocktails, tapas and live music.

[This story appears in the January 2020 edition of WestJet Magazine.]