"Secretaria de obras publicas actualidad oficial"
The Purdy Henderson Company.
The hotel construction team
Original architectural plans
On the coastal salient of Punta Brava,
on the Taganana hill, toward the far end of the San Lazaro cove
- customary site of pirate landings - rises the Hotel Nacional
de Cuba since December 30, 1930, the “flagship” of
During the 19th century, the hill on which the hotel stands held
the famous battery of Santa Clara. The “Ordoñez”
cannon, one of the largest of its time, still lies in the hotel’s
gardens. On the headland of Punta Brava, Corregidor Don Luis Aguilar
chastised the British during the seige and assault of Havana.
The hotel’s most famous and luxurious restaurant is named
The project and construction of this majestic building was completed
in two years by the US companies McKim, Mead & White and Purdy
Visitors are captivated by the galleries of the gardens that
recollect monastic cloisters of Moorish-Spanish arcades, the main
hall resembling three parallel aisles of a Medieval church, or
the simulated beams of the ceiling that recall an old Catalan
monastery with Arab reminiscences. Its eclectic architecture combining
Art-Deco, neoclassic and neocolonial designs, the handsome Apartment
of the Republic with its direct entrance and the necessary privacy
for state guests, and its comfortable Presidential Suite have,
time and again, attracted many distinguished personalities from
the fields of art, literature, politics, commerce, science and
Among its first illustrious guests were artists, actors and writers
such as Johny Weissmuller, Buster Keaton, Jose Mujica, Jorge Negrete,
Agustin Lara, Tyrone Power, Romulo Gallegos, Errol Flyn, Marlon
Brando and the famous Ernest Hemingway, who donated a blue fish
specimen to the “Sirena” bar. The guestlist includes
well known Italian American gangsters Santos Traficante, Meyer
Lansky, Lucky Luciano and Frank Costello. The hotel’s reputation
as a deluxe host is backed by patrons such as Winston Churchill,
the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, scientist Alexander Flemming,
and innumerable Ibero American Heads of State and European monarchs.
The hotel was refurbished in the late 50’s, when all the
comforts that make it competitive were added without altering
the original layout.
The protagonism of the Hotel Nacional goes on, welcoming distinguished
businessmen and ordinary folk from all over the world, hosting
important international events and still remaining that “Enchanted
Castle” that Carpentier spoke of, as dazzling as it was
on its opening night.
from the Hotel Nacional de Cuba