Clients are always appreciative of the service at the Hotel San Miguel, where the staff members are particularly helpful and welcoming. This grand nineteenth century mansion was restored and is now run by the Office of the City Historian of Havana, so all its profits are reinvested in the restoration of the city’s historical centre.
The establishment is named after Antonio San Miguel y Segalá, an important member of Havana society who acquired it in 1913. Its interiors combine grandeur with intimacy, sometimes to slightly eccentric effect, as in the sweeping marble stair which seems to have ideas above its station, shoehorned as it is into a rather small hallway. The rooms at the San Miguel are very comfortable, though, and from the roof terrace there’s a wonderful view of the entrance to the harbour and the lighthouse of the Castillo de los Tres Santos Reyes Magos del Morro.
The San Miguel is excellently placed for exploration of Old Havana.
Reception staff speak Spanish, English, French, German, Italian
Safety - uniformed security personnel 24hrs
Shops max 2min walk
Telephone - national & international calls
TV room/bar (international channels & videos)
Details of Standard Room
The 10 standard rooms at the San Miguel come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they are all very agreeable. Those on the first floor overlooking the port are really beautiful, with high ceilings and towering French windows opening to small balconies from which one can gaze at the eighteenth century fortifications and the ships entering the harbour. The colour scheme is vanilla and raspberry, many of the furnishings are antique, the bedroom floors and bathrooms are tiled with pale grey marble and most of the French windows are crowned with traditional decorative stained glass. Furniture is a mixture of modern and colonial styles and the walls are hung with daguerrotypes of members of high Havana society: simpering belles in swathes of satin; their fierce mothers in black bombazine, young bucks with flashing eyes and bristling moustaches and startled-looking babies in froths of lace. Only one of the rooms has matrimonial bed. The other 9 are twin bedded.
The heart and soul of Havana is the old town Habana Vieja, declared a Heritage of Mankind Site in 1982 by UNESCO. It was keen to preserve the beauty of its architecture and promote the historical importance of its role within the region.
The following are just some of the interesting places to visit: Plaza de Armas, centred around a statue of the patriot Cespedes and emcompassed by shaded marble benches and second-hand booksellers, is the first public square built in the city. Plaza de la Catedral is perhaps the most beautiful square in the Caribbean which is surrounded by examples of the finest baroque architecture in the country. El Templete, small neoclassical temple which marks the spot where the first Mass was said in 1519. Castillo de la Real Fuerza is one of the oldest forts in the Americas, it holds modern art exhibitions downstairs and the battlements afford good views over the harbour. Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, the seat of government and governor's residence was transferred from the fort to the built. The presidential palace and then the municipal palace until Castro seized power it is now Museo de la Ciudad de la Habana. Museo de Arte Colonial, fine palace constructed in 1720, its yellow courtyard and little-altered architectural features are complemented by a large collection of 17th- and 18th-century furniture. Calle Obispo is Old Havana's most important and smartest thoroughfare, pedestrianized with missile heads as bollards.