Arriving guests are greeted by a finely-carved, glistening art-deco statue of a nude belle, a remarkable sculptural work that has become one of the Florida’s identifying charms. Past this reception area, the establishment’s stately colonial past is announced in a Spanish-styled inner courtyard, where bare-stone columns, hanging period lamps and a glass fanlight provide a hugely relaxing ambiance.
The elegance of the property, common to all restored mansions in the Old Town now operating as hotels, carries over to the restaurant, equipped with a well-stocked bar. A less formal and livelier option is the hotel piano bar, where Cuban music and jazz are performed live every night.
Rooms at the Hotel Florida are sparsely and austerely furnished, and the overall feeling is one of unassuming simplicity. High beamed ceilings, polished checkered floors and period (original and faux) furnishings recall Cuba’s colonial past, though some elements seem rather out of place. Most rooms have balconies overlooking the street (two lack windows and are best avoided), and couples should try and secure one of the three accommodations with matrimonial beds. The spacious bathrooms, also with beamed ceilings, are splendid.
Junior Suites at Hotel Florida: more spacious than the standard rooms, these suites have a sitting area with tall, shuttered doors opening onto a second, separate balcony. Though a nice touch, the more modern furnishings in this lounge area detract a bit from the colonial feel.
Romantic Dinner in the hotel, a bottle of wine or cava, free room upgrade to Suite or Junior Suite (subject to availability), fresh flowers in room on arrival, honeymoon breakfast, late check out free (subject to availability), daily turndown service, private check in, welcome cocktail, 10% discount at Habaguanex Old Havana Restaurants, free entrance to authorised museums, free safe deposit box service, Opus Havana Magazine, free Old Havana map, 15% discount in your hotel restaurant.
Hotel Florida, Havana address: Calle Obispo esq. a Cuba. Ciudad de La Habana
Hotel Florida, Havana telephone number: (537) 862 4127
LOCATION: OBISPO STREET, OLD HAVANA.