~ since 1875 ~

The History of Hotel Inglaterra

Hotel Inglaterra is the oldest in Havana. Founded December 23 of 1875, and honoring with its name to the principal world power in that time, this hotel is really flashy and it has the singular elegance of the elects.

A lot of history has the Hotel Inglaterra. Located in a central corner of havana, just in front of the Parque Central, it is known in many parts of the world. Some people remember its history, other, the attention that it offers, the more ones, its intense cultural activity.

The history tells, in 1844 when Havana was even surrounded by the strong wall that protected her against pirates, corsairs and invaders, in the capital that arose to outside the city, a construction of two floors rose up, known by " Café y Salones de Escauriza".

Hotel Inglaterra Portal and CafeteriaHotel Inglaterra Reception

It was the future what is today the Hotel Inglaterra. Very near there and aligned in San Rafael street, the splendid Tacón theater rose up, today in remodeling, pride of the havana city, scenario of the best artistic companies in the orb and one of those of bigger capacity of the world.

That corner in Prado and San Rafael streets, it was transforming with time, in a great cultural center of the capital, where the love to the life and the aspiration of a plenum freedom, they were transforming into reflection of the citizenship in development.

The Spanish authorities prohibited the dances in this ballrooms, to protect in its exclusivity to those that took place in the Tacón theater, (the governor of the same name was partner of Pancho Marty, the black man owner of the enclosure of the theater), that situation bothered the apparent and riotous creole youth of that time that they had a good time in Escauriza, a lot the answer it was directed by the boys that threw punches of milk to the uniformed Spaniards, there were blood and deportations, it was also this event, the first sign of a new period, in the life of the Havana’s youth of those times. The singular event was baptized as the battle of the milk ..... later the Sidewalk of Louvre.

The coffee changed name when it was bought in 1863 by Don Joaquín Payret, who recognized it as "El Louvre" that it would give place to the called The Louvre sidewalk, whose extension arrived to San Miguel street, soon the whole street began to fill up with historical sense.

In 1875, the noted Hotel Inglaterra was born with only two stories, and its owners were Manuel López and Urban González.

Hotel Inglaterra Portal and Cafeteria

In 1886 the Hotel Inglaterra suffers its first reconstruction when it grows in a floor more. But until 1901 this hotel had to wait to its more important reconstructions, when it received the benefits of the electric, telephone and bathroom in each room, together to the telegraphic link with the rest of the world.

In 1914 it was carried out another of the reconstructions of the hotel, when once concluded this, the same one exhibits, like now, four stories, the marquee portal, 83 rooms and four stars category, fruit of the economic chaos that the first world war generated in United States of America.

This excellent hotel was very popular in the 19th century and it is still favored by the visitors that enjoy particularly its external cafeteria, drinking or eating in decorated tables by Cuban contemporary artists and watching the movement of the street closely.

After the victory of the revolution in Cuba, this hotel becomes property of the Cuban Goverment. The most recent reforms date of 1989, when it experiences a capital repair that take it to respond to the demands of the modern tourism, maintaining the architectural style that transformed it eight years before that date into National Monument due to its patrimonial high worth.

Throughout its history, its rooms welcomed to illustrious figures of the Cuban history, like it was the case of General Major Antonio Maceo - one of the commanders of the independence geste in Cuba - who received Juan Gualberto Gómez's visit.

Also, April 4 of 1879, José Martí pronounced in the Hotel Inglaterra his famous speech in homage to the journalist Manuel Márquez Sterling.

Rooms of the center, private of the loquacity that provides the speech, received among their walls to a long relation of personalities of that time, many of them linked to the art’s world for the proximity of this hotel to important theaters of the capital.

Another very important fact, it was, to remember the shield of the marquisate of Perinat that it’s found in the 4th story of the Hotel Inglaterra, delivered to the wife of a treasurer of Royal Incomes, Don Guillermo Perinat y Ochoa. This native woman received this shield, in hands of the Spain Queen María Cristina de Hamburgo y Lorena because of all the services of beneficent character and for the merits that her husband had reached.

At the present time, the doyen of the Havana’s hotels is one of the seven hotels that maintain its condition of the 30 Havana hotels included on the tourist guide of the Havana Traders Association corresponding to 1926, putting at the disposal of the visitors its rooms with all the services, accompanied by a great gastronomic offer.

Nigel Alexander Hunt

Welcome to my site dedicated to the famous and historical Hotel Inglaterra in Old Havana. I am "poco a poco" researching and updating it with the aim to provide as complete as possible record of the hotel's ancient and recent history; bearing in mind that the goings-on today may one day be of historical interest.

My site is NOT the official website of the current hotel operator, and is by no means endorsed by them; but I am grateful for their help with the research.

You can make from this site room reservations operated by Cubaism Ltd.

Best wishes for 2009

Nigel Alexander Hunt