Hotels in Santiago de Cuba City, Santiago de Cuba
Hotel Gran Caribe Casagranda
An institution for almost a century (Graham Greene was one famous figure who featured the hotel in his novels), this grande-dame hotel stands over Parque C?spedes. A more enviable setting is hard to imagine! We like this hotel on almost every level, although many of the staff seem indifferent, there\'s no on-site parking, and despite a recent refurbishing in 2005, this hotel already looks weary and overdue for yet another face-lift.
We love sitting at the open-air ground floor snack bar overlooking the park ? a great venue for catching the buzz of activity, and for sampling a mojito and cigar. The main restaurant offers sumptuous decor, including gilt mirrors and chandeliers; it does a reasonable job with criolla and continental dishes, although it\'s a tad pricey for what you get. The open-air rooftop grill is to be enjoyed for the spectacular views over the city.
Hotel Melia Santiago de Cuba
This five-star high-rise hotel is the real class act in town, although it\'s eyebrow-raising, Cubist-inspired post-modernist architecture stops many arrivees dead in their tracks. We actually like it, despite its gaudy blood-red and flamboyant sky-blue paint job framing the towering walls of glass. The vast atrium lobby gleams with marble beneath a soaring plate-glass ceiling. We\'ve enjoyed many a mojito at the mezzanine piano lounge-bar to one side, but this Spanish-managed hotel also hosts the city\'s best nightclub ? the Santiago Caf?.
The huge swimming pool is framed by palms and a thatched bar-restaurant, bringing a beachfront sense to the heart of the city. Guests can choose from four restaurants, two of them gourmet, including La Isabela ? to many people, the city\'s best restaurant, and we agree. Since the hotel caters as much to business travelers as to tourists (it\'s a staple of tour groups), there\'s a well-stocked cigar store plus a fully-equipped business center and meeting rooms. Plus the gym is well-equipped, the ladies can freshen up with beauty treatments, and a small shopping plaza includes fashion boutiques.