The excellent location of the Hotel Sevilla, near the elegant Prado
promenade and numerous cafés, restaurants and theaters, means its guests
are located right in the heart of Havana’s social and cultural scene.
The history of this hotel is rich, diverse and inspiring. The first
stone was laid in 1880 but it wasn’t opened until 1908. The architects
of the building were inspired by the Moorish lines and motifs of the
entrance to the famous Court of the Lions in the Alhambra Palace in
Granada, Spain, a style that incorporates arcades, columns, and millions
of mosaics. At the beginning of the 1940s, the Sevilla was run by a
Uruguayan gangster with Italian origins who had dealings with
Italian-born American gangsters Lucky Luciano and Santos Trafficante
Snr. It’s said that Al Capone also stayed at the hotel.
Of the internationally famous people which have stayed at the Hotel
Sevilla we find Italian tenor Enrique Caruso, and singer and dancer
Josephine Baker. It’s said that when the Hotel Nacional de Cuba denied
entry to this world famous singer because of the color of her skin, the
Sevilla laid out the red carpet for her and declared her a Distinguished
Guest. She organized a press conference about the scandal which only
served to enhance the fame of the Sevilla hotel.
The large, wide and comfortable lobby is decorated with blue Moorish
tiles and carved ceilings. The alfresco patio, just off the lobby, is
always busy with guests enjoying the live music played by a Cuban
quartet. The hotel also hosts opera on the rooftop terrace of the hotel
where, every Friday, the talented young stars of Habana Clásicos sing.
One of the best things about the Sevilla is its street-level pool
surrounded by palms and a terrace, snack bar, sauna and massage service.