We stayed for three nights in April in Armadores de Santander and were very satisfied with the experience. It has a pleasant situation on the harbour on the outskirts of the sightseeing district of Havana Vieja, a short walk from the Plaza Vieja in one direction and the Feria Artisanal in the other. The hotel architecture seems a little austere compared with some of the plant-filled-patio colonial buildings in the heart of the district, but it is airy, smart and clean with good bathrooms and we had a balcony overlooking the harbour. It is also a lot quieter in its position than most others.. It is a historical building, connected with the shipping trade with the Spanish in past centuries. The staff were very efficient and helpful (having travelled around for nearly two weeks we took advantage of the excellent laundry service!) and the breakfasts were very good apart from the coffee, which was awful… But there is a great coffee place on Plaza Vieja so we would start the day’s sightseeing with a coffee there! The hotel bar did great cocktails and sandwiches, but we didn’t try the restaurant. Just around the corner is the bar Dos Hermanos which was frequented by Hemingway (of course) and gets a mention in most guides. Music there most nights and a genuine Habanera atmosphere.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There is so much to see and do in Havana. The hotel is best placed to explore Havana Vieja all of which is easily accessible on foot; but Vedado, the Plaza de la Revolucion etc are easy to reach by taxi. We found that we would have a sightseeing aim for the day and end up getting diverted into little fascinating sights and episodes that we wouldn’t have known about – this is the joy of just wandering around Havana. We saw a superb art exhibition at the Gran Teatro on the way to visit the Museo de la Revolucion, had a tour of the Armeria after seeing a memorial service outside it, and could sit and watch the children in their Easter holiday structured activities in Plaza Vieja for ages!
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