Hi. Great to see you. How’s the family? Samantha and I stayed in the charming Hotel Raquel for two nights in early March 2011. We arrived in the cab, a striking black Chevrolet, of Sr Miguel, from Havana airport, and settled into our room at around 11pm with the help of our hotel porter who took our luggage upstairs in the fully functioning old-fashioned lift, showed us the minibar, safe locker, tv and air conditioning and quickly left us to our own devices. We slept well and the next day had a quick look at the quiet and reclusive roof terrace. The interior of the hotel is amazing: an entirely stained glass ceiling, restored tiles and colonial metalwork (is that even something people say?). The breakfast was limited, especially for vegetarians, although there was ample opportunity to fill up on pastries, fruit juice and coffee. The staff, who were frank but not rude, were also willing to cook extra items, such as omelettes, on request. The traditional Jewish foods on offer for the evening to come tantalised and delighted us. We had a truly memorable experience of Havana, having been accosted and accompanied on our way by various locals, and returned to the hotel to rest and sleep. The shower was good. On our last morning, we drank coffee and smoked cigarettes in the beautiful lobby. When we needed advice re travel to Vinales, one of the hotel staff obliged, accurately, and we set off in a taxi to the Viazul terminal from nearby St Francisco plaza. Stay here. And, if you sample the superb-looking Jewish cuisine, please do let me know.
Peace and salad.
11pm Thursday eve.
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