Robaina's plantation

Monday, 7 July 2014

Hotel Capri (Havana) Has Finally Re-Opened

                 Hotel Capri was one of the first hotels built under the then President Batista's Hotel Law 2070 that offered tax incentives, government loans and casino licenses to anyone who spent more than $1,000,000 on a hotel. It opened on November 1957 and was owned by Mafia Kingpin Santo Trafficante from Florida. The hotel nightclub was run by Charles Tourine (aka The Blade) and the casino was run by Nicholas di Costanzo (aka The Fat Butcher) but they both answered to Meyer Lansky and Santo Trafficante. They even had the famous actor (mafia impersonator) George Raft as the doorman-greeter who made his home on the top floor in one of the penthouses (19th floor).
                  It closed in 2003 and from the time I started travelling strictly or mostly to Havana, around 2007, this hotel looked like it was always under renovations, kinda like the Capitolio. I remember thinking 'when in the hell are they going to finish these renovations'. Well, the wait is over, it finally reopened this past January. I popped in for a drink and to take some pictures of the lobby this past May. It looks pretty cool, they retained the art-deco decor from when it first opened. It's very close to the Hotel Nacional and has a popular nightclub on the ground floor to one side of the main building, the 'Salon Rojo'. I read that back in it's heyday the club used to have all kinds of inappropriate behaviour going on. Today it gets packed with mostly Cubans checking out the latest musical acts.
                   I went in to the hotel take some pictures but used the excuse of having a coffee and a rum at the lobby bar. The prices weren't too bad, the coffee was good and the presentation nice. High ceilings, lots of windows and light, tables and chairs. It's not a very big lobby but it wasn't too busy either. I took a picture of their rates, which I posted below. The pics of the room and rooftop pool I took from the internet. I'm sure the views from the roof would be quite nice.

Hotel Capri
Calle 21 entre N y O
Vedado, Havana
tel +5378397200
19 floors
220 rooms