The Hotel Riviera in Havana


Cuba attracts more than 2 million people a year and is considered as a major source of revenue for the island. Since 1990, Cuba has been building resort hotels all over the island in an effort to build revenues from its tourism industry. Cuba is a hotspot when it comes to tourism (consisting of mostly of tourists from Europe, Canada, Central and South America) and tourists will need a place to stay for them to enjoy the sights and sounds Cuba has to offer.

However, hotels in Cuba are usually jam packed with tourists making it difficult to get vacancies during peak vacation times. There are plenty of hotels and resorts in Cuba as well as bed and breakfast inns, also known as casa particulars, where tourists can find accommodation. One in particular, the Hotel Habana Riviera, or Havana Rivera Hotel has much more to offer than just rooms and excellent service. It also has a colorful history of mobsters and movie stars who mixed at this once elegant hotel in the 1950s. In the 1950s, this hotel was the luxury hotel destination where Hollywood stars came to stay.

Located near the ocean in the neighborhood of Havana known as Vedado, the 16 story hotel building incorporates a 1950s design usually seen in Las Vegas or Miami. Modern yet stylish, the Hotel Riviera which has been renovated true to the architectural design of the 1950s, preserving the style of the 1950s in its  furniture, decorations (sculpture and art) and the structure.  The lobby of  the Hotel Riviera Havana is decorated with sculptures by the famous Cuban sculptor Florencio Gelabert.  Other names this hotel in Havana is known by are the Hotel Habana Riviera, the Gran Caribe Habana Riviera (current owners), Hotel Riviera Havana or Havana Rivera.

Designed by architect Igor B. Polevitzky,  the structure was completed in such a way that all rooms would have a spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea. From each window, you can see a wonderful sunset and the famous boardwalk known as the Malecón.  If you choose to stay at the Hotel Riviera when in Havana, enjoy a long stroll along this famous boardwalk as the sun sets, just as the people of Havana do. To visit the historical part of Havana, La Habana Vieja, take a quick taxi ride from the Hotel Riviera. From the rooftop, you can enjoy views of the city skyline of Havana.


Perfect sunsets from the Hotel Riviera, Havana

The Hotel Riviera offers a lobby bar and one restaurant called the Mirador de la Habana where the food on the menu is good.   For entertainment, watch the spectacular and very colorful Tropicana show in the Copa Room Cabaret nightclub in the evening.  To cool off, relax and enjoy swimming in the large outdoor swimming pool of the Hotel Riviera where in times past movie stars from Hollywood’s Golden Era once swam. Other conveniences offered at the Hotel Riviera include some shops, a humidor and a beauty salon.  For business purposes there are conference rooms for the business traveler, something that is not common to find yet in Havana.


The large swimming pool of the Hotel Riviera.  Esther Williams, Mamie van Doren and Ava Gardner once swam here.

Hotel rooms at the Hotel Riviera Havana are clean, comfortable and very spacious with private bathrooms, hair dryer and hot and cold running water.  Satellite TV, air conditioning, a safety deposit box, telephone and mini bar can be found in each hotel room. Most rooms offer balconies and every room offers a view of the Caribbean Sea. The service is professional and courteous and will provide any tourism advice or service you require.  The Hotel Riviera Havana offers its guests that old time elegance often missed by travelers of the modern day. Don’t forget to take a tour of Havana on the big bus and don’t miss the most important tourist attractions in Havana.



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