The Buena Vista Social Club

31 December 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club in Lorient/France © XIIIfromTOKYO/cc-by-sa-3.0

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club in Lorient/France © XIIIfromTOKYO/cc-by-sa-3.0

Buena Vista Social Club is an ensemble of Cuban musicians established in 1996 to revive the music of pre-revolutionary Cuba. The project was organized by World Circuit executive Nick Gold, produced by American guitarist Ry Cooder and directed by Juan de Marcos González. They named the group after the homonymous members’ club in the Buenavista quarter of Havana, a popular music venue in the 1940s. To showcase the popular styles of the time, such as son, bolero and danzón, they recruited a dozen veteran musicians, many of whom had been retired for years.   read more…

Tropicana Cabaret in Havana

7 December 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Jongleur100

© Jongleur100

El Tropicana is a cabaret in Havana, Cuba. It was launched on December 30, 1939 at the Villa Mina in Marianao and next door to El Colegio de Belen where Fidel Castro went to school. The Tropicana cabaret is located in a lush, tropical garden six-acre (24,000 m²) estate.   read more…

Hotel Habana Riviera on Cuba

14 September 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels Reading Time:  22 minutes

© - Leandro Neumann Ciuffo/cc-by-2.0

© – Leandro Neumann Ciuffo/cc-by-2.0

The Hotel Habana Riviera by Iberostar, originally known as the Havana Rivera, is a historic resort hotel located on the Malecón waterfront boulevard in the Vedado district of Havana on Cuba. The hotel, which is managed by the Spanish Iberostar chain, was built in 1957 and still maintains its original 1950s style. It has twenty-one floors containing 352 rooms all of which feature views of the water and the Vedado neighborhood.   read more…

Museum of the Revolution in Havana

2 April 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  4 minutes

Museum of the Revolution © - Paul Mannix/cc-by-sa-2.0

Museum of the Revolution © – Paul Mannix/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Museum of the Revolution (Spanish: Museo de la Revolución) is a museum located in the Old Havana section of Havana. The museum is housed in what was the Presidential Palace of all Cuban presidents from Mario García Menocal to Fulgencio Batista. It became the Museum of the Revolution during the years following the Cuban Revolution.   read more…

Theme Week Havana – Sloppy Joe’s Bar

2 August 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes



Sloppy Joe’s Bar is a historic bar located in Havana, Cuba. The bar reopened in 2013 after being closed for 48 years. Renovation work on Sloppy Joe’s was completed in early 2013, and its doors opened to the public on April 12th of that year. The facade closely resembles the images from the 1950s, even down to the sign on the corner, above the arches. The advent of Prohibition in the United States spurred its original owner, Jose Abeal Otero, to change the emphasis from food service to liquor service when American tourists would visit Havana for the nightlife, the gambling and the alcohol they could not obtain back home.   read more…

Hotel Nacional de Cuba

20 March 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture, Hotels Reading Time:  11 minutes

© - Tony Hisgett/cc-by-2.0

© – Tony Hisgett/cc-by-2.0

The Hotel Nacional de Cuba is a historic luxury hotel located on the Malecón in the middle of Vedado in Havana, Cuba. It stands on Taganana hill a few metres from the sea, and offers a view of Havana Harbour, the seawall and the city. The New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White designed the hotel, which features a mix of styles. It opened in 1930, when Cuba was a prime travel destination for Americans, long before the United States embargo against Cuba. In its 80+ years of existence, the hotel has had many important guests. The hotel was built on the site of the Santa Clara Battery, which dates back to 1797. Part of the battery has been preserved in the hotel’s gardens, including two large coastal guns dating from the late 19th Century. There is also a small museum there featuring the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. During the crisis, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara set up their headquarters there to prepare the defence of Havana from aerial attack.   read more…

Theme Week Havana – La Habana Vieja

21 December 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

Hotel Inglatera © Gotanero/cc-by-sa-4.0

Hotel Inglatera © Gotanero/cc-by-sa-4.0

Old Havana (Spanish: La Habana Vieja) is the city-center (downtown) and one of the 15 municipalities (or boroughs) forming Havana. It has the second highest population density in the city and contains the core of the original city of Havana. The positions of the original Havana city walls are the modern boundaries of Old Havana. Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A safeguarding campaign was launched a year later to restore the authentic character of the buildings. Old Havana resembles Cadiz and Tenerife. Alejo Carpentier called it “de las columnas” (of the columns), but it could also be named for the gateways, the revoco, the deterioration and the rescue, the intimacy, the shade, the cool, the courtyards… In her there are all the big ancient monuments, the forts, the convents and churches, the palaces, the alleys, the arcade, the human density. The Cuban State has undertaken enormous efforts to preserve and to restore Old Havana through the efforts of the Office of the Historian of the City, directed by Eusebio Leal.   read more…

Theme Week Havana – Havana Harbor

9 December 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Lighthouse and Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro at the entrance to Havana Harbor © Mariordo/cc-by-sa-3.0

Lighthouse and Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro at the entrance to Havana Harbor © Mariordo/cc-by-sa-3.0

Havana Harbor is the port of Havana, the capital of Cuba, and it is the main port in Cuba (not including Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, a territory on lease by the United States). Most vessels coming to the island make port in Havana. Havana is located on the northwest coast of Cuba, south of the Florida Keys, where the Gulf of Mexico flows into the Caribbean. Other port cities in Cuba include Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Manzanillo and Santiago de Cuba. The harbor was created from the natural Havana Bay which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbors: Marimelena, Guanabacoa, and Atarés. Since 2014,it has gradually been replaced by the port of the nearby Mariel, which has now become the largest container port in the Caribbean. A new train line connects the capital to the port of Mariel.   read more…

The Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso on Cuba

1 July 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture, House of the Month, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Susanne Bollinger/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Susanne Bollinger/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso (English: “Great Theatre of Havana Alicia Alonso“) is located in the Paseo del Prado in Havana. It is located in a building known as the Galician Centre of Havana, constructed to serve as a social center for Galician immigrants to Havana. The theatre has been home to the Cuban National Ballet and, on its main stage, to the International Ballet Festival of Havana. It facilities include theatres, a concert hall, conference rooms, and a video screening room, as well as an art gallery, a choral centre, and several rehearsal halls for danzarias groups and dance companies.   read more…

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