Inside the first ever five-star hotel in Cuba

Sarah Carty

Cuba is undeniably one of the hottest destinations in the world right now.

Streams of Instagram snaps showing striking, pastel buildings, slick classic cars and sundrenched beaches have left pretty much every traveller itching to get on a plane and check it out.

RELATED: 9 things you need to know before going to Cuba

Nestled in between The Bahamas and Jamaica, the island was obviously the perfect spot to open a luxurious hotel, offering everything an extravagant tourist could ever want - and that's exactly what happened.

This is the view from the rooftop pool at Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana. Photo: Supplied
The hotel is situated right in the heart of Havana. Photo: Supplied

Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana became the first ever five-star hotel to open its doors in Havana at the end of May this year.

With tourism booming in the country thanks to improved relations between the US and the Caribbean paradise, luxury hotels have started to sprout up all around Havana - and the fancy Kempinski does not disappoint.

We rocked up to the incredibly opulent Kempinski last month (for the DVD release of the Fate of the Furious) after three flights and 25 hours and from the moment we got there, we knew we were in for a treat.

The hotel looks more like a museum than a tourist hotspot with the renovated white stone facade and luxe furnishings giving the 19th century building a refined modern feel.

Kempinski is the first-ever five star hotel in Havana. Photo: Supplied

246 rooms are dotted around the six-floor hotel, with every one decorated to perfection using the aqua, purple, yellow and pink hues we've all come to associate with Cuba.

Each one of the rooms features towering ceilings, a massive bathroom with a separate shower room and toilet room and best of all, French style terrace balconies, which open up to an unrivaled views over Havana.

While WiFi in Cuba is notoriously hard to come by and is pretty expensive, you can get a free card from the reception desk at Kempinski which will give you access to the internet for the length of your stay.

It has three bars and a cigar lounge. Photo: Instagram
Each room is decorated in tropical colours and overlooks the stunning city. Photo: Instagram

However, be aware that internet access is still sporadic in the country and it does cut out. A lot!

You will constantly see people taking out their WiFi card around the hotel to enter their login details again and again.

If you do find yourself coming up against a WiFi wall, we recommend packing in your Facebook stalking for the day and heading up to the sixth floor of the hotel, where you'llll find an infinity pool like no other.

Overlooking Havana's Central Park, El Capitolio and the Great Theatre of Havana, you would be hard pushed to find a better view in the city where you can relax on plush lounges while classical music plays in the background.

On the sixth floor you'll find a luxurious spa. Photo: Instagram
You'll also find the incredible infinity pool. Photo: Instagram

Order cocktails as you lounge in the pool or head to the spa, which features a steam room and a sauna.

If you're feeling peckish, we recommend heading downstairs to the second floor bar to order food.

The brand new hotel is still suffering from some teething problems so room service could take up to an hour to arrive.

However it was well worth it once it came, with the lobster ceviche ticking all the boxes, alongside an ice-cold margarita

This is the view from the rooftop bar. Photo: Supplied
A luxurious shopping mall occupies the ground floor. Photo: Supplied
There's also three restaurants and three bars. Photo: Supplied

If lounging by the pool isn't your thing, then hit the ground floor of the hotel, which is home to dozens of high-end boutiques such as Gucci, Canon, L'Occitane and Mont Blanc.

Cuba is of course known for its rum and cigars and the hotel has made sure every guest gets to taste the culture in style

A cigar lounge complete with a tobacco sommelier can be found on the second floor, or you can make your way to the other three bars and three restaurants sprawled around the building.

It's also situated right in the heart of Havana and is right across the street from Floridita bar, which is famous for its daiquiris and being a beloved hangout of Ernest Hemingway's - and we can confirm they are delicious!

The hotel looks equally as dazzling at night. Photo: Instagram

The hotel is also the perfect spot to base yourself to try out some of the incredible cuisine, bars and salsa clubs Havana has to offer.

After spending four days experienceing everything Havana has to offer, we're already dreaming of returning, very soon.

A night at the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana will set you back from about $480 for a room to $1700 for a suite.

This writer was sent to Havana courtesy of Universal Sony.

TheFate of the Furious is now available on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

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