The historic heart of the Cuban capital, whose many buildings remind us of the different stages of the city's development, is a unique and highly demanded option for foreign vacationers who visit the largest Antillean Island every year.
Thousands of centuries-old buildings and sites linked to culture, commerce, religion and even gastronomy proliferate in a relatively small area for the delight of visitors who are interested in learning about the Cuban capital.
According to experts, some 140 of the buildings in Havana's historic heart were constructed in the 16th and 17th centuries, 200 other edifices were built in the 18th century and over 460 were erected in the 19th century, thus creating a blend of architectural styles.
In that area, Habaguanex S.A., a Cuban firm attached to the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana, has restored establishments that were previously devoted to accommodate personalities and vacationers, giving them back their original image.
One of those establishments recovered for the leisure industry is the Park View Hotel, considered one of the most exclusive hotels in Havana during the first half of the 20th century and characterized by its American style, modernity and economical prices.
The hotel was built in 1928 and was a property of the Ecomides brothers, of Greek origin, who also owned the Zaserac Café, behind the Inglaterra Hotel.
The Park View, one of the first hotels operating with US capital, benefited from the stability provided by the steady arrival of middle-class Americans, and was compared to classic Havana hotels such as Vedado, Bristol and Plaza.
The hotel has 55 rooms equipped with all modern amenities, a 50-seat restaurant specializing in international and Cuban cuisine, and a lobby bar serving Cuban cocktails and snacks.
The hotel's location has always been its main attraction for many renowned personalities, due to its privacy and cozy ambiance, especially in the Cocktail Lounge Bar and the Roof Garden.
Several stories about the building link the hotel to the US mafia and to personalities of Cuban bourgeoisie, who were regulars at the establishment during the first half of the 20th century.
The Park View Hotel also benefits from nearby hot spots such as the National Museum of Fine Arts, the famous Prado Promenade and the former Presidential Palace.
After painstaking restoration works that brought back the building's original image, the Park View Hotel was reopened in early 2002 to welcome those who bet on Cuba to spend their vacations.