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Ambos Mundos Hotel: Under Hemingway's Shadow

The Cuban capital, the major tourist destination in the largest Antillean island, provides offers to please the most demanding visitors, ranging from the traditional sun and beaches to those involving a strong historic content.

Among the latter are those related to Havana's Historic Heart, which was declared Humankind's Heritage by UNESCO, and where over 30,000 buildings constructed during the 18th and 19th centuries are still standing, as well as many museums, churches, and commercial and tourist centers.

Founded nearly five centuries ago, the city treasures old inns and hotels which history and traditions are often linked to the personalities they welcomed. That is the case of the Ambos Mundos Hotel, run by the group Habaguanex S.A.

The four-star hotel is famous worldwide because U.S. writer Ernest Hemingway, Literature Nobel Prizewinner, stayed in room 511 during a relatively lengthy period (1932-1939).

It was precisely in that room where the great novelist wrote some chapters of one of his most famous novel, "For Whom the Bell Tolls", as well as several articles published in the "Esquire" magazine, among other works, before moving out to La Vigía estate, in the southeastern end of Havana.

Hemingway himself referred to Ambos Mundos as a "good place to write", in allusion to the welcoming and attractive atmosphere of the hotel, characterized by an eclectic architectural style that stands out among other buildings in the city.

Ambos Mundos Café
Ambos mUndos Hotel, Post Office
Ambos Mundos Hotel, Hemingway`s room

For today's guests, the presence of the author of "The Old Man and the Sea" is evident in a sort of small museum in the old room where the famous novelist stayed, surrounded by a strong emotional atmosphere reminiscent of the old days.

Built in 1923 on one of the oldest streets in Havana, the Ambos Mundos Hotel has 52 rooms - including three junior suites - with all the amenities required by today's standards, and provides a hospitable environment from the early 20th century.

Many anecdotes - some of them unconfirmed - mention the presence of personalities such as Federico García Lorca, Ramón Valle Inclán and Emilio Roig, who was Havana's historian until the 1960s.

The hotel's gastronomy boasts Hemingway's seal, since the menu includes many of the dishes preferred by the writer, in addition to recipes from Cuban and international cuisine that can be enjoyed at the Plaza de Armas Restaurant or the Café Roof Garden, the latter with an excellent view of the city.

Social activities are held in the Salón del Monte, which pays tribute to the illustrious cultural promoter Domingo del Monte, and is the regular venue of events, plenary sessions and banquets. It is also an Art Gallery where, as well as in the Sala Letrán, private executive meetings are held.

The image of the Ambos Mundos Hotel is completed by a decoration that includes works by outstanding exponents of Cuban plastic arts, such as Flora Fong, Nelson Domínguez and Ever Fonseca, creating a unique place that comprises a part of Havana's rich history.

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