Santa Isabel

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Located at the Arms Square, just a few meters from the place where San Cristóbal de La Habana village was once founded, the magnificent palace of Santovenia Count became in 1867 the favorite hotel of those ship-fitters, merchants, artists, scientists and illustrious travelers who, upon their passing through the capital city, would choose it due to its comfort and elegance. A century after its first inauguration, Santa Isabel opens  its doors keeping its original elegance, comfort and splendor, in a way it provides you a trip through Cuba´s history, architecture, art and culture. Right on the terrace you can enjoy the sight of monuments that make this baroque and electic city a unique one, as well the bay and its imposing fortresses: Habana´s Jesus Christ, la Giraldilla (Emblem of the City) and the  Palace of the Commanders in Chief.  

This typical Cuban palace has been decorated with unique masterpieces and original pieces of art coming from some of the best Cuban artists.

History

Located at the Arms Square, the place that occupies the Santa Isabel Hotel is a house of the 18th century, restored at the beginning of the 19th century, by Julián Francisco Martínez de Campos y González del Alamo, who died in 1808. The house was inherited by his brother Nicolás Martínez de Campos y González del Alamo who was the Mayor of Havana in 1797, as well as a lawyer of the Royal Audiences of Mexico and Santo Domingo, member of the Carlos III Order, in which he entered in 1822 and byRoyal office dated on May 7,1824, he got the title of Count of Santovenia, granted by Felipe VII, who he honored until his death, at the beginning of January,1832

On January 3,1832 Nicolás Martínez de Campos made a will where he established and named his nephew José María de Campos y de la Vega his universal heir. Likewise, it was his last will that after his death, his nephew followed him in the title of Count of Santovenia and Viscount of Casa Campos, and in this way his children and successors until the end of time.

Jose Maria, second Count of Santovenia, inherited the properties his uncle left him in which was included the house located at 1 Baratillo Street where he lived until his death in 1965.

The second Count of Santovenia, linked to commercial and financial activities, mainly to the sugar and the slaves business in the decade of the years 1830, was considered one of the richest citizens of the province and his mansion was considered as one of the eye-catching and opulent in Havana.

On October 16, 1833, due to the oath and the lack of a male descendant of the Princess heiress to the throne of Spain, Doña Maria Isabel Luisa de Borbon, the mansion was decorated and some parties were carried out, ascending from its roof an aerostatic globe with a basket full of flowers and ribbons in her honor instead of people.

His son José María Martínez de Campos y Martín by a Royal Letter of succession dated August 1st, 1867, some months after he left the country with his mother and sisters, succeeded the second Count of Santovenia on the title.

On September 15, 1867, the North American merchant Mr. Luis Lay rented the luxurious palace of the Counts of Santovenia and created the Santa Isabel Hotel there which  ended up being the most modern and famous American styled hotel in Havana because it had a bathroom in every room, bilingual maids, very good food and a magnificent location in the Arms Square and near the bay of Havana and thus became a forced place for shipbuilders, merchants, artists, scientists and illustrious travelers that while being in the city were attracted by its comfort. So, the scenario of the life of a family belonging to the nobility became in one of the most genuine exponents in the development of the tourism in Cuba.

The Groceries Exchange was established on this building on April 18, 1888 for a 50-year term. It has an anonymous character and its first president was Joaquin Martinez de Pinillos.

It was restored and declared a monument in 1943, respecting its primitive construction and adapting its interior to office service. The architect in charge of this restoration was Mr. M.Bénes Arrarte. Later on it had other uses among them warehouses and Tavern of the Fleet.

After the execution of a restoration project carried out by the City Historian’s Office, Santa Isabel Hotel reopens its door in February 1997to lodge the traveler. Today’s Santa Isabel Hotel, which Mr.Lay founded in 1867, is a tribute to the history and the hotel tradition in Cuba.

Rooms

Santa Isabel Hotel has 27 rooms, 1 Santovenia Suite, 9 Junior Suite and 17 Standard with all the luxury and comfort
    of a five stars hotel that offers a personalized service.

Facilities

Satellite color TV / Telephone (local and international calls) / Safety box / Minibar /Air conditioning / Room service 24 hours a day / Hair dryer / Radio.

–  Restaurant “El Condado” 
          Hours:     7:00 am – 10:00 am
                           12:00 m – 3:00 pm
                           7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

        -Cafeteria “El Globo”
          Hours:     9:00 am – 7:00 pm

        – Lobby Bar “Santovenia”
          Horario:  24 horas

        – Boutique “Jibacoa”

Other Services:

Parking lot/ Luggage room / Reservations/ Fax service / Taxi service / Tourism desk/ Boutique / Press service /Photocopyng and typing / Rentcar / Laundry /Baby sitter.

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