Popular Places for Americans in Cuba
You may have left the US to be with Cubans and enjoy yourself but at some point you may want to find Popular Places for Americans in Cuba and where we “hang out”. There´s no guarantee that at any given time you will encounter a fellow American but, your chances is quite high at these Popular Places for Americans in Cuba :
Club Nautico Marina Hemingway
The Club Nautico sits at the beginning of Canal 2 at Havana´s infamous Marina Hemingway and is one of the most Popular Places for Americans in Cuba. To get to it you simply drive along the Malicon and then continue along after the tunnel onto 5th Avenue. 5th is an extension of Malicon so no turns required. You´ll drive through the trendy Miramar district along 5th passing some beautiful buildings and also Fidel Castro´s compound which is on the left, up a side street, as you make the turn before Club Habana. Continue past Club Habana for 1KM until you get to Hermanitas (birth place Jennifer Lopez first husband) and the Marina Hemingway is on your right. Simply, one of the most Popular Places for Americans in Cuba. Contact Club Nautico Havana firstname.lastname@example.org
The Club Nautico Havana Cuba – is a beautifully decorated yacht Club which overlooks the Canal, yachts and power cruisers. The Club Nautico offers a large selection of drinks and cocktails plus, hot and cold fresh sandwiches and an assortment of light snacks. During the daytime it can be pretty quiet but from 7pm till late you will often meet several longtime Cuba visitors from the US. Many of whom have boats at the Marina and spend long stretches in Cuba. This is an ideal place to get the low down on Cuba from specialists and, more importantly, fellow Americans. The Club Nautico also accommodates private parties and has an excellent sun deck at the back for sitting outside in the sun. The Hotel Acuario, right next to this Club is the only all inclusive hotel in Havana and is very reasonably priced.
Club Habana – To find this amazing Club simply use the above directions or visit there while visiting the Club Nautico as they are very close together.
Yet another of the Popular Places for Americans in Cuba, the Club Habana is a place where you will rub shoulders with the big hitters in Cuba, those foreigners from all nations who reside and work on the island and also own the largest businesses. A perfect place for “people spotting” but also a great place to relax, this “entrance fee only” Club (30 CUC one day – weekly/monthly passes also available) offers excellent facilities such as: Gym, Saunas, two large Jacuzzis, showers, sports shop, cigar lounge, outdoor/indoor (overlooking the beach) restaurant, bar, gourmet restaurant, business center with 8 PC´s with fast(ish) internet, changing rooms, tennis (x4), racketball (x2) courts, private beach, Jet ski hire, sunbeds, free beach towels, etc. Truly a chic place and somewhere to go and spend the day or several days while relaxing in Havana. Also, the Club Habana has the ONLY beach in Havana unless you go all the way out to Playas del Este. Evenings there offer little entertainment though but a good meal (little expensive) can be had at the either of the two restaurants. The Hotel Palco is the cloest Hotel to this Club and also offers the benefit of being located right next to the Havana Convention center which almost always has one event or another on. Contact Club Habana email@example.com
Club Havana – Another of the most Popular Places for Americans in Cuba and one well worth the entrance fee and your precious time.
El Gato Tuerto Havana Cuba – Another one of the Popular Places for Americans in Cuba is a jazz bar just down from the Hotel Nacional and on the Malicon near la Piragua and a very Popular Places for Americans in Cuba. A good venue both early evening, for your starter drinks or, later on as the night’s final scene, El Gato Tuerto is probably one of Havana´s most recognized Jazz bars after the Jazz Café which is conveniently located just a few blocks up the street off La Rampa. Most evenings there will be bands playing of varying talent but, even average Cuban bands are excellent you will find. Although known primarily as a jazz bar, the El Gato Tuerto often hosts other bands and groups playing hip hop, Reggaeton, Salsa, etc. As a tourist trap prices are usually higher than other places but, you´ll soon meet a group of Cubans who have mysteriously “imported” their own bottle into the place and the fun ensues…The action can get quite “hot” as the Cubanas and Cubanos gyrate to the tunes around you. Snacks are also served throughout the whole time should you wish to leave the music and eat something at the snack bar near the entrance. All of the Old Havana Hotels are very close by and the Hotel Nacional is literally next door.
Bar Cafe Del Oriente – Chic Old Havana cafe bar tantalizingly located on one side of Plaza de San Francisco in the heart of colonial quarter in Old Havana. Another one of the Popular Places for Americans in Cuba and, extremely popular with other nationalities from Canada, Europe and Mexico, this renovated Cuban Home has been turned into one of Havana´s most recognized drinking places. Although the general décor makes for a more formal venue, the Cafe Del Oriente can get quite exciting as the night progresses. Mainly on of the Popular Places for Americans in Cuba to start the evening, the bar offers a breathtaking variety of spirits, beers and wines for all tastes. Especially good for those wanting to lay off the Mojitos and Cuba Libres for a while, the choices available are truly astounding. Food is also available but in varying quality, so don´t make this your restaurant for the night. All the Old Havana Hotels are within a stone’s throw of Cafe Del Oriente so, if you are staying there this will be one of your primary venues.
El Floridita Havana Cuba – Well what can we say? This place needs very little introduction as one of the Popular Places for Americans in Cuba. Probably the nerve center of Cuban Culture and made famous by Ernest Hemingway and a plethora of other personality’s who´s photos decorate the dimly lit walls. Sit in awe in the very same place these people sat several decades ago while drinking (be careful with the ice headache here) the notorious Floridita Daiquiris and, very potent ones at that as this writer later discovered…
Seldom mentioned in any revues is the excellent Cuban Restaurant in the Floridita. Particularly good and varied selection of seafood’s and meats along with some interesting appetizers, the restaurant is well worth a shot should time permit between the Daiquiri onslaughts you will, almost certainly, indulge.
Note: One of the extremely Popular Places for Americans in Cuba – can get busy!
Habana Café Havana Cuba – Located on the ground floor of the Melia Cohiba Hotel this American Bar wannabe does have some interesting attractions but one cannot help feeling the lack of Cuban ambience spoils the overall feel of the place. However, this is still one of the Popular Places for Americans in Cuba and is worth a visit, albeit short one. The food is not bad but more catered for the burger crowd than the connoisseurs. Drinks are expensive and in this writers opinion, not very good. However, I may have been on a “bad bar night” as often can be the case in Cuba. The interior decorations are somewhat original with a 1940´s small Cubana passenger plane suspended from the roof along with memorabilia from the 50´s, not the most original venue but one of the popular places for Americans in Cuba.
Malecon Wall – There´s no other place in Havana that instills the true laid back and raunchy undertones of Cuban life. The Malecon wall has always been one of the most popular places for Americans in Cuba , even in the 40´s and 50´s. Walking along it fills any visitor with nostalgia but also the inherent joy with which Cubans go about general day to day life. Peppered along the long route are various small cafes, bars and hang outs that one can´t help visiting to get the days vibe. Kids throw themselves off the breakwaters, men fishing and both Cuban women and men “strut their stuff” like peacocks, enamoring all who pass by. Mid way down the Malecon, in front of the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital you´ll find a patio bar. This does not look like much in the day time but, wow, does this place come alive in the evenings. A very popular spot for those looking to mingle with Cubans in an open air environment with a less commercial or touristy feel.
La Maison Havana Cuba – Street 7 on the corner of 16th in Miramar
Fashionable, Chic and very daring, the La Maison is one of the extremely Popular Places for Americans in Cuba. After this writer went there, it took a few hours to sink in just how cool this place had been. First off, there´s the building itself, an impressive colonial type building with elegant façade showing incredible detail in the design, once inside the massive doorway the interior is no less impressive. On the right there is one of the few jewelers stores in Havana called Coral Negro (Black Coral) which offers everything from Diamond rings to brand name (lower cost) watches and other jewelry. Upstairs there are several small stores selling the clothing paraded by the models during the show and, what models!! As a single male this was very unsettling, to say the least and, judging by the bull whistles coming from a table who sounded like Canadian women, they were equally impressed with the men… La Maison Havana is a fashion show but, like most things in Cuba, it come packed with the razzmatazz of Cuban flair. We took the all inclusive offer which included a table (near the catwalk), two bottles of rum, 6 coca cola (well Cuba´s sugary Tu Cola), and a three course meal. The show began with music from which was excellent and then a choreographed dance routine followed by the aforementioned fashion show. After the show there´s music but most guests migrate to the small discotheque which is with the grounds of the building on the right of the catwalk, where we met several fellow Americans and had a great time.
Hotel Nacional Cuba – Needs no further introduction as the pinnacle of Popular Places for Americans in Cuba, from every angle, inside and out we were in awe of the Hotel Nacional and you can feel the uncanny past presence of Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Keaton, Jorge Negrete, Agustin Lara, Rocky Marciano, Tyrone Power, Romulo Gallegos, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Marlon Brando and Ernest Hemingway as you enter and stroll around the grounds. Not to mention patrons such as Winston Churchill, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, scientist Alexander Flemming who all spent time at this hotel. However this incredible place has become synonymous to historians as a favorite mob hang out for the likes of Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky and attended by Santo Trafficante, Jr., Frank Costello, Albert Anastasia, Vito Genovese and many others. I felt like I was on the set of Godfather II with my shades on and a cold beer at the terrace bar. It also exemplifies everything Fidel Castro said he wanted Cuba rid of. But today, the hotel is once again one of the most Popular Places for Americans in Cuba, possibly due to historical ties such as those mentioned or possibly because it’s just so immensely COOL in so many ways. First off, you have the ground of the hotel which is towards the back of the building. You walk through the foyer, past reception then back out through enormous doors to a mezzanine covered area. The lobby bar is found out here to your left. Directly in front is an immense lawn area with small paths running through it, all bejeweled with the exquisite view of the Malecon, Seafront, Moro Castle and the imposing Cristo statue in the distance. Strutting around these grounds are peacocks, apparently unperturbed by human presence. It’s really a place to behold and a photographers dream. Back inside the lobby the walls are decorated with photos of the past visitors as a blast from the past. Our stay at the Hotel Nacional was a one night affair but was enough for us to check out the nice but dated rooms and the Copa Lounge, other bars in the hotel plus the excellent cigar store and adjacent smoking rooms for aficionados. The amount of Americans we met will boggle minds of those thinking that Cuba is still off limits and, while the Hotel Nacional left a lasting impression, there were more things for our group to do on this vacation.
Hotels Near the Hotel Nacional are: Hotel Habana Libre, Hotel La Colina, Hotel Presidente, Hotel Deauville, Hotel St Johns, Hotel Capri BTW None of these even remotely compare with the Hotel Nacional….
El Diablo Tun Tun – Behind the gas station just up from La Maison in Miramar
Not many reviews about this Club but still one of the Popular Places for Americans in Cuba and sometimes called a Piano Bar (not sure why…) Quite frankly this is the jewel of Clubs in Havana and far away the best place to be connected with the real Cuba and how real Cubans like party. Not a popular tourist haunt but a very popular places for Americans who seem to have found out about it through Cuban Americans who flood this place every evening. There´s usually a live band on plus there´s a kind of quasi VIP zone to sit and chill or else there´s the bar area for those wanting to stay in the “action zone”. Packed full most evenings you can expect to see some of Havana´s most attractive people at El Diablo Tun Tun. Drinks are reasonably priced although the bar is quite limited in its offerings. Stick to Mojitos, Cuba Libres or beer though and you´ll be fine. This place is infectious, you´ve been warned!!
Amelia Bar – Miramar Trade Center (3rd avenue side)
Some of you who have been to this place throughout the week will wonder why I am recommending it yet its still one of the very popular Places for Americans in Cuba. Why you ask? It’s a pretty drab none descript place sandwiched between two tours of the Miramar Trade Center behind the Melia Habana and Triton Hotels. However, the secrets out because this place “IS” one of the popular places for Americans in Cuba BUT only on Friday nights… Yes on Friday night this place is buzzing with young Cubans from the more upscale area of Miramar, sporting their designer clothing and good looks. Why? Well, this remains to be established but Friday night offers an open bar and cheaper drinks and the whole place is emptied of tables (it’s usually a restaurant) and the party begins. Take up a position outside and mingle with the Cubans who hang around outside. The whole party is not inside but out, between the two towers of the MTC that surround the Amelia. This is a perfect Friday night “starter” bar as the party begins at around 7pm and ends around 11pm. follow the congregation to one of many other Clubs in the area.
Bodeguita del Medio – Empedrado Street in Old Havana, next to the catedral.
La Bodeguita del Medio is a Cuban Restaurant bar in Havana (Cuba) and another one of the Popular Places for Americans in Cuba. It is extraordinarily famed and touristy due to the personalities that have patronized it: Salvador Allende, the poet Pablo Neruda, the writer Ernest Hemingway, the artist Josignacio and many others. La Bodeguita del Medio is also identified as the birthplace of the Mojito cocktail, prepared in the bar since its opening in 1942.
The rooms are full of curious objects; frames, photos, as well as the walls being covered by signatures of both famous and unknown customers narrate the island’s past. Along with the local food, cigars, music and mojitos, la Bodeguita del Medio offers a peek into Cuba’s typical ambiance.
These days the almost mythical name means the place is packed most of the time, with busloads of tourists either outside taking photos of the emblematic sign or inside looking at the signatures of past visitors. To get away from the crowds we suggest going upstairs to the seldom visited mezzanine for a few drinks and food.
Hotels near the Bodeguita del Medio are:
Ambos Mundos (of Hemingway fame)
If you have other Popular Places for Americans in Cuba then please send us your suggestions!
Popular Places for Americans in Cuba 101