Cuba Absolutely Review
This 1920s eclectic hotel is best known for being described by Hemingway as “a good place to write.” He stayed here during the 1930s and this is where he wrote his chronicles on fishing and the first chapters of For Whom the Bell Tolls. His room, No. 511, is maintained as if the author had never checked out and is a sort of mini museum featuring the writer’s desk and authentic furniture from the period. The constant stream of tourists, however, is difficult to get away from and may become somewhat annoying. The rooms are rather plain and a little to the beige side for our liking. Furthermore they are a little cramped and the balconies tiny. The service is less-than-attentive by staff that seem almost perpetually overwhelmed by the visiting hordes. Having said that the ground floor bar has cozy, squishy modern sofas and a great resident piano player. The roof terrace offers some of the best views of the Plaza de Armas and environs and is a very pleasant spot for a drink.
Sparsely furnished and with a rather pale colour scheme, accommodations at the Ambos Mundos may strike some as somewhat plain. Rooms with windows, however, get plenty of natural light and have privileged views of the picturesque surroundings (the traditional, red-tiled colonial houses are particularly attractive). Atrium-facing rooms get no sunlight but benefit from greater quietude.
Two mini-suites are balconied and have excellent views of the intersection. One corner suite has a rather awkward L-shape that makes for a cramped feeling, but extra space is clearly the advantage offered by these rooms.
At the vibrant intersection of Obispo and Mercaderes, the Ambos Mundos is just down the street from the Plaza de Armas and close the Old Town’s other major squares and historic sites of interest. The Bodeguita del Medio bar and restaurant is less than three blocks away.