The original nucleus of the hotel dates back to 1856 and was later expanded in 1891 with the addition of two adjacent properties. The last floor was built in 1915. This is Cuba’s oldest hotel and has been visited by many important figures throughout its life, like General Antonio Maceo, second-in-command of the Cuban army of independence, who stayed here for almost six months in 1890, and Winston Churchill, during his visit to Cuba as a military observer during the war of independence in 1895. Its famous sidewalk, known as Acera del Louvre, was a popular meeting point for youthful habaneros rebelling against the Spanish regime. It is today paved with tiles glazed with images from contemporary artists. Although originally built along neo-classical lines and its size and appearance were already pretty much the same in 1891, the hotel got its present-day image during the 1920s and is therefore considered eclectic. Outstanding are its Moorish lobby and courtyard.