Kempinski, El Surtidor Pool & Bar
Those of you that have been Havana or have dreamt of going, know that the city is historical and has a great classic feel behind it. So this rooftop we would say is set up for a modern Havana, one that is clearly not in touch with the rest of the city. Being a rooftop, it doesn’t necessarily stand out like a sore thumb against the architecture around the capital, but the interior is very modern with both design and ambience.
The best part of the bar was definitely the view. Great unobstructed views of the Capital building and square below, as well as a beautiful view of the sunset. Drinks were fairly priced, but we never stayed that long as we felt we were almost betraying the real Havana and wanted to experience more of the authenticity of the city which make it so special.
Opening Times: – Mon – Sun 11:00 – 23:00
Dress Code: – Casual
Hotel Ambos Mundos
Situated at the top of the Ambos Mundos Hotel in the heart of the old city. This bar has a total feel of the real Havana. Now the hotel alone has been there since 1924 and with its most famous resident Ernest Hemingway having spent 7 years there, it does somewhat attract tourists a little more than other places. Not against tourists at all, but it does get a little overcrowded on the terrace, which we feel makes it difficult to enjoy the live band, eat or sip on their delightful piña coladas (served in a pineapple and tasting divine).
Architecturally the rooftop was beautifully designed with lovely mosaic work, and it had a dedicated area for dining under a roof. The views were of the adjacent Plaza de Armas & Plaza de la Catedral and the famous Malecon. Along with the piña coladas, one of our highlights here was the food. Havana regulars will know that one thing lacking in the cuisine is spice! For some, that might not be vital, but if you are looking for anything with some spice or flavour, the terrace here at Ambos Mundos is the place to come dine.
It is essential that you head to El Floridita in the old town, the place where Daiquiri was invented. The Latin music played and sung by its live band will have you jumping on the table.
Tip :- On the other hand we advice carry your own chilli sauce when travelling to Cuba.
Be sure to salsa the night away on the streets or by taking lessons! Everyone is willing to help show you the moves, from the kids to the grandparents.
Now this is what we call a rooftop. Rustic and petite in size yet cosy, making it a great pre-drinking spot before heading down to the restaurant for some quality food. The bar is a part of La Guarida restaurant, which overall is a beautiful disused mansion from the 1950s. Situated in the heart of Chinatown (not like Chinatown in London or New York) the bar is somewhat hidden away from tourists, and only those who know of the restaurant are likely to be found at the bar. Furthermore, the restaurant being quite high-end you are likely to be surrounded by people who are dressed the part.
The bar is great for mojitos (and trust us, just because it’s the local go-to drink, not everyone in Cuba has mastered it) and it has a beautiful 270° view of Havana. We would highly recommend this bar and restaurant when in Havana, so if you are looking to go, click here to reserve your spot – you must reserve to guarantee a place as they tend to get fully booked.
If you fancy experiencing authentic Cuban life with the locals, then you are highly advised to stay in a casa particular, where you are able to live with a Cuban family and get to know more about the culture and the people itself.
Take a drive down the Malecon in your very own vintage Cadillac or whichever American 1950s car you prefer, either self-drive or have someone drive you.
Head on over to the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, famous for the best mojitos in Havana. Enriched with history of the time it was used as a place to escape for the American mafia, you can have a free guided tour of the hotel every day at 10:00am.