A colonial hotel with splendid views to the baroque and eclectic monuments of Havana

The Time Line of Hotel Santa Isabel

  1. October 16, 1833: Jose Maria de Campos y De la Vega, second Count of Santovenia, celebrated a solemn act in the residence in the swearing of Princess Baron heiress to the Spanish throne, Doña Maria Isabel Luisa of Borbon. There were parties in the mansion, taking place the ascending of the second aerostatic globe of Havana, the basket was substituted by flowers and tapes, printed in golden letters it read: "To the serene princess Doña Maria Isabel Luisa of Borbon", the Count of Santovenia" penned the globe.
  2. September 16, 1867: the North American merchant Mr. Luis Lay, from New Orleans, rented the luxurious palace of the Counts of Santovenia and installed the Hotel Santa Isabel. It was the most modern and famous hotel in Havana by that time.
  3. April 18, 1888: it was established an anonymous society: La Lonja de Viveres de la Habana president over by Joaquin Martinez de Pinillo.
  4. 1943, the place was restored and was declared a monument, respecting its primitive construction and adapting its interior to the office service.
  5. 1949,  it belonged to the EFE Corporation Real Estate, it was dissolved in 1953. Different uses were assigned until it was transformed into a multiple family housing.
  6. July 1995,  the process of restoration gave back its former splendour.
  7. March 1, 1997, the current Hotel Santa Isabel was inaugurated as a continuity of Mr. Lay contribution as the founder. At the same time is a tribute to the hotel history and the tourist tradition in Cuba. On account of the hundred years of having been inaugurated, it reopened its doors with 27 rooms, 10 five stars rooms with personalized service. The house possesses three stories, decorated with plastic Cuban artists' works and pieces to recreate the elegant atmosphere of the 19th Cuban century.
Nigel Alexander Hunt

Welcome to my site dedicated to the famous and historical Hotel Santa Isabel. I am "poco a poco" researching and updating it with the aim to provide as complete as possible record of the hotel's ancient and recent history; bearing in mind that the goings-on today may one day be of historical interest.

My site is NOT the official website of the current hotel operator, and is by no means endorsed by them; but I am grateful for their help with the research and supplying some of the photographs.

You can make from this site room reservations through the Bizloco eTravel System operated by Cubaism Ltd.

Best wishes for 2024

Nigel Alexander Hunt