Located in a wonderfully idiosyncratic building with a neo-Churrigueresque façade and tendrils of Art Nouveau wrought iron decoration, the Hotel Raquel contains further delightful design eccentricities including a vast stained glass canopy roof and a watchtower from which one can look out over the streets and squares of Old Havana. Many of the rooms have biblical names and besides the hotel being called The Rachel there are decorative references to the Bible and to the Jewish faith throughout the building, which was restored.
It is now run by the Office of the City Historian of Havana, so all its profits are reinvested in the restoration of the city’s historical centre.
It stands very near Plaza Vieja and the Plaza de San Francisco, and is only a few minutes’ walk from all the other main attractions in Old Havana.
Reception staff speak Spanish, English, French, German, Italian
Safety - uniformed security personnel 24hrs
Shop(s) with basic supplies, souvenirs & gifts
Shops max 2min walk
Telephone - national & international calls
Tours & tourist information desk
TV room/bar (international channels & videos)
Details of Standard Room
The 21 standard rooms at the Hotel Raquel are very pleasant, with a mixture of well-designed dark wood and wrought iron furniture and curtains and upholstery in creamy colours. The ceilings are high and some rooms have lovely stone balconies overlooking the roofs of Old Havana. Bathrooms are pleasantly bright with blue and cream tiling. There are only 2 standard rooms with matrimonial beds. The other 19 are twin bedded. There are 16 rooms with balcony & 6 rooms without windows.
The 4 Junior Suites aren’t really all that different from standard rooms at the Raquel apart from being rather larger and having small seating areas. They all have balconies with views over the surrounding streets and are elegantly decorated in a similarly pale, creamy colour palette to the standard rooms.
The heart and soul of Havana is the old town Habana Vieja, declared a Heritage of Mankind Site in 1982 by UNESCO. It was keen to preserve the beauty of its architecture and promote the historical importance of its role within the region.
The following are just some of the interesting places to visit: Plaza de Armas, centred around a statue of the patriot Cespedes and emcompassed by shaded marble benches and second-hand booksellers, is the first public square built in the city. Plaza de la Catedral is perhaps the most beautiful square in the Caribbean which is surrounded by examples of the finest baroque architecture in the country. El Templete, small neoclassical temple which marks the spot where the first Mass was said in 1519. Castillo de la Real Fuerza is one of the oldest forts in the Americas, it holds modern art exhibitions downstairs and the battlements afford good views over the harbour. Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, the seat of government and governor's residence was transferred from the fort to the built. The presidential palace and then the municipal palace until Castro seized power it is now Museo de la Ciudad de la Habana. Museo de Arte Colonial, fine palace constructed in 1720, its yellow courtyard and little-altered architectural features are complemented by a large collection of 17th- and 18th-century furniture. Calle Obispo is Old Havana's most important and smartest thoroughfare, pedestrianized with missile heads as bollards.