The Gran Manzana Hotel

Angelica Salazar Havana, Cuba

Date

November 6, 2017
By Ethan Whitman, Psychology Major at Tufts University

In Old Havana there is a new hotel catered towards luxury travel called the Gran Manzana Hotel. It is located next to Central Park and the Capitol building in Havana’s historic and most touristic neighborhood. The bottom floor is made up of high-end European designer brands behind sleek floor-to-ceiling glass. The building is like a bright white sheet cake that contrasts with Havana’s rustic colonial style. Any habanero knows the Gran Manzana and the type of guests it caters to.

But what most people don’t know about the Gran Manzana is that if you walk confidently through the lobby and just go towards the elevator, the staff just assumes you are a guest. In fact, if you go all the way up to the rooftop pool and keep up your confidence, nobody will question you. From there, you get a panorama of Old Havana’s beautiful nostalgic landscape and an extensive view of the hot pink 1950s Chevys that whisk tourists across the city. This view is beautiful and absolutely free. The key is to have a solid back up story and an exit strategy. But if you’re confident enough and walk quickly you should get away with it no questions asked.