Havana is an unearthed treasure. For Americans, it lived in dreams for the majority of life - vintage Corvettes, sepia-glossed pastels, and mighty cigars. Eisenhower’s embargo left the city in a time warp since 1958. Thankfully, the veil is lifted, and all are able to traverse the historic city’s magnificent streets. Our Editor-in-Chief Sophie Zembra, a Frenchie, made a visit to the forbidden city… and her favorite places were far more than fantastic.
Fresa y Chocolat, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s 1994 sublime comedy, inspires instant Cuban wanderlust. La Guarida, the restaurant in which the film was shot fulfills all of the decadent food fantasies that the movie builds in 20-somethings. Although the restaurant came after the blockbuster, the space is quintessential old Havana. Enjoy a sunset on the terrace or dessert by candlelight. At La Guarida, there’s no such thing as a bad seat.
No town is complete without a beach-walk and Malecon is one magnificent esplanade. A pillar of culture in Havana, Malecon is bustling with energy, art, and Cuban culture. Find nightlife, shopping, and pure joy alongside others while taking in Cuba’s greatness.
Some call it forbidden and others call it prosperous. Vedado is Havana’s business district and where old Havana connects with the 21st Century’s global market. Stroll through historic sites and take modern ‘Grams. Spend the day wandering throughout Vedado, and enjoy all of the new and old that Havana offers.
Vacation isn’t quite the same without a home away from home. Paseo 206, the family-owned boutique hotel and jewel box located streets from Malecon, is simply that. Each of the home’s rooms provides a unique sanctuary from the bustle of Vedado, and showcases one-of-a-kind pieces from local artisans. Enjoy a day traversing the city, then head back to decompress without ever losing quintessential Cuba.
Can a vacation be called such if one doesn’t leave inspired? A trip to Earnest Hemingway’s Cuban residence offers that necessary inspiration, tenfold. The home is an enclave of culture. Every area, decorated or bare, holds significant beauty that parallels Hemingway’s writings. Step back, into a simpler time, and enjoy the genius that Hemingway left behind.
Interview: James Francis Kelley
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