A tribute to the Hebrew culture and its presence in Cuba

Architecture

Hotel Raquel Building

The construction of armed concrete with the stonework facade has a height of 14,5 m on the street and more than 3 m of the prop of the basement of 2000 m3. The same one was developed around a central patio with the cap at the level of the third floor that in 1911 it was substituted by a skylight.

With plenum interiors of an atmosphere with great influence of the style art nouveau, this installation was inaugurated June 5 of 2003 and named Hotel Raquel, inspired by the Judaism, surrendering in turn, permanent homage to the Hebrew culture and its appearance in the Cuban contemporary art.

Apart from the denomination of the same installation, each one of their spaces has a biblical name.

Following this tradition, the lobby-bar of The Hotel Raquel calls herself Lejaim; the boutique-gallery, Bezalel, and the restaurant, only in the country that offers Jewish food, Jardín del Edén, all located in the ground floor.

Placed to a side of the reception desk, it is stone that was brought especially from the mountains of Jerusalem. To the end, in an adjacent wall with the boutique-gallery Bezalel a reproduction of the almost unknown oil painting Diaspora is placed or The Godforsaken (Los Olvidados), of the Cuban famous painter Victor Manuel who represented the tragedy lived in 1939 in front of the coast of Havana by the Jews that arrived as passengers in the ship Saint Louis, to the prohibit them to go down to earth.

From the beginning of its conception, an important number of Cuban artists were adjoined to this project. Distributed for the whole hotel all told, the pieces recreate, mostly, the image of José and Benjamin's Mother. Located in the right side of the main entrance, full of lyricism and appropriate shades, the oil painting Raquel of the painter from Matanzas Ernesto García Peña, representing the face of a woman that seems half-asleep and she is lying down on a luminous bed.

Hotel Raquel SkylightHotel Raquel Sculture

The artist that has returned to the city its kaleidoscope of light, the stained glass window’s artist Rosa María de la Terga, contributed screens and the impressive skylight. This last glassware that substitutes to a previous one, of opaque colors, contributes with its brightness to enhance the architectural values of the construction whose floors and original columns are conserved, as well as its principal stairway.

In the first floor of the Hotel Raquel there’re two watercolors (Raquel and Jacob), exponents of the singular outline of José Luís Fariñas.

In different places of the construction the works of other Cuban novel creators of the plastic were placed as well as Yaylín Pérez Zamora, Jorge Olive and Alexis López.... The still life located in the lobby of the Hotel Raquel came from Natalia Marzoa's hands, as well as the floral decorations of the vases (cauliflower), arranged on the small night tables of each room.

Hotel Raquel Terrace

The Hotel Raquel has a terrace, viewpoint that allows to lean out to the environment and to glimpse two important public spaces of the Historic Center: San Francisco's Square and the Plaza Vieja.

Welcome to my site dedicated to the Hotel Raquel in Old Havana. 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.

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

Best wishes for 2017

Nigel Alexander Hunt