Cuba is the largest in the Caribbean, which makes it perfect for exploration.
And while you may have an idea of what you want to do on your trip to Cuba, where you stay can make or break your trip.
Relaxed and secluded, or vibrant and bustling? Boutique hotel or all-inclusive resort? Water or city landscapes? There are a lot of options for best places to stay in Cuba, so we’ve put together a list of the 6 best hotels and 6 best resorts spread across the island.
Check out: Cuba Travel Guide • Plan Your Trip to Cuba
Best Hotels in Cuba:
- Melia Internacional Varadero
- Hotel Nacional de Cuba
- Royal Service at Paradisus Río de Oro
- Iberostar Parque Central
- Habana Riviera by Iberostar
- Hostal Refugio De Reyes
Best Resorts in Cuba:
- Best Resorts in Cuba
- Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa
- Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas
- Sol Palmeras
- Paradisus Río de Oro Resort & Spa
- Sol Río De Luna y Mares
- Iberostar Selection Varadero
The Districts & Neighborhoods of Cuba
The capital city of Havana is by far the top tourist attraction in Cuba, and has three main neighbourhoods: Old Havana, Central Havana and Vedado.
Old Havana is the most visited by tourists but may not be the best place to stay since it is the poorest of the neighbourhoods. Travellers usually stay in Vedado, which boasts better accommodations, and plan to visit the other two neighbourhoods.
If you want the rustic countryside experience with valleys and horse riding, Vinales is 2hrs west from Havana.
Two hours in the opposite direction will bring you to Varadero, the largest beach resort town in Cuba. The beach stretches out for 20km. A further 2hrs east is Trinidad, the second most popular tourist destination. Here you will find the oldest architecture in Cuba.
If you’re prepared to venture out and see all of the island, then all the way to the east of Cuba are Guantanamo, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa. These are the best cities and towns in Cuba!
6 Best Hotels in Cuba
With so many hotels to choose from, it’s hard to know which ones are the best. Here is our list of the top 6 best hotels in Cuba.
#1. Melia Internacional Varadero
Only 20n minutes from the airport, the Melia Internacional Varadero is a 5-star hotel with a stunning sea view situated on one of the finest stretches of beach in Varadero.
All of the 946 rooms at the Melia Internacional Varadero are fitted with smart home technology. It has a panoramic lift, 2 penthouse suites, an adults only level and a Yhi Spa with infinity pool, as well as a teen spa. Perfect for families.
A conference centre ready to cater any professional event makes this hotel ideal for weddings or any business function. Whether you’re traveling as a family, business group or honeymooning, this hotel has it all!
Restaurants: Over 20 restaurants and cafeterias to choose from, serving Mediterranean and international cuisine from a la carte to buffet.
Best for: Families with children, business travellers, luxury travellers, honeymooners.
#2. Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Conveniently located 20 km from the airport, The Hotel Nacional de Cuba stands in the centre of Havana, on a hill a few metres from the sea and offers a great view of the Havana harbour, the city and seawall. It’s interior design captures the rich history of Cuba and the hotel has been declared a national monument, inscribed in the World Memory Register.
The ideal location of this hotel means you will be only a short drive away from some of the major attractions in Cuba. These include the Convention Centre, Botanical Gardens, National Zoo, The Revolution Square and the city centre.
Since 1930, this 5-star hotel has attracted the presence of famous people like Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra. It has 8 floors; 6 for guests and 2 for pools. The eclectic architecture alone is sufficient reason to stay at this national treasure, but If you need any more convincing, in 2020 it won the World Travel Award.
Restaurants: Two high end exclusive restaurants in the hotel (one a la carte and one buffet) and one in the garden area. National and international cuisine and an extensive wine list. Also has a cafeteria that does 24hr room service.
Best for: Families with children, business travellers, luxury travellers, honeymooners.
#3. Royal Service at Paradisus Río de Oro
If you’re after total privacy and peace (no kids running around) with butler service, this adults only hotel in the centre of Cuba is for you.
As part of the main resort, guests of the Royal Service at Paradisus Rio de Oro will receive preferential reservations at the a la carte restaurants. While most resorts and hotels in Cuba do not offer free Wi-Fi, this one does. There’s a bank in the lobby where you can exchange currency.
Each garden villa has its own private pool surrounded by palm trees and overlooking the ocean. The focus here really is on treating you like royalty. All the amenities of the main resort can be accessed by hotel guests. With 200 metres of private beach reserved for you, this is as exclusive and private as it gets.
Restaurants: 3 restaurants and 3 bars, all offering beachside ambience and private dining spaces. Guests can also access more restaurants in the main resort with international and Cuban cuisine.
Best for: Luxury travellers, couples, honeymooners.
#4. Iberostar Parque Central
If you want to experience the epicentre of Cuban culture, Iberostar Parque Central is a 5-star hotel in the heart of Old Havana.
From its rooftop pool you will enjoy striking views of the capital city, while listening to live Cuban music. The perfect location to explore Havana and its nearby attractions on foot, only 2 minutes from Capitolio, 300m from Calle Obispo and 10 min on foot to Malecón.
Free WiFi is not standard in most hotels in Cuba, but here you have free WiFI access, plus 2 swimming pools and a fitness centre. Additional facilities include a tranquil wellness area where you can enjoy beauty treatments or a shiatsu massage after a day of sightseeing, and 8 meeting rooms for corporate events.
Neighbourhood: Old Havana.
Restaurants: There are 4 restaurants to choose from offering panoramic views of the city, and 4 bars. One restaurant specializes in Spanish cuisine, one Mediterranean, one international and the other is a steakhouse.
Best for: Luxury travellers, couples, business travellers.
#5. Habana Riviera by Iberostar
Located in the Vedado neighbourhood, right next to the Malecón, the Habana Riviera is the first luxury hotel to be established in the capital.
The hotel was designated a national monument in 2012 and its interior design reflects Cuba’s rich history. The furniture, cabaret shows and overall ambience is designed to take you back in time to the iconic era of the 1950’s. Several international stars of the 20th century have stayed at this hotel.
The rooms offer impressive sea views as well as panoramic views of the city. Enjoy a la carte dining, speciality restaurants, saunas, free airport transfer, fitness centre, meeting/event rooms and a nightclub, and live shows all in one hotel.
As a unique feature, booking at iberostar.com entitles you to Iberostar Extra Care Insurance, which offers you basic coverage for any medical issue, including COVID-19.
Restaurants: There are 3 bars and 2 restaurants offering local and international cuisine (buffet or a la carte) as well as live music.
Best for: Luxury travellers, couples, business travellers
#6. Hostal Refugio De Reyes
We included this guesthouse one for “budget travellers” but that does not imply cheap; Hostal Refugio De Reyes won the Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best award in 2020.
This 1953 gem is located in one of the finest neighbourhoods in Holguin and is walking distance from most of the attractions. It offers rooms as well as an apartment style accommodation that occupies an entire floor.
The management will assist you in arranging tours or anything else you may need, and local cuisine is served in-house (breakfast included), with a dinner option if required. Travellers have commented that the food here is better than most restaurants!
Restaurants: Local cuisine is served by the resident hosts.
Best for: Budget travellers, couples or singles.
6 Top Resorts in Cuba
If you want to get most of your fun in one place, resorts generally offer more than hotels do. Here’s our pick of the top 6 resorts in Cuba.
#1. Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa
Thatched-roof buildings, bridges, fountains and lush gardens make the Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa the perfect Cuban oceanfront experience. Built on white sand shores, this is an adults only, all inclusive resort and spa offering a relaxing ambience for those needing an escape from the grind.
Wake up to a gourmet breakfast on your own private balcony before enjoying all the resort has to offer. Guests can upgrade to the Diamond Club to receive a higher level of service, private beaches and exclusive pools and dining areas. It’s not difficult to see why this resort won the World Luxury Hotel award last year.
Restaurants: Choose from 6 restaurants, each with their own speciality; from Italian, seafood, Caribbean, international and tex-mex cuisine. There is also an ice cream bar and Café Bistro for 24hr snacks.
Amenities: Pools, swim up bar, beach access, free breakfast, conference facilities, banquet room, diving, gym, fitness classes, full spa.
Best for: Luxury traveler, business groups, adults only.
#2. Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas
With a balance between value and comfort, Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas is the ideal beach resort for a family vacation that won’t break the bank.
The children’s playground will keep the kids busy while the adults can enjoy a drink at the bar. Breakfast is free and the on-site restaurant does buffet meals. With meeting and banquet rooms, business travelers will also enjoy this resort.
Just 19mins from Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport, the resort offers shuttle services to and from the airport, and car hire as well. You have access to a concierge if you wish to make reservations at the nearby attractions. The area is famous for snorkelling and gold.
Neighbourhood: Matanzas Region, Varadero
Restaurants: On-site restaurant with kids’ menu, coffee shop, bar, fruit and snacks bar.
Amenities: Pools, hot tub, car hire, private balcony, beach, Kids' club, nightclub/DJ, snorkelling, windsurfing, games area, playground, tennis court.
Best for: Families with children, business travellers.
#3. Sol Palmeras
This 4-star all-inclusive resort is perfectly located near the Plaza América Convention Centre and Varadero Golf Club. Sol Palmeras features unique bungalow accommodation in the gardens overlooking the pool and the ocean. Offering a Family or Romance package that can be tailored to your needs, it is ideal for couples or families. Outdoor jacuzzis, sports and water sports are available, and the resort is linked to a golf course if you want to work on your handicap.
Business travellers will also benefit from a boardroom and theatre; in fact, events for up to 300 people can be arranged. Scuba newbies can take diving courses here or enjoy several other water-based activities. A separate kids pool is available.
Restaurants: Choose from 9 restaurants, 2 snack bars, an ice cream bar and 2 cocktail bars (also serving light snacks). Cuisines range from Italian, Tex-mex, international, Caribbean and Oriental. There’s even a health bar if you really must stick to your diet while on holiday...
Amenities: Adults and kids pool, beach, health and beauty, club house, nautical area, sports facilities, 24hr concierge, doctor and nurse onsite (Monday-Saturday), wheelchairs on request.
Best for: Families with children, couples, business travellers, disabled travellers.
#4. Paradisus Río de Oro Resort & Spa
This 5-star resort is located in one of the most beautiful nature reserves in eastern Cuba. Paradisus Río de Oro Resort & Spa is an all-inclusive, adults-only beachfront resort with an upmarket Caribbean experience. It offers swimming pools, gardens, palapas, outdoor jacuzzis, and their world famous YHI Spa Aguas de Oro has won several World Travel Awards.
From meeting rooms to alternative locations which can cater for 300 people, it is the ideal location for events such as weddings, banquets or business conventions. Choose a garden villa with its own sauna, private pool and direct beach access for maximum privacy, or a two-storey bungalow with ocean views.
Restaurants: Choose from 8 restaurants, 4 bars and 3 pool bars. Private dining options are available. Authentic Mediterranean cuisine is the speciality, but international cuisine is also available; both are available a la carte or buffet. The privacy and ambience are what sets their restaurants apart.
Amenities: Yhi spa, 24hr concierge, currency exchange, free internet, beach bar, doctor and nurse available on-site (Monday-Saturday), club house, water sports (guests have access to boats and snorkelling equipment), theme nights with live music.
Best for: Couples, honeymooners, weddings, business travellers (adults only).
#5. Sol Río De Luna y Mares
Located next to the sea in Naranjo Bay Natural Park, Sol Río De Luna y Mares is an all-inclusive resort and part of the Sols Hotels group, which means you can expect 5-star service here.
It’s perfect for families as they offer family rooms and Junior suites. Children also have their own pool area and special diving classes.
Packages range from the family or couple packages, to the honeymoon and wedding packages. The latter two come with special rooms, secluded and exclusive dining areas as well as alternative locations for your guests.
If you’re feeling nostalgic and decide to revisit your special place for your anniversary perhaps, special rewards are available for repeat guests.
Restaurants: You can choose from 9 à la carte restaurants and snack bars and 8 bars. Cuisine is distinctly Cuban but you have international options as well. The honeymoon and wedding packages will include special dining options with different menus.
Amenities: Mini club and baby club, kids’ pool and paddling pool, play area, kids’ corner, children’s menu, babysitting, daily activities programme for children and teenagers at the beach and in the pool, electronic games room, PlayStation, Wii, family coordinator, family room and connecting rooms, cots, beach access. Wellness centre with pool, hydromassage, tai chi, yoga and pilates. Beauty treatments. 24hr concierge.
Best for: Families with children, couples, honeymooners, weddings.
#6. Iberostar Selection Varadero
With crystal-clear turquoise waters on one side, and the Varahicacos natural reserve on the other, the Iberostar Selection Varadero is a 5-star resort with plenty of options for how you want to spend your vacation! With facilities catering specifically to children, like the playground, children's pool and Star Camp (8-12yrs), this is an ideal luxury resort for families. Business travellers will also benefit from the meeting room facilities. Weddings and events can be hosted here as well.
Apart from the Spa, hair and beauty salon, meeting rooms and medical treatments, the rest are free as this an all-inclusive resort.
Restaurants: The 4 restaurants include a Japanese restaurant and buffet restaurant. The other 2 are a la carte restaurants serving local and international cuisine. There are 2 beach bars, a pool bar, cigar bar and a theatre bar; an additional bar in the lobby area. You can also get drinks in the nightclub.
Amenities: Beach access, free WiFI, spa, beauty salon, hairdressers, Star Camp, children’s playground, children’s pool, adult pool, water sports, meeting rooms, medical services, professional shows, babysitter service, cigar lounge, basketball, entertainment and games area, dance lessons, fitness room, pharmacy, disco.
Best for: Families with children, couples, honeymooners, weddings, business travellers.