Much of the social action around Parque Central happens in front of the Hotel Inglaterra (Paseo de Martí #416), opened in 1856 and today the oldest Cuban hotel still extant. The sidewalk Café Louvre, known in colonial days as the Acera del Louvre, was a focal point for rebellion against Spanish rule. A plaque outside the hotel entrance honors the “lads of the Louvre sidewalk” who died for Cuban independence.
Inside, Hotel Inglaterra boasts elaborate wrought-ironwork and exquisite Mudejar-style detailing, including arabesque archways and azulejos (patterned tile). A highlight is the sensuous life-size bronze statue of a Spanish dancer—La Sevillana—in the main bar.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition