Hotel Habana Libre

Notable Building in Vedado

This classic modernist hotel – the former Havana Hilton – was commandeered by Castro's revolutionaries in 1959 just nine months after it had opened, and was promptly renamed the Habana Libre. During the first few months of the revolution, Fidel ruled the country from a luxurious suite on the 24th floor.

A 670-sq-meter Venetian tile mural by Amelia Peláez is splashed across the front of the building, while upstairs Alfredo Sosa Bravo's Carro de la revolución utilizes 525 ceramic pieces. There are some good shops and an interesting photo gallery, displaying snaps of the all-conquering barbudas (literally 'bearded ones') lolling around with their guns in the hotel's lobby in January 1959.