Palacio de Los Condes de Santovenia

Habana Vieja

Lining Plaza de Armas, Los Condes de Santovenia is the former stately palace of the counts of Santovenia and today houses the five-star Hotel Santa Isabel. It dates from the 1780s and was converted into the luxurious accommodations in 1867, making it one of Habana’s oldest hotels. Habaguanex (the City Historian's renovation arm) gave the place a much-needed makeover in the 1990s, which was good enough for former US president Jimmy Carter, who stayed here during his groundbreaking 2002 visit.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Habana Vieja attractions

1. Museo El Templete

0.03 MILES

This museum is housed in the tiny neoclassical Doric chapel on the eastern side of Plaza de Armas, and was erected in 1828 at the point where Havana's…

2. Plaza de Armas

0.04 MILES

Havana's oldest square was laid out in the early 1520s, soon after the city's foundation, and was originally known as Plaza de Iglesia after a church –…

3. Statue of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes

0.05 MILES

In the center of Plaza de Armas, ringed by royal palms, is a marble statue of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the man who set Cuba on the road to independence…

4. Museo Nacional de Historia Natural

0.05 MILES

An average museum that contains examples of Cuba's flora and fauna; it overlooks Plaza de Armas in a building that once served as the US embassy.

5. Palacio del Segundo Cabo

0.08 MILES

Wedged into Plaza de Armas' northwestern corner, this beautiful baroque building was constructed in 1772 as the headquarters of the Spanish vice-governor…

6. Castillo de la Real Fuerza

0.08 MILES

On the seaward side of Plaza de Armas is one of the oldest existing forts in the Americas, built between 1558 and 1577 on the site of an earlier fort…

7. Museo de la Ciudad

0.08 MILES

Even with no artifacts, Havana's city museum would be a tour de force, courtesy of the opulent palace in which it resides. Filling the whole western side…

8. Museo de Pintura Mural


A simple museum that exhibits some beautifully restored original frescoes in the Casa del Mayorazgo de Recio, popularly considered to be Havana's oldest…