History

The current Hotel Florida, colonial construction that maintains its original structure, is located in the corner that the Obispo and Cuba Streets of Havana City make.

The records of Land Registry shows that about 1810 it is notified that the "assistant director" Don Luis Ignacio Caballero sold to Don Joaquin Gomez (slave trader Joaquín Gómez, Cadiz Spanish residing in Cuba) "a house making corner at two streets, one that title Cuba and the other one Obispo", for the price of 11656 pesos.

Don Joaquin buys in 1834, a house in Cuba street Nº 124 and another one next to the last one to unite both to the principal one.

Two years later, in 1836, it was built as residence of families of fame and sugar rich farmers, in the lands occupied by the three houses, the imposing mansion that today it’s contemplates in this corner.

As it was habitual in the colonial Cuban houses, the ground floor of the Hotel Florida was used to locate trades that which comes to confirm it the General Annual of the Trade of 1859 that reports the existence there of a silk trade and another small business whose owners were the gentlemen Ventura Beltrán and Clemente Lumba.

When the one mentioned Mister died in 1860, the house passed to his children's property by title of testate inheritance and during some years the same ones sell or they lease the accessories that it corresponded each one.

In 1880 the entirety of the property was acquired by the illustrious Mr. J. Eugenio Moré (Count of House Moré) in that time boss of controversial Party of Constitutional Union.

The Havana’s indicator of this same year it is referred to the trades that now has occupied the ground floor of the property: Ironmonger's shop "El Anteojo", Shop "El Canal de Vento" and the Watchmaking "El Sol."

Time later (1885), the Count Moré abandoned the splendid enclosure and he moves for a new mansion in Prado Street.

From then on and for many years, the house of Cuba and Obispo Streets was became the Hotel Florida, property of Mr. Juan E. Pino and administered by José Dobaño.

According to faithful testimony of the press of the moment the mentioned gentlemen did the best in endowing to the building of the demands that supposed the new use: it had fifty five rooms endowed with great elegance and comfort and it also had special apartments for boyfriends.

Between 1913 and 1916 the construction is completely renovated under Mr. Manuel Cantos' management, process where it is built a third floor then with brick walls, covered with beam and flagstone and roof.

This level was dedicated to 32 new rooms, now endowed each one of the comforts of the bathroom and the telephone.

The living rooms gained bigger amplitude and illumination with the removal of partitions, the changes of the floors and other transformations that were carried out.

The same as in another moment, newspapers as the "Fígaro" or "El Hogar" took charge of review the rebirth of the hotel and praise amply the progresses of the same one, the new image of the living rooms, the delights of the restaurant or of candy store; this last one served to a noted confectioner of that time named Paco Cela.

The Hotel Florida abandons the property in 1946. For then it is leased to National the Company of Trade and it was established the Bank of Commercial Development that introduces the most important changes in the structure of the building.

In 1955 the building is auctioned by Obispo's Territorial Company, establishing some law offices there in the first floor and in the rest rent housings.

In 1959 the Society Commercial Anonymous acquires this building, Real-Estate Agency Banfoco Ltd. and between this year and 1991 it is dedicated in several occasions as store and then it becomes headquarters of Tourism Palace.

Thanks to a carefully realized project for the specialists of the Office of the Historian of the City, in 1994 it was rescued of the oversight and re-opened its doors the formerly "Hotel Florida".

Welcome to my site dedicated to the Hotel Florida 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 2008

Nigel Alexander Hunt