History related to Hotel Conde de Villanueva

Hotel Conde de Villanueva dates from 1714. Its construction was due to Don Sebastián Hernández Castellanos, providing it of great wealth in its two stories, with wide corridors and balconies.

By the middle of the XIX century Doña Teresa Ugarte y Risol, Widow Countess of Villanueva and her son, Don Claudio Martínez de Pinillos y Ugarte, knock it down to themselves as part of the acquired inheritance when Don Sebastian Hernández Castellano died.

Claudio Martínez de Pinillos y Cevallos, Second Count of Villanueva; outstanding Intendant of Treasury of Havana, man worried by the economic and social progress of the city and also for its public ornament was the owner of this house for many years and it belonged by hand of his offsprings up to 1889, the reason why this building is known nowadays like “The house of Condes de Villanueva (Villanueva’s Counts)”.

In the first decades of the XX century it was sold to the Mercantile Society "Marina and Company" that it became then in "Marina Ironmonger's Shop Community", located in the own building.

In 1939 the “Company of Credits and Trade” transforms the building to carry out other functions that they guaranteed the support of its business and actions.

Starting from the fifties, the house of Conde de Villanueva was transformed into housing of multiple families, advancing its deterioration with the step of the time.

Later on the house was occupied by a warehouse of the Ministry of Culture and as such it arrived to the eighties. It’s put up on Mercaderes Street, important vial axis in the communication of its main squares.

Old Courtyard of Hotel Conde de Villanueva

The building adopted certain attributes of the Baroque style (such it is the case of the portico of the entrance) prevailing in its construction time.

They become visible in its structure the transformations suffered during the XIX century, when some of the oldest elements were eliminated, being added others of character neoclassicist (as the cornice and the dust covers).

In 1998 it was carefully restored (conserving its original style) and open as hotel, specially aimed at the lovers of the Cuban Cigars. This is manifested in the interior architecture, in the names of the rooms, according to tobacco plantations, and in the paintings and photography.

The house (Hotel Conde de Villanueva) in its new project restorer was transformed into the Hotel del Habano (The Habano’s Hotel) in Cuba, taking the nobiliary title of its old residents. It was restored and is now run by the Office of the City Historian of Havana, so all its profits are reinvested in the restoration of the city’s historical

Nigel Alexander Hunt

Welcome to my site dedicated to the famous and historical Hotel Conde de Villanueva 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 operated by Cubaism Ltd.

Best wishes for 2009

Nigel Alexander Hunt