Fodor's Expert Review Mansión Xanadú
Av. de las Américas, Km 8.5, Varadero, Matanzas Province, 42200, Cuba
Built by the duPont family, this grand, three-story 1920s mansion is Varadero's only true boutique hotel; with only a half-dozen rooms, it often sells out. Dark-wood paneling, a grand staircase, and heavy furniture give the place a slightly somber air. A little worn around the edges, it's more shabby genteel these days, but the historical ambience is intact. Winston Churchill—and more recently Vladimir Putin and members of the Kennedy family—are just some notable guests who have stayed here. It's also a bargain when you consider the room rate includes breakfast, dinner, and 18 holes of golf at the Varadero Golf Club. The upstairs restaurant ($$–$$$, reservations essential) is one of the peninsula's prettiest places to dine, even if the food is overpriced and below par. If you just want to lap up the ambience for an evening, head to the third-floor bar at sunset to enjoy the views and the experience of living it up like a duPont. Sunday is often quieter, and there's less chance of sharing the mansion with noisy tour groups.
- the ocean views are unparalleled
- the experience of 1920s-style luxury is unique
- the charm of living in such a beautiful hotel is mitigated by the steady flow of tourists flocking into the property daily
- rooms in need of repair and renovation
Rate Includes: Varadero Golf Club, Some meals