Loma del Ángel is a boutique hotel in a small historic building in the heart of Habana Vieja with just 2 suites.
How would you describe Paseo Penthouse in a nutshell?
It’s an elegant penthouse dating to the 1950s that’s set within an eclectic neighbourhood. It combines history, cosiness and service without pretentiousness.
What was the inspiration/story behind Paseo Penthouse?
I’m married to a Cuban and for 10 years, he wasn’t allowed to return to the country to see his family. When he was finally allowed to go back, we saw the potential of the country as it was changing and the possibility of opening a hotel. So we decided to leave the rat race of Europe (I was working in global banking and my husband as a doctor) and decided to have an adventure.
My husband’s family had been living in this penthouse apartment since the 1950s (before the revolution). But after his mother had a hip replacement, she could no longer get down to the streets. So we helped her move into a ground floor apartment and decided to renovate the penthouse, creating a space that combined Cuban materials with mid-century furnishings and decor that reflected our tastes and travels.
While many people in Cuba rent out rooms in their casas while living there, we wanted to offer more privacy for guests while still having a good level of service. We don’t like labels such as “boutique” or “luxury” but we do like fine things, such as beautiful furnishings, Egyptian cotton sheets and fantastic breakfasts, so we wanted to offer all of those things.
How would you describe the atmosphere of the apartment?
Havana is very hectic and noisy, especially in the Old Town, which is where most visitors head first. Vedado, where the apartment is located, is more residential, leafy and quiet, so guests often comment that the penthouse feels like a refuge or haven that they love coming back to at the end of the day. Most Cuban houses have louvre windows that don’t isolate noise, so we’ve made an effort to soundproof the rooms to create a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere inside the apartment.