hotel palacio ofarrill .com - An Old and Luxurious Mansion in Old Havana

The History of Hotel Palacio O'Farrill

The Hotel Palacio O'Farrill is a terrifically grand neoclassical mansion that dates of the first years of the XX century and standing on the corner of Cuba and Chacon streets near the port of Havana.

Belonging to the Habaguanex S. A., the name of this installation comes from its first proprietor: Ricardo O'Farrill y O'Daly whose family was native of the Irish county of Longford.

Its owner, Don Ricardo O'Farrill y O'Daly, made his fortune in the slave trade and owned several large sugar mills. This rich businessman arrived to Havana in 1715, in which consolidated a prosperous family that stood out in the management, economy and the cultural domestic development, besides they were distinguished for the reached nobiliary titles.

As time went by, the O'Farrills became involved in different aspects of Cuban society: Nicolas Calvo de la Puerta y O'Farrill, a distinguished academic and Doctor of Theology at the Pontifical University of San Jeronimo, who introduced improvements in sugar cane production and promoted the Sociedad Patriotica (Patriotic Club) in collaboration with Alexander Humboldt.

Juan Montalvo y O'Farrill owned the first steamship used in Cuba. Jose Ricardo and Rafael O'Farrill and Herrera were listed among the 18 most influential and richest people in Havana under the rule of Spanish Governor Miguel Tacon. Others played important roles in the army, commerce and music, and in various government offices.

The current Hotel Palacio O'Farrill was built starting from three houses bought by one of its descendants: Rafael O'Farrill, but it was concluded in 1832 thanks to José Ricardo O'Farrill y O'Farrill, Don Ricardo's great-grandchild.

In 1878, José Ricardo O'Farrill y O'Farrill was not able to pay a contracted debt with the Savings Bank of Havana and the O'Farrills' house was puts up for auction. Starting from that moment, in the construction several institutions resided.

This way, in the last two decades of the XIX century the Land Registry was working here, and at the beginning of 1900 –at the same time- the High Court and its Office of the Public Prosecutor, the Legal Department and State Education, and the Bar Association were based in the building.

When in the forties of the last XX century the last level was added, next to an unattractive skylight, this space was occupied by the Special Fund of Public Works and the section of the Secretariat of Treasury in charge of the register of vehicles whose offices resided here until after 1959.

In the moment of being intervened by the Office of the Historian of the City, this building was used like people housing's temporary.

Welcome to my site dedicated to the Hotel Palacio O'Farrill 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 2018

Nigel Alexander Hunt