There are places that shy away from classifications at a distance, which are an invitation to discover their exquisiteness based on personal experience. They encourage unique perceptions, they meet the most rigorous tastes. Havana has the Paseo 206 Boutique Hotel.
On one of the city’s principal avenues, in an environment that harmonizes the rhythms of modernity with the beauty of the architecture, the hotel offers its clients personalized attention. The quiet comfort of a home with the splendor of a deluxe installation.
“The word standard doesn’t exist for us,” underlined Andrea Gallina, owner of the Paseo 206 Boutique Hotel together with his wife Diana Saínz. Andrea is Italian and Diana is Cuban, which gives the place its own hallmark, born of the combination of both cultures. “A warm embrace between Cuba and Italy,” its owners like to say.
The welcome to this impeccable combination is Ecléctico. Named for the architectural style of the building it shares with the hotel, this Italian ristorante takes to the table an unparalleled culinary concept in all of Cuba. Exclusiveness, care and inspiration are values that distinguish it.
Andrea prefers the term creative cuisine more than that of gourmet. And he is absolutely right. From the making of the menu to the presentation and flavor of the dishes, the imagination and the most demanding palate are lavished.
Pastas made in the restaurant give life to Italian recipes presented with originality. Fettuccine with shrimps and homemade basil pesto, spaghetti alla pescatora with tomato and fresh seafood, and squash raviolis with fondue parmensana and truffle oil, are some of the wonders that can be appreciated in Ecléctico.
The main courses also offer the patrons an astonishing tasting. They include delights like the grouper carpaccio marinated in beet, the tataki de marlin with tzatziki sauce, and the saltimbocca alla romana chicken.
Desserts like homemade ice cream made with the famous chocolate from Baracoa, and the tiramisu served with espresso coffee, are the perfect culmination to the meal.
The aperitifs and salads are a must in the menu, just like the best beverages on the island. High-quality European wines, champagne, whisky, liqueurs, the Cuban aged rums of world-famous brands like Havana Club and Santiago de Cuba, as well as well-known Cuban and international cocktails, make up a proposal that is enriched every day by an invention of the restaurant’s bartender.
The menu varies according to the season and does not spare surprises. The fish captured by its suppliers in the high sea are translated immediately into new creations. The fruit and vegetables are obtained directly from the farms and organic markets. The local markets are the support not only of the Cuban dishes but also of the Italian and international recipes. The ristorante’s motto is “from farm to table.”
The architect of Ecléctico is Vincenzo Frassanito, an Italian chef with experience in restaurants with Michelin stars. The singularity of the dishes and menus lies in his ingenuity and experience. As well as the training of the Cuban chefs who day by day materialize the culinary offers of a reserved and comfortable place, ideal for family and business suppers, and for couples and friends to share a special moment.
The exceptional luxury of a small hotel
Ecléctico is a complementary service of the Paseo 206 Boutique Hotel. It takes up the building’s entrance and is open to guests as well as to other visitors. But behind the restaurant there’s another enchanted universe.
“Our aim is to provide clients with the experience of staying in a luxurious Havana mansion from the 1930s and 1940s,” Andrea Gallina explains. To achieve it, he and his wife meticulously restored the property they bought to turn it into a hotel. This brought back the spirit and elegance to this old residence in El Vedado.
They reproduced the palette of pastel colors of the houses of the period. With ceilings, floors and other construction and decorative elements, they also followed the original outlines. Being in Paseo 206 Boutique Hotel is like traveling in time.
But not everything refers to the past. Italian design furniture give a more vivacious touch to the spaces. Lamps and sanitary installations contribute another touch of modernity. Works by the island’s contemporary artists, which can be bought by visitors, are exhibited in the hotel thanks to an agreement with a private gallery. The plants, in the gardens and interiors, also have an important value in the atmosphere.
However, none of this contravenes the stylistic concept. The guests have at their disposal, at the same time, sober and luxurious installations, functional and welcoming, complemented with a ménage of excellence.
The hotel has eight rooms: four junior suites and four master suites. The latter are more spacious than the first, but they all have a high degree of comfort. The room located on the top floor also has a splendid view that extends to the sea and the famous Malecón seaside drive.
The living rooms and common spaces, with a warm and intimate atmosphere, are ideal to read a book, peacefully have a drink, or rest some minutes after a tour of Havana.
Directed at an elite public, the boutique hotel offers the opportunity of booking on its own website and through international agencies and platforms like Airbnb. The bookings include breakfast and are backed by a professional and personalized treatment. Its attributes have merited Paseo 206 Boutique Hotel being recognized as the first Small Luxury Hotel in Cuba. Such a certification, achieved after a severe assessment, was conferred to it by Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a brand that includes some 500 of the most luxurious small hotels and resorts in 70 countries.
Andrea says he feels “honored and happy to form part of this eminent family.” Being a part of it supposes new opportunities but also a big commitment, just in a year of work. However, he affirms, their effort will continue being the same: offering an exclusive service to those who choose to stay in their hotel or taste the exquisite dishes of the restaurant. Paseo 206 Boutique Hotel has its doors open from Havana.