|Hotel NH Capri La Habana|
Hotel Capri before its recent renovations
|Location||Calle 21 / Calle N, Vedado, Havana|
|Opening||1957 (original), 2014 (reopened)|
|Design and construction|
|Number of rooms||220|
In 1955, President Batista enacted Hotel Law 2074, offering tax incentives, government loans and casino licenses to anyone wishing to build hotels in excess of $1,000,000 or nightclubs for $200,000 in Havana. This bill brought Meyer Lansky and his "associates" in the mafia flooding to the city to take advantage.
The Hotel Capri de Havana was one of the first to be built. Located on Calle 21, 1 Mp. 8 Vedado, only two blocks from the Hotel Nacional, it opened in November 1957. With its 250 rooms, the nineteen-story structure was one of the largest hotel/casinos in Havana during its heyday. It boasted a swimming pool on the roof.
Owned by mobster Santo Trafficante, Jr. of Tampa, Florida, the hotel/casino was operated by Nicholas Di Costanzo, racketeer Charles Turin (aliases: Charles Tourine, Charley "The Blade"), and Santino Masselli of the Bronx NY(aliases:"Sonny the Butcher"). After it opened, George Raft was hired to be the public front for the hotel's club during his gangster days in Cuba. It was believed that he owned a considerable interest in the club.
The hotel was designed by architect Jose Canaves and owned by the Canaves family. The hotel, along with its famous casino, was leased to American hotelier, "Skip" Shephard. The Hotel Capri was nationalized by the Cuban government in October 1960, and the casino was closed.
The hotel was known as the Hotel Horizontes Capri in the 1990s, before it closed in 2003. It reopened in January 2014, following major renovations managed by the Spanish NH Hotel Group as the Hotel NH Capri La Habana.
In 2017 the hotel was exposed as the site of multiple alleged bizarre incidents. Reports of piercing, high-pitched noises and inexplicable ailments pointed to someone deliberately targeting the U.S. government's intelligence network.
- The rooftop pool can be seen in the opening scene of Mikhail Kalatozov's film "I Am Cuba".
- The main entrance and adjoining square are visible in the Soviet spy miniseries "TASS Is Authorized to Declare..." (episode 2, 55:05-55:43), based on a novel of the same name by Yulian Semyonov.
- In Francis Ford Coppola's movie The Godfather Part II, Fredo Corleone brings a suitcase containing $2 million to his brother Michael at the "Hotel Capri". The movie refers to the involvement of the American mafia in the gambling and hotel industry in Cuba during the Batista dictatorship. The film was shot in the Dominican Republic, where the Hotel El Embajador doubled for the Capri.
- Havana Before Castro by Peter Moruzzi, p.176
- Cuban Information Archives, Document 0126
- Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States - In the Matter of the Claim of Horwath and Horwath September 20, 1967
- "Capri Hotel on Cubaism.com". Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- Classic Cuba: Famed art-deco hotel reopens after renovation Desert Sun March 1, 2014
- NH Hotel Group - Hotel NH Capri La Habana nh-hotels.com
- official website
- Mob rule, Lucky Luciano's luxury hideout and the casinos loved by Hollywood: How you can STILL experience the glamour of Havana's heyday Daily Mail March 12, 2015
- Mobsters Move in on Troubled Havana and Split Rich Gambling Profits with Batista Life magazine March 10, 1958 pp32-37