Playa

The municipality of Playa, meaning “beach”, is the most north-western of Havana’s districts.  It stretches from the Almendares River on its eastern border to the town of Santa Fe in the west.  The northern border of Playa is the Caribbean Sea.  As the city’s population grew and Havana continued to develop as a busy, crowded city, the most affluent families continued to move westward looking for more space and greenery.  This impressive residential quarter was laid out in a grid manner from the 1910s through the 1950s, during which the most outstanding architects of these times showed their creativity in the magnificent eclectic and modern buildings and homes.  Playa is a fascinating municipality aesthetically in that it stretches from the extremely opulent and formerly posh Miramar district that borders the sea and home to magnificent mansions, embassies and some of the best hotels in Havana, to the little fishing village of Jaimanitas on the river of the same name that is home to one of the most acclaimed and unusual permanent art installations on the entire island.  The neighborhood of Buena Vista - home of the original Buena Vista Social Club is in Playa. The geographic layout of this area made it perfect for seaside activities for the elite classes during the first half of the 20th century, evident by imposing structures such as the former Havana Yacht Club and the current Club Habana which was built in the 1920’s as the Biltmore Yacht and Country Club.  Marina Hemingway completed in 1957, the favorite port of entry for recreational boaters from the north, is also located here, as is a tiny tropical rainforest.

 

Western

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