Famous Guests

A countless number of personalities have stayed in the hotel throughout its more than one hundred years of existence. Among them:

Lola Flores

Lola Flores: Spanish flamenco singer and dancer known as "La Faraona".

Merle Oberon: British film actress.

David Alfaro Sequeiros: Mexican muralist painter. In order to pay for his stay in the Hotel, he painted two large murals which ornamented the Roof Garden.

Georges Simenon: French-Belgian writer of detective novels.

Hugo del Carril

Hugo del Carril: Argentinean film and theater actor.

Patricia Schmidt: American dancer. She killed her lover on board his yacht anchored in the bay. She returned to the Sevilla Hotel after she was pardoned during her incarceration in Havana's prison for women.

Germán Valdés “Tin Tan”: Mexican comic actor, singer and dancer.

Ted Williams

Ted Williams: American baseball player. He stayed in the Hotel together with his team, the Boston Red Sox.

Herbert Mathews: American journalist, head of the New York Times editorial staff.

Juan Bosch: Former president of the Dominican Republic.

Luis Angel Firpo: Argentinean world heavyweight boxing champion.

Johnny Le Roy (James Roy): Canadian baseball player (pitcher). He played with the Cuban professional league during the winter.

Al Capone

Al Capone: Infamous American Mafiosi. He occupied the entire sixth floor with a retinue which included some of his bodyguards.

Enrico Caruso: Italian opera singer. His rendition of Aida in the former Teatro Nacional de La Habana (1920) was interrupted by the explosion of an artifact that had been placed in the theater. During the commotion, the artist managed to escape from the theater and head for the Sevilla Hotel where he was staying. He entered the lobby dressed as Radames, the character he was playing in the opera.

Ninon Sevilla

Ninón Sevilla: Cuban singer and dancer. She rehearsed in the Roof Bar with her pianist.

Imperio Argentina: Spanish actress and singer.

Veloz y Yolanda: Famous dance couple. They performed in the Roof Garden on New Year's Eve, 1936.

Jorge Negrete: Mexican singer and film star. While in Havana, he was presented with a mariachi suit bearing the national seal of Cuba.

Josephine Baker

Josefine Baker: Famous American cabaret star. She had been previously refused accommodation at the Hotel Nacional because of the color of her skin. As soon as the owner of the Sevilla Hotel learned about the incident, he quickly saw the chance for free publicity: he declared her an illustrious guest of the Hotel and organized a press conference.

Tongolele: Cuban rumba dancer. To lose weight after delivering twins, she danced and exercised in the Roof Garden accompanied by a piano.

Santos Trafficante: American mobster. He lived in the Hotel for two years.

Libertad Lamarque

Libertad Lamarque: Argentinean actress and singer. A party was organized in her honor in the Roof Garden.

Dámaso Pérez Prado: Cuban singer and orchestra director, known as the "Mambo King." He performed in the Patio Sevillano together with the Habana Casino Orchestra.

Arnulfo Arias : Former president of Panama.

Jose Raúl Capablanca: Cuban world chess champion.

Ernesto Lecuona

Ernesto Lecuona: Cuban pianist and composer.

Luis Rodriguez Olmos: Puerto Rican baseball player.

Vincente Blasco Ibáñez: Spanish novelist. He narrated an imaginary story of his stay in the Hotel in his novel La vuelta al mundo de un novelista (A Novelist's Trip Around the World).

Ignacio Villa "Bola de Nieve": Cuban singer and composer. One evening while playing in the Roof Garden his rendition was so outstanding that singer Rita Montaner asked him to be his exclusive accompanying pianist, an offer he accepted.

Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson: American film actress.

Joe Louis: American world heavyweight boxing champion.

José Maria López Mesquita: Spanish painter.

 

 

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