The small La Ronda Hotel opens onto Parque Céspedes and offers a value-priced budget alternative to the deluxe Iberostar a stone's throw away, while having the advantage of a heart-of-affairs location compared to the similarly priced Hotel Horizontes Las Cuevas up the hill. The concept is fairly simple: take a 19th-century townhouse, fix up the plumbing and install modern bathrooms, give the rest of the building a sprucing and open up to foreign tourists.
Hotel Cubanacan (formerly Islazul) La Ronda is located in the centre of Trinidad which has been declared a world heritage site by the UNESCO. Nearby is the Romantic Museum, the Plaza Mayor (Main Square), the Santa Ana Church the Cantero Palace and much more.
The 17 air-conditioned bedrooms are on two levels opening to an atrium patio with palms and potted plants. Furnishings are somewhat meager, and the mattresses and pillows are second rate. Nonetheless, the rooms are the equal of most private room rentals (the most popular options in Trinidad) in town. The high ceilings and colonial tile floors help keep rooms cool, and those facing south have tall French doors opening to balconies overlooking the lively plaza. Satellite TVs, telephones, small refrigerators, and in-room safes are standard.
The small restaurant and bar here are charming, albeit simple. Continental and criolla meals are served. For a splurge, the ritzy restaurants and bars of the Iberostar Gran Hotel Trinidad are literally a 50-pace stroll away.
The best-preserved colonial city in Cuba, in the shadow of the Escambray mountains, Trinidad was not even linked by road to the rest of the country until the 1950s. Declared a national monument by the Cuban government this city is very much as it was four centuries ago, the beauty of its baroque architecture and cobblestones squares harking back to a bygone era when Trinidad was a key player in the Caribbean slave trade.
There are many interesting things to see (e.g Guamuhaya Archaeological Museum, Plaza Mayor, Church of Santa Ana, Calle Simon Bolivar....) but the most impressive of all Trinidad's many museums is Trinidad Municipal Museum and a visit to the Taller Alfarero, a large ceramics workshop where traditional techniques are still used is also worthwhile.