In 1914, local grocer Edward Franz Melcher opened Hotel Havana with a vision to recreate the tropical allure of the hotel’s Caribbean namesake. He built in the Mediterranean Revival style popular in Cuba at the time, and many of the surrounding cypress, palm and magnolia trees he planted still remain. The hotel served as a temporary residence for Melcher’s visiting vendors, beginning a storied legacy that includes FBI stings, acts of God and other colorful events befitting a grand and legendary hotel. During the twelve years Melcher lived and worked in the Havana, he donated a portion of its deed to the city for River Walk development.
The hotel changed hands several times after that, and with the management transitions urban legends passed throughout the staff. If you’re bold, ask the Front Desk team about the room you’re staying in—they’re sure to have several tales to share. In April 2010, Hotel Havana was reopened under the humble care of Bunkhouse Group. The hotel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, but manages to maintain its youthful spirit nonetheless.