I’m a big fan of travel photography, especially of places not usually visited by Americans. Here, Jose Villa‘s beautiful photographs capture the soft colors of Cuba and the city that seems trapped in time…

The texture of the walls…

How beautiful are these doors? The chippy paint and the scale of the doors is perfection.

The vintage cars are so beautiful…

Jose said that while most Cubans have very little, they are a very happy, warm people…

And now for the most stunning film by Joel Serrato of Havana, be prepared to be completely swept away…

Ready for your own Cuban escape?! Here are the best places to sleep/eat/see:

Sleep: Hotel Saratoga…located in the heart of Havana, this 96 room 5 star hotel is as much modern and eclectic as it is classic, and has some of the best views of Havana from it’s rooftop terrace (perfect for those warm Havana rights!). Lucky for you, the hotel also has some of the best food/drinks/spa services around. Located on one of the busiest streets in central Havana, Hotel Saratoga offers the perfect combination of luxury and convenience.

Eat: Floridita…opening in 1817, this Havana landmark is known as much for it’s authentic Cuban inspired seafood dishes as it’s famous cocktails. Once named one of the 7 most popular bars in the world  (as noted by Esquire Magazine in the 50’s), Floridita offers visitors to Havana a flash back to Cuba’s former glory days.  Fun fact: Ernest Hemingway was a regular at Floridita back in the day, and is even said to have written his first draft of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” here. Looking to channel Hemingway’s literary genius? Be sure to order a daiquiri, his favorite drink!

See: Often called “The Soul of Havana” by locals, no trip would be complete without a walk along El Malecón. This 4+ mile seafront promenade is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. You’ll find yourself wandering past local Cuban children swimming, taking in the gorgeous ocean views on one side while gazing back across the walkway upon now dilapidated luxury villas from Cuba’s heyday. It’s a truly romantic juxtaposition. Two other visitor must sees? The Havana Capital Building (otherwise known as El Capital) and the Partagas Cigar Factory.

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“@LifeStyledGroup: A great post on Havana, by our lovely Cynthia… on @KellyOshiro’s Santa Barbara Chic!… http://t.co/o5xYjPjH

thanks for featuring! 😉

New post: Escape to… Havana, Cuba with Jose Villa & Joel Serrato http://t.co/XhhIuRWb

finally… escape to cuba with @josevilla @jsfilms right here: http://t.co/XwGEsbNZ

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