Saturday we spent most of the day exploring the hotel and its grounds. The Grand Nacional is steeped in history having had guests such as Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Ava Garner and others. It also played a major role in the Cuban missile crisis. If you're a bit of a wimp this maybe isn't for you since its since become a little run down compared to other 5*'s around the world, but hey, its Cuba! If you want something a little more modern you could try the Park Centrale, smack in the middle of the city. Again, great views and swimming pools on the roof.
But back to the Nacional - it has spectacular views of the Malecon or the city depending on your room, has great bars, and it located out of the city centre, but is within walking distance, or a coco ride (a small, yellow, bubble taxi - great fun and cheap!). The staff are a little grumpy and the food in the restaurant was horrible... I'll not even mention the Cuban wine - although the waiter did warn us against it! Lol.
There are 2 swimming pools, one of which had a syncronised swimming event on one of the nights we were there. In the basement is a cigar shop, these are always handy to pop in out of the sun because they're refrigerated! The hotel is also home to Club Parisienne which was fantastic, but nowhere near as good as the real thing at the Tropicana where incidentally we went that night.