When traveling, you are faced with choices. Some big ones, like which hemisphere to explore, will influence the rest of your stay. But there is one choice you can make no matter what your destination is—near or far. Whether you’re staying on the shores of the Adriatic or Caribbean, how your hotel fits in with the architectural style of the area can enhance your vacation. The more authentic the look, the more authentic the experience—and the closer to it all you’ll be.

With Iberostar’s range of Heritage Hotels, there’s ways to do this at just about any destination that you could consider. Consider two great beach paradises that come packed with history too: Montenegro and Cuba. Both have seen their tourism industry grow these past decades as years of traditional communist rule gave way to an increasingly western-looking market economy in the case of Montenegro, and an evolving planned economy in Cuba that works in part on the dollars and euros of foreign tourists.

In both cases, the cultural heritage has been well preserved, and the benefit for the visitor is enormous. Make sure to stay in the center of it all.

Trinidad, Cuba

There’s nowhere better to connect yourself to Cuba than in the “city-museum” of the country. Trinidad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its colonial buildings that have been left untouched. Founded by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, the city is significant to the story of the sugar trade in the country during the 19th century. At the center of it all is the Plaza Mayor de la Santísima Trinidad. The buildings that line the plaza are the most remarkable in all of Trinidad.

And you can stay just minutes away. The five-star Iberostar Heritage Grand Hotel Trinidad is located directly across from Plaza Carrillo and offers luxury in the center of everything. Choose a room with a terrace to enjoy the views of the plaza in front. You can connect with the city around you while also having your peace and quiet guaranteed. Order from the pillow menu the perfect fit to ensure a good night’s sleep.

The historic hotel with a light green-painted colonial exterior is centered around an inner courtyard. Sit and relax near the fountain on a warm day. Or if you’re looking for a more lively night, check out the billiards room and live music. When coupled with a Cuban cigar (enjoy it in the lounge) or the great dining options at Restaurant Guaicanicú, your experience could not be more Cuban.

Make sure to make the most of both day and night. Explore the town, do some shopping, and learn about cigars during the day. In the evening, ask the hotel concierge for tips about the best nightlife options. Not to miss is Casa de la Trova for live Cuban beats and Discoteca Las Cuevas if you want to keep the party going.

 

Perast, Montenegro

Europe is infinite. That’s why the Bay of Kotor is the next destination for those who enjoy discovering all its secrets and civilizations. Europe’s Southernmost fjord has always been an enclave desired by all major civilizations of the Mediterranean, but it was the Republic of Venice that best left its mark on this idyllic landscape for more than three centuries (from the 15th to the 18th centuries).

Today, all this legacy of stone, trade, and influences is recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and has become the major attraction of this coastal paradise that has the town of Perast as its crown jewel. This municipality combines the best of Venetian Baroque with local influences in its streets. It’s no surprise that the most outstanding craftsmen, goldsmiths and artists on this side of the Adriatic met in its workshops and market.

The mixture of economic prosperity and creative wealth made Perast one of the most beautiful and delicate ports of its time. A fascination that can be experienced today in first person when strolling through its cobbled streets, when discovering the enormous palaces where their nobles lived as well as when entering the slender churches of Saint Nicholas or Saint Marko.

In the heart of the Balkans and sheltered by the sea and the mountains, the new 5-star Iberostar Heritage Grand Perast hotel opens its doors. Located in a peaceful town full of architectural and natural attractions, this renovated former palace has everything you could need to make your next holiday a unforgettable experience.

Just a block off Parque Céspedes is another great option: the Iberostar Heritage Imperial hotel. This is the place for you if you want to be transported back in time at the bar. The Don Fernando Lobby Bar is a favorite for anyone passing through the center of Santiago to take a break and down a coffee or a famous cocktail.

Discover all hotels in Cuba of Iberostar. Surely you will not leave any indifferent.

Less than five minutes walking is the Iberostar Heritage San Félix. This is where you want to stay if you’re hoping for a fun night out. Los Dos Gaticos bar here hosts live Cuban music shows. You can dance the night away and not worry that those mojitos will lead you too far from your room.

The center of Santiago de Cuba is where you’ll want to spend your time. The Rum Museum will explain just how important sugar cane, and the drink made from it, has been to Cuba’s culture and economy. And the Balcón de Velázquez offers all the best views of the city and the bay. And you’ll be waking up among all of it.

 

Herceg Novi, Montenegro

Here’s where you go when you want amazing food served on the beach. This is truly the best pick for a outdoorsy holiday. You’re not far from historic town centers, but if you stay by the beach you’re just far enough removed to truly relax.

At the Iberostar Herceg Novi, organize your holiday around the water. There is sand leading from your room, right to the water’s edge. Unwind in a lounge chair and order drinks or food. The best Balkan cuisine can be yours at the resort’s beachside restaurant.

Herceg Novi is just across the water. You can bike, jog, or even windsurf over—and the hotel has an activity center to get you set up with the gear. No matter how you make the journey, just make sure to go. The town, like much of coastal Montenegro, is full of palaces.

But here there’s even more. Make sure to check out the Orthodox and Catholic churches as well as the fortresses. They’re tucked away around every corner. The town is built on a hill leading down to the water, so make sure you’re prepared.