A surprisingly strong environmental streak runs through Cuban society, and one of the best examples of this outlook is Hotel Moka, in the heart of the rainforest. The hotel, part of a huge eco-project known as Las Terrazas, gets its name from the banks of trees that surround the property. This three-star hotel comprises 26 apartments built in the Spanish colonial style with whitewashed corridors radiating from a central lobby. All arrivals must nudge past an ancient lime tree that continues its climb through two floors and up through the roof via a skylight. Throughout the hotel, there is wonderful use of tropical light and dramatic.
Las Terrazas is a well-respected eco-destination in the heart of the 25,000ha Sierra Rosario Biosphere reserve. More than 70 species of bird inhabit the reserve and even a casual stroll will bring you into contact with dramatic flashes of colour across your path. A good guide should show you the tocororo, the national bird of Cuba, and possibly one of the smallest frogs in the world, the thimble-sized ranita. Hotel Moka, 50 miles and just under an hour's drive from Havana, has an idyllic setting. Overlooking a lake, it is set among 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) of sustainably developed and mountainous secondary tropical forest restored over the past 30 years (before that, the area was almost entirely denuded of trees). It is next to a co-operative village set up in 1968 with the intention that it be entirely self-sufficient.