Havana goes in deluxe style with new fancy properties
HAVANA – Havana’s first-ever five-star-plus hotel has been operational for a whole year now. The Hotel Gran Manzana Kempinski is boasting good occupancy rates as it’s blessed with a privileged location right in the heart of downtown Havana.
Ten days ago, the Grand Packard Hotel, run by Iberostar, opened a few blocks from the Gran Manzana Kempinski, equally featuring high-end rooms, facilities and amenities for big-pocket guests, and also with breathtaking views of Havana’s Morro Castle and a piece of Malecon, the capital’s celebrated seafront promenade. And last but not least, there’s a third fancy hotel in the pipeline for Havana, this one to be run by Paris-based AccorHotels.
The new-build is the SO / Havana Paseo del Prado, slated to open in 2019 to mark the French brand’s debut in the Americas. AccorHotels already has a presence in Cuba with the Hotel Mercure Sevilla Havane and the Pullman Cayo Coco. The SO/ Havana Paseo del Prado will be perched on the corner Paseo del Prado and Malecon, right across from the abovementioned Grand Packard Hotel.
In partnership with AccorHotels, the establishment will be part of Grupo de Turismo Gaviota, a Havana-based tourism and hospitality company with more than 85 hotels and over 30,400 rooms throughout Cuba. With design at the core of the SO/ brand, the Havana hotel will display the creative signature of Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, from the hotel’s emblem to the staff’s uniforms.
“I am incredibly excited to take part in the design of the new SO/ Havana Paseo del Prado,” said de la Prada in a statement posted by Hotel Management. “Havana is a magical and colorful city, and the design process came quite naturally. The world of Cuban dance was my central inspiration, and with that, the project came alive almost out of its own accord.”
The 10-story hotel will offer 250 guestrooms, including 36 suites; five food and beverage outlets, including a specialty restaurant and rooftop bar on the ninth floor; a chocolate café bar; a lobby lounge and bar; as well as an all-day signature dining restaurant. Additional hotel features include three interior meeting rooms, a SO/ SPA with six treatment rooms, a SO/ FIT fitness center and a swimming pool with an adjacent pool bar. Havana’s current hotel development pipeline also includes the Corona, Metropolitano and Gran Hotel. Other projects in the offing are the properties being built on Malecon and D Streets; 3rd and 70th Streets across from the Panorama Hotel; G and 29th Streets, and on 25th and K Streets, near the Tryp Habana Libre Hotel.
These investments indicate investor confidence in Havana’s tourism is rebounding. As of July, Havana had 15 hotels operated with foreign companies along with 95 management agreements accounting for 65 percent of Cuba’s total number of guestrooms, the articles posted by the Hotel Management website concludes.