Cuba Welcomes First Five-Star Property

Since the relationship between the United States and Cuba has improved, travelers have arrived in the Caribbean island by the multitudes, singing “Guantanamera,” usually off-key.

While the situation might revert to the pre-Obama era, the Cuban Thaw will continue for now, leading enthusiastic hotel chains to open properties to accommodate the deluge of tourists, including those from other countries.

The Geneva-based Kempinski Hotel is one of the many, and in June 7 it will formally launch the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana. The 246-room five-star accommodation was formerly the Manzana de Gómez, Cuba’s first European-style shopping mall. Situated across the Havana Opera House and within the historical Old Havana, the structure was refurbed to include bars, restaurants, a spa, and a rooftop pool.


Historical Havana as seen from the property. All images are courtesy of the hotel.


Gold reigns in the hotel’s cigar lounge.


San Cristobal Restaurant


Bar Constante


The presidential suite

Designed by South African husband-and-wife team Arno and Vanessa Joubert, the property’s rooms were done in palettes of white and gray, with the occasional pop of purple and green. The high-ceilinged quarters were fitted with French windows that provide panoramic views of the capital’s UNESCO-protected district.

Gold is the dominant color in the Evocación Tobacco Lounge, where guests can enjoy Cuban cigars paired with cocktails. Meanwhile, birds were painted liberally in the yellow-and-white San Cristobal Restaurant. Birds also adorn Bar Constante, where they are placed side-by-side gold cages. Tourists who wish to indulge in retail therapy can do so at the shopping arcade, which sells Montblanc and premium cigar Cohiba Atmosphere.

A deluxe room’s rate starts from USD$344 per night during the off-season while a suite is priced at USD$1,300.


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