Geneva-based Kempinski Hotels said Tuesday that it plans to open a five-star hotel this spring in the Old Havana section of the Cuban capital, giving Havana a luxury offering that has been missing from its hotel mix. Will be Cuba’s first five-star hotel, and one of the country’s first significant steps into the modern Western world.
Befittingly, the forward progression is still rooted in the island’s rich culture. The hotel will be housed within the historic Manzana de Gómez building, under a management contract with Cuba’s Grupo de Turismo Gaviota. Dating to 1890, the grandiose five-story structure was Cuba’s first European-style shopping center with over 500 departments that included stores, business offices, law firms, and notaries.
It will feature a 1,600-square-foot presidential suite, a rooftop terrace and swimming pool, three restaurants, a cigar lounge, business center and a spa operated by Resense, a Swiss luxury spa brand.
Inside the restored neoclassical building, Gran Hotel Kempinski Manzana La Habana will offer 246 rooms and suites. Ranging in size from about 430 to 1,615 square feet, each offers a crisp contemporary white color palette with vaulted ceilings, large French windows, and fun pops of bright colors that feel inherently Cuban. With Marriott and other U.S. hotel companies looking to grow in Cuba, the growth of European brands is likely to spark increased competition.