Cuba is one of the most sought after travel destinations right now because of the end of the 60-year long trade and financial embargo with the US. This exquisite Caribbean island is now slowly opening its doors for travel excursions, cruise ships now include Cuba in their stops, and a chance to explore the country is now more realistic than ever.
And this year, the country is set to open their very first five-star hotel, the Gran Hotel Kempinski Manzana La Habana. Owned by Kempinski, Europe's oldest luxury hotel group, this hotel will open up a lot of opportunities for the local economy, and luxurious travelers will now have a great accommodation to stay in.
No official date has been announced yet, but the Kempinski group is confident about its grand opening to the public sometime in the second quarter of the year. The whole endeavor was in partnership with Gaviota, one of Cuba's leading tourism enterprises.
Although Cuba already has a number of luxury hotels, the demand for 1st class accommodation actually hasn't been really met. This is where the Gran Hotel Kempinski Manzana La Habana fills the gap.
Collin Laverty, president of Cuba Educational Travel, said: "The Saratoga is considered a luxury property but it is more a boutique hotel. The Kempinski hotel is a whole other level in terms of brand, professionalism and the size of the hotel."
"It certainly fills a gap in terms of supply. Almost all the upscale visitors in that part of town are trying to get into the Saratoga or the Parque Central, and the Kempinski is going to be a great offering."
Among the top features the Kempinski hotel offers include 246 rooms and suites, a Swiss Resense spa, an inhouse cigar lounge, a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool, a lobby bar, and three restaurants. There is also going to be a 1,600-square-foot presidential suite.
According to Markus Semer, chairman and chief executive of Kempinski Hotels, "The opening is a continuation of our pioneering spirit as the Gran Hotel Kempinski Manzana La Habana will be Cuba's first modern luxury five-star hotel. And its location within a famous historic building currently makes it the most exclusive hotel project in Old Havana." The hotel is built in the historical streets of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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