A new hotel in Old Havana will be operated by Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group.
When construction is complete later this year, the Gran Hotel Kempinski Manzana La Habana will be Cuba’s first five-star hotel (on the European rating system).
The hotel will occupy the historic Manzana de Gómez building. The grand structure, dating to 1890, is a five-story neoclassical building that was originally Cuba’s first European-style shopping center. It will have 246 rooms and suites ranging in size from about 430 to 1,615 square feet.
Amenities will include a 10,000-square-foot Swiss Resense spa, three restaurants, a lobby bar, a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool, and FREE INTERNET in every room.
The Swiss Kempinski hotel company will manage the luxury hotel in a deal with Cuba’s state-owned GAESA SA.
RELATED: Cuba Journal interview with the designer of Havana’s finest boutique hotel, Hotel Saratoga.
The hotel is expected to relieve some of the supply constraints in Havana’s fully-booked luxury hotel inventory.
French construction group Bouygues Bâtiment International employed more than 100 Indian laborers in an effort to accelerate completion of the hotel.
In 2014, the Cuban government removed a key barrier to hiring foreign workers that authorized “special regulations” concerning foreign workers under “exceptional circumstances.”
Bouygues Bâtiment International
Bouygues Bâtiment International, part of the French company Bouygues Construction, came to Cuba in 1998 to focus development of tourist facilities. Since then, the company reports it has delivered more than thirteen resorts and over 10,000 hotel rooms.
The Cuban government announced last year that France will be involved in Cuba’s largest airport renovation.
The news emerged weeks after the announcement of the opening of a French Development Agency in Cuba for projects stemming from funds connected to Cuba’s debt settlement negotiations.
France is Cuba’s largest single creditor. Cuba’s bilateral creditors are different from the US claims issue that remains unresolved between the two countries.
Aeroports de Paris, the French government-owned firm that runs Charles de Gaulle, will receive a concession to operate Jose Marti that will include a renovation by the French firm, Bouygues.
There were previous reports that a Brazilian development agency would be involved in renovating Cuba’s airports, but it appears now that Bouygues has won the airport project.