According to a report by Reuters, Sheraton has posted a sign at The Quinta Avenida (Avenida 5ta A 76 – 80, Miramar District, Havana, Cuba): “Four Points by Sheraton.”
The company’s website is listing rooms starting at $249 a night.
Sheraton is the first in Cuba to operate under a US brand since the 1959 revolution.
The hotel property, owned by Gaviota SA, and operated by Sheraton under what is believed to be a hotel management contract, is close to the Caribbean seafront in an area populated by residential homes and foreign embassies.
“This is a historic moment,” said Nancy Sarabia, public relations manager for the hotel, adding that the official inauguration would take place on Tuesday. She called the hotel “a symbol of brotherhood and collaboration.”
Starwood is the first US company to commit major money to Cuba since Fidel Castro and his bearded rebels overthrew a pro-American government on Jan. 1, 1959.
The company said it would not close the 5th Avenue Hotel during renovation, a process that would take several months. Workers were re-painting the lobby on Monday.
A second hotel deal by Sheraton is the Hotel Inglaterra, owned by Gran Caribe, which will become one of Starwood’s Luxury Collection hotels later in the year.
Earlier this year, Starwood’s Jorge Giannattasio, chief of Latin American operations, said the deals included a “multimillion-dollar investment to bring the hotels up to our standards.” The Cuba Journal has not been able to confirm that the various US hotel deals include investment of funds in Cuba.
Gaviota S.A., led by General Luis Perez Rospide for the Cuban military, is emerging as the most important entity driving growth in Cuba’s tourism sector.
Cuba’s communist, single-party government retains almost complete control over the economy. Foreign investors must joint venture with a state-owned entities in order to do business in country. Gaviota has been the partner for most of the country’s biggest foreign joint venture projects involving Meliá Hotels International, Kempinski, Iberostar, Riu, Blau, H10, Blue Diamond, Hotusa and Pestana.
Gaviota operates numerous businesses in various verticals of the tourism sector including hotels, resorts, marinas, tours, car rentals and travel agencies.
At its 27th anniversary celebration last year, Gaviota announced more 55 hotels in operation, more than 24,000 rooms, sales greater than $650 million and 24,376 workers.
According to state television reports, Gaviota has plans to nearly double its number of hotel rooms to 50,000 by 2020.
Here is Cuba’s Q1 2016 Hotel Pipeline