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First U.S. managed hotel begins operating in Cuba

Hotel Quinta Avenida o Four PointsHavana’s newly named Four Points by Sheraton, the first U.S. managed hotel in Cuba in over 50 years, begin operations today, June 29, under the administration of the Starwood chain, in association with Cuban state enterprise Gaviota.

Located in the capital’s Miramar neighborhood, the establishment formerly known as the Hotel Quinta Avenida is one of two in the capital to be managed by the chain as part of an administration contract signed between Starwood and Cuba, the first of its kind since 1959, and announced on the eve of President Obama’s visit to the island last March.

According to company sources speaking to EFE, since June 28 the hotel has been functioning under its new name, while those wishing to stay at the establishment can now book online via the hotel’s official website.

Meanwhile, the facility has also undergone a refurbishment process to reflect the vision and service standards of Four Points by Sheraton establishments, a Starwood branch dedicated exclusively to business tourism.

Before the end of the year Starwood will also begin to jointly manage the Hotel Inglaterra, affiliated with the Gran Caribe chain, situated in a prime location in Old Havana and set to be included in the chain’s “luxury collection” of hotels.

The U.S. hotel group also announced in March that it hoped to finalize another contract with the Cuban Habaguanex enterprise, based in the capital’s historic center, in order to add the Hotel Santa Isabel – a colonial establishment located on Havana Bay – to its luxury portfolio.

In the context of the thawing of relations between Cuba and the U.S., announced December 17, 2014, the island has experienced a boom in tourist arrivals, exceeding 3.5 million in 2015, while two million visitors have already arrived on the island thus far this year.

The increase in tourist arrivals will also result in a rise in demand for accommodation throughout the country. There are currently 62,000 hotel rooms on the island, 60% of which have contracts with foreign entities, while 16% are managed by joint enterprises.

In this regard, sector officials have announced plans to expand room capacity to 85,000 by 2020, including 13,600 in hotels scheduled to be opened in beach resorts this 2016.


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