A History Of 150 Years Of Hotels In Cuba

Before going further into the origins of the Cuban hotel trade, we must mention some aspects of Cuban history that characterized the opening of the first hotels in Cuba.

It was not until 1762 when Havana was taken by the English that free trade with other countries began. We can assume that the flow of visitors to Cuba increased much from the past and accommodation capacities are not enough. There were only a few hotels and pensions are not sufficient in the direction of accommodation and services for travelers.

It was then that the first real hotel in Havana appeared. They are no longer simple housing and began to offer services that have the most enjoyable stay guests. New concepts have been implemented, for example, to provide customers with new technical advances that the city benefited.

For example, we can mention the Hotel Telegrafo (Telegraph), founded in 1860, is considered the oldest existing hotel in Cuba at present. This hotel, although in a different place today, was located in one of the most popular parts of the city at that time, Prado and Neptuno. Over time, the Hotel Telegrafo offer an excellent service communication with telephones in every room and its own telegraph service.

Beside the Telegrafo was England (England) Hotel, also one of the oldest in Cuba. The hotel offered for the first time, the "letter" service. Among the first hotels built in Cuba is Santa Isabel, founded in 1867 by an American. He went next to the Templete (shrine) in the Plaza de Armas, in the heart of the old city, then he expanded the former palace of the Count Santovenia where it still offers its fineness for tourists visiting Havana.

The Santa Isabel was considered the best hotel in town. He had large spacious rooms, a restaurant, etc. It was located right next to the Malecon in Havana Bay and Prado. This hotel was the first to establish that the servers should wear tuxedos and the staff are not allowed to have mustaches.

With the end of Spanish rule over the island in 1898 and the establishment of the Republic, the hotel business horizons has increased significantly. The growth of the city and its urban assessment increased the intention of opening to the modern world, and the increase of the Cuban bourgeoisie of economic well-being, made possible the construction of new hotel facilities. But sometimes they do not meet the aspirations of some people and it was necessary to have a hotel that appeals to them, was built then ... the first luxury hotel.

The first hotel that the requirements for the time to consider was the Sevilla luxury, founded in 1908. The hotel and disappeared Almendares Hotel was the only luxury hotel in Havana until 1930, when the hotel Nacional de Cuba has been built. Although interest in the world to see the beauty of the island has been growing, attracting a large number of visitors every year, there were other historical events that contributed to the construction of hotels Cuba, largely.

One was the approval by President Mario García Menocal in 1919 of a law that legalized gambling for tourism. In that time, rum, roulette, gambling and horse racing paris, the Jai Alai and cock fighting, made the stay of tourists in Cuba very pleasant. Accordingly, at this time, many hotels were built in Havana. Include among them the Palace and the President (President) in Vedado, and Ambos Mundos (Two Worlds) and Florida in the oldest part of the city.

But none of the prosperous periods of the island last long. In Matanzas province, including the famous era Varadero resort, there are records of only 504 rooms. If in the 20 is designed to convert Cuba in Montecarlo of America, now the reference was closest. The Mafia had plans to turn Havana in Las Vegas, the American city that has become a giant casino.

In 1959, the Cuban Hotel Directory recorded the existence of 125 hotels with a total capacity of 7728/4. Among them, the St. John opened in March 1957, the Riviera opened in December of the same year, the current Habana Add in March 1958 and the hotel Deauville, which began operating in July 1958. more of these, the National Hotel, Commodore Plaza and were renovated. It would be good to point out that foreign investment has occurred only in the construction of the hotel Varadero Internacional, the Habana Riviera and Deauville. The others were built entirely Cuban capital, although the direction was given later to US entities.

The Mafia had so many plans in Cuba and Havana that included the construction of hotels, casinos and entertainment centers along the Malecon (seawall), so that the avenue would be an internal street between two rows of hotels. Fortunately, the design to match the game with the development of the hotel trade in Cuba, as it is known, could not be held because of the triumph of the Revolution on January 1st, 1959. However, at that time, for reach his hundred birthday, the city of the hotel had over 50 hotels, four of them luxury hotels.

With the revolutionary process in power, and because it depended mainly on US visitors, many fell leisure tourism industry and Cuba was in crisis. During the 90's, it is the field of tourism in Cuba began to recover, because the Cuban government acknowledged the undeniable values ​​exploitation of international tourism as a way to support the national economy of a country. During these years, then began the last phase (still ongoing) of the hotel in the largest of the Antilles, stimulate construction of competitive modern hotels throughout the country. Today, hotels are built where there were natural resources that could become a tourist attraction if it is near or far from Havana. Thank you to the increase in hotel facilities after 90 years, Cuba is once again among the favorite destinations of the world by thinking of spending your holidays.
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