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Update on the Management of the Manzana Hotel

Renovation at the Manaza Hotel in Havana. Photo: Cuba Business Report staff

Update and correction to our earlier report that Kempinski would manage the luxury Manzana Hotel in Havana currently under construction and renovation.

It was widely reported in the press including the Guardian and Cuba’s official news site Granma that Kempinski would manage the Manzana Hotel. However, this is not correct.

The article was written by our editor and first published in 2014 on the website, LaLaHabana (no longer online).

Today Kempinski confirmed with our editor:

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“Unfortunately we don’t have a signed management contract for a hotel in Cuba.”

“It hasn’t opened its doors yet, but the Manzana Hotel in Havana is currently undergoing round-the-clock renovations to restore it to its former grandeur. Scheduled to completed and opened by late the end of this year, it will offer ultra-deluxe accommodations managed by the Swiss hotel group Kempinski.

In the early 20th century, the building was known as the Manzana de Gómez Block. The Manzana covers an entire city block in Havana on the streets Zulueta, Monserrate, Neptuno and San Rafael. It’s in an ideal location in Old Havana, next door to the Hotel Plaza, facing the Parque Central across from the Hotel Inglaterra.

The original construction of the building began in 1890, but the project ran into problems and was not completed until about 1918. In its earlier days, it was once a shopping mall and offices, owned by the wealthy businessman José Gómez-Mena Vila. Gómez added four floors to the structure and completed it around 1918.

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Habaguanex and Gaviota S.A. are currently managing the project of restoring the building. Renovations and reconstruction, which began in early 2014, go on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Starwood Resorts and Hotels from the U.S. is currently working in partnership with Cuba to renovate and manage three hotels in Havana – the Inglaterra and Santa Isabel in Old Havana and the Hotel Quinta Avenida in Miramar.

When completed, the 5 Star luxury Manzana Hotel will offer 246 rooms and suites. It will be managed by the luxury Swiss hotel chain Kempinski. Project plans for the Hotel include a selection of luxury boutiques on the ground floor.

With the expected increase in American tourists, Havana is facing an “accommodation crisis.” The Manzana Hotel will add to the number of available hotel rooms in the city, but only to high end guests.  Also under construction in Old Havana, but closer to the Malecón are two other hotels.

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Companies currently involved in renovation/restoration project of the Manzana de Gómez Block hotel are:

Gaviota Grupo
Almest Investments
Bouygues Batiment

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