The Obama administration’s lifting of travel sanctions to Cuba made the city come abuzz with new life. From that initial stirring comes the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, the first five-star hotel the city has welcomed in a long while. The new luxury hotel had its soft opening on May 22 and an official opening on June 7; it hopes to cater to the new visitors and business people swarming to Cuba.
Developers renovated the Manzana de Gómez building, located in historic Old Havana, to create the luxury hotel. The Manzana de Gómez building was erected in the early 1900s. While it initially housed the first European-style shopping arcade in Cuba, it soon grew to include offices, theaters, and even a school. Once travel opened up between the U.S. and Cuba last year, the distinctive white building became the home of high-end shops like L’Occitane and Lacoste. Continue reading