Starwood Hotels and Resorts has signed three new hotel deals in Cuba, marking the first US based hospitality company to enter the market in nearly 60 years.
Following US President Barack Obama’s Cuban visit last week and the subsequent receipt of authorisation from the US Treasury Department for Starwood to operate hotels in the country, Hotel Inglaterra will join The Luxury Collection and Hotel Quinta Avenida will become a Four Points by Sheraton.
Both hotels will undergo renovations before raising their new brand flags later in 2016.
The company also announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent to convert the Hotel Santa Isabel into a member of The Luxury Collection.
Starwood has partnered with owner Gran Caribe to rebrand the renowned Hotel Inglaterra as a member of The Luxury Collection. A national landmark just steps from the Gran Teatro de La Habana in the heart of downtown Havana, the Inglaterra first opened its doors in 1875 and is home to the famed Gran Café el Louvre, which has hosted artists and travellers for over a century.
Upon completion of the preservation and conversion projects later this year, the hotel will offer 83 rooms and reopen under The Luxury Collection banner.
Starwood has signed an agreement with Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA, owner of Hotel Quinta Avenida in Havana’s Miramar district, to rebrand the hotel as Four Points by Sheraton Havana later this year.
The hotel will cater to business travellers with approximately 186 rooms and meeting facilities.
The company also has signed a letter of intent with Habaguanex, owner of Hotel Santa Isabel, to convert the nineteenth century colonial-style palace to a member of The Luxury Collection, pending US Treasury Department approval.
Situated on the Plaza de Armas and overlooking Havana Harbour, the Santa Isabel will offer Starwood guests a conveniently situated respite in the heart of Havana’s historic city centre, with 27 rooms, including 11 suites.
On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced plans to normalise diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, and in August 2015, the US Embassy in Cuba was reestablished.
Then, last month, the US and Cuba signed an agreement that provides US airlines the opportunity to operate up to 110 daily roundtrip flights, which would resume commercial airline service between the two countries for the first time in more than 50 years and promises to vastly increase the number of Americans travelling to Cuba.