German chain Kempinski obtains its fourth hotel in Cuba

German chain Kempinski obtains its fourth hotel in Cuba

HAVANA, Apr 19. The Metrópolis hotel, located on the corner of Aguacate and O’Reilly streets, and which has undergone an extensive remodeling process since 2019, will be managed by the German luxury hotel chain Kempinski, which plans to open within five months, reported the specialized media TouriNews.

The hotel is owned by the Gaviota Tourist Group, part of the GAESA conglomerate, of the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR). Despite the close opening date, reporters from the newspaper 14ymedio, during a visit to the hotel, verified “that the building is still under construction and the access streets remain closed.

The workers were also carrying out tasks in the adjacent building, which is used as a rest area, dining room and services for workers”.

The Metrópolis is the third hotel that the company will manage in the Cuban capital, and the fourth in the entire country. Kempinski made its debut in Cuba on June 7, 2017, when it inaugurated the 5-star plus hotel, Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski, a property located in Old Havana that has six levels and 246 rooms, owned by the military conglomerate GAESA.

In 2019, the Trump Administration included this facility on a list of companies that could be sued in the United States for allegedly benefiting from properties that were expropriated after January 1959. In addition to the Manzana, the company also runs the Gran Hotel Bristol in Cuba and the Cayo Guillermo Resort Kempinski in Cuba.

The German company, based in Switzerland, is the oldest luxury hotel group in Europe created in 1897. It had recently reported the opening of other tourist facilities in Cuba, “after exhibiting successful performance in its operations in Havana.”

In September 2022, Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero met in Havana with the president of the hotel company’s Board of Directors, Bernold Schroeder. At that meeting, Marrero promised new “business opportunities,” which now seem to materialize.

The increase in the number of rooms contrasts with the ups and downs suffered in the number of tourists. “The poor results achieved by the Cuban tourism industry in the first three months of the year predict another year of stagnation in the sector, which keeps it behind in the Caribbean region.

The arrival of 808,678 tourists at the end of March is 45 % lower than that reached in 2019, the year before the pandemic when 1,470,196 travelers visited the country,” wrote economist Emilio Morales.

“The poor government strategies in the management of hotel investments, in the distribution of investments in the strategic sectors of the Cuban economy, plus the errors in the management of the internal and external economic restructuring policy, and the disastrous management of the Foreign policy have been key factors that have negatively impacted the performance of the Cuban tourism industry.

These facts today are reflected in the overwhelming superiority presented by competing markets in the Caribbean region, which impose records of tourist arrivals and income while in Cuba the opposite occurs,” Morales concluded.