Cuba's First Bona Fide 5-Star Hotel Has Arrived

Cigar sommeliers and rooftop pools over Old Havana? Sure.

By Alex Lauer

 
Cuba's First Bona Fide 5-Star Hotel Has Arrived
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10 April 2018

UPDATE 4/11/18: Sorry, U.S. residents, but President Trump is here to ruin your day once again. Thanks to an intrepid reader, we've discovered that Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski is currently on the State Department's periodically updated list of "restricted entities and subentities."  In other words, it's currently illegal for Americans to stay there. (No harm in keeping it on your bucket list, though.)


When President Obama eased travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba in 2014, everybody and their mother wanted a direct flight to Havana. Then Trump happened, revived restrictions and it became one giant headache all over again.

One reason to fight through the red tape, when there are simpler Caribbean islands to jet off too? Six words: Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana.

The capital city accommodations have the distinct honor of being the country’s first five-star luxury hotel to open since the U.S. re-opened the border.

Cuba Five-Star Hotel (7 images)

For those interested in an authentic Cuban experience, the hotel is located in Old Havana “in a 100-year old European-style shopping arcade,” writes Uncrate. Five stars? Check. UNESCO World Heritage Site? Check.

But what about the digs?

The Swiss luxury hoteliers Kempinski have spared no expense: 246 rooms with a variety of city views, six restaurants and bars, a tobacco lounge led by a two-time Habanosommelier (cigar sommelier) world champion, a spa inspired by European bathing culture, and a rooftop pool and patio for taking in all the colonial splendor.

This marks a re-entry into the Americas for Kempinski. And if you're interested in Cuba, you best get in on a balcony-equipped room early.

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