Sheraton Opens its First Hotel in Cuba

Four Points Hotel now operated by Sheraton Havana.
The Four Points Hotel now operated by Sheraton Havana.

HAVANA TIMES — The Four Points Hotel operated by Sheraton of the Starwood chain opened for business today in Havana, Cuba, becoming the first US hotel establishment operating in Cuba since the 1959 Revolution,  reported dpa news.

The hotel owned by Gaviota (of the Cuban Armed Forces) is located off Fifth Avenue, east of Havana in the Miramar residential area, surrounded by embassies and offices of large companies.

Before the historic trip to the island last March by US President Barack Obama, the US Treasury Department announced that it had authorized the Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide to be the first major US company to establish an agreement with Cuban state companies.

In addition to the Four Points Hotel, the special license will allow Starwood to also manage the Hotel Inglaterra, of the state-owned Gran Caribe Business Group, and located facing Havana’s Central Park.

Starwood is also negotiating with the state company Habaguanex, which has facilities in Havana’s historic center, including its bid to manage Hotel Santa Isabel, located opposite the entrance of the bay.

Since the first historic announcement of renewed relations in December 2014 and the official reestablishment of ties in July 2015, the island is experiencing an increase in tourism. Last year it exceeded 3.5 million visitors for the first time.

Given the rapid rise in visitors, the Cuban government has planned construction this year of more than 13,000 rooms in the beach resort areas and hopes to add 85,000 new rooms by 2020.

9 thoughts on “Sheraton Opens its First Hotel in Cuba

  • Four Points are decent hotels. Where ever you go, they are almost exactly the same right down to the wallpaper with a uniform set of amenities and services. I will be very interested to see what Starwood does with this facility once the renovations and applicable management changes are complete.

    Some hotel operators in Cuba seem to have next to no input as to what they are able to do to improve a facility, while a select few are somehow able to bypass the “rules” that everyone else has to follow. I’m very curious to see which of those Starwood ends up being.

  • You are incorrect. On the contrary, I have long espoused that US corporations, if legally allowed to do so, would do business with the devil himself if there is a buck to be made.

  • Didn’t you say that the US wouldn’t deal with dictatorship and the Castro Oligarchy or GAESA. That if the embargo was dropped money would go to exporting the toxic ideology or to further oppress the ladies in white. That the Cuban-Americans wouldn’t allow it etc. Doesn’t seem like anyone involved with this project has taken any notice.

    Though I was scoffed at, just as I said the US were sniffing around hoping to make investments in the tourist industry.

  • I have never contributed a single tax dollar to the Government of the US.
    As you call me a hypocrite I can only respond by drawing attention to your myopic ignorance.
    I have expressed my views regarding the embargo in these pages many times.
    It could be that phlegm has got into your eyes inhibiting your reading ability.

  • So an american company will agree to a labor system that allows the government to decide who can work for them and then takes 92 percent of the workers wages. Once again it proves that many CEOs and corporate boards have no sense of shame.

  • Freedom is never “free”. Although I am not sure what costs there have been in maintaining the US embargo. I suspect these costs are minor. On the contrary, given the billions of dollars in enforcement penalties collected from corporations who have violated the embargo, it would not surprise me if the embargo has generated a positive cash flow.

  • If you care so much about the Cuban people why dont you mind your tax dollars going to support USA/Cuba embargo which was meant to make Cubans poor so they would overthrow Fidel. Hypocrite.

  • Carlyle, I agree completely with your comment. The only thing that will provoke REAL change in Cuba is the death of the Castro brothers. However, these cosmetic changes will form the beachhead for the real change when it comes. Upon these two guys going to that special place in Hell just for dictators and child molestors, change will take place quickly and it will be better for Cubans to have established standards of construction, service and operations for new hotels, new restaurants, and other new businesses . Otherwise I think it will look a lot like what took place in eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union.

  • General Luis Alberto Rodriguez Callejas as Head of GAESA will be rubbing his hands with glee upon having a US Hotel chain agree to his terms of doing business.
    Father-in-Law Raul Castro Ruz as the initiator of GAESA and originator of the media myth that undefined “change” is taking place in Cuba, will also be smirking at the success.
    But, if the US Administration or the Sheraton Hotel chain imagine that this achievement by the Castro family regime will in any way improve the lives of the Cuban people or cause any relaxation of the regime’s iron grip upon power and control, then they are fooling themselves.
    Increases in tourism have made little if any difference to the lives of the average Cuban. Earnings have not increased, living standards have not improved, food rationing is still in place, freedom of the press has not occurred, individual freedom is still prevented and Cuba still does not meet UN Human Rights standards.
    Yes, those fortunate enough to be able to operate casa particulars and palidars have improved incomes, but that dates back 20 years. Yes, those working directly within the tourism sector have improved incomes, not because of increased rates of pay, but because of the generosity of tourists from the capitalist societies giving tips.

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