First US-Operated Hotel Opens in Cuba
PHOTO: Havana, Cuba. (photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
More history has been made in Cuba this week with the debut of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide's Four Points by Sheraton brand in Havana.
Reuters reported the Four Points by Sheraton sign has gone up outside of the Gaviota 5th Avenue Hotel in the Cuban capital.
The refurbishment is ongoing and will take several months, but there are no plans to close the hotel in the meantime.
The hotel's public relations manager Nancy Sarabia called it a "historic moment," telling Reuters the hotel's official inauguration would occur Tuesday.
While not as simple as booking other hotels, given the restrictions still faced by travelers heading in Cuba, the Four Points by Sheraton Havana is already listed on Starwood's website with rooms starting at $246 per night.
Starwood became the first U.S. hotel company to enter Cuba since 1959's revolution after signing a multi-million dollar agreement back in March.
In addition to the Four Points by Sheraton property, the Gran Caribe Inglaterra Hotel will begin operating under Starwood's Luxury Collection brand on Aug. 31.
"With Cuba’s rich history, natural beauty and strong culture, there is no question the entire U.S. hospitality industry has watched Cuba with great interest, and we are thrilled to lead the charge and bring our sophisticated, high-end brands into the market at this inflection point," Starwood CEO Thomas Mangas said in a statement earlier this year.
This week's historic opening comes on the heels of another milestone as Florida's Stonegate Bank became the first to issue a U.S. credit card for use in Cuba.
More by Patrick Clarke
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions
Cruise Line & Cruise Ship
Airlines & Airports