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A Cuban Jewel

With a third hotel on the Caribbean island of Cuba, Kempinski Hotels extends its presence in Havana and in the Americas. The European luxury hotel group has once more signed a management contract with Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA, the owning company of the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana and the soon-to-open Cayo Guillermo Resort Kempinski. The new Gran Hotel Bristol by Kempinski is expected to open by the end of the year.

Located close the Capitolio and the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski, this new jewel is situated in the UNESCO world heritage site of Old Town Havana. With a history of more than 100 years, Gran Hotel Bristol is a full restoration of an ancient building and former hotel, where the vibrant social and artistic scene of Havana used to spent time dancing, drinking and enjoying music in the 1930 and 1950s, and where Cuban traders enjoyed a unique “one-day-free” stay. A symbol of the old bohemian life of Havana, the hotel then offered unusual comforts for its time such as private bathrooms and telephones in each room.

“The exterior architecture is respectful to the facade of the original building, allowing it to blend almost seamlessly with the characteristic of the old city,” said Arno Joubert, owner/director, Archipolitan Architects. “On entering the main lobby, the guests will sense the old-world charm and sophisticated atmosphere, which recalls a traditional Havana courtyard. The black-and-white flooring and hanging plants add to the allure.”

While the original facade of the building has been maintained, the interior is laid out in a contemporary design combined with local influences. Some 162 rooms and suites, including a presidential suite with 1,453 sq. ft., five restaurants and bars, two board rooms and a gym cater for the modern traveler in a prime location. One of the highlights of this new property is the rooftop on the 9th floor with an infinity pool offering a full panorama of historic sights of the city like the Capitolio, the Spanish fortress the port and Old Havana.

“The decoration and furniture are a mix of an eclectic Cuban aesthetic, artworks with an unexpected contemporary twist,” Joubert said. “The result is vibrant and glamorous, that which guests of all ages will appreciate. The main feature of the hotel is the rooftop swimming pool and terrace with spectacular views over the old city.”