Spanish hotel chain Iberostar will open its first luxury property in the Cuban capital Havana later this year, as the group also celebrates its 25th year of trading on the island.
Iberostar Grand Packard will be housed within a restored and expanded building on Paseo del Prado in Havana’s old town, close to the city’s famous Malecon esplanade.
The building originally opened as Hotel Biscuit in 1911, with guests including Pablo Neruda and Marlon Brando, and has subsequently operated as The Packard Hotel before laying empty for some years.
A “sensitive restoration” has seen a new section added above the original building, with the hotel set to offer a total of 321 rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, three bars and six restaurants including Mediterranean and tapas options.
The hotel is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2018, in a year which also marks the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana, and 25 years of Iberostar in Cuba.
The group currently operates 20 four and five-star properties across the island, with aims to reach 12,000 rooms by 2020.
The Cuban hotel scene is undergoing a renaissance, with luxury operator Kempinski opening its first property in Havana last year, and UK group St Giles Hotels having announced plans to redevelop the existing Hotel Deauville on the city’s Malecon.
In 2017 rival Spanish hotel group Melia unveiled plans to add eight new properties in Cuba, across its Melia Hotels and Resorts, Innside by Melia and Sol House brands.