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Cuban hotel becomes first to operate under US brand since 1959

Starwood's Four Point by Sheraton made its debut in Havana this week. It is the first US hotel brand to operate in the island since the 1959 Revolution.

Following last March's agreement between Starwood Hotels & Resorts and the Cuban authorities, the hotel group announced the opening of a new unit under the Four Points by Sheraton brand. The Four Points by Sheraton Havana becomes the first Cuban hotel to be operate under an American brand since 1959. The 1962 embargo put a halt to the relations between both states for more than 50 years. Nancy Sarabia, Public Relations Manager at the newly-opened hotel, describes this as a "historic moment" and "a symbol of brotherhood and cooperation." The Starwood-operated property is a reconversion of the Quinta Avenida Havana Hotel, located in the Miramar District, west of the Cuban capital. This address is owned by Gaviota - a tourist group administrated by the Cuban authorities. The refurbished hotel offers 186 bedrooms, two restaurants, three bars and a coffee. It also has a spa, a fitness center and a pool.

In keeping with Barack Obama's recent trip to the island, the American hotel group announced it has signed contracts to develop three hotels in the Cuban capital. The operator will similarly operate the 83-room Inglaterra Hotel. The group also sent a letter of intention to the Cuban authorities regarding the possible management of the Santa Isabel Hotel. This year, international arrivals to the Caribbean island should reach 3, 7 millions, a 6% rise from 2015, with exponential growth expected for the next few years. The US clientele should contribute significantly to this increase, as diplomatic relations between both countries are rekindled.

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