Kempinski Luxury Hotels Will Manage the Recently Remolded Metropolis in Old Havana

The German chain estimates that it will be able to receive its first customers in just five months

On a visit this morning, 14ymedio confirmed that the hotel is still under construction / 14ymedio

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 18 April 2024 — After announcing its remodeling in 2019, and after several years of work, the Metrópolis hotel finally found an owner. Located on Aguacate Street, on the corner of O’Reilly, in Old Havana, the complex will be managed by the German chain Kempinski Hotels, and plans to open within five months.

The information was published this Thursday by the Tourinews page , which regrets that so many details are unknown about the opening of the establishment, owned by the tourist arm of Cuba’s Armed Forces, Gaviota.

Despite the proximity of the date set for the opening, in a visit to the hotel this morning, this newspaper was able to verify that the property is still under construction and the access streets remain closed. The workers were also carrying out tasks in the adjacent building, which is used as a rest area, dining room and services for the workers.

The reconstruction of the property began, along with that of other hotels in Havana, when the Office of the City Historian, then directed by Eusebio Leal, began a repair plan for Havana’s 500th anniversary.

Old Havana was the enclave par excellence to which Leal devoted the most attention, always prioritizing properties of tourist value

Old Havana was the enclave par excellence to which Leal devoted the most attention, always prioritizing properties of tourist value, while the residential buildings of the municipality remain, even today, neglected.

Kempinski manages three other hotels on the Island – two in the capital and one in the North Key of Ciego de Ávila – all luxury. The most famous of its facilities is the Gran Hotel Manzana, located on San Rafael Street, in front of the Capitol and in one of the most important tourist areas of Havana. Opened in 2017 as the first “high standard” Cuban hotel, spending a night at the Manzana can cost between $430 for a double room of about 40 square meters (430 sf) to $1,430 for a 100-square-meter suite (1,076 sf) with all kinds of luxuries and views of the city.

The rest of the properties managed by the German hotel company on the Island, the Gran Hotel Bristol and the Cayo Guillermo Resort – inspired, according to Kempinski, by Ernest Hemingway’s “love for the keys” – have prices ranging between $150 and $1,780 per night.

The delivery of the hotel to Kempinski has its precedent in a meeting between Prime Minister Manuel Marrero and Bernold Schroeder, a director of the hotel company

The delivery of the Metrópolis hotel to Kempinski has its precedent in a meeting in September 2023, between Prime Minister Manuel Marrero and the president of the Board of Directors of the hotel company, Bernold Schroeder. At that meeting, Marrero promised the German new “business opportunities” that now seem to materialize.

Schroeder has been part of Kempinski since 2017 and has directed the company since 2020. According to the company’s official website, he was the one who promoted the growth of the group in Asia and Europe, which earned him the promotion to his position, and he has been the responsible, to a large extent, for the rapprochement with Cuba.

In 2019, the Big Apple Kempinski hotel was included by Donald Trump on the List of Restricted Cuban Entities, an inventory of companies that could be sued by US justice for profiting from properties expropriated after the 1959 Revolution.

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