Is it getting time to return to Cuba? Apparently some major international hotel chains think so. The doors are re-opened again at the Gran Hotel Bristol, managed by Kempinski, after a longer hibernation period caused by the pandemic and U.S. prohibitions on travel to Cuba. Having opened for the first time in February 2020, the all-new Gran Hotel Bristol had to close after just four weeks due to the health-related shutdown of Havana. And it is possible for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba now after certain prohibitions implemented during the Trump administration were relaxed earlier this year.
Located in the heart of Havana, just steps away from the National Capitol Building (El Capitolio) and within walkable distance of the hotspots and hidden gems of the Cuban capital, the newest Kempinski hotel welcomed its first guests last week. Nestled between Old Havana (La Habana Vieja) and Centro Habana, Gran Hotel Bristol is an urban escape for a modern traveler. Inspired by the legendary Art Deco style of the 1930s, the hotel features 162 rooms and suite that are stylishly appointed with bright accents, clean lines and contemporary furnishings. Each room features a flat-screen TV, an individual control panel and complimentary Wi-Fi.
“We are very excited to open again our second location in Havana,” says Xavier Destribats, chief operating officer-the Americas and member of the management board of Kempinski Hotels. “It is a great asset for Kempinski Hotels portfolio, with its Art Deco-style interiors, nonchalant atmosphere and superb location. Gran Hotel Bristol offers a different take on the boutique lifestyle hotel, and the quirky Cuban culture is reflected in the most genuine service.”
“Havana’s rich and vibrant cultural landscape was the biggest inspiration for Gran Hotel Bristol,” adds Destribats. “Transformation of this stylish new hotel was truly a labor of love and dedication. Our guests and residents will be immersed in an exclusive lifestyle experience, where relaxed urban vibes and culinary mastery breathe new life into this historical building.”
Four unique dining experiences feature a rich kaleidoscope of cuisines and entertainment. Crowning Gran Hotel Bristol are two unique restaurants, El Capitolio and El Diamante. For a casual fare with impressive National Capitol Building views, El Capitolio restaurant serves breakfast and dinner in a stylish dining room as well as al fresco on the rooftop terrace, while El Diamante restaurant and bar boasts panoramic views of Old Havana, serving Latin and Cuban tapas and light snacks throughout the day.
As the night falls, a live DJ spins the latest tunes and sets the mood for the cocktail hour over the bright lights of the city. Pasos Perdidos lobby bar is an ideal spot to start or finish a day. Open throughout the day, the lobby bar serves a choice of daily continental or traditional Cuban breakfast with a freshly brewed cup of Cuban café con leche. Come nightfall, the bar invites guests to indulge in a nightcap. Global cuisine awaits at La Muralla Club, which will open its door in late November. The menu will feature a wide selection of traditional and creative burgers, and chicken wings complemented by an extensive variety of beers and crafted cocktails. The night’s entertainment will be headlined by a live jazz band.
The hotel’s rooftop pool is destined to be one of the most iconic spots in Havana. Guests can enjoy a refreshing swim with panoramic views over the city, or admire the reflection of the golden dome of El Capitolio while lounging poolside and sipping one of the handcrafted cocktails. For those who like to stay in shape while travelling, the hotel gym is fully equipped with the latest fitness equipment. Located on the mezzanine floor, the gym provides a modern space for an easy and convenient workout. Adjacent to the gym is a salon that offers a variety of professional hair and nail services, with dedicated stations for ladies and gents, and skilled staff to provide a seamless glam-up routine.
Strategically located on the mezzanine floor, the meeting room is designed for intimate meetings and creative presentations. The flexible space can accommodate up to 12 people and features a large LCD screen.