The Varadero Internacional Hotel, which opened over half a century ago, is for that excellent beach resort in western Cuba what the Sevilla and the Nacional hotels are for Havana, the capital of the largest Antillean Island.
The Varadero Internacional, which opened on December 20, 1950, was officially inaugurated four days later as the most luxurious hotel in that beach resort, and one of the largest in Cuba at the time.
According to anecdotes, the original idea belonged to William Liebow, a U.S. citizen of Jewish origin who was not allowed to stay at the Kawama Hotel because of racial reasons, so his response was to build the Varadero Internacional.
The group Hotels International S.A., which owned several establishments all over the world, was in charge of building and running the hotel, which was named after the consortium.
At first sight, the hotel looks like a traditional compact six-story building, with an architectural design characteristic of the 1950s, which was definitely rescued during its latest restoration in 1999.
The environment surrounding the Varadero Internacional Hotel - specialized in traditional tourism - is complemented by large green areas and a beautiful beach strip that is barely 50 meters from the building, which is situated in a zone regarded as one of the best areas in Varadero.
The hotel has 163 cozy rooms, including two suites, designed in the style of the 1950s, with an eye to providing guests with comfort and beauty while enjoying their vacations.
Art also plays its role at the hotel, which has a gallery at which Cuban creators exhibit their paintings and sculptures, and even sell them to anyone interested in taking home a sample of Cuban culture.
However, a true complement to the hotel's facilities is the Cabañas del Sol, or Sun Cabins in English, composed of 66 one- or two-story chalets totaling 156 extra rooms operated under the "all-inclusive" modality, with great acceptance among guests.
Run on two occasions by foreign companies - the Spanish group Oasis Internacional in 1991, and Kawama Caribbean Hotels in 1994 -, the four-star establishment is currently owned by the Cuban chain Gran Caribe.
Another touch of singularity is contributed by the Continental Restaurant-Cabaret, where vacationers can taste a rich gastronomic offer as they enjoy performances by outstanding exponents of Cuban music, or dance at the discotheque.
Three restaurants, including the hotel's former Casino, four bars, cafeteria and a barbecue provide a wide gamut of options for guests, who can also make excursions to many places of interest throughout the island, thanks to the excellent work of the hotel's Travel Bureau.
A business center for those who need to combine work with leisure and other facilities to meet the demands of entrepreneurs are proof that not only relaxation finds its way at Varadero's flag hotel.