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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Plaza Hotel: Experience in Cuba's Tourism

The Plaza Hotel, located in Havana's Historic Heart, has contributed 102 years' experience to Cuba's tourism sector, which attracts thousands of foreign vacationers every year.

The hotel opened in January 1909, in the former mansion of the Counts of Casa Pedroso, and became the third building of its kind in the busy surroundings of Havana's Central Park.

Among the hotel's major attractions is its location across from one of the corners of Central Park, near the Great Theater of Havana, which hosts important ballet and opera shows.

Other nearby buildings are the Capitol, which today houses the Academy of Sciences of Cuba, the former Presidential Palace, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Church of Angel, which boasts an eye-catching architectural style.

A major establishment in Cuba's hotel business for many years, the Plaza underwent major restoration works in 1985 to add the amenities that it offers its guests today in its 188 rooms, where modern furniture is combined with antique ornaments and artworks by Cuban painters.

A golden crown bearing the hotel's initials welcomes future guests at the main entrance, which leads to a spacious hall whose floor is decorated with French hand-made tiles.

Plaza Hotel. Lobby
Façade of Plaza Hotel. Night View
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In addition, an interior patio surrounded by stained-glass windows is an attraction that you cannot miss, especially its beautiful fountain, in which a sculpture of a woman – made of Carrara marble – silently watches the visitors who trespass the threshold of the Plaza Hotel.

However, the Plaza's fame comes from the guests who have stayed there during its 102-year-old history. Some people even swear that they have seen the ghost of Isadora Duncan, one of the world's most famous dancers, who stayed at the hotel, wandering along the building's long corridors.

The list of illustrious guests also includes the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who stayed at the Plaza Hotel on two occasions (1915 and 1917).

José Raúl Capablanca, a world chess champion and a glory of Cuba's sports, played his first tournament in the hotel's halls.

According to history, one of the Plaza's rooms received the famous scientist Albert Einstein in wintertime, when Cuba's Academy of Physical and Natural Sciences and the Society of Geography honored him.

Musical shows at the hotel's Roof Garden included performances by such famous figures as Moisés Simons, author of the internationally-renowned song "El Manisero" (The Peanut Vendor), and Paulina Alvarez, who was considered the Empress of "Danzonete" (a Cuban popular musical genre and dance).

At present, politicians and leaders of Ibero-American communities stay at the Plaza to enjoy a setting where antique and modern elements go hand in hand to guarantee good taste and exclusiveness for its guests.

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