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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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  ReportsAttractions |  Services |  Destinations |  Culture |  Health |  General
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Cuba: Small Giants for Leisure

The Cuban tourist sector, with a hotel infrastructure including more than 60,500 rooms, is adding alternatives to meet the vacationers´ growing demands and number, a figure which is expected to increase to three million visitors per year in the near future.

Important hotels and tourist resorts located in first-class destinations such as Varadero, Jardines del Rey (King´s Gardens) or the Ancón Peninsula are complemented by smaller facilities which have been turned into comfort giants.

Precisely, these options can be found in Havana's historic heart where the company Habaguanex S.A. offers lodging facilities in old buildings.

The Beltrán de Santa Cruz hotel is one of such facilities with 11 rooms in an elegant mansion from the 18th century, near the Plaza Vieja (Old Square), which was opened as a comfortable and friendly inn.

The Santa Isabel hotel, located in the former house of Count of Santovenia, which was built in the early 18th century and eventually sold to a U.S. citizen to function under its current name from 1867 to 1887, is another option for visitors.

One of the most interesting offers is at the Raquel hotel, with 25 comfortable, air conditioned rooms of a luxurious design, which are distributed in three levels characterized by an impressive decorative line.

Conde de Villanueva Hotel. Upper floor hall
Skylight at Hotel Raquel

Cigar lovers will find a unique place at the Count of Villanueva hotel or in a monastery style facility like Los Frailes, which are complemented by the Palacio de San Miguel, an attractive option for those who enjoy culture and intimacy.

In this context, the combination of historic and cultural values with lodging facilities led to the creation of the Encanto (E) hotel chain in September 2007.

The abovementioned Cuban brand emerged in the central city of Cienfuegos, capital of the province by the same name, with the opening of the Palacio Azul hotel in a building from the 1920's.

Eventually, the brand included the Unión hotel, an inn dating back to 1869 which was completely rebuilt in Cienfuegos' historic heart, declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005.

In addition, the eastern province of Camagüey has recently opened La Avellaneda and El Marqués, as well as the first rooms of the Santa María hotel, which are all owned by the Cubanacán group, under the Encanto brand.

In this sense, the abovementioned alternative will contribute to increase the comprehensive efficiency of the city as a tourist destination, combined with the architectural, historic and cultural values of a city which was founded five centuries ago.

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