Lonely Planet Writer

American hotel chain doing business in Havana for the first time in 50 years

Another milestone of American and Cuban relations has been set this week, as American company Starwood Hotels has taken over management and renovation of The Four Points Hotel in Havana. The move makes them the first major US hospitality chain with a presence in Cuba since before the Revolution half a decade ago.

Courtesy of Four Points Havana
Courtesy of Four Points Havana

It’s still not easy to get to Cuba from the United States, although it will get easier in the coming months, and there are still several issues there due to the old fashioned way of doing things – Kim Kardashian complained of sparse Wifi signal when she and her family visited earlier in the year. However, the candy-coloured vintage cars, ornate architecture and traditional art are all still proving a draw, and many tourists want to get there before the country becomes Americanised.

The Four Points was previously known as the Hotel Quinta Avenida Habanas, and isn’t the only hotel getting the Starwood treatment – this is part of a three hotel deal between Starwood Hotels & Resorts and the Cuban government. The state will still officially own the hotel, but this deal marks the first indication of willingness from the U.S. Treasury to do business in Cuba through American financial institutions.

Havana, Cuba.
Havana, Cuba. Image by Miguel Discart / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Four Points has 186 rooms and is in the Miramar district of Havana, 15 minutes from the Old City. Several Havana hotels are in the middle of extensive renovations and will be unveiling their refreshed makeovers in the coming months.