A New Beginning for Varadero’s International Hotel

Elio Delgado Legon

In the International hotel’s parking lot, with the car I had just bought.

HAVANA TIMES — When I read the news, a few months ago, that Varadero’s International hotel would be knocked down because it was built on a sand dune, which is prohibited in order to protect the ecosystem, and also because it was too small for the great development this resort is experiencing, I felt a certain degree of nostalgia and even the urge to write an article against this decision. However, the arguments put forward by those who made this decision managed to convince me.

I was nostalgic because I had spent my best holidays at this hotel for many years, and even my honeymoon. I used to normally go for a week twice a year: at the beginning of the summer and just before winter started. Later, there was the tourism boom and prices went up, so it became increasingly difficult for me to pay for a short holiday like I had done before; but I didn’t stop having a certain fondness for that inviting place.

But, Varadero’s International hotel isn’t disappearing, it’s being replaced by another, with the same name, but further away from the dune, and with 946 rooms, four times the old hotel’s capacity and a more modern building, of a high standard that will make it a 5* plus hotel.

The Varadero Inrernational Hotel in reconstruction. Photo: Ventura de Jesus /granma.cu

The building will have 11 floors in the middle, the highest on Varadero beach until now and will have a VIP area with 90 suites, a conference center and 2400m2 of swimming pools, according to a recent article published in Granma newspaper.

The Continental cabaret, which was famous at the old hotel, where many Cuban and foreign artists performed, is also set to reappear.

The building project is now 52% completed and it is hoped that the hotel will be completed before the end of 2018. Maybe next year, I will go and visit it in summer to compare and appreciate how much Varadero’s International Hotel has gone up in quality, a place which many people fondly remember.

 

 

 

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

8 thoughts on “A New Beginning for Varadero’s International Hotel

  • I was certain that Elio would be the last to abandon the ideals of the Revolution. I was wrong.
    The new Veradero International Hotel is the epitome of Cuban government bending over for Imperialists.
    Will they tear down the Hotel Nacional next to draw more Yanqui tourists?
    And one other question… were Cuban workers used on this construction or were crews imported from foreign countries, as with the Hotel Manzana Kempinski in La Habana?

    Reply
    • Elio’s handlers have obviously counseled him about his original opposition to the new hotel. In no time at all now he will be spouting off about how a new luxury hotel with daily room rates exceeding a year’s salary in Cuba falls perfectly in line with Marxist dogma. Shame on Elio for expressing a personal opinion without checking in first with the Castro thought police.

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      • “falls perfectly in line with Marxist dogma.”

        Absolutely antithetical, selling foreign property to imperialists so Cuban capitalists can make profits and exploit the Cuban people for American tourists is “marxist dogma” quite to the contrary Moses…..

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        • You make my point. I was being sarcastic.

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    • yes comrade! Down with Cuban capitalism!

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      • I suppose that you believe that Cuban Socialism has been a success? Hahaha!

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    • The “ideals of the Revolution”? Are you joking? What are the ideals of the Revolution, notwithstanding keeping the Castros in power for nearly 60 years. Please don’t regurgitate Castro pablum regarding free education and free health care. Many countries around the world have achieved these benefits without installing a dictatorship to do so.

      Reply
  • I guess “You–or at least I–can’t go home again!” since it will not be the old, but rather the new, Hotel International in Varadero where, in early 1970, I was serenaded by a Cuban version of Tony Bennet singing such covers as “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Strangers in the Night,” etc. During my last stay there, in 2015, I saw that the old Hotel Nacional was being “deconstructed.”
    Oh, well, as Heraclitus once said: “No man ever steps into the same river twice, for it is not the same river, and he’s not the same man.”

    Reply

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