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NH Hotel Group adds a new destination: Cuba.
Wednesday, 2nd July 2014
Source : NH Hotel Group
NH Hotel Group brings back the emblematic Hotel Capri in collaboration with the Gran Caribe Hotel Group; With this addition, NH Hotel Group is reinforcing its presence in Latin America, a core target market, and delivering on its pledge to offer quality properties in first-class destinations.

With its era-depicting 1950s style, long considered one of the finest hotel properties in Havana, NH Hotel Group is proud to add the iconic Hotel Capri to its portfolio under a joint management agreement with the hotel group Gran Caribe. Recently refurbished to reflect contemporary trends without losing its original style, the NH Capri is without a doubt one of the island’s landmark hotels, offering deluxe quality and service.

The official opening was held on May 9th with the traditional ribbon cutting by NH Hotel Group CEO, Federico Gonzalez Tejera, and Cuban Vice Minister of Tourism, D. Alexis Trujillo. Other dignitaries that attended the Grand Opening were the President of Gran Caribe and the Spanish Ambassador in Havana, as well as media, tourism stakeholders and personalities from the cultural, arts and sciences spheres, among others.

NH Hotel Group attaches great significance to this development not only because it establishes a bond with Cuba, a strategic tourist destination, and the Gran Caribe hotel group, but also on account of the growth it delivers to the group's Latin American portfolio.

In the words of Federico González Tejera, CEO of NH Hotel Group: “Cuba is a strategic market with which we wanted to strengthen relationships as part of our commitment with Latin America. That is why we are so pleased about adding the NH Capri to our portfolio and having Gran Caribe as our partner in this venture. This is not a simple management agreement, it´s a project that goes beyond that and it involves preserving the hotel and passing it on cared for and well-kept to the next generation. And we eagerly accept this challenge.”

According to Eduardo Costa de Arriba, President of Gran Caribe: “The Gran Caribe hotel group, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, is pleased to reintroduce to the operation the magnificent Hotel Capri, this time under the management of prestigious hotel chain NH as part of an arrangement that will combine the best of both companies to give rise to the new NH Capri”.

Gilles Gonzalez, Managing Director of America Business Unit of NH Hotel Group also added: “After 15 years in Latin America, with a presence in 10 destinations and solid future projects for the region, we are very pleased to add the NH Capri hotel to our portfolio, something we know will be greatly appreciated by consumers. Contributing to the tourism development of Cuba is something of much importance for us and that we support with enthusiasm.”

The hotel is a 19-storey building with 220 exquisitely elegant yet simple rooms and is located in the central Vedado district, just a stone’s throw from the popular boardwalk and right in the political and administrative heart of the Cuban capital. The interior design is painstaking - the rooms are spacious and boast sea views and views over the Malecón esplanade, while the furniture and colour scheme evoke the mood of the second half of the last century - enabling the NH Capri to conserve its status as Havana’s 50’s icon.

There are 10 duplexes on the executive floor, as well as a business centre and an exclusive check-in service, not to mention 2 deluxe suites, 4 junior suites, 6 superior rooms and a spectacular rooftop pool on the 18th floor, making it the only hotel on the island to offer these features. Welcoming, comfortable and functional, the NH Capri is just as ideally suited to business, events and incentive travel as it is to leisure trips.

Particular attention has been paid to the gastronomic offering, one of the hallmarks of NH Hotel Group, in order to guarantee a unique, vibrant and premium dining experience. Under the steady hand of one of the city’s best known executive chefs, Jesús Rivero, the NH Capri will offer guests an innovative fusion of Spanish, Mexican and Cuban cuisine.

The hotel has three restaurants which offer dining options that cater to all tastes. La Florentina provides Italian and international dishes, El Dorado offers breakfast service for the executive floor as well as a snack and bar service in the afternoons, while the Anacapri offers a day-long buffet service. It also has a prestigious in-house bakery and patisserie run by Olga Lidia Sanchez Arsuaga, one snack-bar, two bars and 24-hour room service.

On the environmental front, the hotel has worked hard to introduce sustainable solutions by using technology designed to deliver energy savings such as water-saving devices in the hotel’s baths and showers, LED lighting and energy-saving bulbs. It is wheelchair-friendly, offers building-wide Wi-Fi and a spacious gym with large windows looking out over the Malecón, not to mention a sauna, Turkish bath, massage room, beauty salon and pharmacy.

The extraordinary level of guest service and its unrivalled location in the heart of the city coupled with the best value for money, the strategic pillars of the NH Hotel Group offering, complete what this iconic hotel, a landmark in Havana and Cuba, has to offer.

Architectural heritage

The Hotel Capri is one of Havana’s three emblematic hotels. On account of its history and faithful representation of a bygone era, it shares the honour with the Hotel Nacional and Hotel Riviera, already declared national monuments.

The restoration of an emblematic hotel such as the Capri to its former glory embodies the philosophy of both managers, Gran Caribe and NH Hotel Group, of respecting and preserving architectural heritage in order to clearly link tourism to local culture to create a mutually enriching guest-city experience.

Pieces such as the chandeliers in the lobby, appliqués and the statue of Aphrodite, also declared national heritage features, make this building uniquely rich in cultural value.

In parallel, extending the commitment to promote local culture, the hotel has been acquiring contemporary works of art by Cuban artists which are on display at the hotel.

History of Hotel Capri

Built in late 1957, it was managed until the revolution by Charles Tourine (The Blade), who ran the nightclub, and Nicholas di Costanzo (The Fat Butcher), who managed the casino.

The hotel was inaugurated in high style on Thanksgiving Day in 1957, an event attended by Hollywood star George Raft, the ambassador for the casino and cabaret, who personally greeted guests at the main entrance. 
 
Hotel Capri quickly became an icon in Havana, even to the point of becoming a playground for American gangsters and other renowned personalities. The hotel was even mentioned in the Godfather, the famous film inspired by the Mario Puzo book.
 
Other stars of the silver screen, such as Errol Flynn, were regular guests at the hotel and well-known movies such as Carol Reed’s Our Man in Havana and Mikhail Kalatozov’s I am Cuba shot several scenes at the hotel, specifically by the rooftop pool.
 
In its heyday, the Capri was one of the great hotel and casinos. Today it is one of the three most architecturally important hotels in Havana.
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