Iberostar Hotels & Resorts will open its first Cuban luxury hotel in Old Havana in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The hotel group refurbished the original hotel and will rebrand it as the Iberostar Grand Packard with 321 guestrooms and suites. The property is on Paseo del Prado near the boardwalk, the Bay of Havana and the Castle of the Three Kings of Moro. The original hotel is known for hosting celebrities and political figures, including Pablo Neruda and Marlon Brando.
The Grand Packard is one of eight hotels in Iberostar's pipeline for Cuba. The group currently has 20 hotels operating in the country.
"Cuba has always been one of our priority destinations and one of the favorites of our clients internationally," Aurelio Vazquez, chief operating officer of the Iberostar Group, said in a statement.
Iberostar opened two hotels in Cuba in 2017: the 827-room Iberostar Bella Vista Varadero and the Iberostar Riviera. The hotel group took over management of the 352-room Hotel Riviera in January 2017. The company renovated the hotel, now named the Iberostar Riviera, which originally opened in 1957 on the Malecón seafront. The property is the group's second hotel in Havana and 12th in Cuba.
Iberostar also extended its presence in Europe with the addition of a new hotel in Barcelona, Spain in January 2018. The group converted the Hotel Colon, which was originally built in 1942, into the 119-room Iberostar Paseo de Garcia.
The hotel group's first Barcelona property is in the center of Plaza de Catalunya near El Prat International Airport, shopping and tourist attractions. The hotel was the first of 15 Iberostar hotels slated to open in 2018. It also joined Iberostar’s new line of urban hotels to strengthen its presence in top tourist cities.