Meliá opens latest hotel in Cuba

The 946-room hotel's first floor has more than 20 restaurants, bars and cafeterias, while the top floor has a spa and infinity pool. Photo credit: Meliá Hotels International

Spain's Meliá Hotels International has opened its latest property Varadero, Cuba.

The Meliá Varadero Internacional Hotel's first rooms opened in February, and new services and facilities have soft-opened in the ensuing months until this week's grand opening.  

The 946-room hotel's first floor has more than 20 restaurants, bars and cafeterias, while the top floor has a spa and infinity pool. The convention center covers 1,000 square meters. 

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Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel attended the opening ceremonies, along with members of the diplomatic corps and Minister of Tourism Manuel Marrero Cruz. During the event, Cruz said the opening signified the country's dedication to development. "We are not overcome by uncertainty or improvisation," One Cuba News reported him as stating.

Gabriel Escarrer Juliá, president of Meliá Hotels International, said Cuba had become a significant destination for the company's development, and that his team has "never" regretted its commitment to the country. 

The hotel is owned by the Gran Caribe hotel group and operated by Meliá Hotels International.

Earlier this year, Mintur (Cuba's tourism ministry) announced it expected the island to reach 5 million visitors in 2019, the 12th consecutive year of tourism growth. U.S. visitation to Cuba increased from 618,000 in 2017 to 630,000 last year, according to the ministry—in spite of governmental restrictions. 

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