The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raul Castro Ruz, and the President of the Republic Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, attended the official opening ceremony of the SO Paseo del Prado hotel on Saturday afternoon, installation with a five-star plus category, managed by the prestigious French chain Accor.
As explained during the simple ceremony, Jean Phillipe, its CEO, this is the first SO hotel on the continent and the ninth worldwide for that demanding brand. With 250 rooms of elegant design and maximum comfort, the Paseo del Prado has one of the best views towards the Malecon of Havana and the fortresses of Morro, San Carlos de La Cabana and San Salvador de La Punta. Its imposing facade resembles a ship that launches into the sea of the Greater Antilles.
Heather Mc Crory, CEO of Accor for North America, Central America and the Caribbean, expressed "deep gratitude to the Government of Cuba for providing the necessary conditions that have allowed this project to take shape and flourish."
This inauguration, added the directive, represents the culmination of a historical process for Accor. «When the world celebrates the rich traditions of Havana's past, this project signals a successful future, both for tourism in Cuba, and for Accor in America».
On behalf of the Island, the First Deputy Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos Garcia Granda, said that before the resurgence of the blockade of the United States Government, «the opening of this hotel shows all our visitors and the world that we are not invaded by the confusion , the country is still alive, functioning and developing economically ».
He said that like the latest facilities built in the nation, it is equipped with high technologies, with facilities that guarantee a diversity of services that guarantee it as a high standard hotel.
Garcia Granda said that «all our actions are focused on continuing to strengthen the tourism industry as one of the main sectors in the economic contribution of the country. Cuba and tourism open up to new business opportunities ». And he recalled the words of the General of the Army in the VII Congress of the Party when he pointed out that the construction of emblematic luxury hotels would resume.
At that time, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party said: «Each hotel that is inaugurated is one more factory that generates very necessary export revenues within our borders for the country».
Before Raul and Diaz-Canel cut the inaugural film, the historian of Havana, Eusebio Leal Spengler, with his always proverbial word, recalled the transcendental history of Havana, “always beautiful and untouchable”, particularly the place where it is located the new hotel: the emblematic corner of Prado and Malecon.
In evoking the 500th anniversary of the town of San Cristobal de La Habana, Eusebio said that «schools, cultural centers, libraries for children are inaugurated with equal energy, because everything has been done for these days and for every day. For that we have worked. Only the powerful Social Revolution, which reached power in 1959, could move such stones, only she could put a deadly adversary and keep him in permanent humiliation.
Raul and Diaz-Canel then toured some areas of this hotel that, together with the Kempinski Apple and the Grand Packard, complete the five-star trio plus Havana, considered the first tourist destination in the city of Cuba.