HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 10 (ACN) The First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Raúl Castro and the President Miguel Díaz-Canel, attended this Saturday afternoon the official inauguration ceremony of the SO Paseo del Prado hotel, a five-star plus installation managed by the prestigious French chain Accor.
As Jean Phillipe, its general director, explained during the simple ceremony, this is the first SO hotel in the continent and the ninth in the world of this demanding brand. With 250 rooms of elegant design and maximum comfort, the Paseo del Prado has some of the best views of the Havana Malecón and the fortresses of Morro, San Carlos de La Cabaña and San Salvador de La Punta. Its imposing façade resembles a boat launched into the Caribbean sea.
Heather Mc Crory, Accor's CEO for North, Central America and the Caribbean, expressed "deep appreciation to the Government of Cuba for providing the necessary conditions that have allowed this project to take shape and flourish.
This inauguration, the executive added, represents the culmination of a historic process for Accor. "When the world celebrates the rich traditions of Havana's past, this project points to a successful future, both for Cuba's tourism and for Accor in the Americas.
On behalf of the island, the First Deputy Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos Garcia Granda, pointed out that with the tightening of the U.S. Government blockade, "the opening of this hotel demonstrates to all our visitors and to the world that we are not invaded by embarrassment, the country is still alive, functioning and developing economically.
He commented that like the latest facilities built in the nation, is equipped with high technologies, with facilities that ensure a diversity of services that endorse it as a hotel of high standard.
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 are open to new business opportunities. And he recalled the words of the Army General in the VII Congress of the Party when he pointed out that the construction of emblematic luxury hotels would be resumed in the Island.
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 within our borders very necessary export income for the country".
Before Raúl and Díaz-Canel cut the inaugural ribbon, Havana historian Eusebio Leal Spengler, with his always proverbial word, recalled the transcendental history of Havana, "always beautiful and untouchable," particularly the place where the new hotel is located: the emblematic corner of Prado and Malecón.
Evoking the 500th anniversary of Havana's Villa de San Cristóbal, 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. That is what we have worked for. Only the powerful Social Revolution, which reached power in 1959, could move such stones, only it could put an end to a mortal adversary and have him in permanent humiliation".
Raúl and Díaz-Canel then toured some areas of this hotel which, together with the Kempisnki Manzana and the Grand Packard, completes Havana's five-star plus trio, considered Cuba's first city tourist destination.