Cubas’ non-hotel hospitality sector celebrates Havana’s 500th anniversary with upgrades and new tours

Posted: 03-Jan-19 10:22

Cubasol, the business entity that groups several non-hotel hospitality companies overseen by Cuba´s Ministry of Tourism, announced that in the new year it´ll be carrying out a series of works to improve the image of several facilities across Havana on the occasion of its upcoming 500th birthday in November. Grouping a number of retail shops, grocery stores as well as restaurants and bars, Cubasol wants to mark such an important milestone anniversary in style.

Cubas’ non-hotel hospitality sector celebrates Havana’s 500th anniversary with upgrades and new tours

Cubasol S.A., the government-owned business group overseen by Cuba´s Ministry of Tourism and uniting separate entities (Palmares, Caracol, Transtur and Marlin) in the island´s non-hotel hospitality and retail industry, has announced a series of upgrades and new product offers in the build-up to Havana’s 500th anniversary in November this year.

Seeking to spruce up a number of establishments citywide, the idea is to improve the image of retail shops, grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants and bars to ensure this is a birthday to remember.

To that end, according to Cubasol’s commercial director, Doralis Velazquez, a refurbishment programme is already underway as is the launch of a new project called “Tour de Bares” (Bar Tours), a new circuit that links and combines the best bars in Old Havana with modern Havana in trendy neighbourhoods like Vedado and Miramar.

This new Bar Tours will offer visitors and residents alike the opportunity of experiencing the city’s most popular bars, especially those run by the Palmares group like the legendary La Bodeguita del Medio, El Floridita (Hemmingway’s favourite), the scenic Los Jardines del 1830 overlooking Havana’s Bay and El Aljibe, famous for its roasted chicken (whose recipe is said to be guarded like a state secret).
The tours will also include interactive cocktail-mixing classes and Habano cigar pairings, in an effort to show participants the best way of enjoying a good Cuban cocktail with the finest cigar in the world.

If all this wasn’t enough of an entertaining cultural immersion, the tours will also enjoy include shows by Turarte, a team of entertainer who will keep everyone smiling on the bus journey, in between the bar stops, adding to the 100 % Cuban experience.

During the exclusive interview with TTC’s Spanish online portal, Velazquez further revealed how they’re also working on the rescuing of Old Havana traditions. This rescue mission is being treated as a priority and as such popular haunts like El Floridita, La Bodeguita del Medio, El Palacio de la Artesania (Artisans’ Palace) and La Triada shops will all be dressing up to rise to the occasion. In the latter two, visitors will be able to choose from a variety of cultural activities, from browsing Caracol shops displaying Cuban craftmanship in Havana with the possibility of interacting with artisans and cigar rollers like Jose Castelar “Cueto”, holder of no less than six Guinness Records in hand cigar rolling!

In addition to this, Velazquez said that they’re working full steam ahead in the renewal of iconic city landmarks, among them emblematic restaurants La Torre and Tocororo, as well as nighttime entertainment complexes like La Cecilia and La Macumba (a popular nightclub in Vedado).

Similarly, the legendary Tropicana cabaret in Havana, who is turning 80 this year, will launch a new show titled “Oh, La Habana!”.
No doubt, 2019 is looking like a great year to visit Havana and breathe in the city with a renewed, celebratory vibe. Anyone going on Cuba holidays this year must make Havana an obligatory stop, else they’ll miss these and other (still to come) exciting activities that are to be announced as the year progresses and the grand birthday date nears.

By now, you can see how Havana’s non-hotel hospitality is having a starring role this 2019, shining a light on the Cuban capital’s vibrant, energetic vibe, as nostalgic as it is romantic, exciting and always full of surprises. We can’t wait to celebrate and learn more details about the line-up of events marking its rebirth in 2019! 


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