Manzana de Gómez an historical building
Bordered by the streets Neptuno, San Rafael, Zulueta and Monserrate, the Manzana de Gómez was the first building built in Cuba exclusively for commercial purposes, which made it the first commercial center in the capital during the Republican period. Even at present, the area contains a large number of shops, shops, coffee shops and private villas in Cuba for rent in Havana.
Its construction dates from the decade of 1910 and was carried out by José Gómez-Mena Vila with a European style that was also completely new for the time on the island. With a height of five floors, an area that covers an entire block or block and two diagonal streets that cross it in all directions to integrate the internal pedestrian circulation with the exterior, the building was a great exponent of modernism throughout the first half of the twentieth century.
During the republican stage, an urban growth structured from the recreational and tourist projection that began to acquire the economic development of the North American government was consolidated in Cuba, fundamentally in the areas of Havana and Varadero.
Hotels, bars, casinos, rental houses, restaurants and commercial structures of all kinds had achieved international fame thanks to initiatives such as the Forestier plan, the construction of the Hotel Nacional and the extension of the promenade of the Malecón de La Habana. In this context, the Manzana de Gómez became a paradigmatic structure within the commercial development in the capital and its stores were full of the most luxurious national, North American and European products.
In addition, the block occupied a strategic site, adjacent to important tourist attractions in the capital such as the Museum of Fine Arts (Universal Art Building), the El Floridita bar, the Plaza Hotel, the central park and Obispo Street, a of the fundamental arteries of colonial Havana.
The Manzana of Gómez during the revolutionary stage
Great Hotel Manzana Kepinski
When the Cuban Revolution triumphed, the government in question approved as one of its measures the nationalization of all the companies that existed then in the country, including commercial entities, many internationally renowned brands withdrew their investments from Cuba and / or broke economic relations with the country At this moment, La Manzana de Gómez begins to close several of its premises and to reopen them with various functions such as offices, educational centers, and so on.
The building began to experience a gradual wear until a project to restore it and turn it into a luxury hotel, which became the first of its category in the country. The current structure is a fairly faithful replica from the architectural point of view, although modern carpentry, decoration and furniture are included to adapt the space to its new function as a hotel and shopping center.
Last year 2017 (after a notable opening of licenses for the private sector that included the rent of private villas in Cuba, hospitality, among others) the building was reopened as the Grand Hotel Manzana Kepinski. It has 246 rooms with the category of five stars plus, becoming an exclusive tourist complex in Cuba.
Its instances are decorated with polished marbles and its stores are branches of brands of high international prestige such as Gucci, Bulgari, Lacoste, among others. Several of them appear on the Caribbean island for the first time and have aroused the interest of a new type of international tourism, more oriented towards luxury services. In parallel, the private sector has been developed in the surroundings, promoting best accommodation in private villas in Cuba.