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Hotel Saratoga, Havana

Hotel Saratoga
Hotel Saratoga, Havana, Cuba.jpg
Hotel Saratoga
Former namesHotel Alcazar
General information
StatusClosed
TypeCommercial
AddressPaseo del Prado No. 603
Town or cityHavana
CountryCuba
Coordinates23°08′01″N 82°21′29″W / 23.13361°N 82.35806°W / 23.13361; -82.35806Coordinates: 23°08′01″N 82°21′29″W / 23.13361°N 82.35806°W / 23.13361; -82.35806
Renovated1960s[citation needed], 1998-2005
ClosedApril 2020
OwnerCuban government
LandlordEmpresa Mixta Hotel Saratoga S.A.
Height
TipApprox 70'
RoofApprox 60'
Top floorApprox 50'
Technical details
Structural systemReinforced concrete
Floor count10
Design and construction
DeveloperCoral Capital
Website
www.hotel-saratoga.com

The Hotel Saratoga is a luxury New Classical architecture style hotel, located on the Paseo del Prado, in Old Havana, Cuba, in front of the Fuente de la India. Built in 1880 for warehouses, it was remodeled as a hotel in 1933 and reopened in 2005. A gas explosion occurred at the hotel on 6 May 2022, killing at least forty-three people.

History

The original Hotel Alcazar

The Hotel Saratoga is located in front of the Parque de la Fraternidad near the Capitolio Building in Havana, Cuba. The building was first commissioned by wealthy Spanish merchant Gregorio Palacios, who was born in Santander, Spain. He owned various rooming facilities and signed a contract in 1879 for $98,000 for the construction of the new building. Originally, it was a three-story building. The ground floor housed a tobacco warehouse, a shop and four apartments. The second floor was used as a hotel/guest house with 43 rooms and a dining room.

Its first location was on Calle Monte. Later it was moved to the surroundings of the Campo de Marte (now the Parque de la Fraternidad) and called the Alcázar.

The central location and the views made it a preferred destination for international visitors. In 1935, tourist guides highlighted the hotel as one of the best in Havana. Its terrace, called Aires Libres, was an important cultural and traditional center in the 20th century.

Revolutionary period

In the 1960's the Hotel Saratoga was taken over by the revolutionary government. Until then the building had maintained its vitality. After the takeover by the government, it became a tenement building with multiple subdivisions until it was vacated due to its poor condition. In 1996, the property was transferred to Hotel Saratoga S.A., a Cuban joint-venture company owned jointly by Habaguanex S.A., the commercial arm of the City Historian's Office, and an international consortium of investors. The original building was gutted, with only the façade on the two street-fronts remaining. A new building was constructed using that façade, with a two-level basement, a mezzanine level and additional floors. It was reopened in 2005 as a five-star hotel with 96 rooms, three bars, two restaurants, a roof-top swimming pool and a business center. Its architecture recalled the colonial era and had an eclectic character with a large number of elements of interest such as French carpentry, ceramics and Cuban marble.

2022 explosion

External video
video icon USA Today clip of the damaged hotel on YouTube

An explosion occurred on 6 May 2022 at the hotel, killing at least forty-three people and injuring at least ninety-seven others. The cause was attributed to an accident while resupplying the building with gas. No tourists were staying at the hotel at the time of the explosion as it was undergoing renovations and was due to open within the next four days. Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez stated that one Spanish tourist was killed, which was later confirmed by Cuban authorities.

Gallery

See also

This page was last updated at 2022-05-12 10:29 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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