Photo: Beach in Vadara, home of new Cuban music hotel
The first hotel specializing in the music of Cuba, the Blue Salsa Club, will open its doors in November with a new idea in cultural tourism in the resort community of Varadero, the most famous on the island, local media reported Sunday.
The project hatched by Spain’s Blue Bay group and Cuba’s Paradiso cultural tourism agency will promote musical genres like salsa, guaracha, bolero and the Caribbean island’s traditional dances.
The assistant marketing director for the renovated BelleVue Palma Real hotel, Ramon Fundora, said that at this time they are preparing spaces devoted to the different musical rhythms that will provide guests with a different environment than our modern day one.
“It’s a very similar idea to the Hard Rock hotels and the aim is to make the customer, when he enters the Blue Salsa Club, breathe music, culture, dance and Cubanness,” said the official in remarks to the publication Caribbean News Digital.
He also said that hotel guests will have included as part of their stays classes in dance, percussion and various musical instruments, among other options.
Cuban tourism authorities have insisted in recent times on diversifying their vacation product beyond the traditional fare of sunshine and beaches.
As part of that plan, the state-owned Cuban Gaviota group recently inaugurated in Varadero a new hotel complex administered by Spain’s Melia group and located next to a marina with 1,300 dock spaces for yachts and recreational boats.
Varadero, located about 150 kilometers (96 miles) from Havana and considered the island’s second-most-important tourist magnet, has 50 hotels with 20,200 rooms and receives more than 40 percent of the foreign visitors who come to Cuba.
Cuba last year welcomed 2,834,468 foreign tourists and Canada, for the second year, provided more than 1 million of those visitors, according to official figures.
The island’s aim in 2013 is to host 3 million tourists and in the first half of the year it had already welcomed 1,596,883, most of them from Canada, England, Germany and Argentina, in that order, according to figures provided by the National Statistics and Information Office, or ONEI.