OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Hotel Nacional de Cuba. Photo: Granma

Cuba’s Hotel Nacional reaffirmed its condition as a leader among the country's hotels, winning - for the third time - a 2017 World Travel Award, considered the tourist industry's Oscars.

The prize is awarded on the basis of a vote, and a world wide participation campaign among tourism experts and professionals.

The Awards, the main travel industry prizes of this kind internationally, are granted by a jury that recognizes excellence by region, on the basis of a series of criteria, in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines.

The elements which contributed the most to the Hotel Nacional's selection once again were its historical-cultural attributes and the authentic Cuban atmosphere evident at the facility, recognized as a World Heritage Site, a National Monument, and part of UNESCO's Memory of the World.

Members of the staff at the iconic hotel have been honored with the National Vanguard distinction for 20 consecutive years, and dedicated this year's accomplishments to Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz and Ernesto Che Guevara.

World figures who have stayed at the hotel, affiliated with Gran Caribe chain, include writers Rómulo Gallegos and Ernest Hemingway; artists Jorge Negrete, Pedro Vargas, Agustín Lara, Frank Sinatra, Eva Gardner, Nat King Cole, Libertad Lamarque, María Félix, and Mario Moreno (Cantinflas), Tin Tan, among others.

Those who work at the hotel, led by managing director Antonio Martínez and union secretary José Felipe Soto, are jubilant to have won the award recognizing the excellent services they provide clients.

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The Hotel Nacional was not the only Cuban facility nominated in this category, although its outstanding services gave it a lead over the rest. The Gran Hotel Manzana de Kempinski, Hotel Florida, Iberoestar Parque Central, Meliá Cayo Coco, and Meliá Cohiba, were also nominated.

Voting was conducted online from March 22 through July 19 this year.

Among other prizewinners were The Oberois Udaivilas, in India; Pullman Sydney Hyde Park, Australia; Gran Hotel Ciudad de México; Belmond Gran Hotel, Russia; Constance Lémuria, Seychelles; Hotel Le St-James, Canada; and La Mision Hotel, Bolivia. (www.worldtravel.awards.com)