Marriott Forced To Pull Out Of Cuba

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

The only US-managed hotel in Cuba will be closing its doors…

Four Points by Sheraton Havana closing

The Miami Herald reports that the Trump administration is forcing Marriott to discontinue its management contract for the Four Points by Sheraton Havana, the only US-managed hotel in Cuba.

The Treasury Department has informed Marriott that the contract for the hotel will have to end by August 31, 2020, and Marriott won’t be allowed to manage other hotels in Cuba. Prior to that, Marriott was supposed to manage a second property — Hotel Inglaterra Havana — but the opening of that has been pushed back several times. Who knows if it would have ever even opened as a Marriott, given how US and Cuba relations have deteriorated.

The hotel was branded as a Four Points since 2016 (prior to that it didn’t belong to Marriott), as Americans started to be able to visit Cuba under more conditions. This was the first American hotel brand in Cuba since 1959. There was controversy surrounding this hotel in general, given that it’s owned by Gaviota, which has ties to the Cuban military.

As Kerstin Sachl, Marriott’s Director of Public Relations for Latin America and the Caribbean describes this move:

“We have recently received notice that the government-issued license will not be renewed, forcing Marriott to cease operations in Cuba.”

I reviewed the Four Points by Sheraton Havana during my visit to Cuba in late 2016, as I couldn’t turn up the opportunity to stay at Cuba’s first Marriott.

Four Points by Sheraton Havana lobby

Bottom line

I guess this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given how the US stance on Cuba has changed in the past few years. While we never really saw the major US hotel chains get big in Cuba (as there were still all kinds of logistical challenges), the one US managed hotel in Cuba will no longer be a Marriott as of August.

It remains to be seen whether the hotel will simply be reflagged as another brand, or what…

  1. @Marky Mark, indeed. I read the old linked review and the crackpots certainly turned out for it.

  2. Unbelievable. Cuba is as much of a threat to the modern US as Bermuda. Can’t wait for President Biden to open relations back up and these old white guys of the GOP to retire (and Nancy).

  3. Fantastic! With the riots and looting here there should be no qualms about not providing any support to a government that truly exploits its people.

    Cuba is nothing more than a human zoo, where everyone exists to please it’s masters running the island.

    That is true exploitation. No opportunity. No health care. Little food. No freedom to admit that while Havana once rivaled the world’s most metropolitan cities is now a fourth world shit shack.

    Progressives ruined the country but they made everyone equal. Equally miserable.

    Hopefully all other hotels will leave as well.

  4. This hotel was just fully renovated. I was supposed to stay there recently but then coronavirus happened. The location sucks, but it was a resort-esque hotel for a cheap price, especially on points. Great redemption for a 4-night, 5-day points stay. I believe they were going to rebrand from Four Points now that it was fully renovated, too.

  5. From the picture (above) of the lobby, that’s a very nice-looking Four Points. Too bad Four Points properties in the USA don’t look like that.

  6. I’m sure they will sit tight and not change a thing and wait for President Plump to be booted from office….then they’ll get back to business again.

  7. I don’t have enough fingers on my hands to count the number of countries that are way worse than Cuba that have American run businesses. Cold War politics is over and we wouldn’t be having this discussion if for the fact that Florida (where most old guard Cubans live) is a swing state in elections. There certainly is a legitimate discussion about choice of local partners (especially if said hotel had ties to the military) but this quasi-embargo charade is a farce. My mother was in Cuba in 2016 as part of Doctors Without Borders not sure where she stayed but in Havana it was a hotel like this. She said it was pleasant considering the expectations. The key to helping change Cuba is engaging them as a country. Hopefully future administrations in Washington will be less craven to past politics and start being more forward thinking.

  8. So the Trump government can dole out trillions of taxpayer dollars in aid to corporations like Marriott, but decry Cuban socialism. Of course. That makes sense.

  9. Will Trump be telling US hotel brands to stop managing properties in China ? That will screw up the US eceonmy and the hotel groups P and L account .

    For Cuba if I was the Marriot boss , he can just hire a third party hotel management company outside the USA and let them manage it , with commission income to Marriot from time to time . Lots in Asia who will do it . Same staff and assistance outside USA . Change hotel name to a non US brand . Just f**k the requirement for a US license . Really simple .

  10. @Experienced Traveller

    Not really: it’s about flows of cash through the international banking system. The US’s extra-territorial legislation means no US incorporation can do unlicensed business in a number of countries, unless they’re willing to risk having all their bank accounts frozen without notice.

    The banks themselves face truly massive fines if they don’t cooperate with the US legislation (HSBC found that out the hard way — in Mexico, as it happens, but the same system works with Cuba). The banks now routinely monitor sources of funds. Simply using an intermediary doesn’t work. And most international transfers between country A and country B end up passing through a US bank on their journey.

    It’s the same problem criminals face: if you want to break the law, how do you launder money on any scale without using the banking system?

    It’s a surprisingly effective system. The US manages to spread its baleful influence worldwide, while also pretending it isn’t an imperial power.

  11. I had to reread the comments by Antico. Here I was thinking s/he was talking about the streets and government of the US. I watch as armed military line the streets and police club protesters, push 75 year olds to the ground, kneel on necks to cause death. But yes, Cuba is the concern. As another posted, Cuba is about as menacing as Bermuda. The US has lost all rights for calling out another country for civil rights violations.

  12. No to Cuba but yes to a Trump hotel in Moscow. Makes no sense to me. But then again, I am just a dumb Canadian.

  13. Will Trump be disclosing to US lodging brands to quit overseeing properties in China ? That will spoil the US eceonmy and the inn bunches P and L account .

    For Cuba in the event that I was the Marriot manager , he can simply enlist an outsider inn the board organization outside the USA and let them oversee it , with commission pay to Marriot every now and then . Parts in Asia who will do it . Same staff and help outside USA . Change inn name to a non US brand . Just f**k the necessity for a US permit . Extremely straightforward .

  14. Purely hypocritical decision. If the administration really worries about ideological issues, it should do this to Russia and China, maybe also Vietnam. It just doesn’t have the guts.

  15. good for trump. Don’t give those communist anything. The regime keeps all the profits for themselves and families. Cubans get nothing. There is a lot of ignorance in this comment board. People that never lived there and don’t understand. As for the biden comment, he will sell you and your jobs to China like he has been doing all this time. He even tricked Obama into this. dont vote liberal or Democrat.

  16. Jerry says:

    June 5, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    So the Trump government can dole out trillions of taxpayer dollars in aid to corporations like Marriott, but decry Cuban socialism. Of course. That makes sense.

    Makes perfect sense even though Trump is senile and dumb.

    Castros in Cuba jails and kills people like a dictatorship. NO LIVES MATTER to them.

    Cuban government seizes Americans land, no compensation. How would you like your house, company, and land seized, which they did in1960.

    Cuba is not just socialist, that is polite. They are a human right violating (a little better than before and not as bad as Hitler) dictatorship with no rights to free speech, private ownership except small things. They even exploit doctors like North Korea by forcing them to work in Brazil and other places for low pay while the government collects high pay. They ban travel by its citizens

  17. No worries, will be back up and running come January when the 46th POTUS, Joe Biden, takes office and the four year national nightmare is over. Not too long to wait!

  18. This moron trdumb needed to be replaced in November. I truly hope that all Trump buildings will go bankrupt although not all buildings are owned by him but hoping people will stay away from anything linked to the Trump name. This moron is so desperate of getting re-elected and trying do do whatever he could whether its right or wrong just to get votes. I must say the most corrupted piece of trash do called president in the US history.

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