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The construction of Hotel Jagua began in 1956 within the gardens of the Palacio de Valle sponsored by a New York tycoon underworld, Meyer Lansky (represented Gult and Caribbean Tourist Circuit) and supported by the dictator of Cuba at the time, Fulgencio Batista.
The idea was to turn the palace into a casino, similar to Monte Carlo and create a hotel for tourists and American mobsters, which was part of the hotel chain that included the Hotels Havana Riviera, Havana Hilton (nowdays Habana Libre) and the Hotel El Colony in Isla de la Juventud.
In 1957 arrived in Cienfuegos "The Pearl of the South" Mr. Henoseetb Oka, a mobster friend of Lansky and mayor of Miami Beach and they projected the casino and adjacent hotel.
The project was entrusted to the entity "Arquitectos Cañas Abril Nepomechie" of Havana, which concluded the technical documentation. The construction of Hotel Jagua began in 1956, starting the foundation work. The topography of the area causes that the foundation required driving of piles of wood and soil compaction with rock material, sand and cement.
The construction work was not continued due to organizational problems, technical and wage demands by workers, and it was not until 1957 that accelerated implementation by the active participation of the main shareholders.
The triumph of the Revolution frustrated the attempts to turn Cienfuegos into a den of vices and corruption. The rush to inaugurate the Hotel Jagua was due to the commitment of the country before 1959, to host in the participants of the International Convention of the Lions Club, which was held at the end of the year.
The hotel was inaugurated on December 28, 1959 and the initial project name Hotel del Chalet de Valle was changed for Hotel Jagua, as they called the natives to the region of Cienfuegos and means "principle, wealth". At the opening, a banquet was offered to members of the Lions Club of Cuba, as part of the celebration of the National Convention of the institution.
In August 1994 the Hotel Jagua joined the Gran Caribe Hotel Group, achieving greater recognition to the status of the facility and its significance in the country and abroad.
This hotel exhibits architectural lines and styles typical to the 1950s; from the lobby to the rooms, spaces here are big, open, and bright. The swimming pool overlooking the Bay is a delightful place to relax after visiting elegant Cienfuegos. There are daily activities offered at the hotel, and for night owls there’s a cabaret/disco several nights a week.
The city of Cienfuegos is located on a bay of the same name. At the southern extent of the city lies residential Punta Gorda (once a hideaway for the rich) overlooking the bay. Today, a waterside stroll here reveals beautiful original wooden (beach) houses and at the tip of the point, a lovely gazebo perfect for watching the sunset.
Facilitating CubArtEdu trips to Cuba programs from the US in search of new ways of looking and making art in Cuba.