When the Partagás factory moved from its traditional address at Calle Industria 520 to Calle San Carlos 816 in Havana the tobacco world was surprised. It was a change of one of the most emblematic and representative addresses in the cigar universe.
The fact is that the centenary structure of the old Partagás factory urgently needed repair and the cigar-rolling activity could not be maintained at Habanos S.A. standards while the reconstruction started.
Other news caused surprise, when it was announced that the building would never be the Partagás factory again and that, after renovations, it would host the Cuban Tobacco Museum. It was a reasonable option for a building that housed such rich history, not only the Partagás brand history but the history of the whole Cuban cigar industry.
Nowadays, however, plans change constantly in Cuba. Since June, a plan for building a new hotel at the site had been heard of and were promptly confirmed by the La Casa del Habano (LCDH) administration and by Habanos. The hotel is going to be a joint venture between a Spanish group and Gaviota (a Cuban state company that invests in tourist facilities in the country).
Indeed, a hotel will be constructed, and the site beside the old factory and the factory structure will be used for some of the hotel facilities. Although the project is yet to be approved, construction is scheduled to start in July 2019 and many decisions have already been taken.
One of these is that La Casa del Habano will maintain its operations during construction and will undergo some improvements after building of the hotel has been concluded, maintaining today’s main characteristics.
Grecia Quiñones, manager of LCDH, was apprehensive about the future of LCDH until she received confirmation that LCDH would keep its activities there. Even a new address for the store has already been discussed. “As the Bodeguita del Medio is for the mojito, the El Floridita is for the daiquiri, La Casa del Habano de Partagás is for cigars in Cuba. This address and this cigar shop are patrimonies of the cigar world,” Grecia says. This confirmation came as a relief to employees, friends and clients of the shop.
The idea of a hotel on such a representative site for cigar smokers sounds perfect. Let’s see if the hotel meets expectations and respects cigar culture and what the building represents.