Hotel Saratoga

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Hotel Saratoga
Fachada Hotel Saratoga vista desde esquina del Capitolio Nacional de Cuba.jpg
Hotel Saratoga
Former namesHotel Gran Alcázar
General information
Architectural stylePostmodern
AddressPaseo del Prado No. 603
Town or cityHavana
Coordinates23°08′01″N 82°21′29″W / 23.13361°N 82.35806°W / 23.13361; -82.35806Coordinates: 23°08′01″N 82°21′29″W / 23.13361°N 82.35806°W / 23.13361; -82.35806
ClosedApril 2020
OwnerRevolutionary government
LandlordEmpresa Mixta Hotel Saratoga S.A.
Architectural33 meters (108 ft) [1]
Roof27 meters (89 ft)
Top floor24 meters (79 ft)
Technical details
Structural systemReinforced concrete
Floor count13 [2][3]
Grounds1,132 square metres (12,180 sq ft)
Design and construction
DeveloperCoral Capital[4]

The Hotel Saratoga is located on the Paseo del Prado, in Old Havana near the Fuente de la India. Built in 1880 for warehouses, it was remodeled as a hotel in 1933 and reopened in 2005.[5] A gas explosion occurred at the hotel on 6 May 2022, killing forty-six people.[6][7]


Hotel Saratoga, ca. 1945.

The Hotel Saratoga is located in front of the Parque de la Fraternidad near the Capitolio Building in Havana, Cuba. The building was first commissioned by wealthy Spanish merchant Gregorio Palacio y Pérez, who was born in Santander, Spain. He owned various rooming facilities and signed a contract in 1879 for $98,000 for the construction of the new building. Originally, it was a three-story building. The ground floor housed a tobacco warehouse, a shop, and four apartments. The second floor was used as a hotel/guest house with 43 rooms and a dining room.[8]

Its first location was on Calle Monte. Later it was moved to the surroundings of the Campo de Marte (now the Parque de la Fraternidad) and called the Alcázar.

The central location and the views made it a preferred destination for international visitors.[5] In 1935, tourist guides highlighted the hotel as one of the best in Havana. Its terrace, called Aires Libres, was an important cultural and traditional center in the 20th century.[5][9]

Revolutionary period[edit]

Hotel Saratoga Hotel cross section

Like most businesses in Cuba in the 1960s the Hotel Saratoga was confiscated by the revolutionary government.[5][a][11] Until then, the building had maintained its vitality. After the takeover by the revolutionary government, it became a tenement building with multiple subdivisions until it was vacated due to its poor condition.[5][b] In 1996, the property was transferred to Hotel Saratoga S.A., a Cuban joint-venture company owned jointly by Habaguanex S.A., the commercial arm of the City Historian's Office, and an international consortium of investors.[citation needed] The original building was gutted, and only the street façades on Paseo del Prado and Dragones remained. A new building was constructed behind the original façades, including a two-level basement, a mezzanine level, and additional floors. It was reopened in 2005 as a five-star hotel with 96 rooms, three bars, two restaurants, a roof-top swimming pool, and a business center. Its architecture recalled the colonial era and had an eclectic character with a large number of elements of interest such as French carpentry, ceramics, and Cuban marble.[5] The two original facades were destroyed by the explosion.

2022 explosion[edit]

An explosion occurred on 6 May 2022 at the hotel, killing forty-six people, including one Spanish tourist,[13] and injuring at least 53 others.[14][15][7] The cause was attributed to an accident while resupplying the building with gas.[16][7][17][18]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ " Confiscation: (a) The nationalization, expropriation, or other seizure by the Cuban Government of ownership or control of property on or after January 1, 1959 without the return or compensation for the property, or without settlement of the claim to the property pursuant to an international claims settlement agreement or other mutually accepted settlement procedure; or (b) The Cuban Government's repudiation of, default on, or failure to pay on or after January 1, 1959 the following: (i) a debt of any enterprise nationalized, expropriated, or otherwise taken by the Cuban Government, (ii) a debt that is a charge on property nationalized, expropriated, or otherwise taken by the Cuban government, or (iii) a debt which was incurred by the Cuban Government in satisfaction or settlement of a confiscated property claim. See LIBERTAD Act § 4 (4)."[10]
  2. ^ Also see 104th Congress Public Law 114:[12]


  1. ^ cross section hotel Saratoga
  2. ^ cross section hotel Saratoga
  3. ^ Ziomara Lamelas (08 october 2017), "Recuerdos y Nostalgias de Cuba".
  4. ^ "Anti-corruption campaign hits golf developer". cubastandard (17 october 2011). Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Iglesias Sánchez, Zenaida (6 May 2022) [2018-03-05]. "Edificio en la esquina de Paseo del Prado y Dragones: Hotel "Saratoga"" [Building on the corner of Paseo del Prado and Dragones: Hotel "Saratoga"]. Habana Radio (in Spanish). Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Major explosion rips through several floors of hotel in Cuba". The Independent. 6 May 2022. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  7. ^ a b c Oppmann, Patrick; Suarez, Karol; Engels, Jorge (8 May 2022) [2022-05-06]. "At least 30 people were killed after a massive hotel explosion in Havana, Cuba's health ministry says". CNN. Havana.
  8. ^ "Hotel Saratoga: History". Archived from the original on 28 January 2022. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  9. ^ Rodríguez Marcano, Yamira (6 May 2022). "Ámbitos de recreación y sociabilidad: Los Aires Libres del Prado" [Areas of recreation and sociability: The Free Airs of the Prado]. Habana Radio (in Spanish).
  10. ^ "US Lawsuits Commence against Non-US Persons for Confiscated Cuban Property, EU Raises Concerns_Note No. 10". Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  11. ^ "What types of property was taken?". Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  12. ^ "To seek international sanctions against the Castro government in Cuba". Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  13. ^ Written at Havana. "Al menos 32 muertos y 80 heridos en la explosión del Hotel Saratoga donde ha fallecido una joven gallega" [At least 32 dead and 80 injured in the explosion of the Hotel Saratoga where a young Galician woman has died]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Madrid. 5 May 2022.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Sherwood, Dave (7 May 2022). "Gas leak blamed for blast at iconic Havana hotel that killed 25". Reuters. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  16. ^ "Saratoga Hotel: 26 dead after huge explosion in Havana". BBC News. 7 May 2022.
  17. ^ Rodriguez, Andrea (6 May 2022). "At least 22 dead, including child, after powerful explosion at Havana hotel". Global News. Canada. Associated Press. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  18. ^ Nicoll, Ruaridh (6 May 2022). "22 dead, dozens injured after explosion at historic Havana hotel". Al Jazeera.

External links[edit]