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U.S. Bans Americans From Staying In More Than 80 Cuban Hotels

The luxury Manzana de Gomez Kempinski hotel in Havana is off-limits to Americans, according to a State Department list of banned companies and hotels in Cuba that was published on Wednesday.
Ramon Espinosa
The luxury Manzana de Gomez Kempinski hotel in Havana is off-limits to Americans, according to a State Department list of banned companies and hotels in Cuba that was published on Wednesday.

Americans can still fly to Cuba under new rules put out by the Trump administration's new rules. But once they land on the island, they'll need to avoid more than 80 hotels and dozens of other companies that the U.S. says are tied to Cuba's military, intelligence or security services.

The State Department issued a Cuba Restricted List on Wednesday, placing dozens of hotels off-limits to American visitors. (See the full rundown at the end of this post.)

Other blacklisted enterprises range from the rum companies Ron Caney and Ron Varadero to the newly opened Manzana de Gomez luxury shopping mall. A number of shops, marinas and beverage companies are also included in the ban.

As member station WLRN reports, "The days of Americans legally staying at Ernest Hemingway's Old Havana haunt, the Hotel Ambos Mundos, or making purchases at Havana's only luxury shopping arcade, will be over."

The new restrictions give detail to a presidential memorandum that President Trump signed in June, in which he pledged to stiffen U.S. policies toward Cuba that had been relaxed by the Obama administration.

In addition to the State Department, the Treasury and Commerce departments also published new restrictions.

Reporting on the changes, NPR's Michele Kelemen tells our Newscast unit:

"Travelers will have to go through organizations that are approved by the US government to promote people to people ties. One such group, Cuba Educational Travel, calls this a Cold War policy that is out of touch, but adds there are still many ways for Americans to visit Cuba, now that there are commercial flights, cruise ships, Marriott hotels and Airbnb."

For U.S. citizens who plan to visit Cuba, Michele adds, "officials say if you are already booked on a trip, you can go ahead."

Two tourist agencies — Crucero del Sol and Gaviota Tours — are on the State Department's list of businesses and other entities that the U.S. says "disproportionately benefit" Cuba's security and military services "at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba."

Cuba is currently in its high season for tourists. Its ministry of tourism says that as of Nov. 6, the island had already equaled the 4 million visitors it received in all of last year. Noting that the mark was reached despite "campaigns to deter international visitors" as well as Hurricane Irma, the ministry says that "several key resorts" reopened on Nov. 1, according to Granma, Cuba's official press outlet.

At least two of those reopened resorts — Cayo Santa María and Cayo Coco — appear on the U.S. list, which runs to more than eight pages.

Here's the list of Cuban hotels and subsidiaries to avoid, per the State Department's new rules. (You can see the full list, including government agencies and enterprises, in the Federal Register.)

Hotels in Havana and Old Havana

Aparthotel Montehabana (Habaguanex)
Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski (Gaviota)
H10 Habana Panorama (Gaviota)
Hostal Valencia (Habaguanex)
Hotel Ambos Mundos (Habaguanex)
Hotel Armadores de Santander (Habaguanex)
Hotel Beltrán de Santa Cruz (Habaguanex)
Hotel Conde de Villanueva (Habaguanex)
Hotel del Tejadillo (Habaguanex)
Hotel el Bosque (Habaguanex)
Hotel el Comendador (Habaguanex)
Hotel el Mesón de la Flota (Habaguanex)
Hotel Florida (Habaguanex)
Hotel Habana 612 (Habaguanex)
Hotel Kohly (Habaguanex)
Hotel Los Frailes (Habaguanex)
Hotel Marqués de Prado Ameno (Habaguanex)
Hotel Palacio del Marqués de San Felipe y Santiago de Bejucal (Habaguanex)
Hotel Palacio O'Farrill (Habaguanex)
Hotel Park View (Habaguanex)
Hotel Raquel (Habaguanex)
Hotel San Miguel (Habaguanex)
Hotel Telégrafo (Habaguanex)
Hotel Terral (Habaguanex)
Memories Miramar Havana (Gaviota)
Memories Miramar Montehabana (Gaviota)

Hotels in Santiago de Cuba

Villa Gaviota Santiago (Gaviota)

Hotels in Varadero

Blau Marina Varadero Resort (Gaviota)
Grand Memories Varadero (Gaviota)
Iberostar Laguna Azul (Gaviota)
Iberostar Playa Alameda (Gaviota)
Meliá Marina Varadero (Gaviota)
Meliá Peninsula Varadero (Gaviota)
Memories Varadero (Gaviota)
Naviti Varadero (Gaviota)
Ocean Varadero El Patriarca (Gaviota)
Ocean Vista Azul (Gaviota)
Paradisus Princesa del Mar (Gaviota)
Paradisus Varadero (Gaviota)
Sol Sirenas Coral (Gaviota)

Hotels in Pinar del Rio

Hotel Villa Maria La Gorda y Centro Internacional de Buceo (Gaviota)
Hotel Villa Cabo de San Antonio (Gaviota)

Hotels in Baracoa

Hostal 1511 (Gaviota)
Hostal La Habanera (Gaviota)
Hostal La Rusa (Gaviota)
Hostal Rio Miel (Gaviota)
Hotel El Castillo (Gaviota)
Hotel Porto Santo (Gaviota)
Villa Maguana (Gaviota)

Hotels in Cayos de Villa Clara

Hotel Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)
Dhawa Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)
Hotel Playa Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)
Iberostar Ensenachos (Gaviota)
Meliá Buenavista (Gaviota)
Meliá Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)
Ocean Casa del Mar (Gaviota)
Memories Flamenco (Gaviota)
Meliá Las Dunas (Gaviota)
Memories Azul (Gaviota)
Memories Paraíso (Gaviota)
Royalton Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)
7 Sol Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)
Villa Las Brujas (Gaviota)
Warwick Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)

Hotels in Holguín

Blau Costa Verde Beach & Resort (Gaviota)
Hotel Playa Costa Verde (Gaviota)
Hotel Playa Pesquero (Gaviota)
Memories Holguín (Gaviota)
Paradisus Río de Oro Resort & Spa (Gaviota)
Playa Costa Verde (Gaviota)
Playa Pesquero Premium Service (Gaviota)
Sol Rio de Luna y Mares (Gaviota)
Villa Cayo Naranjo (Gaviota)
Villa Cayo Saetia (Gaviota)
Villa Pinares de Mayari (Gaviota)

Hotels in Jardines del Rey

Hotel Playa Coco Plus (Gaviota)
Iberostar Playa Pilar (Gaviota)
Meliá Jardines del Rey (Gaviota)
Memories Caribe (Gaviota)
Pestana Cayo Coco (Gaviota)

Hotels in Topes de Collantes

Hostal Los Helechos (Gaviota)
Los Helechos (Gaviota)
Villa Caburni (Gaviota)

Stores in Old Havana

Casa del Abanico (Habaguanex)
Colección Habana (Habaguanex)
Florería Jardín Wagner (Habaguanex)
Joyería Coral Negro (CIMEX) – and locations throughout Cuba
La Casa del Regalo (Habaguanex)
San Ignacio 415 (Habaguanex)
Soldadito de Plomo (Habaguanex)
Tienda El Navegante (Habaguanex)
Tienda Muñecos de Leyenda (Habaguanex)
Tienda Museo El Reloj Cuervo y Sobrinos (Habaguanex)

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.