Cigars With Hector Luis In Havana And Hotel Apartheid

16 Dec


nfc capThis trip was so awesome that I didn’t have the time to visit Hector Luis at his farm. Instead we arranged for lunch and cigars meeting in Havana.

He was there with his lovely wife invited to attend the Friday Gala dinner of the Partagas Encuentro.

So next day, Saturday, Yannick and I were in central Havana having some fun and cigars after some fun and cigars at El Laguito and we decided to have lunch at El Chanchullero.

Of course we arrived too early, hung outside with some cold Cristals and shot the breeze. One pm came and we moved inside, hungry as hell. Some more Cristals and then the bad news : No water truck ( la pipa ) had arrived to supply the street so no water in the kitchen so no food can be prepared.

OK, so we moved over to the roof terrace at the Parque Central hotel and chose a quiet corner for lunch. We received a call from Hector Luis over at Partagas and told him to join us at the roof terrace.

Ten minutes later he calls to inform us he is in the hotel lobby and has been refused permission to go up to the roof terrace. Incredible, shocking and inacceptable.

We pay our bill, go downstairs and meet with his wife waiting for us.

We ask why he has not been allowed upstairs and he says he was told he needed permission.

I quickly tear the two security monkeys in the lobby new a~~holes and promise to come back to chew some more ass.

We move over to the terrace of the Centro Asturiano on Prado 309 and have a long lunch, conversations and cigars.

All details for our 2015 trip to his farm have been arranged, he will have some special farm cigars for our lunch and tasting there.

We talk about the new cabaña that he is setting up for guests on his farm, he invites me again to stay at the Vega and I decide that I will finally spend a night or two next year enjoying the peace with him.

After lunch we move to the rear cigar lounge of the restaurant and continue the cigar session with some cortaditos and Santiago 11 rum shooting the breeze on his planting outlook for this year before finally ending up at the Partagas cigar lounge with Grecia.

Yannick and I are back at the Parque Central the next working day as the incident of Hector Luis and wife not being allowed to have lunch with us gives me ulcers. It has happened too many times before with good Cuban friends, to me and other foreign friends and this absurd apartheid is the reason I no longer stay in hotels in Cuba.

I ask for the manager, explain what happened, he starts giving me some BS explanation about them not being hotel guests ( neither were we ) having to pass through guests areas ( like we did ), dress code ( we were dressed like tourists clowns while they were dressed formally), need permission ( we didn’t ), having to watch the security video tape for reasons etc. – until I expose his BS, tell him who Hector Luis is, the way it happened, that I would never have had that problem with a chica and that I will not rest exposing this discrimination against decent Cubans in their own country and boycotting Iberostar and any hotel chain practicing this shameful and inacceptable policy.

Guess my forcefully stated reasons help. He turns pale and starts offering us apologies & drinks – we refuse, but I call Hector Luis and put him on the line. The manager talks to Hector Luis and profusely apologizes to him, which satisfies me.

Still, my feeling is that the policy will not be changed.

I will boycott Iberostar in my travel plans.








One Response to “Cigars With Hector Luis In Havana And Hotel Apartheid”

  1. Pedro 18/12/2014 at 03:07 #

    Well said, Nino, very well said.