The Cohiba No-Atmosphere Lounge At The New Kempinski Manzana Hotel In Havana

29 May

Having read about the upcoming opening of Havana’s newest luxury hotel, the Kempinski Gran Manzana, located in Cuba’s former first shopping arcade, the Manzana de Gomez in the Parque Central area, I was curious to check out the new shopping area and the Cohiba Atmosphere cigar lounge inside that are.

Most of what I had read was that the shops were an insult to ordinary Cubans, designer stuff and products that the majority of the population could not afford at $20 monthly salaries … and that most would just press their faces against the shop windows for a glimpse as security would not allow many inside and they were not able to use the available wi-fi there.

An added insult was the hiring of Indian construction workers by the military company that runs the hotel.

See :

Well, there were certainly a number of security personnel checking and lines waiting to get into the stores – only a handful were let in at a time to catch a look at Leica cameras, Armani fashion or Montblanc pens among other similarly useless stuff for the ordinary Cubans.

From a first look I found the shopping arcade to be an ugly, super-expensive, artificial  and totally misplaced black hole in those beautiful surroundings.

When I entered the cigar lounge I was surprised at the utter lack of … Atmosphere. Having been to several Cohiba Atmosphere lounges around the world, this one has all the charm of an airport waiting area smoking lounge “fishbowl” – that is a freezing smoking box full of tourists with no warmth or a hint of … Cuba.

I spent three minutes inside taking some pictures and admiring the walk-in selection of J.L Piedra and Guantanameras and left to smoke my cigar around the corner at a place with great atmosphere and charm – the lounge at the old Partagas factory behind the Capitolio.

Having so many historically important and charming places to smoke a cigar in Havana, I consider this Cohiba No-Atmosphere lounge a totally unnecessary eyesore but can only hope it will become the magnet & Mecca for all wanna-be show-off cigar smokers.



4 Responses to “The Cohiba No-Atmosphere Lounge At The New Kempinski Manzana Hotel In Havana”

  1. Thomas H. 29/05/2017 at 17:24 #

    Hi Nino,

    By the looks of your pictures, you have captured the impression perfectly i might say! It has no appeal and no soul, and those shops are just showcases for the rich tourists. If this is an example for what is coming to the island, then i feel very sad for the cuban people, cause this is not the way!

    Best regards,

  2. Frank 30/05/2017 at 15:11 #

    Perfect and about time they made a special smoking room for the cruise ship passangers. No more need for them to crowd the Partagas lounge. 🙂

  3. Taqim 30/05/2017 at 16:02 #

    Excellent post!!!

  4. Javier Paredes 31/05/2017 at 04:00 #

    What a shame this place is! I hope this is not whats to come next in Cuba after a bit of opening to the north. Also, this particular place is soooo cold.. it has no soul at all.

    One question: are you going to the Encuentro de Amigos de Partagás in November?