Swandor could manage another hotel in Cuba

By Daily Pérez Guillén

“Swandor Hotels & Resorts not only offers you a pleasant and comfortable stay with its facilities in different regions, but also makes you feel at home even if you are far away,” announces the official website of this Turkish chain, which also seeks wellbeing for those guests who choose its facilities in Cuba.

With ten hotels located in Greece, Vietnam and Thailand, the company established itself in the Caribbean archipelago in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and started managing its first Cuban hotel in November 2022 in Varadero, as explained by Karaağaç Mehmet Cengiz, director of the Hotel PGS Varadero and area director for Cuba.

Karaağaç Mehmet Cengiz, director of the Hotel PGS Varadero and area director for Cuba

In June of the following year, Swandor began operating another hotel, the Woovo Playa Hermosa, located in Cayo Paredón, Jardines del Rey, Cuba’s youngest sun and beach destination.

“We chose Varadero first because it is Cuba’s busiest tourist destination and then Jardines del Rey as it is the second most-visited tourist spot in Cuba. Cuba is one of the best islands in the Caribbean to promote and sell. It is a magnificent destination,” Mehmet Cengiz stressed.

A room at the Hotel PGS Varadero Resort

The PGS Varadero Resort is a 4-star hotel located on the beachfront. It boasts 633 rooms, of which 548 are located in the family section and 85 are adults-only facilities in the exclusive area of Cayo Libertad. It is the only hotel that offers services on a key (an independent mini-hotel) in this, the largest beach resort in Cuba. All rooms have balconies with breathtaking views of the sea and the marina.

Meanwhile, the 5-star Woovo Playa Hermosa resort, located in Cayo Paredón’s Playa del Norte, is surrounded by a 5-kilometer strip of practically virgin beaches. It has 594 rooms, a lobby with modern architecture and stands out for its family pool, in addition to the 3-meter-high Beach Bar, which offers spectacular views of the Old Bahama Channel.

Beach at the Hotel Woovo Playa Hermosa, in Cayo Paredón

“For now, we would like to add one more hotel in Varadero or perhaps in Holguín. We believe that in five years this will be a much better destination,” Mehmet Cengiz told TTC.

The Swandor director is very confident about Cuba’s potential to develop the leisure industry. “This country has the potential to receive more than 10 million guests, we see good prospects. In Spain we have a significant market and here the chain could expand much more.”

“Our company has the three parts necessary for a successful operation: we have the tour operator (Pegas Touristik), the airline (Nordwind Airlines) and the hotels,” he noted on referring to the firm’s strengths to conduct operations in Cuba.

“We were already operating flights and since we have a tour operator visiting the destinations of Margarita Island, the Dominican Republic and also Mexico, we decided to manage hotels in Cuba.”

Swandor’s facilities located in the sun and beach destinations of the archipelago mainly receive Russian and Turkish tourists, markets of interest for the Caribbean country.

Nordwind Airlines currently flies to the island with four weekly frequencies, but it is “advocating more trips from Turkey to Cuba, seven days a week.”

TTC promoted the hotels managed by Swandor in Cuba in its most recent issue dedicated to FITCUBA 2024.

“We expect long-term growth, but we want to do it slowly, little by little,” the Swandor representative on the island revealed.

Tour operator Pegas Touristik brought 180,000 tourists to Cuba last year out of the slightly more than 2.4 million international visitors who arrived in the country.