Tuesday,  November 28, 2023  2:23 pm

Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria opens its doors

Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria opens its doors
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

This weekend marks the official opening of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts’ first Dhawa property in Cuba, with the launch of Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria.

The property, which had a soft opening in December, marks the first expansion of the company into Cuba and is the first Asian hospitality group to enter the island.

Annika Klint, managing director of The KAI Group, which represents Banyan Tree in Canada, told PAX that the Dhawa property is the first of four Banyan Tree properties scheduled to open on the island in the coming years, with the next resort opening under Banyan Tree’s Angsana brand later this fall. Two additional Banyan Tree properties will later open in Varadero, under one of the company’s four brands.

“Cuba is opening up and Banyan is looking to ensure they have a foothold in the market,” she said.

According to Klint, the “modern, contemporary” property is being marketed toward a sophisticated and younger crowd, with a focus on cuisine including French, Italian and Cuban specialities. The property is also putting the spotlight on Banyan Tree’s company-wide conservation efforts by taking strides to minimize the impact of the development on flamingos which flock to a nearby lake, Klint said.

The Cuba expansion marks the latest foray for Banyan Tree in the Caribbean and Mexico, where the company has recently opened two hotels.

To celebrate its grand opening and familiarize travel agents with the property, agent room rates are available through The KAI Group for travel between Jan. 15 and Oct. 31, 2017. Agents are asked to contact rebecca@thekaigroup.ca.

Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria at a glance

  • Total room inventory of 516, including 246 superior rooms, 122 deluxe ocean view rooms, 120 premium oceanfront view rooms, 16 junior oceanfront view suites and 12 premium oceanfront view suites.

  • Five restaurants and four bars.

  • Two swimming pools, fitness centre, two tennis courts, basketball court, a kids club and a 545-seat theatre with complimentary daily ‘live’ entertainment.

  • Guests can also take part in a wide array of complimentary beach and pool activities including aqua-aerobics, dance classes, beach volleyball and kayaking.

  • The resort also connects guests to local tour operator Gaviota, which offers land and sea excursions to the local area and Havana.

More information is available at www.dhawa-cuba.com.