The History of Hotel La Union

The areas where Hotel La Union was built, firstly, they were land of properties and later two lots appraised in the figure of 37 169 shields (18 584 pesos gold), and sold: the first May 20 of 1864 to the price of 60 000 pesos and the second February of 1866, 17 for the I mount of 43 000 pesos, what can be corroborated in José's notarial protocols Joaquín Verdaguer, those dated May of 1887, 18 where excessively exhaustive description of Don Tomás' properties Terry Adams is made.

Of a proprietor to other, in purchase quality or inheritance, they were passing the aforenamed lands until, when dying Don Tomás Terry Adams in France, July of 1886, 5 the properties or lots are awarded to their widow Teresa Dorticós who in turn it gives them and it passes over to their daughter Nativity Terry Dorticós, natural of New York, married with the baron Alberto Blanco, with residence both in Rome, Italy, in 1885.

Hotel La Union Facade Old

In this last date it is when the unification of the properties that existed in both lots or properties to found the Hotel La Union whose proprietor in lease was Faustino Robés, takes place as he appears in the historical memory of Cienfuegos written by Pablo Rousseau and Pablo Díaz de Villegas.

July 16 of 1903, Natividad Terry leases the property in favor of Vicente González Fernández, natural of Santander, Spain, 31 years old, and neighbor of this city, that that for six years ago, up to 1909, for the price of 6 000 pesos gold of the Spanish annual stamp until arriving to the 36 000 pesos, in the expiration of the lease.

In 1904 is incorporated to the hotel the electricity service and the installation of a motor of vapor for mechanical special services and in particular to elevate the flow of water to the rooms, that which, together to their elegant restaurant and famous cellar with 72 classes of wine, they elevated the prestige of the Hotel in the time constituting one of the public most important buildings in the region to develop the social exchange.

As curious fact, among other that the space doesn't allow to enumerate, in the writing number 47, with date August of 1905, 9 the sale of the equipment appears for the "Foamy coffee call of Henanz", located in the own property. This furniture already belonged to María de Rosario Sánchez y Sarría that sells its lease on the coffee in favor of the mentioned Vicente González.

With the time the construction used as installation hotel raisin of Vicente González to Juan Susquet in 1911 and from 1915 to the society of Álvarez García. Natividad Terry continues leasing the ground floor and in 1919 he makes it strong, February 20, until the year 1925, to the mercantile collective society that rotated in Cienfuegos under the name of "N. Armesto and Company", represented by their manager Plácido Fernández Fernández, of Spanish origin.

Although the Hotel La Union stayed working, the considerable increase of the hotel net of the city, makes that this went giving to the competition with other smaller ones as Brístol, San Carlos, Switzerland, Deer of Gold, Four Nations, The Flower of Cuba, President, Rome and others. In the decade of the years 40 appear administered by the society Fernández and Company.

In the years 50 a stage of decadence comes. Many guests stayed as permanent residents in a part of the hotel, while the other one continued offering transitory services of rent. The owner for this time was Estelvino Fernández who stayed until the victory of the Revolution and the intervention of the private companies.

These permanent residents continued paying rent up to 1984, it dates in that beginning was already given to the process of relocation of the families who passed to reside individual housings, with the purpose of recovering the hotel for their original functions.

Among the illustrious visitors of the Hotel La Union is: Ana Pavlova, Russian outstanding dancer; the General Captain of the Island Don Arsenio Martínez Campos who here it was put up December 15 1895 and finds out the Spanish defeat in Bad Time, reason for which leaves immediately for Batabanó with the objective of making the intent of not allowing Gómez their arrival to occident.

Here they rested many generals and doctors, and foreign personalities. Of China, the distant one and with millennial culture, but always near us, countless stars in dissimilar branches stayed here; the doctor Joaquín Albarrán, outstanding doctor born in Sagua The Big one; madame Dudot, French famous dressmaker; and José's very intimate collaborator Martí, the journalist Juan Gualberto Gómez.

Also the Hotel La Union was visited by the General Gerardo Machado, before being a president of the Cuba Republic, called by the student leader Rubén Martínez Villena "The ass with claws". It was very significant that in January 19 of 1912 spent the night José here Raúl Capablanca, the best Cuban player of chess of all the times.

The Cultured Nation, in an article of 1909, described to The Union like a great hotel and much has to do the following paragraph with the service that lends at the present time:

"The Hotel La Union, has transformed into a temple where surrenders the due cult to the compatible seriousness with all, to the strict administration, to the respect and the estimate personnels and, jointly, to the great comfort, the hygiene and the table they preside over those logged harmonies. After that said I don't estimate necessary to recommend you the great Hotel La Union. The alone one is recommended."

Another aspect that distinguishes to the Hotel La Union is that the 1ro. of July of 1936, from their ground floor, it left to the air for the first time RADIO MARTÍ it OILS that with a commercial end and of service to the community, transforms with the step of the time into the voice friend of the radio station I Radiate City of the Sea.

Nigel Alexander Hunt

Welcome to my site dedicated to the famous and historical Hotel La Union in Cienfuegos. I am "poco a poco" researching and updating it with the aim to provide as complete as possible record of the hotel's ancient and recent history; bearing in mind that the goings-on today may one day be of historical interest.

My site is NOT the official website of the current hotel operator, and is by no means endorsed by them; but I am grateful for their help with the research.

You can make from this site room reservations through the Bizloco eTravel System operated by Cubaism Ltd.

Best wishes for 2017

Nigel Alexander Hunt