Cuba’s only LGBTQ+ resort is once again welcoming international travelers.
The MGM Grand Muthu Rainbow Hotel on Cayo Guillermo island had initially opened for business in 2019 but had to shutter its doors not long after due to the global pandemic. With Cuba easing its restrictions on foreign travel recently, DWreported the hotel reopened its doors on November 15 and has been providing safe spaces for queer travelers to the Caribbean island ever since.
While other properties on the island accept LGBTQ+ guests, the MGM Gran Muthu Rainbow Hotel is the first property specifically LGBTQ+. This theme of inclusion and family is visible throughout the property with the strategic placement of rainbow flags and colors.
The hotel is sleek and modern, its clean angular lines juxtaposed against the surrounding tropical paradise. The 5-star property features 248 suites and rooms, many with ocean views.
There are six restaurants on the Gran Muthu Rainbow property featuring a variety of cuisines including Asian, Indian, and Cuban, of course. There are also multiple buffets and snack bars.
The property is a partnership between the Muthu Hotels chain and the state-run Grupo Hotelero Gaviota. With the success of the MGM Gran Muthu Rainbow, plans are underway to open a similar LGBTQ+ hotel property in the nation’s capital of Havana.
Cuba has a checkered history when it comes to LGBTQ+ and human rights. The communist regime initially arrested gay men in the early 1960s, but later decriminalized same-sex sexual relations in 1979. Marriage equality is still not legal, although some hope recognition may happen soon. The government has also routinely been accused of jailing political opponents throughout its history.
Regardless of the country’s political climate, the hotel’s head of sales, Marlis Delgado, described the LGBTQ+ resort to AFPas “a breakthrough for our society” with the hopes that it might spur changes to the country’s law regarding marriage equality.
Delgado told DW business has been brisk since the reopening of the MGM Gran Muthu Rainbow Hotel, with Canadians making up the majority of visitors.