"Xanadú" Mansion
"Xanadú" Mansion
Mansion at Night
Golf Course View

"Xanadú" Mansion is Club House of the Varadero Golf Club. This magical place has been refurbished strictly respecting its original construction in 1930, a fact that makes it exceptional. It features:

- Exclusive " Xanadú Mansion"Accommodation with 6 luxury rooms: 5 Double and 1 Single.

- Three storeys

- Ground Floor: Desk, Lobby, Restaurant

- 2nd Floor: Rooms

- 3rd Floor: Casa Blanca Panoramic Bar

- Basement: Wine Cellar

- "Xanadú" Restaurante with a la carta service from noon until 10:30 PM.

- The "Casa Blanca" Panoramic Bar offers International Coctails and live music.
- Banquet Service for incentive groups, Weddings and Birthdays .
- Meeting facilities and services

- Xanadú Beach Club

The "Xanadú Mansion" Golf Course Club House, located on the San Bernardino crags, was designed by architects Covarrocas and Govantes in July 1927.

The owner of this exclusive estate was French American millionaire Irenee Dupont de Nemours, born on 21 December 1876, who eventually had 8 children, 35 grandchildren and 5 great-grand children. Irenee was the Dupont of that generation who took the greatest interest in developing the company founded by his great grandfather Eleuthere Dupont in Delaware in 1802. During Irenee's lifetime, the company became the largest diversified chemical products empire in the world, employing in 1957 90 000 workers in 74 plants worldwide. Before taking over the company chairmanship, Irenee had several jobs in construction, finances and development.

In 1927, at the age of 49, he retired from the chemical empire chairmanship and started to look around for a quiet place to spend his retirement. Like many Americans, he found it in Cuba. That very same year he purchased 180 hectares of land on the Hicacos Peninsula for 90 000 pesos. The property included 8 km of virgin breaches, but he chose the rocky hills of the San Bernardino crags to build his dream house. The four storey mansion, with 11 bedrooms and adjoining baths, three large terraces, seven balconies and a private dock, was named "Xanadu", after the exotic Palace built by the legendary Chinese warrior and conqueror Kublas Khan, as described by the English poet Samuel Taylor. According to the legend, "Xanadu" was the ancient kingdom of the Tartars, extending from Central Asia to Western China and parts of Russia.

In 1932 Dupont installed the largest privately owned organ in all of Latin America, worth 11 000 dollars. The machinery was installed in the basement and the organ worked automatically and manually. Two shafts carried the music to the mirador and the lobby, without inconveniencing the guests in their rooms. The furniture, including the organ, paintings and piano, were supplied by Theodore Baily & Co. and Meras & Rico.

Precious woods were brought especially from Santiago de Cuba for the ceilings, stair rails and columns, while the floors and bathrooms were done in Cuban, Italian and Spanish marble. The actual construction was entrusted to the Frederick Sneard Corporation at a cost of 1 300 000 dollars and finished on 30 December 1930.

Dupont would stay at Xanadu for a few months each year from early January, sometimes inviting important company executives.

The Dupont estate grew to some 1328 acres, covering parts of what today is the municipality of Cardenas. The land had been bought at the ridiculous price of four cents per square meter, but the estate's value increased years later when the road, power plant and aqueduct were built.

The gardens were planted with coconut trees. On the Eastern slopes they planted flowers and a vegetable garden, together with banana, avocado and papaya trees. Parrots and cockatoos were imported to make the place more tropically enchanting.

Although architect Herbert Strong designed the first golf course with 18 holes, it was later built with only 9 following a design by Sim Cuthrie. The first four holes were built on natural soil, while the others required refilling. The golf course was started in December 1931, and shortly after completion, in September 1933, was hit by a hurricane that swept away with greens and fairways from holes 5 to 9. From April to December 1934, over US$ 10 000 worth of soil had to be dumped on the land and the golf course was fully operational again in 1936.

The golf course was always owned by Peñas de Hicacos S.A. and its total cost, excluding soil refills and maintenance, was over US$ 41 000. Originally, there was the idea of forming a golf club with exclusive membership, but this was never done. Playing the 9 holes cost $1.00, of which $0.50 was for the caddy, and the rest was for a public school.

In March 1957 Dupont visited Xanadu for the last time. On 12 December 1963, Xanadu opened as "Las Americas" Restaurant, with Russian astronaut Valentina Tereshkova as guest of honor. That same day, at the age of 85, Irenee Dupont passed away in the US.