In Caracas, it is considered a marker and one of the most interesting examples of XX century urban architecture: The Humboldt hotel. It is located in the Waraira Repano National Park, between the capital and the Caribbean coastline of Venezuela.
It is a 19-story tower building built in the Avila mountain, 2140 meters above the sea level. The façade of the hotel has 70 ostentatious rooms and suites, with a façade entirely covered with glass and aluminum. Anyone wanting social areas, conference rooms, indoor pool and a cable car will have it, with petro as the currency used for payment.
This hotel was built in 1956. The decision or initiative to build the hotel emanated from Venezuelan dictator Marcos Jiménez. The hotel was meant to be part of the tourist and recreational complex connecting Caracas, having its own coastal area. Humboldt was then the best hotel ever in the hospitality industry with a lot of facilities like restaurants, a disco with a rotating dance floor as well as an ice rink.
After Jiménez’s resignation in 1958, the hotel, considered as a “symbol of dictatorship” was closed. With the help of an Italian investor, the hotel was reopened in 1991, then closed again in 2007 under Hugo Chavez after it had been nationalized by the government.
The hotel was recently renovated and reopened, according to president Maduro, it is going to be the first seven-star hotel in his troubled South American country, and the only hotel accepting payments in petro.
Petro, the oil-backed currency, was introduced in the country to serve as an alternative to the country’s fiat.
All services in the hotel will be paid using the petro. A local newspaper reports that visitors will be able to buy Petro from an exchange bureau in the hotel, renovated and operated by Marriott.
President Maduro said during a tour of the hotel’s facilities, “All hotels in the country are authorized to charge in convertible currencies. But this hotel, Humboldt, is going to be a model, a pilot, with all services charged in Petros, so that it produces convertible wealth for our country.”
On Twitter, the president posted images and videos of his visit and said: “We want the Humboldt hotel to become a model for the application of the Petro.” The president also added, “Tourism, sooner rather than later, should become the second largest collector of international wealth.”