The first tangible visitor attraction east of town, about 2km from central Varadero, is the Mansión Xanadú, located next door to the Meliá Las Américas hotel and now a small hotel itself. Sometimes referred to as the Mansión Dupont, it was built between 1926 and 1929 by the American millionaire Irenée Dupont at a cost of over $600,000, a vast sum for that era. At the same time, Dupont bought up large tracts of land on the peninsula for hotel development and effectively kick-started Varadero as a major holiday destination. The mansion has hardly changed since the Dupont family fled the island in 1959, and stands testament to the wealth and decadence of the pre-revolutionary years in Varadero. These days, to appreciate the splendidly furnished four-storey interior, its large rooms full of marble and mahogany, you either have to be a hotel guest, eat at the Las Américas restaurant or sip a cocktail and admire the views of the coast and golf course from the dignified top-floor bar.
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