Home » Preserving History: The Legacy of Jairo Varela and the Savoy Hotel in Cali

Preserving History: The Legacy of Jairo Varela and the Savoy Hotel in Cali

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Preserving History: The Legacy of Jairo Varela and the Savoy Hotel in Cali

The Savoy Hotel in Cali holds a rich history that is deeply intertwined with the birth of the iconic salsa orchestra Grupo Niche. The hotel, which has been in existence for a century, has served as a significant landmark in the city, drawing illustrious guests and renowned personalities over the years.

Jairo Varela, the founder of Grupo Niche, once resided in room 206 of the Savoy Hotel, where he found inspiration for his music while enjoying the breathtaking views from the balcony. The hotel’s manager, Mauricio Ríos, proudly recalls the time when Jairo Varela and his orchestra members stayed at the Savoy, rehearsing in a social room that was eventually named after the maestro.

The Savoy Hotel, built in 1923 by engineer Gerardo Posada with Art Deco architecture, stands as a testament to the rich heritage of Old Cali. Declared an Architectural and Cultural Heritage in 2007, the hotel is also a museum of Old Cali, featuring a collection of vintage cars and antique artifacts that showcase the city’s history.

However, the future of the Savoy Hotel hangs in the balance as plans for the renovation of the El Hoyo and El Piloto neighborhoods threaten its existence. Mauricio Ríos expresses his concerns about preserving the hotel’s historical significance and calls for support from the community to prevent its demolition.

As efforts are made to protect the Savoy Hotel from being lost to redevelopment, the legacy of Jairo Varela and Grupo Niche continues to be celebrated within its walls. The hotel remains a symbol of Cali’s cultural heritage and a tribute to the artistry that has graced its halls over the years.

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