Where you should stay in Cuba

Wondering where you should stay in Cuba?

We spent a month travelling the length of Cuba enjoying local hospitality.  During that time we visited the following destinations:

  • Havana
  • Cienfuegos
  • Trinidad
  • Santa Clara
  • Camaguey
  • Bayamo
  • Santiago de Cuba
  • Vinales

Where and how you stay will either make or break your trip whether it’s 1 week or 4 weeks.

As the WiFi is poor we would recommend taking a guide book with you.  Here are some recommendations:



 

We spent months reading other travel blogs, chatting with other travelers who had just returned, and researching sites such as Tripadvisor and Airbnb

There are many types of accommodation available:

Why not PIN our article for later:

Where you should stay in Cuba

Airbnb vs Casa Particulars

Both  Airbnb and Casa Particulars are local Cuban homestays, the difference is in the booking procedures.

Since October 2016 Airbnb has over 10,000+ properties in Cuba and it is growing daily.

The pros for booking through Airbnb are:

  • with over 10,000 properties there is so much choice all listed on one site
  • you can read other travelers reviews
  • the site shows the local area where the property is located
  • you pay for your accommodation up front

The cons are:

  • there is an extra charge of approximately 3% which Airbnb puts onto the price to cover their costs

The pros for booking a Casa Particular direct:

  • it can be cheaper than Airbnb

The cons for booking a Casa Particular direct:

  • if you are sending an email inquiry there could be delays in receiving answers due to the limitations of Wi-Fi in Cuba
  • if there is only a telephone number for the Casa Particular there could be a language issue and/or a time frame issue
  • we found that the properties that we were recommended were already fully booked
  • you had to confirm your booking with the owners a few days in advance by telephone, there have been instances when owners not receiving an advance reconfirmation gave the rooms away on the day to the first travelers

After using Airbnb and booking directly our preference would always be to use Airbnb in Cuba unless we had a personal recommendation.

For those of you who have not used Airbnb before here is a special link for you to receive AUD$33  towards your first booking over AUD$99.

Our accommodation requirements:

  • centrally located accommodation in a Casa Particular or Airbnb property
  • for 2 out of 4 weeks accommodation in a triple room (there were 3 of us) with a private bathroom
  • the other 2 weeks a double room with a private bathroom

What You Can Expect To Pay

For Casa Particulars on average, the rooms were between CUC25 and CUC35 (CUC1 = USD$1) – they could sleep either 2 or 3 persons.  This will depend on location, country areas tended to be a little cheaper than city areas.  Breakfasts range between CUC3 in the country areas and CUC5+ in the city, this depends on the Casa Particular owner.

For Airbnb there is a bigger range of price differences depending on the type of accommodation and location, some establishments charged a cleaning fee and Airbnb place a service fee.  We paid between AUD$35 (USD$27) and AUD$45 (USD$34) per night.

If you click on the Airbnb links it will show you the current prices in your chosen currency.

 

Where We Stayed Throughout Cuba

Havana

Casa Particular  Anita y Leslie

Havana Cuba

Double Bedroom Anita y Leslie

Havana Cuba

Lounge Room at Anita y Leslie

Address:  Calle Calzada #751 Apto.4 e/Paseo y 2, Vedado, La Habana, Cuba

Telephone: +53 7833 5026

Email: [email protected]

Airbnb link

Accommodation: Double room with a bathroom outside the bedroom door. Breakfast is an extra cost (as in all Casa Particulars).

Location:  Vedado is a great place to stay in Havana.  It is more tranquil and more local.  If you love walking, you can walk from Vedado to the Malecon and head towards Hotel Nacional and then onto Old Havana. The accommodation is well placed for transport, banks, restaurants and Wi-Fi hot spots.

Why we loved Anita y Leslie’s accommodation:  Anita and Leslie are mother and daughter and are incredibly warm and friendly.  They have a beautiful apartment which is stylishly decorated.  The bedroom is decorated beautifully with a TV and refrigerator. They are supportive of all who travel to Cuba, offering services such as money exchange, transfers to and from the airport and the booking of bus tickets for the Viazul Bus which travels the length and breadth of Cuba.  We highly recommend booking with Anita and Leslie, but a word of warning, they are so popular you do need to book well in advance of your travels. Anita and Leslie were our first host experiences in Cuba and they set a very high standard.

The recommendation came from John and Susan Pazera of travel blog Latitude Adjustment Blog.

Casa Particular Marta’s House

Havana Cuba

Bedroom with ensuite at Casa Marta

Havana Cuba

Lounge room in Casa Marta

Address: Calle 15 No. 956 Altos entre 8 y 10 Vedado, La Habana, Cuba

Telephone: +53 78338757

Email: [email protected]

Airbnb Link

AccommodationDouble room with an ensuite bathroom in a beautifully restored colonial home in Vedado.

Location:  About 4 blocks away from Anita y Leslie’s accommodation Vedado is a great place to stay in Havana.  Vedado is very tranquil with stunning colonial homes restored and unrestored.  You can walk from Vedado to the Malecon and head towards Hotel Nacional and Old Havana. The accommodation is well placed for transport, banks, restaurants and Wi-Fi hot spots.

Why we loved Marta’s House – Marta and her husband were a lovely couple who we spent some time with chatting about their lives, learning about their Cuban experiences and their families.  We wanted to stay in a restored colonial villa on our last 2 nights in Havana and their home did not disappoint us, it was everything that we had wished for.

Cienfuegos

Casa Particular Villa La Mar

Cienfuegos Cuba

View from the rear balcony of Villa La Mar

Cienfuegos Cuba

View out to the ocean

Address: Sra Mayda Calle 37 #204 A e/2 y 4

TelephoneMobile 534 21175

Our first accommodation that we were recommended by John and Susan Pazera from Latitude Adjustment Blog had been booked out – Vista Al Mar. The owners kindly offered to refer us to alternative accommodation close to where they were.

EmailVilla La Mar does not have any email addresses.  Vista Al Mar will handle email inquiries for them: [email protected]  If Vista Al Mar is booked out you will be offered accommodation with Villa La Mar and vice versa.

Website: click here

AccommodationA triple room with an ensuite bathroom.  The outside balcony is situated right on the water with stunning views across to the mountains.  Breakfast (an extra cost) is served on the balcony each morning.

LocationA 20-minute walk from the center of Cienfuegos. There are plenty of taxis and tuk-tuks, even a horse drawn carriage available for transport to the center.

Why we loved Villa La MarThe location on the waterfront really makes this location.  The breakfast of fruit, fruit smoothies and eggs with good strong Cuban coffee sets you up for the day.  The owners’ mentioned to bring ear plugs as there is a bar a few doors away, but during the time we were there we found that the music stopped between 10.00 – 11.00pm.

Trinidad

Casa Particular Hostel Noel y Nury

Trinidad Cuba

View from rooftop

Trinidad Cuba

Rooftop chill area

 

Address: Frank Pais Street #209 between Antonio Guiteras & Lino Perez Streets, Trinidad

Telephone: +53 419 937 72    Cell +53 529 38950

Email: [email protected]

AccommodationA triple room with an ensuite bathroom.  Our room consisted of two single beds and a bunk bed suitable for a family of 4. There is a rooftop terrace with a great view over Trinidad where we would spend each afternoon relaxing after a day of sightseeing. Breakfast was held on the rooftop terrace.  (breakfast is at an extra cost).

LocationThe hostel is well located in Trinidad.  You could walk from the Bus Station (around a 15-minute walk) and 2 blocks from the main park and 10 minutes from Plaza Mayor.  Wi-Fi is available at the Main Square as well as on the steps of Casa Musical near Plaza Mayor.

Why we loved Hostel Noel y Nury

The location was perfect for visiting Trinidad.  Jesus, the Manager, was so helpful at all times and well versed in local knowledge.  The rooftop terrace was perfect for chilling.

Our thanks to fellow travel blogger – “How Not To Travel Like a Bitch” for recommending Hostel NoelyNury in Trinidad.

Santa Clara

Casa Particular Hostal Acertijo

Santa Clara Cuba

Triple bedroom with ensuite

Santa Clara Cuba

Front balcony

AddressCespedes #20 entree Maceo y Parque, Santa Clara

Telephone+53 5358 8926 – Remigio Ramon

Airbnb Link

AccommodationA triple room with an ensuite bathroom on the 2nd floor.  There is a small balcony overlooking the street which was perfect for relaxing.

LocationThe accommodation was located 100m from the central park in Santa Clara.  There were restaurants located around and just off the park.  The park was a Wi-Fi zone.

Why we did not love Hostal AcertijoAlthough the accommodation ticked all of our boxes i.e. centrally located, clean, good size room etc the location next to a rooftop farmyard of chicken, doves, turkeys and roosters that started crowing at 2 am in the morning was not conducive to a good nights sleep.  A Pet Shop was located on ground level next door.  The owner would arrive at the Pet Shop around 6 am and the puppies would start howling and barking, this was just after you managed to get an hour’s sleep.

Camaguey

Casa Particular Deisy y Reinaldo

Camaguey Cuba

Bedroom

 

Our recommendation for accommodation in Camaguey came from fellow bloggers Goats on The Road for Miriam House.  On our arrival, Miriam came out to greet us and explained that our accommodation was not available due to the previous guest contracting dengue and he could not be moved.  Her sister had a property that would be suitable for us closer to town.  Miriam then drove us to her sister’s property. We were grateful to Miriam for organizing this for us.

Original Accommodation: Miriam House

Airbnb Link

Address: Joaquin De Aguero 525 entre 25 de Julio y Perucho Figueredo, Camaguey

Telephone: +53 5270 3252

New Accommodation: Deisy y Reinaldo

Airbnb Link

Address: Calle San Ramon #354 e/linea y San Jose Centro Historico Camaguey

Telephone: +53 32 283 077

Email: [email protected]

AccommodationA double room with ensuite bathroom.

Location: A great location just a few blocks from Centro Historico.

Why we loved Casa Deisy y Reinaldo: 

Deisy and her husband Reinaldo were so welcoming.  The accommodation at the top of the house was very clean, large and a good size bathroom with TV.  They could not do enough for us.

Bayamo

Casa Particular Casa Bretones

Bayamo Cuba

Bedroom

Address: C Planta Baja Bayamo

Telephone+ 53 53 38 3441

Airbnb Link

AccommodationA double room with an ensuite bathroom.  Included in the room were a refrigerator and TV.  There is an outside courtyard to the rear of the property that is great for relaxing in.

LocationA few blocks away from the main square and restaurants.  Wi-Fi is available in the main square.

Why we loved Casa Bretones:  Amarillis was a very good host.  Our bus had broken down on the way from Camaguey, we managed to call her to let her know that we would arrive around 9 pm.  On arrival, we were exhausted and hungry and she called a local restaurant for us to see if they were still open.  During our stay, Amarillis was very helpful and friendly.

Santiago de Cuba

Casa Particular Casa Marta Sierra

Santiago de Cuba

Bedroom

Santiago de Cuba

Outdoor terrace

AddressSan Francisco 436 entree Calvario y Carniceria

Telephone+53 552046 or +53 52400762

Email[email protected]

Airbnb Link

AccommodationThe largest Airbnb property we stayed in.  Located on the roof top of a colonial style villa with its own outdoor terrace, sitting room with TV and refrigerator, ensuite bathroom and double bedroom.

LocationLocation was perfect, two blocks away from the main pedestrian street that runs through Santiago de Cuba.  Wi-Fi is available in various locations within a 10-20 minute walk.

Why we loved Casa Marta SierraMarta and her daughter Heidy are delightful, welcoming, informative and ended up like part of the family.  They offer a wonderful Cuban home experience.  They have extensive historical knowledge and are proud to show you their home city. We learned so much from both of them.

Vinales

Casa Particular Villa Juana y Nela #5

Vinales Cuba

Front of our Accommodation in Vinales

Vinales Cuba

Our breakfast spread

AddressCalle Rafael Trejo No 5 Vinales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba

Telephone: +53 48 69 65 07

Email[email protected]

AccommodationA double room with ensuite at the rear of the property where it was very quiet. Breakfast (extra cost) consisted of fruit smoothies, pancakes, fruit, cake, cheese, and meat – so much so that we could not eat it all, and coffee.

LocationVinales is always very busy and the closest you are to the main square the noisier it can be.  The location is a few minutes behind the main street of Vinales.

Why we loved Villa Juana y Nela #5:  We had a real Cuban homestay experience, the whole family assists and we were welcomed into their family and home.  They assisted us in booking the local horse riding tour through the tobacco fields.  We enjoyed a typical Cuban meal on the last night of our stay which the family prepared for us.

Very Important Tips from To Travel Too:

Because of the restrictions of Wi-Fi, we would highly recommend that you take an actual travel guide of Cuba and download an app that will give you off-line maps.

Don’t forget our special Airbnb link for first-time bookers.

If you would like to stay in hotels instead you can check availability here and at the same time find out what there is to see and do in Cuba. Allow some time to really enjoy Havana, it is such a vibrant city.

Read more of our articles on Cuba:

One Week Cuba Itinerary

 

 

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8 Comments

  • Sounds like you had some great stays in Cuba. What we would find helpful though are the prices that you paid. I know prices change from one year to the next and even one season to the next but it gives us a ballpark figure when we are looking at blogs for for upcoming travel.

    Ruth

  • Great post, Jane and Duncan (and thanks for linking back to our blog) 🙂 We especially enjoyed reading about your accommodations in the cities we didn’t visit. Great advice for our next trip to Cuba!
    Cheers,
    John and Susan
    http://www.latitudeadjustmentblog.com

  • Paul RYKEN says:

    Another awesome post by Jane and Duncan. Lots of very helpful information. So much so that we have linked to this article from our one on Cuba – https://minimalistjourneys.com/cuba/.

    It was the third time to visit this amazing vibrant and ever changing island and surprize, surprize, we already plan to return some day. We may even stay in some of the recommended Casas. The photos and descriptions just draw us back even more.

    To everyone contemplating visiting this country, go there NOW! Now, before it really does change.

    • Thank you for your comments, we appreciate you taking time out to read our articles. Hopefully you will return. We too one day.
      Cheers
      Jane and Duncan

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