ahh and consider Casas Particulares instead of hotels to get the local feel better.
the above site has them and so is this one
feel the local beat and talk with every day Cubans, for a better stay. The houses usually are old mansions very nicely done
High standard, large rooms, large buffet with good food and many options for children.In adition to the large buffet restaurant they had 2-3 ala carte restaurants. We stayed for 2 nights in a double room. Friendly staff but here as in many other places in Cuba formalities takes time. The area has a pool bar and a bar by the ocean. The bar by the ocean has a fantastic slushy Pina Colada.
The Hotel offers an all inclusive package that includes everything including alcoholic drinks.
This gives you a lot for your money.
Beautiful location with a lot of room overlooking the atlantic ocean or the large pool area.
This was a beautiful little house, the sea is at the back of the house and out front also. The lady Alejandra was lovely and she did everything she could to make our stay enjoyable. We had a room on its own situated in a terraced garden overlooking the sea. we could wake up in the morning and 15 yards away was the sea. The breakfast was lovely served on the outside terrace and consisted of eggs, fresh friut, coffee and toast. We also took advantage of the lady`s homecooked food which was among the best tasted in Cuba. If you required laundry then the maids who worked for the house would oblige for a ew dollars. My husband arrived ill here and with the help of Alejandra and her maid we got him back on his feet. I would highly recommend this Casa .
This was most unique because of the situation the house stands on the Punta, (point) and has sea at the back and the front.
This casa I would highly recommend, situated in old havana it is ideal for all the sights and gives an insight to the lives of the people. Lourdes is always on hand with advice, maps, recommendations, the house is around 100 years old and is extemely interesting, giant sized doors and windows and a balcony overlooking the street. Breakfast was delicious, omelletes or eggs how you like them, fruits fresh warm bread, cheese and cold meats, the coffee is also very nice. A lovely family with a professional outlook in what they do.
The situation of this house is excellent, nearby to shops, sights. At one end of the street you have the plaza Vieja and at the other end the Capitillo building.
Travelling backpackers shouldn't have too much problems in Cuba.
We travelled and stayed at "casa de huespedes" a very interesting way to visit this nice country.
As canadians we get our visa on arrival.
Depending your origin the answer could be very different.
We met some russian people, the may enter and leave cuba without any visa.
have a good trip
this casa Munoz is often full so make your reservation well in advance.
last minute check-in is almost impossible.
Economic way to visit Cuba and also meeting interesting families. A great experience.
The Bus leaves Havana from the main Viazul station in Vedado by the zoo or from the terminal near the Plaza de Revolution. Go get your ticket the night before.
If you are staying in a casa in Havana they should be able to hook you up with a casa in Trinidad for no extra charge as they get return referrals from that casa. When someone takes you to a casa other than their own they get 5cuc per day as long as you stay and your rent is jacked up to cover it!
When you get off the bus in Trinidad there will be several people offering their homes, you can look and pick and chose as competition is high for renters in Trinidad. I stay in La Boca 6 kms out of Trinidad at Hostal del Mar, quiet, Cuban beach and fishing village. it is a $5 cuc taxi ride(they will quote 6, I have got it for 4). Check my home page for casas.
You can get a 3 star hotel with meals for about 34 Euros.
There are hostels ...but they arent much cheaper than the hotels
There is always a chance of hurricanes in Oct...and these days they hit Cuba more often than Florida.
This hotel was a great base for our few days in Cienfuegos. It’s very centrally located, just a stone’s throw from the Plaza de Armas, and rather grand looking, although it’s a faded grandeur in places rather than five-star-luxury grandeur – but all the more charming for that. Our room was a good size and comfortable enough as far as I can remember, but it was the public rooms that left more of an impression on me.
We enjoyed having a pool to cool off in after a day’s sight-seeing (complete with slightly incongruous “Roman” statuary!) Another plus is the rooftop bar, with great views over the city skyline and excellent cocktails, although the opening hours were irregular and hard to fathom. But there’s also a bar in the central courtyard on the ground floor, and we enjoyed a good live jazz quartet there one evening.
Tuesday December 7 to Tuesday December 14, 2010
As we were looking for a week getaway spot with hopefully a little sunshine and to celebrate our "39th" Wedding Anniversary, we picked Varadero, Cuba. We had been there three years ago and really liked the beaches there. We chose the brand new five star RIU VARADERO.
When completed, the resort will offer 1110 guestrooms.
The Beach area was smaller than the resorts either side of us, but had loungers and some parasols with bamboo thatched roofs. The staff at the beach are very helpful and bring a lounger to the spot you like on the beach.
The swimming pool area was huge, also with lots of loungers and comfortable pads. There are some sheltered areas (I counted about ten and they were snatched up by the early birds in the morning). There is a swim-up bar in the middle.
There were five bars open when we were there:
Lobby Bar "Mariposa" - also a Cappuccino Bar was opened up here
Theater Bar "Azahar"
Poolside Snack Bar "Adelfa"
Swim-up Bar "Ortencia"
Our room - #21128 in Pod #21 - was on the first floor as we requested at check-in. We had a huge king-size bed, 2 comfy chairs, one small table, a desk, mini fridge, stocked with 2 cans of beer, 4 cans of soda and a bottle of water. As we were on the ground floor, we had a small patio with garden view and 2 chairs with one small table.
Other amenities included, a coffee-maker, radio/CD player, Satellite TV, Large closets with safe (no charge), iron and ironing board, bathroom with hairdryer and supplies- shampoo, bath gel, soap bars & body lotion. Towels are exchanged daily.
A few nights there was entertainment in the Theatre. The "Animation Team" consisted of about a dozen amazing young local dancers who put on shows such as "Michael Jackson Night" and "International Night".
In the Lobby Bar, there was an awesome guitar player/singer. And there was also a wonderful lady singer, accompanied by a piano player.
Our package was 7 night all-inclusive with Signature Tours. Included was flight - room - all meals - all drinks - taxes. Our all-inclusive price was $555.00 + 240.00 airport fees for a total of $795.00 CDN per person.
Before going to Cuba I found out that the better option for accommodation is in fact a "casa particular". Simply a house of a local person who has the permission to rent two double rooms to visitors. I knew that I would prefer that option over a "hotel" so... that was it.
The absolutely best page I found on "Cuba accommodation" is: http://www.cuba-junky.com
KUDOS to the author(s) because they provide all the necessary information especially when it comes to answering the fundamental question of where to stay.
Now, I had met some Cuban people before going there so I asked them to please make a reservation at some casa particular in Havana. So, I didn't choose Casa Aleida on purpose, but I did not regret it because it was totally OK. Clean, very basic, and an awesome location, literally next to calle Obispo, one of the most central and busiest streets in Habana Vieja. I didn't object.
A great location of the place you choose to stay at can come in very very very handy in Havana. (there are cabs but... tourists always pay more and I'd rather save my money for a mojito ;-))
I am sure that there are nicer rooms, but still... The location was a huge advantage.
Well, you get to mingle with the locals, it feels more relaxed, it's not that expensive. Have in mind that the price is always given for the whole room, that is for the two beds. This is because people who actually have the permit to rent rooms pay a very high tax to the state.
I was alone so I had to pay the full price. Needless to say, it's cheaper when you share the room.
In some houses for a little bit of extra money, people provide breakfast as well.
In the Town of Varadero the cheap "casa particulais are officially not allowed.
So perhaps you could stay in the town of Cardenas - 15 kilometers away.
see: cuba-junky.com or www.particuba.net
or google: cuba linda orange.fr (in French)
I usually stay at the Sun Beach and book online for a cheaper rate. There are casas in Cardenars (pardon my spelling) you have to bus or taxi to the beachs and that is a pain,
Sounds like you are moving on if staying one night, I have done that many times when flying on charters. Last time we went out and paid cash $20cuc to ride directly to Havana on a Tour bus and skipped Varadero.
Last fall we arrived too late because of the hurricane to catch Viazul, but while I did the money exchange my travel mate went out to the buses in the lot and found one going to Havana and with a bit of haggling paid $20cuc each for the trip. Otherwise it was a $10cuc trip into Varadero and a hotel room and the bus ride the next day. We had them drop us off at a hotel near where we were staying.
Excellent casas in Havana:
OLD HAVANA - Mansion Colonial, large rooms, private baths, A/C, close to Malecon and Central Parque. Yola speaks english and there is a '57 chev. Belair in the entrance way. 2nd floor has a great terrace for people watching in the streets. Address: Campanario #164, between Animas and Virtudes.
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, ph 537 864 6828
book early, very popular!!
VEDADO - Lugareno #158, apt 6, Maribel and Ricardo, quiet central location near Revolutionary Square and Astra bus terminal. You can go any direction from here.
Great food!, small room with private bath frig and A/C, very clean. Ricardo is a musican and plays at El Gato Tuerto and Hotel National. Some english spoken.
Email: email@example.com, ph 053 870 1772
VEDADO - Best breakfast in Havana by Grandma! Great roof top terrace, busy street but quiet accomodations in two large rooms with private baths. Silvia speaks english.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, ph 537 8786305
VINALES - "Villa Benito", "best" mojito in Cuba by Grandma! Very clean, 10 minute walk from downtown and bus. Great food, two double rooms with A/C.
No english spoken, no problem! Three generation family.
Located in Ancón beach, a place of unique beauty. Its proximity to the mountain massif of the Escambray Sierra allows you to enjoy the combination of sea and mountains. The hotel Ancon is ideal for people who want to visit the historic town and area of Trinidad, while staying at a comfortable All Inclusive Hotel right on the beach. There is a regular shuttle bus service between the hotel and the town of Trinidad, which is only a 15 minute drive. There is an International Diving Center at only 10 minutes walking from the hotel.
nice beach, good food
Playa Larga is located deep in the Bay of Pigs, nestled between the beach and the forest. It is an ideal location for bird watching as well as vacationers who prefer to participate in water sports and indulge in the pleasures of this typically Caribbean cocktail of sand, sea, and sun
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