Destinations, Hotels

Where to Stay in Cuba

February 3, 2015 by

Hostal Luis

Casa Hostal Luis in Playa Giron

With the advent of fewer restrictions for traveling to Cuba, there will be more demand for places to stay.

The question is, with so many years of economic problems, including inefficiencies of central planning and the long trade embargo with the United States, will the country be able to provide accommodations to U.S. tourists.

According to Joe Diaz, co-founder of the travel and publishing company Afar Media, “There is a lot, but at the high end there are only a couple of good properties. People don’t go to Cuba for the luxury — they go for the music, culture and arts scene.”

While Havana has some beach communities worth considering, with American tourists’ fondness for luxury accommodations where should they turn to avoid substandard hotels or accommodations with a communal bathroom?

In most cases, the answer will be to stay in homes rather than hotels.

Hostal Luis

Casa Hostal Luis in Playa Giron

A good example of a private home is Casa Hostal Luis in Playa Giron. This is a 4-bedroom home with private bathrooms. Two of the bedrooms are found in a separate apartment which affords a measure of privacy for a family or group traveling together.

All bedrooms are air conditioned and have access to hot water. One is furnished with a double bed and the other 3 have twin beds. Along with that, each room has a private entrance and a garage.

The owner of the house speaks fluent English, and the location is just a 10-minute walk from the beach. Nearby activities include horseback riding, biking, scuba diving, hiking centoes, birding trails and more.

Things to Ask

This one home offers a template of the types of questions to ask when looking for a place to stay. Bed size is important, because while a double bed sleeps two, many Americans are not happy with those arrangements. However, two twin beds may be acceptable.

It is also important to ask if there is a private bath, and even if there is hot water, because it should not be assumed. Location and nearby activities are important, too, because if you hope to spend time at the beach and it is 10 miles away, it becomes a disappointment.

Having a person to deal with who speaks fluent English is also a plus, unless you’re bilingual. Be sure to ask for photos, too, so your expectations and reality are in tune and read reviews of others who have stayed there.

And of course you need to know the cost and what payment is accepted.

Birdwatching in Cuba

Resources to Find Private Rentals in Cuba

There are a number of online resources to help you find a place to stay in Cuba. Use these resources to help narrow your search, but be sure to research further.

Many rentals have their own website for single family beach homes and other accommodations. There are some splendid rental options in this beautiful island country. You just have to do your homework to find them.

Photo credits: Luic Garcia

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