Best hotels in Cuba
Cuba’s Top 10 Hotels
Saratoga (Old Havana)
Saratoga is the ultimate.
Its elegant facade overlooks other 19th century architectural wonders along the Prado promenade, including the exquisite Havana Opera House.
The establishment boasts a Mudejar-style restaurant, a Maugham-style patio bar, a fabulous swimming pool on the top floor and fantastic rooms, many with wide, comfortable seats under the windows, ideal for contemplating the comings and goings in the street without having to give up the comfort of air conditioning.
The large murals in the bar with their multicoloured lights are the epitome of urban kitsch.
Santa Isabel (Old Havana)
Originally built for the Countess of San Juan de Jaruco and later sold to the Count of Santovenia, this 18th century palace overlooks Plaza de Armas, the oldest and most magnificent of Havana’s colonial squares.
Nards frequently adorn the fountain that rises in the central courtyard.
Some of the beds squeak a little, so it’s best to look for another nest for a night of crazy passion, but the cocktails rival the best in town.
We dare you to leave the mahogany and leather chairs in the courtyard after drinking more than two mojitos (white rum, lemon, sugar, sparkling water, mint).
Do you want to treat yourself?
Stay in the Santovenia suite.
Hotel Nacional (Vedado, Havana City)
Le Nacional is undoubtedly a splendid address that deserves the international category it enjoys among the best hotels in the world.
Alas, the dilapidated rooms, irregular service and unspectacular food do not do justice to the general atmosphere [the “Executive” floor is in better condition].
Enjoy its beautiful gardens, immerse yourself in history and relax by the pool, but don’t expect to be served a dry martini and nut salad in your room late at night.
Conde de Villanueva (Old Havana)
A deliciously small and cosy establishment located in the old house of Claudio Martínez de Pinillos, Count of Villanueva, leader of the Cuban Creole society in the 19th century.
Popular with cigar lovers, ideal for private weekend parties.
In the mezzanine, once occupied by the slave’s outbuildings, you will find one of the best civets in the Old Havana which offers you the possibility to rent your own humidor.
The suite overlooking the intersection of Lamparilla and Mercaderes streets is probably the most attractive room in any hotel in Havana.
Central Park (Old Havana)
Ideal for business trips if you need to stay close to the Old Havana or the Vedado; quite disappointing if your intention is to feel the heart of Havana.
A spacious and bright facility offering good service and good food, spacious and comfortable rooms, bar and restaurant in the air-conditioned lobby area and an excellent (and fortunately quiet) swimming pool on the top floor.
The perfect place to regain strength after an intense day of work in Havana, although a little cold and impersonal.
Meliá Cohiba (Vedado, Havana City)
The business hotel par excellence where the magnificent facilities and attentive service take you away from the hustle and bustle of Havana.
Highlights include a fabulous buffet breakfast, a pleasant swimming pool and five restaurants.
Don’t expect the slightest reference to Cuba when you relax nonchalantly in its marble lounges, but if you are concerned about good service and efficiency, the Meliá Cohiba is a good option.
Casa Granda (Santiago de Cuba)
Attractive neoclassical-style building with comfortable rooms furnished in colonial style, located in front of the house of Diego Velázquez, Cuba’s first governor.
The bar on the top floor offers a splendid view of the city, the bay and the mountains.
The best option for demanding visitors.
The other hotels in the city are frankly ugly.
Los Jazmines (Viñales)
Those who only spend a day visiting Viñales really don’t benefit from the trip.
The best times are at dawn, when a silvery fog envelops the royal palms, and at sunset, when the reddish light of the setting sun bathes the mogotes (sugar loaf-shaped hills covered with tropical vegetation).
The swimming pool of Los Jazmines is excellent, a real compensation for the simplicity of the rooms.
The main building, incongruously painted pink, blends harmoniously into the landscape.
Moka (Las Terrazas, Pinar del Río)
To get to Hotel Moka you have to cross wooded hills located in a UNESCO biosphere reserve, only 1 hour from Havana.
In the summer, this cool haven is ideal for rowing in the lake, swimming in the river, frolicking in the water jumps, horseback riding, mountain walking, bird watching or simply resting and being filled with nature.
The hotel is not luxurious, but the pleasant design takes advantage of everything around it, including a giant tree that rises in the middle of the lobby and crosses the roof.
Mansion Xanadu, Casa Dupont (Varadero)
If you want to see the fine sands of Varadero and avoid all-inclusive addresses, Xanadu is the site for you.
The former Dupont de Nemours residence has a pleasant bar, a magnificent restaurant and free golf (if you are lodged) without restriction, the only 18-hole golf course in the country.
Discover the different accommodation options that exist in Cuba
The Republic of Cuba offers a wide variety of accommodation to suit all needs and means, from small beach huts to large 5-star hotel complexes with full board.
Hotels and resorts with full board:
Paradisus Princiesa Mar Resort & Spa
Paradisus Princiesa Mar Resort & Spa, Sol Meliá
It is important to mention that all hotels and tourist resorts have at least 51% cooperation from the Cuban State and are managed by existing organizations.
Villa La Carita, Cubanacán
Villas La Carita, Cubanacán.
Islazul offers the most economical and popular hotels in all of Cuba.
They are paid in UPC (Cuban Pesos) and although their convenience is very limited, they are always very clean and the staff is very attentive.
These hotels are located in small provincial towns and offer a very Cuban atmosphere.
Cubanacán offers rooms at economical and average prices.
Its hotels are mostly located in big cities and tourist complexes.
Gran Caribe has medium and high quality hotels.
Several of its hotel complexes offer full board, especially in Havana and Varadero.
Habaguanex focuses on hotels in Havana.
This organization manages almost all the hotels located in the historical buildings of the city.
The profits from this business are mainly destined for the restoration of Old Havana.
The most luxurious hotels are managed by large foreign hotel chains such as Sol Meliá or Superclubs.
These large groups manage their hotels in collaboration with organizations such as Cubanacán or Gran Caraibe.
These hotels are mainly located in beach resorts.
The level and quality of services of these establishments are quite high and are similar to those offered in resorts in Mexico and the rest of the Caribbean.
Private Homes :
Private homes for rent in Cuba.
Private house for rent in Cuba.
Staying in a private home is an excellent option for independent travelers and is an economical and comfortable solution.
It is also a great way to discover the daily life of Cubans.
The owners are usually excellent tour guides.
The casas particulares (private houses) for rent usually have a blue poster with “Arrendador divisa” hanging on the door.
The island is full of this type of accommodations and they are located in attics or historical buildings.
The price varies between 45 and 100 CUC.
In general, haggling over the price is difficult because the owners have to pay taxes for the rooms independently, whether they are rented or not.
You will need to show your passport (a copy is not enough), as owners are obliged to keep a register of all guests.
Private homes are often inspected by the government to ensure security and ownership.
The facilities that these homes must have are: air conditioning, a clean bathroom and at least 2 beds.
Some have a patio, a yard, a television, a safe, a parking space and a kitchen.
Campismos or campings :
Campismo Los Cocos
Cubans often spend their holidays in this type of accommodation.
Campismos are very well known and there are about eighty of them all over the island of Cuba.
The facilities are very basic: bungalows with sleeping spaces, showers or tents.
The campismos or campsites are national or international.
The national campismos are in theory only for Cubans, while the international ones welcome tourists and have facilities such as air conditioning.
There are about twelve of the latter throughout the country, some of them have the quality of a hotel and cost between 10 and 30 CUC per bed and per night.
The national campismos are much cheaper and their comfort is minimal, but if you want to stay in one of them you should know that, in practice, the campismos staff can rent a bungalow (or a plot for a tent) to a tourist depending on availability (Cubans will always have priority).
Airbnb in Cuba: the new offer
Airbnb now operates in Cuba. By using this link, you can also receive up to €40 credit to be used on your first booking via my profile.
In which city to stay in Cuba?
Do you have a plane ticket and your tourist card to visit Cuba? Here according to us are the cities where to stay in Cuba!
Island state located in the west of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, Cuba is located south of Florida, east of Mexico and northwest of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Initially a Spanish colony from 1492 to 1898, Cuba was then administered by the United States (1898-1902), having to undergo the imprecations of the Cosa Nostra mafia under the dictatorship of F.
Batista (1940-1944 and 1952-1959) before becoming a socialist republic since the 1959 revolution led by Ernesto Guevara and Fidel Castro.
The island-state of Cuba fascinates or revolts because of the cleavages it has generated since 1959 in the context of the Cold War.
Nevertheless, the island of nearly 11.
25 million inhabitants – the second most populated island in the Caribbean – enjoys an inescapable heritage: a dreamy tropical climate, lush vegetation, heavenly beaches, unfailing Cuban hospitality, an exceptional culture, a destination unique in the world, a history that arouses admiration or disgust from different points of view.
Since you are looking for a place to stay in Cuba, we offer you a presentation of the cities where you can sleep in Cuba during your stay.
Also to be read: The 12 must-do things to do in Cuba
From near or far, Havana, the Cuban capital, leaves no one indifferent.
4 million inhabitants today, Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the Caribbean.
The capital opens onto a bay in the northwest of the country and is home to an impressive historical and cultural heritage.
Founded in 1515, Havana was designated “Key to the New World and Rampart of the Caribbean” in 1634.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old city – habana vieja – is a must: domino players against a backdrop of salsa and omnipresent music, traditional architecture and a mix of styles, old American cars – due to the embargo imposed by the United States – and the historic monuments in the city centre (the Capitol, the San Salvador de la Punta fortress, the Plaza de Armas, the Parc Martires del 71).
While private visits with a local are popular with travelers, several museums are also worth a visit to discover Cuban history and culture: the Rum Museum, the Museum of the Revolution, the Museum of Fine Arts.
The streets of Havana exude the charm of an outdated era, immersing you in an extraordinary atmosphere: coming to stay in Havana is a guaranteed change of scenery! To find your way around the capital and choose the area that suits you best for dropping off your suitcases, see our article “Where to stay in Havana”.
Find a hotel in Havana
Find an Airbnb in Havana
Station, Santa Clara, Cuba
Photo credit: Flickr – lezumbalaberenjena
Where to sleep in Cuba to follow in his footsteps? Located 300 kilometers southeast of the Cuban capital, the city of Santa Clara was founded in 1698 by the inhabitants of Remedios who fled the coast for fear of pirate attacks.
But the city is known worldwide for having played a role during the revolution against the dictator F.
Che Guevara seized it on December 28, 1958 with only 3,000 men (and above all the massive support of the population).
The mausoleum of the Argentinian revolutionary can be found there.
Many hotels to stay in Santa Clara are scattered in the streets of the city center, amidst bars, cafes and restaurants galore.
Find a hotel in Santa Clara
Find an Airbnb in Santa Clara
Varadero is a small peninsula in north-central Cuba, where you can find a wide paradisiacal beach bordered by white sand and green vegetation.
The area is relatively touristy and therefore there are quite a few establishments.
One will seek less where to sleep in Varadero: the hotels are directly on the beach! The sea, warm all year round, offers beautiful days of diving, snorkeling or cruising with dolphins.
Find a hotel in Varadero
Find an Airbnb in Varadero
Have you seen everything about the Cuban revolution, the country’s culture and the way Cubans live in a country isolated – even banned – from international trade? Trinidad, sometimes considered Cuba’s most beautiful city, remains to be seen.
A high place of culture and artistic expression, Trinidad is a museum-city classified as a World Heritage Site: the city is known for its old colonial town, its cobbled streets and its architecture, especially in the Plaza Mayor.
To see: the Romantic Museum, the Museum of Colonial Architecture, and the Natural History Museum.
Choosing Trinidad for accommodation in Cuba allows you to be just minutes away from the Topes de Collantes Natural Park and the beaches of the south coast.
Find a hotel in Trinidad
Find an Airbnb in Trinidad
Photo credit : Flickr – Simon Matzinger
Where to stay in western Cuba? Viñales, in the interior, is a typical traditional town lined with colorful wooden houses from the colonial era, not far from the Sierra de los Organos mountain range and the Viñales Valley.
A must-see on a trip to Cuba (if you don’t stay here, you can still visit Viñales from Havana), Viñales offers the opportunity to hike through lush tropical vegetation, tobacco plantations, cigar factories, and see the “Mogotes”, natural limestone mounds with an oblong shape.
The Parque de Vinãles and the “Mogotes” are very touristy, so there are many hotels in Viñales, a good alternative to stay in Cuba.
Accommodation in Cuba, Havana, Caibarién, Cayo Santa María, Camaüey and Trinidad
Of all the countries I have visited, I think Cuba is one of the most special for various reasons.
Obviously the political situation of the country makes Cuba a unique place.
Its history is the same way and its link to Spain.
Besides, all this mixture of situations, together with the Caribbean character, makes the Cubans very different from what we are used to, neither better nor worse.
What’s more, during the time we spent in Cuba I became very fond of them, almost all of them.
Best hotels in Cuba
That’s why when we decided to go to Cuba we were very clear that we didn’t want a resort life, nor a hotel life.
What we wanted was to be with the Cubans in their most intimate, familiar environment.
And for this reason we decided to always stay in private homes.
I still think it was the best option.
Besides, if they were much cheaper, some of them made us feel at home.
Participating in everyday life, talking a lot and sharing unforgettable moments.
Best hotels in Cuba: in Havana
As our first stop was Havana, we wanted to arrive with some accommodation already booked, even if it was the first night.
We knew that since mid 2016 it was possible to book accommodation from private houses on the island through Airbnb, so we started looking for it.
I have to say that we were delighted with our hostess, Odalis, her husband, Chino, her son Jade and the beautiful Susi, a very loving Chihuahua.
From the first moment they made us feel at home.
We talked a lot and they told us a lot of things.
And of course, having so many different points of view within Cuba, made us see things from a perspective far beyond what is told in the media.
The location of the house is perfect, because it allows you to walk everywhere.
The Malecón is about an eight-minute walk away.
The Vedado is right across the street.
And it’s only a 20-minute walk to Old Havana.
Besides, if you look around the area, you’ll find plenty of little windows and palates where you can eat and dine at ridiculous prices.
A house and hosts that are totally recommendable.
You can see the availability of rooms in the following link, La Casa de Odalis.
Best hotels in Cuba: in Caibarién
On the recommendation of some Argentine travellers we met in Havana we went to Caibarién and stayed at Hostal Los Portales, where they had stayed a few weeks before.
Its owners are Leo and Trujillo.
If the first experience in Havana in a private house had been good, in the case of Caibarién, it was even better, as it was already difficult.
They received us with a daiquiri, the best welcome possible.
And again, conversation and more conversation.
On dinner tables, livened up by a spectacular Cuban rum, we talked about Cuba, about Spain, about life and about the world.
The house is an impressive 19th century colonial house that is perfectly maintained.
Our room was on the second floor, with a beautiful view of the area.
This house is located only three blocks from the Plaza de La Libertad, in the direction of the Malecón, you can’t miss it, between Avenida 13 and Goicuria, almost in front of the Baptist temple.
Ask for Trujillo, in town, everyone knows him.
With this particular house, as with the one in Havana, we recommend it.
If you want to see what the house looks like and what they are like, here is a video.
Best hotels in Cuba: Cayo Santa María
Cayo Santa María is located about 50 kilometers from Caibarién.
Since we were staying in this city, we were compensated to look for a collective taxi (Trujillo, the owner of the house took care of the logistics) and go spend the day there.
In Cayo Santa María the accommodation is in resorts, so if you are one of those who likes to indulge in a whim and watch sunset and sunrise looking at the sea horizon, you can try to stay here.
You can see the availability of accommodation at this link, Accommodation in Cayo Santa Maria.
Also you can hire it from Cuba in the agencies of the state Cubanacan.
Since in addition to the resorts of foreign companies, there are also resorts of the state.
These resorts have nothing to envy to the others
Don’t forget to take out a travel insurance if you travel to Cuba, since since May 2010 it is mandatory to carry a medical insurance to enter the island.
We tell you how to find the best travel insurance to travel to Cuba, and for being our reader, you can take advantage of a 5% discount by clicking here.
Best hotels in Cuba: Camagüey
The truth is that this third accommodation in a private house was not pleasant.
The truth is that the house was very good, located near everything, in the historical center of Camagüey, but we were not at all comfortable.
In the end the accommodation is often the place to rest after a long day.
So you can’t expect anything more than a comfortable and clean place.
However in Cuba, private houses sell themselves as an experience with the local people.
So those are the expectations, and they were not met there.
But we also felt like a dollar with legs, and that had never happened to us before, nor, fortunately, did it happen to us again.
So, I’m not even going to say what this accommodation is, nor is it a matter of harming anyone because of a subjective experience.
But neither will I recommend it as I have done with the rest.
Best hotels in Cuba: La Boca, Cayo Santa Lucia
This is going to be a recommendation of something that we did not do, out of ignorance, but that if we came back we would do without any doubt.
When we got to La Boca beach we loved the place.
We saw that it was a place where we could spend a day, watch the sunset and enjoy the presence, from the shore, of the sharks.
That to wake up and hear, in that small fishing village, the sea should be a unique experience.
Accommodation in La Boca
There’s not a lot of accommodation on offer in La Boca, but it’s not a place full of tourists either, so here’s my advice.
If it were me again, I would go straight to La Boca early in the morning, and look for a private house in the small town, which there are.
Or ask any of the villagers.
So, here’s my recommendation.
Best hotels in Cuba: Trinidad
In spite of the bad experience in Camagüey, we decided to return to a private house in Trinidad.
It is true that the one we went to was recommended by some travelers on the road.
The choice was really good.
The house was very big, and on the roof there was a terrace from which you could see the Caribbean Sea.
Enjoying some colorful sunsets with a cold beer in hand, what more could you ask for? Well, there was more.
The food prepared by Maria, Chino’s wife, is more than delicious, very tasty, and the quantities are enough to invite those in the surrounding houses.
Of course, very cheap everything.
Such is the hand that Mary has to cook, that in the end we stayed the three nights for dinner, before going out to enjoy the night of Trinity.
Of course, being in Cuba, a lobster has to fall, and they fell in Caibarién and Trinidad.
The house is called Hostal Chino y Maria.
It is located at 324 Julio A.
Mella (Guásima) Street, between Lino Pérez and Agustín Bernal Streets.