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In Cuba, there are different categories of hotels and there is something for all tastes and budgets.
During the high season (December to April), it is best to book hotels in advance to make sure you have places in the most correct hotels.
Most accommodations in Cuba include breakfast (desayuno) and the arrival and departure times are 12:00-14:00.
The hotel classification in Cuba is quite vague, some 4* hotels are only 2*, some 2* hotels have more charm than 4* hotels.
The Cuban hotel park is struggling to cope with the influx of tourists.
Although the infrastructure is generally good, and even luxurious for some, the prices charged are often higher than the quality of the service provided.
In the comfort category, the Spanish international chain Mélia is at the top of the list with more than twenty hotels throughout the island.
Adapted to international standards, it is certainly one of the best options.
Also noteworthy are the charming hotels, which have flourished in Havana’s historic district under the management of the Habaguanex company.
Remarkable work of restoration to the key.
Roughly speaking, a hotel has at least one restaurant, air conditioning and television.
The more you go up the range, the more the facilities expand: discos, tourist office, shops, swimming pool, water sports, sauna, car rental.
As everywhere, prices depend on the season, geographical location, level of equipment and number of stars.
Finally, you should know that some establishments will refuse the presence of a Cuban at your side but this practice is becoming increasingly rare.
In general, the receptionist will simply ask for the identity papers of your Cuban companion to register his or her details at the time of check-in.
Casas Particulares (AirBnb & Bed and Breakfast)
It is the most economical solution across the country.
Rooms at the home are marked with a blue logo like an anchor turned upside down that can be spotted on the doors of your potential guests.
The houses are quite pleasant with a patio, a veranda with rocking chairs and some even have a small swimming pool.
The rooms are equipped with a double bed (or 2 single beds), a bathroom, a chair and a fan.
Sheets and towels are provided.
This concept of “casa particular” is a good way to discover the Cuban way of life and enjoy the advice and good tips of your host.
Count between 20 CUC and 25 CUC outside the capital and expect a range of 25 CUC to 35 CUC in Havana (same price for one or two people).
It should be noted that the level of taxation for the owners of these casas has increased considerably in recent years, as the Cuban state seeks to redirect tourists towards hotel structures.
Many Cubans offer to take you to a particular casa. Just be aware that the latter – rabble-rousers or jineteros – systematically take at least 5 CUC of commission (and often much more) per room and per night. The price of your room is increased accordingly…
This is the case not only for people posted at the entrance of cities, at bus stations, met in the street but also taxi drivers and people who have a casa where you may have slept and recommend you an address in another city.
Their help is never free, even if they seem very nice and are often sincere in their recommendations.
Smart guys even simply stand in front of a casa and discreetly wait for the clients to arrive and, once they have entered the casa, they go to see the owners and make them believe that it is thanks to them that the clients have taken a room in their house .
And, therefore, they discreetly collect a commission on you.
Make sure that there is no one directly near the entrance of the casa to avoid this kind of scam, which will also have the disadvantage of inflating the price of your room! (since you will have to pay the rebate). To be sure of this, you can simply inform the owners of the casa as soon as you arrive that you have come alone, without anyone’s advice, you will then pay exactly the price indicated in the guide.
For the casa owners, it is a joy to see a tourist who has found their address in a guide because there is no commission to pay, and they inevitably earn more money than when a flapper or another casa owner is in the loop.
Also ask the owners of particular casas about their water system (cistern, how many litres for how many people) as it is sometimes outdated, or precarious, so that you can find out whether the shower is insured and whether you will have hot water without problems.
Wild camping is forbidden. The campgrounds actually only have bungalows. A 100% Cuban atmosphere is guaranteed, as foreign tourists still use this type of accommodation very little.
The infrastructures remain indeed spartan and rudimentary.
The communist glacis has its good points: for proof it keeps historic buildings and interiors in good condition, insensitive to styles and the passing years.
Havana is a delight for those curious about colonial architecture and outdated decoration.
Saratoga, Florida or Nacional de Cuba, so many historic buildings where the spirit of illustrious characters and moments in the life of the world remain.
Candy boxes to open delicately, perfume boxes of yesteryear.
All inclusive Resorts in Cuba
Cuba has Stunning Resorts on the seafront that offer the “all inclusive” system.
They are comfort or luxury hotels depending on the category of services (spa, golf, marine activities).
You will find this type of hotel in Varadero, in Cayos like Santa Maria, Coco or Ensenachos, in Guardalavaca and Playa Ancon
Four kilometres of splendid beaches, perhaps the most beautiful in Cuba, a hotel divided into three parts, one for adults, another for families, a choice of five different restaurants, sports activities galore, a delicious festive atmosphere.
All Cuba is travelled by staying only in colonial hotels. Havana of course with its mythical addresses but also Cienfuegos and its succulent Palazzo Azul, Trinidad and its Grand Hotel and even Varadero and its astonishing villa Xanadu, former property of the French-born American billionaire Dupont de Nemours.
At each stage its little story in the big one. Details, anecdotes, famous people, delight in a deliciously old-fashioned atmosphere.
Hostels in Cuba
Hostels are not very common.
We only recommend it if you go alone and want to meet other travellers [10$ / night].
Our most recommended option is the private houses.
The government gives licenses to some citizens to offer accommodation in their houses.
They are usually in good condition and all have air conditioning. (you don’t know how much you will appreciate it!)
You have the option of booking by AirBNB or searching on site, which is always cheaper and you will find a safe room.
There are all levels [from 15 to 50 CUC per night]. And they all offer breakfast for 3-7 CUC.