We booked our package with The Holiday Place. http://holidayplace.co.uk/. We were initially going to stay at Hotel Melia but the prices went up and the travel agent suggested we stayed in a Casa. She said we would get a better feel of Havana and the location was much better than the Melia.
In 2016, Cuba’s government legalised small and medium private business. The locals were quick enough to take advantage of this and build private accommodation for tourists. Casa’s are like B&B’s. Some Casa are also Paladeres (private owned restaurants).
Casa’s normally have only had about 4 rooms so availability is limited. Also American tourists cannot stay in state owned hotels, so they stay in Casas.
We stayed at Casa Blue Colonial which was recommended to us and booked by the travel agent. I did request a room with a window based on reviews I had read. . http://casabluecolonial.com/ Reviews online were about 4 out of 5.
Here are some pros and cons of our Casa:
- Location is perfect; it is off Calle Aquacate in Old Havana and walking distance to many sites.
- It is clean and well maintained
- The owner Jennifer is a great host and is happy to help with any issues. She kindly lent us money on our first day because none of the banks were open when we arrived in the evening.
- It is a cheaper option; you can get a good Casa for about 30 CUC a night.
- Local knowledge and tips from the owner were beneficial
- Get a real feel of living off one of Havana’s local streets
- Unlike many of the hotels the Casas do not have wifi. This can be a good thing I guess depending on how much you need the internet.
- We stayed in the Blanco Y Negro room. While this room has a balcony and a big lounge, the toilet/bathroom is tiny and the stairs to get to your bed are a bit steep and narrow.
The breakfast is simple but filling. You get fresh rolls, eggs, fresh fruit juice, plate of fresh fruit and tea/coffee. The lady in the kitchen is friendly and accommodating.
The Casa has a pleasant partially covered roof top terrace with some sun loungers.
We enjoyed our stay at the Casa however would have preferred to have a bigger bathroom.
Always read reviews before you book a Casa especially in terms of cleanliness, location and private/shared bathrooms.
Planning on visiting Havana? Have a read of my other posts:
Hope you enjoyed reading 🙂