Thinking of planning a trip to Cuba? The first thing you’ve got to do is figure out where you should stay.
The most popular lodging option in Cuba is a casa particular. Casa particulares are very similar to an AirBnB in that you rent a house (or even just a room) that belongs to an average Cuban—giving you a true glimpse into Cuban life. The only difference is that the homeowner is usually still home during your stay! While that may sound a bit odd it can actually be quite beneficial. Homeowners serve as pseudo tour guides offering a local take on where to eat and what to do. Often times homeowners even provide breakfast for their guests. Casa particulares tend to be very inexpensive as homeowners are using the revenue as a supplement to their very low, government-controlled salaries. You can find rooms as cheap as $20 per night.
We planned our trip to Havana super last minute, therefore we had a hard time finding a casa paladares available that fit our needs. If you have more than a week to plan your trip, use Cuba-Junky to help you book a casa particulares. Note: most casa particulares run on a day to day basis, so even if you book one be sure to call 24 hours prior to your arrival to confirm it.
If staying in someone’s home isn’t really you’re idea of lodging and you’re looking for a place in Havana, choose the ultra hip, luxurious Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana. Located in the heart of the city, steps from Old Havana (more specifically the famous bar El Floridita) and the National Capitol Building, Hotel Manzana ensures that you are never far from the action. Set in the nation’s first mall, the hotel has been renovated into a super sleek, modern establishment with a trendy color palette and lavish furniture– which is extremely uncommon in the city. Almost every window in the hotel offers striking views of the intricate architecture surrounding the building. The rooms are very spacious, they offer USB outlets and each are equipped with plug converters. One of the hotel’s biggest attractions is its rooftop pool and bar—which I highly recommend you check out even if you aren’t staying at the property. The views of the capitol and Old Havana are breathtaking from up there, and the bartenders offer some really great Cuban cocktails.
A standard room starts at $440 for an inside view and $470 for an outside view. Family suites begin at $690 per night.