During my Cuba trip I stayed only in Casa Particulares (private houses in Spanish) since I wanted to experience the “real” Cuba. In this article I will introduce my top 3 favourites.
Hostal El Zafiro – Cienfuegos
I booked Hostal El Zafiro with Airbnb and we stayed only 1 night. The location of the Casa is perfect and within walking distance of all attractions, restaurants and shopping facilities of Cienfuegos. This Casa was the most beautiful one during the whole Cuba trip. Everything was very clean and decorated with a lot of love, care and taste.
The hostal has a peaceful and charming patio with a few wrought iron tables and chairs where breakfast was served too. The doors, windows and columns of the building are painted in turquoise which as a result adds a very southern, welcoming atmosphere. Our room was very spacious and we had a nice bathroom with a bathtube and free cosmetic articles (shampoo, shower gel). We also had access to a huge balcony to the street side.
The owners Victor and Elena are super sweet and hospitable. Victor explained us all the main attractions, where we can change money and also helped us with internet access. He explained to me how difficult it is to maintain a Casa like El Zafiro. The furniture is from IKEA as well as plates, glasses and many other things.
I asked how that is possible since there is no IKEA in Cuba. He told me that he has friends all over the world and that they brought him lots of things (including furniture) when travelling to Cuba and that he was expecting a friend to visit from Mexiko the same day who would bring him a replacement for a shower. I probably still cannot imagine what it means to create and maintain a gorgeous place like Victor´s Casa in Cuba, where it is already so hard to find daily needed (for us normal) products.
We had a wonderful breakfast at Hostal El Zafiro with eggs, bread, fresh fruits, cake and coffee and Victor prepared everything very accurate and with an eye for details.
Hostal Morffi – Trinidad
I booked Hostal Morffi with Airbnb and I have been in contact with Yoel, the owner, already before the trip. He tried to help us organizing a driver but we solved it in another way. We had an unforgettable stay in this Casa – not because it was the most beautiful or comfortable one of all Casa Particulares, but the most warm, likeable and helpful people we met during our trip. What a wonderful family!
We stayed 2 nights in the Casa and also the location was perfect, within walking distance from the main square. I booked for 5 people but somehow didn´t realize that it would be only one room and only one bathroom. Nevermind, we survived 2 nights sleeping all in the same room and it was not so bad in the end.
The room had basic facilities with 2 double beds and one single bed. The bathroom was very nice, the shower with enough pressure and hot water (not granted in Cuba!). We had wonderful breakfasts on the lovely and huge balcony and a lot of interesting conversations about Cuba with Yoel.
At this time we still couldn´t solve our luggage issue and Yoel and his family helped us to get it back. They called the airport in Havana many times for us, they organized a driver to bring the luggage to Trinidad (4 hours drive) and woke up at 4:00 am to make sure someone is awake when the luggage arrives. Also they gave clothes to my boyfriends mother so she has something to wear when the luggage didn´t arrive yet. A wonderful experience and I am recommending this Casa by heart, it was the best of all Casa Particulares.
Casa Torres – Varadero
I booked Casa Torres with MyCasaParticular and was a bit worried if all will work out. We arrived on 1st of January and had a nice and warm welcome by Sonia and Armando, the owners. Then Sonia was wondering and said “Didn´t you book the room for tomorrow?”. I was shocked and checked again the documents – she was right. I did a mistake and had booked the Casa only for 3 nights instead of the planned four. Oh no! And especially in Varadero it was so hard to find a Casa.
Sonia called a few other Casa`s but nothing was available. We brainstormed how to solve the problem. Then Sonia told us that she has only one double room available (and we were five people) and – if we don´t mind – that the bed of the double room has 2 mattrasses and we could seperate them and sleep all the five of us in the same room. Since we didn´t have many choices, that´s what we did. It was not comfortable but ok for one night and we did a lot of jokes about the situation.
Next day we had a wonderful breakfast (the best during the whole Cuba trip) with pancakes, eggs, smoothie, coffee and fruits. The beach is ten minutes walking distance, close to some restaurants and the shopping center of Varadero where you can buy internet cards as well. Only the WIFI area is about 20-25 minutes walking distance and a little bit far. Casa Torres provided beach towels as well.
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