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Reviews about Casas Particulares

 

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March 11 2014
Name: Wade
Country: Canada

Casa Particulars (general)

Which city or area in Cuba?: Oriente (3 weeks) and Trinidad/Bay of Pigs/havana (2 weeks)

My review: We travelled for 5 weeks by bicycle throughout much of Cuba in January / February 2014. We stayed almost every night in casa particulars. We stayed twice in a campismo and once in a hotel (because we had no other option). In all, we pedaled 1900km. We typically travelled 50km to 100km to get the next place to stay the night. We spent 3 weeks in the Eastern Oriente Region covering the entire coastline starting in Las Tunas clockwise through Santiago de Cuba to finished that loop in Bayamo. Took a bus to Trinidad and completed a route west along the coastline to the Bay of Pigs to Guines, Guira de Melena, Soroa, Habana. We stayed more than one night, four times, the rest were one night stays. So in all we stayed in around 25 casa particulars.
We would highly recommend the casa particulars to any other accommodations, especially if you are on a budget. They were all super clean and most had good firm beds. The option of having one casa book the next casa ahead on your journey is a great one, as you will have the comfort that someone will be there to meet you and get you nicely into a place to stay for the night. It also saves some time in finding one. It should be noted that it usually comes at a price (5cuc), as the casa that booked it will receive extra for the service that gets added to price of your next place. Also, you will be less likely to negotiate a price for breakfast. We only had one casa pre-booked for us, the rest of the time we rode around and found a casa as we entered the next town, as we were on a tight budget. We averaged 50cuc/day for two people or 25cuc/person (everything included: accommodations, food, entertainment, gifts, transportation, export tax). We did spent some money on transport, as we wanted to see parts of the whole country.
There are many casas in even smaller towns and we rarely had to approach more than to 2 or 3 to find someone who had an empty room. This would take maybe 15 minutes to a 30 minutes. They are usually located near the main roads and are easy to find. Our average cost for a casa was 20cuc, overall. In the East that often included a large breakfast for two. In the West things were a bit more expensive at 20-25cuc / night usually no breakfast included. We regularly negotiated the dinner which sometimes they would include breakfast in the original price. So for a two night stay in Playa Larga for instance we paid (for 2 people) a total of 72 cuc, which included two nights accommodations / two breakfasts and two fantastic dinners. We were on a fairly tight budget, so this worked well for us. We did not want to spent much $$$ on the internet or phone, so we didn't use these at all. We had a couple of outdated guidebooks and we asked around to make sure there were casas in the next town. That worked out just fine, the locals are super helpful. The key is to ask someone in the town your leaving, not the jinteros in the place you have arrived. If your on a tight budget, a newer guidebook would be very beneficially as there are casas springing up everywhere it seems. The app would be beneficial I am sure, you might need to plan ahead if your bicycling, as only the larger centers or high tourist areas seem to have internet access. Two of the nicest casas we stayed in were only 1 month old, brand new everything, and a great price. The best part about picking your casa when you get there, is you get to pick the location and have a look and decide whether the place meets your standards and your price and better chance to negotiate meals. We liked rooms on the upper floor, as there was often a nice balcony and great view.
We had a great trip and hope this information helps anyone planning a trip to Cuba.

 


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March 2 2012
Name: Marc Dolgin
Country: Canada

Casa referrals
A cautionary tale: A top rated Casa in Havana recommended and reserved Casas for us in other places. In both cases we found ourselves being taken to other casas, one of which was fine, the other not. Casa owners have a network of friends and relatives, appropriately licensed, which refer visitors back and forth; many are no doubt quite acceptable but, where possible, it would be prudent to check their suggestions against independent sites like Trip Advisor, as well as request some kind of "no replacement" undertaking.

 

 

 

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September 12 2010
Name: Edouard
country: Israel

Casas particulares
We were in Cuba for (only!) 11 days this August (2010). It was just great - the best of all being the Cubans themselves. Our hosts at the Casas made us feel that Cuba was a home to us. They arranged a casa at our next destination so we were waited for at the bus station.

We started at Casa Aurora in Old Havana, in total we stayed there for 4 nights. Aurora is motherly and keeps the place impeccably clean. Julio, her husband is a charming man. The casa is a 5-10 min walk from Plaza Vieja, and two minutes from Calle 1ra/San Pedro were there is a large hangar and displays of painters, clothings, crafts etc . We highly recommend this casa both because of the quality of the hosts, the cleanliness and the location. Casa Aurora. Merced #14, e/San Ignacio y Oficios, Havana Vieja. tel. (53) (7)8630536. cell. (530 (5) 2921185.

Our next hosts in Vinales were Haydee and Laydis, and their daughter Ayleen. They have a beautiful house near the main street. It is very calm, they hold a large garden in which they grow many vegetables that they serve at dinner. They were very nice and attentive, and definitely the best cooks we meet in Cuba! We ate Lobster a la creole, fish, and great assortments of vegetables, yam, sweet potatoes, rice and beans. Don't miss it!. Villa Haydee Chiroles. C.Rafael Trejo #139. tel. (53) - (0)48-695200; cell. (53)(0)52-548921.

In Trinidad we stayed with Lidia, a cousin of Aurora. We had a room on the roof, and dinner on an inner terrace. Lidia and her husband were also very warm and helpful. The casa is in a quiet back street, 2 minutes from the center so one is not disturbed by the music at night (if you go to sleep early...it is much better to spend the evening at the Plaza de la musica!). Casa Lidia Calzada. Francisco Peterse #176 e/ Mario Guerra y Francisco Javier Zerquera. Trinidad.
Tel. 996042

In Cienfuegos we stayed with Jose and Beatriz. The room is actually an independent second floor apartment, very private. Jose is a great cook, and the place is very well kept. Casa Jose Luis Alvarez Leon. Ave 60 #3301 e/33 y 35. Cienfuegos. Tel: (53)-43-528535.

Enjoy!

 


May 12 2010
Name: jo scott
Country: england

Confirming casa particulares. . .. so what if you dont?

We had, as advised by March contributor, confirmed our booking ahead (even in spanish to be sure) but when we arrived, delayed by prolonged immigration, our room didnt exist.

However,  far from letting it spoil our holiday - or make us think we're off to a bad start - we rolled with it, bought 2 beers and waited. Within 20 minutes we were gathered up by another family . . and spent the rest of our 2 weeks being passed like a parcel from one delightful family to another.
Cant wait to go back,
jo

*Note from CJ:
After asking Jo he didn't made his reservation through Cuba-Junky

Jo: We didnt book through you guys . . .this was more of a general observation to illustrate a point.  It was actually a hotel reservation as, at the time, we had been told we needed the first 2 nights in a government hotel.
We'll bear you in miind next time,
jo

 


March 26 2010
Name: Maggie Turner
Country: United Kingdom

Confirming Casa Particulare bookings

I am in my early sixties and travelled for the first time to Cuba with my son, daughter and her partner, all in their early thirties. We travelled independently using the Lonely Planet Guide, this website and others. I want to stress to anyone planning to do the same that it is essential that you telephone 2 days before the date you are due to arrive at your Casa Partulare to confirm your booking. We confirmed but 4 weeks before and on arrival in Havana after a long flight found the rooms we thought we had booked were taken. The 'should have been' hosts were very helpful in finding us alternative accommodation but it was a bad start to what turned out to be a wonderful 2 week holiday. We were told by hosts in Trinidad that 90% of bookings end this way so CONFIRM 2 DAYS BEFORE and have a great time. We bought a telephone card and used public phones to ring ahead

 

 

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