3

I am travelling to Cuba at the end of this year. I would like to stay in casas particulares but it seems it is not that easy to book them. I am looking for reliable and safe websites where I can book. I checked Tripadvisor but most of the time if somebody recommends a site, he/she seems to be Cuban resident (I am a suspicious creature...). Is there anyone who has real experience with a "third party" site which offers booking for casas particulares?

Thanks in advance

  • 2
    What's safe and reliable for you? What are you afraid of? Suspiciousness is inherently opinion based and thus the answer is borderline off topic for tse. – JoErNanO Nov 14 '15 at 9:18
  • 2
    There simply aren't many AirBnB-style web sites for Cuban CP's (yet.) Most were made by the Internet-savvy children of the owners, or by the owners themselves, so you won't find the sites to have the polish or security of more Western sites. Things are improving, but still, as you have found, pretty spotty. If you are going in-season, you'll have to take a chance and pre-book a CP, and soon. Just decide where you wish to stay (on the island I mean) and select a web site and, well, take a chance. – CGCampbell Nov 14 '15 at 16:53
  • the safe bet is to call directly to the home owner and book with him/her, call Ana Maria +53 7 863 74 78 in Centro Habana, she has a rent house or can contact you with others – Emilio Gort Nov 20 '15 at 20:47
8

I stayed in Cuba last summer. Accidentally, I found a reliable, safe and at the same time cheap casas particulares network. I wrote about it in my Spanish blog (sorry for the SPAM, but I thing it could be interesting to read it in Spanish or using a translator). To sum up:

  • The 'head' of the network is in the Hamel Hostel (La Habana). It will cost 5 USD per night per person.
  • From there, Magnolia will give you the address for the next stage (you choose, of course, she has houses in all Cuba).
  • In the next house, you'll pay 15 USD for private room (2 persons) and they will give you the address for the next house you want to go (in fact, Magnolia may give you all addresses you need if you don't have a closed plan).
  • All the houses are safe and selected, some high quality houses where normally you have to pay $30 to stay.
  • No need to book in advance for the casas particulares outside La Habana, but you have to book for the first night at La Habana if you want to gain access to this network.
  • Magnolia doesn't speak english, just a few words, but she knows how to make you understand everything ;) Anyway, some words in Spanish will be a great detail.
  • Ask for how to move using "Camion" (truck) if you want to save a big amount on transport.

In order to contact with Magnolia I recommend the email. In Cuba Internet is expensive and they don't use it as much as we do.

  • 3
    If you are planning to go, tell Magnolia I recommended you to go and you will have an extra of kindness. (Just say "Ivan from Spain wrote an article about your network as he promised" ;) If you can take a printed copy, she will be yours ;) ). – Ivan Nov 13 '15 at 23:58
5

Since the restrictions from the US embargo to Cuba are being relaxed slowly, AirBnB has recently started to expands its services to Cuba. I think you will not find anything more reliable than that at this moment.

I have personally used estanciahabana.com and revolico.com in the past, but I have relatives in Cuba who visit the place and meet the owner in advance for me, so my situation is a bit special. It always involve a bit of risk for you to contact someone from any of those websites.

The advice from @Ivan is probably your safest (and cheapest) bet.

4

I went to Cuba for 2 weeks solo and found Casa particular on Air BNb . But because I was in Cayman I had no luck of actually paying so I just messaged to lady and said when I will arrive and pay cash. From there I noticed that there is Casa Particular on every corner in every town nd all you need too do is pick a house house you like ,walk in,see room and if you like it agreed on price and stay. Pay at the end of you stay in Casa .

All Casas should be run with government strict supervision ,so all are very safe as they want to keep t heir good name.

At least that's how I did it. And changed casa almost every day ( because of travelling ) and never had a peoblem to find one

  • well after 3 weeks in Cuba I can see this way of travelling can work. However I am more like a control freak so arranging the first 2-3 casas helped me "chill". The online casa "finders" (not sure I can post the links so I rather not do that) work pretty well. After all Cuba is changing, not sure we will have to worry about accomodation in 2-3 years :). – Bela Vizer Sep 12 '16 at 9:54
1

Several ways to do it:

  • Airbnb has a lot of offers in Cuba. Some of them may not have reviews but you can find them on TripAdvisor or other sites. You may reserve first nights for a stay in Cuba. It quite good because it charges from your credit card and you do not need to carry more cash.
  • You may find casa particulars on websites - Airbnb, Cuba Junky, Casa particular, My casa particular. Check photos and reviews but don't book them paying in advance - contact casa owners via email if they have available room for your dates and make preliminary arrangement. Your travel dates may vary so it is good for flexibility. Write down several contacts and addresses for particular cities.
  • You may also ask for casa recommendation in other cities from current owner. Owners have contacts in other cities and may receive some commission for recommendation - I guess it's 5 CUC - so your other casa may be 5 CUC more expensive than you'll approach it directly.
  • There are a lot of houses/rooms for rent in Cuba and they marked with special sign "Arrendador Divisa". They have some standards - conditioner, fridge with drinks. You can ask if they are available, check them and move on if you don't like it. It's possible but it takes time.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.