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tips for experiencing the life and culture of this unique island nation  


Accommodation in Cuba

* Cuba overview * Havana hotels * Varadero hotels * Holguin hotels * accommodation guide * getting there * cities *

There are many different accommodation choices for visitors to Cuba, from high-end all inclusive Cuban resorts, to pleasant beachside villas, to casas particulares (something between a Cuban hostel and a bed and breakfast).

Cuban Resorts:
Taking a Cuba resort vacation is becoming increasingly popular with European, Canadian, and even American travelers. The all inclusive Cuban resorts in Varadero and elsewhere have developed into some of the Caribbean’s finest. These luxury Cuban resorts are often the only choice at some of the islands best beaches, including those at Guardalavaca, Cayo Coco, and Santa Lucia.

Prices at all inclusive Cuban resorts are usually competitive with those on other Caribbean islands, and are often substantially cheaper if booked in the off-season or in a Cuba resort vacation combining accommodation, airfare, and food. The key downside to staying in all inclusive Cuban resorts is a lack of contact with the people and culture that make the island such a great vacation destination.

Hotels in Cuba:
All towns in Cuba have at least one state-owned hotel. There are three main state hotel chains, although some Cuban hotels will be run in association with a foreign hotel company. Islazul offers the best value of the three state-run Cuban hotel companies. For better quality look to Horizontes, which offers comfortable rooms and usually feature good-quality restaurants.

At the luxury end, the Gran Caribe state hotel chain owns some of the finest hotels in Havana and elsewhere on the island. The restaurants at Gran Caribe hotels serve some of the best cuisine on the island. They are worth a visit even if you stay elsewhere. One thing worth noting is that you will not be allowed to entertain Cuban nationals as guests in State-run Cuban hotels.

Cuba Villa Rental:
Many online companies now offer Cuba villa rental. Apartment rental is an especially good idea if you are traveling with a large group or staying for an extended period of time. In general, you are unlikely to find available villas outside Havana or Varadero unless you are already staying on the island. Off the island, Vamoose.com has some good word-of-mouth reviews for Cuba villa rental.

Casas Particulares:
A stay in a casa particular (literally “private house,” indicating that most accommodation in Cuba is state owned) provides a great way to experience the island’s culture. A kind of Cuban hostel or bed and breakfast, a casa particular is operated as a guesthouse by an independent Cuban family.

In recent years, the trade in casas particulares has become increasingly professional, so you are less likely to stay in a quaint family home than a few years ago. Today, casas pariculares can be the equivalent of Cuban youth hostels, large boardinghouses with a common area. Recent laws have sought to limit the casas particulares to just two rooms. In any case, increased competition has made some casas on par with the best Cuban hotels (in features and in price). Nevertheless, they remain the best places to stay to experience a true taste of Cuban life.

Camping in Cuba:
Cuban campisimos are another cheap accommodation option for the independent traveler. Spread across the country, these campsites have small areas for tents and offer basic amenities in concrete cabins. Although basic, prices range from $10 to $20 a night, so campisimos are an excellent option for a cheap vacation to Cuba.  

OVERVIEW for your visit to Cuba:

introduction *  when to go * things to do * events * getting there * getting around * food * history * attractions * music * cities * hotels