Mi casa es tu casa – our favourite B&Bs in Cuba’s hotspots

May 26, 2020 | by Claire Boobbyer

The best way to immerse yourself in Cuba’s culture? Check into a Cuban B&B, or casa particular, homestay or boutique casa. Interested? Look now, and bookmark for future travel.

Cubania Travel’s recommended casas in Cuba’s top travel destinations

The places we talk up below – a mix of traditional family run casas, new-generation boutique boltholes, and a studio apartment for indy living – are some of our favourites on the island across a range of budgets. We’ve chosen Havana, Viñales, and Trinidad as these are Cuba’s most popular places to visit for first-time visitors, and offer a variety of accommodation picks.

Soulful Havana is Cuba’s capital of magic and music

  • Alameda JM7 – Boutique accommodation in Old Havana

    Alameda JM7 - Boutique accommodation in Old Havana

    Alameda JM7 is a revived 1910 townhouse recently opened on the waterfront edge of artsy barrio San Isidro in southern Old Havana. Four beautiful en-suite bedrooms feature vintage-style Havana tiles and a mix of mid-century and colonial furniture. Its ground-floor suite enjoys direct access to a courtyard patio complete with a Sago palm, tinkling fountain, and Moroccan-style banquette. Breakfast on the roof terrace on bespoke Cuban-made crockery and, following a day exploring city sights, savour a tipple on the rooftop at Alameda’s private bar with its sweeping views of the harbour.

    Calle Jesús María 7, Old Havana, + 53 7866 1346, arianne@alamedabookings.com; rooms from £120 including breakfast. (Complete house rental also available).

  • Casa Azul – Home from home in Havana

    Casa Azul - Home from home in Havana

    In a hip northern barrio of Old Havana, flush with cool bars, restaurants and street art, the baby blue and white-painted Casa Azul has welcomed guests since 2010. With 10 bedrooms across its two floors, it’s perfect for larger groups of friends. Some rooms are fitted with fancy Louis XV-style beds; others are minimalist with soothing white linens. Breakfast on the roof terrace, lunch at nearby cafés that spill onto the warren of streets, and dine on a home-made creole food dinner at the casa by night.

    Calle Habana 54 (bajos) entre Peña Pobre y Cuarteles, Old Havana, +53 7801 5304, http://www.azulhabana.com/; £41 for a double room including breakfast.

  • Casa Vitrales – Stylish urban stay in Old Havana

    Casa Vitrales - Stylish urban stay in Old Havana

    Casa Vitrales, a rhubarb and custard coloured townhouse, was one of the first new-generation boutique B&Bs to open in Havana more than five years ago. The owner, an interior design fan, restored the property with vintage tiles and antique stained glass mixing in mid-century pieces for a stylish look. Nine bedrooms with a pared-back aesthetic are scattered across the three-storey casa. Breakfasts through to sunset cocktails, on the lamp-lit terrace, afford winning Old Havana views including the cream spire of Santo Angel Custodio church, and art deco Bacardi tower.

    Calle Habana 106 entre Cuarteles y Chacón, Old Havana, +53 7866 2607, http://www.cvitrales.com/; double rooms from £82 including breakfast.

  • Casa 1932 – Art deco haven in Centro Habana

    Casa 1932 - Art deco haven in Centro Habana

    Luis Miguel runs shipshape Casa 1932, a Centro Havana casa bursting with antiques and treasured design pieces. Luis is passionate about art deco design, and is an avid collector of 50s Cuban memorabilia. Breakfast at his polished mahogany dining table with other guests, or sit in the patio with a beer as Luis shares tips and stories. His two ensuite rooms are handsomely furnished with antique pieces, and open out on to his leafy, memorabilia-stuffed interior patio. Casa 1932’s convertible classic car tours are a favourite with guests.

    Calle Campanario 63 entre San Lázaro y Lagunas, Centro Havana, +53 7863 6203, https://www.casa1932.com/; doubles from £40 including breakfast.

  • La Reserva – Luxury mansion living

    La Reserva - Luxury mansion living

    A dreamy garden villa in the leafy streets of Havana’s Vedado district, La Reserva is so beautiful it’s a considerable task to tear yourself away and explore the city. Meticulously restored by three architects, its eleven light-filled, artwork-adorned rooms come with mid-century furnishings, Murano glassware, and marble bathrooms. The shaded patio, and 24-hour bar for your favourite drink are the hit focus of the mansion. Sign up for its insightful expert-led cultural tours, too.

    Calle 2 508 entre 21 y 23, Vedado, +53 7833 5244, https://lareservavedado.com/en/la-reserva-vedado-eng/; doubles from £118 including breakfast.

The plant-cloaked haystack mountains of Viñales are Cuba’s top natural wonder

  • Casa Yoan y Yarelis – perfect Viñales bolthole

    Casa Yoan y Yarelis - perfect Viñales bolthole

    Family run Casa Yoan y Yarelis is a smartly kept modern home with five garden rooms, each with their own small terrace, and is found at the quieter end of Viñales town. For cocktails, head to the sun-splashed roof terrace for panoramic mogote views, or the hibiscus-flecked garden. The casa is a one-stop shop for all your Viñales needs – from Spanish lessons, salsa classes, massage service, horse riding and trekking – the latter tapping into co-owner Yarelis’ national park experience as a biologist.

    Calle Salvador Cisneros 206-C, +53 48 79 3317, http://villalosreyes.com/; doubles from £33 including breakfast.

  • Casa MogoteArte – laidback valley living

    Casa MogoteArte - laidback valley living

    A rural hideaway, a distance from the Viñales strip, Casa MogoteArte is for those seeking a more authentic valley experience. Owner and writer Luis restored the valley farmhouse opening three rustic-chic rooms amid tree-packed grounds. As the sun sets behind the mogotes, relax in a hammock, or with a mojito, then dine in the pretty garden, on the casa’s homegrown organic food, under the stars. Ask Luis about his horse riding and walking tours.

    Airbnb or reservasmogoteart@gmail.com; doubles from £49 including breakfast.

  • Casa Haydee – Family run perfection in town

    Casa Haydee - Family run perfection in town

    Elegant blue Casa Haydee is run by Cubans who’ve been welcoming guests to their family home since 2012. Set one road back from main street, it’s within walking distance of the clustered restaurants and services of Viñales but far enough from the buzz for those seeking relaxation in the casa’s rose-perfumed garden. With its six bedrooms it’s intimate enough for a casa stay, but a perfect choice if you’re looking to meet other travellers, and book tours together. Haydee’s family has plenty of experience offering horse riding, tobacco tours, gentle walking or trekking tours, at budget-conscious prices.

    Calle Rafael Trejo 139, +53 48 69 5200, casahaydee@yahoo.es; doubles from £25 including breakfast.

Sun-soaked Trinidad is a jewel box of pistachio, turmeric, and terracotta hued homes and mellow yellow churches with a rollicking music scene

  • Casa Barmarin – Artsy, colonial hideaway

    >Casa Barmarin - Artsy, colonial hideaway

    Original 18th-century frescoes, clay flagstones, and restored wooden doors accent lovingly restored Casa Barmarin. With three bedrooms, it’s perfect for families, or a group of friends. Breakfast under a parasol, in the cosy back patio of this downtown colonial home, will kick start your day in this fabled city. Trinidad was named a UNESCO World Craft City in 2018. Hire the casa’s expert guide to track down exquisite embroidery and linens, and meet local craft workers on its bespoke artisans’ tour.

    Callejón de Peña 21, +53 5258 8540, https://estampacuba.com/casa-barmarin/; doubles from £81 including breakfast.

  • Casa Osmary y Alberto – Town and country appeal

    Casa Osmary y Alberto - Town and country appeal

    A super casa that feels more like a small hotel than a traditional Cuban homestay. Casa Osmary y Alberto’s winning feature is its lush, leafy plant-filled courtyard with rockers – the perfect space for a morning cafecito or afternoon daiquiri. But there’s more. In addition to eight tip-top rooms there’s a restaurant, patio bar, 24-hour reception, and concierge. Stealing the show, though, is a chance to visit the family farm and tuck into Cuba’s stellar national dish – spit roast pork – served with all the extras.

    Miguel Calzada 114 entre Lino Pérez y Camilo Cienfuegos, +53 41 99 8099, http://osmaryalberto.trinidadhostales.com/index.html; doubles from £33 including breakfast.

  • El 4 de Tula – Arty, independent retreat

    El 4 de Tula - Arty, independent retreat

    A cute artist’s studio transformed into an artsy independent stay. Raised from a collapsed ruin, artist Rudy has furnished El 4 de Tula, a one-bedroomed studio (accommodating up to 4 guests) with carefully chosen rescued vintage pieces – mamparas (carved, stained-glass wooden half doors), and an antique countryside coffee grinder, as well as a selection of his art work. Accept the breakfast basket delivered to your door in the morning, prep a mojito in the kitchen for lunch, and snooze through a lazy afternoon in a hammock in the sheltered patio. The casa provides a Cuban cell for guests to book restaurants, and tours.

    Callejón San Luis 5A entre Rosario y Desengaño, el4detula@gmail.com ; from £82 including breakfast.

  • Hostal Amanda – Top class service in Trinidad

    Hostal Amanda - Top class service in Trinidad

    An inviting family run casa, Hostal Amanda, is focussed on guests’ needs. Three spacious rooms in the revitalised super smart 19th-century casa come with creature comforts, and a fresh buffet breakfast allows for a wide selection of choices first thing in the morning. The top room choice comes with its own private terrace. Owner Jesús, welcoming guests since 2014, can organise dance sessions, cooking lessons, cocktail classes, and dinner on the shaded second-floor terrace of the casa. Where possible, Jesús and family are keen to support the nascent private sector organising guest transport through Trinidad locals.

    Calle Francisco Cadahia 235 entre Colón & Lino Pérez, +53 41 99 2391, jesuspineda.hostal@gmail.com; doubles from £23 including breakfast.

A Cuban "casa" for every traveller

When you reserve a "casa particular" in Cuba, you’re not just bagging a bed for the night, you’re booking into an enriching cultural experience with heaps of trimmings: a Cuban family’s home lovingly cared for with heirlooms as centrepieces, a carefully prepared breakfast banquet, a 24-hour concierge with taxi drivers and excursion hosts on speed dial, and a refuge from Caribbean heat and street bustle. Last but by no means least – your reservation boosts Cuba’s new private economy.

Written by

Claire Boobbyer

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