In Cuba “Casa particular” is a private accommodation apartment with separate rooms that is being rented as bed and breakfast to tourists mainly in Havana, Varadero, Trinidad and other Cuban towns. Casa particular is not only an overnight accommodation, but it offers also extra features like breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, cuban dance lessons that are normally charged extra. Choosing Casa particular instead of a hotel accommodation also gives tourists opportunity to connect with the landlord, the owner of Casa particular, alongside with real Cuban neighbourhood life and people.
What is Casa particular?
It is widely known that Cuban people are one of the warmest residents of Earth. Despite their lack of material and monetary goods they are willing to share their kindness with a total stranger who is visiting their country. Thus also the price of a stay at Casa particular is rarely higher than 40 USD which normally includes overnight for 2 adult persons with children. In most cases a Casa particular will have 2 or 3 double rooms where visitors will stay. Bathrooms can either be individual for separated rooms or shared amongst room renters. A typical Casa particular will have a kitchen where the landlord’s lady would prepare delicious Cuban meal- breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. Typically there will be fruit available on the kitchen table for travellers who stay in the Casa particular. Included in your stay in a Casa particular are also friendly greeting from the owner and most oftenly the whole family.
Be advised to reserve only at Casas Particulares that are verified by the Cuban government. These casas will have a special sign at entrance. Only book at verified legal Casa particular, because on entering Cuba at the airport the custom officials will want to see your designated address of accomodation in Cuba. They might verify this data with the real owner of the house.
Casa particulares in Havana
Havana is packed with Casa particulars because of high demand from international tourists to visit Cuba’s capital and live like a local. The best location to choose Casa particular in Havana is the city center or the downtown as it is called in Americas. Basically the city center of Havana spreads over the Old part of Havana where colonial style of architecture is predominant. Old Havana or “Havana Vieja” is the most populated part of Havana and hides a lot of jewels that are easily hidden from a passing visitors eyes:
- Museum of the Revolution. Staying at a Casa particular in Old Havana enables you to reach most of the important Cuban museums by foot. A unique historical museum in Havana is the famous Museum of the Revolution that hosts artefacts from Cuban revolution from 1959: from an airplane and boats to personal belongings of fighters and the revolution leaders like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.
- Morro Castle. It is interesting that you can travel to the other side of Old Havana bay through an undersea tunnel. Reaching the other side you should visit the Morro Castle. Despite the lack of Casa particulars around Morro Castle renting a room in Old Havana is stil the closest distance you will have to travel to reach Morro Castle. The building is nowadays used as a lighthouse and a museum specialized in history of sailing, warship and maritime.
- Havana Cathedral. When you rent Casa particular in the center of Old Havana the Cathedral is normally just around the corner. There is the plaza that is populated with visitors and local people and you can see an art exhibition around it. The interor of Havana’s main church has been designed in the colonial times and it is very much preserved.
Useful tip: when staying at Casa particular in Havana ask the landlord of the house about tips for your next destination in Cuba. You might get recommendation about Casa particulars in other places and also about what to see and what to do around Cuba. You might also reserve your next night accomodation with the help of your current Casa particular landlord in Havana.
When it is time to say goodbye to your Casa particular in Havana next destination might be the Jose Marti Airport (HAV) if you are leaving the country, your Varradero hotel or another Casa particular on your travel around Cuba.