Caribbean Tourism

Accommodation

Tourists to Cuba often stay in private houses, known as casas particulares. Cubans may offer you their house, apartment or a room and cook for you and you pay for the service (US$).


A taxation system for this form of ‘self-employment’ was introduced in 1997 so that it is now legal. Private homes vary considerably and can be extremely comfortable or very basic. Because of shortages things often don’t work, there may be cold water only, once a day, and the lights often go off. A torch is useful. The families will usually offer you cheap transport too. Remember that rates are likely to be negotiable if you go direct to the owners, or stay for several nights. The owners pay US$5 per night per room for each client brought to them by a tout, and taxes and licences are high at US$60-200 per room per month, depending on the region, plus 10% of earnings to be paid at the end of each year, so profit margins are tight and prices have risen. To offer food, Cubans have to buy a licence, US$30 per month, although many do not. All casas particulares should have a yellow registration book you have to sign, and a sticker on their door of a blue triangle on a white background, if they are legal. An unlicensed casa owner will face a huge dollar fine if caught, which is quite likely given the neighbourhood watch system.

Payment for hotels used by tourists is in US$. Always tell the hotel each morning if you intend to stay on another day. Do not lose your ‘guest card’ which shows your name, meal plan and room number. Tourist hotels are a/c, with ‘tourist’ TV (US films, tourism promotion), restaurants with reasonable food, but standards are not comparable with Europe and plumbing is often faulty or affected by water.


More . . .

Accommodation – Baracoa

C-D El Castillo C-D El Castillo (Gaviota), Calixto García, Loma del Paraíso, T42147, F86074. 35 a/c rooms with bath, phone, TV in lobby...

Accommodation – Bayamo

C Sierra Maestra C Sierra Maestra (Islazul), Carretera Central via Santiago de Cuba, T481013, 2 km from city centre. 204 rooms, delightful...

Accommodation – East from Havana

B Superclubs Breezes B Superclubs Breezes (Jibacoa), Playa Arrojo Bermejo, Vía Blanca Km 60, T69285122, F69285150. Price per person, all-...

Accommodation – Guantanamo

E Guantánamo E Guantánamo (Islazul), Ahogados, esq 13 Norte, Plaza Mariana Grajales, Reparto Caribe, T381015, F382406, 15 mins’ walk from...

Accommodation – Holguín

D-E Pernik D-E Pernik (Islazul), T481011. Near Plaza de la Revolución on Av Jorge Dimitrov y Av XX Aniversario. 202 rooms, mostly...

Accommodation - Santiago de Cuba

C Club Coralia Santiago (Gran Caribe), formely Club Amigo Bucanero, 3-star, Carretera Baconao Km 4, Arroyo La Costa, T54596, 28130, under...

Accommodation – Cárdenas

E Dominica E Dominica, Av Céspedes y 9, T521502. 25 rooms in old sugar warehouse, converted to hotel in neo-classical style in 1919 and now...