Cuban Travel Business

Habana

Booking a HOTEL in Cuba

Booking Considerations

If you are to book accommodation, there are certain things which are specific to Cuba and some considerations which are generic but still worth remembering. So let me point out some of the things worth thinking about when booking somewhere to stay in Cuba.

Air-Conditioning

It rarely gets cold in Cuba no matter what time of year it is, as one might expect in a Caribbean country. In the afternoons you can expect it to be between 20 and 30 Celsius most days. In terms of accommodation, the main point to be made is that it is a very good idea to make sure that A/C (air conditioning) is included in the room you book, particularly if you are elderly.

Lifts (Elevators)

Lifts (British English) or elevators (as the Americans call them) do exist in some hotels in Cuba but do not over rely on them! Sometimes they do not work or have been unused for many years and you might find yourself having to walk up many flights of stairs. In the newer more modern resort locations, such as in the main chain hotels in Varadero Beach or Cayo Coco, you should have no problem. In some of the smaller and older hotels such as in Havana, you might want to attempt to request a ground floor room.

Caribbean hotel

Multi-Center Stays

It IS certainly possible to book in multi-center (or dual or two centre stay) if you wish. If you are planning to stay for 7, 10 or 14 days for example, you might wish to spend 3 or 4 days in Havana, the Cuban capital, to enjoy the old town and the art, historical areas and to mix with the locals. You might want to spend 2 or 3 days in the stunning Viñales valley or to head straight to one of the beach locations such as Cayo Guillermo, Varadero or Cayo Coco.

You CAN combine staying in two and sometimes three locations during the course of the same trip and it is in fact what I would recommend if it is your first ever trip to Cuba and if you wish to explore and experience the culture, but also to have some time to relax on the white sandy beaches.

Star System

For those of you who have travelled extensively around the world or to a number of different countries, you will appreciate that the hotel classification system which using 1 to 5 stars, can be different from country to country. In evaluating the star system in Cuba for hotels, I would suggest to imagine what you would expect in the UK or USA and knock off one star to get the Cuban equivalent, i.e. a 4 star hotel in Cuba is likely to be similar to a 3 star hotel in the UK. (Would love your feedback so that I can keep this page up-to-date).

Are the Hotels Safe

This is a fair question if you have never been to Cuba before and thus are unsure of what to expect. In general terms, Cuba is actually a very good and safe country for tourists i.e. the safest in the Caribbean. Petty thefts and issues can exist, but most hotels of 3 star or above normally offer safe deposit boxes in the room or behind reception. Sometimes safe deposit boxes exist, but there is no key to use them. Things are not always as organised as one might expect, but overall I would not see safety as being any more of an issue than it would be travelling in any other country.

How Do I Get from the Airport to my Hotel

The mains tourist airports are served by the main coach company who are called Viazul.com and they provide transfers between airports such as Havana International and Varadero International to the main resorts and cities. From Varadero airport to the resorts, it is a 30 minute ride and around USD$6 per person for a one-way journey.

Are Pets Allowed

I have to be honest and admit that I always find this a strange question for taking a holiday in Cuba because I would not recommend trying to bring your cat or dog to Cuba. Come without your pet if flying internationally! I have included this because I do get people emailing with this question!

Where should I stay in Cuba?

  • Beach and Pool Side – If you are looking solely for a beach holiday and to relax by a pool, then I would recommend Varadero, Cayo Coco, Cayo Ensenachos, Playa Ancón and Guardalavaca.
  • Culture and History – Havana
  • Countryside – Vinales Valley.

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