Holiday Homes :: Havana, CUBA

I walked into home for the long weekend and was greeted by bright natural sunlight, panoramic view of the city and the cool ocean breeze.  I could see the rooftops of all the buildings below me and into the horizon miles away from 15 floors high above the ground.  The apartment itself had a coo and antique-y vibe that invited us to simply chill and enjoy our time here.

There is no shortage of lodgings in Havana and you’ll have your choice of hotels, casas and hostels all over the city.  I chose Alex’s Airbnb through the Airbnb site because of the location, the space, and the awesome reviews.  Alex was out of town the week we went, but his son, Marcos greeted me at the front door when I called to let him know I was there and gave us a tour of the home.  He was so helpful from the minute we met to the day we left, giving us restaurant recommendations, arranging taxi rides, and making dinner reservations.  Alex lives in one of the units on the lower floors and provided breakfast for $5 CUC, which is about 5 US dollars.  This was a huge life saver because we were getting up fairly early every morning to go on adventures and finding vegan breakfast that early would have been a bit of an issue. Alex’s Airbnb also has a cleaner who comes every day to make the bed, restock the fridge and tidy up the house.  She also offers laundry service should you need some laundering done.

After a busy day of walking in the heat, we were all happy to hang out in our spacious apartment, drinking the cold bottled water and beers provided in the fridge, sipping on whiskey we bought at the airport, the boys smoking their Cuban cigars in the smoking “lounge” and enjoying the cool evening breeze.   The neighborhood was quiet but easily accessible, great restaurants near by, the hotel just two blocks away provided me with Wifi, money exchange, taxis and a bar to hang out at night.  All in all, I had a great experience staying at Alex’s and would recommend it to anyone who wanted to stay clost to Old City but not in it.

This is my third time staying in an Airbnb versus a hotel, and I must say… I think I am done with hotels! I rarely use hotel amenities such as room service or evening turn downs.  I generally don’t like people entering the space during my stay and the comfort of having a full sized “home” with a full kitchen is very attractive to me.  All three Airbnbs’ I stayed in so far has been comfortable, provided more than enough towels where I don’t need new ones (new towels everyday is not very eco-friendly, is it?) and the were more responsive and helpful than the front desk staff at hotels! I am not saying that ALL Airbnbs will provide the kind of experiences we’ve had so far, but that’s why reading all the reviews, looking at pictures and doing your own research on the neighborhood is so important.

*I wasn’t planning on writing a post just on our Airbnb home experience so I didn’t take too  many pictures, but I think I will make this a regular topic from now on!

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