Replies: 11 - Last Post: Nov 12, 2012 4:10 PM Last Post By: SiveA
Nov 6, 2012 4:29 AM
accommodation dilemmaHi Guys,
I have a few questions I was hoping some of you could help me with.
I'm a woman travelling alone, I've booked almost 3 weeks in Cuba from 8th Dec to 27th Dec, I've also booked and my first 4 nights in Havana, after that I've no accommodation booked.
As I like cities and to be in the centre of the activities, my itinerary is:
4 nights in Old Havana
2 nights in Cienfuegos
2 ngihts in Trinidad
6 nights by the beach in Varadero
6 nights in Havana
I've tried to book my accommodation in the same hotel on my last leg in Havana but all of the hotels in my range are booked up as it's over Christmas period.
Would it be ok to book Casa Particulars as I travel or 1/2 nights ahead when I get to Cuba?
Should I book them now?
If I were to book Casa Particulars in advance, how does it work? Do I phone them and pay by laser card or does email suffice?
How much do they cost?
Can anyone recommend a Casa in old Havana?
If I need to book ahead, can you recommend a hotel in Varadero (around €60 a night)?
Thanks so much for your help.
Nov 6, 2012 9:39 AM
1You can book them and hope it is available when you get there. Most casas take the first customer that walks in the door with money in hand except "regular guests." That is someone they know, has been there several times and will be coming back. As far as the cheaper hotels they book rooms like the airline sells seats . . . no guarantees. I don't mean to discourage you, just be prepared.
Nov 6, 2012 10:11 AM
2The hotel in Varadero that you were recommended seems a good advice.
After some years of travelling in Cuba it is my idea that setting a fixed travel plan may be double sided. But if you have several elements to fit into your plan, flights inside Cuba, Viazul booking, hotels, direaha, new friends and suggestions etc you easily run the risk that your travel plans collapses.
Cubans are very flegmatic to unforseen delays. That is also what Cuban casa owners know and go by, and with no money in hand they will not turn away other paying guests.
If you are an experienced traveller try to solve more of your planning as you go. It you are not experienced try book a beach hotel in Holguin or Varadero, and possibly seeing other provinces from there.
Nov 6, 2012 11:54 AM
3If you want to spend Christmas in Havana, I suggest that you contact one of the middlemen such as Jorge or Pototo, and make a booking with them. They will be more likely to look after you if there is a problem.
What is a laser card ?
Nov 6, 2012 4:37 PM
Nov 7, 2012 12:58 AM
5thanks guys, this is very helpful.
Chefhagan, my budget for accomodation is about €50 a night, slightly higher for Havana.
BeardoUK - a laser card is similar to a visa except you must have money in your account. Visa - buy now pay later: Laser - buy now pay now: It's very good if you can't manage your money, MOI.
Nov 7, 2012 7:07 AM
Nov 7, 2012 7:27 AM
7As Travis says, I have a Visa debit card from Nationwide Building Society in the UK (which works in Cuba). The only cards that can work in Cuba are those with Visa or Mastercard symbols on them. But casa owners cannot accept any form of plastic directly.
Nov 11, 2012 6:15 PM
I've already asked this question but I need clarification. I have a NatWest Visa debit card which apparently will work in Cuba. But can I get money with it from inside the bank? If so, how much is the commission right now?
Nov 11, 2012 7:44 PM
Nov 12, 2012 7:20 AM
10For the actual exchange rates offered by a Cuban bank see - http://www.bc.gov.cu/Espanol/tipo_cambio_METROPOLITANO.asp
Cadecas and BFI offer slightly worse rates. You will see that on most currencies there is approximately 3% - 3.5% margin.
If you draw cash, you card gets charged in USD the cash withdrawn plus that 3% margin. Your bank will then make further charges on the exchange.
Nov 12, 2012 4:10 PM
Thanks so much for all your help, I've booked my accommodation in Havana, 4 nights at the beginning of my trip and 6 at the end of the trip.
Roll on December 7th.
(2 star Hotel)
From US$152.00 per night
(2 star Hotel)
From US$100.00 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$20.53 per night