According to an article that I read online, Cuba is Airbnb’s fastest growing market. Serendipitously, when I made the decision to go visit Cuba, I chanced upon the article, and so, I checked out Airbnb’s site for Cuba. I was immediately attracted to Casa Blanca. The idea of being able to gaze upon the sea from the balcony appealed to me. Casa Blanca also just looked beautiful in the pictures.
I would say that it was a wonderful trip, and it was as advertised. Sometimes, pictures can be deceiving, but not in this case. Communications with the host, Yosvany, was always quick. I was arriving into Havana late (10.30 pm), so he arranged for my airport transfer. And when I arrived, I was given a welcome drink. I was also very happy with my room, which had a double bed, mini-fridge, ensuite bathroom, and a working A/C unit. The room went for $40 a night, not inclusive of breakfast.
Location-wise, it is between Old Havana and Vedada (sorta like fancy new Havana), so it was walking distance between the two of them. It faces the Malecon, a seawall, where Cubans hang out in the evenings, and particularly, on weekends. It is a nice little spot generally, especially if you can walk some 15 minutes to Old Havana.
Casa Blanca serves breakfast for 3 CUC, and they offer bread, eggs, jam, coffee/tea, fruit, and juice. I didn’t take up the option during my stay, but it looked delicious. They also serve dinner for 12 CUC, but once again, I did not take up the option. The mini-fridge is also stocked with drinks like water, beer, soda that got slightly above prices of a mini mart, but comparable to a low-end restaurant (e.g. 500 ml bottle = 1 CUC).
While Yosvany wasn’t there, his family was there. They are very gracious and hospitable hosts, and I got a lot of travel information from them. An example: I also arranged for an airport transfer with Yosvany’s sister, and one of their guesthouse staff (?) actually got up at 5.45 am, and stood at the balcony to ensure that my taxi arrived at 6 am. I am under the impression that Cubans are not a huge fan of the early mornings (me neither), so that’s saying something.
I’d highly recommend staying with them.
Here are the links to Yosvany’s guesthouse:
If you have never used Airbnb prior to this, I’d be grateful if you use my link. That would give you $20 off your first booking, and I will get $20 as well.
Here are some of my pictures of Casa Blanca