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Looking for a place to stay in Cuba? Try Airbnb

Cuba is exploding onto the travel scene.  Therefore people are looking for a place to stay in Cuba.  There is limited hotel space and what they have is not really up to American standards.  What I mean by that is mattresses are not as thick and plush as in the US and box springs are hard to come by. The WiFi on the island does not have the speed, bandwidth or security needed to connect to secure websites or operate video.  What we consider hot water, in the US, is hard to come by and when it is available water pressure may be an issue. Finally electric power periodically goes out.  The reason I am telling you this because I don’t want you to be alarmed.  Just because you pay over $100, $200 or even $300 per night does not mean it will by you the things we take for granted in the United States.  Why not try an Airbnb?

I opted for an Airbnb.  I did this knowing and understanding that I could not buy my way out of the basic problems in Cuba, I decided to stay in a local apartment instead.  My decision was based on 3 things:

  1. First was the cost. I paid $40 per night for my Airbnb in the heart of Havana, Cuba.  However I saw apartments that ranged from $28-89 per night.
  2. Second was the exchange rate. I purchased online through Airbnb which allowed me to pay in US dollars and to pay by credit card.  If I had paid at the hotel I would have been subject to a 10% tariff and a 3-4% service fee and I still would have to pay in Cuban CUC.
  3. My third and final reason was I wanted a kitchen to cook in. I know that this is not for everyone, but for me I wanted the ability to cook my own breakfast.  Taking my own supplies meant that I did not have to waste time or money trying to find a good breakfast.  This practice also works well if you are traveling with kids.

The other attraction to the Airbnb was living among and interacting with the Cuban People.

 

My stay was 7 nights in Cuba.  We stayed in 2 different Airbnbs. The first Airbnb was a traditional Apartment and cost $40 per night.  It was a 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment with a separate dining, living room and kitchen.   The apartment was roughly 900 sq ft. The apartment had air-conditioning and a tank-less water heater.

 

1st Airbnb

Pictures from the first Airbnb

Our second Airbnb was an apartment with shared common areas and it was also $40 per night..  We had a common living room, dining room and kitchen.  Our bedroom was private with an en-suite.  Our bedroom had its own door and lock.  We also had a key to the front door.  The bedroom was large with 2 night stands and a very large wardrobe.  The room also had a loveseat, coffee table and an extra chair.  The bedroom also had its own ductless air-conditioning.  The bathroom was really nice.  It was a 4 piece unit with a sink, toilet with a separate bathtub and shower.  The room had a spa shower complete with rain shower head, jets that sprayed water vertically and it had a hand held shower.  Here is a video to give you a better understanding.

2nd Airbnb

Pictures from the second Airbnb

Cuba has some basic problems that cannot be fixed by paying more.  For example WiFi is just not like the wireless internet you have at home or work.  The WiFi on the island is all the same and run by the Cuban Government.  Water is another issue.  You probably already know that you can’t drink the water, but hot water is not like at home either.  If you are a true fan of hot water then you will most likely not be satisfied.  Power is another concern in Cuba.  The standard is 220 volts but many places also have 110 volts.  If you are not sure before you get there make sure you bring an adapter. Don’t overlook Airbnb.  An Airbnb can provide you with a good location and the comforts of home.  Your Airbnb Host can also provide you with excellent information about the area, Havana and Cuba!

Enjoy the videos on our YouTube Channel “Blacks who Travel” – Base your feelings on your findings.

 

Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com/

Want to book either of the Airbnbs in this article?

  1. First Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11991345
  2. Second Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16251198

 

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Bill Collins

Bill Collins is a former Army Officer turned veteran traveler. I have traveled to 28 different Countries mainly concentrated in the Central & Latin America and have spent the last 16 years exploring the Caribbean Islands.

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