Robaina's plantation

Saturday 8 September 2012

Renting Casa Particulars

                There are a number of types of accommodations that one can go with when it comes to Cuba the obvious of which is a Hotel, the other is a Casa Particular. A Casa Particular is either a Room, Apartment or House that is rented out directly by the owners. There are many variations of such rentals, I prefer the private apartment version. Legally the owners of such properties must have their living quarters connected in some way to the space which they are renting out but that isn't always the case. I've rented apartments that were private but where I had to pass through the renters space in order to get to mine and I've rented where the owners are nowhere to be seen except once a day when they come by to clean. In any case the owners are just a phone call away. I've rented this way for the last few years that I've been going to Havana except when it's been more convenient to purchase a package. I love renting apartments but have to admit the first time I rented a room in Cuba I was a little leery. At that time, never having done it before, I was very distrustful. After having done it a few times however and discovering the rewards, I loved it. After travelling to Havana for a number of years I have built a rather large friendship base. I need space to entertain and a hotel room won't give that to me. Renting an apartment allows me the space and comfort to have my friends over and act as if I was back home inviting people over for a dinner party or cocktails.
                   There's another great reason to rent a Casa Particular and that is to soak up the local colour. This form of rental will give the novice traveller to this a country a better insight to life in Cuba for the average person. Of course this form of travel isn't for everyone, especially if you enjoy all the creature comforts. Not every rental space will give you everything you want but certainly they will have what you need. Plus, the beach is 25 minutes away and not a short stroll. These things must be considered when renting this way. I believe the benefits far outweigh the little inconveniences that may arise.
                    Cuba is still a very safe country and Havana, a huge metropolis of a city spread over a large tract of land, is no different. In all my years of travel to this city I have never had a problem and have heard of few that have. Once you know your way around you will realize that most everything you may need is within walking distance of the space you rent. If you want to go to the beach there's a Hop-on Hop-off tourist bus that costs $5 per day that will take you there and back. Renting a Casa Particular is a wonderful way to explore Havana, a city frozen in time. The cost can also be much better depending on the length of stay and the number of people. A two bedroom apartment that can accommodate two couples might cost $70-80 per night total. Of course you'll have to fend for yourself when it comes to food but you'll find most things comparable to our prices in the supermarkets but finding some things there however are a hit and miss at times. As far as produce goes, you have many local stands and several large open markets that sell local fruit and vegetables in season for considerably less than what we're used to.
                     The price ranges vary with the location in which you rent. An apartment or room in Old Havana or Centro Havana usually will cost less than the Vedado district or certainly Miramar. There are some beautiful properties in Playa, Miramar and Siboney that cost $100 per room per night based on a 3 or 4 room rental (the whole house). These properties will have more of the creature comforts as well as a pool.  The further out you go from Old Havana and the more things become spaced out and less accessible on foot. That means you will have to factor in transportation (taxi) costs into your vacation. It all makes for a very interesting experience that I believe should be tried at least once. I would be happy to help.
                     For myself, renting this way in Havana enriches my life and I don't see myself doing it any other way. As always my goal is to show the best that Cuba has to offer and renting a Casa will bring all those wonderful things at your doorstep. This post may have been a bit vague but I'm more than happy to answer any questions you may have. The pictures below show some of the properties available for rent. I've also posted a link to a site I use when I go down.

Check this site below if your interested in booking a Casa Particular.

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