February 5, 2004

Cuba: Finding a Place to Stay

Arrendador Inscripto (2k image)Part the Fourth: Part the First: Finding a Place to Stay

Even something as simple as finding a decent place to stay in Cuba can be challenging. Not because decent places are in short supply, but rather because the system isn’t quite what most tourists are expecting.

Of course, the most common option is to go in search of a hotel, right? Well, you’re in luck. In most towns that tourists are likely to visit, the government will have plenty of hotels set up for you. (Remember, every business in communist Cuba is owned by the government – if you hold out for a private hotel, you’ll end up sleeping on a park bench.) Cuban hotels, in my experience, come in three varieties: “normal,” resort, and Cuban-only.

Unless you’re already Cuban (and if you are, why are you reading this travel guide?) it’s a difficult sell to convince them that you should be able to stay in a Cuban-only hotel, so let’s just discard that option. Resorts are expensive, at least in relation to other costs in Cuba. If you want to spend $40-$50 per night, per person, be my guest. Might as well rent a car while you’re at it, too. But if you’re traveling on a budget, the normal hotels are probably your only option.