Havana hotel questions, and assorted others

Old Oct 1st, 2017, 01:11 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
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Thank you, Ann, and the very best to you and your family. Will see if the rules will still allow me to travel this winter. I think I now have some idea of the food situation for tourists but if I have to have the same few dishes it is ok as this is Just for a few days.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2017, 01:25 PM
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that's a good attitude, ek, and thanks. Visiting Cuba was a long-standing dream of my DH's and I'm so pleased that we got there when we could. If you are able to go, do it!
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Old Oct 1st, 2017, 04:23 PM
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The nice handicrafts market (modern handicrafts) to which annhig referred is on O’Reilly just down from the intersection with San Ignacio. I’d forgotten about that one (but know the location because I actually saved a picture so I could return!). There’s also a gallery with very nice woodwork on the corner of the Plaza de la Catedral.

If you search for “Old Town Square” on google maps, the picture that pops up is the cerveceria on Plaza Vieja. The beer is good, we didn’t eat anything there. For some reason I think it’s called “Factoria”
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Old Oct 2nd, 2017, 09:16 AM
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thanks, sf. I'd forgotten those details. The speciality of the beer factoria is skewers of chicken, seafood, or mixed.

But I did find the cafe that sells excellent coffee beans:

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Old Oct 6th, 2017, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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We had our guide make the reservation at VistaMar the day before as well as booking a car to take us there for us and our friends. It was a wonderful meal and beautiful setting.
THe menu was largely seafood a nice break fro all the pork and ropa vieja!
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Old Oct 19th, 2017, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Since your trip is only 4 nights, will be a good idea to stay only in Havana to save time instead of driving between other destinations. Also may schedule a one-day trip to Viñales or Varadero depending on your interest.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 08:48 AM
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Ok, two and a half years later, I am just back from renting a private house in Merida for 10 days..my very first Air B&B. Loved the house, the city and environs, and of course, the people. This area is vastly different from other regions of the country----just fantastic.

Never too early to think about next winter's small trip from south Florida to Cuba. I never did take the trip I had been planning when I wrote this thread, but instead visited Sevilla and Cadiz (not counting that as a short trip) and, as I said, this year, the Yucatan. Believe me, I am tempted to return to Merida, but also curious about Cuba, which I keep thinking about but never seem to actually make the trip.

Based on somem of the comments here and other places, I will consider private villa rentals and small B&Bs. I've come across some of the latter in Vedado which many reviewers with multiple trips behind them seem to prefer to central Havana. So I'm not only going to focus now on hotels, but add the smaller properties to my list. There are a few on the sea in Vedado that look beautiful. Many do not have pools but that will be ok since we will not be there more than 4 or 5 days, I don't think. There is also at least one good-looking (Inland) place in the suburb/area of Siboney, but that might be too far west of central Havana to be practical. It would be nice to be near good paladares or restaurants for dinners.

I will probably have a travel partner but might be solo. I speak Spanish. After being able to walk around Merida late at night, I do wonder about safety considerations for a single female; I imagine it would be more pestering that actual stealing but since I've never been..curious about this aspect of travel to Havana.

Keeping this new info in mind, would it be a poor choice to stay in Vedado and take taxis? A couple of the rentals offer the services of a driver so once I nail down the location, I can price that out.

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Jan 15th, 2020 at 08:56 AM.
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Old Jan 19th, 2020, 03:33 AM
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I can only say we were pleased we stayed on the edge of Old Havana for our first visit. Taxis are easy to get and some will wait for you while you have your meal in a restaurant and then take you back, very much like it used to be in Russia. Although we stayed in a hotel, we met lots of local people and they all spoke really good English, some just struck up conversations with us while walking past their home/business etc.
Maybe if we went back we would stay of the centre in Vedado or even Miramar (where Paladar Vistamar is). There was a programme on the BBC featuring Casa Antigua in Vedado & another one which I don't know the name of and they both looked very nice. The below link is the whole episode, the B&B part starts about 5 mins in. Doesn't appear that the hosts spoke English.

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