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Casas Particulares in Havana Cuba

Green Casa Particular in Havana
The Casa Particular Where the Author Stayed in Havana

Staying in a Private House in Havana

With limited hotel capacity and more American visitors arriving every day, these private homes that rent out spare rooms are becoming important. These private houses are called "casas particulares" in Spanish.

Here is a description of the casa we stayed at. At first, driving in the taxi from the airport it seemed to be a rundown area. Then, the same street a few blocks down -- giant British Embassy. Canadian Embassy and many others on the same street or within a few blocks. My casa was just across the street from the Haitian Embassy (not one of the more glamorous, but still a nice building and grounds.)

It was located in the Miramar area of Havana. A nice two-story building on a street of rather run-down smaller homes. But in an area with many good houses, and quite a number of embassies (housed in larger residences.) The street had no stores or restaurants right nearby. (Though I found a number of stores and small cafes later, only several blocks away. And more restaurants and a nice hotel a bit further away, but still within walking distance.)

The top floor of the Casa was rented long-term to Cuban tenants. The bottom floor was a large, well-furnished living room, a small but well-equipped kitchen, and a very large, nice patio out back, covered with palm trees and shade trees and filled with outdoor furniture. It had a table with settings for 8 where we had coffee (provided and made by the owner each morning, along with some toasted white bread.) I also bought chorizo (Mexican style sausage) on my own, and the household (one or two ladies who hung in the kitchen and cleaned the house and patio all day) happily sliced it and sauteed it for me each morning. Toward the end of my stay they offered eggs. The fried eggs and chorizo, served with strong Cuban coffee, made a great breakfast. The patio had several bird cages, each of which contained a small-size uniquely Cuban bird. One bird (a negrito) had a very complicated, long song it occasionally trumpeted out.

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Staying in a Private House in Havana (continued)

Chorizo and eggs breakfast
A Breakfast of Chorizo, Eggs and Coffee Served in the Patio of the Casa

The main floor also had two separate bedrooms, each rather large and with a very large "king" size bed. It seemed to me even wider than any king size bed have seen in the US. The bed was very comfortable. Our only complaint was that it had only two regular size pillows. An extra couple of pillows to raise their height would have been welcomed.

The room had its own attached bath (with toilet, sink and shower -- with hot water). The other bedroom had a dedicated, but separate bathroom for it (a couple of steps down a hall.) Our room had an air conditioner (with remote) that worked great, and a TV (with remote) which didn't receive any channels very well. Other than that, there was only a couple of smallish tables and nightstands. And one small chair. (But the owner allowed me to bring a more comfortable chair in from the living room.)

All windows were covered with thick, wide shutters (about 4" long and 3/4" thick.) So the room seems secure from people coming through the windows.

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