clarachoeParticipantFebruary 26, 2016 at 10:25 pmPost count: 2
Hello Mario, I’m planning a trip to Cuba for 2 weeks.. April 4-April 18. Your book was so helpful in narrowing down casa particulars in Havana for me but I also want to visit Varadero and Guanabo for a few overnight stays because I’m a beach bum. Can you help me find reasonably priced casas that I can rent? I’m looking at 25-35 CUC priced.MarioKeymasterFebruary 27, 2016 at 2:07 pmPost count: 210
Yes, I have a few good casas in Guanabo and a lot of casas in Varadero. I have not put them on the website yet. I will send you an email and we can work out all the details.
I will mention 1 thing… Guanabo beach is not what it used to be. The weather this year has really killed it. Very sad. But there is a beach close to Guanabo… about 3 minutes away by bus, that is still wonderful. It’s called Playa Santa Maria. I will be posting some info shortly on the website about how to get there from Guanabo.. You basically just take the bus and it’s the first stop. But in Playa Santa Maria there are very few rental properties. So usually clients stay in Guanabo and then just hop on the bus to go to Santa Maria for the beach.
MarioKevin cutlMeGuestJuly 20, 2016 at 6:30 pmPost count: 195
Hi Mario I know you have had this question before and I do thank you for previous help your assistant has booked 3 Casa,s for us and we are thinking the end of holiday the last 4/5 days travelling back from Trinidad we should just chill on beach at Varedero having never been to Cuba we need a bit help as I know we could go all in but would need to pay 5 star to get decent quality u less you know of any good Casa in Varedero for a few days Ps we don’t travel until 2 April 17. So thinking well ahead Regards KevinMarioKeymasterJuly 21, 2016 at 1:53 pmPost count: 210
In Varadero, I would really suggest that you stay in a hotel. A good, 4 star hotel can usually cost about 120$ per night, per couple. So 4 nights would be under $500. Actually, these prices are in Canadian dollars, because the largest hotel operators working in Cuba usually sell their rooms in Canadian dollars. I urge you to check out the website Sunwing.ca and to see the hotels they have. I would choose a 4 start hotel. The Memories brand has good reviews and is currently the best value, by most accounts. The Memories Varadero is 4 stars and the Grand Memories is 4.5 stars. Both are good. I would also suggest that you check out some reviews on Trip Advisor and also on this website – http://www.debbiescaribbeanresortreviews.com/cuba/cubarevind.html. Also, on this forum, http://forums.debbiescaribbeanresortreviews.com/c/cuba you can ask questions about specific hotels. The users are mostly Canadian and have very good experience in explaining the different hotels and the pros and cons of each.
The reason I think you should go with a hotel vs a casa in Varadero is simple.
- Varadero is a beach community. You go there to relax and have fun. This is much easier done in an all inclusive hotel rather than in a rental apartment, where you have to walk to the beach, search for shade, search for food and drinks each day… etc. In a hotel you have everything, and it’s included in the price.
- Varadero is expensive. Unless you plan on eating street food while you are there, it will be very tough to find cheap restaurants. You can easily spend 12 cuc per meal, per person while you are there. Plus drinks, plus transportation. You can spend 50$ per day for a couple on food and drinks and still not receive anything special.
- The casas are good in Varadero, but still, they will never be like hotels. You can spend 30$ to 40$ per night on a casa, but there will be no pool (or a tiny plastic pool), and it will be at least a few blocks walking to the beach. Add this price to the food cost and you get a total expense of about $80 per day for living in a casa. For $120 per day you could be relaxing in an all inclusive hotel…
Anyway, as I said, I recommend a hotel, and particularly the Memories brand, as it is a good value for your money. It’s not high end, but it suits the needs of a large portion of the market.
And for general advice, I will say, Cuba is a place that tries hard, but often fails to live up to high expectations. If you go there expecting quality, you will probably be disappointed a lot. But if you have an open mind and expect a reasonable value for your money, you can almost always be sure to get it. Cubans have a pretty good idea of what the mid range consumer expects, and they often meet or exceed those expectations.
I think you will have a wonderful trip.
MarioBrianGuestFebruary 4, 2017 at 1:04 pmPost count: 195
Hello, I am planning a trip to Vedado and also want to spend some time at the beach. I am having trouble finding a beachfront Casa Particular as most of the ones I see are a couple minutes from the beach. Wondering if you know of any Casa Particulars that are beachfront in Guanabo or anywhere else near Havana. Hopefully, they would have bars/restaurants nearby. Love you videos, thanksMarioKeymasterFebruary 4, 2017 at 2:56 pmPost count: 210
Beach front casas are almost impossible to find. There are a few in guanabo but when I checked them out, they were not in very good condition so I opted not to list them on the site. Varadero has a few beachfront casas, but those are very expensive to rent. Honestly for varadero I would suggest a hotel since the resorts are pretty reasonably priced and they are all inclusive. If you get a beachfront casa, once you factor in food and drinks, it will be more expensive than an all inclusive hotel.
In guanabo, the issue is flooding. The area is flooded each year and the houses along the beach are usually a mess. Even the beach front hotels used to get flooded all the time and were finally mostly torn down. Any good casa will be at least a few blocks from the beach. Its really not bad. Just a short walk and there are bars and restaurants all around.
I hope this helps
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