Casa Particular in Cuba
A casa particular is the official Bed and Breakfast in Cuba. They are often referred to as ‘sleeping in the houses of real Cubans’. This is a euphemism. Most owners of the Casas are social upper-class, party members and relatively rich. The real Cuban cleans and cooks at your Casa Particular for 1 CUC a day.
Things change quickly in Cuba… there is a newer post about how to book a Casa Particular here
The word “casa particular” means ‘private or lonely house’… that’s why most of them are in buildings and crowded areas… :-). Bring ear plugs
The real cuban houses
If you really want to know how real Cubans live, get yourself invited to a meal at the home of the cleaning lady at your casa. Be discreet, Casa owners do not like their personnel to mingle with tourists. Just so you know, the owner of your Casa Particular is NOT a typical Cuban.
Still the Casas are by far the best way to get to know the country. I would prefer a Casa Particular above a hotel any time. Better service, better food, better beds (most of the time), friendlier people and more freedom.
You can recognize an official Casa by this sign.
It has to be blue. The red signs indicate that’s a Casa Particular for Cubans only, mostly rented by the hour.
Staying in a Casa Particular has some pitfalls too. That’s why you should read our book. We help you travel Cuba the smart way and will not only save you a lot of money, we will give you insights about the country and it’s people that are off the record and (sometimes) politically incorrect but true.
You can either pre-book your casa over the internet or find yourself one on the spot. Here is a site with many casa’s and Here is another one. Finding a Casa Particular is no problem. I never pre-book and always get a good deal because I understand the game… You might too if you go through the trouble of reading our book.
Still, the Casa particular is by far the best way to get to know the Cuba. We help you understand the way this works and explain what you can negotiate and what not.
You must understand that the Casas are heavily taxed and thus seem very expensive if you compare their prices to the monthly pay a Cuban receives. But they are only taxed on the rooms they rent, not on the food they serve you.
We have a whole chapter of tips and advice how to handle the pitfalls you can encounter in your Casa. Please read it to prepare your stay. You can start by reading part of our book on this site.
To download the whole book, you must compensate our troubles with a few Euros :-).