The concept ‘hostel’ is a bit confusing in Cuba.
Basically there are 2 types of accommodation in Cuba: Hotels and Casas Particular.
Hotels are state owned (at least 51% but let’s not get technical) and don’t live up to the international classification. Deduct at least one star for the real comfort level. So if you are looking for a terrible price/quality ratio go for a Hotel.
Casas Particular are private businesses that rent out rooms. Here’s that story.
‘Hostal’ is a classification invented by the Cubans. It’s just a different name for a Casa Particular with more than 1 room. Cubans think it has a classy ring to it!
Some innovative Cubans came up with the idea to rent out beds in dormitories per bed and not per room on a Casa Particular permit. Hence the hostel was created. They are perfect for the solo budget traveller. So a hostel is simply a Casa Particular that rents beds in shared rooms.
Casas typically charge 25 CUC and up per room (in Havana). Hostels for backpackers start at 6 CUC per bed. So if you are travelling alone it is a lot cheaper and much more fun because you will make new like-minded friends from all over the world, that are also travelling on a similar budget.
Here are a few examples:
All of them are perfect for the solo backpacker.
Sleep tight and make a some new friends!