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Casa Particular vs Airbnb

Long Island City...
8 posts
Casa Particular vs Airbnb

4 of us are going to Cuba from New York at the end of January for 10 days; I've seen numerous mentions in the forum of staying at casa particulars, but nothing about how to actually book one. We are looking at Airbnb as well as you can book in advance and pay by credit card, but seems the casa particulars are cheaper and really the way to go. We're all experienced travelers and want to stay in Havana Viejo. One of our group is from the UK and apparently for his visa he needs to indicate a place where he'll be staying. Thanks for your help.

95 replies to this topic
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8,721 posts
5 reviews
6 helpful votes
1. Re: Casa Particular vs Airbnb

You misunderstand that Airbnb in Cuba IS a listing of casa particulares.

The only difference with Cuba based booking agencies is the same casa will be cheaper.

Look at FAQ #20 for links to such agencies or directories. Cuba Accommodation e.g. accept pre payment from US credit cards.

Note casa particular is a general term that describes a room in someone's house, a private seof contain apartment, a house with swimming pool and full time staff.

https:/…

Edited: 7:48 pm, December 09, 2016
Vinales, Cuba
Level Contributor
32 posts
2 reviews
1 helpful vote
2. Re: Casa Particular vs Airbnb

the difference is that Airbnb is more expensive than others directories that also have Casas Paticulares listed. for example

www.cuba-junky.com/

www.cubacasas.net/

https://www.bandbcuba.com/

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8,721 posts
5 reviews
6 helpful votes
3. Re: Casa Particular vs Airbnb

@2 I thought I already say that ja ja!

Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
22,107 posts
28 reviews
12 helpful votes
4. Re: Casa Particular vs Airbnb

By the way - your guy from the UK sounds like he is getting the tourist card from the Cuban consulate. It might be easier if he uses one of the online agency.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
220 posts
39 reviews
21 helpful votes
5. Re: Casa Particular vs Airbnb

Sorry to barge in - no actual travel experience yet, we are going on the 20th - but just wanted to share with Citiview: I ended up booking with Airbnb because on several Cuban agency sites, they often don't have up-to-date availability info. You search casas, find something you like, send in a request... the agent then responds: "it's not available on your dates, here is something else" (usually, more expensive or less appealing...) Because the internet there is not readily available, this email exchange may take a few days... and after this happened 3 or 4 times, I became worried that we might show up in Havana casa-less. I know we could probably find a house right upon arrival, but I'm not very comfortable with this idea. That's why we went with the familiar format of Airbnb.

United States
Level Contributor
11,162 posts
276 reviews
494 helpful votes
6. Re: Casa Particular vs Airbnb

agree with post 5...tried a couple of those sites and way too much hassle back and forth. Air BNB was easy and worth the fee...for some time is more important than the extra $$. Even get miles with Delta now for booking Air BNB...and they have partnered with AX which makes me a bit more comfortable that in case of an issue they might be able to help (key word might). I also enjoy reading the reviews and getting an idea of others' experiences. There are many casas going online now and they vary in terms of privacy and general comfort.

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Camaguey, Cuba
Level Contributor
11,997 posts
7. Re: Casa Particular vs Airbnb

The thing is that, even Airbnb is not up to date with the availabilities. There have been many reports of people booking with Airbnb, showing up at the casa, just to be told that they were already booked. And they were offered an other casa...

So really not worth the fee.

For me, the only reliable websites that makes sense for Cuba's casas is Particuba.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
220 posts
39 reviews
21 helpful votes
8. Re: Casa Particular vs Airbnb

@7 - that's disconcerting. I've exchanged messages with the casa owners through Airbnb, so fingers crossed, maybe being in touch with an actual person makes a switcheroo less likely?... or so I hope?...

United States
Level Contributor
11,162 posts
276 reviews
494 helpful votes
9. Re: Casa Particular vs Airbnb

Absolutely post 8...I have had nice communication and in fact they are arranging some things for us in Havana... things can always happen but I am fairly confident that my accommodations are in order. There are many casas that do not require any deposit etc. and it seems some of them are asking for deposit....I would think those without the money would be more likely to "walk" their guests. Also a few apartments that I was looking at wanted wire transfers...Air BNB is much easier to do that a wire transfer. Anyway whatever one is comfortable with is good...no right or wrong.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8,721 posts
5 reviews
6 helpful votes
10. Re: Casa Particular vs Airbnb

@5 Airbnb has no more up to date availability than actual Cuba based sites and in many cases is less up to date even though the charges are much more.

From FAQ # 20 which is followed by a range of booking options including some that take US credit cards

"Don't get hung up on finding perfect casa - as generalisation casas of a similar price are of a similar quality – simply provide to a reputable Havana based agency details of the general area you wish to stay in, the price range you are willing to pay and your dates."

https:/…

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