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“Good base in Havana”

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Maison David y Lidia Diaz
Ranked #36 of 696 Havana B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Good base in Havana”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2012

We arrived late evening and driving by taxi from the airport through the streets of Habana Centro seemed a bit scary as the buildings and roads are quite tatty and the scant street lighting means it is quite dark. After a couple of days we got used to it and found it was not a dangerous area although best to be streetwise and not carry bags at night etc as anywhere in the world.
4 of us (2 couples) had booked for 4 nights directly with David’s via email over two months before and he already said we would stay at David Junior’s house which was OK with us. (Be prepared for brief replies if you communicate with any casas as, even if they're one of the few with it, they have very limited internet access and it costs a fortune) Thus we were disappointed that he allocated us 2 interconnecting rooms with only 1 en suite attached to one of the rooms that one couple would therefore have to pass through to get to the bathroom or alternatively use another bathroom that was outside of the room. But we were tired and he promised to move us the following day, which he did, so the next day our friends had these 2 rooms to themselves (however there was nowhere to hang clothes -but the spare bed could be used for putting clothes on). We were moved to the room next door which also had an ensuite bathroom, a chest of drawers and hanging rail.
David met us at the house and a meal was waiting for us that we had ordered via email - lobster in a sauce accompanied by rice, beans, tomato salad, plantain and sweet potato chips. All tasty and good value at 10 cuc. Breakfasts were of a buffet style with a slight variation each day and perhaps one of the best we had in Cuba with fresh bread, toast, different jams each day, coffee, juice, cakes, fruits, cheeses etc. all for 4 cuc.
Both houses had an enclosed patio area garden which we loved. Many French people were staying there as it is in the Guide Routard and the several tables in the dining area seemed to be almost full at breakfast, so I’m not sure how many rooms they cater for all together. As others have mentioned it seems to have become quite a business. David was nice enough to us but we were a little disappointed as this was our first ‘casa’ in Cuba and we didn’t have the opportunity to chat about life in Havana etc and we found other casa owners we stayed with a bit friendlier and more forthcoming.
Both houses are nice but we felt that they could do with a bit more TLC. We understand there is a very limited supply in Cuba of even simple homewares but simple things could be fixed to make it nicer for guests - eg wiping up the paint splashes from decoration on the floor etc.
We found the location good being within walking distance of both the old historic centre in the east and Vedado in the west.
If you want to hear some authentic Cuban music you must visit El Jelengue (between the two casas about 100 m away along San Miguel), a packed bar/ dance place where locals go to listen to music and dance - we saw some great movers! See http://promociones.egrem.co.cu/ for programme - usually only from 5 to 7 early evening. Entrance was 5 cuc but was well worth it - we saw Septeto Habanero who reminded me of the Buena Vista Social Club.

Room Tip: We only stayed at David Junior's and it was quiet there
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank gillAndora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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324 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    210
    90
    14
    8
    2
See reviews for
60
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3
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
montreal,quebec
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2012

Sorry but i had a BAD experience for many nights...A very cold welcome because i was late-my plane was late and the airport at that hour had not enough taxis-sorry David but there is no excuse for that...when you a have so much experience and the traveller is more exhausted coming from his far away country after 12 hours of stress-than you might be...
Then a noisy room-next to the kitchen, common dining room-up to 15 persons having breakfast with a very strong echo ( colonial houses have ceramic-tiles floors and 15 feet high ceilings) a room with a wooden little window (the only window of the cell-like room) that opens on the washing and cooking area! I HAD ASKED TWICE FOR A QUIET ROOM!IT WAS CONFIRMED BY E-MAIL.
So, yes, i got moved to the other Casa-David's junior...but no smile, believe me...And as nice as it was, i lost my private bathroom-supposedly next to the room-well next was the whole lenght of the house-no light at night!
What else? As a single man, the first conversation Mr Diaz dared give me with a tired face was to tell me-*no woman here, no Cuban here...police etc*...Well, thank you for the diplomacy but i was there to visit and buy art not to get patronized and insulted without any politeness...Which i have strangely encountered in less educated Cuban or less starred-studded Hotels or Casas after.
Of course, he did not even offer any reduction for my inconvenience-(ie: changing room, not sleeping well, loosing my private bathroom, having to walk 450 feet for my breakfast-nor did he offer me breakfast on my last day when i had to leave at 8.00 a.m-which he knew the day before very well-i actually woke them up...Hospitality? Look somewhere else or take it his way. He might be busy, tired...well so was I. I saved my $ and took a plane for a holiday. He ruined the first week.
Lo siento, I'm sorry...but there are other wonderful places and people i met right after. From the most humble room in a private humble house for $3 to the 5* Palace at $850.00...a smile is not just a smile and a room NEVER just a room.
That is hospitality.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank manquedesoleil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2012

We stayed for 4 days in this excellent casa particular in Havanna- big bedroom including a dining room with library in a beautiful colonial house.
David is extremely helpful and a very nice person and organised for us and also other persons transportation to Vinales and Santa Clara -We would definitely go there again and also recommend our friends to stay there!
Alexandra & Lukas

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Alexandra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2011

We stayed 4 nights in this Casa and we fully enjoyed our stay. The house is impressive, the food is great and David is full of good advices. From there you can walk to either the old Havana or Vedado which is perfect. We had a massive two bedrooms suite for ourselves which was incredible with 3 meters high ceiling. Definitely the place to stay in La Havane.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank marmeladejam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2011

We end up in this Casa en Havana Central because our driver recommended it.

Aside from David and his family who are super friendly and helpful, the 2 casas are large and comfortable, with traditional wood furniture, great mattresses, with new electric and air conditioning system, lots of water pressure (a nice change in comparison to havana vieja or other casa we stayed at.

It is pretty conveniently located, to walk to la casa de la musica, et parque central area.
Food was great and lots to eat for a very reasonable price, David has the best cigars contact that we found also.

i would come back there if i ever am in Havan again..

Room Tip: more quiet is 2nd casa (David Junior's)
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sophtrio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2011

I honestly can't recommend this place enough. The houses are amazing, the rooms are great, breakfast is fantastic (I'll defy anyone to eat all of it;-) its massive) and David and his family are lovely, lovely people.

I can't imagine better value for money in a capital city.

The house is situated close to the the old towm (about a 15 minute walk) and the street itself looks a little run down, but don't let this put you off, you actually get hassled far less here than in the old town where the bulk of the tourist trade is.

David gave us a run down of all the things we need to be aware of as first timers in Havana and the advice came in handy on a number of occassions.

The resident crocodiles and turtles are a soothing way to pass a few minutes in the hall way as well.

If you're going to Havana, please consider this place (and no, I'm not on comission) :-) its a great, quiet refuge from the craziness of the city and we met a nice bunch of other travellers there as well.

Gaz

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank donharba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ross-on-wye, england
Level Contributor
79 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2011

We didn't know what to expect when we returned to Havana to stay in Maison David y Lidia. We had chosen somewhere else but it was full so the web agent suggested and booked us here. It was in a very convenient part of Centro Havana which was just what we wanted, so it was easy to walk into Havana Viejo. The street is narrow and the front door not very imposing so we were delighted when we entered and found ourselves in the hall of a large and imposing old colonial-type building. David has the whole ground floor including an open courtyard with fountain. There were 2 small alligators in it which David told us had bad eyes. "I am a vet and when they are cured I shall return them to the wild."
Our room was in fact a suite. We had the original salon of the house, a very large bedroom which he kindly put a second double bed in for us, a little hall with a fridge, and a bathroom with efficient shower. David speaks excellent French and in fact most of his guests were French - this seems to be a hidden gem that only the French so far have discovered! (which is particularly why I wanted to write this review) He also speaks good English and was very helpful. The Continental breakfast was large and tasty, not cooked but lots of pastries, breads, fruit and jams. David has a computer and internet connection, which is rare in Havana. He is also listed on rentaencuba,cu. For around £25 per night for two, you really can't go wrong. This is a really great place to stay whilst you are in Havana - we have already recommended it to friends and would have stayed there on our final night when we again returned to Havana - sadly he was fully booked.

  • Stayed January 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hollysmum_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Maison David y Lidia Diaz

Property: Maison David y Lidia Diaz
Address: Street: San Miguel Number: 426 (Low) | Between: Lealtad and Campanario Centro Havana Cuba, Havana, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Amenities:
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #36 of 696 B&Bs / Inns in Havana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Street: San Miguel Number: 426 (low) Between: Lealtad and Campanario Centro Habana. Havana.Cuba ... more   less 

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