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.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Street: San Miguel Number: 426 (low) Between: Lealtad and Campanario Centro Habana. Havana.Cuba ... more less