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“casa Irma y Roly”
Review of Casa Irma y Roly

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Casa Irma y Roly
Ranked #91 of 702 Havana B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Casa Irma y Roly: If you want to sample what life is like in old Havana then stay in a casa particular, a private family house in Cuba. I stayed with Roly and Irma and their extended family over the Christmas period of 2010 and into the new year of 2011. It was a great time and they are a lovely family, very welcoming and we had a lot of fun. I went to lots of places around Havana with extended members of the family and friends that I would have never seen without that kind of local knowledge. We had a street party on New Year’s eve where everyone comes onto the street and drinks, dances and talks. At midnight people throw water onto the street to symbolise out with the old, I think.
When you stay in a casa particular you will probably meet other people that are fairly like minded in that they want to experience the real Cuba. At casa Roly y Irma I met people from America, Ukraine, France and Spain amongst others all with stories to tell. It’s nice sitting around a house with new faces arriving on a regular basis. I stayed with Roly and Irma for around three weeks because I liked Havana so much, so by the end of it I was treated like kind of extended family and introduced to new guests as such.
If you want to improve your Spanish a casa particular is probably a really good place to do it. Roly, Irma and their family speak mainly Spanish, but enough English to get by. I could barely speak Spanish when I arrived in the middle of the night and was having trouble explaining to the taxi-driver where to go. I could speak quite a bit of Spanish by the time I left Cuba and Roly, Irma and the family and friends were very patient with my efforts. It’s always good to laugh at yourself.
Irma and her sister are fantastic cooks and every morning you will be eating fresh exotic fruits and a choice of other good food. Some of which is bought from the local markets which Roly cycles to or from Roly’s vegetable and fruit allotment. You can also have sweet and strong Cuban coffee if you have a taste for it and fresh fruit juices. If you want to eat at night at the casa that’s fine too and Irma cooks this one dish with black beans and pork that is incredible, but all of her cooking is delicious. It is especially good with Cuban beer like Bucanero or Cristal, maybe followed by some of Roly’s brandy and in the background Rumba and Salsa music from the street.
Casa Roly y Irma is very traditional, which adds to its charm. It is a family house with pictures of everyone in the family and a big TV set. As an ex-barman Roly also has a well-stocked drinks cabinet and makes his own brandy, which is very good stuff. Roly worked in the famous El Floridita bar on Calle Obispo for many years, from memory about thirty years, and has many stories and photos of himself and celebrities there, including Jack Nicholson.
Casa Roly y Irma is at the heart of old Havana or Habana Vieja. Roly and Irma’s casa is on Compostela, one of the older streets in Havana and about one hundred metres from Calle Obispo or Obisco Street. Obispo is the main walking and shopping street with bars and restaurants and people promenading and socialising. If you want to feel some of the spirit of Havana this is a good place to take it in.
Roly and Irma’s place is really well located for seeing Havana. You can see it all with bus trips around Havana running regularly that take you around the city’s sites including up the Malecón, near the Hotel National de Cuba, Miramar and Plaza de la Revolución. Go to the Casa de la Musica, one in Havana Vieja and one in Miramar, Cubans love to dance and you can see Salsa bands, the atmosphere is charged, it’s great.
If you have time take a trip to Cojimar and go to La Terraza, one of Ernest Hemmingway’s favourite haunts. There are also lots of beaches around Havana and you can get a bus to them cheaply and have coconuts with Cuban rum in them on the beach and listen to Salsa in the sun.
Best wishes Roly and Irma
Steven Hipwell Lichfield UK

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank maybeyouliketoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 - 45 of 119 reviews

Reviewed January 21, 2012

Roly and his wife Irma run this little bead+breakfast. Roly is a very social and communicative person. He used to work as bar keeper in the famous cocktail bar "Floridita" where the Diquiri was invented! If you ask him he shows you pictures of the VIP guests he served like Jack Nicholson. Irma is much more distanced. But they both take care that you feel well in their house.

The rooms are in the first floor. Air condition is available. This is a typical casa particular, so do not expect any luxuary. Especially, the bathroom is a bit old and smalls strongly. I have lived in many casa particulares in Cuba but most bathrooms were better than this one.

The casa is located in the middle of the old town. When you like to be part of the real cuban city center, this place will be your perfect homebase. It is noisy and busy in the old town center. If you look for a calm place, like for the first night when you arrive in Cuba, you should look for a different place outside the old town center.

What I did not like was that they do not hand you a key for the house. Whenever you come home, you need to ring the bell. Of course this is for their own security - no one can lose the key to their home. But this lack of free access to your room is uncomfortable.

Breakfast was ok and typical for casa particulares. It would be great if they could offer some thing else that the "default breakfast" such as pancakes.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank flame19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2012

The casa is situated right in the old town, close to much of what there is to see in havana. The people were nice, particularly Roly who made us the best mojitos we've ever drank. The bed was not very confortable, and probably very old. They also were small tiny ants in the bathroom but the place was very cosy.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Location
Thank cathy c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile
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Stayed: March 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank corse23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile
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Stayed: September 2017, traveled with family
Thank VeroUru16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
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Stayed: September 2017, traveled with friends
Thank Isilla T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
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Stayed: July 2017, traveled with family
Thank sonia0427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Irma y Roly

Address: Compostela 117 entre tejadillo y empedrado | Habana vieja, Havana 10100, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciudad de la Habana Province > Havana
Hotel Style:
Ranked #91 of 702 B&Bs / Inns in Havana
Price Range: $30 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 2

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