CIENFUEGOS, Casa los Delfines. 2011 review – budget – 3 ½ out of 5.
Pros: 1) The room is large and comfortable, 2) the private terrasse is amazing (the highlight), 3) breakfast is really good, 4) Magalis (the owner) makes a fantastic mohito , the best we had in Cuba.
Cons: 1) No dinner is served and when asked Magalis said that the kitchen is undergoing renovations. She suggested the restaurant next door (there’s where we went – it was fine). I mentioned to her that she should mention this when travellers look to book with her as many want the full casa experience. Looking at all the reviews however, it seems apparant that Magalis has never offered meals in her casa. My complaint is not with going to the restaurant – it was with what I felt was dishonesty on the part of Magalis. 2) Some issues with cleanliness. A couple of very dirty rugs on the floor, a moldy bath mat, hundreds of little ants all over the main shelving. Lumpy pillows that need to be changed. With some cleaning the room would be perfect. 3) all in all, was quite expensive. Casa was the most expensive we encountered and, combined with having to go to the restaurant every night, we ended up paying substantially more than we did anywhere else. Magalis, although sweet, is above all a business woman.
HAVANA, Parque Central Hotel. 2011 review – mid-range – 4 out of 5.
My Tripadvisor review (with a scam warning): http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowUserReviews-g147271-d151444-r119477553-Iberostar_Parque_Central-Havana_Cuba.html
A beautiful hotel with the most fantastic views from its rooftop. Clean, modern room. Friendly service and a very nice lobby bar that makes you think you are back in 1950’s Havana. A refuge from the stressful hustle and bustle of the city. My only negative advice is to avoid the food in the hotel’s restaurants – there’s a good restaurant across the street which is both cheaper and better.
TRINIDAD, Hostal Dr. Suarez y Sra. Addys. 2011 review – budget – 4 ½ out of 5.
We consider Jose and Addys our friends in Cuba. They are fantastically warm and friendly and we had interesting chats with them on Trinidad, Cuba, and Caribbean life in general. In addition to our room (complete with private bathroom, minibar, and AC) we had a deck overlooking the town where Addy would serve us breakfast and supper. I totally recommend this casa (Cost: 30 CUC night, 4 CUC breakfast, 10 CUC supper – lodging and food over 5 days came out to an average of 60 CUC a day for 2 people which is a good deal in Cuba).