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Chasing Havana: 10 Authentic Airbnb Vacation Rentals

Kimberlyn
Published Apr 28, 2017

Political and social complexities aside, Havana is intoxicatingly charming. Its buildings, ravaged by time, are often decades, even centuries old into disrepair, and they look like a movie set off a Spanish Noir. This art-loving, hospitable city is a place for you to have an adventure of a lifetime. Here are our top 10 Airbnb vacation rentals for a functional and authentic stay in a city flowing with swashbuckling energy.

Precautions for your stay

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Disrepair

As mentioned, many of the buildings in Havana are very old- which can be very beautiful, but are quite delicate and in need of repairs. The locals are aware of this and most of the houses on this list are maintained to their best ability. However, the city dwellers would prefer if tourists are not too rowdy when it comes to handling facilities like doors and walls.

Additionally, modern and clean toilets are not easily available along the streets of the city. Step inside a nearby hotel for a clean bathroom.

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Wi-fi

Before leaving check with your service provider if they have any specific packages for accessing data in Cuba. If not, you are welcome to use internet cards to connect to the internet through wi-fi. Buy a ETESCA card from a telecommunications centre or a Hotel with wi-fi for pay by hour internet connection. Do remember that if you choose to access the internet, it will be monitored by the government- Cuba is a beautiful travel destination but its government does survey its citizens and visitors.

Perhaps, this is the perfect holiday to disconnect from the stresses of social media and technology?

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Scams

As usual, don’t change money on the street and agree on cab fares before you get into the taxi. Cuba can be a little more confused with money exchanging, as there are two sets of currency accepted here. One Cuban convertible (CUC$) is equivalent to 25 moneda nacionals (MN$).

Be careful of jockeys and hustlers, known locally as jineteros, who pose as your vacation rental hosts! There have been instances of people being lead to completely different locations, made to be paid huge prices and ‘commission fees’ by these scammers. Familiarize yourself with who you’ll be staying with or under by exchanging several pictures and calls.

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1. Bed and breakfast with a sea view (from 53 USD)

Designed in all white, this private room for two is sure to add a touch of magic with its romantic atmosphere. Located in the oldest part of Malecon Habenero, you will have access to many historical buildings, sights, downtown and the seafront. Head out to the dining area in the morning and take in calm, breezy sea views of miles as you enjoy your complimentary breakfast. And the bedroom has a calming atmosphere and is sure to send you off to a good night’s sleep. On top of that, a spacious bathroom with fresh towels/linens is available. Here, you can clean up thoroughly after your long beach walks and photography sessions in the historical district.

B&B with Wonderful Sea View

Address: Havana, Cuba

Price: from 53 USD

Number of Guests: 2

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2. A colourful, friendly apartment near a foodie enclave (from 70 USD)

Framed by plants, white orchids and a hospitable spirit, this home is sure to make anyone feel comfortable and welcomed to Havana. This home has 2 bedrooms that come with beautiful, homely beds that make for restful nights. One of the most enjoyable parts of this Casa is a comfortable spot with coloured glass windows made by Humberto himself! So spend some time admiring them all. The bathroom is sparkling clean, has great water pressure and is similarly artistically decorated like the rest of the house. With these amenities, you are sure to have an incredibly comfortable stay.

Humberto's casa is fantastic. It is very clean, two good sized rooms with fans and air conditioning (should you want it) and a sparkling bathroom with a good shower. Sophia

Apartamento en el Vedado

Address: Havana, Cuba

Price: from 70 USD

Number of Guests: 4

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3. A cool, clean, apartment in a prime location (from 38 USD)

This apartment, located in the central part of old Havana, is a great place to explore and get to know the city like a local. When you’re feeling tired, you can head into the bedroom which has two neatly kept queen-size beds. So guests can enough space to sprawl out singularly, or you could join the beds together to make it a single double sleeper. When you need to wash up, you can make use of the well-equipped bathroom with a shower. Also, remember to head out to the balcony. While the view decaying old buildings may not seem like the most glamourous one, it’s still fairly interesting to look down and see people interacting. You might even catch a glimpse of a neighbour or two slipping out to the balcony to enjoy the famous Cuban cigar.

Casa Thompson in Old Havana

Address: La Habana, Cuba

Price: from 38 USD

Number of Guests: 4

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4. A blue beauty with a cheerful interior (111 USD)

This beautiful, classic apartment listing will chase away your blues with its own bright hues. After a long day out, you’ll definitely want to have a shower so feel free to make use of the bathroom that comes with a separated bath area and toilet area. This also helps ensure that your toilet trips in the middle of the night won’t be slippery. The living room is decked out in paintings and coloured tiles and even comes with two sleeper sofas, and will allow you to sleep comfortably. Or if you want a proper room, you can head into the sleeping area. It’s definitely not your generic hotel room as it’s uniquely stylish and comfortable with its soft beds and pretty sheets.

Boutique Apartment, Plaza Vieja.

Address: Centro Histórico, La Habana, Cuba

Price: from 111 USD

Number of Guests: 4

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5. A vibrant double room for four (120 USD)

Stained glass windows, dark beige walls and old school floral accents give this listing the sort of homely, welcoming atmosphere you’d find at a grandmother’s house. The master bedroom comes with a wide, king-size bed which ensures that no couple has to fight over sleeping space. If you’re bringing two more friends along for your trip, they can still sleep well in the two separate beds in the second bedroom. The bathroom is a shared one, so both bedrooms have easy access to it!

Mi casa tu casa Double (2) room for rent in Havana

Address: Havana, Cuba

Price: from 120 USD

Number of Guests: 4

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6. A spacious colonial styled listing (from 318 USD)

With a doorman greeting you at the door, this beautiful colonial house is a delight to those who want to feel pampered while on vacation. With such beautiful surroundings and amenities, you’ll forget you ever needed wi-fi. The chandeliers, marble pillars and matching drapes to the windows tie in nicely to give the impression of what could be mistaken as a filming location for a period drama. This 1923 house has 4 spacious bedrooms that can sleep up to 8 guests, so you and your fellow travellers can rest peacefully. However, you might want to fight a little more for the master bedroom because of its ensuite bathroom. It’s decked out in pink just like it’s part of Barbie’s penthouse and it also comes with a hot tub!

Colonial house 1923, four rooms

Address: Vedado, La Habana, Cuba

Price: from 318 USD

Number of Guests: 8

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7. A golden, glowing Art Deco apartment (from 296 USD)

Fans of the Art Deco style will be delighted with the golden, rustic charms of this apartment. The rattan and wooden furniture help add character to this already vintage apartment. For larger group of travellers, this home is perfect because it comes with 4 bedrooms that can sleep up to 8 people. The 1920s vibe remains consistent in all of the 4 bedrooms and it truly makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a different time period. The vibe even carries on into the fully-equipped bathroom with its marble floors and granite walls.

Rooftop Villa in the heart of Havana ~ Villa Vera

Address: La Habana, Cuba

Price: from 296 USD

Number of Guests: 8

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8. A period style home 4 blocks away from the beach (188 USD)

This period style home captures that mismatched charm that Havana is all about. While surrounded by old, worn out architecture, it is still proud and dignified in its elegant interior and spirit. With influences drawn from many places, this apartment is a great place for an artist to find inspiration. If you need breakfast to survive in the mornings, just sit back and relax because the owners of this home provide a hearty breakfast. Many reviewers have claim that the provided breakfast is a delicious way to begin their adventures in Havana! This place’s bedrooms have great ventilation with their high ceilings, but there is air conditioning available. There are no other pictures of the bedrooms and bathrooms provided, but previous renters vouch for their cleanliness and comfort. Or, you can get in contact with the owners for additional pictures.

James's place was great! It was clean, spacious, and comfortable. The bedrooms had A/C and bathrooms had hot water. My expectations were low given what I read about the standards in Cuba. However, I was happily surprised. Thanks James! Ryan

Beautiful Colonial Style Home

Address: La Habana, Cuba

Price: from 188 USD

Number of Guests: 6

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9. An elegant listing with Spanish architecture (170 USD)

This classically designed house is in the heart of all that’s happening in Havana. It’s well connected to all its famous attractions and is a sight to behold in itself. It’s a short walk to several hotels in the district, which means easier access to wi-fi! If you have children along with you, rest assured that they’ll be entertained by the little rocking chair! Many renters of this Airbnb vacation rental agree that these bedrooms are excellent places to rest after a long day through the crowded, narrow streets. And an interesting fact: Fidel Castro himself actually spent some time staying here while studying law. Talk about historical value!

After working in the dense city streets during the day, it was a joy to find the spacious calm of the Casa each night. The installation of two new air-conditioning units while we were there was an unexpected bonus. We felt we could easily relax after days of long, hot walks and enjoy the sounds of the streets below blowing in with the evening breeze. The location is lively but it is the true Havana and off the normal tourist trail. Adrian

Casa Arte Habana

Address: La Habana, Cuba

Price: from 170 USD

Number of Guests: 6

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10. Surrounded by the sea in classic design (from 266 USD)

Just imagine planning your itinerary in Havana by the counter, and then looking up to the tranquil scenery of gentle waves stretching gently out to the ocean. This is entirely possible if you book this spacious, airy accommodation. It’s less than 100 metres from the Embassy of the United States, close to many famous hotels and it has something that most of the listings don’t- wifi. This home accommodates up to 10 people, and the bedrooms are simple and clean, so that guests can sleep well after a nice day of sightseeing and walking the colourful streets of the city. It also comes with 4 bathrooms, which means no more stealing each other’s shower time!

Apartment, in the style of the Republic, 1950

Address: Havana, Cuba

Price: from 266 USD

Number of Guests: 10

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A hidden treasure with many lessons

The streets are loud and crowded, some of the buildings are falling apart and internet is so hard to access here- so why bother? Well, these traits of Havana might feel like total disadvantages to you at first, but they have their benefits. Get into the local energetic spirit, treasure and take care of these buildings while you can, and just forget about the pressures of coming up with the perfect Instagram caption. Here, it’s all about living in the moment.

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My name is Kimberlyn, I'm a huge fan of interesting stories and places. I love memorizing wicked facts and quirky histories. I also draw a lot on the side.

Top 3 activities to book in Old Havana

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