Since 1997 the Cuban government allows residents to rent rooms in their houses to tourists, they are called Casas Particulares. The owners of the Casas help to promote their casas by distributing business cards, and by advertising on websites such as www.Cuba-Junky.com. You often will get their cards while traveling around Cuba.
Cubans with a special license can rent rooms in their homes to foreigners. You can recognize them from the street by the blue signs as shown on the T-Shirt (see picture), Casas owners must post this sign on their front doors. The signs will read: 'Arrendador Divisa.
What does a casa cost per night?
Average prices of casas particulares in CUC (convertible pesos) per room lodging only depends on the location, amenities, season and popularity of the casa. You can count on a rate between 20 and 35 cuc per room per night. Breakfast should be around 3 or 4 CUC pp and dinner 10 cuc max.
Remember, its all about value, the better the casa the more you will pay of course. Could be the casa has a shared bathroom with others, or a private bathroom. Just 1 room or a whole private apartment with living room and kitchen. A better area of the city or a very nice view ... All depends ...
How do I make a reservation for a casa?
Since the last year casa particular booking websites are rising on the internet as mushrooms ...
Remember and be aware that a lot of these websites are simply copy and pasting other settled and trustworthy websites with experience for years. These booking websites have just one thing in mind, which is; your money. They get a commission of $5 per night and YOU pay this commission.
Cuba-Junky does not want and get commission from any Cuban, we want the Cuban casa owners and you to be happy.
Be your own boss and "Go with the flow"
Our advice is, make a reservation for the first night and once in Cuba go with the flow from our Casa Particular Directory app for Android or iPhone. Download the app, which is packed with casa addresses, emails and more, on your phone and off you go, easy does it. We work on a daily basis on this app to add more casas and information. The app will be frequently updated.
Casa Particular Directory App
Directly email the casa through Cuba-Junky
Casas register at Cuba-Junky several times a week, we make them a page, an email form and you can contact them directly through Cuba-Junky. If we do not have email adresses ... we constantly search the internet for casa emails
and often former clients send us email addresses of casas, we add them to their page and so you can email them.
Not all casas have email
in this case you can contact them by phone. Don't worry you don't speak Spanish, casa owners are used to talk to people all over the world, you'll manage :) Next to every phone number we have add a link to Rebtel a company who offers cheap calls to Cuba The first phone call is for free.
One more thing about reservations in general ...
Casa owners really want to have their rooms full everyday if possible of course. It often happens when you enter the casa you reserved, it seems occupied by other people who showed up earlier that day or wanted to stay some extra nights ....
I agree, it is not a proffesional way to do business but please do not blame the casa owner, but understand such things happen because:
1. The casa owner have to pay a huge monthly tax to rent out rooms, some 300 cuc per month, they have to pay this tax even if they have guests or not!
2. Many tourists make a reservation but do not show up when they did not pay in advance
When such a thing happens the casa owner will ALWAYS have an alternative for you which has at least the same conditions you are looking for and sometimes even better. Don't worry you will get a great place to stay.
Be smart and call 2 days before or the same day early in the morning to confirm your stay.
What is this "Awesome Sauce" stuff?
- 3 times in a row = Awesome Sauce
The best casas ... a casa gets an "Awesome Sauce Certivicate of Excellence" when 3 people in a row send us a 5-star review.
When they get one review with less stars
the casa will lose the Awesome Sauce certivicate until they get another 3 in a row - 5 star reviews ... still following me? ;)
Other recommended casas, casas with several good reviews or from which we think they are really good, are recognized by a red star
After one year no reviews at all, the casa looses all recommendadtions.