Reviews Casa Aleido
Nov 17 2014
Name: Simon Albury
Country: United Kingdom
I stayed here at: 10/19/2014
I made a reservation through Cuba-Junky
I paid 30 CUC per night
My review: I wish this Casa was replicated in every city in the world. This is a long review and it deserves it. It was the best place I have ever stayed. It has been described as "the most straight friendly gay Casa in Havana." I describe it as a friendly Casa which is also gay friendly and run by a gay man. Sexual orientation is just not an issue here. I was in Havana for two weeks for the International Ballet Festival with a party of 30 most of whom stayed at the Parque Central Hotel. On the first morning they were complaining about the queues for breakfast. At the Casa my breakfast was freshly prepared at whatever time I wanted it - 6.30am on the first morning, 7am on most days and whenever I woke up on three days. Staying in the red suite I could play music as loud as I liked whenever I liked on the bluetooth hifi speaker I bought with me. The Casa is not easy to find for the first time. It is very discretely hidden with no street sign - see photos.
I had planned via email that I would phone Aleido when I arrived at the Inglaterra Hotel, just a short 1 1/2 blocks away, and someone would meet me and help me with my luggage. Alas, my UK SIM card which should have worked in Havana didn't. I ended up dragging too many cases up San Rafael asking "Donde esta la Casa Aleido?" - almost the only Spanish I knew. In the end I found some willing helpers who needed to be suitably over-rewarded. When I arrived I was greeted warmly by Aleido who was with a friend who spoke English. The room was re-assuringly cold from the air-con. In practice, in November, the air con was seldom needed and the variable speed fan on low power and the open balcony doors were sufficient. Although Aleido speaks no English, he does have Google translate on his computer and I had a wonderful off-line translation programme, IdiomaX, on my Kindle Fire (I couldn't find anything comparable for my iPad). The Casa is extremely secure with a double lock gate entrance which I believe is subject to discrete tv monitoring 24 hours a day. One day when I returned very tired and failed to lock the gate immediately, Aleido appeared right away to remind me how important it was to do so.The public area floors of the Casa are washed daily. One many days I didn't see the other guests. Aleido did arrange to introduce me to an international flautist and a Broadway choreographer who also staying. The location is perfect - close to Parque Square and the excellent and cheap Pasteleria Francesa and the Parque Central Hotel where you can get Wifi at 8 CUC an hour.
How was your room?: The red suite was enormous. You enter through your own dining area where dinner was served to me on one evening. The main room has two rocking chairs, two sofas, a generous arm chair, table, writing desk and more power points than anyone could need - and I need a lot.
There is a shower, lavatory and wash basin and, while you have to wait a little, hot water always arrives in the shower. You cannot dispose of paper down the lavatory but with the close proximity to the shower, I didn't find this to be a problem. Bring your own soap. The room is cleaned and the sheets are changed every other day.
How was the food they offer?: Breakfast, 5 CUC, if you want can be cooked eggs and ham plus cheese, toast, butter, fresh juice, lots of good coffee and a plate of freshly prepared fruits - and served whenever you want. At 2pm one day I said I would like a dinner of vegetables at 6pm - it was served in my dining area and included a beautifully prepared and presented salad and a bean stew with rice - perfect. Dinner is 10 CUC and others told me the food is excellent with generous portions of whatever you want.
Other services they offer: Laundry is available and sometimes on the same day. There is no charge - whatever you choose to pay. I wasn't able to get a Cubacel SIM card at the airport and Aleido was able to help get a SIM for my stay and could have arranged to get a phone as well. I wanted an air conditioned taxi to take me to the airport and Aleido booked one for me at the designated time which came the the nearest corner to the Casa. Aleido's staff took my cases from the taxi to the Casa.
Other comments: I think it is wrong to tempt staff by leaving valuables out. I travel with a lot of camera equipment. Sometimes I got lazy and left odd piece out and one day I left some (for me) small change out as well. Nothing went missing and I believe the staff are wholly trustworthy.
Nov 17 2014
I stayed here at: 11/14/2014
I made a reservation at the casa directly
I paid 25-30 CUC per night
My review: This casa particular is located in the most central area of Havana. Nearby you find a lot of restaurants, bars, museums, clubs. You can easily reach the most important sights by foot if you are living in this casa. Moreover, you can always get home easily in the night. We (two girls from Germany) were very happy that we had the chance to live in the house of Aleido. He and all his stuff are very helpful and you can ask them a lot about the city itself, the historic sights or the nightlife. Moreover, there is a very friendly atmosphere in the house so that you feel like in your own home...
How was your room?: Nice, colorful decoration. Very clean. I can truly recommend it. There are rooms with and without own bathroom. Do not miss the incredible view above the roofs of Havana from the terrace!!
Other services they offer: Laundry, locker, fridge, hot water, breakfast, lunch, dinner
Other comments: You won't regret it! Enjoy your stay in Havana!
Oct 20 2014
Name: Lily Bland
Country: United Kingdom
I stayed here at: 06/12/2014
I made a reservation through B&B Inn Vinales & Cuba
I paid 35 CUC per night
My review: This was the best Casa we stayed in in Cuba, and I cannot recommend it enough. It is in an incredible location just around the corner from the Capitolio (our room even had a view of it) and our room (for two 21 y/o straight girls) had epic proportions, a kingsize and a single bed plus an en suite. Aleido is an incredible character who can't do enough to welcome you, he even did our laundry for us completely free, and he cooks an amazing and generous breakfast at any time you'd like for just $5 (all the fruit, smoothies, coffee, eggs meat and cheese you could ask for, we often didn't need to eat lunch!)The decor is incredibly bright and eccentric, and one room is up a long spiral staircase but Anibal carried our bags for us and there was a great view of the Capitolio.
The casas are great places to stay, they are much cheaper than the hotels and the owners can't do enough to make you feel welcome and to keep you safe - my friend did not speak any Spanish and the hosts tried their best with English and international sign language! We were also taken on a night out to a cabaret by Anibal, and he helped to show us some cool events going on in the city so we could make the most of Havana. Anyone is welcome at Casa Aleido, it is gay friendly and also straight friendly as we were two 21 year old straight girls and we had an amazing time and felt very welcome with the hosts and other guests.
How was your room?: Amazing - the room itself was really large (a kingsize and a single bed in the room for $35CUC a night) and had a large bathroom too. There was functioning air-con and a fan, a TV and dvd player, a sink, a safe and plenty of storage room.
How was the food they offer?: Delicious and very generous, we ending up getting breakfast every day (for $5 CUC, and Aleido will cook it any time you like - even 2pm on one day!) as it was very reasonable for the amount, it included heaps of fruit (mango, papaya, banana, pineapple) unlimited papaya smoothie and fresh coffee, eggs, ham, cheese and bread. Aleido also offers to cook dinner.
Other services they offer: Free laundry service! We asked if we might be able to pay to do some laundry but Aleido was happy to do it for us completely gratis :) I also broke a glass from the room and Aleido would not take any money for it, he is a very genuinely nice man who just wanted us to have a great stay. There is a TV downstairs in the main eating/socialising area and we happily watched all the big World Cup games with our hosts.
Other comments: I stayed also in Hotel Raquel in Havana Vieja which was a lot more expensive but honestly I can say that the room, welcome, company and food were all much better at Aleido's. It is a 5-10 minute walk from all the main Plaza's and I honestly couldn't recommend it enough.
July 3 2014
Name: Tony Cortes
I stayed here at: 06/21/2014
I made a reservation at the casa directly
I paid 30 CUC per night
My review: It is nice to stay with locals in a Casa Particular like Casa Aleido, compared to a hotel. For one, you will be able to see the culture more closely staying with the locals. Aleido and Anibal of Casa Aleido are the most gracious hosts. They will guide you to the places where you will get the best value for money. They will also warn you of scams. Once my friend and I went to the beach and they were adamant that we don't bring our cameras and valuables because if you leave them on the beach while you go for a swim, the items will be gone when you come back. Good for us, I didn't go to the water, only my friend did, so I watched over our personal items.
Casa Aleido is very centrally located in downtown Havana, a stone's throw from Central Park. It was nice, clean, safe and convennient. You had the option to have breakfast (additional 5 CUC) and dinner (additional 10 CUC) or you can eat outside, your choice.
I highly recommend Casa Aleido and will stay with them again on my return to Havana.
How was your room?: My room was queenly. Very big and very nicely decorated.
How was the food they offer?: I opted for the breakfast. They offer good food.
Other services they offer: We asked for a masseur and they referred a professional masseur. We had a good massage.
Other comments: Highly recommended casa particular
Casa specifics: Quiet, Fantastic hosts, Elegant, Comfortable, Cozy, Charming, Pets in the house
Amenities: Safety box, Airconditioning, Private bathroom, Laundry service, Balcony, Breakfast service, Queensize bed, Bathroom with shower
July 1 2014
Name: James F.
Ccountry: United States
Casa Aleido Casa Particular
Casa Particular Aleido is one of the big reasons I came back to Havana a second time!
My husband and I stayed at Aleido's in August for a week and then I brought my mother to Havana for Mother's Day in May for a week.
Aleido's beautifully quirky home speaks volumes to the creative character that is Aleido. The over-the-top decor is so welcoming and is so clean the entire place sparkles. It is a really big townhouse style place in the middle of the main concentrated commercial district and could almost be listed as being in Old Havana because it is literally a block and a half away from it. Being in the middle of old town can be beautiful but is mostly just tourists, while at Aleido's home you find yourself in the heart of the action feeling the pulse of the city. If you want to know where it is, it is a block away directly behind Hotel Ingleterra, which is the oldest hotel in Havana and has a fantastic front terrace with great live music and mojitos. All the best hotels are just steps away which gives you access to some great amenities you won't find everywhere- This is Cuba, remember. That could be the fastest internet and a club sandwich in the middle of the night at the Park Hotel, supposedly the nicest hotel in Cuba and it is just steps away across from Ingleterra.
I have stayed in a his penthouse apartment on the roof with kitchenette, private bath and seating area and also in a single room with shared bath on the main floor. Both have their advantages.
In the penthouse, you have amazing views of the Captolio which is modeled after the US Congress and is stunning. You also have the open roof top right there. If you require a private bath, I think this is one of several available. It has a queen bed and great aircon. The windows are actually wooden shutters and the room gets very dark which is great for sleeping, and as for being in the middle of the action- you do not hear it at all in either of the rooms I have stayed in.
The shared bath single room I stayed in was nice because I was staying alone the time I stayed there, as my mom was staying at a hotel with a pool. I really enjoyed this because being on the main floor gave me easy access to the action going on in the kitchen and living areas where Aleido's friends and other guests would gather for meals and pre party drinks. I did not think I would care for the shared bath but every time someone was in there his housekeeper was right behind them making it fresh for the next use. I have never seen so much cleaning! This room also had a queen bed with fridge, television with some channels, a fan and also great aircon. Of course you can also access the roof top staying there too.
The large kitchen is the heart of the home! There you will usually find Aleido and one of his assistants, maybe some friends and other guests rocking in chairs and talking about Cuba. Aleido always offers up some coffee or tea. Adjacent to that is a large open hall that has a fish tank and has a skylight that serves as the common living area with a couple of couches and several chairs. This serves as a secondary meeting spot to the kitchen and is very comfortable.
The entire house is extremely secure and is always locked, but you get your own keys so you can come and go freely at any time. There is a lockbox in each room for valuables or money. He has multiple cameras that allow him to see from the kitchen whatever is going on by the front door or the hallways so security was never an issue.
For a modest $5 to $10 you can enjoy breakfast and dinner and eat real amazingly delicious Cuban food. We had the thickest pork chops I had ever seen one night and soups that are swallow your tongue delicious!
It is not just gays who stay at Aleido's but a broad range of folks. Sometimes exclusively gay can get a little monotonous for me. Aleido is very well connected. He always knew where the gay parties were and was usually able to arrange for us to go with some of his friends. He was also able to help with non-gay venues as well. His home is open to his friends and I was always meeting someone new that he was visiting with.
His Casa Particular is also filled with repeat visitors who come every year or every few months and I think that also speaks volumes about this wonderful home that I consider my home in Cuba now. I can't wait to get back!!
Do yourself a favor, stay at Aleido's! Watch the video if it is still near the description of his place. It totally made me love him before I got there and he is very sincere and kind.
Jan 27 2014
I stayed here at: 01/01/2014
My review: I spent New Years Eve in Havana. Although I travelled on my own I was lucky to meet other guests to chill out with. Unlike a hotel here you can meet other travellers up close and you might even make new friends.
Jan 7 2014
I stayed here at: 12/31/2013
My review: Casa Aleido is unbelievable. It's as good as alll the other reviews tell you. Aleido and his men make you feel like you're at home in the centre of Habana. Kindness, helpfullnes, a clean house, coffee and good food all served by Aleido and his crew. I felt very comfortable in their house as a woman traveling on alone.
Casa specifics: Fantastic hosts, Comfortable, Cozy, Roomy, Romantic, Beautiful, Safe, Pets in the house
Amenities: TV, Safety box, Airconditioning, Private bathroom, Laundry service, Ceiling fan, Breakfast service, Dinner service, Kingsize bed, Bathroom with shower