The casa particular: where to stay in Cuba

Casa particular literally means private house, but in Cuba, an entire industry has sprung up around this phrase. In the late 90s, the Cuban government began allowing individuals to rent out rooms in their houses. Of course, these people still have to pay taxes and fees to the government, but this type of B&B set-up is privately run as opposed to the government-run hotels.

Casa particular Havana

For us, staying in a casa particular was a no-brainer. Casas are cheaper and offer more chances to talk to the Cubans who run them. In Havana, we paid 30 CUC (US$30) per night for a private room with bathroom. In Trinidad it was only 25 CUC. Breakfast was also inexpensive, and the amount of food we got everywhere we stayed was crazy! Bread, fruit, fresh juice, veggies and eggs made to order – not a bad start to the day.

Casa particular breakfast

We’d heard that eating at your casa particular is a way to get good food on a budget. Our first casa in Havana didn’t offer dinner, so we were excited when our casa owner in Trinidad gave us the option. OH. MY. GOD. Best decision of my life. For 10 CUC, I got incredible lobster, Rodolfo paid 8 CUC for fish, and we had enormous platters of rice, beans, yucca, plantain, vegetables and salad. Plus dessert! It was slightly overwhelming…so of course we did it again the next night.

Casa particular terrace

I reserved our first casa particular online before we left, but after that we decided to go where inspiration took us. Another benefit of staying at a casa is that owners often have friends in other towns. We asked Fabio, the owner of our first casa, to suggest a place to stay in Trinidad. Obviously that worked out well. When we came back to Havana, Fabio was full but sent us around the corner. So much easier than having to research hotels on your own.

If you’re traveling to Cuba, here are our recommendations for where to stay. None of these places know I have a blog, I just really liked them all and want to support them – and help future tourists enjoy Cuba as much as we did!

Casa Eugenio Barral Garcia also known as Casa Eugenio y Fabio or Casa Greenhouse

Casa particular antiques

Despite the somewhat schizophrenic naming, this place is well-located in Havana Vieja. You do have to make it up some serious stairs, but the common areas are filled with antiques, and our room was comfortable. 30 CUC private room with air conditioning, double bed and private bathroom, 5 CUC per person breakfast. Contact:, (537) 862 9877, San Ignacio 656 between Jesús María and Merced.

Casa Rolando y Marisol

Casa particular view

Just around the corner from Fabio’s, Rolando and Marisol’s casa particular offers pretty much the same thing. No antiques, but we again had a nice room and those crazy stairs. 30 CUC per night, 5 CUC breakfast. Contact:, 866 5805 or 05 249 6382, Merced 60 between San Ignacio and Cuba.

Casa Luis Grau Monedero

Casa particular Trinidad

I am kind of obsessed with the adorable old couple that runs this place. Nilda is a little firecracker, and Luis enjoys meeting new people from around the world. This casa particular is fabulously located very close to the Plaza Mayor in Trinidad and on the same block as the tourist office where all the taxis park. And the food is AMAZING. 25 CUC per night for the largest room we had (and no stairs!), 4 CUC breakfast. Contact: (this is from a website, not their business card, so it may be incorrect), 62600, Zerquera 270 between Maceo and Martí.

More in this series:
We’re going to…
Preparing for Cuba
Snapshots from Cuba
La Bodeguita del Medio: following Hemingway in Cuba
The heart of Havana Vieja
Communist Cuba: seeing it for ourselves
Our Havana tour
Trinidad, a colonial gem
Cuba’s best beaches
Getting adventurous in Cuba
One day in Viñales

27 Responses to “The casa particular: where to stay in Cuba”

  1. Carine says:

    Thanks Emily for thoses addresses. Our next visit in Havana might lead us to Casa Luis Grau (just because there are no crazy stairs) :)
    Do you have an address for Trinidad as well?
    Thanks again for this wonderful blog on Cuba.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Casa Luis Grau is in Trinidad – I will edit the post to clarify that!

      • Carine says:

        Thanks Emily. Great location for this casa particular. The Plaza Mayor is really special and worth discovering. I will check this out on my next trip. I will keep the email address.

  2. I was under the impression these were still illegal in Cuba, so you have to talk to the locals to find out about them. Glad to know it’s not that difficult anymore.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Nope, very much legal and in many cases even online, which surprised me! I read that some casas have a sign out front in red instead of the usual blue, and that means they are only allowed to rent to Cubans. I didn’t see any of those, however, just lots and lots of blue signs everywhere.

  3. We had the best time at the CP we stayed in as well! I highly recommend staying in them!

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Considering the price difference and the benefits of casas particulares, I can’t imagine staying in a hotel in Cuba.

  4. Ayngelina says:

    I want to go to Cuba this year so I am definitely keeping these in mind!

    • Emily in Chile says:

      It was, we started our days off very well! I have a whole post about Cuban food coming up tomorrow with even yummier photos.

  5. Erica says:

    I LOVED our casa particular!!!!

  6. Federico says:

    I knew about them when there, but flying from Spain it was cheaper to buy a flight+hotel combo than a flight only…I did want to do this though!

  7. Alex says:

    I love this! Gosh, your posts have me dying to go to Cuba.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Haha, my posts have me dying to go back! If only the world were a bit smaller so I could pop over for a weekend.

  8. Andrea says:

    These sound really nice – and you get to spend time with locals!

  9. Abby says:

    I had no idea you could stay at a B&B in Cuba! The houses look gorgeous.

  10. Andi and I did not have a decent meal in Havana UNTIL we ate at our casa. That was the last night, and we wondered why we hadn’t been doing that the whole trip!

    • Emily in Chile says:

      On our last night in Trinidad we went out to a paladar just to try something different, and we regretted it. Eating at your casa is the way to go!

  11. Ceri says:

    Thank you for these recommendations. Of course I’d be looking for a casa particular when I visit Cuba. 😀

  12. Alexandra says:

    I’ve been crazily researching my trip next month! Thanks for the casa reviews!

    • Emily in Chile says:

      I’m so glad to hear you’re going! Hopefully you love your casas too…I’m sure that if you end up staying at any of these, you’ll have a good experience.

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