9 independent reviews for Cuban casa holiday

Reviews for Cuban casa holiday

SHOW
3
5
0
0
1

review 19 Jun 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

I arrived home from Santa Clara early this morning. My entire trip was wonderful, especially meeting with and staying with Cuban people. I admire their self confidence and knowledge of so many things.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Speaking Spanish made all the difference for my experience as I was truly able to engage and learned a great deal.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All of my Casa stays were more than adequate. All were well located and the families were great. Their cooking as well at Vinales especially. All of my Taxi transports were on time with especially nice drivers. I'll add though that I was not picked up by transport in Cienfuegos. After waiting I simply flagged a Taxi, no problem.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Thank you for the well planned trip. I'm looking forward to a return trip next year. However, as I write this note to you President Trump made a statement about his new travel regulations he'll impose on Americans resulting in fewer people traveling to Cuba and experiencing the marvels I enjoyed in that fascinating country.

review 28 Apr 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Bici Tour in Trinidad: Excellent tour. Intelligent in that it tells you a bit about the “real” Cuba (bodegas where ordinary people get their monthly rations, school, etc.) Good young guide, interesting and informative. Viñales tour: Excellent. Small group, good pace, good guide. Very beautiful nature, meeting some colourful locals with opportunity (but never any pressure) to buy drinks, cigars, etc.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Niurkis' was by far the best of the three casas particulares,. Niurkis is a very smart lady, with exceptional people skills: she sizes you up, and then reacts accordingly. With us, she was very open and friendly, and we struck up a very good relationship, which enabled us to talk about a lot of interesting things. Indeed, I believe we will keep in touch.we ate there both nights – food was very good indeed, good wine, and very reasonably priced when we paid at end (also, despite our protestations, she deducted one of our bottles of wine from the bill).

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Everything was very well organized, went off smoothly and totally enjoyable. No sticking points whatsoever. We were entirely happy with everything. And we had a great holiday that enabled us not only to see some very beautiful places and relax, but also gain some insight into Cuba and meet very friendly people.

review 28 Mar 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Always the big smile that Cubans give to all us tourists which hides the poverty and hardships they all suffer beneath. So my most memorable moment is always the warm friendly greeting that they give you.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

With the white sandy beaches and hot sun - take sufficient sun blocker with you, you need it and if you run out it will cost about £15.00 in Cuba for a replacement. Same for Anti Mosquito cream, it's expensive. Make sure you have enough small denomination notes, the 50s are often more difficult to get change and you'll always need enough of the small notes for the tips.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, our holiday benefited local people, we found the Cuban people always ready to help over and above what would be expected so we always tipped well for this good service. We took colouring pencils and sharpeners for the children we met. We found everybody warm and friendly and eager to practice their English with us.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

10 out of 10. Responsible Travel and our tour operator made everything work like clockwork.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Chris, Thank you for your wonderful comments about your trip to Cuba - we're really pleased that both you and Lyn had such a fantastic time! I'm glad that it's left you with so many wonderful memories, and we look forward to helping you plan your next adventure soon! Kind regards, Paula

review 25 Mar 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Staying in casa particulares, getting to know the Cuban people

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take your time to plan your route, get to know the people, take some of the excusions that will benefit the locals and learn about Cuban culture, stay in casas rather than hotels.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Kathy, Thanks for your wonderful review of your holiday in Cuba, we're really pleased that both you and Max enjoyed your trip. It sounds as though you really enjoyed embracing the Cuban way of life, and we're really happy that you enjoyed the Casa stays - they're always a holiday highlight so we're glad you agree! We look forward to sending you on another holiday soon! Kind regards,

review 7 Mar 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Meeting the Cuban people at their Casa's

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take everything you need, you can't buy anything there, there are plenty of atms.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes certainly supported the locals, the Cubans have a long way to go on the topics of the environment and conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

very good but happy to get home to a big plate of vegetables!

review 1 Jan 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Sleeping in the cabanaos at Banos del Rio San Juan and having the river entirely to ourselves for a morning swim. Having our hire car fixed at the roadside by some very friendly locals when we broke down some way off the tourist track. The driving and travel days became as much a part of the holiday as the tours and casas, I'm so glad we opted for self drive.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Definitely stay in Casa particulares; each is individual and the owners are friendly, helpful, offer lots of local knowledge and provide an insight into Cuban life that you smply won't get in a hotel. Try and learn at least a few Spanish phrases before you go, it will be really useful to you and much appreciated by others. If self driving (which we thoroughly recommend), take a compass, snacks and do consider buying a good road map before you travel!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Certainly our accomodation and meal choices directed our money to local people. Many tourist areas seem to be managed with an eye on conservation, Las Terrazas is an obvious example but huge areas are designated as national parks and bio reserves. Whilst it would have been more environmentaly friendly to travel by bus, self drive hire cars are modern and consume less fuel than the local traffic and are better then opting for private transfer where each journey is twice the distance by the time the driver gets home. One concern is the massive boom in unregulated, non-approved, construction work in many towns as the tourism regulations are relaxed and the impact this will have on landscape, pollution, waste and already overstretched public services in future.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Wonderful. It was an adventure rather than a holiday, which was great for us. Had an amazing time and wish we'd been able to stay for longer. Our tour operator were really helpful with plenty of local knowledge and good advice. Their service from first enquiry to arrival home was faultless (we even got a call the day before our flight to check we had everything we needed!) and they were extremely flexible, allowing us to organise the itinerary exactly as we wanted, chop and change tours, collect and drop off our car at different locations and take extra days where we wanted them. Really helped us make the most of our time away. Wouldn't hesitate to use them again.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Leann, It was lovely to read your review and to know that you and Matthew had such an amazing time driving yourselves around in Cuba, so much so that you will recommend us to all your friends. We completely agree, part of the adventure in Cuba is definitely the journeys! It's great that after all you enjoyed the little cabanas next to the river that you had been unsure about. We totally understand your concerns about the environmental impact of the recent boom in construction hence we prefer to use the casa's already in existence supporting the locals. It was an absolute pleasure to customise your trip so it was exactly perfect for you both and we always pride ourselves in a high level of service such as you experienced! Kind regards, Ceri

review 10 Apr 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

When I left and continued the trip on my own

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do not book it with an agency, as long as you are not over 60 and/or do not speak a word of spanish.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

No, I did not

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I have high respect for all people working at the holiday providers and I'm sure they are doing an excellent job. Nevertheless, there is a massive info gap between the UK agent and what goes on in Cuba: housing costs, transport timing, flexibility in re-arranging schedules etc... Again, nothing personal. I love staff I dealt with and the way they interacted with me to plan this trip.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Giovanni Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. We were very sorry to hear during your travels that yourself and your travel partner decided to go your separate ways. It is great to hear when you had requested to come home early you instead decided to carry on your own travels elsewhere in the country. Re-arranging schedules at such short notice when things have been pre-paid incurs costs much the same as changing your flights at last minute, whilst we can offer support in country last minute complete changes to your plans as requested cannot be done free of charge for pre-paid travel plans. I am sorry to hear that you felt staying in casa particulares was not benefiting the local people, as staying in this style of accommodation benefits local families massively in Cuba. It is great to hear that you love our style of travel and our ethos and it really was a pleasure planning this trip for you. Kind Regards Ross

review 21 Mar 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Hard to pick! Hopping in a Coco taxi in Havana? Playing on stage with a band in Trinidad? Zooming down highways on a rented scooter? Haggling for tomatoes in the market in Cienfuegos? Dancing to reggaton in the Government-run CD shop with the assistants? Meeting a tree rat? Having a coffee with an 82-year old tobacco farmer in his farm?

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go as soon as you can! Havana's really busy and vibrant - try to spend as much time as you can way from the big squares which are increasingly filling with cruise ship parties. There's loads to see and do in the rest of the city. You probably only need one night in Las Terazzas, or do it as a day trip from Havana. It is a beautiful and interesting concept, but it's pretty small and there's not loads to see. Varadero and escaping to the beach at the end of the trip seems like a nice idea, but all the mega-tourism is a bit of a shock after spending so much time locally with real people - I would probably have swapped it for more time in Trinidad. Trinidad, Cienfuegos, VInales and Havana are all amazing. Trinidad probably comes as close as you can to the stereotypical Cuba - music everywhere in a beautiful French-colonial cobbled setting. Don't even think about spending time in a hotel - casa owners will make you breakfast and take care of you, and become little bit like you local consultants on the town - just tell them what you want to do while you're there, and it will happen exactly like you want it - and then some!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definitely, all three. By staying with Casas and even using taxis you are putting money into the hands of local people, who almost always reinvest it in the community around them.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I can't recommend this trip enough. We booked accommodation and transfers with a UK based operator, and absolutely everything they were involved with was perfect. The accommodation they had chosen was fantastic. Always safe, clean, and run by incredibly passionate people who were incredibly keen to ensure that we had a fantastic time. The transfers were always on time (in a country where that's in fact quite rare!) and our drivers were incredibly interesting to talk to about Cuba and their lives more generally. Cuba's not quite what we'd expected - it's not all mojitos and cigars, guys - but it's even better because of it

review 11 Mar 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Time in Havana was fantastic, the city is so vibrant and full of music on every corner. Another high point was going to the city/town of Trinidad which is amazing. The homestays or 'Casas' were really good without exception and the owners really chatty and welcoming ...it all worked including the taxis taking us between locations which all arrived on time with great drivers.Also contrary to all the info the food especially in Havana and Trinidad was great

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Think about whether you want to stay in the all inclusive resort at the end of your schedule. This was a disappointment after such a wonderful taste of Cuba...it is an international western first world idea of a place and is absolutely huge with thousands of people staying...not really what we had planned and not really much to do with Cuba either. Cant say I objected to the easily available cocktails though...just avoid the dinning room as its like a school canteen with a scrum at the servery

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Everything except the all inclusive resort was connected to local people and we especially enjoyed the horse riding in Vinales and bike tour in Trinidad. It also seems really important to pay tips as everyone is on really low wages and then the money goes directly to local people. Cant say too much about the resort as it was totally artificial and ruined a good beach, non stop canned music though it did give lots of employment to locals I guess and was very clean and ell run...if you like that sort of thing

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Really good..... take more time than 2 weeks as there are loads of places to see and also really well organised by the operator. I will definitely book with them again

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you so much for your wonderful review, we are really pleased you enjoyed the meaningful travel experiences we offer, the Casa's and their owners are certainly firm favourites with our travellers. It is very difficult to offer a beach stay in Cuba that isn't the all inclusive hotel you describe particularly on the quieter more remote beaches and we do try very hard to manage peoples expectation of this part of the trip, your comments are extremely helpful and constructive for us and for our future customers.

Holiday Reviews

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.

Read our review policy

Convert currencies