Explore Cuba: Trinidad

where to stay

Iberostar Grand Hotel: One of a handful of Spanish-run Iberostar's Cuban hotels, the five-star Grand oozes luxury the moment you arrive in its fern-filled, tile-embellished lobby. Maintaining 36 classy rooms in a remodeled 19th-century building, the Grand shies away from the standard all-inclusive tourist formula, preferring privacy, refinement and an appreciation of history.  If you're not looking to venture far for dinner after a long day of travel, look no further than the hotel restaurant for a delicious Cuban meal.  http://www.iberostar.com/en/hotels/trinidad

Casa Brisas de Alameda: Johan Christel's beautiful house is the best Casa particular in Cuba and probably one of the most special places you will ever stay, even better than a 5 star boutique hotel! Unforgettable home cooked breakfast with bananas just picked from trees in their beautiful garden, super clean/beautiful/private rooms with modern shower.  Johan and Christel will arrange anything for you-- from transportation to helping you find places to eat.  And the most friendly puppy Sally greets you at the door! http://casabrisasdealameda.jimdo.com/

where to eat: 

La Redacción Cuba: The Irish-Cuban owners have found a way of taking Cuba's gift of well-farmed, delicious ingredients and turning them into thoughtful, delicious dishes , some of them inspired by Cuban recipes.  The menu includes creative and multiple vegetable options.  Newly opened, we recommend trying the sweet potato fries or veggie burger.

Taberna la Botija: Enjoy a delicious, tapas-style meal in a vibrant atmosphere with live music.  We recommend ordering the fried plantains stuffed with cheese and bacon or the lobster tapas. The portion size is quite generous and the pricing is very reasonable, which will lead you to come back to this sweet spot a few times while in Trinidad.  

Posted on January 18, 2016 .

Wanderlust for Cuba: Havana

where to stay:

Hotel Saratoga: One of the coolest hotels in Havana, the Saratoga's elegant facade overlooks all the other 19th-century architectural splendors along the Paseo del Prado.  They have a Mudejar-inspired restaurant and the city's best rooftop bar.  Each fabulous room is fashioned with long cushioned widow seats from which to watch the frantic local street life.  Enjoy some of Cuba's most luxurious accommodations when you stay at the Hotel Saratoga.  Room pricing begins at $179 USD/night. http://www.cubatravelnetwork.com/en/hotels/hotel.asp?hotel=396

La Rosa de Ortega Bed and Breakfast:  Situated on the second-highest hill in the city of Havana in La Vibora, La Rosa de Ortega is a quieter bed and breakfast option. There are ten bedrooms, all with private bathrooms. The house is a 1938 mansion owned by a couple that inherited it from the husband’s aunt in the nineties. The husband-and-wife team revamped the interiors, creating exposed-brick rooms, a large pool area, and beautiful garden, as well as a covered pavilion for dining. The white linens, geometric tile floors, and handmade furniture are just some of the alluring details that La Rosa de Ortega has to offer, along with a spectacular view of the old city. http://www.larosadeortega.com/en

where to eat: 

Doña Eutemia: Tucked in an Old Havana alley away from the main tourist path, but busy enough to give you a taste of true Cuban street life, this homely paladar (an independently-run restaurant) is a staple of old Creole cuisine. The owner, Laetitia, refuses to let go of the culinary secrets that were passed on to her by her mother. She cooks classic Creole dishes such as malanga fritters and the ropa vieja (shredded lamb), invariably accompanied by black beans, salad and rice, next to lots of fresh seafood and exotic fruits. With big portions at reasonable prices, it is popular with both locals and tourists, so expect to eat in good company.            Callejón del Chorro No 60c, Plaza de la Catedral

Bella Habana: A chic mansion in the upscale Miramar district, BellaHabana gives Cuban cuisine a modern, international twist with a weak spot for fish. Tres Lindas Cubanas are Three Cuban Beauties, or rather, three types of fish cooked differently for your all-round culinary pleasure. Octopus ceviche and smoked salmon, squid and red snapper with different ‘aromas’ (cream, mushroom, vodka) in generous portions give the visitor a deluxe local experience that doesn’t have to break the bank. Immerse yourself in Cuban history elegantly decorating the ceiling and walls, sharing a glass of French wine or some top-notch mojitos that will merrily help you wash it down.  Calle 6 y 7ma No. 512, Miramar, Playa, Havana 1160, +5372038364. 

Posted on January 3, 2016 .