Why stay in a Casa Particular
[in spanish means VINALES = VIÑALES]
Taken from: Cuba Rent Rooms
Casa particular literally means “private house” or “private hostel”, but began to be used in the sense of “private accommodation” in 1997 when the Cuban government allowed Cubans to rent rooms in their houses or apartments to tourists, offering Cuban families new sources of revenue.
A house is basically a private establishment of a Cuban family that offers lodging to tourists which usually charge very cheap prices. Most of them also offer rental services as dining services, laundry, tourist guides, dance classes and Spanish, etc. .. In general under this term “Casa Particular” you can find full houses, apartments, rooms within a home (shared with a Cuban family), mini-apartments and rooms with separate entrance.
It is considered a type of pension is typically operated by a family residence where guests can be accommodated at night in private bedrooms (which may or may not be equipped with private baths). The business may be operated either as principal or as a secondary source of income, and those that usually serves as the owner of the house and their family members living there.
The rooms are very clean and is generally tailored to the tourism standards. The basic offer of accommodation is air-conditioned room with a bed, a wardrobe, a small table and a private bathroom. Other features found may be a telephone, a clock and a TV (except Cable TV).
They generally provide accommodation for not more than 6 people and is recommended for anyone wanting to stay in a private home during the high season (November-March) to make reservations several weeks in advance. However, the off-season is not necessary because there are often many of those houses across the country and just stay there a week in advance. Prices may drop to 15 euros or even less for longer stays. During high season it can rise to around 25 euros. Many of these houses belong to associations, have a Web presence, and promoted in various books and international travel guides.
The “Private Houses” can be recognized by a small sign on the door to get the owners after paying a fixed annual tax per room.
In some cities in Cuba and resorts such as Playa Santa Lucía, Guardalavaca, and most of the keys (Santa Maria, Cayo Largo, Cayo Coco, etc..) the Cuban government determined and passed some laws and regulations that prohibit the operation of these establishments.
The homes have several advantages over other types of lodging
- Customers can quickly develop friendly relations with the owners of the house, and it is deeply involved in the local culture. Before the tourists know it, will be considered part of the family with which they are staying.
- The host, usually enjoy an atmosphere of pure, free, quiet, feels like home, and may invite more friends.
- The Houses are much cheaper than hotels.
- When renting a home, customers contribute directly to improving the living standards of a person or family in Cuba.