Where to stay in Cuba
From state-owned giants to exciting new partnerships with French and Spanish hotel groups, Cuba's hotels greatly vary in both quality and style.
Various government operators specialise in different sectors of the market: Habaguanex (www.habaguanexhotels.com) tends to deal with historic or boutique hotels - an increasing trend in Cuba and particularly Havana; Cubanacan (www.cubanacan.cu) operates a number of mid-range city, beach and rural hotels under different labels; Islazul (www.islazul.cu) is at the cheaper end.
Bed and breakfast
Literally meaning 'private house', a casa particular is broadly comparable to a bed and breakfast. Rooms are often offered in beautifully kept homes – some come with an en-suite bathroom, but in most cases, you share the bathroom with the host. Breakfast is available for a fee, while some hosts may offer you dinner for a fee too.
Legal casas particulares are recognised by a blue lop-sided H sign on a white background; the host will ask you for your passport number and signature in the official registration book.
The word 'camping' has a different meaning in Cuba. It doesn't refer to tent camping; instead, it means a holiday park where you stay in a cabin. Campismos (www.campismopopular.cu) is the go-to company. The group runs some 92 holiday parks, and they are very popular among Cuban families. Each park has cabins in various sizes, accommodating anything from two to 16 people, along with on-site restaurants. They tend to offer a range of social activities too. Beware that almost all holiday parks require you to bring your own sheets and towels, along with personal toiletries.