If you normally travel to the states for your holiday getaway, then you may want to think about making the extra 90 mile journey south towards Cuba. Getting a cheap flight from the USA is easy and will take you to a fantastic, unique country. Hemingway, Che Guevara, communism, salsa, rum and cigars are all images that spring to mind when we think about this Caribbean Jewel.
However it isn’t just the past that makes this largest of the Caribbean Islands magical. Cuba is finally embracing tourism with open arms and as a result many travel companies are advertising luxury travel.
If you are visiting Havana for the first time, then you will want to do it is style. Why not hire a classic American Cadillac, complete with Cuban guide to show you around this amazing city. Now a UNESCO world heritage site, Havana has an earthy authenticity about it. Stunning colonial buildings and beautifully preserved palaces sit alongside crumbling tenements. This is no tourist resort and yes, there are upmarket restaurants and swanky bars here, but take a stroll a few blocks from the lush greenness of Parque central and it’s like stepping back in time. Here you will still see mothers bustling about with their hair in rollers whilst kids play baseball in the streets with planks of wood and makeshift balls of plastic. Turn a corner and you will see a couple of seasoned old men sitting on upturned orange crates playing dominoes and drinking coffee strong enough to stand your spoon up in. This is the real Havana and is all the better for it.
During your stay here why not stay in one of the many preserved buildings which are now transformed into majestic hotels. The Santa Isabel is a converted 18th Century Palace and overlooks the Plaza de Armas, unquestionably Havana’s most beautiful and oldest square. For a sumptuous treat why not stay in the Santovenia Suite.
When it is time to move on from the strangely beguiling lure of Havana why not finish your luxury holiday with a beach side stop over. Varadero with over 20 kms of uninterupted powdery white sands is without doubt one of the best in the Caribbean. Other places such as Holguin and Cayo Coco also boast some great looking beaches. Here you can find that perfect retreat to relax and unwind. Stay in an all inclusive facility complete with spa treatments, numerous restaurants, room service and water sports. Or alternatively if you want total privacy, then it is possible to rent your own villa overlooking one of the many beaches that Cuba has.
Yes the USA has everything that you could ever wish for in a holiday and more besides, but travel that little further south and with a luxury holiday in Cuba you’ll experience a country that oozes gritty realism with a fascinating story to tell.