Plaza Vieja, Havana. Photo: Brian Snelson
Most North Americans don’t typically think of Cuba as a luxury travel destination. But the intrepid editors of Robb Report have sniffed out lodging, dining and entertainment options most travelers won’t find on their own when visiting the newly opened country.
In an article by Jackie Caradonio, Robb Report describes how determined entrepreneurs are slowly building a five-star travel product to attract the tourism revenue Cuba needs beyond the cruise ships and packaged tours.
“The truth is, Cuba is still not easy,” Caradonio cautions. “But with the right connections and the right outlook, a trip to this long-restricted isle can be done—and done well.”
Commercial airline service is building with U.S. carriers rapidly adding service. For five-star travelers though, Caradonio offered up charter company Victor, flying both a Hawker 800 and a Learjet 45. By sea, you can charter the 196-foot yacht St. David, featuring six staterooms and a 14-person crew.
For accommodations, check out “Havana’s casa particulares—or exclusive-use rentals,” Robb Report reported. Cuba Educational Travel offers $1,000-a-night apartments like the Atlantic Penthouse North, replete with four bedrooms and a rooftop pool.
For the palate, Caradonio recommends Atelier, located in the upscale Vedado neighborhood, and El Cocinero, close to the city’s Fábrica de Arte Cubano cultural center. And when it comes to that iconic experience, smoking a real Cuban cigar, Caradonio advised luxury travelers skip the black market and shop at certified cigar boutiques at government-run hotels.
But in case you’re thinking Cuba is on the verge of becoming a Caribbean Miami, take a pause. Caradonio noted that there are approximately 55 public Wi-Fi hot spots in all of Havana.