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HAVANA, CUBA -- It’s not hard to live on $15 a day while exploring Havana, Cuba. Inexpensive food, cheap drinks and an abundance of local places to stay make Havana one of the most affordable destinations.
It’s not hard to live on $15 a day while exploring Havana, Cuba. Inexpensive food, cheap drinks and an abundance of local places to stay make Havana one of the most affordable destinations.
But affordable doesn’t mean shoddy. Below I’ll let you in on a great spot where you can experience some of Havana’s luxuries without breaking the bank.
It was 90-degrees and climbing when Abby and I decided we needed off the packed Havana streets. The beach -- a 40-minute drive and $50 travel fee -- was out of the question.
We wanted a pool. A nice pool. One that had food and drinks and even provided towels, if we so needed. Luckily, in my research I found just the place: the Hotel Nacional de Cuba.
Located about 3 miles from Old Havana, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba opened in 1930. Famous guests have included presidents, entertainers and athletes.
We caught a ride from Russian cab driver to the hotel. We were floored when we arrived. The Hotel Nacional de Cuba is legitimately beautiful. The architecture, design and decorations harkened back to a time when the American mafia ran the hotel. It made sense that hotel rooms went for hundreds of dollars.
But we weren’t there for the rooms, we were there for the pool. Through a series of indoor and outdoor walkways, we made our way to the pool.
The attendant said that for $20, we could stay at the pool all day. Also, the $20 covered two drinks of our choosing. “Holy shit,” I said to my wife. “We hit the jackpot!"
We spent the next several hours tanning (or in my case staying out of the sun), reading books, talking to hotel guests, swimming, drinking and eating.
As you might expect, the drinks were more expensive at the hotel. But “expensive” meant $3 beers and $5 mojitos. In America, the drinks at a similarly beautiful location would have gone for $10 and $20, respectively.
After a few hours of relaxing, we explored more of the hotel. We had drinks at two of the hotel’s outdoor bars and an incredible dinner. We explored more the the property, checking out awesome local wildlife and great views of the Malecon.
All together we probably spent $50 each for the whole day.
The drinks, food, staff AND price were awesome. I cannot recommend the Hotel Nacional de Cuba enough for people that don’t want to spend big bucks to get a room there but wants a day to relax.
Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Calle 21, La Habana, Cuba
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