Starting today, U.S. travelers can rent a vacation home in Cuba on Airbnb.
The online rental service said it has added around 1,000 listings from Cuba, many of them in the country's capital, Havana. Prices range from $30 a night for a bedroom to $1,000 a night for what is described as a "luxury villa."
The initial listings provide a unique glimpse into Cubans' homes — a place that's been mostly off-limits to U.S. eyes for the past 50-plus years. So we decided to let ourselves in and make ourselves at home. Here's 6 things that caught our eye:
Cuba has some seriously cool retro-rocking chairs. Many of the listings offered beautiful pictures of leafy patios furnished with some old school patio furniture — the perfect place to kick back and drink some rum.
Cuba may conjure up images of dilapidated buildings, but not every home is in a state of disrepair. Some homeowners have found ways to significantly upgrade and modernize their homes, despite the embargo. This luxury penthouse listed by a Cuban architect costs $180 a night. It offers 360-degree views from a rooftop terrace, “luxurious Egyptian cotton towels and bath sheets,” and even a flat screen TV. Check out the throwback Coke signs on the terrace.
In a way, Cuba was ahead of the curve when it comes to homeowners renting out their properties to vacationers. In the 1990s, Cuba allowed private homes licensed by the government to accept paying guests at what are known as “casas particulares.” Many of those properties are now among the Airbnb listings, including this immaculate 100-year-old colonial house known as Residencia Mariby.
While most of the listings are for properties in Havana, there are around 100 from the city of Cienfuegos, where um, satin bedspreads appear to be a thing.
This villa bills itself as a two-bedroom house that belonged to "senior generals of previous governments." Hmmmm.
Not surprisingly, many of the homes don't offer much in the way of amenities. It's a certain, spartan charm.