The Paseo (@the.paseo) is not just another penthouse rental vying for your attention, nor is it a “penthouse” in the way they are often imagined — opulent for the sake of being opulent, a trophy for wealthy show offs.Au contraire, this two room home is one of the most stylish and understated that I’ve seen in Havana, with furniture that evokes Cuba of the not so distant past, accented with details that hint at the island’s longstanding connections to Europe and the United States. It’s bright, inviting and a tiny bit fancy, but not overdone, and has the double bonus of a spacious balcony and a rooftop terrace that offers a place to lay out under the midday sun or have a drink at the end of the day. Centrally located on the tree-lined boulevard of Paseo in the lush, tranquil Vedado neighborhood of Havana, it’s a quick walk from the Malecón, and a quick taxi both to Fábrica de Arte Cubano and the din-filled streets of Old Havana.
The rooms are gorgeous — dark wood bedframes (one with a custom-designed cloth headboard), tasteful minimalist decor — they’re spotless and fresh looking and would be amazing to wake up in. The back room even has it’s own private balcony big enough for a couple to sit and have coffee in the morning. Each has its own bathroom (one en suite and one just outside the bedroom door) and couples are welcome to stay in either room, but the home is ideally rented as a whole by groups of 3 to 5.
There is an additional room that functions as a library but also has an extra bed if guests need it. The library leads to a metal spiral staircase which leads to the rooftop area.
Just as important as the look and feel of the place, the family behind the creation of The Paseo have a unique sense of how to take care of their guests. Host Antonio is originally from Spain and has been married to a Cuban for almost a decade, and his insider/outsider perspective has given him a keen sense of the balance of creature comforts and novelty. To this end, the host family offers all of it’s guests their expert advice and assistance with trip planning, as well as services like breakfast and dinner, airport transfers, guide contacts, or car tours. In fact, Antonio and co. recently bought and restored a dazzling royal blue 1957 Pontiac (with accompanying driver), available upon request for guests wishing to tour the city or travel in style to the beach, dinner reservations, or any other destination in or around Havana. (When my car broke down, they even sent the Pontiac to come rescue me!)
The neighborhood is quiet and the house is well located the center of Vedado among the many restaurant and nightlife options that have sprung up over the past few years. The house is walking distance to Linea, Calle 23, and the Malecón, making it an ideal home base for people who want to explore Vedado on foot as well.
To book The Paseo, you can get in touch with Antonio directly via the website. For comprehensive travel planning services, I recommend (and work for) Viahero.com, a startup that connects travelers to locals who help make arrangements for all aspects of your trip. You can use this link for a 5% discount, or use the code BRIDGESCUBA at checkout. Have a great trip!
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