Sasha Wood discovers the secret beach retreat of Cayo Levisa among the tropical islets of Cuba’s north-west coast. Washed by the warm currents of the Gulf Stream and only reachable by boat, it offers a glimpse of the castaway Caribbean before the beach holiday boom took hold.
From timeless glamour and old town ambience to modern luxury and five-star comfort, Havana’s collection of hotels is far from standardized, even the ones that are still state-run. Here we take a look at a selection of tried and tested properties, each with their own personalities and appealing to different types of traveller.
Sasha Wood takes a trip to one of Cuba's premier beach destinations – Cayo Santa Maria – set among the tropical islets of the Jardines del Rey, to sample its silken sands, sapphire seas and seclusion as well as fun, rum, sun and salsa from a comfortable base at the all-inclusive Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria resort.
On a trip into Cuba's heartlands, Sasha Wood experiences an exciting dose of inter-dimensional time travel on the vintage steam train from a preserved sugar factory in Caibarien to the vibrant heritage town of Remedios, sampling local rums along the way and joining the locals for a colourful parade.