Business Insider reporters describe the house they booked in Havana with AirBnB

Posted: 05-Sep-15 15:59

Three Business Insider reporters recently visited Cuba and they stayed in Havana in a "casa particular" (private house B&B) booked via AirBnB. Here you can see their video reporting their curious experience.

Business Insider reporters describe the house they booked in Havana with AirBnB

With the purpose of trying out the quality of casas particulares now listed in AirBnB after its Cuban portal was officially launched in April 2015; three reporters from Business Insider take us inside one of these AirBnB-listed private homes in Havana to check out how true it is to its Air BnB description and test its overall condition.

Leading the short video report, Graham Flanagan, Senior Video Producer at Business Insider greets the audience from the outside of the house being tested in question - a roomy, one-story apartment in downtown Havana offering 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms for $120 per night.

According to the team of reporters and a written statement that accompanies the video, Business Insider sent them there:

“...to experience the city as tourists. Instead of booking rooms in one of the state-run hotels, we decided to rent a three-bedroom apartment through Airbnb, which recently started offering accommodations in Havana.”

The written introduction to the video continues by stating:

“This is what it was like to stay in the apartment, which was located in the Vedado neighborhood, just steps from the Hotel Habana Libre."

As can be seen in the video the interiors of the house are freshly painted, modern and sleek, with ceiling fans and air conditioning that blast seriously cold air, as female reporter, Amanda Macias, says:

“If I have this running and the AC, I’m actually really cold.”

Graham starts off by giving a brief overview of the living room in which he highlights a vintage bookshelf with plenty of reading material (which he emphasises includes a variety of communist books including five volumes on Lenin). He then moves onto his visibly spacious room and says it features an adequate king-sized bed that he describes as “very comfortable”, even when it consists of two large singles put together.

He moves on to one of the two bathrooms, which he says doesn’t have hot water (while the other one does) but this is not a big issue according to Graham since, as he elaborates:

“I have yet to take a hot shower in the entire trip (…) we’re in Cuba where it’s extremely hot and humid all day.”

Next up is the ample kitchen and dining area in which he highlights a pre-stocked fridge with the two beers of choice in Havana: Crystal and Bucanero (which he claims are the only ones you can find in Cuba – although we know this is not so, it’s just that these national beers are more widely accessible than other international brand names) available at mini-bar prices of $2 CUC per beer.

Lastly, he addresses the only inconvenient of the house – the water pressure, which they have to manually adjust:

“...at night and in the morning, otherwise it won’t work properly.”

This is the only major criticism in fact from the Business Insider reporters as they claim the issue with handling water pressure wasn’t informed to them at any point during the online booking process through AirBnB nor upon their arrival to Cuba, so that was a clear disappointed. They got around the water pressure issue by using the following trick:

“So, here is the deal: if you want the water to run directly you have to do a combination of these levers; during the daytime the blue one has to be up and the red one has to be down and at night these go up and this one goes down.”

He says this inconvenient surprisingly wasn’t explained to them in the AirBnB listing description and not when they got there.

“That’s weird, that would be one of the major negative experiences we’ve had with AirBnB which have been few and far between.”

Regardless, he is quick to insist that:

“Overall our experience here at the AirBnB has been really positive. Hasta luego. Adios!”


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