Cuba tops Conde Nast Traveller's list of "Where to go on holiday in November"

Posted: 10-Oct-18 19:06

Now that winter looms ever closer in the UK, an article by Hazel Lubbock and Laura Chubb for Conde Nast Traveller's online edition encourages travellers to take to the skies next month and start planning your pre-Christmas break now with a selection of 20 ideal places to be in November this year. As it happens, Cuba tops the list and is hailed as offering the perfect combination of time-warp enchantment and secluded tropical beaches, which are warm and mostly rain-free in November.

Cuba tops Conde Nast Traveller's list of "Where to go on holiday in November"

According to a recent article published in Conde Nast Traveller's online edition, winter now "has officially arrived in the UK" and while technically we're in autumn the winter solstice doesn't actually happen until 21st December, they do have a point as temperature-wise in the UK it already feels like winter, though not in a crisply white sort of way, and more in the sense of dark, gloomy afternoons, shorter daylight and chilling, pelting rain. It all paints a rather drab picture, which is why they say November is a great month to escape the dreadful British weather before the Christmas holiday season comes to the rescue and cheers you up again.

Topping the list is Cuba, which according to writers Laura Chubb and Hazel Lubbock is at a prime time for visiting this November, a month where tourist crowds are at their lowest and right before hordes of holidaymakers fill out city hotels and beach resorts from December to February (a.k.a. peak season).

Authors go on to say that the enchantment of Cuba's romanticism is very much alive and can be experienced in the capital in an array of blooming colonial cities; although they do question for how long that time-warp feeling will last and we disagree, but more on that below. The attractive allure of Cuba's gorgeous beaches is also mentioned and they recommend travellers to head to those that haven't been taken over by beach resorts yet; yes, there are still plenty of those in Cuba but we must add that many are not very well-known and some would be too far away from other island attractions and places of interest.

Conde Nast Traveller's article also says that by heading to the beaches of Holguin in eastern Cuba you'll escape the tourist crowds. By this, I assume they meant less trodden beaches like Playa Blanca, Playa Gibara or Playa Yuraguanal because Holguin is actually famous for its Guardalavaca beaches, where many popular all-inclusive beach resorts line the shores. Still, it is true that they are much fewer and farther between than other popular Cuban beach enclaves like Varadero or Cayo Santa Maria.

The only point where we disagree with in this article is that they start by urging travellers to go to Cuba now before it forever changes. Now, this statement has been repeatedly used over the last few years, and honestly, there isn't that much to it. Yes, Cuba has been changing in the last five years or so, but it was bound to, for a long time coming, and it has done so very slowly, nothing has drastically changed overnight, except when Obama eased the way for Americans to visit the formerly forbidden fruit of the Caribbean and warmed bilateral ties between the two nations.

That was historic, that was a tremendous milestone and incredible turning point for U.S.-Cuba relations, but in practice and from most tourists' point of view not that much has changed, and what has, has mostly been for the good, with Cuba now upping the ante to improve its luxury hotel standards and add to their portfolio of exclusive luxury properties (a market that's still ripe for expansion) like with the opening of the Gran Kempinski La Habana and more recently, the revived Hotel Packard, set to rival the former in terms of exclusivity.

Locals have also been given more power as entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses, mostly in the form of hip private restaurants and bars. Which is great news for visitors seeking more authenticity and innovation in Cuba's previously lukewarm dining scene and in some cases, also more sophistication.

We don't think Cuba is going to forever change anywhere in the near future. Everything in Cuba goes at a snail's pace, so yes, there are changes, and there will be more to come but they aren't likely to drastically change the landscape in the coming few years. Not only that, now that Americans have more restrictions to travel to Cuba, again! All credit due to Mr Trump's reversal of Obama's friendlier policies, the fear of the island becoming too Americanised is no longer valid.

Just looking at the fact that Cuba is now, for the first time in over half a century, being ruled by a non-Castro president, speaks volume that this major change hasn't translated into a sudden gigantic opening of the economy or a forceful transformation of the regime. Much is as it was and will continue to be for, I predict, a good while yet.

So, no you shouldn't go to Cuba this November because now it's the time to rush before it forever changes, you should do so because Cuba is especially attractive during this month, both price-wise, accommodation and flights to Cuba will be cheaper at this time, and weather-wise, temperatures are lower but there's still with plenty of sunshine to go around. The island remains warm with temperatures oscillating around the 24 degrees Celsius mark and November to April marks the start of the dry season, keeping tropical storms at bay. Perfect for the beach, the city, and yes, the mountains too!

Beyond Cuba, other countries and cities in Conde Nast Traveller's list of "Where to go on holiday in November: Top 20 Destinations" include:

  1. Cuba
  2. Patagonia, Argentina
  3. Myanmar
  4. Ethiopia
  5. Verbier, Switzerland
  6. Yukon, Canada
  7. Phoenix, Arizona, USA
  8. Antarctica
  9. Colorado, USA
  10. Seoul
  11. Andalusia, Spain
  12. Antigua and Barbuda
  13. Eassaouira, Morocco
  14. New Zealand
  15. Athens, Greece
  16. Las Vegas and The Grand Canyon, USA
  17. Buenos Aires, Argentina
  18. Oman
  19. Hong Kong
  20. Nepal

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