Cuban Hotels’ Astronomical Prices for Nationals

November specials.

By Safie M. Gonzalez

HAVANA TIMES – If there’s been one issue that has made headlines in Cuba in recent months, it’s not exactly been the famous COVID-19, but increasing prices, from a piece of candy to what Cubans consume the most, “pork”.

However, pork isn’t exactly what I want to talk about in this article. I’d like to dedicate this article today to something that I found on the front page when I opened Google to look something up.

The “generous” Hotel deals for our Cuban people. Before talking about the rates that have been established for the reopening of hotel chains, I’d like to remind those of you who don’t live in Cuba, that access to these hotels has always implied a huge sacrifice for any regular Cuban, which is what we have plenty of here at the end of the day.

Going to a hotel anywhere in the world might be a luxury, I agree, but a great percentage of the population is able to travel and spend a week with their family in a hotel, at least once a year.

Not Cubans though, they can break their backs working and never be able to go to a hotel, much less now when food prices are through the roof, and you only have two options to buy a change of clothes and a pair of shoes: the first option, having a MLC (foreign currency) card or buying them for an exorbitant price from people who travel and bring back merchandise.

Within this context, I believe that even thinking about spending a couple of days at any hotel on our idyllic island is a utopia, quite frankly. Especially if we bear in mind that the price for 4 nights and 2 people, for example, can vary anywhere between 12,154 pesos to 48,616 pesos. (Officially the exchange is 24 pesos to 1 USD.) 

It seems absurd, right? Especially if we bear in mind the fact that the minimum wage for workers is 2,200 pesos per month, which might seem like a lot to anyone not living on the island, but believe me, this money vanishes on food, on payday alone.

It’s not a matter of being ambitious either, the conclusion is simple for anyone reading this article, whether they are Cuban or living in another country. It doesn’t matter whether we are university students or skilled workers, everyone should have the chance to enjoy some “decent” holiday time, why not? Especially when we have such beautiful beaches and so many hotels on our idyllic island.

Read more from Safie M. González here.

Safie M. Gonzalez

I was born in the 80's. I love nature and animals, as well as my country. I admire the sacrifice of a people. I consider myself a simple and honest person, therefore I detest injustices. I have a taste for the arts in general, but especially for literature, photography, and cinema. I believe in the power of the word and in the ability of the human being to change the world.

8 thoughts on “Cuban Hotels’ Astronomical Prices for Nationals

  • I note that Dan did not have the good grace to apologize for his remark inferring that my wife looks like a jinatera!

    “Manners maketh Man.”

    Do you Dan have both a girl-friend and a wife, as inferred in your comments?

    “my Cuban girlfriend or wife”

  • Anti – I don’t think those Cuban kids would want to be a “tourist” like me. I often times spend days there with a mocha, cutting cane. Since I grew up as a kid working summers cutting tobacco, I doesn’t bother me. I would wager that the Cubans you hang with on the beach and bars wouldnt do work like that if it meant starving. By the way, what is your crazy obsession with me and Trump ? You really seem a little confused about the differences between political philosphies .

  • I trust Dan that in making your comment that “you guys must look like the typical jinatera patrons”, that you were not suggesting that my wife must look like a jinatera! A bit more thought before making insulting comments would be advisable!
    Regarding how I look, T-shirts 10-15 years old, old shorts that my wife keeps pleading with me to get new ones, no socks, no hat, but better foot
    ware, even although it gets repaired locally. The repeated problem on the odd occasion when we have been in Havana, is racism which is embedded in the uniformed MININT goons, as we are a racially mixed couple and get stopped even when walking in the street. It is noteworthy, that they do not apologize when finding that we are a married couple and learn of my wife’s occupation. I assume that you and your Cuban girlfriend or wife are white.

  • Dan, you remind me of the many whites in your country, probably Trumpites, who claim there is no racism in the good ‘ol USA or haven’t seen police brutality with there own eyes in their neighborhoods. You try to deny others experiences in Cuba based on your white skin color and economic privelige.

    Likewise in an informal straw poll I am personally aware of, among Cuban 10-11 year olds at their school, when asked what they would like to be when they grow up a surprising number said “a tourist”. If they knew you they might have said a tourist like Dan.

  • That’s funny. I’ve been going to Cuba since 1993, and have NEVER had anyone tell me my Cuban girlfriend or wife could not be in the place. No offense but you guys must look like the typical jinatera patrons or something.

  • In the bad old days of the Soviet Union, it was actually illegal for a USSR citizen to stay in a hotel in Moscow.
    So, what happened to Carlyle’s wife is not, in this context, unusual.

  • Dan ought to note the context when selecting quotes, Safie wrote of “the population” in terms of the world at large and immediately following doing so, wrote: “Not Cubans though, they can break their backs working and never be able to go to a hoteL” She made a comparison!

    I well recall when after 54 years, Raul Castro decided that Cubans could actually enter and stay in Cuban hotels. Our local Veterinarian and his wife, took all their savings and bought a three day package at Varadero, which included travelling by Transtur coaches, not in the usual converted trucks. He told me of the pleasure of meeting and talking with people from Germany and France, and eating as much as one chose from the buffet. He ended by saying: “It was the experience of a lifetime”.

    That Dan is the reality, a university graduate having pursued his profession for thirty years, entered an hotel for the first time in his life.

    In 2011, my wife and I stayed in a casa particular in Guanabo and one day took a taxi to the well known hotel the Tropicana that lies east of Havana. We went and sat down at a table near the bar, intending having a drink prior to lunch. Within two minutes, security appeared, asked my wife if she was Cuban and instructed her to leave. When I objected, they said that I could stay but she as a Cuban,
    must leave. Obviously we both left, and I wrote to Trip Advisor – doing so brought a lot of response from a wide variety of tourists unaware of the reality of Cuba.

  • “Going to a hotel anywhere in the world might be a luxury, I agree, but a great percentage of the population is able to travel and spend a week with their family in a hotel, at least once a year. ” Say what ??!

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