Cuba Travel Junkie Diary of

A Guide in Cuba

Friday, June 3, 2016
A Guide in CubaLike0

Destination

Cuba

Havana was always on my list of countries that I have to visit before it opens up to the world and before it loses its charm and authenticity.
I was invited to attend Chanel Cruise show in Cuba, the beauty of Cuba is indescribable. Believe the images. It will always remain a part of me.

Where to Stay

In Havana, there are two places I recommend to stay in, first is Saratoga hotel. It is also where Karl Lagerfeld and all Chanel top celebrities stayed, it’s a boutique 5 stars hotel, that is one of the best in Havana, if not the best. Sits on the fringes of Old Havana. The rooftop pool is the perfect spot for views of the Capitol building, baroque Grand Theatre, and the Atlantic ocean. Rooms are plush with velvet furnishings, mosaic-tiled bathrooms, and framed contemporary art.
Being part of 170 worldwide media, we stayed at the most iconic hotel in Cuba: The Hotel Nacional De Havana  dating from the Thirties and the Grande Dame of the city’s hotels has a commanding position on a bluff overlooking the ocean. The hotel has played host to world presidents and international glitterati. . Opt for an executive room for an upgraded breakfast. After wandering through the dazzling Moorish-tiled lobby, settle down for a cocktail on the alfresco terrace while listening to the Cuban melodies of a live band.
Go with little expectations from a 5-star hotel when in Cuba, but enjoy the mood of the hotel and the vibe of the city!

Places to eat in Cuba

Lunch and dinner should all be booked in advance and planned, plus there are no quick options for a good dinner, so you have to choose the best restaurant to enjoy a good meal, most of top restaurants don’t have air condition and its all year long hot and humid, so make sure to ask when booking.
My favorite 3 restaurants are

In La Guarida, you will enjoy their variety of seafood, try their lobster, it is perfectly cooked! I loved their dessert too, this restaurant is famous because it has hosted in the past Queen Sophia of Spain, it’s a fascinating place to enjoy quality Cuban food.

The walls of this bar are covered with autographs and drawings left by celebrities who have enjoyed this restaurant that offers black beans and different grilled meat, this place is great at night and was one of Hemingways favorite places.

Situated up in a narrow staircase at the entrance of Plaza de la Cathedral, La Moneda Cubana offers a traditional Cuban cuisine, go for lobster petals or rings!

Things to do

Ernest Hemingway house is a must! It’s a unique experience to see up close Hemingway house and belongings, he had pretty a nice lifestyle!

When you are in the land of Che Guevara you should definitely go on a tour of the cigar factory, we had planned a tour at Cohiba factory, it is around 40 minutes form Havana…Its beautiful to see how artisans work on creating the most refined cigars…even if you do not smoke.

Plaza De Armas is the name for the main square in many Hispanic American cities and is definitely a must see!

Book a vintage car and let them drive you around the city, its an ultimate experience! It’s around 30 euros per hour, I enjoyed so much trying out different kind of vintage cars from the 40ies!

La Fabrica De Arte Cubano will amaze you! I was surprised that it only opens only on weekends, it’s a huge space for Cuban art, where every area plays different music, it opens at night only. A place to be!

How to get there

From Dubai, I flew with Air France to Paris and from Paris it’s a direct flight of 10 hours, in few months Emirates will launch their direct flight to Panama, it will be a good option, it is a 17 hours direct flight and then 3 hours from Panama to Havana

Zoya Sakr is the co-founder of 2pure ePublishing with her husband as the Group Editor-in-Chief operating five business and lifestyle portals, having debuted with the instantly popular nawa3em.com site, ra2ed.com, aimed at Arab men, and gheir.com, the first female luxury portal of its kind. You can read more on her diary in Cuba here

For more images of Cuba and Zoya’s trip click here

Travel Junkie Diary

A bohemian traveler

Leave a Reply

Follow @ traveljunkiediary
  • Legend says that there is an intangible string of fate that binds two souls destined to be together... Whether as best friends, lovers or two crossing paths.
Those connected are bound no matter of time, place or circumstance.
The red string of fate is derived from an ancient East Asian belief. According to this myth, the Gods tie a red string around the ankles of those that are destined to meet each other or help each other in a certain way.
And so, no matter how near or far you are from the person, the thread remains. 
There will be times when mentally or physically, you feel distant from the person, but that doesn’t affect the thread that binds you two together. 
If you feel that with a lover, friend, or someone you just met... take a minute to remember what you just read and always be kind to one another. 💫
  • She turns 7 and my world upside down and inside out. 
I gave her a heart stronger than a thousand warriors... but it will take her years to learn that not everyone loves like she does... and still... she will love. 💫
  • Are you at work or at the beach? 
I’m sitting on my laptop behind my desk at work... but all I want to do is be on the beach 🏖
  • You will always be the one person I’ll never stop looking for in a crowded place 💫
  • It’s been so good to be back to my second home in Dubai and back into routine work life. I know I’m very lucky to be always on the go, traveling and exploring but I crave routines sometimes. It keeps me grounded, a little balanced and back into my yoga practice. So I always try to have a balance of both worlds... even if it’s for a few days until I start craving the adventure again. 
A little bit of the @theitalianwayuae mood in my home this morning.
  • Maybe if I close my eyes strong enough and click my heels three times I could go back! Would that work?? Happy Sunday 😊
  • The Elephant is a symbol of strength, loyalty and power. In other cultures it also symbolizes fortune, protection and honor. 
There are 3 types of elephants: The African bush elephant, African Forest Elephant and the Asian Elephant. Which one do you think this beautiful elephant is from? 
Please don’t ride elephants and don’t support any organization that allows you to ride them 💕
@travel4apurpose
  • If you are a person who is always there for others, know that your heart is rare. 
Know that you have the ability to calm storms in people... know that you give people hope and feel like they have a purpose but, also remind yourself that your heart needs rest...
I just felt like sharing this today...💫
Thank you Bianca 💕
  • I’m craving the sun ☀️ who would you go with? Tag them
  • I’m not going to lie, 2019 is looking pretty damn big!!
That’s the only way I can think of expressing at the moment! 
A lot of changes happening in my professional career and it’s frightening in an extremely exciting way. Does that make any sense! 
Most of all, I’m so proud of what has become of @travelwithtjd and the beautiful team behind it, in which we are slowly building to help make it grow. 
In about month, I go back to Tromso to sail the arctic wilderness once again for the 3rd time, but this time, weather conditions will be even stronger than ever and all this will be covered in white snow!
2019 is opening more doors for conquering the polar regions and new windows for the southern regions. Hope I meet some of you on one of our @travelwithtjd trips!
  • Back in my element. From snowboarding to diving. I’m so in love with both but ready for the beach and warm weather for a little break.
Which do you prefer?
  • As we sometimes give all the love we have to others... we sometimes forget to love ourselves more. I’ve been on a little roller coaster ride the past couple days with mixed emotions... it’s a good reminder on how I need to always fight for what I believe in. 
Each one of us might be fighting a battle that no one probably knows of, or will ever know, so its always important to give people a break from time to time and let them just be. 💫