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Our Man In Havana

Find the right fit for you in Cuba

A few years ago, huge panels of sheet metal went up at the intersection of the Prado and the Malecon, and rumors swirled about a new, luxury hotel that would offer stunning ocean views just across the harbor from the Morro Castle. The construction has taken longer than expected, but the “SO/Havana Paseo del Prado”[…]

Vuelta Abajo is a cigar-lovers paradise

In 2011, Cigar Aficionado magazine made the trek to Cuba’s hallowed “Vuelta Abajo,” and while they misstated the drive time from Havana at two hours, which is way off, it was a great story and perfectly described a place I’ve brought many clients over the past few years. I usually start the pitch with “even[…]

Making the call about the biggest change in Cuba

Among the many questions I’m asked about Cuba, the “what has changed in the past 20 years” question always tops the list. The quick answer is “not much,” but the few changes that have occurred are most welcome, especially those in the communications and culinary departments. When David Sloan and I took our maiden voyage[…]

Raise a glass to ‘La Floridita’ history lesson

Leaning perpetually on the bar, in the corner of “La Floridita” bar in Old Havana, is a bronze statue of the venue’s most famous patron, American author Ernest Hemingway. Installed in 2003, the life-sized piece was created by noted Cuban sculptor Jose Villa Soberon. I suppose it wasn’t a huge surprise to learn that Soberon,[…]

US – Cuba relations: Here we go again

So, did you happen to catch “60 Minutes” this past Sunday? I record it every week as part of my “news junky” lifestyle. One of the stories was related to Cuba, and even though I was going to write something about the three-year anniversary of the Rolling Stones show in Havana, this story about another[…]

High-end ‘museum’ looms large in Central Havana

Smack dab in the middle of Central Havana, a block or so away from the old capitol, and right next to the city’s central park, is a huge, block-filling building that took, depending on who you believe, about 20 years to construct around the turn of the 20th Century. The Gran Hotel Manzana opened its[…]

Cuba is what Cuba is

After so many visits, I love the fact that there’s still so much to learn about Cuba. Whether it’s how their eggs are handled, or what it takes to have potable water on hand; it has always impressed me how my friends are able to source the things they need on a daily basis. Sure,[…]

Roadside pork a hit in the sticks

When my Cuban “brother from another mother” in Havana suggested we stop at a kiosk on the road to Caleton in the province of Matanzas last month for a snack, I was initially skeptical. It’s not that I’m particularly leery of shady, roadside food vendors in third-world countries, as I’ve always had great luck, but[…]