First Time to Havana

First Time to Havana: What You Need to Know

Havana allows you to not only step back in time but step into a time where we live in the moment. Besides the colourful classic cars which are the obvious indicator of the time warp. It’s a place where music is live on the streets and not heard through an iPod. Chatting with a neighbour means actually walking over and knocking on their door or picking up a pay phone and there is a palpable sense of community. Havana really is a city like no other.

I absolutely loved Havana and would return in a heartbeat now knowing what to expect and that there is nothing to worry about. But hindsight is 20/20. Before I left I did a myriad of research, quizzed anybody that mentioned that they had been there, and tried to plan and be prepared for any eventuality. Based on my experiences I have condensed all the questions I had before travelling to Havana for the first time as well as what I discovered through the hours of research that turned out to be immensely helpful.

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Melia Peninsula

Checking In: Melia Peninsula

The Melia Peninsula is an all-inclusive resort perched on the picture-perfect beach peninsula of Varadero, Cuba.

Going on vacation to Cuba, one enters with the knowledge that a 5-star rating does not necessarily mean the same thing that it would in other countries around the world. Unfortunately, the 5-star Melia Peninsula in Varadero doesn’t even feel like they are trying.

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Melia Habana

Checking In: Melia Habana Cuba

The Melia Habana is an impressive five-star hotel overlooking the sea in the upper-class neighbourhood of Miramar, Havana which is just a short taxi ride away from Old Havana.

We arrived in Cuba with an open mind knowing that five-star is not remotely like the five star the rest of the world uses as a benchmark. But Melia Habana truly exceeded our expectations. Placed in another country perhaps it wouldn’t hold this rating but we couldn’t fault our stay.

Our main motivation for booking a hotel outside of Old Havana was to allow us the opportunity to escape to the sanctuary of our hotel if the city chaos and heat got too overwhelming. But the final deciding factor on choosing this property over the multitude of others was they offered a free and direct shuttle throughout the day to Old Havana, giving us one less thing to worry about and budget for.  Read More

Guide to Havana

Your Must See Guide to Havana

So the rumours are true, Havana is just as wonderful as everyone say it is. At first glance, you would believe it’s an abandoned and crumbling city but it is anything but. The narrow cobbled alleys are humming with activity. As we weaved between the locals going about their day, dodged rickshaws, fruit vendors and playing children. The sound of beating drums and the allure of even more colourfully lined cobbled paths ahead served as our only guide.

There’s an energy and vibrancy that runs as an undercurrent through Old Havana that no photo seems to capture. While the visuals are striking, it’s the combined impact on your other senses that create your future favourite reminisces.

This must-see guide to Havana will ensure Old Havana ignites all your senses. 

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Beach wear_punta cana

Beach Style: What to pack for a beach vacation

Packing for a beach vacation is the easiest type of packing. Simply open up your favourite suitcase, throw in a swimsuit (or two), a cover-up, sunscreen and sunnies and you are ready to roll onto the plane and sun it up at the beach.

After spontaneously booking our recent trip to Punta Cana, I had to dash out to the shops to look for a new swimsuit as the last time I lowered myself into one was about 3 years ago – so it was time for a beach wardrobe update.

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