I stayed in Varadero but i visited Havana whilst there. The buildings and cars in Havana really are something else, so much culture. I wish i could have seen what the city was like in its peak (in the days of Scarface) when it was a playground for the rich and famous. The people here are friendly and have a great sense of humour. Saying that, its not wise to wonder around Havana without holding on tight to your handbag, there were 3 incidents of bag snatching while we were there.
I stayed at the Blau Varadero, altho 4 star, easily the 2nd best hotel in Varadero. Beaches was next door and looked pretty tatty in comparison. The hotel backs directly onto Varadero beach which was breathtaking. It was safe to walk along the sand at any time of day or night as it is guarded (pretty heavily) to protect the tourists. My only gripe was that the Cubans press very hard to be tipped, which is fine for things like waiter service but not from a bus driver that had taken you on a 10 minute trip!
Claim to fame... Sonia from Eastenders was staying at our hotel too. Poor girl got linched by all the english holiday makers. To be honest she was a little rude. I would've thought that a four star hotel in the commercial center of Cuba would not be the obvious choice for someone famous wanting a 'quiet' holiday but hey ho, it made my day!
If you like top cuisine and experimental cooking when you go away then Cuba won't be your bag at all. They dont import much at all so their food ingredients are pretty limited making their cooking quite bland. Fresh fish is always a good option though. We spent a day fishing out at sea, I caught a Cabrilla (i think thats what he called it). The captain of the boat cooked up what we caught while we snorkled. I've never had fish on my plate that was 20mins from fresh - wow!
The poor fish didn't stand a chance...
So many cars...
If you fancy a cruise that stops in Havana click here