Matthew Sellar founded CubaCasa in 2010 after travelling to Cuba to decompress after his masters. As a development economist, he was fascinated by what he’d heard and read about Cuba – a small country seemingly managing to make things work against all the odds and against all the predictions of standard economic teachings.
Preferring independent and more authentic travel, he tried to book a casa particular in Cuba but realized that no website offered an easy, quick and safe booking service. All the websites looked amateur, involved lengthy email exchanges, presented language difficulties and led to days of waiting for a response. On the Cuban side, casa owners complained about a lack of proper infrastructure and organization, as there were no good websites tailored to their businesses.
Now, after more than 10 years of experience, working with over 150 casas particulares in Cuba, the scene is different.
At present, CubaCasa is owned and managed by 2 Cuban sisters, Akemy and Mayté Solano, but the purpose of making the process of planning the trip to Cuba easy and safe remains. In addition, we are driven by the pleasure of helping those who visit us to know Cuba, as beautiful and original as it is.
We base our management on a collaborative economy, so that, once on the island, tourists will not only have fun, relax, learn about Cuban traditions and exercise body and mind, but will also contribute to the economic and social development of the small but diverse universe of the private Cuban tourist sector that they will meet during their stay.
We use Cashflows as an online payment software rather than the commonly used PayPal. Unfortunately, the US has had an embargo on Cuba since 1960 and this prevents US companies from working with any company associated with Cuba. This means that PayPal has at times frozen the accounts of companies, charities and civil society organisations that work with Cuba. We subsequently chose Skrill, but after they got bought out by an American company, they ended up freeing our account too! After an arduous search for an alternative, we found CashFlows who are a UK based company with a reliable, safe and friendly service.
We are happy to facilitate the lives of tourists by providing a service which:
- is professional, easy and quick to use
- avoids language difficulties
- facilitates a care-free and pleasant stay in a casa particular in Cuba
- ensures that your casa particular hosts are ready and waiting for you
- is trustworthy and constantly updated
- means that preparing for your holiday doesn’t become a burden!
The casas we represent also benefit as we:
- promote their family-run casa particular businesses
- organise and manage their bookings
- make sure they are informed of any booking cancellations or updates
- provide the cheapest and most reliable service of our kind in Cuba