My name is Matthew Sellar and I founded CubaCasa in 2010 after travelling to Cuba to decompress after my masters. As a development economist, I was fascinated by what I’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, I tried to book a casa particular in Havana, but realised 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 organisation, as there were no good websites tailored to their businesses.
I wanted to try and fix this problem, so built a network of quality casas and created a reliable team on the ground. After a lot of work and setbacks, we got the project off the ground and are now working with over 150 casas particulares in Cuba, constantly improving and expanding our network so you can easily and confidently book a casa particular in Cuba.
You might wonder why 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 to 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.
Our team is led by:
- Mayte Solano, our General Manager in Havana, Cuba
- Susana Corona, our social media manager in Spain
- CreativityWeb, our IT team based up in Edinburgh, Scotland
- Me, our Managing Director based in London, UK
Our early photos were taken by Spanish photographer Jaume Albert Marti and our more recent ones by Cuban photographer Ana Lorena Gamboa – their work is of high quality and we recommend them without hesitation!
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 ready and waiting for you
- is trustworthy and constantly updated
- means that preparing 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