Artedel Luxury Penthouse
Avenida Primera 26, between 15 and 17, Vedado, +53 7 830 8727, +53 5 295 5700
Stylish, modern, stunning. Ydalgo’s Artedel luxury penthouse could be a yuppie abode anywhere in the world except you would miss out on the beautiful 360-degree view over Havana. This is a is a super-shiny 1950s style home scattered with contemporary furniture, Murano glass pieces, bronze lamps, and vibrant art work. The bedrooms are spacious and decorated in a modern minimalist style.
Ydalgo is an impeccable host, discreet or gregarious, as you prefer. Once you rent three rooms you get the place to yourself, including a beautiful living room, outdoor terrace with tasteful glass table and chairs and even a small pool. This is VIP service come standard with airport pick-ups, salsa lessons, drivers, translators, laundry and massage all on tap. Forget using a Cuban coffee maker and rev up the Nespresso machine.
Calle 4 No 310 between Calles 13 and 15, Vedado;
+53 7 833 8670.
CUC$40 per room per night.
Villa Portería is not only a fine casa particular but also a repository of antiques, for Hernandez is also a dealer – a bonus if you’re interested in ceramics, glassware, sculpture and paintings. During the so-called Special Period (1991-4), as a young man he realized that it wasn’t a question of selling the family silver to stay afloat but of buying other people’s silver, ceramics, sculptures etc. Over the years this has become as much of a passion as a business with his collection of Cuban pharmacy jars taking pride of place. I was enchanted by a lovely (1940´s) Italian ceramic dish, decorated with delicate orange and green leafs which at CUC 40 seemed a bargain.
The house itself is the only modern creation on a colonial Vedado street. There are several rooms for hire, which are grouped around a pretty courtyard garden. The house is light and spacious with tasteful decoration and paintings. This resonates with a calm feeling, a place to sit and have coffee out of the heat of the day – there are plenty of little areas to read and while away the time while Hernandez regales you with tales of his latest find.