Paseo Penthouse

  • Location: City
    Restaurants and Theatres: In walking distance
    Old town Havana: 6 minutes by car
    Farmers Market: In walking distance
  • Havanna Airport (HAV): 20km (25 mins by car)
    Airport transfer available on request
    Good public transport
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An introduction to Paseo Penthouse

How would you describe Paseo Penthouse in a nutshell?

It’s an elegant penthouse dating to the 1950s that’s set within an eclectic neighbourhood. It combines history, cosiness and service without pretension.

What was the inspiration/story behind Paseo Penthouse?

I’m married to a Cuban and for 10 years, he wasn’t allowed to return to the country to see his family. When he was finally allowed to go back, we saw the potential of the country as it was changing and the possibility of opening a hotel. So we decided to leave the rat race of Europe (I was working in global banking and my husband as a doctor) and decided to have an adventure.

My husband’s family had been living in this penthouse apartment since the 1950s (before the revolution). But after his mother had a hip replacement, she could no longer get down to the streets. So we helped her move into a ground floor apartment and decided to renovate the penthouse, creating a space that combined Cuban materials with mid-century furnishings and decor that reflected our tastes and travels.

While many people in Cuba rent out rooms in their casas while living there, we wanted to offer more privacy for guests while still having a good level of service. We don’t like labels such as “boutique” or “luxury” but we do like fine things, such as beautiful furnishings, Egyptian cotton sheets and fantastic breakfasts, so we wanted to offer all of those things.

How would you describe the atmosphere of the apartment?

Havana is very hectic and noisy, especially in the Old Town, which is where most visitors head first. Vedado, where the apartment is located, is more residential, leafy and quiet, so guests often comment that the penthouse feels like a refuge or haven that they love coming back to at the end of the day. Most Cuban houses have louvre windows that don’t isolate noise, so we’ve made an effort to soundproof the rooms to create a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere inside the apartment.

Rooftop terrace
Kitchen
Living room
Terrace
Terrace
Bedroom
Bedroom
Bathoom

Paseo Penthouse rooms & rates

Paseo Penthouse occupies the third floor of a three-level building, with a different family having lived on each floor for decades (our neighbour is 99!). Above the apartment is a rooftop with gorgeous views across the leafy neighbourhood of Vedado and to the sea, which is just three blocks away.

The apartment features a large living room and is naturally divided into two suites — one with a bathroom and verandah, and another with a bathroom and adjacent entertainment room. Here you’ll find a TV with movies and a library with an extensive collection of books about Cuba. There’s also a large kitchen and service area where breakfast is prepared each morning.

  • Paseo Penthouse for 4-5 people / 250 m²
    170 / night
    • 2 Double bedroom
    • 1 Single bedroom
    • 2 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Kitchen
    • 1 Other rooms
Included in the rates
Rates are on a self-catering basis.
Optional extras
Airport transfer. Our trusted driver will pick you at the airport at the same fare as any other cab: CUC 30
Extra charges payable at the property
The balance of your stay is payable in cash only either in CUC, Euro or Dollars. If you wish to prepay your entire stay with a credit card through Paypal, a 4.5% extra charge is added to the total amount.
Children & Extra beds
Only children 12+ years old are accepted due to the railing and the stairs not being childproof.
Minimum stay
2 - 4 nights (check calendar for dates)
Check in time
after 15:00
Check out time
before 12:00
Discounts/Special offers
10% off for bookings of more than 7 nights

Facilities & services

  • Air conditioning
  • Terrace
  • Maid service
  • Concierge service
  • TV
  • Music system
  • Central heating
  • Room service
  • Honesty bar/Minibar
  • Business facilities
  • Iron & Board
  • Not suitable for young children
  • Laundry service
  • Safe box
  • Hair dryer

We recently bought a vintage car — a gorgeous 1950s Pontiac — which we use to pick up guests from the airport on request. We have a trusted driver who’ll also carry guests’ luggage up the three floors to the apartment so they don’t have to worry about anything. In addition, guests can book the car to tour Havana or go to one of the nearby beaches.

Breakfast is also included in the rate, which we decided to offer as it can be difficult to find a good breakfast in Havana. Everything is homemade and organic (everything in Cuba is organic!), including jams made by my mother-in-law.

We also offer a concierge service and our housekeeper is very knowledgeable about Havana if guests have any queries. Often people are just visiting for 3-5 days and don’t really know what they want to do, so we can help them organize their trip if needed. We also offer a massage service on the rooftop on request.

Over the years, we’ve tried to perfect the balance between offering a good level of service and being intrusive, and we’ve noticed that different nationalities often prefer different styles. Some want a lot of privacy (and we completely respect that) while others want us to sit down with them at breakfast time and answer all the questions they have about Cuba. We aim to cater to both.

Things to do in Havana & La Habana

  • Art / Culture
  • Night life
  • Massages / Treatments
  • Yoga classes

Definitely wander around the Old Town and explore some of the museums. We’d particularly recommend the National Museum of Fine Arts for those wanting to learn about Latin American art and the Museum of the Revolution to tap into that part of Cuba’s history. A lesser-known museum that I highly recommend is the Napoleonic Museum, which includes a fascinating collection from the 1950s housed within a Renaissance-style palazzo.

You could also do the Hemingway Route in a classic car or visit one of the beautiful beaches that are around 20 minutes’ drive from Havana. We also find that many guests just like to spend time in the apartment or on the rooftop, enjoying a beer at sunset while taking in the views across Vedado.

The location of Paseo Penthouse

Havana is divided into three main neighbourhoods: Old Havana is the colonial area and quite touristy with lots of attractions; Centro is mostly rundown houses and where many of the locals live; Vedado, where we are located, is the bourgeois neighbourhood where most of the embassies and theatres are located. It’s very green and leafy, with a diverse range of architectural styles.

We notice that most guests want to visit Old Havana on their first days in the city, then slowly they’ll come back to discover Vedado and love it! It’s a great neighbourhood to explore on foot and witness everyday Cuban life, with lots of surprises around every corner. I think people are now starting to travel to experience particular neighbourhoods (rather than entire cities) and I’d love for that to happen with Vedado.

When is the best time to visit Havana?

Anytime outside of the hot summer months is a great time to visit and the beaches tend to be quieter as Cubans only go to the beach in the summer! Spring and autumn are both very nice but I think around Christmas is really perfect, particularly for those wanting to escape the cold and the shopping frenzy in Europe or North America — Cuba feels like another world.