More than 30 homes are licensed as casas particulares. During the end of year parrandas , when visitors flood town, restrictions on rentals are lifted and many nonregistered households rent rooms.
For colonial ambience, check into Casona Cueto (Alejandro del Río #72, e/ Enrique Malaret, tel. 042/39-5350, luisenrique [at] capiro [dot] vcl [dot] sld [dot] cu, CUC20–25), a delightful 18th-century home full of antiques. The owners rent two air-conditioned rooms with fans and modern bathrooms. A courtyard with caged birds and a landscaped rooftop terrace are to the rear.
Hostal de Jorge y Gisela (Brigadier González #29, tel. 042/39-6538, toeva [at] capiro [dot] ucl [dot] sld [dot] cu, CUC15–25), two blocks south of the plaza, has two rooms in a well-furnished 1950s-style home with a gracious lounge. One room (with an independent entrance) is reached via spiral stairs and has its own sunny lounge and patio, fridge, spacious cross-lit bedroom, and modern bathroom. The second (entered via the house) has fans. There’s a rooftop patio for sunbathing. Parking is secure.
Hostal Aponte (Brigadier González #32 altos, e/ Independencia y P. Magalis, tel. 042/39-5398, apontegladys544 [at] yahoo [dot] es, CUC20–25) is upstairs in a spacious colonial home. Eccentric owner Gladys Rojas is a santera, so a stay here is a great way of learning something about the religion. She has two air-conditioned rooms, one fairly small, the other much larger and cross-ventilated.
Cubanacán’s Hotel E Mascotte (Calle Máximo Gómez, tel. 042/39-5341, fax 042/39-5327, reservas [at] mascotte [dot] vcl [dot] tur [dot] cu, CUC60 s/d year-round including breakfast) is an upgraded 19th-century hotel. It has 14 pleasantly furnished air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV. The bathrooms have marble. A plaque on the outside wall records that here on February 1, 1899, Máximo Gómez met with Robert P. Porter, the special commissioner of U.S. President William McKinley, to negotiate the terms of the Mambí fighters’ honorable discharge at the end of the Spanish-Cuban-American War.
By the end of 2010, the Hotel Barcelona (www.hotelescubanacan.com ) may be open; at last visit the old hotel was being rebuilt behind its original colonial facade on the southeast corner of Plaza Martí .