Jazz Martinez-Gamboa & Stephen Bayly

+53 5 5823402

Click on Location Icon to Google Maps

© 2018 Economía 156
 

THE  APARTMENT

Economía is an elegant, meticulously restored townhouse apartment, blending classical antiquity with clean modern taste, and all modern amenities possible in Cuba.

 

Airy high-ceilinged, timber-beamed rooms are arranged around a quiet interior courtyard, and feature a selection of antique and modern furniture.  The tiled floors are reproductions of the originals, and the 110+ year-old ironwork and woodwork have been carefully and tastefully restored or reproduced. The house is furnished with a tasteful blend of Cuban antique and modern furniture.

 

The open layout of the formal rooms, with a mix of old-style fans and air-conditioning will ensure comfort in the Havana heat, offering a place of repose away from the hustle-bustle of the old city.

 

The walls are hung with the work of well-known Cuban painters, past and present, including a collection of Pedro Pablo Oliva.

The modern section features a fully equipped high-end Gasgo kitchen, including (practically unheard of in Havana) a dishwasher.

 

The roof terrace has a large porch and pergola (in construction) for alfresco dining or evening cocktails.  Entertain your friends there in the night-lit garden.

 

In addition to the spacious main salon, the house comprises 3 air-conditioned bedrooms, each with a dedicated bathroom.  Two of the rooms contain double beds, and the third, twin beds.  It sleeps six comfortably.

 

Adjacent to the kitchen is a dining room opening out on the interior patio. Above, an office, laundry, and storeroom.

 

The house is fully secure with CCTV, alarms, and a video entry-system.

The restoration was designed by one of the architects on the team restoring the Capitolio.

 

Elegant turn-of-the-century townhouse apartment to rent, in a quiet corner of Old Havana

 
 
 

THE TOUR

Economía 156 is within the UNESCO designated World Heritage Site in Habana Vieja (Old Havana). It lies directly between the newly-restored Capital and the Central Station (under restoration), in the popular Parish of Jesus Maria. Located in the less developed and touristic part of Old Havana the house is closer to the realities of Havana life, which are endlessly fascinating.

The house is perfectly positioned to access on foot all the major sights and sounds of Old Havana -- via picturesque streets with their soundscape of street-criers, banter, and the strains of rumba and Afro/Cuban drums emanating from behind the crumbling facades.

A 15-minute walk takes you along the Prado promenade to the ‘must-see’ Contemporary collection of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, and, adjacent, the Museum of the Revolution.   Or to the Plaza Vieja, the cruise ship docks, and the ferry to Casablanca.

It’s a 5-10 minute stroll to the Parque Central, and the splendidly restored Gran Teatro (home of the Cuban National Ballet), the beautiful José Martí Theatre, and the hotels, bars, and restaurants that were Hemingway’s stomping ground.  Nearby is the fascinating House of the Orishas (Yoruba gods are still worshipped in Cuba in the Santerîa cult), José Marti’s birthplace, and the San José dockside art market.

The park around the corner, next to the ancient city walls and railway station, is full of restored antique locomotives. It’s a great place for relaxing and people watching.

Opportunities for fine dining in Old Havana have improved exponentially in recent years, as tourism increases and restrictions have relaxed.  Your host will give you recommendations to accommodate your tastes.  Most restaurants and bars will be within walking distance.  We provide a list of our favorites for you, and your concierge can book tables where available.

TRANSPORTATION

Economía is located 3 blocks from a major hub of the city’s botero (shared taxi) network, and the yellow taxi rank at the Saratoga hotel. The house is an 8-minute walk from the Parque Central where one can hire a 1950’s convertible to tour Havana, or catch a bus to the beach.  For the adventurous, boteros directly to Guanabo beach are located 50 metres from the house.  Bicytaxis (bicycle rickshaws) are ubiquitous (but careful of rip-off prices. 2-3 cuc should get six or seven blocks).

                                                             In any event, your hosts can arrange private transport.

FEATURES

  • Breakfast served daily at your convenience, and to your requirements, on the roof, or in the patio dining room. Tropical Cuban fruits and fruit juices in season.

  • Use of Cuban mobile phone for local calls and for queries to your concierge.

  • A landline for local calls and incoming international calls.

  •  Internet connection (sporadic).

  • Cotton towels and linens.

  • Daily cleaning and laundry service.  Linens and towels replaced every second day, unless soiled.

  • Iron and ironing board (laundry and ironing service on request).

  • Safe deposit boxes in each room.

  • Well-stocked refrigerator-minibar.

  • Hair dryers.

  • Fresh flowers.

  • Yoga mats and early a.m. exercise on the roof (pre-booked).

  • Concierge service to welcome you, and advise you by phone, 24 hours, in English and Spanish. 

  • We can arrange airport transfers, tours, private guides, and and help with other specific needs including onward travel.

  • We offer art tours, salsa lessons, and a special back-stage tour of Havana’s theatre world.

  • LED screen TV for local programming, and digital ports for movies and music. Bluetooth speakers.

TOUR OF THE HOUSE

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION

 

HAVANA - ENDLESSLY FASCINATING

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        THINGS TO NOTE

Visas: Americans are allowed to visit Cuba under the pretext of one of 13 different 'reasons for travel.' Check with your airline.  For all nationalities a Cuban tourist visa is required to visit.  Most airlines provide these for around $25 at the airport of embarkation.  They can also be obtained from local Cuban consulates for less.  Avoid online agencies who will obtain your visa unnecessarily expensively.

 

Orientation: be sure to download maps.me or similar for Cuba before you come.

 

Money: Cuba confusingly has two currencies.  You will use the convertible peso (cuc, pronounced ‘kook’) which has a rate pegged to the USA dollar. Don’t convert dollars, if you can help it, because there is a 10% penalty charge.  You can freely convert sterling, euros, the Canadian dollar, and other national currencies in the official exchange kiosks, called Cadecas.  98% of your expenditure as a tourist will be in the cuc currency.

 

The second currency (cup, called Moneda Nacional) is used by Cubans for daily expenses, such as the boteros (10 or 20 cup per ride), shopping for vegetables, and at small cafeterias.  It is valued at 24 cup per 1 cuc.  You can get away without using this, but it’s always good to have 5 or 10 cuc-worth (120-240 cup) in your pocket.

 

In the nearby San José art market, you will find a currency exchange (Cadeca) and a Etecsa (telecommunications) kiosk, where you can purchase recharge cards for your mobile phone, as well as cards (tarjetas) for wifi.  Your concierge will help with this.

 

Wifi is a luxury in Cuba.  We have installed wifi in Economía, but it is to date quite imperfect. Backup can be found in the  'wifi parks' , where Cubans gather to check their emails, and communicate with relatives abroad.  We provide you with a wifi card to access this service.

YOUR HOSTS

WELCOME

 3 rooms are available for bed and breakfast, 2 with double beds, and 1 with twin beds. The entire apartment is rentable for families only. 

Rates are seasonal.  Enquire using link below.

 

Jazz is dual nationality Cuban/British -- an actor and theatre director by training.  He has directed plays in London and Havana.

 

Stephen is a director, formerly of film and more recently of theatre.  He was formerly Director of the National Film and Television School in Britain, and is a professor at Cuba’s Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión.

 

Their current project is conversion of the ground floor of Economía into a studio/teaching theatre to be called El Garaje.

 

Your concierge is the affable Omar a bi-lingual working actor. He will receive you upon arrival, and make all arrangements. He is available 24-7 by phone. Day (pronounced 'Di") will prepare your breakfast daily.  She is assisted by Yainet, Dionne, and Yuli, in housekeeping.

 

We are LGBT friendly and are interested in people of all colours, races, creeds, and nationalities.  We have enjoyed receiving people from the four corners of the Globe.

 
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