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Found 5 results

  1. Hey all! I've been putting off making this post but you all have given me so much in my time on the forum that I knew I needed to give back in my small, but hopefully special for somebody, way. Background: I've been smoking cigars for about 10 years now and been getting much more into cubans in the last 4years or so. I watched a few docs and saw a few different pictures of Cuba and knew that I needed to go. When I took a new job with an unlimited and flexible vacation policy, I knew how I was going to take advantage of it. So I convinced my wonderful wife to do a 10 day trip, 5 days in Varadero with only drinking and beach for the wife and then Vinales for 2.5 days and Havana for 2.5 days for me. Without further ado, let's dive in. Varadero (days 1-5): We stayed at the melia las americas. My wife and I went to an adults only resort for our honeymoon 3 years back and swore that we'd only go to them from that point forward. The hotel was nice enough, food was miserable but all-inclusive is definitely going to do that. Got to play a round of golf at the Vardero golf club (rental clubs were atrocious but it was only $30 for the cart rental). Course was nice enough and it was great to get off the resort for awhile. The beach was great and on day 3 we walked down to the LCDH in plaza las americas. Overall the selection and service was acceptable but not astounding. The #1 thing I found there was a box of sir winnies which I immediately bought. I also purchased about 3lbs of coffee as they had a massive selection. Their singles selection was lackluster and the staff actually screwed me on the purchase (didn't feel like calling them out over $5) of about 7 singles. Our last night there we went to the Hotel Xanadu (An estate that the DuPont family had owned) and went up to the top floor. The entire top floor is windows and so the sunset was astounding. There was also live music although the drinks were more expensive (5$). On day 5 we got a very, very early cab to the viazul station where purchasing a ticket was very easy. Pictures below: Because of the length of my write-ups for Vinales and Havana, I've moved those sections to new posts.
  2. Hi Guys, I'm off to Varadero (and Cuba) for the first time next Thursday with the Girlfriend, staying at the Royalton Hicacos for 2 weeks, very excited! I know there are a few guides about which I've had a perusal through, but I wanted to double check a few bits. 1) Any general tips and must-dos in Varadero specifically? 2) Where's best to check out in Varadero for cigars? I hear differing reports of the various stores. 3) I'll be taking GBP with me, what's the best solution for changing cash? Airport, hotel, bank in Varadero or doesn't really make a difference? 4) Best way to do a day trip to Havana travel-wise? 5) Anything else worth knowing? Cheers, Matt
  3. Hello all, just wanted to see if anyone has been down recently as i am curious about what stock is like? I have a couple friends heading down this month and next (who have agreed to be mules) and I would like to be able to get a sense of what i can point them to. Specifically, if you have been recently, i'm sure you will know my first question is...Are there any Diplomaticos Cuba Regionals? Next would be are there any 2015 LE's or LCDH releases, or anything special to note? Thank you in advance for your replies!
  4. Hey guys.....my wife and I will be in Havana May 11-14, and then off to meet some friends in Varadero May 14-20. If anyone is around and wants to meet up for cigars and drinks, let me know. It would be great to meet up with other BOTL's!!!
  5. Just got back from our amazing Cuban trip. This was the first time my wife and I have been away from our kids (more than a couple of days) since they were born! The goal of the trip was to relax and to celebrate so we stayed at the Barcelo Solymar. Fantastic beach. We arrived on Saturday morning at 0145 and left the resort at 0745 for our trip to Havana. My wife’s idea...she wanted me to see Havana and get the cigars I wanted. That trip to Havana brought a lot of amazing connections....more to come on that. We both agree next time we stay in Havana for at least 3 days. We pre-arranged a pickup from Adiam Cabrera through info passed on by a great BOTL and SOTL. Adiam drove and Alain (an English teacher) translated and guided us around. These guys are fantastic, and as with Cuban people, very generous and giving. If you ever need a ride from Varadero to Havana or that vicinity you NEED to connect with these two!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PM me for their contact info. On our ride Alain informs me that Adiam’s family wants to make a special dinner for us to celebrate our 12th anniversary. My wife and I were a little taken a back by that. The only place I wanted to go to in Havana was....... I was very lucky to meet Reynaldo. I asked a man in the store if I could meet him and he pops out and offers me one of his amazing cigars (Cimmaron – I think this is what it is called) and a cafe for myself and my wife. Then he took me to his custom rolls. I was in heaven! Reynaldo and his staff were VERY patient with me, I think I was a deer-in-headlights but also rushing a bit because I thought he was close to closing. Me with a Reynaldo masterpiece and apparently some guns. I bought 6 boxes of Bolivar Gold Medals, a box Boli Royal Corona, 25 of Reynaldo’s Robos, 10 Cimmarons, 10 Belis, 20 Corona Gordas. Pictures to come (they are in the freezer) During the day we also went to H Upmann, RyJ, and Partagas. Unfortunately Hamlet was not around that day. I have always wanted to meet him and try one of his customs. I had a similar encounter as Nino at Partagas, guys trying to sell me what I wanted on the street and even offering me to enter their place where all these cigars were. One guy latched onto me after I repeatedly told him I was not interested. Got in my personal space and tried to grab my shoulder. Alain was great. Told him to take a hike and that we were not interested and the guys did walk away. On the way home Adiam offers up his internet connection so we can let the kids and grandparents know we arrived and all is well. Met his daughter, niece, sister, and wife. The kids loved the ipad we brought and were working it like they owned it within a couple of minutes. Adiam also made us a great pina colada. We went back to their place in Santa Marta for our anniversary dinner and it was the best food we had during our entire trip...and the best lobster I have ever had. We joked with Adiam about changing careers and becoming a chef......... or a bartender who makes the best Pina Coladas. I had a great connection with Alain...pigeons. My grandfather raised them and raced them here in Canada. It brought back a flood of great memories for me when he took me to his coop and I got to met some other racers on top of their roofs. Before the next time I return or someone I know, I need to get him a pigeon racing clock. What a great trip!

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