Ideally located in Old Havana, our bright, spacious 3-bdrm apt. is a perfect blend of historical beauty, tranquility, modern amenities and Cuban warmth. Fully equipped kitchen, comfy beds, refined furnishings, onsite laundry, views, vibrant locale, just steps to Plaza Vieja and sights incl the Cathedral, Malecón, museums, art galleries, a vibrant cafe/restaurant scene and many more cultural and historical destinations. Daily breakfast available on request for 5 CUC per person (details below).
From the moment you open the door to Las Tres Monjas, entering the foyer at the back of the apartment, you’ll feel the welcome of this inviting, relaxing, comfortable and airy space.
The three large bedrooms and main bathroom run along the pasillo that opens to the sky and brings in natural light. The rooms are fully furnished with comfy beds for two, as well as an extra single bed in one of the bedrooms and night tables and ample wardrobes to store your belongings during your stay. The tranquility of Las Tres Monjas and its elegant furnishings recall Old Havana of another era, but the creature comforts and open space add just the right modern touches. Table lamps and dimmable overhead lighting let you set the ambiance, and individual low-volume split AC units allow you to control the environment in each bedroom for everyone to get a good sleep.
One of the uncommon (for Cuba) things you’ll notice about the newly renovated Las Tres Monjas is the open-concept full kitchen+dining room+living room. Each space easily functions separately, but the design creates energy and easy communication. You’ll also notice the synthesis of old and new, integrating elements of art deco, colonial, mid-century and industrial. The building itself was constructed at the same time as the infamous Hotel Nacional, and was an interesting mix of styles from the outset. In the completely new and fully equipped kitchen, we introduced modern large and small appliances, stainless steel and smooth pull-out cabinet drawers and a polished concrete floor. The original water heater is decorative, and our retrofitted system now supplies hot and cold water, with reliably good pressure, throughout the entire apartment, 24 hours a day.
We used original, replica and new lighting fixtures and controls for adjustable, efficient lighting, and we hired Cuban experts to patiently restore the plaster walls, mosaic tile floors, wood windows and doors and stained-glass windows to their original beauty since these features are the essence of Las Tres Monjas.
The apartment features a large, custom-made dining table that easily seats 8+ and provides a great workspace as well. The antique escritoire does double duty as TV cabinet and folds out into a small desk. The main washroom was restored using the original sink and clawfoot tub, and a glass-doored wood cabinet provides space for cosmetics and toiletries. You can enjoy a soak in the oversized tub or choose between the handheld telephone-style or overhead rain shower. The second bathroom is off the common living space and has a toilet, sink and a handheld shower for a quick rinse.
The entire apartment is completely private for the use of registered guests only. You will be asked to provide identification (passport) on arrival and sign in. These steps are in keeping with Cuban government policy. You will have your own keys to the apartment (front door and door to the pasillo) for your stay. You will also have a key for the safety deposit box. These keys must be returned at check-out.
Unfortunately, the building is not wheelchair accessible and there's no elevator. The apartment itself is on the third floor, which in Cuban terms means 4 levels: a ground-floor mezzanine level and then 3 high-ceilinged floors above it. However, the staircase has a good railing, the stairs are solid, with a medium riser height (there's a photo showing the staircase), and there are landings between and at each floor.
Check-in and check-out: Mayelin, our excellent and efficient manager, will meet you to check you in and get you settled, and then again when you check out at the end of your stay, so we'll need your arrival and departure information. We ask that you give us the maximum notice possible if there's a change in your scheduled arrival or departure (e.g., a flight change). Also, please cooperate with the set check-in/out times (check-in 11 am; check-out 3 pm) so we can prepare for the next guests. However, if you would like some flexibility in check-in or check-out times, please make any such request in advance and we will always do our best to accommodate everyone (outgoing and incoming guests).
Interaction with guests
Emergencies: You can contact Mayelin in the case of an emergency by texting or calling. If you’re unable to reach her or for communication completely in English, you can text Eduardo or Megan. This information is detailed in your guest information binder at the apartment and the pre-trip information documents we try to send to all guests.
Additional services: We want you to have a great experience in Havana and at Las Tres Monjas, and we know that Cuba can have its challenges. Depending on your interests and needs, once you’ve booked a stay, we can assist you with arrangements for transportation, dinner reservations, tours, and so on.
Note: Any referral we make is to someone we know and trust, and we only charge you their fee for the service. We don’t add a commission. This type of commission is a common practice in Cuba. Why? it's not necessarily a negative: Such referrals offer an income opportunity as well as being valued because of the often limited access to information sharing and the limited opportunities for people to market their services.
Other things to note
Laundry: The rental charge includes weekly service for bed linens and towels. We recently purchased a washing machine that connects to one of the taps for guests to do personal laundry items. Its use is very straightforward and Mayelin will point it out at check-in.
Breakfast: In the fall of 2016, in response to requests from guests, we began offering the option for a daily breakfast service provided by Isabel, Mayelin's mother. You can see comments in the reviews to get an idea. We're fortunate that Isabel agreed to continue offering our guests this independent service through 2017 and 2018.
If you're interested, Isabel will come to the apartment in the morning, let herself in (OR ring the doorbell and wait to be let in if you prefer) and access the kitchen directly along the passageway from the entrance foyer so as not to disturb anyone who is sleeping. She will require the use of a dedicated space in the refrigerator and possibly some drawer space to be able to leave some supplies. The charge is 5 CUC per person, which should be paid to her directly each morning (we don't take a commission and Isabel is not our employee). Isabel requests that you preset the time at least for the first day; thereafter you can vary the time and dates as long as you agree on it with her in advance (preferably a minimum of 24 hours' notice). The breakfast normally consists of eggs, fruits, breads, butter, juice, and coffee or tea, and Isabel adds other items at her discretion, such as jam, yoghurt, cheese, meat, cereal, depending on availability. If you're requesting breakfast service, please be sure to let us know in advance if there are any food allergies, exclusions or aversions in your group and we will pass the information on to Isabel.
Cleaning: In general, Cubans pride themselves on maintaining a clean home, and Las Tres Monjas sets a high standard. You will arrive to an immaculate apartment and it will be cleaned after you depart or once during the week for stays of 5 nights or longer. We do not charge a separate cleaning fee.
Parking: Although Las Tres Monjas does not offer parking; there is a well-established parking lot with 24-hour security at the corner of San Ignacio and Santa Clara streets, which is extremely convenient. The last guest to use it paid 4 CUC per day (approximately US$5 with exchange at the bank), which is a good rate from what we have seen. We recommend trying to negotiate a reduced rate for periods of a week or more.
We can also be contacted using lastresmonjasrental "at" using the mail service provided by the well-known browser starting with G.
PLUMBING, TOILET PAPER, ETC.
Please do not flush anything (other than urine and feces, obviously!) down the toilets; this includes toilet paper, tampons, pads, cosmetic wipes, baby wipes, “flushable” wipes, food waste, and so on (and only put water down the other drains). The drain systems beyond our walls (which we are unable to change) are old and become clogged easily, which leads to obvious problems; otherwise, you will find the toilets function very efficiently. We appreciate your cooperation in this since we know it is an adjustment. Note: These conditions apply to most plumbing systems in Cuba.
Use the garbage cans with lids provided in each of the bathrooms. We suggest using plastic bags to line them, which we have provided (to replace them, you will find bags under the sink or in the drawers to the right of the stove; use the smaller bags for the bathroom cans).
Garbage disposal: If you wish to dispose of any garbage outside the apartment, the large bins at the corner of Santa Clara and San Ignacio streets (the corner to your left as you leave the building) are for pickup for this neighbourhood zone. Unfortunately, there is no composting or recycling, although there is at least one bin in front of the Camera Oscura building in Plaza Vieja that takes recyclables.
WATER AND ELECTRICITY USE
We have made every effort to provide modern conveniences and constant cold and hot water supply for your comfort; however, we ask you to practice a conscious approach to their use. Please always be sure to turn off the AC, overhead and other fans and lights when leaving the apartment or when they are not in use. If toilets are running between flushes, please shut off (using the valve at the base) between uses and let us know. Such leaks lead to an astonishing and rapid loss of water, which can drain our tanks that are there to maintain water supply to the apartment when there are shortages in the building supply.
Please use coasters for drinks and mugs on the wood furniture and use protective fabric, trays, trivets or dishes under hot, wet, rough-bottomed items that could mark, scratch or otherwise damage surfaces. Please use cutting boards on the wood and stainless steel countertops. Of course, accidents happen, so if furniture or anything else in the apartment gets damaged, please let us know before you leave so we can repair it right away.
You are welcome to have friends visit you at the apartment; however, only the registered guests can stay overnight at the apartment. There are no exceptions.
There is absolutely no smoking inside our home, with the exception of the outdoor patio area, but please, if you must smoke, do so away from the doorways and be sure not to drop butts on the tiles or over the railing. On that note, please don’t drop anything at all over the railing; it is someone else’s patio below!
Our neighbours (only two other households on the same floor) are very thoughtful and respectful and we afford them the same consideration, so please be reasonable about very early or late noise levels.
PETS No pets.
PROSTITUTION AND PORNOGRAPHY
These crimes are taken very seriously in Cuba, and we will not tolerate such exploitation. Anyone participating in such activities will be reported to the police and will immediately be removed from the apartment and forfeit their payment.
Guests are prohibited from using the apartment, including photos or contents of the apartment, for any commercial purpose unless authorized specifically by the owners.