Staying with Iliana perfectly fit all of our needs. Her daughter, Liliana, set up for our arrival. She communicated to her mother all of our needs ahead of time and made sure a personal taxi was waiting patiently at the airport for us.
I would recommend communicating with Liliana what you are looking for in terms of service and extras. We did not need laundry done and we wanted some space, but we enjoyed having breakfast (fruits, coffee, and toast) made for us each morning. Since Iliana speaks very little English, it was helpful messaging her daughter ahead of time. If you know a little Spanish or bring a phrase book, you will have no hardship.
We had access to the kitchen and porch as well as TV and our room. The shower, toilet, and AC in our room were unexpected and amazing as we had many days of walking around a lot. We wanted Cuban life in the suburbs and we got it. The neighborhood is very friendly and vivacious. There were restaurants and food around, but you'll have to ask about them because it is not exactly apparent at first. The zoo was near us as well.
Iliana made sure to connect us with a personal taxi service, so we got a nice tour and transportation whenever we needed it. Make sure you ask about prices ahead of each venture, but this was a much needed service to make sure we saw a lot of Havana the first couple days. It helped us get our bearings.
Iliana is soooo kind and caring. She is somewhat hands on, but only because she cares about your experience. We were greeting with warmth each day and allowed our space without having to ask for it. She provided a great morning experience and made sure we were getting around to all we wanted to see. She had a beautiful home and showed us the Real cuban experience.
If you are not sure about Cuba, are visiting for the first or second time, or just want to see Cuban life in a prime location, I would HIGHLY recommend staying with Iliana (it is a guaranteed great choice).
- No internet so come prepared with a map app (I had havana city app, which was necessary. It gave descriptions of many restaurants, bars, and historic locations AND had an offline map that could locate you)
- Bring a phrase book or offline phrase app if you speak little or no Spanish. Iliana is kind but knows very little English (but she tries to understand anyway).
- Casa de Iliana is registered by the Cuban government to house guests, so you can check off the "aiding the Cuban people" section to get the visa.
- Stay here if you come to Cuba!