"Few places are changing as quickly as Cuba," says Stylist magazine -- so now's the time to see the best of old and new. For £999 per person -- up to £800 less than usual -- this 10-night trip takes you from Havana, where crumbling architecture and vintage cars sit alongside smoky salsa clubs, to a newly opened hotel close to one of the best beaches on the island.
The package from British Travel Award-winners The Holiday Place includes return scheduled flights** from London Gatwick to Havana with checked luggage, three nights at the 5-star Meliá Habana, with breakfast, and seven nights at the brand-new 5-star Meliá Marina Varadero with 24-hour all-inclusive service.
The holiday starts in Havana, the Caribbean's "most vivacious city", according to Lonely Planet. The Meliá Habana hotel is in the Miramar district, overlooking the sea. The hotel has a wide range of facilities, including the largest swimming pool in Havana, a fitness centre and tennis courts, and if you're looking to explore the city, Old Havana is a 20-minute drive away. The hotel has a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013 and is ranked number three out of 73 hotels in Havana.
You'll then spend a week at the Meliá Marina Varadero, which opened in August and is already ranked number three out of 58 hotels in Varadero by TripAdvisor. The hotel is in an ecological reserve in the area around the Gaviota Varadero marina, 300 metres from the beach. There are eight restaurants serving Latin American, Italian, French and Asian food, as well as a beach grill and a top-floor lounge with panoramic sea views.
Facilities include five swimming pools, a spa, a gym, a diving and watersports centre, and tennis courts. For evening entertainment, there's a disco, a club house and a jazz bar with live music.
Depart on 5 May; 16 June, 2014. You'll need to book quickly as the £999 price is only available for the first 30 bookings.
It’s an extra £100 per person to depart on 22, 28 November; 2, 5, 10-11 December, 2013; 6, 16-17, 23 January; 28 April; 19 May; 2, 9, 23 June; 8, 15, 22, 29 September; 6, 13, 20 October, 2014; and an extra £200 per person to depart on 11 November, 2013; 15, 20, 27-28 January; 2, 4 February; 31 March; 12, 26 May.
Alternatively, travel from Belfast, Birmingham, Dublin, Glasgow, Edinburgh or Manchester for £1179 per person.
Add a half-price 2-day Cuba highlights tour from £99 per person, including visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a Havana city tour and a full-day tour of Cuba's tobacco-growing region, Pinar del Río.
Transfers are not included and are an extra £35 per person. Tourist cards for Cuba cost an extra £15 per person.
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