THIRDHOME member Alli Gulliver just returned from Cuba on Mariel Hemingway’s Hidden Havana Adventure – See what she has to say about this extraordinary experience.

“Mariel Hemingway’s Hidden Havana” was our first THIRDHOME Adventure and it will certainly not be our last! We arrived in Cuba with certain preconceived notions about the country and we departed with completely altered and improved impressions.

Wade Shealy in a car Cuba Unique architecture in Cuba

We entered Cuba on the basis of “Supporting the Cuban People” and THIRDHOME left no stone unturned as they exposed us to the stunning culture and beautiful artistry of these wonderful people. We toured a cemetery and art gallery and also attended a popular nightclub which doubled as an art gallery. We visited the gallery and home of a well-known artist and enjoyed a private performance of a young dance troupe. We were able to have lunch with a famous radio announcer and drinks with a popular musical artist. This all in addition to the more common yet also incredible tourist attractions such as the Partagas Cigar Factory and Ernest Hemingway’s favorite bar, Floridita. The main highlight for us was the private cigar and rum pairing activity, which also impressed members who had never smoked a cigar before!

THIRDHOME Members rolling cigars THIRDHOME Members touring the streets of Havana, CubaEvery restaurant was carefully chosen and exposed us to the wide range of culinary skills to be found in this fascinating country. We also enjoyed a special cooking and mojito making class in a much beloved local restaurant outside of Havana.

Gourmet breakfast at the private villas Traditional Cuban dish

Mariel Hemingway was charming and very approachable and her insights into her grandfather’s life and legacy were invaluable and impressive. We were given unprecedented access to his home, Finca Vigia, and the opportunity to meet and speak in detail with the grandson of Gregorio Fuentes. Both very intimate and extraordinary experiences that brought so much of what we had read previously to life.

Mariel Hemmingway sharing stories at lunch Mariel Hemmingway with THIRDHOME members

Our guides were impressively knowledgeable and their command of the English language was flawless. They answered our many questions with great insight and honesty. We truly felt as if we were being given an insider view into this interesting and somewhat complicated culture.

Stephan Haas and cuban driver guide THIRDHOME Adventure tour guides

THIRDHOME Members in Cuba with Mariel Hemingway

Our villa was charming and comfortable and every morning we started with an impressive breakfast buffet. The villa staff were attentive and pleasant. Our group dynamic was one of instant chemistry and mutual enjoyment. We have no doubt that we will remain friends with the people we met on this trip and all of us hope to plan travel together again soon.

THIRDHOME Members enjoying breakfast at their villaMariel Hemmingway entertaining THIRDHOME members at the villa

THIRDHOME Members driving in a vintage cuban car

We cannot speak highly enough of this experience and the unbelievable attention to detail by THIRDHOME. It is unusual to travel for a week and find nothing to fault. The movement of a group of 30 people was seamless and smooth and the itinerary was extremely well rounded and considered. Our Cuba experience was both memorable and influential. We would not hesitate for a minute to travel with THIRDHOME Adventures again.

Cuban Cabaret at the TropicanaTHIRDHOME Members walking into Finca Vigia

Alli and Richard Gulliver in CubaAlli is a longtime THIRDHOME member and loyal traveler to our Adventure & Custom Travel Division. 

Contact to start planning you next trip! 


THIRDHOME Exchange member Bob just returned from Cuba, and has a lot to say about THIRDHOME Exchange’s Travel & Concierge service.



Recently our family went to Cuba with all arrangements having been made by Liz Bates of THIRDHOME. To begin with, after traveling much of the world with very good assistance, nothing compares with the virtually perfect arrangements we experienced through Liz’s efforts.


I’ve been trying to capture our entire week here and to come up with words that capture Havana…dreamscape, romantic, a paradise rising from a falling phoenix.  None of these words really do justice to the extraordinary beauty and the bone-deep rhythm of this place.


The best part of the trip was the Cuban people, how they can keep moving on despite the embargo in place. It has changed me and I already look forward to returning one day.


While in Cuba (I am an artist and my son a filmmaker) we met important artists and museum directors and visited amazing galleries. The Modern Art Museum was simply superb with important Cuban components of the world’s art periods represented as if the artists were in Paris or New York.


All visits were relevant to us and our interests. We traveled in restored 1950s classic cars and, on long trips, had the best transportation available.  Our local expert Cuban guide was incredibly knowledgeable and made sure we saw everything possible in the 6 days we toured around together.


Another huge highlight included (which is a must-do experience) is a visit to the Tropicana Club.  Cuba was amazing and seems to be coming into its own. The people are gentle, kind and interesting; and all of the traditional paladar private restaurants that we had access to through Liz’s expertise were so much better than we expected.


Liz took the time to learn all of the important factors about us as a family and individually created a visit to Cuba that was meaningful from beginning to end. The private villa we stayed in was superb and staffed by the most wonderful Cuban people.


Our villa was the perfect oasis to rest in after being active all day. The villa was decorated in local art and staffed with some very special people.  Then for my BIG Birthday celebration, an evening which began with a talented opera singer singing Las Mananitas (Traditional Happy Birthday Spanish style), continued into the night with amazing live jazz, more singing, and traditional dancing along with an amazing feast and a walk along the Malecon afterward, was forever memorable.


The entire evening and trip was a celebration filled with fantastic food, local people, music, art and culture – everything was wonderful.   Our evening of the unique performance experience at F.A.C. was as if we were placed in Los Angeles, New York, or Paris – truly one of Havana’s best clubs, however, it just wouldn’t be the same if it were not in Cuba.


Havana is fabulous – every need and day was met beyond our expectations.  Our recommendation: Call Liz and get to Cuba now!


-Bob Kantor


If Bob’s Cuban excursion inspired you, be sure to check out our newest Inner Circle Journey, Mariel Hemingway’s Hidden Havana! Discover the colorful city of Havana, with Mariel Hemingway as your insider guide to all things Ernest Hemingway, while staying at a private villa in Miramar!


“It’s wonderful to get out on the water. I need it.” He [Hemingway] gestured toward the ocean. “It’s the last free place there is, the sea.” – From Robert Manning’s (the executive editor of The Atlantic) 1954 visit and interview with Hemingway in Cuba.

Retrace Hemingway’s life in Cuba and Cuban history in this exclusive yacht voyage


This incredibly exclusive journey can only accommodate 46 lucky guests. At the bottom of this post, find out about an incredible promotional offer available to THIRDHOME members, but first, read about the adventure of a lifetime:

Hemingway Cuba yacht voyage

This exclusive voyage takes place on the Panorama, a yacht capable of boarding 46 guests. The Panorama is a three-masted motor sailer with cabins on three decks. All cabins have air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. The forward deck is spacious, allowing for en route activities. After a windblown tan, you might retire to the aft deck for a drink at the bar.

library hemingway yacht

The interior of the Panorama includes a library and lounge. The library will prove especially handy for rereading that copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls or studying up on Cuban history. The Panorama will be boarded in Cuba after a brief flight from Miami.

Cuba hemingway car

The first few days will be spent in Cienfuegos exploring the local arts and culture followed by a trip to Trinidad. UNESCO has dubbed Trinidad a World Heritage Site for its gorgeous architecture. The port was founded in the 16th century and calls back to the days of the founding Conquistadors.

yacht dining hemingway

After departing Trinidad and Cienfuegos, a day will be spent at sea. Life at sea includes delectable cuisine, educational lectures, games, and visits to the bridge.

Castro island of youth

You will land, as Columbus did in 1494, on La Isla de Juventud (Isle of Youth) on the 5th day. The island has a distinct history brought forth by the Aboriginal Indians, pirates, and the imprisonment of the Castro brothers for 19 months.

havana hemingway cuba

By the 7th day of this Curated Journey, you will reach Havana, home to Hemingway’s former residence, Finca Vigia (Lookout Farm). Hemingway’s fishing boat, Il Pilar, can still be found on the grounds. Hemingway left in 1960 when he returned to the United States for the final time. The Cuban Government now runs Finca Vigia as a museum.

This voyage has limited space and embarks on either January 18, February 8, or February 15, 2018. This luxury small-group sailing journey is limited to 46 guests; voyage pricing starts at $6,199 per person. An ongoing promotional offer could save you $1,000 per person (subject to availability). Click here to reserve your trip or learn more about the special promotion for this Curated Journey.


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