Traveler Spotlight: Alli Gulliver’s First Inner Circle Adventure to CubaMarch 8, 2019 • By THIRDHOME
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.
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!
Every 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alli is a longtime THIRDHOME member and loyal traveler to our Adventure & Custom Travel Division.