Our stay with Maria was absolutely fantastic. We were one of her first AirBnbers, but she's been renting rooms for some time to international travelers. She made us feel like a part of the family and went out of her way to make sure we had a good stay. I would recommend staying with her without any reservation and hope to be staying with her again soon!
Communication with her daughter upon booking was easy and she was very responsive. When we arrived Maria was waiting for us and welcomed us warmly. The apartment is cozy and as described. Maria is an incredibly gracious host and though her english isn't amazing, will make a great effort. Her daughter and others in the family also speak good english.
We loved the location. It is not as touristy as staying in Old Havana and really feels like you're in nice residential neighborhood. You're half a block from the Plaza John Lennon and surrounded by beautiful 1800s houses in the nearby blocks. The old city is a short taxi ride away, which Maria is happy to arrange. I'd recommend staying in Vedado, you get more space and it feels more authentic than being in the heart of the tourist spots.
We had tasty breakfasts on the porch, which overlooks the neighborhood, with tons of fruit, eggs, bread, and more. Loved getting to know Maria, her daughter, and the rest of the family. They gave us the space we needed, but were more than willing to take time and chat.
The highlight of our time with Maria was celebrating New Year's Eve with her and her family. She cooked roast pork and we toasted the new year's in on the porch. Lots of music, joking, and good food. My favorite part of Havana was the people and Mari was a huge piece of that.