Alina and her husband were so incredibly accommodating to me during my visit. First, they were flexible with my arrival time, being sure to meet me after figuring out how long it would take to arrive from the airport. After meeting me on the street when I arrived, Alina helped me to my room, not only showing me a very clean, private space, but also introducing me to her family at her home a few steps away, telling me about the local amenities (places to eat, where and how to catch a cab, etc.), and hand drawing me a map of the area so that I would not get lost. At no point in time was I ever uncomfortable in the space, and felt the value was more than I paid for. Despite not being a native English speaker, Alina went out of her way to ensure we communicated as best as we could, and tolerated my basic Spanish skills enough to ensure I always had what I needed and knew exactly where I was going and how to get there.
On my last day, New Year's Eve 2016, I needed to get to central Havana to meet a friend to head to the airport. However, due to the fact that the 31st was both a Saturday and a Holiday, few taxis were in operation. The American Collector car taxis operate like buses, picking up and dropping off multiple passengers on their way to and from one destination to the next. With luggage in tow, I did not think this was the best way to travel. Do you know that Alina and her husband fired up their car and personally drove me into tow?!?! It was such an act of kindness, and will remain an enduring memory from my trip.
The value you get from staying with Alina is priceless. You will get a very clean space. More importantly, you'll get a partner who wants to share as much knowledge as she can about what the Cuban people are, and ensure you have as robust of an experience in Cuba as you can. I would definitely stay with Alina again!