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Havana Cigar Shops

The biggest city in Cuba has a superb collection of cigar stores that sell handmade, premium cigars
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Havana—The Insider's Guide, November/December 2011

(continued from page 2)

The cigar selection here is superb. There’s a well-chosen selection of cigars by the box, many of them in cabinets of 50, such as Punch Punch, Hoyo Doubles and Punch Doubles. There’s also a large number of singles, with a broad selection of brands as well as sizes. We saw all types of Montecristos, lots of Cohibas, Partagás, Bolivars, Trinidads, Hoyo de Monterreys, even relatively obscure brands such as Sancho Panzas, Diplomaticos, Saint Luis Reys and La Gloria Cubanas.

Most Casas have aged cigars mixed in their stock, but the management at this store does some of the digging for you. They have a cabinet within the walk-in humidor with older cigars from 2000, 2003 and 2005. “This is one of the things we do all the time, call and ask for old cigars,” says Maryla Delgado Fernández, showing off an old box of Partagás Charlottes as she puffs on a cañonazo-size smoke that was made in house.

The shop has a small but well-kept locker area, and a simple but pleasant enough back room if you wish to smoke with some privacy.

La Casa del Habano, Club Habana
Av. 5, entre 188 y 192, Miramar, Playa

Far from the hustle and bustle of downtown Havana lies one of the best cigar stores in all of Cuba, the Casa del Habano at Club Habana. Located on the site of the old Biltmore Yacht and Country Club, the shop is situated next to a stately 80-year-old building with a terrazzo roof that backs up to a beach.

You owe it to yourself to take a look at the water (at the very least) and order a cold Bucanero beer and watch the waves, or perhaps catch a view of the Russian flight attendants who like to tan here between flights. Club Habana also makes for a fine spot for an afternoon getaway—speak to your hotel concierge about making arrangements.

Getting inside Club Habana and the cigar shop means going through a security check with a gate (don’t worry, they’ll let you in). The shop, located at the far left of the complex, is gorgeous, spotless and luxurious. The walk-in humidor, set to the right when you enter, is large and bursting with smokes, and is decorated with stained-glass panels above the clear-glass panels of the wall of the humidor.

The shop always seems stocked with great cigars, for this is the domain of Enrique Mons, widely believed to be the greatest cigar retailer in Havana. Mons, who was in charge of quality control for Cuba’s cigar industry in the 1970s and 1980s before turning to retail, knows cigars inside and out.

His humidor has artfully arranged stacks of Cubans, and at the center of the racks is a backlit area featuring special accessories. Be sure to dig around—something old always seems to be lurking if you’re patient enough to find it.

Mons’s shop has two cigar rolling tables, stationed outside of the walk-in humidor, facing one another from across the room. Cigar rollers here work slowly, carefully, and while house cigars can often lack a certain something, the ones made here are not to be ignored. Ask for a “Monsdale,” Enrique Mons’ take on the lonsdale size, which looks like a thicker-than-normal panetela, complete with a pigtail cap. The cigars are rich, robust and delicious. You’ll want at least two.

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Comments   9 comment(s)

Simon Cathcart February 24, 2012 12:00pm ET

wait what do they say about a picture, it paints a 1000 words! Next time guys whip out the Nikon yes.

Bruno Gallucci — Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,  —  February 25, 2012 5:52pm ET

I agree with Simon. Even your smartphone camera will do.

Damian Bancroft — Georgetown, Cayman Islands,  —  February 29, 2012 2:04pm ET

My favourite place to hang out with a loaded humidor and bar.

Keith Tramer — Stoughton, Saskatchewan, Canada,  —  March 13, 2012 5:09pm ET

Love Senor Diaz and his staff.....great cigar store.....great history, especially in the back room!!!

Roy Jeglum April 18, 2012 12:56am ET

I went there and was shocked by what a dive it was. This was my first time to Havana and was with a guide so when I walked out of there I thought I had bought real Cuban cigars. Wrong!
I ended up with 3 boxes of FAKES. I know this was my own fault for not inspecting more closely every detail that you need to but, REALLY... 3 out of 3 turned out to be fakes. The "FORT" was a good experience and at least has real Cuban cigars.

Andre Du toit — South Africa ,  —  June 7, 2012 7:02am ET

WoW excellent write up.
Will plan this into my next trip that is for sure.

Zdravko Brkic — Belgrade, Serbia, Serbia,  —  July 31, 2012 5:10pm ET

La casa del Habano at Melia Havana hotel is THE BEST casa in Havana. that is the place where ži am spending most of the time during more than 20 visits so far. excellent and polite staff.
Ypu can get all help you need, and in hotel there are few good restaurants with fusion food and Italian cuisine


I took your suggestion and visited the Casa on Quinta Avenida in May 2012... WOW! The service was extraordinary; very knowledgeable and they often offered me some lesser know vitolas that were exquisite (notably a Trinidad Edicion Limitada short Robusto). I was there the day after May Day so their stocks were pretty depleted, but I was able to find some nice little jewels and left very happy. Senor Robaina took me on a visit of the Casa, the different rooms, lounges and the "vault" where the lockers are. He also invited me to visit the Robaina Vegas Finas in Pinar del Rio on my next visit. I was only able to spend an hour there, but this was by far the highlight of my trip. A must on any trip to Havana.

James Poland Jr — Branchland , West Virginia, United States,  —  September 22, 2012 6:50pm ET

I would love to visit there. What do you have to do to be able to go over there? or can you just renew your passport and go.

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