La Casa del Habano, Cancún

What are ya gonna do? We hit the beach. We did the infinity pool with the swim-up bar. Spa? Check. More drinks? Thank you. Dinner? Every night, please. Go to town? Um, nope.

I'm sure that "downtown" Cancún has amplified its attractions since the last time I was there about two decades ago, but I'm not feeling the pull. The best things about Cancún are the beach and the commute to the beach. Oh, and there's also La Casa del Habano right there on the hotel strip, a short cab ride away.

Visiting La Casa del Habano (LCDH) in Cancún was a welcome break from the Le Blanc resort. We went twice out of the four days there. Here's day one.

David Tourgeman, the owner of this LCDH and two others in Mexico, opens the door for us as we enter around 4 p.m. Tourgeman invites us to the humidor and we consult with his cigar sommelier, a lovely Cuban woman who has resettled in Cancún. I tell her my preferences, but before we finish, Tourgeman intervenes and implores me to try the Edmundo Dantes Conde 54 Regional Edition, a sublime (6 1/2 inches with a 54 ring gauge) that is made exclusively for the Mexican market.

My friend is given a Romeo y Julieta petit corona. She is not really a cigar smoker, but begins to enjoy this little gem a little too much. Of course, it doesn't hurt that mojitos and daiquiris are flowing. I am still lighting my large cigar. The flavor is great, but the draw is a little too easy.

"When that happens," Tourgeman explains, "I pinch the cigar." He squeezes his forefinger and thumb together as a visual aid.

Fortunately, the cigar remains lit the entire time, long enough to down one of the best mojitos I've ever had. An abundance of lime is the key for me. The daiquiri is excellent as well. Both libations pair nicely with the Pacific coast oysters Tourgeman puts on the table in front of us. They're beauties, but I'm keeping the taste buds clear for tobacco. Then, ruining my plans, the charcuterie arrives. Nice Spanish sausage and cheese. I do notice the large espresso machine behind the bar. The coffee is Danesi, one of my favorites. I order a double espresso.

La Casa del Habano Cancun patio.
The patio at the La Casa del Habano in Cancún offers lovely views while you smoke.

Tourgeman explains that they fly the oysters in when they're in season. He is the consummate host and has created an excellent spot in which to relax when you've tired of the sun. In the middle of LCDH sits a dominos table. There are three flat-screen TVs and they show all the games from the United States. Autographed footballs hang on the wall. Comfortable couches and chairs are everywhere. If you want lunch or dinner, the Peruvian restaurant upstairs will deliver. There's also a small bust of Che Guevara sitting on a front table.

Of course, the highlight is the humidor. This is "kid in the candy shop" kind of stuff. In addition to offering just about every Cuban cigar you can think of to try, there is a smaller cabinet with vintage sticks. Tourgeman is also proud that he is successful in getting regional editions of cigars made for other parts of the globe. Which one will I fire up next?

Tourgeman tells me that he loves the Ramon Allones Specially Selected. I have experience with this powerhouse smoke. Tourgeman hands me one and I smoke it after dinner. Candidly, it's all force and little complexity. The next day, I make up for that one by taking our entire party back to LCDH. We sit on the deck looking out at the passing yachts in the Cancún lagoon. I clip and light one of my favorites, the Partagas Serie D No. 4. I order Santiago de Cuba dark rum, rocks on the side. This is the way to do things.

Tourgeman tells the story of tourists who arrive from the U.S. who stop by the shop even before they get to their hotels.

"They just bring in all their luggage and go right into the humidor," he says. "Some buy 10 boxes. They're here for a week. I don't ask questions." He adds that he sells about 45 boxes of Montecristos every day.

The temptation is there. With so many choices smoking a Cuban cigar at La Casa del Habano in Cancún is a distinct pleasure, made so even more by the superb hospitality of the staff at LCDH.

Alejandro Benes lives and works in Southern California.

La Casa del Habano
Boulevard Kukulkan, Zona Hotelera 77500
Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico
+52 998 840 7000
Open every day 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., or whenever

"I stopped by last month with a friend who is new to smoking and our two ladies who prefer cigarettes. It was a good experience for all of us, they have a nice selection, comfy couches, and it was nice to sit and smoke at the bar for the first time since I can remember. I am a casual smoker and in my quest to try as many Cuban Montecriso cigars as I could, I grabbed one I hadn't tried and ordered a mojito per these comments. One gal who regularly orders mojitos didn't like it and had them add something to it and still wasn't satisfied. Believe she thought it was too sweet. Myself and the other two thought they were fine but each ordered one drink. I liked the atmosphere, they had table top lighters and cigar ashtrays around for us and it was a "high end" feel but with the high end feel comes a price. A Montecriso No. 2 was listed at $26 per cigar when I had purchased them for $18 at other shops. I was hoping to buy a box but had to hold off at that price ($120 higher). I believe the mojitos were something around $390 pesos for 2 before tip which at the time translated to somewhere around $11-$12 each. It was a good experience and if I am in the area I plan to stop back however I would only plan to grab a cigar to two and would consider purchasing in bulk elsewhere." —February 15, 2016 19:48 PM
"CA, can you answer Robert Marro's question. I'm interested in knowing as well." —August 18, 2014 17:36 PM
"Still here in CANCUN so we went again. David is a great host and the bar selection is great along with the humidor. Still here 2 more days think we'll go once more." —July 11, 2014 19:26 PM
"Just visited Thursday July 3/2014. El erythema in the artical and all the comments are 100% on point. In fact I'm still here for another week and were going back for a second visit. Maybe have 4 monitor this time haha haha. Thanks Dave and the staff at La Casa del Habana " —July 5, 2014 15:18 PM
"Been there many times. However I question the authenticity of some of their house blend puros. I had believed that Cuba does not export long filler tobacco, yet it is in abundance at LCDH in Cancun. Am I wrong in this belief?" —May 13, 2014 13:33 PM
"I agree 1000% !!! I was there about a month ago, for the first time ... AMAZING !!! David, the bartender, did make the best Mojito I have ever had ... I'm in the hospitality business and I've had quite a few ... The best !!! Heading back in a month, for a vacation with my wife and going again - Love that place What an experience !!! " —April 16, 2014 21:26 PM
"Was there last august during family trip. Outstanding service; extremely nice people and oh my - what a selection. World class for sure. Could kick myself for not buying more Montecristo EL 2088 Sublimes. And the Mojitos? Best I've ever had. " —April 16, 2014 03:41 AM
"Dang you sold me I wanta go!" —April 15, 2014 17:08 PM
"Well desired...only place I buy my cigars. Congratulations owner Dave, mojito Dave, Cancun Omar and last but not least TJ Moises" —April 12, 2014 18:37 PM
"I agree with everything about your assessment. Fantastic selection, awesome porch out back, and they even told us the pool below could be used if we so chose. Best mojitos in Cancun and definitely worth a stop, even for the casual cigar smoker." —April 12, 2014 12:03 PM