The tourist footprint of Havana is tight. It radiates out in a snake pattern, hugging the coast, from Old Havana to the rutted, rundown streets of Central Havana and then to the central Republican-era district of Vedado, with its grande dame hotels, sugar-baron houses, tree-lined grid streets and romantic squares, and ends in the western area of Miramar, the diplomatic quarter, with its wide avenues, grandiose embassies and mid-century dream homes, some with kidney-shaped pools. Restorations of interest span all these areas, but sometimes it’s worth looking just outside the grid. Lea Diaz and her French husband Francois run Suite Havana, a restored two-bedroom apartment in rowdy Old Havana. But it can be pleasant to twin it with their architect-designed, minimalist loft-style triplex in the western fishing village of Santa Fe, just beyond Marina Hemingway, where you won’t encounter another tourist.
You can read the rest of the article by Lydia Bell on Wish Magazine here.