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First Time Cuba TRaveller/Cigar Lover Needs Help

I appreciate a good cuban cigar.
I’m also a first time traveller to Cuba so please pardon my ignorance.
That is’ after all, what this forum is for.
My question has 2 parts:

1- We are planning a trip to Melia Las Dunas in Cayo Santa Maria in July.
I’ve read that it’s better to buy cigars in Gov. Stores and not at the resorts as they don’t have much selection.
Has anyone been to Las Dunas, and what’s their store like?
Is there a Cigar Store near the resort?

2- I’ve also heard that the Airport has a pretty good store.
Can you buy cigars on the inbound part of your trip.

Any help would be great.

Thanks all in advance.

Domin8r !!

I’ll respond to one little part of your post. I don’t think that buying cigars when you arrive at the airport is much of an option. The place to buy cigars in the airport is in the section for departures, If I’m not mistaken

Also, your bus to the resort will be waiting for you. That would mean inconveniencing quite a few people. Buying cigars is something you want to take time doing. That’s part of the fun.

I’m sure someone else will provide information on the best place in the area for making a purchase.

The Melia we have been at (not the one you are going to though) have nice cigar stores with a reasonable selection.

If it is for a smoke while on vacation try what is available. If you are bringing home - then buy at the airport - bring a (large) ziplock bag to keep the moisture in them while transporting. Buy a humidor before you go to Cuba to store them upon your return as anytime away from moisture the cigars will start to dry

Thanks 123.
I expected as much.
Same as most airports.

D

Canuks, the problem as I understand it is that the Airport Store is not always stocked.
Are there any gov. stores near CSM ??

According to this web site the Melia CSM, (not the Melia las Dunas) has a pretty good selection of cigars. The Melia is located between your resort and Sol CSM

http://marty.514crew.com/cigarstores.html

We have vacationed at the Melia Las Dunas resort. The resort was newly opened at the time and not yet running at full capacity. Keeping in mind that things often change quickly in Cuba, my reply is based on our visit.

There is a cigar shop at the Las Dunas. It is located near the internet cafe and currency exchange wicket in the lobby area. The shop was surprisingly well stocked and we bought our cigars at the resort rather than at the airport (which was under renovations at the time). Glad we did because there wasn’t much available at the airport upon departure. This will have changed!

Prices for the cigars were exactly what we had expected to pay based on Marty’s Price List. Here’s the link to Marty’s website: http://marty.514crew.com/cigarsmain.html
BTW and to my knowledge, Marty set up his website several years ago and for sure before the Melia Las Dunas resort even existed.

You can buy single cigars at the resort which is a great way to “try before you buy” a whole box. The resort cigar shop accepts payment by credit card with your passport as ID. Make sure your credit card is NOT affiliated with a US bank.

Take a pass on buying cigars immediately upon arrival.

YVRck

Thanks for the update.
Why do you suggest not to by on arrival ?
You imply at teh Airport, or is there another reason ?

So you don’t hold up the bus!

By the time you get your luggage, exchange some money and perhaps buy a beer or two for the bus ride to the resort, there’s really not a lot of time left for shopping. Everyone is anxious to get to the resort! Besides, you aren’t permitted to smoke on the bus anyways.

As well, unless you really know what type of cigar you want. It might be a good idea to buy a few singles of different types that interest you and smoke them during the time that you’re there.

This is assuming that you want to buy a box. I haven’t acquired a taste for the bigger cigars yet . The ones that I’ve like so far are not really true cigars, I guess, but nor are they cigarettes.
I smoke the Romeo Y Julieta Club and Montecristo Puritos.

Some people suggest that for the singles, but the more popular ones as they will tend to be fresher.

Domin8r,

We have returned from the Las Dunas. It is a beautiful resort. Unfortunately, the cigar store in the lobby is currently closed. Our Rep. said they were doing repairs due to a fire (we could not see evidence of the amount of damage). They do sell cigars in the store on the boulevard, however, the selection is very limited. The nearest government store, would be at least a 45 min. trip across the causeway. Perhaps they make a stop on one of the many tours available? – we did not do any, so I am not sure. We were lucky enough to befriend a hotel worker who purchased for us, 100 PESO cigars. In this area of Cuba, they are called “Reloba”. My husband was more then pleased with them. For the price, (1 CUC for 25 cigars), you should try them if you get the opportunity. We also purchased name brand cigars at the duty free shop at the airport. They had a pretty good selection. I have pictures of both the selection at the hotel, and the airport. If you send me a PM with your email address, I will forward them to you.