Varadero's Casa del Habano - house of cigars - located at 1st and 63rd Streets along the Blue Beach, is one of the jewels of the retail chain Tiendas Caracol. Foreign specialists consider it among the best of its kind. Conceived to satisfy the most demanding tastes. Casa del Habano has an excellent humidor that holds a complete selection of cigars and uses the most advanced technology for preserving tobacco. Visitors queries are answered in the smokers' room, while business deals are negotiated in the protocol room. Purchases can be made in the sales area and both smokers and non-smokers enjoy the tea room, where tea, coffee and liquor are served accompanied by delicious desserts.

In the ground floor shop are smoking accessories such as pipes, filters, cigar holders, ashtrays, lighters, humidors, postcards, catalogues and publications.

At the entrance, an experienced cigar maker welcomes clients with a spontaneous smile while demonstrating his talents in the art and technique of this work. For him, the making of a good cigar involves more than rolling and finishing the leaves. It includes an experience transmitted from one generation to the next along with the great sensitivity characteristic of the tobacco artisan.

Inaugurated last year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Partagas cigars. Varadero's Casa del Habano has received presidents, managers and executives of the major tobacco firms of the world. Now, hundreds of persons a day come in looking for Cohiba, Montecristo Hoyo de Monterrey, Romeo y Julieta, H. Upmann or some other name they know or have had recommended as one of the fine Cuban cigars. They find it not only the most appropriate place to acquire quality tobacco, but also the most comfortable. "We like to coddle our clients," says Casa manager Humberto Santamaria. "After all, they're the real reason for our existence."

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