It’s hidden down a long corridor off Harbour Drive; when you arrive at the door you almost feel as though you’ll need a password to enter.
Happily, though, La Casa del Habano in Grand Cayman is open to all, a haven for cigar lovers in the heart of George Town.
This store is a paean to the cigar shops of yesteryear, with wood-and-glass cabinets, Cuban memorabilia and even some old cigars reputed to have belonged to Winston Churchill. (Even if they aren’t, it’s clear he would have loved this place.)
The selection is outstanding, most importantly that of the store’s individual cigars, meaning you can buy rare and limited edition sticks without having to buy an entire box, from the Bolivar Coronas Gigantes (Cuba Journal’s best Cuban cigar this year) to the Romeo y Julieto Anejados.
They’re also kept in pristine condition, in comparison to the less-than-adequate humidification you’ll find at far too many cigar shops around the Caribbean. That’s not a surprise, as each La Casa del Habano is the official outpost of Cuba’s Habanos S.A., meaning you’re getting a different, certified level of quality.
Yes, you can smoke inside, too, taking a seat at the wooden bar counter and sipping on a freshly-made cafecito.
Like the best cigar shops, this is a sanctuary, a place to retreat from the world surrounded by artifacts of luxury.
And it’s the best place to buy Cuban cigars in Grand Cayman, particularly thanks to the new lifted restrictions meaning you can take Cuban cigars back with you to the U.S. for personal consumption, whether on a cruise or flight.