Could the reporter have gotten a better deal than the Hotel National?

By John B. Virata

If you travel to Cuba, you can bring back about $100 in cigars or alcohol, according to the new U.S. Treasury Department rules that have recently been implemented regarding Cuba. So what do you get for $US100? CNBC Washington sent reporter Eamon Javers to find out.

Javers went to the Hotel National in Havana to spend some money. Never mind that the Hotel National is probably one of the ritziest hotels on the island, Javers went to spend his producers money anyway. So what did he buy? He was able to purchase four cigars at the Hotel National and six bottles of rum. There is no mention in the video what kind of cigars or rum that Javers purchased, though he did mention that one bottle of rum he didn’t purchase (Santiago de Cuba Añejo rum) was $250.

But Javers can’t take them all back to the United States. He has to choose either the cigars or the rum or a combination thereof that does not exceed $100 in “value.”

What kind of deal would he get if he purchased the cigars not at the Hotel National, where room rates are around $150 a night, but at a less swanky hotel or even at a cigar factory? Probably a heck of a lot more, but hey, Javers and a cameraman flew all the way to Cuba to find out how much $100US would buy them in cigars and spirits, and it was the producers money so no need to find a deal.