You cannot experience Cuba in a popular tourist destination like Varadero. There You can meet only Cubans, who serve tourists in state owned luxury hotels. The pulse of the country beats especially in Havana.
A “Casa Particular” is an authentic-cuban private accomodation. Here You live at Cubans with Cubans. Which means, that You cant have alle the comforts of the mentioned luxury hotel. The buildings in Havana have a stunning morbid charm. Many are in need for renovation. Private economy is developing very slowly and under state control. Not all grocery is available at every time. Foreign consumer goods are scarce commodities. Internet connection is expensive and only available at some public places.
In a “Casa particular” You are right in the middle instead of being a distant observer. The hosts (or their friends) in many cases speak some english next to spanish. But communication is always working somehow. Meanwhile You can find such accomodations not only on Airbnb. Google delivers a whole slew of helpful websites, if You search for “casa particular”.
If You would like to make use of the help of a guide next to living in a casa particular, Jasmine is Your guy. She can place 2 people in her own apartment in the centre of Havana. But she can also organize Your tour with accomodations and be Your guide. You can also book salsa-courses at her (http://www.trisalsa.com/de).
Jasmine speaks spanish, german, english, french, italian and schwyzerdütsch 😉