You can book campismos with Campismo Popular (Calle 37, e/ 54 y 56, tel. 043/51-9423, Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–noon and 1–4:30 p.m.). All accommodations listed are air-conditioned.
Cienfuegos  has scores of casas particulares, notably in Punta Gorda.
An excellent downtown option in Pueblo Nuevo, Casa La Amistad (Av. 56 #2927, e/ 29 y 31, tel. 043/51-6143, CUC20), one block east of Parque Martí , is upstairs in a creaky colonial home. The two simple rooms share a bathroom. The place is highly recommended by past guests and I, too, have always enjoyed the hospitality of the welcoming hosts, who are dedicated socialists. Leonora welcomes you with her “Gato Negro” and gets rave reviews for her special chicken dish.
Book early to snag a room at Omar and Diana’s remarkable Hostal Bahía (Av. 20 #3502 altos, esq. 35, tel. 043/52-6598, hostalbahia [at] yahoo [dot] es, CUC35) in Punta Gorda. Sure, it’s expensive, but here you get a shaded bay-view balcony, a 40-inch plasma TV in the cross-ventilated lounge, and a huge selection of wines to accompany filling meals that can include paella (CUC8–15). Modern art adorns the walls.
Otherwise, my favorite is Casa de Juan Sánchez (Av. 8 #3703, e/ 37 y 39, tel. 043/51-7986, CUC25 including breakfast), a striking modernist home built in 1959, with original furnishings and heaps of stained glass. The lounge connects to a garden with shade trees. Its single, spacious room is well-lit and cross-ventilated, with a large handsome bathroom.
Worthy alternatives include the lovely Casa de Carlos y Ana María (Av. 8 #3901, tel. 043/51-6624, illyanet2006 [at] yahoo [dot] es, CUC20–25) and Casa de Rafael “Pipe” Fernández (Av. 8 #3903, e/ 39 y 41, tel. 043/52-5274, CUC20–25). I’ve enjoyed stays at both.
Casa de Andrés Ranero (Av. 10 #3707, e/ 37 y 39, tel. 043/51-7993, josera [at] jagua [dot] cfg [dot] sld [dot] cu, CUC20–25) is a great option and has two well-lit rooms, each with handsome hot-water bathrooms. Guests have their own small lounge. Meals are served on an outside patio with fish pond and parrots. There’s secure parking.
Cienfuegos  has some excellent hotels, all with satellite TV, safes, and modern bathrooms. Cubanacán’s Hostal E Palacio Azul (Calle 37 #1201, e/ 12 y 14, tel. 043/55-5828, fax 043/55-1685, reserva [at] union [dot] cfg [dot] tur [dot] cu, CUC60 s/d year-round, including breakfast) offers seven huge rooms with high ceilings and colonial tile floors in a restored mansion on the Malecón. It has a charming little bar and restaurant.
Cubanacán’s Hotel E La Unión (Av. 54 y Calle 31, tel. 043/55-1020, fax 043/55-1686, reserva [at] union [dot] cfg [dot] tur [dot] cu, from CUC64 s, CUC80 d year-round), one block east of Parque Martí , is a beautifully restored neoclassical re-creation of a 19th-century hotel. It has 49 rooms (11 are junior suites, two are suites, one is a signature suite) arrayed around a courtyard. The open-air pool has a Romanesque setting, and you get a sauna, whirlpool tub, gym, business center, and commendable restaurant.
In 2008, Cubanacán introduced another converted mansion as a hotel. With eight rooms, the Hotel E Casa Verde (Calle 37 e/ 0 y 2, Punta Gorda, tel. 053/55-1003, fax 053/55-1245, CUC65 s, CUC80 d) is up to European standards with its gracious furnishings, plasma TVs, and mobile phones. Two rooms have king beds. It has a pool with snack bar, and buffet lunch and dinner are served.
Britain’s Esencia group (www.esenciahotelsandresorts.com ) is planning on opening a posh club-style hotel, the Casa Cienfuegos.
Gran Caribe’s high-rise Hotel Jagua (Calle 37, e/ 0 y 2, tel. 043/55-1003, fax 043/55-1245, reservas [at] jagua [dot] co [dot] cu, CUC60 s, CUC85 d low season, CUC74 s, CUC105 d high season) boasts contemporary furnishings and lively color schemes in its gracious lobby and 149 large rooms plus 13 poolside cabinas. You get more facilities than at the other hotels, including a swimming pool. The buffet restaurant, however, fails miserably.
For a resort feel, head east of town to Hotel Islazul Punta La Cueva (Carretera a Rancho Luna, Km 3.5 y Circunlavación, tel. 043/57-3952, www.islazul.cu , CUC13 s, CUC16 d low season, CUC16 s, CUC22 d high season), a 67-room low-rise hotel looking west across a bay to Cienfuegos .