Cuba

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Best hotels in Cuba, based on:
#12 Brisas Los Galeones
#12 Brisas Los Galeones
Santiago de Cuba
Cuba
47 reviews
Hotel on the hill
My wife and I, in our late 30's, visited this hotel recently. The hotel primarily caters to older guests and some guests are long-term residents there. There were only Canadians at the resort during our visit. Most of the Cubans working at the resort spoke at least some english. It was always possible to figure out a solution to any communication problem anyhow. As you will read in other reviews, this hotel is up on a hill overlooking the town of Chivrico. This means that if you want to go to the beach, you have to walk down (and later up) a lot of stairs. Similarly, if you want to go into town, you will have a walk down (and later up) the steep roadway that leads to the hotel. One interesting thing about this hotel is that it in in "real" Cuba. So if you want to actually see what Cuba is like for Cubans that live there, you can use this hotel as a launch point to explore the local area. We enjoyed doing this ourselves but it did make us feel a bit guilty and exploitative for travelling to this country for such a low cost and taking advantage of Cuban poverty. And the country is very poor indeed. However, despite the impoverishment of the people, we have consistently found them to be welcoming, friendly, extremely generous, genuine, and most of all - happy. This is a nice change from the stress, hustle and bustle of North American culture. As far as the resort goes, we'd rate it a 2.5 star. The rooms are very basic yet clean. The beds uncomfortable and old. The food on the resort was very good but also limited by the fact that this is Cuba and it is an isolated country without access to the things that we are accustomed to. A few travelers got diarrhea during the week, but we didn't hear a lot of that so it is likely that the food is handled sufficiently. The beach is beautiful and very nice to sit and read on. However it does not provide a nice place to swim as the reef in the area comes right up near to the shore. Some people went in the water there but we didn't. We ended up swimming at another beach nearby. The small pool at the resort is also nice to have a quick dip in and we found it clean every day. If you are ok with basic accommodations and being in "real" Cuba, give this place a try. We have also stayed at the sister hotel, Brisas Sierra Mar and preferred it to this hotel.
#17 Playa Cayo Santa Maria
#17 Playa Cayo Santa Maria
Cayo Santa Maria
Cuba
1445 reviews
Non-stop fun with the entertainment team at Playa!
Earlier this year, I realized that I had some time off coming right after my birthday so I started to think about going away for a well-deserved rest and some fun in the sun. Being a single female and a little nervous about my first solo vacation, especially from a safety perspective, I decided on Playa Cayo Santa Maria for many reasons. Even with high expectations, my trip was so much more than I could have imagined and, without a doubt, the excellent entertainment team at Playa was the reason. The entire team was great and a few of them, in particular, really made my trip extra special. Julio is so much fun, so welcoming and just born to be on a stage! He's a very talented young man and I really enjoyed watching him perform and dancing salsa with him after he taught a class one rainy, but still enjoyable, afternoon. Yadirka is so sweet, so friendly and also a great dancer and performer. And what can I say about Leo Martines? I don't want to give away his age but I will say that I don't know where he gets the energy to do all that he does day in and day out. He is always pleasant, friendly, very funny, and also warm and welcoming. During one of our first conversations, Leo told me that, although I arrived at Playa as a guest, by the end of the week, I would be leaving as a member of the family and he was absolutely right. He introduced me to several other guests and just generally made me feel right at home. The whole team works such long hours and they never show the exhaustion they must be feeling at times. They are consummate professionals! I was very impressed with the level of enthusiasm and professionalism they show day after day and I hope hotel management appreciates all they do in making their guests feel special and happy and keeping them highly entertained. Boredom is not even a passing thought at this place!! There is something for everyone and for every mood here. I can no longer consider staying anywhere else when I return. And I will definitely return at the earliest opportunity. Thank you all for making my trip so much fun and so very memorable!

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