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“Loved it!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Brisas Sierra Mar

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Brisas Sierra Mar
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4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera a Chivirico Km 60, Guama, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Guama
Singhampton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

Spent the week from Feb 10th at Sierra Mar and loved it! Nice staff, food was good (we brought p'nut butter), room was clean, weather was perfect! When I say the food is good I really mean it! Lots of variety everyday.
There are alot of stairs but burning some calories from food and rum over the week was good for us. We were in room 230 so 3 flights (19 stairs per flight) to the buffett and main area, but only 1 flight to the beach. Great ocean and mountain views everywhere you look!
The beach is not a white sand crystal clear water kind of beach. It is dark sand, some little rocks, nice and warm and a bar about 15 steps from it. Great! 2 Kayaks, 3 paddle boats and a hobie cat. Snorkels available at the dive shop to use. Also a nice little restaurant near the beach for lunch surrounded by botanical gardens.
We took the 50 peso class with Edgar at the dive shop and learned to scuba dive! Wonderful experience! He is a terrific instructor and took very good care of us 40 feet down touring corral reefs and beautiful fish! Highly recommend to the first timers!!! Just do it!
We also rented scooters from the resort for 26 pesos for 24hrs and scooted all over the place. The roads all around are brutal but dont seem so bad on a scooter. The scooters are fairly new and in good shape. ( Had them going 75km hr on the paved parts!) We went to a Valentines party in Chivorico 12km west of the resort and had a blast. The locals are wonderful! Driving back to the resort at night on pot hole ridden roads (pigs, goats and cows too!) was a little freaky but a great adventure. We went back on Saturday night for another Fiesta in the street! Again lots of fun! Great, great people!
We found the Oceano restaurant near the end of the week and ate there for dinner the last 3 nights. The best lobster ever!!! For 12 pesos!!! The owner worked at Sierra Mar for over 20 yrs and opened the restaurant 2 seasons ago when the Cuban goverment allowed them to own their own businesses. Such a nice family! He (Adolfo) will come and pick you up and drop you off at your resort after dinner in his 54 Dodge too!
There were a couple of power outages while we were there but didnt last long. Our bed was not that comfortable ( I brought my own pillow ) Not alot of hot water but always seemed to be just warm enough.
We had a great time! Will go again!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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491 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
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English first
Pickering, Canada
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

This was our 2nd time to Santiago de Cuba but our first to the Brisas Sierra Mar (3 ½ star). The weather co-operated and once again we enjoyed 14 good days. There are of course pro’s and con’s but the food, service and general ambience of the resort for me gives it the thumbs up. We were there from Jan 9th to 23rd. For context we are retired empty nesters in our late 50’s enjoying our 14th trip to Cuba, all various AI’s.
First the cons or deal breakers for some. This scenic resort is built into a hill with 3 levels of rooms above the main lobby/ facilities area and 4 levels below, all overlooking the Caribbean. But be warned, there are a lot of stairs. We were on the 100 level so we had to go up 4 levels to the main area (buffet, pool, cadeca, front desk etc.) but we had easy access to the beach. There are elevators however only one was working and it got you between the 1st and 4th level. The other elevator that would get you to the main level was under repair. If you have mobility issues this may not be the best resort for you.
This resort has a dark sand beach that can get very hot in the sun. Also there were a lot of rocks and coral in the water close to the shore making water shoes a necessity. However If you walked down towards the public beach area there was a lot less rocks but a few more waves. For us, we love to snorkel, and it’s one of our main considerations. The reef was impressive with a nice variety of fish but because the water was never still, visibility varied daily. We did manage to get 2 excellent days.
The rooms are dated but clean and any issues that did arise were dealt with promptly. I can’t comment on the TV as it was never turned on. Going up and down the stairs could be a pain at times so I would recommend something on the 400 level, however they are quickly taken up by returning guests, and there are many. For example in our second week the resort had to have 2 returning guests dinners as there were more than 100. This in itself speaks volumes.
So now on to the pros. The buffet was plentiful and had a good variety of food. At breakfast there was usually a cook station to get your eggs done the way you wanted. For lunch we alternated between the buffet and the Ecological restaurant. A lot of the produce is grown locally and the tomatoes were the best I had in years, anywhere. The beach restaurant “the Ranchon” was closed due to roof reconstruction.
The Cuban a la cart was OK but we were surprised to find that wine was extra (or slip out to the pool bar and bring some in in a plastic cup) however they did have a nice selection available to purchase. At the International a la cart (“the Mariposa”) wine was included with your dinner. The meal was enjoyable and when we returned the next week we were presented with a seafood menu which was equally tasty. Gala night at the buffet is on Friday nights, and was definitely the best night for food. We also went off resort to a nearby restaurant “The Oceana” and enjoyed a great lobster dinner with local entertainment at a very reasonable price.
There was evening entertainment in the main lobby and sometimes at the pool bar at around 4:30. These very talented musicians were a joy to listen to. The evening shows varied, from audience participation, dance, water ballet, or local bands. Some days were better than others. And yes there are mosquitoes so remember to bring your bug spray. The resort also sprayed every night which helped a lot.
There are 4 bars at this resort and what impressed us was they never ran out of mint! This is the first resort we’ve been to where it’s always on hand. You could also get a mojito or a properly blended Pina Colada at the beach bar.
One of the strong points for this resort is the friendliness of the staff; they really made you feel welcome. This may explain why they have a lot of return visitors, which I’m sure one day will include us. Most people there were around our age so I wouldn’t call this a party place but it did have a disco; don’t know if it was used. Not many kids either, but there was a kids club so maybe it’s more active during March break. If you look up my channel on YouTube (MrJarArt) I’ve posted a few videos of this trip.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Wow!! What fun!! My friend and I decided on a last minute trip to Cuba (I love Cuba). We decided to try out a 3 star---I was a little worried but let me tell you--it was fantastic!! We were there from the Jan 27th til Feb 3rd The ride in the bus there(in the dark) was an experience--very bumpy road to the resort.
STAIRS--Embrace the stairs my friends---there are alot of stairs--great workout!! (The hotel is built into the side of a mountain/hill) Everywhere you look is a beautiful view--gorgeous sunsets!!
The food was good and a great selection!! (Although we were too late to get any `pig` from the pig roast at lunch.) Breakfast omelets were delicious! Had some Lamb and some chicken legs off the buffet --delicious! We never did the a la carte's the buffet was good enough for us.
Do yourself a huge favor and go for a 10-15 minute walk out the front gate turn right and go to Oceano Restaurant--the best lobster for only 12 pesos plus a few other yummy items on the menu. We went twice--once for dinner and agian for lunch--nice walk--lots of goats, pigs and a couple of cows wandering freely.
We met up with a great group of people and everyone on the resort is of course very friendly as all Cubans are.
This is for the guy that was complaining at the piano bar--are you kidding me??--Causing a fuss because they didn't have any tonic water---get over it and drink something else!! There is no club soda either.
We went for a horseback ride up the mountain to the little waterfall it was fun and Noel Senior and Noel Junior were terrific---you could tell they cared a great deal about their horses. (TIP:if you are going to go horse back riding up to the little falls take some pesos and some treats for the family you will meet on the way back that will give you a drink of coffee.Also buy some 'horseshoe nails' and take them to Noel for his horses.)
The mo-ped excursion was a blast as well-went to a school(take some school stuff with you) Met Lydia and her family--left them some stuff--We ended at a beach that had the best waves--knocked our bikinis off!LOL
The views everywhere were awesome and you can walk for miles down the beach---you will have the locals come out and want to sell you stuff---just tell them firmly---no pesos not interested.
The entertainment at night is O.K.-- they do their best.
The disco was fun too---my friend managed to round up all the young adults as well as some seasoned guests (Ernesto) on the first night and every night after that and get them in there dancing---way to go Beth!!!
So laid back and relaxing if you want to be or lots to keep you busy as well---Anthony--you rock. We really enjoyed our water aerobic workout and you put up a gallant effort in Volleyball!
The Resort Band was really good and sitting in the piano bar in the evening is the place to meet people---walk up to anyone and say hi and you become fast friends!!
The pool bar was our hangout and Adonis took great care of us!!
This is a cuban owned resort and it is a 3 star. Hurricane Sandy kicked the crap out of this place but they are rallying back and slowly getting things fixed (money is not plentiful) but all in all I would definately go back there again!!

Room Tip: Embrace the stairs my friends---there are alot of stairs--great workout!! If you have bad hips,broke...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

I have been to Cuba five times and know what to expect. Spent one week at Brisas Sierra Mar.

Pros.

1. Excellent staff
2. Excellent food
3. Excellent natural setting
4. Excellent entertainment (Watershow and modelling was very good)

Cons.
1. Good music at disco, but it is empty most of the times. I had fun only when dancers came. Other than that night life is dull. Young single person can get bored at night.

2. Too many stairs

3. Far from city (Santiago de Cuba) and roads in this area are bad.

This place is good if you are mature or going with kids. Most clients are decent people. Staff is very good. Please bring your useless/old stuff and give to them. Please tip staff, like cleaners and gardners.

If you like party, this place is not for you.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Brisas Sierra Mar is a beautiful hotel where mountains meet the sea. We went for 3 weeks of diving only to discover the compressor was broken. We did not get to dive in the 3 weeks were there. We love the location and staff but were very disappointed in the inability of Marlin Watersports to support their local dive operator.
Ramon Cots, sales manager, just sent us an email saying that the dive shop is now back up and running, but I suggest you phone or email well in advance to confirm the compressor status if your main goal is to go diving.
ventas@smar.scu.tur.cu (Ramon sales manager) or relacpub@smar.scu.tur.cu Sandra Ramon, (Hotel Guest Services) tel 53 22 32 9110 x 964)
The basic hotel # is 53 7 833 4090.
Since we weren’t diving we did a lot of snorkeling. Start at the pink channel marker buoy and follow the crescent shaped reef which stretches across the front of the hotel. It really is excellent for corals and reef fish. W have even seen lobster and octopus out in front of the hotel.
Horseback riding along the beach and up into the hills where there is a waterfall with a natural pool is also fun. See Noel the horse wrangler or your tour rep to arrange.
The scooter trip arranged by Katy provides a view of life on an operational farm, a visit to a primary school and a rural medical consultario, a shoreline bat cave (you don’t have to go inside if you hate bats) and a swim at a lovely red sand beach.
The full day excursion to Santiago is like an appetizer. It’s way too short to see everything but very worthwile. Among the highlights are Moro Castle, the Cathedral, lunch at the Marlin Marina followed by a boat tour of the harbour, Make sure to walk up the street that runs out of the Cathedral square, Calle Heredia, and slip into Casa de la Trova. Beginner bands play on the main floor and more established ones play upstairs. The cover charge is only 1 or 2 CUCs.
History buffs should consider the Jeep Safari excursion that goes into the Sierra Maestra mountains and stops at Uvero and La Plata villages where some of the revolutionary battles against Battista took place. You’ll get to see Turquino Peak and a waterfall. Lunch and swim break included.

Walk into the local village and chat with the Cubans. Also try the Oceana Restaurant on the main road at the bottom of the hotel driveway. We had a great meal with wine and beer for nine people and the cost was just under $100. Can't beat that! Some nights have live entertainment too.

Jose Luis makes the best Mojitos in the Sunset Bar above the hotel pool bar from 5 pm - 11pm.
The entertainment staff puts on excellent evening shows, most in the stage area but one a week there is a synchronized swim group. Save 1 of your give-aways for them. They will come round the pool deck during the afternoon and offer you a chance to so a gift exchange with one member of the group. You will draw a name, then after the show you give them your gift and they will give you something that you can take home as a souvenir.
Things to take as give-aways for staff and villagers: chocolate, household items, soap, disposable razors, summer clothing, baby clothes, shoes, school supplies, paper notebooks (paper is very scarce.) Tylenol is good. Aspirin (ASA) is not good. . Cubans apparently need to get a prescription for ASA from a doctor .Cubans seem to worry about their kids’ poor nutrition and welcome bottles of children’s vitamins
Give your gifts directly to people you see around their homes. There is a group of beggars (for want of a better word ) at the start of the public beach and on the hotel driveway beyond the security hut who have elaborate stories about why you should give them money or goods. According to ordinary hard working locals, these beggars take what you give them and go sell them in Chiverico. So you might as well cut out the middle-man and give your gifts directly to people you encounter on your walks. Don’t be surprised if they offer you coffee. We always accept. Since the water is boiled for coffee, it seems safe enough for our delicate constitutions.
You will need bug spray here as in most Caribbean places. Take it with you as you cannot count on buying it there.
Value of the Cuban currency. 1 CUC is very close to one Canadian $1.
A doctor earns approximately equivalent to 25 CUC per month.
Lots of items have to be purchased in CUC by the locals. Those who are rebuilding after Sandy have to pay 6 CUC for each bag of cement they need to fix their homes. That’s basically the same price as we pay at Rona or Home Depot.
Check out the November 2012 National Geographic article on Cuba to better understand the economy.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Just got back and, as always, had a great time. Have been going down for years.

El Ranchon not operational (under repair).

Beach - still there, but a little less of it and the wall surrounding the compound has a huge crack and is about ready to fall over.

No diving because the compressor is not operational (broke beginning of Jan) - the boys took a day to go to the other side of Santiago to get the tanks filled in the hopes that they could take some people out diving; next problem, though, was that the only power boat left was also out of commission. So anyone wanting to go for diving etc. best to check in with the hotel first to see if they've got things back up and operational. Its just too bad that Marlin doesn't seem to take a greater hand in ensuring the equipment is in good working order because they are losing business for diving, snorkelling, and the trip to Cayo Damas, amongst other things, and it isn't the fault of the staff who run the water sports/dive centre.

I checked out Oceans restaurant across the street but didn't get a chance to actually take a meal - it looked excellent and the prices are right; other folks that had meals there said it was really good.

Roads are still really really bad, but slowly improving. It takes a good hour and a half, on a good day and with a good bus driver, to get to BSM from the airport, so not for the faint of heart.

Some of the rooms had water coming out from under the doors so couldn't be used. Elevators were under repair when I arrived and I never bothered to check if they became operational during my stay. Just did the stairs all the time.

For me and many of us, BSM is and remains a lovely hotel in a beautiful, natural setting. Staff are dedicated and very caring. Food is pretty good. I love it there, just wish I could go more often!

Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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telchac puerto
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Went to the brisas in dec - not much has changed compared to the last couple of years that i had been down there - except no beach restaurant - still no elevators - when it rains hallways become like skating rinks - thats if u can see the floor - no a/c - poorly lite at night hotel needs lots of work - but the people are still very nice asked if we could get the 4th floor if we came back in march - manager said he couldnt gurantee it. So iam trying a new place in Santiago , food seemed to be a little less in quality than previous vists.Road is improving i sure hope the hotel does because it really is a nice setting.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Brisas Sierra Mar

Address: Carretera a Chivirico Km 60, Guama, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Santiago de Cuba Province > Guama
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Room Service Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Guama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Brisas Sierra Mar 4*
Number of rooms: 200
Also Known As:
Brisas Sierra Mar Guama
Brisas Sierra Mar Hotel Guama
Brisas Sierra Mar Cuba/Santiago De Cuba Province - Guama

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