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“Best beach holiday I've ever been in - worth every bump on the road” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Villa Cabo San Antonio

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Hotel Villa Cabo San Antonio
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Pinar del Rio, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pinar del Rio
London
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Best beach holiday I've ever been in - worth every bump on the road”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2009

It was exactly as I had imagined my perfect beach holiday to be: remote and stunning. The cabins were absolutely amazing, the beach was only for us, the service were friendly and very helpful, the food was far better than anywhere else in Cuba. Highly recommended.

The journey there is quite long from Havana, it took me about 8 hours of solid driving. We hired a car with Cubacar in La Terminal de Cruceros in Havana, who were very very helpful and gave us a good quality road map, although we also had the Rough Guide map to Cuba with us. Driving there was a bit of a pain, as directions are not as well indicated as the loyalty to Fidel. Being a native speaker I was able to ask for directions quite easily.

Reading reviews of "helpful" locals jumping on your car to guide you when asking for directions, I thought that locals were going to be friendly and open....not really, it was clear that locals were not getting in your car to help with directions, but to get driven to wherever they were going, which may or may not be in the same direction as you are going so... if you do need to ask someone, make sure you ask someone that is walking in the opposite direction to the one you think you want to go. I did find helpful people, a boy in Pinar del Rio took his bike to ride it in front of our car to show us the way as there was a street party and the streets were blocked.
Once you get to the Península de Guahanacabibes, which is a natural parc, it's a good hour an a half before you get to the hotel. Be careful with crazy (and huge) iguanas running in front of your car, wild pigs and wild cows.
It will all be worth it :)

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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52 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
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Scotland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2009

We stayed here for 2 nights during our 3 week road cuba road trip and absolutely loved it. Although the drive from Havana is long (9 hours with a couple of lengthy wrong turns) and sometimes tortuous, the rewards make it worthwhile. It is extremely remote...
We had the whole place to ourselves for 2 nights and it felt like the staff had not seen any other human life for a few weeks. given the service and attentiveness shown to us. My wife is not particularly fond of wildlife, however she put this behind herself and enjoyed every minute (even although we encountered hundreds of crabs, lizards, wild boar, iguanas, a snake and what looked like a scorpion). Do not let this put you off as the location really is idyllic.
The beach is the best we have visited and we had this to ourselves for 2 days. The snorkelling is great and definately recommended. Cabins were obviously new with all necessary facilities available. Food in the restaurant was excellent. In summary, a great place to stay and chill out for a couple of days.
P.S. Beware of the sandflies. Smother yourself in DEET before getting out of the car as I was hit rapid by about 60 of them in the space of 60 seconds.....

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2008

As the other reviewers say this place really is worth the extensive journey to reach!! The trip from Pinar del Rio took approximately 4.5 hours, the road up to the hotel is 59 km, of which the last 30 km are on pretty rocky roads, so just drive carefully and be mindful that this is a UNESCO protected biospehere, so there are animals that come close to the road, We were blessed to see a few iguana lizards on the way to the hotel!!!

The hotel consists of 16 wooden cabins that are spacious, comfortable , well decorated and have huge double beds! They are also thankfully air conditioned!! The beach is a few metres walk away, and to answer a previous reviewers question, the primary reason that the cabins are not on the beach is because this is a protected nature reserve, of which the beach is part of and is home to turtles nesting in the months of May! The beach is as described almost virgin, so don't expect a manicured beach with luxury sun loungers like those found in other areas, but the beach is nonetheless spectacular. The sandflies are savage and contrary to the books are out in the daylight hours!! Just be careful if you're taking shade under the trees and use strong protectant, ideally one containing DIMP or DEET.

There is a small bar and restaurant there which serves nice food and drinks but when the place is full it can be hard to get a table. The team working there are friendly and personable and offer good service. They made such an effort for my birthday which was very thoughtful. We would definetely recommend this place and feel that it is well worth the ardous trip back and forth!

  • Liked — The remote location and lovely team working there
  • Disliked — The savage sandflies
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2008

Extremely remote beach accommodation at the western tip of Cuba. Amazingly detached from the rest of the world. Long Carribean beach. Well sized cabins with all you need. Perfect if you do not want the 'all-inclusive' style of beach holiday that seems to be taking over Cuba (eg. Veradero). Only things you can do are sunbake, swim and read.

Make sure you get the hotel transfer to and from Havana to Maria La Gorda, then the connecting hotel bus out to Villa Cabo San Antonio. They could not offer us a transfer from Havana, so we were forced to catch the Viazul bus to Pinar del Rio (12CUC), then a taxi (old Lada rustbucket!) for 3 hours to Cabo San Antonio (90CUC!!!!!) An adventurous ride! We may have been ripped off here, I heard others were offered 60CUC for the same taxi ride.

PROS:
- Remote location, far from everywhere! Absolutely relaxed and peaceful environment.
- Well sized villa's, with all mod cons.
- Staff all lovely and helpful.

CONS:
- Killer SANDFLIES! Got >100 bites after my first session at the beach. Take industrial strength protectant, and DO NOT lie directly on the sand. Use the beach chairs, which still does not guarantee you won't get attacked! A BIG problem.
- Poor insulation between each side of cabin means you hear everything in the adjoining room in your cabin.
- Limited restaurant menu gets boring after ~4 days.


Why weren't the villas and restaurant positioned on/overlooking the beach?????

  • Liked — Remote location
  • Disliked — Sandflies on the beach
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2008

What a fantastic place to stay. We had it to ourselves for 48 hours with a lovely Carribean beach...priceless. At its busiest there were 17 people staying. It was quiet. The bed was HUGE.
The staff were predominantly lovely and helpful. There is a complete staff change every Monday to confuse matters though. Food is very limited if you are a veggie - bring marmite and peanut butter. I managed to survive for a week. As with all things in Cuba, never take no for an answer...
Weather, beach and sea were fantastic. The wooden cabins were lovely too. Couldn't recommend it more if you want total peace and quiet.
All there is to do is read and swim. Don't come here if you want activities, or even good snorkelling. Go to Maria La Gorda.
Transfer from Havana is tortuous but the sights are amazing. Would probably get the bus to there again, but cadge a lift back. The road up the penisula is incredible. Unlike any other landscape. Completely unspoilt.
Would recommend and wouldn't hesitate in going back.
Oh, and if you can pick it up in Havana, take your own wine, loads of insect repellent for the sandflies, and the cigarillos will go quiet if you play them Aerosmith or The Damned (not too keen on A-Ha either).
Enjoy the stars on the beach, and watch out for the land crabs.
Please contact me if you want more information.

  • Liked — Character - wooden, cool, fitted with the location, spacious, well-designed
  • Disliked — The guy in the truck with the horn
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2007

We travelled to this hotel by car from Havana in one day and were doing OK until we reached a town called La Fe where we discovered our first pucture. This was before we had even reached the peninsula, which is invaded by thousands of tyre-slashing land crabs! Anyway, there is a great repair service at the fork where you can turn left towards (the better known) Maria La Gorda or right to the Cabo de San Antonio.

So, trye fixed, off we went. The crabs were enough of a worry, but after about 30km the tarmac ended, and we found ourselves on a rocky, holey, dirt track for the remainder of the journey. Two hours later, with no roadsigns to reassure you that you are on the right track, we finally arrived.

But what a place! It really was worth it. Newly built in 2006, the wooden 'chalet'-style accommodation is spacious, comfortable, air-conditioned and surprisingly stylish. The bathroom is great, each chalet has a balcony out front, many with a sea view.

The small development (only 16 chalets) is beautifully landscaped and planted.

There is only one place to eat - at the hotel restaurant. And the food is great - especially given the distance to the nearest town. There is lots of fresh fruit and salad available along with the standard Cuban menu of chicken, pork, prawns, etc.

The beach is great. Lovely fine sand and virtually nobody else to disturb you. Just one point though - there is no lifeguard so weak swimmers may want to be careful about how far they swim out.

Feel free to contact me for more info about this great destination - it was a wonderfully different experience in what was, for my partner and me, a great fortnight in amazing Cuba.

  • Liked — The welcome
  • Disliked — The raod to get there
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Cabo San Antonio

Address: Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Pinar del Rio, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Pinar del Rio Province > Pinar del Rio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pinar del Rio
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Villa Cabo San Antonio 3*
Number of rooms: 16

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