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“Hotel Caracol Will Always Have My Heart” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Club Amigo Caracol

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Club Amigo Caracol
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Playa Santa Lucia, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Toronto
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Hotel Caracol Will Always Have My Heart”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2011

Let's get one thing straight. You are what you eat, and the same goes with vacations. You have the chance to either make the most of what you're given or chose to be a prude and hate on every little detail. I have been on plenty of vacations to Cuba and other sunny destinations and have always vowed to stay at a 4 star + resort for my own personal peace of mind. I was definitely scared to be booking at a 3 star resort and feared the absolute worst, but the price was great and it's what my girlfriends and I could afford for such a last minute vacation. Well, I was completely blown away by the 2nd day and realized I had just stepped upon a hidden gem in Santa Lucia.

HOTEL: It's a small resort with 150 rooms but it's layed out quite nicely with 2 floor units. They're painted bright in Cuban fashion and the landscaping, although dry, is nicely done. There are always workers cleaning and gardening and generally taking care of the grounds. We arrived at 3am so of course it seemed like a long time to check in. However they offered us drinks and sandwiches to tie us over until the morning, and when you're hungry it doesn't matter what it is. The rooms were cleaned everyday and the maids always did their bedspead art. We had an oceanview junior suite. It was small, but we had no issues. The AC was cold and the bathroom was big and there was a colour TV and spent many mornings getting ready to Saved by the Bell. lol

BEACH: The sand is that typical white sand you see in all the photos of Cuba. There is seaweed yes, but there are also patches of normal sea water that you could be in with no issues. It's just seaweed, it won't kill you or completely ruin your vacation. It's a bit rocky so water shoes would be a good idea if you have sensitive feet. Again, you make the most with what you have, you can't expect the beach to be the best everywhere in the world. I personally don't like the feeling of the saltwater on my skin after it dries so I had no hardcore desires to spend hours in the beach water. Only to wash off sand, or get a cool break from the hot sun.

POOL: The pool is small, but it does the job. The swim up bar is wonderful and definitely spent many hours sipping cerveza from my travel mug in the pool. It was clean, and there are plenty of deck chairs and cabana's to lay on or get away from the sun. Around 3pm is when the games start with the entertainment staff. They encourage everyone young and old to particpate and eventually with enough coaxing you're playing water polo or water volleyball.

FOOD: I feared this the most initally being it a 3 star resort. I can say that I never went hunrgy and always found something to eat. Breakfast, you can't go wrong with omlettes/eggs and toast. Really, what else do you eat for breakfast back home? Dinner - I recommend the pasta. Incredible! fresh chopped garlic, onions, ham and hot spices with 2 kinds of noodles to choose from. The chefs do an excellent job of cooking and it seems like they take pride in their meals, so thank them if you really enjoyed it - they'll definitely appreciate the gratitude. I'll say it again, I was never hungry at the resort and actually miss the Krokets I'd eat every morning. Mmm. They usually do a pig roast for the guests and staff once a week so take part in that too if you don't mind seeing where your porkchops or bacon actually come from... You can also get a lobster/sea food dinner for about 7-10 pesos, depending on how much the locals want to sell if for. Do a little bargaining. WHERE would you ever get a full dinner for 10 pesos with that much seafood back in Canada?!

ENTERTAINMENT STAFF: Where do I begin. I have been to plenty resorts and have never been treated the way I was treated by the resort staff as I was here. They took the initiative to learn your name and say hello to you every day. Sit with you, ask you to dance, TEACH you to dance even. They make sure that you get invovled with the activities (if you want) and are always working and trying to make your stay that much more memorable. The shows are great that they put on and they really try hard to impress the audience, even though some of them may not have a dance background they put their heart and soul into every show they do.

If you're going there: Please say hello to Jorge (MC) Frank (the Magician) and Elicer (Spanish band member) They made our week incredible!!!

OTHER GUESTS: We had a great group of other hotel guests staying with us the week we were there. It was relatively quiet but we all bonded and became a little Cuban family by the end of the trip, even waving and saying goodbye again for the 100th time once we landed back in Canada. We all hung out and talked by the pool or at breakfast. It was great, and made the trip wonderful. It's great to get to know new people and if you're shy, it's a great chance to break out of your shell.

OVERALL: I would 100% go back to this resort and have already started looking at dates to go back. It really does suck to read such harsh reviews about this resort and it makes me wonder was it really THAT bad for you and seriously wish that you got to experience what I did. I had a great vacation, but I chose to have a great vacation. I wasn't going to let material or miniscule things bother me to the point of being unhappy. So what if you have to get your own water at dinner. So what if you are eating with the staff. So what if you have to wait a little bit longer to get a beer at the bar. Do you have maids at home getting all of these items for you too, or get crazy fast service at bars in Toronto? If you are you should have spent the money to go to a 5 star resort or taken a step back and realize the world does not revolve around you and there are other people in it.

With that, I leave you all with this: A bad day at the beach is better than a good day in the office. Live by that motto and you should be just fine, enjoy your travels and enjoy life!

HOTEL CARACOL, TE ECHO DE MENOS!! (hotel caracol, I miss you!)

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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618 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (95)
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English first
Montreal, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2011

This hotel used to be awesome, but now many things has changed, making it awfull :(

First of all, the service at the buffet is nearly invisible. Many times I had to stand up and get myself a drink(at lunch and diner) if I wanted something to drink. Most of the bosses are eating at the buffet, AT THE SAME TIME YOU DO! Meaning: you wanted to get some beef but this boss/employee got it before you(cuz he eats at the same time as you, in the same restaurant; not the comodore like they are supposed to do) and there is no more beef for you because he finished it right in your face. You are the paying customer but you have to accept the fact that they will eat YOUR food that YOU paid.

I ran out of hot water several days wich never happened before(other trip to this hotel)

No matter the way you ask for special request for the rooms, they will give you the room THEY want like they want. I have been explained that it's the chamber maid's boss that decide wich room she wants to give or not, even if it's available.

I've seen a few employees smoking while working, mostly bosses, wich I've never seen before. Many employees(not bosses) will ask you to get them a beer or a hot dog, hamburger(because they are not allowed to do it, so they ask you to give them alcohol/food)

The water served there is tapped water(bar, restaurant) but it's checked every week and it's drinkable and all. Only problem is that you MAY get sick because of the composition the the water(if it's different that what you normaly drink) For exemple, the water there may contain more sulfur and your stomach may react to it, as a result: tourista or diarrhea. If you don't want to get sick, you got a fragil stomach, buy bottled water. Even the ice is from tapped water, so don't consume it. I even saw them prepare the mix for powdered juce and use tapped water.

The beach is bellow average. Too many rocks and seaweed in the ocean, even if they "clean" it.

They are fighting the prostitution problem right now. There is police officer everyday at the Bar Mar Verde and the rumbo. For those who wanted company or simply make some friends there, forget about it. It's tourist with tourist and cuban with cuban, period!

The only good thing that remains there is the animation. A good show, everyday. Dancing lessons, spanish lessons, volleyball and the pool is great.

On a final note, I will never go back to this hotel, my money is worth more than what they charged me, but I will go to another hotel instead.(there are 4 hotel there)

Room Tip: 2nd floor ocean view room are best
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Catharines, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2011

I was a little leary wondering if the reviews were true....yes yes and yes....very clean, rooms were great a seperate room for the tv with a couch and chair. Food was great especially considering some reviews...I have been to Cuba three times now and this was the first 3 star...was as good as the 4's. and they were making improvemanets while I was there. new furniture coming in .. staff as with all resorts were very helpful.
This was the first resort I have been to that I want to be at again though the others were ok this one was special....

Room Tip: telephone after getting a booking number
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
156 hotel reviews
Reviews in 163 cities Reviews in 163 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2011

This was by far our worst hotel in Cuba, which coincidentally cost the most (about 175 Euro per night). The only decent thing was the food, which for Cuba was very decent, both in the main buffet restaurant and the snack restaurant (near the beach). Cocktails were also very tasty.

Hotel check in was terrible. We waited for 2 hours, even though we arrive only 1 hour before check in time. The hotel wasnt even full... The reception staff was very uninterested.

Room was partly very hot (airco only in one area). The bathroom stunk like the sewer. In the morning we found cockroaches on the floor under the sink. Also, we didnt sleep one minute, since there was very very very loud house and techno music - not even decent Cuban music - playing at the pool until 5:00 a.m. (all the rooms are around the pool).

We quickly ran from the hotel after one night.

Some further details:

Pool is very small. For pool towels they charge a ridiculous deposit of CUC15, which is way more than the towels cost (probably CUC1).

During the day the same loud music at the pool. When there was no music, the hotel entertainment person was yelling (not speaking) in the microphone.

Only peaceful place in the hotel is the beach area, which is quite nice, although the sand was pretty rough and dirty with seaweed all over. Don't go to Playa Santa Lucia for the beach, as the other beach areas in Cuba which we visited were much much nicer (especially Varadero of course).

We ruined our rental car tires on the road to Playa Santa Lucia. Even for Cuba, the roads there are terrible (more like pits and holes with some road around it).

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Worth, Florida
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2011

Be careful,when you go there ,they did not find my reservation,but they did not follow any procedures to look for the reservation or provider,rude people,bad educated,specially a lady from reservation Marisel Izadu.and the receptionist they were happy because they did not find(accord to them) my prepay reservation.You don't know if you go what to find.I drove 5 hours to get there and I have todrive 3 more hours to look for a decent place to stay after they did not help and I have to go to friendly Islazul Hotel in Camaguey City

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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London, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2011

My husband and I stayed at Amigo Caracol March 24 - March 31, 2011.

After spending over a month researching the resort, I went in with few expectations, except to relax and enjoy the rum and beaches.
I was not disappointed.

Caracol is a small but well layed out resort. We had an ocean view room, which was just lovely. Maid service was great, and in fact our maid left us a thank-you note on the last day for the tips we left her!! (That's the first time I've experienced gratitude like that!)

The animation staff were fantastic! I am not a party-girl, and in fact prefer to sit back and watch, and I never felt pressured by the animation staff to participate, yet felt that I would be welcomed to participate if I wished. (Also, White Ramon is probably the sexiest man I have ever seen... men, hold onto your ladies!!)
My husband really enjoyed the daily pool volleyball games (in fact, I think he had more of a crush on White Ramon than I did!)

I was not overly impressed with the beach, as it had a ton of seaweed. I went to the hotel expecting this and would have been fine had I not lost my pool shoe (only one!) somewhere along the beach on one of the first days. Next time I would prefer a resort with a 'cleaner' beach so that I am more comfortable without water shoes, but that is personal preference only. The sand was lovely, and the water was clear. What more can you really ask for?

The food choices were severly limited for me, as I am a vegetarian.. something to keep in mind for those like-minded souls.

We did the Playa Bonita tour one day, and it was incredible!! Playa Bonita is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen - a picture of true tropical paradise!!

My husband really enjoyed the small size of the resort, as it allowed him to get to know other guests. Being less social myself, I could have done with something a bit larger where I was not forced to socialize with others (look at me, such a social butterfly!)

All in all, Caracol exceeded my expectations - I was most impressed with the dedication and hard work of the animation staff.

Would I stay there again? If the price was right.

The one negative point: There was never any toilet paper in the pool or lobby bathrooms; after the first night I learned to bring a package of kleenex with me whenever I was in that area.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
428 helpful votes 428 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2011

Wally Piper's The Little Engine That Could is one of the greatest tales of motivation and the power of positive thinking ever told. Club Caracol reminds me of the Little Engine on many levels. Caracol is a quaint little 150 room 3*, that tries very hard to be just a little bit more than what it really is.

What Caracol really is --- is a very clean well laid out resort that has a little something for everyone. Is the food great? Nope. Are the grounds lush and beautiful? Nope. Do the rooms rival the Hiltons? Nope. Do they run out of Vodka every night? Yes. Are the shows equal to Las Vegas or the Copacabana’s in Havana? Nope. Did you pay $2000 for your trip? Nope. (Remember that!!)

I travelled solo to Caracol for the week of March 24 – 31 with great trepidation, apprehension, and very few expectations, after researching everything I possibly could about Santa Lucia and the four resorts located there. (See my post on the Camaguey forum) --- http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147272-i2058-k4296340-50_year_old_male_going_by_myself-Camaguey_Cuba.html

Good news. I had a fantastic time and my worries were unfounded. I walked the beach daily from Mayanabo to beyond Brisas and then back along the road to Rapidio where I’d sit with locals and share a few cerveza. I was NEVER harassed by sellers, jineteros or prostitutes either on the beach, on the road, or at the disco. I was approached on several occasions but a simple polite “no” was all that was needed. Sure there is plenty of prostitution but it is not right in your face unless you look for it. I behaved myself and bit my tongue on several occasions.

The entertainment staff work VERY hard and try to please everyone. Nobodies are made to feel like somebodies and this works well for them. A lot of older overweight women were made to feel like Bo Derek. (Under 40 may have to Google that name) It gets quite loud around the pool during the day --- if you don’t like it hit the beach. Just a little advice to all the special little girls that fall in love with the animation staff --- every week, more “special” girls just like you arrive, year after year.

I won’t bother you with room and food (bring many snacks) and beach and excursion reviews as it has all been said numerous times before. The highlight of my trip was spending a day in the “Ghetto” with several locals. I got a new tattoo (fabulous job) from my new amigo that came in from 40km’s away to do it. It was done at his Uncles house in the “ghetto” where I was cooked a delicious fish dinner as we drank copious amounts of Bucanero’s and listened to heavy metal.

Final thoughts. If you are used to 5*’s, don’t go here. If you want to have a great time for a great price, go here. The weather was between 33 and 35 degrees all week and I forgot what a cloud looked like. Would I go again? Yes I would. Would I recommend this resort to a friend? Depends on the friend.

If anyone has any questions you can message me.
Happy vacations to all.

CUBAN TRIPS.
Tryp, Cayo Coco, May 2009.
Club Villa Cojimar, Cayo Guillermo, Jan 2010.
Playa Blanca, Cayo Largo, March 2010.
Playa Blanca, Cayo Largo, May 2010.
Los Dunas, Cayo Santa Maria, Jan 2011.
Club Caracol, Santa Lucia, March 2011.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Club Amigo Caracol

Address: Playa Santa Lucia, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Camaguey Province > Playa Santa Lucia
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Playa Santa Lucia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Amigo Caracol 3*
Number of rooms: 150
Also Known As:
Club Amigo Caracol Hotel Playa Santa Lucia
Hotel Amigo Caracol
Country Inn Camaguey
Club Amigo Caracol Playa Santa Lucia, Cuba - Camaguey Province

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