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“Family trip to Cuba” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Playa Turquesa

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Hotel Riu Playa Turquesa
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4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Guardalavaca | Playa Yuraguanal - Holguin, Holguin, Cuba (Formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 10 Hotels in Holguin
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Family trip to Cuba”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

Went to this resort for family trip. Flight in Sunwing was without incident and issue. Stayed in family suite 272 and liked having the extra
room and the extra bathroom for the kids. With sunwing you the entitled to an hour of wifi for free so remember your tablet or iPod. The rooms are comfortable and really have no issue with the comfort level as it has been said the beds are hard but we had no issue with falling asleep each night. We did find two LARGE roaches in shower and under a bag. There is a 110 volt charging plug in bathroom for electronics and such off the hair dryer. Yes there are lots if stairs and the resort is very big. Did this hinder our holiday..no. It was nice for it to be spread out so people weren't on top of each other. A tip for people do not misplace or loose your towel from the towel hut by the pool. One if ours got swiped and they tried to charge us for loosing one. The pools had some lost tiles but were comfortable to sit in and enjoy the beers and sun. The golf carts come around to pick you up at intervals and shuttle you around. I find it difficult to rant about the resort as we had a good time. Beach is hand raked every day by staff for the seaweed that would wash up on shore. We never got bitten by bugs at the beach or at the pool. The tv was a funny thing in room. Channel from Thunder Bay and three ESPN channels in Spanish.
Only complaint would be that the power kept going off the first day and the technician couldn't figure out how to fix it. We complained to front desk and they had another technician come out and fix it. Would this ruin our trip? Heck no. So in conclusion the naysayers of this resort are a little hard to believe. Food is ok and rooms are ok. Not a 5 star but it is an ok place to go.

Stayed April 2014
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 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 (554)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

I always read reviews for resorts before I book just to see what we are up against.

Read some very negative reviews and also very positive ones.

We arrived on April 12 and returned to Toronto on the 19th. We got in later at night (11:30 pm), and breezed through check-in within a few minutes. I love the lobby.... Open air is amazing in this climate. We stayed in room 187 and really liked the location. 3 minute walk to the lobby and the snack bar. The rooms are very basic, but we're clean and stocked with toilet paper, towels and toiletries. Also, the fridge was cold and stocked with 2 beers, 2 cans of pop and a large bottle of water.

We played tennis 6 of the 7 days. There are 8 separated hard courts that could use a little TLC, but they were playable nonetheless.

All of the staff we gracious and lovely and never expected a tip. If they were given one, they were very happy. I don't understand how anyone can complain about any of the staff. I think some people pay their money and expect anything that they want, handed to them when they wanted.

Everyone knows you do not go to Cuba for the food. However, the food was great! Tons of choice and it was always fresh and hot. I have IBS,and had ZERO issues. Here in Canada, I always have pain after I eat. In Cuba, I was symptom free. That says something about the food and the lack of steroids and other crap that our food back home has.

The pools are awesome! Never been to a resort with anything close to this. 5 pools, all connected through gated and rocky hills. Pool temps were perfect and they were always being cleaned and checked multiple times daily.

It was great to have no Americans, however, the amount of loud and drunk Québécois certainly made up for it. All I heard all week was French.

My husband and I are planning to return again in November. It was a fantastic week! Don't pay attention to the bad reviews.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014

My husband and I got married here in September 2013, we booked our wedding with First Choice - everything was organised before we went and was completely stress free.

This vacation was AMAZING.

As soon as we boarded the coach transfer reception team members checked us in, this meant that there wasn't that big long queue when you arrive at the hotel with all the other holiday makers! Instead, we were greeted in the hotel foyer with a champagne reception! And a 'live band'! Brilliant! We were then taken to our room in a cab.

When we arrived in our room, there was a fruit platter and a cold bottle of champagne waiting for us. The room was huge, really spacious, with a day bed, the air con was well needed! We were on the second floor, purely because we had requested it, and we were glad, as all the bugs liked to reside on the ground floor! Cockroaches - well, yes there were a couple, (as you would expect in any tropical country) but the room was fumigated, and didn't have a problem again. Rooms were cleaned daily, and we would regulary be left treats of food, fruits and rum.

The views from the hotel view points are amazing - there are different pools on different levels - we were always by the swim-up pool bar (as you do!) - top tip, bring a flask of your own, it'll keep your drinks cool and you wont have to keep going up to the bar for them to fill a 150ml plastic cup!

The beach had the whitest sand I had ever seen, it was clean, and there was a beach bar there too. Just watch out for the sand flies! The beach party is good too!

The food is as expected of a buffet style restaurant, but there are different stations you can go to cook food - steaks etc, and desserts (crepes, with rum and ice cream - yum!) omelettes, lots of fresh fruits, meats, extensive range of food - everyone will find something. The a la cartes get booked quickly so make sure you book early.

The massages in the beach hut are amazing, felt so relaxed, having a massage with a sea view :)

Trips can be booked at the top of the hotel by the tour guides, we did it all, no expense spared.

Our Wedding Coordinator at the hotel was so accommodating, we had a meeting with her at the beginning of our stay and discussed our requirements, she arranged the band, cake, champagne, flowers, everything was to perfection, we had the perfect day. When we were looking at somewhere to get married I read lots of reviews on different hotels in the vicinity, but we took a bit of a chance with this as there weren't many reviews on this particular hotel. However, it was PERFECT, arranged to perfection. The staff were so helpful and just couldn't do enough for us! If I could do it all over again, I would do it here - no question!

OVERALL - A****

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

This was our third trip to Cuba. Stayed busy throughout...catamaran, dolphinarium, carriage rides, horseback, ox cart, vintage taxi service, wedding, mangrove fishing by rowboat in a picturesque bay, shopping in Holguin and Guardalavaca, great entertainment for all ages. Wish we had stayed another week. Various forms of transportation were quickly arranged. Just told the valet at the lobby entrance where we wanted to go and discussed the price and drivers magically appeared to take us where we wanted to go with return included...very impressive. The staff and locals were the most helpful I've seen anywhere. They deserve better than 5 stars.

Room Tip: Had suites in the 400 and 500 blocks. All were great. Just steps to beach and pools. Actually enj...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worthing, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

This was my third time in Cuba since 2003...We chose this hotel simply because it was a RIU but this turned out to be a mistake...this one does not live up to the standard of any RIU that we have stayed in previously around the world...and does nothing for the image of Cuba generally.
Having stayed at The Paradisus in Varadero in 2003 and Playa Pesquero in 2004, I returned home with Fantastic memories and was keen to go back. I think this hotel, `Playa Turquesa` may have been built around the same time and has had nothing done since, so it all looks a bit tired. The beach is not as nice as other beaches in the area either so we got a taxi into guardalavaca for the beach. When we saw the choice and quality of the food on offer, we were impressed...it looked good and tasted good and there was plenty of choice. We did however, get a tummy bug which lasted until we got home and our GP said it was most likely waterborne and not food. The staff are generally kind and helpful with only the odd exception...Our room was very nice, in a quiet part of the grounds, which suited us..the AC worked perfectly (always a bonus in the 3rd world)..the bathroom was clean and there was plenty of hot water.....All things considered, there are better Hotels and Beaches

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

I have been many times to Holguin so I knew what to expect and what the limitations were. But simple healthful food has never been so hard to come by.


If you are watching sodium the food will kill you! All attempts at getting salt reduced on at least some of the choices lead to promises of "special" meals for me which meant waiting on long lines for limited choices. The chef said that trip advisor accuses them of bland food, so now the salt is supposed to make it more interesting!!!! Many many people were ill with gastrointestinal upsets. I was very glad I had taken the vaccine Dukoral. Even so, I still had plenty of digestive issues. Much of the food ( beans, in particular) was canned! Then salty sauces were added to the already salty product. All efforts to explain that guests could add salt with the many salt shakers were met with a shrug.

They wanted to accommodate and were kind to be sure, but the sodium situation would be fixed very briefly and then be very bad again!

Sunwing rerouted many tourists who had booked the Blau Costa Verde. That is why I was there. I found out about this as I was checking in at the airport. This was nothing like the 4.5 star property they promised. Disappointing on many fronts. And I will be dealing with that until the end of time if that is what it takes.

As the numbers of tourists went down ( I was there for 2 weeks) the food only got worse and the choices were fewer. The beach restaurant was closed without warning, and it was the only one with some decent healthful food choices at lunch.

Room Tip: Ask for one with hot water! I had to change rooms to get it! The hotel is huge with many steps, a...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014 via mobile

We stayed here the first week of April and booked on a whim so didn't choose the hotel ourselves but booked it based on what options we had. I'm so glad we did, because we had a fantastic time. I've been to Varadero twice, this was my first time to Holguin and I now know I would never go back to Varadero because the people here were so much friendlier, genuinely happy to please, not expectant of tips to please, and not aggressive in begging for items as I found they were in Varadero. Even the locals said yes the people in Varadero have a bad reputation in Cuba for being these ways.

The hotel is relatively simple in aesthetics but has a nice charm to it which I personally enjoy more than a very minimalist modern looking resort (which may come across as "fancier" looking for that reason). I personally did not see any cockroaches at all my entire stay, but yes there are sand fleas but you don't realize it until you are bit. That's normal for a beach though so not the hotel's fault. Absolutely no mosquitoes at all.

Food was much better here than any food I'd ever experienced in Cuba before. The Cuban a la carte was great as was the seafood. We actually enjoyed three amazing meals outside of the hotel which were fantastic. One on the Catamaran excursion where you also see animals. The Catamaran was so large and had a netted front you could lay on while the water was under you which was cool. Fed crackers to the fish and saw so many cool ones come up to eat! The food on the island they take you too was amazing. 2nd awesome lunch was during our visit to the city of Holguin. We got Michael who is the taxi guy out front who owns the ocean blue 61 Chevy and grey Chevy to drive us there for $60 (there and back). Highly recommend him, he's very helpful, great suggestions, friendly, happy to chat and very safe driver. We had a great lunch for two adults, 1 child and 4 alcoholic beverages included all for $6.50 cuc at a Cuban restaurant downtown where locals eat. Very safe, always felt comfortable even with myb3 year old. Then Michael drove us to the cross on the hill overlooking the city for amazing views. Then home. 3rd amazing meal was when we commissioned Michael again on our last day to drive us to the Market in town for 20 Cuc (there and back). There is a seafood restaurant when you get to the beach, turn left and walk past the first restaurant (government owned so not good and overpriced) and walk up the paved Hill, it is at the top. Everything is super fresh, great view, friendly staff and awesome prices. Really really worth the 10 minute walk, trust me! And they serve beer in a bottle not can which trust me you will find so refreshing!

I don't see why people complain about this resort. I think it's a reflection of them really. Every single encounter I had with a Cuban was great and they all went out of their way for me. I don't know that if I was in their situation in this jail of a country enforced by this government that I would have the same great spirit and kindness as these people, especially for comparatively to them - spoiled, sheltered Canadians. I think if you are a friendly person, you find people to be friendly too. Yes there was some seaweed but it's a beach! It wasn't so much that it was a nuisance. My biggest complaint is in regards to the smokers. Unfortunately there are a lot of them so there are cigarette butts in the grass and beach that don't always get cleaned up.

Victor in entertainment (the pirate) is very helpful and super sweet. Jahnel the host for the evening shows and children's shows also super friendly and great host. Beach bar guys very friendly and accommodating. Everyone was great.

We stayed in 527 after switching from another room that was too far. This new location was perfect walking distance to everything, including kids club.

I normally would not consider ever going back twice to a resort because I'd much rather explore something new each time however I would actual consider this one again we had such a great time. Oh and yes, a good amount of stairs. Fine for a mobile person, but I don't believe a person with mobility issues should utilize this resort for that reason.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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 Hotel Riu Playa Turquesa

Address: Carretera Guardalavaca | Playa Yuraguanal - Holguin, Holguin, Cuba (Formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa)
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Holguin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Holguin
#3 Luxury Hotel in Holguin
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Playa Turquesa 4*
Number of rooms: 531
Also Known As:
Sirenis Playa Turquesa Hotel Holguin
Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa Hotel
Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa Cuba
Grand Playa Turquesa Cuba
Hotel Riu Playa Turquesa Cuba/Holguin

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