I spent four months in Hotel Brisas in 2008, as well as two months in 2006, while working in Punto Fijo. This is quite a large hotel, which officially has 4 stars, at least in the Venezuelan rating system. It would probably be a one- or two-star hotel in Europe.
The rooms are extraordinarily plain and furnished in a 1980s US motel style. There is a big difference between the rooms on each floor, so it pays to "shop around" for a good one. For two months I had a room on the first floor, in which the air con thermostat didn't work. This meant I couldn't have the air con on at all at night (too cold) and by morning everything in the room was completely saturated by the humid air. A room I eventually found on the third floor provided the luxury of a working thermostat and 24 hour air con.
The rooms are quite shabby and not particularly clean. Cleaning staff don't appear to have access to a vacuum cleaner (I certainly never saw one) and as a result the carpets are quite dirty, especially under the bed.
The hotel's basic services leave a huge amount to be desired. I experienced a week without hot water in my room. The hotel has at least one (and as many as a dozen) power cuts a day, although it does have its own diesel back-up power. The internet service is very hit and miss. I would say that there is a connection for on average 5 days a week. There is wi-fi in the rooms but it doesn't work at all. The lobby connection can be good, particularly late at night, but most of the time it is slow and unreliable. I experienced a ten day period with no internet access. There is no point complaining about the internet service; it is a very low priority for the staff, particularly as it is provided free-of-charge.
The pluses: the staff are very friendly, while not always able to solve problems - this is Venezuela after all. The restaurant (with the exception of the dreadful breakfast buffet) is pretty good and is probably the best hotel restaurant I've eaten in in Venezuela. The menu could do with some more variety, but it's more than adequate for a visit of a week or two. I had no issues with the food from a cleanliness point of view.
The hotel swimming pool is very small and is usually crowded with boisterous children, making it impossible to use it for exercise. There is no exercise room in the hotel, even though the hotel's website advertises one.
The hotel is very popular for conventions and if you are unlucky enough that your stay coincides with one of these you will feel completely over-run by hundreds of incredibly loud, jabbering delegates making the lobby (and the only internet access area) a virtual no-go area, as well as completely overwhelming all of the hotel's services, especially the breakfast buffet.
From a value-for money point of view this hotel is shocking. It is not helped of course by the completely artificial exchange rate of the bolívar against the dollar and euro. I paid approximately €90 a night and that was one of the cheapest rates available. Some rooms go for many hundreds of bolívares. A modest lunch in the hotel restaurant costs in the region of €35.
Having said all that, this is still probably the best place to stay in Punto Fijo. I didn't see anywhere better. If you have to visit Punto Fijo, you will probably stay here.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Brisas Paraguana Punto Fijo, Venezuela - Paraguana Peninsula