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“Beautiful views, bleak rooms....” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel El Castillo

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Hotel El Castillo
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calixto Garcia St., Baracoa, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Baracoa
Akron, Ohio
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
“Beautiful views, bleak rooms....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

The city of Baracoa is very beautiful, with views of the mountains and the ocean. Hotel El Castillo was definitely had no shortage of these views; they were absolutely amazing and we were able to get some breath-taking shots from the front and back of the hotel. Short of the views though, the only other part of Hotel El Castillo that took our breath away was the utter dankness of the lobby, rooms, and hotel restaurant. Due to the damp conditions of this area, there are also a lot of bugs in the room. Unfortunately, everything at this hotel is just very weathered and dated and the overall décor is very bleak. The rooms have permanent stains on the floors and walls and the bathrooms seemed reminiscent of something you might find in a hospital or prison; very stark.

The restaurant also left a lot to be desired in terms of food as well, there just weren’t many options. I of course understand that we were visiting a very remote part of Cuba, so this was about what I was expecting. The breakfast buffet was okay; just be mindful of other extremely hungry guests as I almost lost a hand going for the eggs.

There’s also an outside bar area by the pool that was fairly nice, and beers were only $1 which was great.

Overall there just aren’t many options in the small city of Baracoa. If you find yourself in the area, I’d recommend a casa de particular. We visited a few that were very nice and the families that run them are extremely warm and welcoming.

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

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
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English first
Prague, Czech Republic
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

Another ok hotel by cuban standards. A/C maybe more noisy than usual. Supply of water is not fabulous, so if your room is on the top floor and far away from the reception, you may have problems having shower at the same time as other people. Breakfast was nice, we also had dinner meal in the restaurant, which was ok as well.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

The location is great, on a hill overlooking both bays and Yunque. Remember you don't have to stay there to be able to use the bar/restaurant and benefit from the views. We heard good reviews of Casas.

The new part of the hotel have balconies and face out over Yunque and the bay. It's a stunning view particularly at sunset. However, these rooms have adjoining doors with no sound insulation so we had to move when the family with crying baby moved in next door.

The rooms in the old part are adjacent to the pool and bar area and have views of the town. Not as spectacular views as the new part.

In the end, after our tour of alternative rooms we got a room in the new part with no view and no joining door Room 120. However it was significantly dirtier than the first room we had. Even when we complained it only marginally improved. Is there any excuse for dirty rooms? On our first day we had to wait 6 hours for towels.

So, if you have to...then chose your room with care.

Room Tip: New part of the hotel will get you a room of Yunque. Try and get the top floor out of 2.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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maldon essex
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

The hotel can be seen all across the town as it is so high up.

The hotel was a very pleasant surprise. As it is situated at the top of a hill the gentle breeze was welcome.

The pool was clean with plenty of chairs and loungers available, although not a lot of shade for people who want to stay out of the sun.

The pool bar does great snacks, cool beers and delicious coctails. Shady chairs and tables surround the bar with quiet music playing. Very relaxing!

We were give room 201 (I think the best in the hotal by far)
The were two windows in the room, one facing the sea over the town roofs and the other facing across the bay towards the flat topped mountain. We could kneel up in bed and look at the fishing boats leaving in the morning, and the town coming to life.

The room was basic, true, but serviced every day. The bed was a bit saggy but not uncomfortable. There was soap in the shower but no gel or shampoo so bring your own.

Breakfast was fine with good coffee, eggs scrambled to your liking along with cakes, cold meats and cheese. If you ask nicely freshly cooked bacon will appear!

The only problem was not the hotel's fault at all. Nearby there is an extremely noisy open air club with horrendous music till nearly 2am!

Baracoa is a lovely genuine cuban town well worth the visit just to meet the towns people who love a chat.

Whilst walking around the bay we met a couple of cubans with their pride and joy; their fighting cockerels who were being prepared for the big fight on Sunday. This seems to be their hobby. Lots of cabins where they lived had the birds tethered outside.

A lovely town with charming people to meet and to share a coffe with. Well woth a visit.

Room Tip: Choose room 201 if not then 202 - 212 or 101 to 112 as they are in the main part of the hotel wit...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Stayed here for two nights. Many rooms do not have balconies including the one we stayed in. The rooms are clean, small, basic and have showers only. They provide a small towel per person and no floor mat but will give you more on request. This hotel does not offer money changing facilities of any kind. Neither does the town bank but one place a 20 minute walk away does. It is on Marti Street to the right of the church and is on the left side of the road. The queues were lengthy when we were there on a Saturday morning.

Meals are served in the dining area. The tables have bistro style red and white tablecloths but these are soiled from god only knows how many meal spillages from the past ? week ? fortnight ?month. Breakfast is pretty reasonable. Dinner is basic. You can expect bean or vegetable soup which has no flavour. Small mini salad with eg cabbage and beetroot. I had beans and rice with two small drumsticks of chicken for each dinner. This was followed by a tiny portion of dessert such as rice pudding.

I would imagine that this is a good example of what many Cubans would eat for their dinner on a good day. Despite the low ambience, low flavour and a lot to be desired tablecloths no one in our party of 10 got food poisoning here. The kitchen hygiene is therefore probably fine.

There is a reasonable pool with good views of the bay. The bar man is pleasant and the drinks are cheap. The seats are the wooden picnic bench style and these are not comfortable. Maybe I should have had more cheap drinks?

This hotel is up a large slope and steps. An elderly couple were refused bus transport to the hotel and had a laborious walk which took 10 minutes. For the fitter there are the poorly maintained stairs. These are about three flights equivalent and are straight up.

Before you start either journey you will be hassled by a family who live in a dilapidated shack in the grounds of the hotel at the entrance. They repeatedly ask for soap and shampoo and money because they can't afford food. The government do provide subsistance rations of rice, beans, vegetable oil, paraffin (heating and cooking), flour, eggs, meat.

I suspect the other establishments in Baracoa may not be much better but a good trawl through the reviews may help. A good question to ask yourself could be, do I really need to visit Baracoa? The countryside is best bit about this area and the remnants of the cross Christopher Columbus planted in the first church here can be seen in the local well maintained church.

Room Tip: You could try asking for a balcony with a view of the bay.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bromsgrove, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights as part of a tour. The terrace and pool are great with views over the town and towards El Yunque (Cuba's Table Mountain). The rooms are Ok by Cuban standards and the service not bad - the breakfast was OK.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dartford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

Close to the centre of the town but perched above it with amazing views over the surrounding area. The rooms are spread out over quite a large area with several flights of steps to reach the furthest ones. The room we had was comfortable with efficient air conditioning and a good shower. Some of the surfaces between the room and the dining area were a bit slippery after heavy rain during the night so care is needed. The buffet breakfast was good and we had 1 evening meal there - good value and quality.
The pool was out of action for the 2 days we were there.
As with many hotels in Cuba the best plan is to go with expectations that aren't too high and then you will often be pleasantly surprised!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel El Castillo

Address: Calixto Garcia St., Baracoa, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Guantanamo Province > Baracoa
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Baracoa
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel El Castillo 3*
Number of rooms: 34
Also Known As:
El Castillo Hotel

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