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“View excellent, room not quite so good but OK” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel El Castillo

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Hotel El Castillo
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calixto Garcia St., Baracoa, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 hotels in Baracoa
Hull, UK
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“View excellent, room not quite so good but OK”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

We spent 3 nights there in the new wing and had the most fantastic view of the bay, airport (only used about twice a week) and El Yunque. The hotel has a commanding position (old fort) in the town and it is quite a climb to get to it - unsuitable for some I'd imagine. It would be too steep for a bicycle taxi to get up there with a passenger. The pool had a great view and was surrounded by exotic plants. The drinks in the bar were very reasonable. We didn't eat at the hotel in the evening so can't comment on that, but the restaurant looked reasonably full. Breakfast had plenty of choice, although the coffee could be improved. But the view makes up for everything!

Room Tip: On arrival, ask for a sea view (although most rooms do have). We were facing to the West (probably r...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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142 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 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 (23)
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English first
Coldwater, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

A beautiful hotel, with a wonderful view of the town of a Baracoa below. The staff are very friendly and accommodating. The pool and pool deck is a great place to swim, toenjoy a mojito or other drink, or to just enjoy the sun. The town of Baracoa is very interesting with lots of thing to see and to do. every night the main street is shut to traffic and a huge dance and party area is set up, with excellent live music, dancing and beverages. The views from the higher rooms are amazing, both from the front and the back. I cannot wait to get back there in January.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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Akron, Ohio
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
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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Prague, Czech Republic
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 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
46 reviews 46 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
33 helpful votes 33 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
78 reviews 78 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
47 helpful votes 47 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
40 helpful votes 40 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.

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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*
Also Known As:
El Castillo Hotel

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