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“Gorgeous resort!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Playa Pesquero

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Hotel Playa Pesquero
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4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Pesquero | Carretera a Guardalavaca, Rafael Freyre 11300, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
Certificate of Excellence 2014
UK
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Gorgeous resort!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2011

I stayed here last may and had a fantastic holiday!! The resort is beautiful, it's really spread out but there are golf buggys to get around the complex, handy in the heat! The pool area was lovely and there were always sun loungers available. The choice of restaurants were fab, Italian, seafood yum yum!! The buffet areas were just as good as well! Staff were absolutely great, especially the guys at the pool bar! Will be going on a return trip!

  • Stayed May 2011, 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
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,134)
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English first
Port Perry, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2011

This was our first time to Cuba. We traveled Dec 10 - 17, 2011.
Booked with Air Canada Vacations, flight was comfortable, airport was a breeze.
The transfer was about an hour. Check-in was painless as every room was already assigned....just grabbed our key and got a ride to our room.
Rooms were large and clean. Requested a king bed, second floor and thats exactly what we got. Plenty of hot water and pressure, fridge worked well, A/C worked great as well as programmable safe. Small tv was fine and channel 3 was Global Toronto!!
Food was average in the buffet....nothing too exciting but survived mostly on the made to order pasta.
We were allowed 4 a la cartes. We chose: Italian.....excellent service and food, plus had a nice band sing at our table.
Romantico.....good food and service
Seafood.........very good meal and service.
We booked the optional $18 lobster dinner on the beach but it was cancelled due to rain. So, instead, decided to book the optional $10 steak dinner.....BIG MISTAKE....do not book this. It was the worst steak ever. Should have known when we walked in, the place was empty except for a little old lady trying to saw through her steak, then to have her husband reach over to help. The free steaks in the buffet were 10 times better. Service sucked too!!
Also, keep away from the dude cooking sausages, hotdogs, and hamburgers from the little shack by the pool. We ordered a sausage, he proceeded to take one(raw) from a plate that was sitting pretty much in the sun covered in flies, slit it open, put it on the bbq for about 20 seconds, put it in a bun and handed it to us.....it was then promptly dropped in the garbage can beside the shack.
The shrimp/bacon skewers and chicken nuggets in the Beer Garden were amazing.....perfect for a late nite snack.

Money exchange was easy.......just take Canadian and exchange it at the "bank" at the front of the lobby. We got around 0.97 pesos per dollar. It was open all day long, just change it as you need it.
Beach was gorgeous, calm water, you need water shoes to get past coral but there are spots to get through. Lots of chairs always available. Great pizza at the beach too.
Pool huge, nice and clean, lots of chairs and shade. Clean towels always available and you just return them at the end of your stay to get your towel card back....the front desk will want to see this to avoid a charge.
The lobby is beautiful, large, and always plenty going on. The 24 hour coffee bar in the lobby is popular and the cappuccinos are the best. Off the lobby is the theatre but didn't take in any shows. Also, the disco is located beside the theatre.
We had a late flight (11:00pm) Air Canada customers get a 2:00 check out. We wanted to keep the room later so the front desk charged $30 to keep it till 6. Well worth the money.
Overall, had a great trip and got it for a great price. Don't hesitate to book this property but it's huge, be prepared to do a lot of walking.

  • Stayed December 2011, 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
    • 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.
Cannock
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2011

We have recently returned from our 2nd visit to this hotel and can honestly say for friendliness and value for money we have never been anywhere that comes close.
The staff are amazing and the quality and choice of food is out of this world whether you are in the buffet or one of the restaurants you will not be disappointed.
There are areas that need addressing such as the patio area around the pools and the lighting at night is poor but we have never been anywhere that is perfect but this does come close.
For pre dinner drinks the lobby bar is great with fab service and music whether it be one of the resident pianists or visiting woodwind quartets it is both entertaining and relaxing.
The coffee station in the main lobby is equivalent to having Costa coffee on hand 24 hours.
We will definitely visit again.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

My partner, two kids and I stayed at the Playa Pesquero from Dec 20-27, 2011. I should preface this review by stating that the weather was only "okay" with a couple of rainy days and a few other cloudy days...obviously not within control of the hotel staff. I should also mention that I have recently stayed at a 5 star in Santa Clara, Cuba which was beyond my expectations...so I am comparing this resort in some ways to others in Cuba that one can get for the same (or in some cases, cheaper) price with better beaches, better food and more contemporary rooms.

Rooms - The hotel is a bit dated but they seem to be doing a fairly good job of keeping it up to date where they can. Not sure if it has anything to do with the fact that this hotel is Cuban owned and operated but it just seemed like the furnishings and decor were about 10-15 years behind the times. When something did go wrong (ie. one of the toilets in our rooms stopped working) the front desk staff were quick to dispatch someone to fix it. Don't go to Playa Pesquero expecting 5 star room furnishings...you can expect comfort, but not fancy perks. The bathroom was a bit dated with a mouldy shower curtain and crappy shower head, but everything worked and I liked the fact that the shower and toilet were in a separate room from the sink. The main room had a very comfortable bed. Sheets were worn as were the pillows and the room furniture was very uncomfortable to sit on. The satellite TV only had a few English channels but that was OK since we weren't there to watch a lot of TV anyways. Most channels were Spanish, French and Chinese. Bar fridge was stocked each day but only if you were there when the gentleman came to the room which was usually around 5pm. He never stocked the fridge when we didn't answer the door which was fine by us. I would rather be in the room than have people letting themselves in. The maid did a great job of keeping the rooms clean and the beds made. She was very efficient and kind when we struck up idle conversations. Our rooms were adjoining...one room had a king and the other room had 2 doubles. Both were furnished the same and both had a walkout patio with lawn chairs and a table.

Pool - The kids really enjoyed the pool at the hotel. There was never any shortage of lounge chairs by the pool and there was a good choice between sun and shade. The pool is good for kids because it's very shallow in most parts. The deepest it got was about shoulder height on me...and I am just over 6 feet tall. There were good amenities by the pool including a towel exchange, bars and a BBQ hut. From what I understand it's the biggest hotel pool in the Caribbean.

Beach - I was a bit worried about the beach being public but once we got there my worries subsided. Most of the locals, if they do use the beach at all, tend to stay in the areas between the hotels and they are very polite and not at all intrusive. The only time they approached us was to see if I would be willing to trade my Nike baseball cap. There are lifeguards on the beach as well. The beach area on the right side of the hotel is all sand (better for wading and swimming) whereas the left side is more rocky with coral. We actually preferred the left side as it was less congested with more shady areas to sit. The snorkeling was great! We saw an octopus as well as many varieties of fish and sea life. If you trek too far to the left side of the beach you will undoubtedly encounter locals who will try to offer you kayak rides or fishing lessons. There is a town nearby and the beach is public so use common sense and if you are going to walk off the resort area of the beach, go with a group and only during daylight.

Food - I was disappointed with the food at this resort. There was a huge emphasis on seafood and the variety was limited. Breakfast was usually the best meal of the day at the buffet restaurants closest to the lobby. Lunch was either at the BBQ hut or some of the smaller restaurants along the boulevard. The smaller restaurants generally had the same menu options...hamburgers, bland pasta, "pizza", etc. To give you an idea of the food quality, pizza was made on a small pita-like bread with tomato paste as sauce. Toppings were odd such as artichoke or flaming hot salami. There is a neat ice cream bar which the kids really enjoyed. We also ate at a few of the restaurants that require bookings and found the Romantico had the best menu and the best service. If you go to the Italian restaurant don't expect a quiet dinner...they play music right by your table and the hostess encourages people to sing and dance...sometimes a bit intrusively. The Christmas Eve gala dinner was quite the display. The staff did an incredible job with food presentation. There were too many desserts to count! As usual the emphasis was seafood but they did have turkey (albeit undercooked) and a great roast pork. We really enjoyed this night...the staff were very proud of what they had pulled off and we were impressed with the care and attention they placed on the entire event.

Service - The staff at Playa Pesquero are amazing. Everyone - from the front desk to our maid to the servers - was polite, humble and looking to make our stay an enjoyable one. We never felt like we were asking for too much. That said, we did tip for good service and went out of our way to provide Christmas gifts to our maid and a waitress who was exceptional during the Christmas Eve gala dinner. We did not feel the need to "buy" good service by over-tipping at the beginning of our stay...which has been our experience when traveling to Mexico.

Security - There is a pretty noticeable security presence on this resort since the beach is public and due to the proximity of the resort to a nearby town. It was not uncommon to see 2 or 3 security guards patrolling the beach or the area closest to the beach. There is a security fence between the hotel and the beach that only opens in the middle of the resort to allow passage between the two areas. Part of me was happy/relieved to see the security presence...but it was also a bit unnerving and took away from the relaxing feel. But I would prefer security over nothing at all. Since the beach is public, we never went down to the beach after 6pm. We missed this as we did this almost every day in Santa Clara. We didn't feel safe venturing past the security fence after dark. The resort itself was also very dark after the sun set. Some of the pathway lights were burnt out so it was sometimes tricky to make your way back to the room. I would not suggest that single females walk this resort alone at night as it's very poorly lit and very spread out.

Shows - I read lots of great things about the nightly entertainment so I was a bit disappointed when I actually watched a few of the shows myself. The kids shows are cute but pretty lame if you're over the age of 10. The adult shows were a bit too long and it seemed like they were trying to do things that were out of their comfort zone. There was often a lot of lip synching (way out of synch I might add) and outfits that left little to the imagination. It would be better for the guests and the entertainment staff if they'd stick to more customary shows that display local dance, arts and culture. There was a bit of this, but they tried to offer other shows to appeal to the masses and the result wasn't very good in my humble opinion.

All in all I would say that this resort is great for families looking for lots of activities and options right on the resort. There isn't much to do off the resort that doesn't require an hour long bus/boat ride however. I would not recommend this resort to people looking for a high end couples resort or a place to party with friends. For that I would suggest Santa Clara or Varadero respectively.

if you have any specific questions about the resort, rooms, activities, food, etc please don't hesitate to send me an email as I'd be happy to elaborate.

FYI for GLBT travelers - We never felt out of place and were treated with respect by all the hotel staff. That said, we felt like the only GLBT couple in the entire resort which was a bit alienating at times. So while we never felt uncomfortable or unsafe (which is particularly important since we have children) we did feel somewhat alone for what it's worth. I guess it's nice to see the odd GLBT couple or family when you're traveling and we usually do when we're in Cuba.

Other useful tips - Bring coffee mate if you like cream in your coffee. They supply coffee and filters in the room but no milk or creamers. Bring insect repellent if you plan to spend lots of time in the evening around the lobby or watching the shows in the theatre. There are lots of ponds and fountains which attract bugs. Bring snorkels as the reefs off this resort as well as the nearby Blau Costa Verde are amazing. Also bring a Bubba or Thermos since they only serve drinks on the beach and at the pool in little plastic disposable cups. And bring lots of board games and cards for evening entertainment since the TV selection is very poor if you only speak English!

Room Tip: Request your rooms via email ahead of time if you need special accommodations such as adjoining room...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

Just came back on the 23rd of December from Playa Pesquero all inclusive with my daughter. The trip was 7 days and that was honestly enough. Went with Thomas Cook from Toronto to Holguin, Cuba. That was the worst part of the trip. The plane was small and packed, seating was cramped and the airline staff was less than friendly (worst crew I have actually flown with) The flight itself was uneventful which is always a good thing :)
Landed in Cuba and met by Sunquest Thomas Cook rep Ernesto who took us to the hotel. I cannot say enough good things about Ernesto... he was fantastic and made our trip even better! Check in at the Hotel was easy, if a little unorganized however what do you expect when 70 guests desend at once... it was fine. Transported to our room by a Valet with a golf cart and we had arrived. Only downside was just one room key per room and it had to be in the slot by the door for the power to stay on. Attempted to get another key and the hotel was out of keys... amazing... anyway we managed with one. The room was very nice, bed coverings a little old and showed some wear but still quite acceptable. The maid Hildalisa kept our room very nice, different towel art daily but we did tip and tipped well. The resort itself is extremely clean everywhere you go. Bring your own toilet paper and some small kleenex packs especially off resort there is often no paper or toilet seats.
The buffet restaurants had descent plainer food, lots of variety but somehow it all tastes the same, our only issue was they aren't always open and even when they are open the staff closes doors and makes you walk around the outside of the buildings... for whatever reason it made absolutely no sense. Coffee is not great there. The A LA CARTE restaurants (you book in advance by the front desk in the lobby) were good except for the Seafood Restaurant by the beach. Service at that one was brutal and the food was bad. Sorry but there is no nice way to put it. Get better manager, fire surley staff and hire a better cook. Everyone we talked to felt the same way and I'm not a picky person so.... The Italian and Romantico were both lovely, the Yahweli Grill (sorry I spelt this wrong) was excellent and staff at all other places in the resort were terrific.
The Pool is fantastic, stretches through the heart of the whole resort, tons of chairs etc. - the swim up bar was lovely, the hot tub was HORRID! Ice cold and I mean ice! People need to heat the hot tub! It was like an ice bath!
I have a sensitivity to alcohol and am a personal breathalizer... most of the drinks are watered... you can drink a lot there and unless it's beer you won't have to worry about overindulging.... everyonce in awhile a drink actually contained some booze but as a rule the alchol was mega watered down. Apparently this is the norm at all inclusive resorts... it was my first all inclusive so I point this out for anyone who expects a drink to contain alcohol. The lobby bar made a great Pina Cola with ALCOHOL!
We did the Sun Cruise on the advise of Ernesto and it was the best money I have spent in a long time... Tina was our rep that day and we snorkled, swam with dolphins and spent a terrific day on a big catamaran ... only 21 of us and it was nice... only downside some woman from Eastern Canada was totally blitzed and slapping everyone's butts... ended on a crying jag as so many drunken episodes do... The Captain's mate made awesome drinks called "the colored one" which were very good! cost was 129 CUC per person and the best money you will spend. We also did the Inside Cuba tour which was boring and a huge waste of our day and the money... I strongly recommend you keep to the water tours and enjoy the beaches.
Beach at our resort was very clean, a little rocky and lots of chairs/room. Sun is hot hot hot so don't be decieved even when behind the clouds you are tanning/burning depending on how silly you are about using sunscreen LOL; We toured several resorts in the area just to see if we got a good deal for our money (we paid 519 plus tax for 7 days) and this was way nicer than any of the other resorts in the area... even Playa D'Oro which is supposed to be a nicer resort.... I would definately recommend this resort over any of the others in Holguin!
We stayed in Building 2210 and it was very nice; lots of walking at this resort, but if you require a cart just call the desk and they send one... no problems there. Yes, it's slippery when it rains, the walks are cement, floors are marble and tiles and keep that in mind when you choose your footwear and take a step. All resorts are the same so no surprises there and I don't understand why people complain... what do they expect lol?
The Ice Cream Bar on the Resort by the beach path is wonderful, the best coconut icecream and my daughter (31 years old) loved it more than once a day :)
Tipping is expected... if you don't tip you don't get repeat service. I don't care what your guide tells you or you read... one peso tip for everything from drinks to cart service and up to 3 peso's for something outstanding like your guide for the day on the suncruise. Average wage for a maid is 20 CUC per month plus your tips so she makes a great wage for Cuba... Average wage for someone not in the tourism industry is more like 12 CUC per month. The satellite people make far far less than the maids/waitresses/waiters/bus drivers/ We left our extra toiletries, clothes, personal hygene products etc. with the ice cream bar lady who cried... sure wish I had taken about 200 bike reflectors down with me to had out... everyone drives bikes or horse carts and no reflectors... there was a nasty accident the night we left with a car hitting a cyclist and a reflector might have alerted the driver... what ever you do don't drive down in Cuba... take a tour, rent a cab and stay away from the horse cabs... there is no animal rights in Cuba and the horses are so badly cared for it sickened me... there is not much to buy in Cuba except cigars, rum and hokey leather/wood crafts so don't plan on shopping or souveniers but the beach was incredible and the resort itself was very nice... would go back again and stay at the same place... building 1000 to 2000 only though....

Room Tip: Building 1000 is closest to beaches, the 5000 and up was far far away... we stayed in 2200 which was...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Douglas, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

Another trip to beautiful Cuba! Playa Pesquero is set on a beautiful white sand beach. However on this trip we did have some issues with locals approaching my ten year old for food and drink from the hotel. With this in mind I feel the beach should be carefully policed.
The hotel rooms are spacious and clean, if a little tired. We moved from our first room to a better standard room by to beach.
The food is excellent with a great choice of restaurants and as in the whole of Cuba the staff and locals are delightful, always willing to go the extra mile to entertain and care for you.
A great holiday in a friendly, clean hotel. In my opinion rooms generally need an overhaul to maintain five star status.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Leeds, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2011

We went to this hotel late November we have been before several years ago. I am glad to say it is still a good hotel with small problem will get back to that at the end.
The resturants are good we enjoyed the romantic one the best and the italian the least out of the al a cartes. We paid extra to go to the steak one but did not rate that one to high on the list. The beach was as good as i remember and snorkelling and swimming great althought the sea was a little rough some days the weather was not as good as hoped. We would like to say thankyou to Alberto D. for bringing our drinks to the sun beds he was great. All the staff are very good at this hotel and would like to thank them all we had some great times with them. The chicken and chips resturant at lunch time is a must with mojoto bar. We did not go on any trips as this was a chilling out holiday for us there were plenty though if thats what you like. The room was large and the maid did a great job we were in block 17. The coffee bar in reception is a must fantastic coffee's. It was great to have a ice cream parlour for those hot days plenty of choice. The stalls on the way to the beach were good not the same ones every day. The beer garden was great one of our favourite stops we agree on this that maybe it would be an idea to extent this as it gets very popular.
There is still a problem with some of the toilets believe it to be either sewrage system or not strong enough extraction fans. The ones on the beach are the worst, we think its time they built more toilets here it's a big hotel and hundreds of people are on the beach all day with two small toilets for the women and only one toilet and urinal for the men just not enough.The smell some days was sickening when you walked into toilets. So please Playa Pesquero do something quickly.

  • Stayed November 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Playa Pesquero

Address: Playa Pesquero | Carretera a Guardalavaca, Rafael Freyre 11300, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Rafael Freyre
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Playa Pesquero 4.5*
Number of rooms: 968
Also Known As:
Playa Pesquero Cuba
Playa Pesquero Hotel Cuba
Hotel Playa Pesquero Cuba
Hotel Playa Pesquero Holguin Province, Cuba
Playa Pesquero Holguin Cuba
Playa Pesquera
Pesquero Playa
Playa Pasquero

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