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“2 Week Honeymoon” 4 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 3 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“2 Week Honeymoon”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

My Wife and I just returned from here on our belated honeymoon. Despite the odd bad review we we anticipation a great getaway and we weren't disappointed. Upon arrival at Holguin airport we had a air conditioned coach journey of about an hour to the resort. There was an English speaking guide who talked about Cuba while we drove which we thought was great as apposed to yet another hour reading a book or listening to music.

We were greeted at the hotel (as honeymooners) in a special checkin with a glass of Champagne. We then jumped on a buggy which took us to our room. Bags were carried for us to our room. All very professional.

Our room was much better than expected. We were informed to expect some bad paintwork or dodgy lighting however none was present. The room was great, air conditioned and had a stocked fridge with beer, coke and water as well as cable TV and a radio. The bed was extremely good. I suffer with back pain and in the whole 2 week period i never suffered any problem due to a bad mattress.

Upon touring the grounds it seemed that everything was actually in much closer proportion than the map would have you believe. We stayed in apartment 54 which is mid ring on the west side. It was about 4 minutes walk to the lobby and 3 to the sea. Honestly you can't ask much better in a big resort like this.

The pool is probably the most impressive aspect of the complex. It will take you abou 5 minutes to walk it's circumference! It has 2/3 bars on its outskirts including a poolside bar where you can be in the pool and at the bar at the same time. Be warned, beds get stolen up very early in the morning by people. Laughably we even saw one family even add a couple of tables to their collection of furniture they were 'reserving' for the day.

Sadly this is one negative I have to say about PP. The reservation of beds is plagued both on the beach and at the pool. We had one occasion where we really wanted some shade on the beach. got down at 8.30 and found all spots taken and reseved and many were still unclaimed by 1pm that day. PP should have a rule about this in my opinion.

The beach was a real breath taker. White sand, Blue sea and some great snorkelling. For me this was a real highlight being able to snorkel off the beach. PP have snorkels and flippers available as part of your all inclusive package to rent. Mini catamarans, pedlows etc are also included.

Food is a bit of a mixed bag but generally you will find something for any taste. The buffet food is varied and in many cases good, however don't expect gourmet dining here! I would personally recommend queuing and getting something cooked in front of you as this you can guarantee is fresh. We had one or two gastric discomforts which you have to expect when visiting any foreign country, however the freshly cooked food seems to be a good way to avoid this. It is also worth noting that the wine in the buffet is table wine so don't expect it to set your world alight. Stick to beer, coke etc.
The a-la-carte restaurants are a delight. We visited nearly all of them. Our favorite was either the Carebino or the Italiano. Both had great food and good service. Wine here is better, you are also able to order (at additional cost) from a wine menu. Bothe seafood and meat are served, some vegetarian options are available but are limited.

Bars in the complex range from a beer garden to pool/beach side stalls to the lobby bar which seems to have every spirit known to man! They are invariably "unbranded" but the staff will happily guide you on what they think is best. The bar staff at the lobby bar were excellent.

Unless you bring a big wallet then the resort is all you will see of Cuba unfortunately. Placement of the hotel means that you will need to get a bus into the nearest town; Guardalavaca. Which even then this only has a small market, beach and hotels. To really see Cuba you need to purchase one of the various tours the hotel/government offers. We went on a 4x4 tour of Cuba (visiting a farmer's house, A mountain view and horse riding and native site) as well as a dolpin and dive excursion (catamaran journey, snorkelling on a reef and swimming with dolphins). Both on average cost about £100 per person. If you don't have money to throw at the holiday then be prepared to stay at the resort.

If you are staying in the resort for much of your time, you aren't just limited to the bar, beach and pool. There are other activities available from tennis to pool to basketball. There is a well equipped gym and Jacuzzi should you wish to do something a bit different. There is also activities through the day at the pool with volleyball and bingo being a favorite!
Every evening the team have a stage show of some kind. The production team are very talented and the theatre was surprisingly well equipped with lighting and sound. The music played is predominately Cuban so be prepared if you aren't a fan however the entertainment was something to look forward to every evening.

A big tip for anyone going, take a large thermos flask with you. Drinks are served in small plastic cups which last 5 minutes, we obviously didn't get this memo as it seemed everyone else had a keg sied mug which the bar staff will happily fill with your chosen tipple (one guy even poured half a bottle of vodka straight into this guy's cup!).

One last point (and this is no fault of the hotel) the internet is slow and expensive. Cuba does not have broadband and so internet connection is on dialup. Therefore speeds are painful. If you need to check your emails regularly then be prepared with money and patience.

All in all a great honeymoon which the memories will last a lifetime. We will no doubt return one day with little feet in tow as the resort caters for children too.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (981)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Worthing, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

stayed here 3 times Dec 08, June 09 and May 10

Theres so much to write. Theres lots to do at this hotel. A fantastic coffee bar, cocktails, bar open 24 hours! And most importantly fantastic selection of drinks, brand names, pretty much anything you would desire. A great snack bar open all night if you fancy a late snack. A massive pool. A nightclub for a change of scenery and so many places to eat. Lovely beach.

I would recommend getting the bus to guardalavaca the beach there is breathtaking, I could not believe my eyes! Theres a little bar down there and you can watch the locals play pool and have a stroll through the market and admire some wonderful wood carvings, anything from tables to 4ft greyhounds to 6ft palm trees. We managed to get them all home, and additionally aquired two very large wooden flamingoes, which now reside in our garden!

We also hired to bikes and rode out of the hotel, Cuba is extreamly safe. We found a little house with some children outside and gave them football shirts, lego, toys, and gave their mother some gifts too she was so happy nearly crying !

We took a flight to Havana which was really good although it was expensive, but was something that had to be done. It gave us a fantastic insight into the country.

We also went horse riding, loved it so much we went twice in one week. I would say it is extreamly humid in the summer, to the point where last time I said to myself i'm never coming back in the summer. You are just constantly wet, in the evening, it's rather uncomfortable. Although I would go back in the summer, now!

The only downside is there is nothing really outside the hotel, but there is a lot at the hotel. It's a shame that maybe too many people miss out on the real Cuba.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We just returned from a week here and it was fantastic. The weather was awesome, the room was clean, thanks to Barbara! The bar fridge was restocked daily, amenities in the room were excellent, and we had no trouble contacting anyone when we had a question or concern.
The pool goes on and on forever and the beach is beautiful! The food was good; remember, it is Cuba!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 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.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

absolutely beautiful beach. pool area was very crowded and busy, plenty for all ages to do in the day :)

staff helpful, pina coladas are delicious and rooms spacious and clean

hugo is the best waiter ever

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Greetings'

My wife and I just returned from another wonderful time at Playa Pesquero.The hotel is recovering nicely from the last hurricane. Each time we return we discover new additions to our home away from home.
You will now find a 9 hole Mini Golf course meandering along the pool beside the Buffet restaurants. The kids appeared to love it. There is a Beach Volleyball behind the activity pool and lots of hammocks in shady areas to simply relax. It is disappointing to sometimes read negative comments about Playa Pesquero in the Trip Advisor reviews. My wife and I firmly believe that you can not find better value for your vacation dollars than this fine resort. I think people should keep in mind that there is still an embargo in place so sometimes there is a shortage of some items. If your taste buds require special seasoning perhaps think about bringing a little with you. If you desire food to be cooked a certain way just inform the cooks and they will do their best to accomodate you. The variety of food in the buffets is consistent and varied but if you like other options you have lots of Ala Carte eateries to choose from. Book them upon arrival to avoid missing out on the Italian, Romantico, Caribbean, Bistro, Seafood etc. In the daytime you can enjoy lunch at the Trattoria, or the Varygrille, chicken and salad in the Bistro, pasta , pizza, seafood at the Trattoria on the Boulevard. You also have lots of choices on the menu at the Beer Garden across from the Ice Cream Parlour also on the boulevard. Of course you could also go to the Seafood restaurant on the beach. You will find pizzas available at the shack on the beach. If you prefer lounging at poolside you will be served drinks at your sun lounger and have hamburgers or hot dogs at the BBQ. There is also a fish and chip spot on the opposite side of this amazingly large beautiful pool. I have read some comments about the pool not being cleaned but I witnessed the pool being vacuumed each morning and there is a very good filtration system, the water is tested regularly by technicians. Of course you may find some plastic cups etc. every now and then left behind by inconsiderate or intoxicated people.
The hotel has a good system to prevent underage drinking by providing and enforcing a white bracelet no alcohol policy. We were at the hotel from March 5th until March 12th and during that time we watched the pool loungers being stripped of canvas, cleaned and replaced with new material. Painters, roofers were busy touching up the buildings and room furniture was being stripped and refinished looking like new. With 944 rooms it is a continuous process with the maintenance crews working hard daily to freshen the appearance of the hotel and grounds. Returning patrons welcomed back with a bottle of rum, upgraded room, late check-out are invited to and recognized at a Manager's Gala every Thursday evening at the Seafood restaurant. The night includes entertainment, champagne toasts as the management is introduced, the hotel has one returning guest/family plant a tree in their name at the Loyal Guest Forest. The guests who has returned the most for that week also receives a bottle of rum. The meal consists of surf and turf, dessert and fine wine. The hotel will reward you and your family a free week stay after 8 visits. The free week must be used between April and the beginning of December. We rent a scooter weekly and travel the countryside daily. If you take your time and drive sober you will find that Cuba is a very safe country with wonderful people more than pleased to invite you into their homes. My wife and I think that Playa Pesquero is by far and away the greatest place to vacation you will find no matter your age, tastes or vacation desires. We have now stayed at this resort 21 times and look forward to many more visits. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vaughan, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We stayed March Break, 2011. We were 5 in family including an 8 and 5 year old girl and boy, plus grandmother. We've found that when you go to Cuba, you must remove one star when trying to compare to other Caribbean resorts in different countries.

Cuba is nice to visit because of its history and culture, but after all, this country is still 50 years behind. This is also one of its endearing qualities. Many Canadians here, especially from Quebec. No Americans, which made for a quieter experience overall. The grounds were fine but were sprawled out over a large area. Our building was mid-resort from the beach, but the walk was simply intolerable. Many nights, we were flagging down staff with golf carts to drive us to the main complex, otherwise we would be sweaty for the evening. Surprised to see paint coming off the walls on several buildings.

The food was sub-standard for 4 star all-inclusives in the Caribbean. The wine was awful. The food, vegetables and fruit were not fresh or not prepared at a par of a 4 star. The beach was fine. The pool was great. The shops and bars on the way to the beach provided a nice diversion. The beach was a bit of a walk.

I recommend the excursion into Holguin and the cigar factory tour. If you are a cigar aficionado, don't buy cigars at the hotel or from any of the hotel staff that would get "deals". You can buy cigars at the factory for 1/5th the price of the hotel. The trip will provide a true perspective of how successful Castro's "Revolution" has been since the abandonment of Soviet sponsorship in the post USSR era.

The entertainment was fine. The music was spectacularly Cuban. Service typical of Cuban standards, which are much lower than other tourist nations in the Caribbean. The airport lineups are a nightmare. This fact alone is a reason to go elsewhere. My signature was scrutinized for exchanging money at the hotel and I had to sign about 3 times in a line up to match my passport signature - this was a first. Buddy, I am giving you money, you exchange money back, I am staying at the hotel, my passport picture matches, what is the problem? I don't have time nor patience to be treated like they would a local Cuban - I am a vacation.

Cuba is a 3rd world country and this resort is one of their best. I recommend to see Cuba for what it is, but please do not think that this is a typical 4 star plus Caribbean standard. Go to other countries such as Dominican Republic or Jamaica for higher standard family resort vacations.

Room Tip: Must get a room close to the beach or lobby. If you are at a far building, you will be walking quit...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
York, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Recently returned from a week here. We had a brilliant holiday.

Quite a big resort, but needs to be with the number of people staying there at any one time. Huge pool, lovely beach (where we spent most of our days). Staff are friendly and helpful. Food was good, plenty of choice and something to suit every taste. Lovely coffee from the coffee bar too.

Rooms are large and comfortable, and come with a mini fridge that is replenished everyday with coke, beer and water. TV has a few English language channels including 2 showing just films, nice alternative if you don't fancy the hotel entertainment.

As others have said, the only negative is nothing to do with the hotel. Why some other guests feel they can be rude and ignorant on holiday is beyond me. I'm not gonna lose any sleep if you push in at the buffet, but to have no manners when dealing with the staff (who earn very very little to serve you) is shameful. And the usual 'towel on sunbed' brigade are out in full force there as well.

Aside from that, we had a pretty much perfect week. Would love to return in the future.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
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 Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Playa Pesquero 4.5*
Number of rooms: 912
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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