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“Amazing Location - Average Food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca

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Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Playa Guardalavaca, Guardalavaca, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Amazing Location - Average Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2009

I'm just back from a couple of weeks at Club Amigo - 22/09/09-06/10/09.

I travelled with my girlfriend (both 24) from London with Thomas Cook. Overall we were both very happy with our trip and I'd recommend it to a friend.

Flight – Very comfortable, we didn't upgrade to premium but I think the main benefit is free drinks and a bit more room, but to be honest there's lots of space for an average sized person to handle a 9 hour flight in the economy section, but I guess if you are looking to drink bucket loads on the plane (hey, you are on holiday after all !!) then go for it, but remember you're going to have two weeks of all you can drink, so pace yourself !! Food on the plane is so so and I wasn't too impressed with the in flight entertainment (there is at least one radio channel dedicated to take that !) but when the plane's comfortable that's the most important thing.

Resort – It's probably all been said before but Guardalavaca is simply beautiful. Amazing white sand gives way to crystal clear blue water. There are two main beaches, the one in front of the Club Amigo is superior to that in front of the Brisas hotel. There are also a couple of little coves, the larger of these being the “Christopher Columbus” Cove which is complete with a statue of Columbus marking the spot where he reportedly first set foot in the Americas. All beaches in Cuba are public, so if your put off by Cubans with the audacity to visit a beach in their own country maybe stay in England. When we went there was plenty of room on the beach and lots of sun loungers which I think are free, but I tipped the guy a peso but I don't think you have to pay. There are water sports included in your price, snorkelling and pedalos and you can pay a little more for things like bannana boats. As these beaches are public there is no hotel bar on the beach (except at the Columbus beach) but a guy goes round selling cold beers which, as is the case everywhere in Cuba, cost next to nothing by British/ Canadian standards.

Accommodation – Ok the hotel itself. This is where lots of people's holidays to Club Amigo seem to fall down. We stayed in the Villa's section of the resort and I cannot recommend to you enough upgrading to this section. The main hotel in my opinion didn't look fantastic and this may be where you'll be staying if you don't upgrade. I contacted Thomas Cook after we had booked and was charged 10 a night extra and I think it's the best £140 I've ever spent. Our room was spacious, clean and safe. We had an Oceanview room on the second floor which had an amazing view which I loved waking up to everyday and a nice little balcony which was nice to chill out on after a long day and before a night out. Maybe e-mail the hotel beforehand to request an ocean view room, it may work it may not but it's worth a shot.
The one often repeated criticism of the resort is the food and I must say there is some truth in it and this is the one and only are which I would say was a negative on our holiday. The main buffet neither of us enjoyed particularly. There seemed to be a lot of flies in the main buffet (which of course is going to happen in a hot country) but there seems to be no measures taken to stop them landing on the food, which, when it's left out for a few hours at a time is quite unhygienic. The better option is to eat in the 24hr snack bar. Here you can get fresh omelettes in the morning and Pizza/Pasta/Fish/Burgers and chips at lunch. I preferred this to the main buffet but as you can imagine after two weeks this can be quite competitive. There are very few alternatives off resort without getting a taxi into Holguin which will set you back 30-40 pesos each way. My girlfriend is quite fussy when it comes to food and she subsisted on a diet of crisps, chips, little pizza's and this fizzy orange drink which I think she may be addicted to now.

Night life – I love a night out and having a drink and a good time are a big part of my holiday, but if you need West End super clubs with multiple floors and bars, I'd really advise against Guadalavaca. In fact I've been to Havana, Santiago and Varadero as well and basically you won't find many clubs on a British scale anywhere in Cuba nor in most of the rest of the world. Basically if you can have a good time with a bit of music, some drink and a good crowd then you'll have a decent time. There is a disco which is part of Club Amigo. It's basically a small bar with some seats and a dance floor. It is also home to a very intense lighting system which will almost blind you (if the rum hasn't already!) but it's included in your package so you don't pay a penny to get in or for your drinks. The music is a mixture of Spanish language and English (or more accurately American!). The Disco was open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday whilst we were there which to be honest is ok as you probably would get bored if you went there every night. The disco is open 'til 1.30am and is a good start before you move onto La Rocca which is a partially covered club at the end of the beach at the Club Amigo end. We went on a Saturday and I would highly recommend it. The music is predominantly Spanish Language (although inexplicably at one point they played Bon Jovi, don't let that put you off) and as long as you don't mind being put to shame by the locals who will make it clear to you a) How rubbish Brits are at dancing and b) How much better looking they are than us – then you'll have a good time. There are also a couple of beach bars down at this end of the beach which are great for a relaxing drink as is the 24 hour bar at the resort.

Excursions – We went on the Holguin by night (good value), Ocean Paradise Catamaran Trip (amazing – loved it), Dining with dolphins (again, I didn't know what I'd think of it but I enjoyed it so much) and Jeep Safari (so so). We also took the land train which arrives outside the hotel at 10.30am every day and takes you to the little fishing village of Boca de Sama which was really good to see parts of the Cuban countryside you wouldn't normally and cost 10pesos return, I'd really recommend it.

The best trip we took whilst we were there was one we organised ourselves, to Santiago de Cuba. We like exploring and the organised excursions only give you a day in Santiago or a night in Havana. So we took a cab to Holguin Viazul (name of the bus company) bus station (35 pesos each way) and took possibly the most comfortable coach I've ever taken in my life to Santiago (12 pesos each way takes around 3 ½ hours). When we got to Santiago we stayed in a Cassa which is basically the Cuban version of a B&B. We paid 12peso's per night for a nice little room with an en suite and a lovely terrace which had a roof which provided great views of the city. I would only advise this if you are a confident traveller as when you get to Santiago you'll be mobbed by people who want you to stay in their cassa, each claiming there's is the best. There is no way of knowing who's genuine other than your gut feeling. If you don't feel up to this then there are a couple of large hotels in Santiago. We went to Hotel Melia for dinner one night which is by far the nicest hotel I've ever seen in Cuba and houses a bar on the fifteenth floor which has great views of the city and the food in the restaurant is amazing.

Overall

A holiday is what you make of it and Club Amigo provides a great base. It's crowning glory is probably the beautiful beach and the biggest let down is definitely the food. For the money we paid I'd say it was fantastic value but if you want opulent luxury then it probably wont cut it for you. I probably wouldn't go again, but that's only because it's such a big world that I probably wouldn't go anywhere twice no matter how much I loved it.
My tips to enjoy yourself, go with an open mind – use the reviews on Trip Advisor as a guide rather than gospel, they are after all just peoples opinions. Upgrade to a Villa, I can't stress that enough, I'm so glad I did. Be adventurous, going to Santiago was a great experience but keep hour wits about you. Oh, and have a great time !!

If you want to ask me any questions feel free to message me.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Oxford
Top Contributor
153 reviews 153 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2009

Cuba is a great destination; there are beautiful landscapes, lovely people and quaint modes of transport, but the Club Amigo Atlántico does not match its potential, despite wonderful staff, large pools and great beaches.

The room provided was clean, spacious and though simply furnished was quite comfortable with a truly lovely sea view. The maid service was excellent, the air conditioning worked superbly well and the bed was big and comfortable.

My room was at one extreme of the complex, about a five minute walk to the central complex and the main restaurant. The grounds were well maintained and quite secure, with guards at about every 100 metres.

However, the food, though available in some quantity, was unappetising and often covered with flies. Often I would stop eating when a fly died on my plate. By a week into my stay, the main restaurant was closed to allow for the infestation to be cleared. For a day or two, the number of flies had reduced. This was a temporary relief, by the third day, the number of flies buzing by my head was as bad as before and my meal was shared with about 20 flies on my table.

The toilets in communal areas, whilst regularly cleaned, did not come up to an acceptable standard; toilet paper was short in supply and I would rather return to my room than use the facilities in the main block.

There is little to do in the immediate area and sight-seeing requires some travel; Holguin is quaint and worth a jaunt to check-out the colonial Spanish architecture; Santiago has breathtaking views; Guardalavacha has lovely beaches, however, you are aware that this is a state with strict police controls and significant poverty and a lack of infrastructure as a consequence of the economic embargo in place from the USA.

I read a lot and relaxed, watched too much American TV (four channels with English dialogue), but I could not satisfy my wanderlust from Club Amigo. If I return to Cuba, it will be to the west of the Island.

And as for the internet connection, I am still waiting for the page to open. One hour of very slow narrow band costs £4!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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YUL
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2009

The resort is well located, in front there is a medical center with a doctor, pharmacy and a great dentist. Besides, a flee market, with all kind of handmade dresses, etc... The pools are clean, beautiful beaches, good food (did'nt starve and not sick for 2 weeks).
Great capochino at the reception bar, with music from 5:00 ph. The cubans were very polite and helpful. The hotel in general was very clean. Wouldn't hesitate to go back tomorrow for another 2 weeks.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
nova scotia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2009

My husband and I went with my parents and another couple. This place was very nice. We got a really good deal. We were only there a week which wasn't long enough. The staff made us feels like friends and very welcome. I didn't love the food there because we are Canadians & are spoiled what can I say, otherwise it was fresh. I absolutely had a wonderful time. We actually just booked another trip for March 31st for 2 weeks this time and I'm sooooo excited !! I would definitely reccomend this hotel : )

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2009

ROOMS that we got were very poor, we had to change rooms twice, the first was very dirty and the air conditioner didn't work. Maids do a poor job of cleaning the bathrooms, be careful you might see cockroaches!!

FOOD. There was minimum variety of food, the quality is extremely poor, there is also no variety. There is no difference if you go to a la carte, it is the same buffet food, served in a nice matter. there is two snack bars, one which always has awful pizza. The other one beside the pool is ok however be careful on the weekends, there are many local Cubans that come to the resort, and there might not be any food left after a certain hour and this suppose to be a 24h snack bar.

BARS. Good bartenders, usually very nice and friendly, again on the weekends you might not have any more drinks if the Cubans are there. The drinks are also very poor quality.

SHOWS. Entertainment was ok. No shows were amazing, some were cancelled

DISCO-only open certain days, was closed on Friday, always has the same music

BEACH is very nice and clean, could use more chairs

POOLS. overall ok, no pools for adults only

SERVICE is extremely awful, very slow, seems most people are really not happy to be there and don't care about you. I would ask something, and everyone working there would just say "i don't know or more like I don't care" . Nothing was available at this resort, missing sticks to play pools, no animation, no cards, 1 resto closed, disco closed 3 nights in a week.....

If you are very easy going, don't care about the food or anything, this place will do, if not look for some other place!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2009

Third time to Cuba, so had an idea of what to expect. Travelled with wife and 11yr old son.

Found the hotel to be clean and well looked after (yes, it's getting old) on a daily basis. Food is...well...Cuban fare. They cook with what they have and I while I didn't go hungry if you are a big eater and love your varied food then Cuba in general may not be for you. And on the subject of food... if you like ketchup take your own! In other places in Cuba I have found their version of ketchup which I didn't like, but here I found none, period. We took a small bottle of Heinz which was ogled by many while we ate!!

Tipping: Big subject. Some don't like it, others take tons of stuff to give away. We took some items from a dollar store and lots of used (clean and in good shape) clothes that our son had grown out of. I was chatting to the scooter/bike rental gal and she told me that she made the equivalent of $12 a MONTH! She (and everyone else) works for the state and in turn they get paid by the state. Even the horse and buggy guy was supplied the horse and buggy by the state and gets paid a wage... (nice ride in the country, by the way).

Beach wasn't as nice as at Varadero but still very good. The main beach is close to the hotel and there are some smaller beaches for the villa guests. The noisy pool (with small bar) is at the hotel, with a quieter pool near the villas. The 24hr bar (with food) is close to the villas - and they have an unadvertised breakfast where they will cook your food and serve you - if you want a break from the buffet in hotel.

Al acarte were somewhat satisfying but on one occasion we headed straight to the buffet afterward!

Our son had little to do last year (when he was 10) but this year with the same lack of things to do he did get a bit bored. There is a pay-as-you-go Internet room if you are so inclined.

If you are unhappy with some things I would suggest talking to Raquel, the customer relations woman, just round the corner to the left of the front desk. She was very helpful to us.

We didn't do any excursions so can't comment on those.

As many people have mentioned flies are a problem. Quite annoying, at times, and seeing them land all over the food before you get it wasn't very appetising. Smell the butter before you use it. Even though they are in airtight packages some still smelled rancid to me.

The coach ride to/from the airport was about 1hr 20mins? and seemed longer. When flying make sure you go direct. We stopped off at Cayo Coco on way there and it added another 1.5hrs easy to the trip as we had to de-plane while they cleaned it. And if you can, try to arrive during the day. Twice now we have arrived at night and trying to navigate in the dark while you are hungry and tired is no fun (we did wait for someone to guide us to our room but he was only one person so you could wait a while).

Take insulated mugs to keep your drinks in - the puny two-mouthful plastic cups that all hotels use there are next to useless.

My wife and I wanted a quiet week away without any hassles of cooking, cleaning, etc. to lie in the sun and relax on the beach, which is exactly what we got. Had fun and would go to Cuba again but will try a different hotel, although I have no hesitation in recommending it.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
england
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2009

this is a great place to b ,they were very good with the children the food was ok ,bt it was so much fun ,iv been 3 times and going back again ,just love this hotel

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca

Address: Playa Guardalavaca, Guardalavaca, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Guardalavaca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca 3*
Number of rooms: 747
Also Known As:
Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca Hotel Guardalavaca
Hotel Amigo Atlantico Guardalavaca
Amigo Guardalavaca Hotel Holguin
Amigo Guardalavaca Club
Club Amigo Guardalavaca
Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca Cuba - Holguin Province

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