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“We Loved Los Galeones”

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Brisas Sierra Mar Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Guama
Brampton, Ontario
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“We Loved Los Galeones”
Reviewed February 2, 2005

We just returned from a weeks vacation at Los Galeones. We loved the resort. It is a small, quiet, 32 room, adult only resort. It was great to get away from a very cold Toronto and away from the typical hussle and bussle. The weather was perfect each day, the temperature got up to about 28 celcius each day without a cloud in the sky. The views from the rooms was spectular. The resort is surrounded by mountains and the Carribean sea. The resort is on a hilltop. The bus ride from the airport to the resort is now about an hour and 40 minutes as the roads are in bad shape in sections, due to the hurricanes washing out roads that were already in need of maintenance. Our room was an ocean view room with a king size bed. There is a small pool at the resort, a games room with a pool table, sauna, and hot tub. There is also a small gift shop that is open each day from about 2 to 3 pm. The beach is about 295 steps down, it is definately not suitable for someone with a heart condition or handicap. The beach is beautiful, and secluded. The beach bar is beautiful. There is a grill lunch everyday at the beach put on by the bartender, with hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, fish and potatoes. The bartender brings vegetables from his garden for garnishes and salad. The beach is very one on one with nature, a lot of seaweed and coral, you definately need water shoes. There is plenty of wildlife to see down at the beach, goats, chickens, roosters, birds and small lizards. The water is so clear and perfect. There is a small diningroom at the resort along with a pool bar next to the diningroom. Each meal is usually sit down, except for their theme nights where there usually is a buffet. Breakfast is sit down with some appetizers, juice and coffee on the buffet, the wait staff will come round and ask you what you would like from the kitchen, the omeletes are awesome. They will do eggs of any type, breakfast sandwiches and french toast as well. We didn't have lunch in the diningroom, we always had it down at the beach, but I heard there were different choices each day like pizza and sandwiches. Dinner was always excellent, 4 course dinners ordered from a menu and a couple of nights were themed. A cuba night with a large buffet dinner and a pig roast on Saturday nights where the tables are put outside around the pool and the food on a buffet. The food was always excellent. Each day at 4 pm they put out snacks by the pool as well, usually fruit, hor deuvres, pizza and sandwiches. There were so many nice people we met both staff and other guests. Some of the other guests have been coming to the resort each year for 4 years or more. It is a great resort for anyone looking for quiet and relaxation. You never have to worry about not finding a lounge chair at the beach or the pool. Also, if you have a suggestion or request, the staff do all they can to accomodate you. We brought some small gifts with us for the maids and wait staff, they are so appreciative to receive things. There is the small town of Chivirico at the bottom of the hill that the resort is on, you can go down and walk around, there are a few shops and it is interesting to take in the culture. You have access to all the facilities at the sister resort called Sierra Mar as well. It is a very large resort and alot busier. There are two shuttles going over there each day, one at 9am, that comes back at 5 pm and another that is at 7 pm and comes back at 11 pm. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to get there. We went there for dinner one evening but it is very loud and crowded.
We would recommend Los Galeones to anyone, we are planning to go back again next year around the same time.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
34 Thank ccbrampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (142)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 25, 2005

My wife and I just returned from a week at Sierra Mar. Here is how we rated it on a scale of 1-10

Beach 7 - It is not a white sand beach typical of some other Cuban locations but it is peaceful, well kept and it goes on forever. You can walk a couple of miles and find your own secluded area. We really liked that there was a beach bar just a short walk from the water. No vendors.

Pool area 8 - Except the water in the pool feeling a little colder than we might have liked everything else was excellent. Lots of pool chairs. Very quiet (until 4 pm when the dance lessons start). Not an abundance of shade though so if you wnat a shady spot get there early. If you play pool volleyball (a must) tell George that "the hammer" says hi!

Rooms 7 - A bit musty when we arrived but a Glade plug in solved the problem. The rooms where clean but not fancy. Lost water pressure one day and the air went on the blink on our last day. No big deal. The best part of the room was the ocean view which most rooms have. Absolutely beautiful. Morning coffee watching the some come up (now that's a vacation!). We stayed on the lower section (1st to 4th floor) which is very close to the pool, restaurant etc.

Food 7.5 - The buffet food quality was good but a bit repetitive. Look for something new and you can often find it. If your a bit adventurious there always seemed to be some thing interesting. The omeletes in the morning are awesome! The al a cartes were excellent. A 9 in our books. One on the beach, one next to the al a carte. Be careful if you order rare or medium rare steak though. It is pretty pink. If you like medium rare order it medium well and you should be fine. The booking for the al a cartes is posted outside the buffet at breakfast. Take advantage of these as much as possible. If not the buffet can seem pretty repetitive. They are on a first come first served basis (snooze, you lose)

People 9 - We loved the staff. Friendly, but not pushy. Very courteous and respectful. If you meet Adonis, one of the waiters, say hi from Steve and Debbie. If you want the best Spanish coffee you ever had ask Adonis to make it. AMAZING!

Safety 9 - Never felt at risk at all. The resort is about 1 1/2 hours from Santiago in a small rural community so there is not much around, especially people.

Tours- no idea. We were there to relax and relax we did!

Scenery 10 - You will be blown away. The ocean on one side, the mountains on the other. Quiet, secluded, tranquil. WOW!

Overall a solid 8 out of 10. This is rated 4 star and it is exactly that. It is not a 5 star so if you are looking for perfection this might not be the place for you. Like most resorts in this price range there is always something that is just not quite right but just relax. After all you are on vacation (that's what we are supposed to do right?). The staff is very helpful and will do what they can to solve any problems you have.

Tips: Take scented candles or a Glade plug in (you can leave this on throughout your stay so it was a better choice for us) in case the room is a bit musty. You can convert your Canadian money to converitible Cuban pesos at the resort (fair exchange). US money is no longer excepted in Cuba. Take some insect repellent. There are apparently some sand flies at the beach but we put some repellent on our legs before we went so we didn't meet up with them. Also, if you visit the al a carte in the evening the mosquitos will be visiting you. Once again a little shot of repellent will do the trick and you will have a great meal.
If you play softball they take a busload of guests to play ball with some of the locals. What a blast. Take your glove (and another to leave behind if you can, they have no equipment). They play on Tuesdays. Finally, if you really want to have an unforgetable holiday, take some stuff to leave behind (clothes, caps, shoes, sandals, tools, baseball gear, toys or candy for kids). No problem finding someone to give it to. You will probably meet someone from the staff that you can help out (they make on average about $20 US per month so they will be very thankful) or if you are alittle adventurious wander off the resort and you will meet some folks as well.

If you are looking for a relaxing, tranquil vacation, you will love Sierra Mar.

Hola!

Helpful?
37 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2005

Our stay at this resort was outstanding, and we hope to return before too long.

The staff were terrific and very friendly and outgoing. We enjoyed getting to know quite a few of them. Their growing command of English is impressive.

The resort is very beautiful and its setting, nestled into the hillside, is stunning. Our room had a breathtaking view of mountains, lush greenery, and the bay. We could hear the waves breaking on the beach and also from the shore across the bay. Our only regret is that we didn't have much free time to sit on the totally private balcony and enjoy the view.

From a number of tables in the dining room you can enjoy a marvelous vista of the surrounding vegetation, mountains, and soaring hawks.

There were a a number of musical groups; all were extremely talented. Special mention goes to Augustcesar, a truly remarkable pianist who played nightly in the spacious lobby.

We loved the food -- terrific soups, the tastiest pork I've ever eaten, several wonderful goat dishes, quite a variety of fish, and the freshest vegetables and fruit. But some unexpected surprises: don't miss the brussel sprouts, honestly. They have the most delectable flavour. Also, many people passed on the rice pudding, a seemingly humble selection amidst an array of tempting desserts. But they missed a treat. It was strongly laced with freshly grated nutmeg -- delightful.

We enjoyed the beach. Pedal boats made it easy to reach the reef and snorkel or just take in the view the boat without even entering the water.

Finally, the trip to and from Santiago is beautiful and very interesting. We also strongly recommend a visit to Chivirico, less than half an hour away, either by moped or taxi. Allow enough time venture from the main road and explore the neighbourhoods for a real slice of Cuban life. This is a terrific town of about 3,000 people.

Finally, the hotel has a small farm and botanical gardens situated behind the beach (follow the path to the Ecological Restaurant). The gardens are well worth a visit, but don't forget to apply mosquito repellent beforehand so you can linger comfortably and chat with the gardeners.

  • Stayed December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
36 Thank Tequila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint John, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2005

I am returning to sierra Mar on April 2nd for the 5th time. I have travelled to a fair amount of places but this is by far my favourite.of the six others going,one is going for her fourth,one her third ,one her second and the others their first..time.

The food is great,the atmosphere wonderful.the employees are excellent and very friendly. I have kept in contact with many throughout the years. I go into chivirico at least once for lunch at one of the worker,s homes and it is really nice.

I find the resort extremely clean,safe and enjoy all aspects of it.

Yordanis,Edita.Ernesto,Suzanne,Lily.Yvette,Carlos,jose,Rolando are the best.They make our visit well worth it.

I highly recommend Sierra Mar and you can,t beat the price. Also we pay extra to fly to toronto just so we can go to Santiago de Cuba.

I misplaced the e-mail address to the resort so if someone has it please submit it Tks.

  • Stayed March 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank penny899
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2005

We are writing about Los Galeones. And to put the review in the right context, a few words about us: middle aged couple (39 and 45) who wanted a week of relaxation, away from the kids and looking for some fun and good time. We were glad to find this tiny resort - Los Galeones - in Cuba, at a reasonable price.

The location of the resort is wonderful: on the top of a hill, on a peninsula. The views are spectacular. To get to the beach, there are quite few steps to go down, and obviously, back up. The beach is small, and the bottom of the sea very rocky. So don't forget your water shoes!!

In the resort there is a small pool and that's about it. Oh, no, there is a gym as well, with some medieval equipment... If you go to the beach level few times a day, you'll get your exercise.

During our week, the majority of the group was "adult", very adult. There were two couples in their 20s, and they left after a day or so to Sierra MAr, due to lack of "noise". So, depending on what you what, can be good or not. We wanted a bit more "life" too.

We went a couple of times to Sierra Mar, but the road is is the road to hell! The potholes are so big, the shuttle bus had to drive on the side of the road, between the power posts.

We had a very nice surprise on Saturday night, when we had a pit-roasted pig. On top of everything else, there was a power outage, which made the supper a bit romantic, with candle lights on the tables.

All in all, it was a nice break from the winter in Toronto. We don't know if we would go again to Los Galeones. We recommend it though for quietness and relaxation. If this is your kind of fun.

Helpful?
16 Thank Getodac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newmarket, Ontario
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2005

Complaints - the rooms need updating
- strange smell in the mornings
- Entertainment staff more interested in their own entertainment
- Children's entertainment was awful. Encouraged kids to be annoying if she was around at all.
- Buffet boring after 2 weeks, especially for a vegetarian

BUT
If you are looking for a quiet, sunny place with respectful staff and the beach, pool and reefs are enough to entertain you, the price is right. If you want more action, get to know the staff. They go into the local town for discos and will invite you along.

Anyone who is going, please contact me. There are some gifts that I'd like to send to some of the special staff members (nylons, children's aspirin, children's shoes, make-up...). Just some things they need/requested and are hard to get.

Helpful?
13 Thank 2dogslong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Ontario
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2005

We took our three teenaged boys to the Sierra Mar over the Christmas period, and since we have returned home, they have not stopped talking Spanish. We all really enjoyed our time there. The staff were very friendly and the food was good. The beach was great - it has the natural brown cuban sand and the water was warm and clear. I am a beach lover and only went to the pool once to swim over and haul my husband away from the swim up bar! There is a dive shop at the beach and we all went scuba diving. Good time. For those that wish to just snorkel, there is a reef not too far from shore that you can swim out to. It's beautiful - lots of coral and fish to see. Our only complaint is the rooms. They are very small and simple and need updating, but the view from the rooms make up for them. The maid service was excellent. The place is very laid back and relaxed. If you want white sand beaches, and tons of action, the Sierra Mar is NOT the place to go. It is a little secret tucked away in the Maestra Mountains, and the scenery is like something from the movies. Enjoy your time there! PS. The best surprise for my husband was the fresh squeezed orange juice machine they had set out every morning.

Helpful?
18 Thank Heathert_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Brisas Sierra Mar Hotel

Property: Brisas Sierra Mar Hotel
Address: Carretera a Chivirico Km 60, Guama 92800, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Santiago de Cuba Province > Guama
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Guama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Brisas Sierra Mar Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 200
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Also Known As:
Brisas Sierra Mar Guama
Brisas Sierra Mar Hotel Guama
Brisas Sierra Mar Hotel Cuba/Santiago De Cuba Province - Guama

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