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“The Best Casa Ever”
Review of Casa Costa Azul

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Casa Costa Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Moscow, Russia
1 review
“The Best Casa Ever”
Reviewed March 27, 2014

Stayed there with my husband in March 2014 and loved it so much that returned there after the trip around the country to spend the last days of our vacations. By all means the best decision of our trip was to stay in Playa Larga at Costa Azul.
First of all, the hosts are a very nice and adorable couple, it was a pleasure spending time with them. They were also very helpful with organizing trips and excursions around the Baya de Cocinas, as well as finding casas in other cities of Cuba.
Rooms: are very clean and comfortable, with cosy terraces, good air conditioning and all the facilities.
Food: amazing, better than anywhere in Cuba. I suspect that Oriol is a professional chef. Try lobster in sauce and grilled pork. And shrimps. And pina colada. And many more :) Plus, breakfasts were outstanding, as well as the view from the terrace, where you enjoy you meal.
Playa Larga: is a small village, but there's a bank, a cadeca, shops - evrything you need. The place is safe and - unlike Varadero - real.
Beaches: there's a small clean beach with palm trees practically just around the corner and a bigger one in 7-minutes drive.
Activities: there are lots of things to do in Baya de Cocinas. There's a national park Cienaga de Zapata where you can go fishing, birdwatching or visit a crocodile farm and many more (ask Mayelin and Oriol, they have all the information you need). Best diving and snorkeling spots are Punta Perdiz and Cueva de Las Peces (there's also a cnote there!). And of course, Playa Giron is an interesting place.

Room Tip: There are 2 rooms in the Casa. The one on the second floor has a sea view and a huge terrace. Normal...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Tania_ihavenonicknam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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201 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2014

If you read the Lonely Planet guide, you may be wondering whether it is worth going all the way to Playa Larga, particularly if you follow the instructions that the book provides (...having to request a bus stop and so on- none of this applies any more, further details below). But if you do decide to go over there, just make sure that you stay at this casa. Mayelin y Oriol are a wonderful couple and you will be treated like royalty.

The casa is a lovely building that Oriol has managed to acconditionate and extend in the last couple of years- it has got a ground floor with the main dining/breakfast area and a separate guest bedroom, a first floor with one room, plus a mirador where you can sit and peacefully observe the sunset.

We had the room at the top, a massive 2-bed room with en-suite bathroom. We slept like babies, after eating like kings and drinking a couple of Cubanero beers, enjoying the company of the family. Soft memory mattress beds, comfortable pillows. Could not fault it.

The room had air con plus a fan, but the room was kept at a lovely temperature thanks to the position Oriol had built the room and the fact the glasses in the windows are slightly tinted and reflect the sun. Great idea!

We had a fridge with beers, refreshments, water etc. The bathroom was spotless, hot water on demands, powerful shower (I managed to drop the shower head and broke it, but Oriol refused to let me pay for it...)

The food was absolutely fantastic, you will be asked what your preference for breakfast is and the time, and then you should get ready for a massive, excellent breakfast, warm bread, cake, biscuits, toasts, eggs, tropical fruit, plenty of coffee, tea. You will struggle to finish all the food! But do so, as providing it represents a massive effort.

Oriol made sure that we, as clients, had the best possible experience and he went to great lengths to make sure we enjoyed our time; for example, I mentioned that we would like to try traditional cuban food and every dinner he made sure that his kitchen served us anything from caldosa (traditional Cuban soup) to lobster, lovely and massive grilled pork steaks, and even one night he surprised us with Spanish rice (paella) in my honour, as I am Spanish. They simple went the extra mile and if you can, just take time to learn about their lives.

The casa is 30 seconds from the beach, at the back, so you could literally hop off your bed and you would appear in the sand. At the time we went, it was a peaceful, empty, clean sand beach. True, there are not many facilities like loungers and parasols, but you can make do with a sarong and pitch yourself under the palm trees that a fantastic older man still living there planted some 50 years ago (look out for him, he comes out of his casa and stares at the sea, does some exercises, go talk to him and you will learn about this part of Cuba!).

In terms of trips, Oriol gave us a list of all the services and prices, so you know well before hand what everything was going to be. No hard sell or pushy tactics, we booked a trip to see the pink flamingos in the natural reserve and it was great. We also booked to be taken to Cienfuegos in Oriol's brother's classic car.

It is really easy to get in contact with Mayelin as she is able to make reservations via internet, everything confirmed and when we got to the casa all was sorted.

How to get there- easy. Forget what the Lonely Planet says, at Havana Viazul bus station we bought a ticket to Playa Larga. It costed 13 CUC per person. The bus took us from Havana to Entronque de Jaguey. There, the bus stopped for everybody to have a coffee at the cafeteria. A few minutes later another bus appeared and we were told to get in. This second bus stops outside Maleton, and from there is 5 minutes walk to Casa Playa Larga (really, Maleton is tiny, but lovely)

I you are looking for a resortey feeling, you are clearly in the wrong part of Cuba- but if you want to simply relax by the sea, eat well, sleep well, and be treated like a family member, you know where to go. Mayelin y Oriol will alway be part of our fantastic memories in Cuba, we were made to feel like family members and that it simply something that you would be silly to miss the chance to stay with them.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Enrique C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dc
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2014

I did not stay here as they were full, but I wish I had - it was lovely. Great view of the sea, nice people, beautiful building. There are only a couple of places in Caleton that have the rooftop porch with a cover for shade, and this is one of them. Some others have a rooftop porch with no shade, which can be a problem in the afternoons as the sun is strong.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank DcMbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago, Chile
2 reviews
Reviewed March 2, 2014

Oriol & Mayelin's casa is an exceptionally great place to stay! It's very comfortable, with a great view, near the beach, and the hosts are incredible in every sense. They'll provide great conversation, tips and contacts for things to do near Playa Larga, and most important of all, the BEST food we ate in Cuba! If you go to Casa Costa Azul, PLEASE have all your dinners there. Oriol will go buy the ingredients fresh and cook the food specially for you with his professional chef skills!

Since the house only has 2 rooms, the service and attention is very personalized and extremely caring. They really pride themselves on the treatment of their clients. Absolutely recommended!

Best wishes to Oriol, Mayelin, and Brian!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Pedro C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed February 17, 2014

We stayed two nights at Costa Azul in December 2013 in the room on the first floor. The room opens onto a large terrace where we had breakfast and dinner. The room is very well equipped with its own bathroom, mini bar, safety box, etc. The only minor area of improvement would be the flow of the shower which was very weak. The house also has a beautiful rooftop terrace where you can look at the starts.
Oriol and Mayelin were very helpful and attentive to our needs during our stay. They recommended us nice excursions and places to visit. The food was excellent and diversified, Oriol is an incredibly good cooker. Costa Azul was without any doubt the best "casa particular" we stayed in in Cuba.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Xychaou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
Reviewed February 9, 2014

this is a very nice place to spend your holidays, near of the beach and really clean with a beautiful view to the sea and a really nice restaurant where I felt was the only place I really eat well in my travel to Cuba the owner is really friendly and is always there for what ever you will need I really enjoy my stay in his house thanks for the good service

Room Tip: higher floors have more beautiful view and more breeze
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Yainet H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

We stayed 5 nights at Casa Costa Azul.
It was easy to get to, we got a Viazul bus from Havana, and switched onto another Viazul bus at the junction in Jaguey where we stopped for a coffee. 5 mins later we stopped again, for another coffee with a new driver...
Playa Larga is in a little town called Caleton which has a few casas along the main road and beach.
Mayelin and Oriel were so welcoming and friendly, very attentive, making sure we were comfortable and arranging excursions for us.
The casa is lovely, we had the room on the first floor, it was spotless, modern, with a huge bathroom. The aircon was fully functioning, altho we didnt need to use it as quite chilly at night. We had a well stocked fridge, private patio with rocking chairs.
The casa was literally 60 metres from the beach in a safe and quiet neighbourhood.
We ate every night at the casa, the food was AMAZING! Everything was freshly prepared, soup, salads, fresh fish, pork, traditional cuban food on request which was the highlight of our stay, the paella was delcious with several types of fish and meat. We had caldosa, a traditional soup that all cubans have on birthdays and christmas. The breakfasts were delicious, fresh friut, eggs, bread, cheese, home made cake.
The beach was paradise, the books do not do it justice. It is still a bit rough around the edges with not many facilities which adds to its charm. There is plenty of shade under the palm trees, and some of the casas on the beach will let you use their deck chairs. The sea is lovely clear water, perfect for snorkelling.
The places on the beach to get lunch were a bit limited. There is a lovely snackbar further along from the beach called Mirador, with lovely view of bay and tasty fish soup.
We went on a birdwatching excursion and were lucky to see many flamingos.
Mayelin and Oriel arranged a taxi ride in his brothers chevrolet to cienfuegos, such a cool car!
Mayelin and Oriel were like good old friends to us, they could not have been more attentive and gave us a lovely insight into cuban's life.
We cannot reccommend enough staying at this casa, we cannot wait to go back

Katy and Enrique

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nicola C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Costa Azul

Property: Casa Costa Azul
Address: Cienaga de Zapata | Caleton Playa Larga, Playa Larga 43000, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Playa Larga
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Playa Larga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is rented at the moment 3 double air-conditioned rooms, each with its private bathroom, hot and cold water 24 hours a day. Both bedrooms are spacious and comfortable next to the family home. Our property offers an excellent service of quality / price. In the center of the bay of Cochinos and only 60 meters from the beach, we offer the tranquility and the intimacy that families, groups of friends and couples look for. A first room with a lot of privacy on the top floor, has its own entrance, private bathroom, a double bed and a personal. An assorted minibar, safe and other services on demand. The second room on the ground floor also with separate entrance, offers for your rest two double beds, an assorted minibar, safe and other services on demand. The second room on the ground floor also with separate entrance, offers for your two rest Double beds, an assorted minibar, safe and other services on demand. In the third room located on the 2nd floor, offers a double bed, an assorted minibar, umbrella and other services on demand and second floor guests can enjoy a terrace with breathtaking view over the sea. The prices include daily cleaning, linen change, and towels, toilet paper, parking. Breakfast service and dinner on demand. PRICE PER NIGHT: FOR 2 PEOPLE IN ROOM 1 or Blue 30.00 CUC. PRICE PER NIGHT: FOR 2 PEOPLE IN THE ROOM 2 or the Green 30.00 CUC Altos Vista Al Mar IF YOU WANT THE SERVICE OF DINNERS AND BREAKFASTS, AT HOME WE ALSO OFFER YOU. PRICE PER NIGHT: FOR 3 PEOPLE IN ROOM 1 or Blue 35.00 CUC. PRICE PER NIGHT: FOR 35 PEOPLE IN THE ROOM 2 or the Green 30.00 CUC Altos Vista Al Mar IF YOU WANT THE SERVICE OF DINNERS AND BREAKFASTS, AT HOME WE ALSO OFFER YOU. PRICE PER NIGHT: FOR 4 PEOPLE IN ROOM 1 or Blue 40.00 CUC. PRICE PER NIGHT: FOR 2 PEOPLE IN THE ROOM 3 30.00 CUC. Altos con Vosta al mar ... more   less 
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