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“Wonderful hotel with great snorkelling”

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Gran Club Santa Lucia
Certificate of Excellence
Winnipeg
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful hotel with great snorkelling”
Reviewed April 3, 2010

This was our first time to Cuba. Santa Lucia is a small village with 4 hotels. It is a quiet location. There are not many beach vendors, people begging for money, or many souvenir shops.
Do not stay in the Standard Rooms. They are on the far side of the hotel lot (across the drive from the lobby - far from the beach). The room was clean though and we slept fine every night.
The food was good. This was the first time that we did not get sick from the food while traveling. There was not a lot of variety of food. Lunch and Dinner buffet seemed to be the same. The a la carte restaurants were very good - and a nice break from the buffet. Tip your waiter/ess at the buffet and you will get wonderful service (reserved tables, drinks quickly) - just 1 or 2 peso.
The snack bar was hit and miss. They served hamburgers, hotdogs, fries, and fruit. Some days they would only have fries and fruit. They tended to close down before they should have.
The coffee bar was fantastic!! Loved the Coffee with Milk.
The beach was great. Nice sand, plenty of loungers available, and lots of huts or trees for shade. It isn't the greatest place for swimming in the ocean. There is lots of seaweed and sea urchins all over the place so you had to be careful walking out to the sandy sections. The water colour was beautiful and the water was fairly warm.
The snorkeling was fabulous. I highly recommend the Playa Bonita tour. It is great snorkeling and a wonderful afternoon spent on a heavenly beach. The Coral Tour was great as well - a good opportunity to go our for a couple hours and snorkel. You can snorkel from the hotel, though you tend to see mostly shells, starfish, and the occasional fish.
Take a taxi to Coco Beach. It is 7 peso each way, and a 10-20 min. drive. It is a nice area to see a small town, some people selling souvenirs from their homes, and a great restaurant. When you go make sure that you reserve your taxi to come back and get you, or make a deal that they will only get paid when you get back to your hotel - we got stuck there for 2 hours longer than we wanted to because our taxi didn't come and get us.
The only part of the hotel that I did not enjoy was the number of dogs and cats that were running around - strays from the village. From reading other reviews and people mentioning prostitute, there are some there. It was typically a young Cuban companion for an older man. There were a couple of older women that had young male companions. It was noticeable, as adults you know was is going on, though it was not awful.
Overall, it was a fabulous trip! Great location for a quiet getaway, good food, and friendly staff with good service.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank eath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YurinaOtero, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Gran Club Santa Lucia, responded to this review, March 23, 2016
Dear Friend
We do appreciate your comments. Thanks.
Hotel Management
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Dryden
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed April 2, 2010

The staff was very friendly and if you were looking for something to do, you could always find something. Beach was beautiful and clean, of course you will find peddlers but we did not find them overly aggressive if you said no they generally carried on and stayed closer to the water not coming to close to where we were sitting on the beach. The food was what we expected, but if you were not a fussy eater you could always find something. We found the Cuban and Italian A La Cart Restaurants very good but if you want to eat at them at a particular time, book it with the Public Relations Desk right away as it books up fast.
The locals are very friendly and if you love lobster you can find a local family that will prepare a wonderful lobster dinner anywhere from 10-12 pesos per person.....can't beat it!!! This goes for Coco Beach as well, just be warned that the local drunk Fernando sits at the entrance to Coco Beach and tries sell you lobster dinner as well.
The tours you book through you r trip advisor are great as they give you lots of information about the country and communities. Your trip advisor may discourage you from renting scooters, but we found that there was not issues with doing so as long as you use common sense.
If you are looking for a place to do a ton of shopping this is not the place for you as it is a smaller community not a city, but there is lots of little market areas in all the resorts that you are able to go to within walking distance as well as on the beach.
This is the place to go for a slow paced, relaxing vacation as you can be as busy or as laid back as you choose.
Rooms were very clean and spacious, we had the Jr.Suite and from the sounds of the other guests it was the way to go and you are next to the beach could 't ask for better. There were absolutly no bugs or creepy crawlys, I don't know if this is common or just the time of year but it was great.
Just be warned for first timers, there are no toilet seats once you leave the resort and sometimes not running water in bathrooms so hand wipes or sanitizer is recommended as well as maybe small packs of kleenex.
Definitely going back next year to the same place!!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mr_mrs_northernOn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YurinaOtero, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Gran Club Santa Lucia, responded to this review, March 23, 2016
Dear Friend
We do appreciate your comments. Thanks.
Hotel Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kingston
1 review
Reviewed March 22, 2010

Had a wonderful time meet great people. Staff is excellent. Rooms are nice. Drinks are great. Had the best birthday. Will go back again. Special thanks to mike and armando for the wonderful day we all spent together.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank seashell47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YurinaOtero, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Gran Club Santa Lucia, responded to this review, March 23, 2016
Dear Friend
We do appreciate your comments. Thanks.
Hotel Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 204 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2010

As a midwinter break, I booked 2 weeks at the Gran Club Santa Maria through Sun Wing Vacations for March 1 to 15th. It was a pretty good vacation, the resort was good value, nothing elaborate but well worth the money, 1,115.00 single occupancy, tax included.

Although I had visited Cuba before this was my first visit to Santa Lucia and for the most part thoroughly enjoyed it.
It was a good thing I went for two weeks, the first week of March was cool, and very windy, not the most enjoyable, especially on the beach, however the second week the weather turned to the typical weather we are looking for in Cuba, 39-32C and lots of sunshine.

My room, 1206 was on the 2nd floor in a block of about 10 units across the driveway from reception and about 150-200 metres from the ocean which you couldn’t see from the room. It was fairly basic, 2 double beds, a small sitting area, a TV. offering a good selection of channels, a shower, no balcony or patio but clean. Banging doors and noisy guests at night was a bit of a problem but not horrendous. In order to have hot water or turn the a/c off you needed to put your room card in the card slot or take it out. You might find it advisable to upgrade to a junior suite. From what others told me they are much larger more attractive, quieter and the upgrade isn’t that pricy, if you do it at time of booking. They have balconies or patios; some have ocean views and are within 30-40 metres of the sea which makes it kind of nice. If I were to return that is the way I would go.

Some dislikes: Plastic, almost nothing but plastic was used for drinks even in the lobby bar which was far removed from the pool so not a danger for any one. Unless you asked specially for your piñacolada or other drink to be put in a real glass you got plastic; As a result there was a considerable number of empty and broken plastic glasses littering the resort. Very strange, but that bar also didn’t serve beer which would have been nice since it was a good shady spot to relax.
The entire resort could certainly use some maintenance, paint was peeling all over the place, the pool and beach loungers were all dirty and in many cases broken, and the pink flamingo pond and adjoining ponds were green and filthy.

Dining:

Main buffet food wasn’t great, nor was it bad either; you could always find something to your taste although I wasn’t very fussy that so many of the choices were difficult to decipher just as to what they were. The breakfast was heavy on fat, terrible fatty bacon which many guests placed back on the grill to drain off some of the fat. At the grill a cook did your eggs, omelets and pancakes to order.

At dinner there was always a roast of something, turkey, ham, pork for example which you picked up at the grill, usually it was very good. Although you can’t expect hot hot on the steam table vegetables etc. were never hot, not even close nor was the soup. The deserts weren’t that great compared to other resorts I’ve visited and neither was the bread, no rolls were available either.
Very strange after my first week they ran out of wine and it was about another three or four days before it was again available.
The waitresses in the dining room were excellent and obliging.

The snack bar on the beach offered burgers, hot dogs, French fries, some salad items and that was about it. The ladies and the bartenders working there were very pleasant and obliging.
The beach was fantastic, beautiful white sand stretching on and on with no shortage of sun beds.

The pool was fairly large again no shortage of sun beds with a swimup bar at one end and a children’s section at the other end .Overlooking the pool was a coffee bar with cappuccino espresso and other specialty coffees.
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I tried the Cuban and the Mexican a la cartes; both were fine but not outstanding.

Specialty coffees such as espresso or cappuccino were available at the poolside coffee bar and the lobby bar.

Something very important, don’t leave home without your thermal flask, they are invaluable.

What impressed me the most: Aside from the staff which for the most part were excellent, the beach is wonderful, the animacion crew terrific, offering the best kids program I’ve ever seen in Cuba plus great evening entertainment and constant daytime activities for adults. The Cabaret in particular was excellent, funny, well performed and good fun for all ages.

Some of the excursions offered by Sun wing and other tour operators: the Coral tour with snorkeling by the coral reef which is the second longest in the world, stretching down to Cayo Coco. 25CUC.
Colonial Camaguay:39. CUC

The only tour I took was a about 3 hours to the nearby village which included a stop at a primary school, and a small shop selling sugar cane juice, only 5CUC. It was an interesting little trip although I’m not so sure it’s good to put young children on display that way.

Horse back riding, 1 hour 6CUC

It should be noted everything at this resort is ramped so there are no mobility issues as long as one requests a ground floor room when booking.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank richiehere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
1 review
Reviewed March 22, 2010

Get Junior suite.....standards are too small unless you are alone. People who were staying and working there were fabulous. We met so many wonderful people both tourists and staff. The shows were great, very entertaining. The staff kept you busy at all times if that was what you were looking for.....you cannot be bored. The beach was the nicest I have ever seen and the colours of the water were amazing. Went horseback riding on the beach, snorkeling, and the Camaquey day trip . All were great! Danced, laughed and had a great time every day. One week was not enough. I will be going back.
Do not expect anything....go with a great attitude.....make your own fun. Cuba is very poor so if you expect a 5star resort you will not get it. No bugs.weather was beautiful!!!!!!!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 3womentravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2010

Hi to everyone who will see this review. It is not our first trip to Cuba, but it was the best that we ever had. The food was excellent, with a great variety. The beach was incredible, with white soft sand. The resort was perfectly organized and the staff was amazing, especially Froggy and Mister Max...You are amazing guys. We also recommend the Katamaran day to Playa Bonita, with a stop at the starfish farm and snorkeling. We saw a lot of pretty fish. I encourage you to go at this hotel, because I think that the activitites, the staff and the evening shows made a difference between a good and a very nice trip. Plus the Gran Club had great activities, amazing and fiendly staff as well as great shows at night. To conclude, if you have the chance to go dancing after the show, the disco has good music and it's beautiful inside.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Farran-Family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YurinaOtero, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Gran Club Santa Lucia, responded to this review, March 23, 2016
Dear Friend
We do appreciate your comments. Thanks.
Hotel Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
Reviewed March 19, 2010

I have traveled many places in Cuba. We thought of trying Cran Club Santa Lucia. The first room was less then dorm acceptable. We up graded. Then i t great. So if you go pay the extra and upgrade. The food was your Cuba food. Nothing to write home about but you expect that from Cuba, just take a shaker of spices and you will be fine.

It was the locals that made this trip the worst. If you werent getting bothered for your clothes then it was someone trying to get you to have a prositute for the week. I ate with more local prositutes as if you got one they stayed on the resort with you. We would ask for drinks and they ran out but then you would see them filling pop bottles of beer for them selves for after work. The employees were not the friendiest. Out of all the area this is the best hotel. Which isnt saying much
Rate 10 being great
Beach 5 as to many weeds not the beautilful blue you want to see
Food 5
Maid Service 9
Entertainment 4
Friendly 4

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wrighki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YurinaOtero, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Gran Club Santa Lucia, responded to this review, March 23, 2016
Dear Friend
We do appreciate your comments. Thanks.
Hotel Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gran Club Santa Lucia

Property: Gran Club Santa Lucia
Address: Ave. Turistica Tararaco, Playa Santa Lucia 74250, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Camaguey Province > Playa Santa Lucia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Playa Santa Lucia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gran Club Santa Lucia 3.5*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This all-inclusive hotel is located right on Santa Lucia Beach, Camaguey Province, Cuba, just a few feet from the coral reef. Its well kept tropical gardens, professional and friendly staff, make this resort the perfect vacation choice for families, couples and honeymooners. Accommodation 252 air conditioned rooms: 12 coral suites, 8 superior junior suites, 86 junior suites & 2 junior suites with special facilities for guests with disabilities and 144 standard rooms. Every room has private bath, mini - fridge, telephone, satellite TV, hair dryer, 110V & 220V. Each junior suite has a living room and balcony or terrace. Included Services For food and beverage services there is a buffet restaurant, specialized in international cuisine; three "A la Carte" restaurants specialized in Cuban, Italian and seafood cuisine. There are 5 bars: lobby bar, beach bar, pool bar, coffee bar and a discotheque. A snack bar is available. The hotel has a swimming pool with separate area for children; day and night entertainment with shows and live music; Mini club with varied daily and night activities for children from 4 to 12 years old. Dance lessons, Spanish lessons, table games, billiard, ping pong, bicycles, non motorized water sports and tennis courts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Club Santa Lucia Hotel Playa Santa Lucia
Gran Hotel Camaguey
Gran Hotel Santa Lucia
Santa Lucia Camaguey
Gran Club Santa Lucia Playa Santa Lucia, Cuba - Camaguey Province

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