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“First vacation, not our last. We will return”
Review of Brisas Santa Lucia

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Brisas Santa Lucia
Reviewed May 15, 2013

This was our families first vacation EVER. Brisas Santa Lucia May1-May8 2013 was a very nice trip. Rooms a little out dated, but you only sleep in them. The food was very good and seasoned just right. No complaints on the food. Service was good and tendered to our needs. Abel the server was the apple of my eye, funny and full of life. Pepe on the beach, offers a lobster dinner at his home for 15 pesos. GO well worth it, great food good wine and very nice people and family. Only down fall was garbage. If us as travelers could walk 2 feet to a garbage can and throw out you plastic cups, others wouldn't half to do it for you. Our cleaning lady was good till the end, she couldn't understand that the towel missing from my children's room was in my room across the hall, so to save face I paid for the towel. Drinks OMG, they were very good, mojito's where yummy and the ice cap's at the 24 hour bar were better than Tim Horton's. Snack bar, the lady server, HAT'S OFF. She was fantastic and always full of smiles and prompt. All in all, the excursions were good the horse back riding with Enrique was nice and he was full of information. We met a lot of nice people. We will return due to Price, hospitality, and Pepe and his family and Enrique. This resort is nice small and very relaxing, just what you need for some R&R.

Room Tip: 12 block away from all the noise and close to the lizards that are behind block 11
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank Gina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 8, 2013

Our family stayed at Brisas Santa Lucia mid-April. As others have mentioned the ride to the resort is 1.5 hrs but it wasn't as bad as other mentioned; try roads in Peru or Vietnam then tell me if this is bad.
The hotel location is great, the beach is amazing. It's shallow and you can walk out quite far before it gets deep so it's good for non-swimmers or kids to swim. The water is clear and blue, with lots of quite fishes that comes up even in the shallow end. As mentioned there are seaweed that lines the beach front, the hotel staff tries to clear it everyday but we were not bothered by it.

We had some issues with our rooms though. We traveled as a party of 6 so got 2 rooms. Our first set of rooms were in Buildings 9 & 11 on the main floor. These rooms were really stale and damp so we requested a room change. The hotel staff initially told us to wait for the next day but then they found 2 joining room in Building 23; again on the main floor. The next set of rooms we thought were better, the AC worked and it wasn't as stale or damp but still somewhat damp and one of the bathrooms had a broken faucet in the bath tub. The next day we again asked to change rooms. The hotel staff were very accommodating and found us another 2 rooms in Building 22 on the second floor. These rooms were much better, not damp at all. I don't know about the other buildings but we noticed in our rooms that the AC automatically shuts off after certain periods of time. Our room had a thermostat box so we just turned it on again. Again, the staff were amazing, friendly, and always willing to help.

The grounds at the hotel were nice, I have seen much better but who really cares when you're there for the beach. The grounds keepers work really hard to keep it clean. The pool was great as well. They had a kiddie pool and a regular pool. We usually spend the morning at the beach then retreat to the pool in the afternoon before the kids have a nap.

We were warned that food in Cuba is sub-par. To our surprise, it wasn't bad. They had fresh seafood and grilled fish almost daily at the buffet. Yes, there were lots of "ham" or processed meats that the buffet but they are on an island and most things including food are not as readily accessible. We only ate at 2 of the a-la-carte restaurants. My favorite was the Cuban restaurant, my husband had their grilled pork chops and I had the braised mutton. Both were delicious. At the buffet, my favorites were the grilled seafoods, pasta and their pizza. They also had many seafood salads which were quite tasty. Their coffee bar served exceptional cappuccinos & Spanish coffee.

We took 2 excursions, the lobster dinner on Cocco Beach and the day trip snorkeling to Playa Bonita. Both were great! The lobster dinner was great, you get an choice between one huge lobster tail dinner or combination dinner which has a small lobster tail with fish or shrimps. My husband & I chose both options and both were amazing. Loved Playa Bonita!

Overall despite a few minor hiccups, we had a great time!

Room Tip: If you want to be close to pool, reception area and beach, ask for rooms 1-5. From our experience, t...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank traveling_RT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

This was my first time going to Cuba, so I read plenty of reviews on the country but mostly this resort. I traveled there with my boyfriend and another couple. After reading a ton of other peoples reviews, I expected a run down resort with bland food but friendly staff at least. This resort blew my expectations out of the water!

I can be rather picky with food, but there was such a big selection that I always found plenty that I liked that I ended up over-eating every meal. My boyfriend is insanely picky AND allergic to seafood so he mostly stuck to the pasta/pizza bar and he didn't even go hungry.

My room did have an older-tub and some cracks up by the ceiling, but seriously, who cares? Cracks in my wall will not ruin my vacation. What matters more was the resort was clean and well taken care of. The cleaning staff did a great job, and the gardeners were always out making sure coconuts weren't loose and fall on your head, and raking up the leaves every morning etc.

Staff was incredible. So friendly and helpful. The bartenders were more than generous with the "stiffness" of your drinks. The pool was clean, and the beach was gorgeous. There were always available chairs and palapas (the umbrella looking shade structures).

On the first day, we walked in the weedy areas in the beach. Then the next day, we went snorkeling and discovered that there are lots of sea urchins in the weeded area! I am so happy and relieved that none of us stepped on one. After that, we would not walk barefoot there. You could walk out probably a kilometer and it's still waist deep so it didnt make a difference to us if we stayed in the sand area. A lot of weeds did get washed up on the shore from the waves, which isn't great (nor is it the resorts fault). However, because there were weeded areas, it meant a lot of cool creatures to look at when snorkeling. If I had to choose all sand and boring snorkeling, or a bit of weeds but awesome sea creatures, I would definitely deal with the weeds.

Snorkeling was amazing! Even at the resort. If you go near the buoys, there is a mini-reef with a lot of cool fish! We saw star fish, urchins, a sting ray (also harmless if you leave it alone), sanddollars, tons of awesome fish.

One thing I feel the need to mention is how sensitive coral is. When we did the Coral Tour, the Cubans were telling us about how sharp coral is and to not touch anything. There were these three girls that were standing and walking all-over it. Their arrogance most likely led to a lot of coral destruction. The staff focused more on the dangers to you rather than the dangers to the reef. They also failed to mention that touching coral is enough to kill it and that some types grow as slow as 5mm a year. The fastest is 1" a year, which is still REALLY slow. So people, PLEASE treat the reefs with respect. Do not walk, touch, break off etc the coral. You are doing a lot of harm to a world that is already being destroyed at an alarming rate.

I also noticed on the reviews that a lot of people were worried about insects/fish/lizards. All the creatures in Cuba are relatively safe. Every single lizard is non-venomous and they also will not bite you (if you can even catch them. They're so fast!). If they get in your room, please do not hurt them. They're more scared of you than you are of them. There was a massive Cuban Rock Iguana that was very friendly. We were even able to pet her on the head. I read afterwards that there are tarantuals in Cuba, however, they lived in the thick wooded areas and no where near the resort. They also will hide and be undectected even if you walk past one, so have no fears! We never saw a single spider or scorpion. The crabs, lizards, birds, insects etc will all avoid you.

My boyfriend did have an encounter with a barracuda while snorkeling. It followed him for a while. He was obviously quite freaked out over this, however, when we returned we did some research and found out that they, too, are nothing to be terrified of, just be cautious. They will sometimes follow snorkelers because they think they are another "big fish". They're scavengers so they follow you in hopes that you will drop some of the fish that they think you're eating. As long as you stay away from them, you will be fine.

I had an encounter with a few cockroaches in my bathroom one morning. It was the one night that I left the lights out in there, so afterwards we slept with the bathroom light on and hadn't seen once again for the rest of the trip. Those too, are 100% harmless, but I agree, they are disgusting (and terrifying!). We sprayed any openings/cracks, drains and potential hiding places with Off and had no more issues.

Don't be afraid to be firm with the locals. Some of them can be more "agressive" and pushy than others. If you don't want it, just keep saying no thank you and they will go away. It took us a couple days to learn this. I ended up buying this absolutely gorgeous wooden carving of sea turtles and fish from a local on the beach. I only paid 15 pesos for it, and I saw similar ones in the resort that were being sold for 50 pesos and they weren't even as nice. There was one man named Wilson who does horseback riding. He definitely impressed us the most. He seemed the most genuine. We didn't end up getting a chance to go horseback riding at all, but if we did we would have for sure gone with him. We saw him another day on his horses and them seemed well-fed and tame.

To rent scooters, you need a 30-50 pesos deposit depending on how long you rent for. We made the mistake of trying after we spent most of our money so we didn't have enough for deposists. If you decide to rent one, keep in mind you'll need enough pesos for a deposit.

The Centre Commercial isn't what we expected. It only had a bank (with a better conversion rate than on the resort), two small souvenir/convenience shops (with what looked like mass produced things rather than hand-crafted items) and a bar. We never got a chance to go into Santa Lucia or Coco Beach so there might be better things there.

I would definitely recommend this resort to others and would LOVE to return one day. Overall, I was impressed by everything. The only odd complaint (ie. cockroaches, sea urchins, sea weed) was not at all their fault.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank MKarppi87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013

I have stayed at this resort ten times in the last three years. I absolutely love this place. It Is honestly like my second home. The staff at Brisas are incredible! They are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet in your life. The entertainment staff have become personal friends of mine over the years and are now like my family. Marien is one of the most gorgeous, smart, outgoing, strong women I know. She works in the baby club and is trust worthy and amazing with children. Luigi is one of the hardest workers I've ever met. He is always keeping everyone involved and entertained. He starts in the morning and doesn't stop all day hosting all the games(volleyball, crazy games, water polo, etc), dance lessons, and happy hour. He is also one of the nicest gentlemen you'll ever meet. He is also amazing with children specially by the pool or at the baby dance. Those are only two of the many other entertainers and I can only go on and on about the rest. The band has a newer male singer. His voice is great! He has real depth. The band as a whole are simply incredible. The keyboardist is so talented with her added back up vocals and her solo work gives me goose bumps. Again they all are great people and very talented! A must see! The dancers? I am friends with everyone and can only praise them. They practice all day everyday and put on some of the greatest shows I've ever seen! They are so very talented all in there own ways with different strengths but put together the team is A 1!!! What can I say, I am a returning guest for a reason. People I talk to say why do you always go to the same place? I always say the same thing...once you go you'll understand. They are all like my family now. I love them all! Special mentions to Billy, Roly, and Roel. Three of the smartest, funniest, sweet, caring, hardworking managers I have ever had the pleasure to have met, become friends with and known.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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5  Thank LeeHuckins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

Went to Brisas for 1 week, April 17 to the 24, weather was fantastic, nice and hot! It's my 3rd time, and last July was the last time I was there, and I would like to say that the hotel had a few improvements. Food was way better than the last 2 times I had been. The grounds had been extended by the beach, facilitating lunch, and weekly BBQ. Rooms could probably use a little bit of work, but nothing drastic. Pool is fantastic. As usual the Entertainment and Activities staff members are always genuinely nice, respectful, pleasant, funny, caring, and always have a smile for the guests. The fact that there are guests who have been returning for years indicates how comfortable and welcome they feel. Will definitely go back. G from Canada

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Jewlz C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

Being our first trip, we found the resort very clean and the staff was friendly and helpful and had a smile on their face around the clock which is not very common in other places. the entertainment every day as very good specially by Pedro and his staff , the singers and dancers was very entertaining. We would like to see this band and the dancers always with Brisas , Good Job Pedro, way to go.
The tour guides Anita cha cha is very friendly and professional. Not to forget the Milito, if i remember the name correct, the bartender who danced and attracted the attention of the crowd everyday at night.

Room Tip: first time dont know
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sabina A A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2013

My daughter and I went on our very first vacation ever to this resort. We had never been on a plane either. So we were all nerves. The vacation was great. The pool there is amazing. Food is not what we are use to but we ate to get by. Ala Cartes were very nice. Staff was very friendly. Lots of cats * which I fed at every meal* . I got to go on a horse which was nice. A few vendors on the beach. We really liked that. Tips if your going to this resort: Bring gifts for the staff and locals on the beach. Lotions are a big hit. Bring Aloe Vera as they don't sell it. If you forget, get the coconuts there that they give as drinks and pour that on your sunburn. Worked wonders for mine. Don't use their beach towels at all cause if you loose them * which can happen, it costs $25. to replace*. Take advantage of all of the events happening. Makes the days go by faster. We stayed in Bldg 1 on the first floor. Ac was great. Beds were comfortable. TV had a few Cdn stations on it which we watched when we were so baked from the sun. (1) One water bottle per person per room PER WEEK was given. Just take that bottle to the bar and they refill it for you. We want to go back in November with the whole family. We went on April 19th till the 26th. Bus ride to and from the airport to resort was very bumpy LOL

Room Tip: Bldg 1 first floor.....very quiet and close to the bar and pool and coffee bar.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Laura R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Brisas Santa Lucia

Address: Avenida 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Playa Santa Lucia
Price Range: $80 - $173 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Brisas Santa Lucia 4*
Number of rooms: 412
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Brisas Santa Lucia is an all inclusive hotel, located on Santa Lucia Beach, approximately 110 km from the Camaguey airport, and includes unlimited daily activites, water sports and entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Brisas Santa Lucia Hotel Playa Santa Lucia
Staybridge Suites Camaguey
Brisa Santa Lucia
Camaguey Staybridge Suites
Santa Lucia Cuba
Brisas Santa Lucia Playa Santa Lucia, Cuba - Camaguey Province

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