This is the best place to stay in the Tropes de Collantes national park but it has its limitations.
We stayed 2 nights in one of the 'bungalows', in a chalet complex reminiscent of Butlins at its best. The architecture is as curious as described elsewhere and as well maintained (March 2013) as possible in a sub-tropical climate. Occasional insects must be expected to wander indoors when surrounded by such lush vegetation; what do people expect? Aseptic clinical areas prepped for surgery?
Our room was cleaned immaculately by 'Baby' who left wonderful entertaining sculptures of towels and blankets, using flowers for eyes. The shower is the most powerful in Cuba and better than most Brits are used to at home. Exposed wiring is par for the course in much of rural Cuba.
The buffet dining area took the Butlins theme to a new level of realism, day 1 was grim and soggy and prepared by unseen hands who never showed their faces in the dining area, and with waiting staff to match, led by Rosa Klebb. Day 2 however, was much better with the chefs & kitchen crew proudly standing in a row, either to accept responsibility or to prove that they were a different lot from those on day1, and with polite and attentive waiting staff.
There is a swimming pool we didn't try, with a mobile disco the day we passed it, children's activities we're too old for, and organised excursions we didn't need. The nearby visitor centre has very helpful staff who will explain walking routes to local attractions. Visiting Tropes de Collantes without walking to the waterfalls and swimming there would be a foolish wasted opportunity.
There are other hotels in the complex, but only 2 open to international visitors.
We wish we'd stayed longer for the fabulous walks and waterfalls in the area and we will return on a future Cuba trip.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Los Helechos (The Ferns Hotel) Complex offers hosting services, buffet or a la carte diners, snacks, national and international drinks. The resort is located and runs a protected area, with management category of Protected Natural Landscape. In its public use areas programs of Specialized Tourism or Nature Tourism are developed, extra-hotel services are structured in six Natural Parks with their respective gastronomic services, one of them on a cay just 12 nautical miles from the Ancon Peninsula and the rest in the mountains. This site is located 800 meters above sea level and is an ideal heaven for singles, couples and families that love nature. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Los Helechos Hotel