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“Clean & functional in breathtaking location”
Review of Hotel Los Helechos

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Hotel Los Helechos
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Trinidad
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
88 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Clean & functional in breathtaking location”
Reviewed April 1, 2013

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.

Room Tip: The bungalow chalets are fine, we cannot comment on the main building. Do walk to the waterfalls, d...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank The-Old-Scribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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211 reviews from our community

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English first
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

For the main purpose this hotel seems to serve, it meets the requirements. It appeared that the majority of guests to the place were part of overnight excursions from the main tourist areas to the North coming in to do the hiking tour in the Escambray Mountain Range. So as a result most of us were tired folks living out of backpacks, the hotel was a nice place to rest, eat and tidy up, to be ready for the following day's activities.

Arrival: Very nice, we all arrived later in the evening after a long, slow climb up the mountain in the bus following a visit to Trindad. Though very little English was spoken, the international language of a smile and a motion to sit down with a drink placed in your hand worked told us we were welcome. Check in between our guide and the hotel staff saw us assigned to our rooms in a rapid manner.

Room: Very basic, check tested the Telly for the TV lovers out there - did not work, Oh well, the music from nature would have to suffice! Beds were clean and comfortable, the bathroom tidy as well, but the switches and related were atypical of seen outside of major resorts to the north and major cities, and that was hit and miss in working all the time. The shower was an oddity that allowed water to almost fully wet the whole bathroom floor, take note, it got very slippery and there is a slight rise in the doorway that one could stub a toe on if not careful. The door to the room was very flimsy, and the fact it had a lock was mere gesture to keep a determined moth from getting in, and the curtain covering the main window did not do a good job. All is all, a clean room with a roof over your head. The place is built like a fortress, all concrete.

Food: The fare was fair, nothing special, but the basic things were alright, we kept to things cooked right in front of us. The food did not compare at all to what we were getting at the Blau Varadero. We were sure we saw things from the supper menu that were now on the breakfast table. An opinion can go either way on this one, I am merely giving what I feel is an objective fact. The atmosphere was quite decent in the restaurant, with all walks of life eating there, meaning the tourists, guides, bus drivers etc, a real camaraderie. But one thing kind of set us off in a wrong direction, see 'Entertainment' below.

Entertainment: We did not do the disco, we heard it was good from others, we wanted to retire early in anticipation for the next day's hike. But during our supper, we had a group going around playing musical instruments, and when they played at our table of 4, we gave a decent tip to them, and the lady, the leader, did not even give us eye contact or a 'Gracias', she simply walked away, we were invisible. Quite rude, considering I gave her a polite and respectful 'Gracias' and smile, as did the rest of our table.

Staff: As mentioned further above, not much English spoken, but the staff did their best, motioning, expressions, and gestures worked very well on both parts. With the exception of the entertainment group around the supper tables the evening we were there, it was service with a smile and best of intentions.

Hotel area: Needless to say, spectacular. Nighttime had all the usual sounds of wildlife in the woods, the mountain air cool and crisp, the stars super bright, an almost full moon. We got a few mosquito bites, the dampness and still air allowing the critters free flight. Some bug spray on us cured that real fast, I do hear in high bug season the bugs can be quite bad. In the morning, the view and ambiance was very nice. One felt, obviously due to the fact they were about 700 meters above sea level, in a cottage surrounding, made all the more intriguing by the tropical plants in the midst. This just added to the wonders and enchantment of the whole area in itself. Because of the location, typical of a lot of mountain resorts anywhere we have traveled, good transportation is a must to have if you want to sight see. All sorts are available here

Conclusion: For the services we took part in and had a chance to use, this place is a decent one to stay for a day or two we figure, and longer may get to be a little long in the tooth. But for what it is set up to be, it does what it is supposed to do, and that is give you a safe haven. Sorry, never got real nice pictures of the resort, other posters have some nice representations of the place.

Room Tip: For a good night's sleep, get a room away from the main foyer and the disco
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank sammyb09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

As most reviewers here we spent a night at the hotel as part of a Trinidad and hiking tour. The room is basic but clean, with a cute flower arrangement by the maids when we checked in. Staff don't speak much English if you are only and English speaking tourist, but they are all very friendly and nice. After all, you are in a Spanish speaking country! The food at the buffet was typically Cuban - simple but nice and tasty. Beds are comfortable, the hotel generally very quiet so you are guaranteed to have a peaceful sleep in the mountains.

When you do go stay, remember you are in a rainforest - there will ALWAYS be mosquitoes. You can't blame the hotel for that ;) Just bring some extra strong repellent and you'll be fine!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank TheLittleEstonian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liedekerke, Belgium
Level Contributor
38 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

During a two days excursion to Trinidad and Topes we stayed for one night in this hotel.After an adventurous bus ride to the mountain top through the dark of the late evening we were received at the reception desk with a free welcome drink.This hotel is situated amidst vegetation and forest. We were given the room at the end of the corridor next to the lobby-bar, unfortunately the sounds of voices and laughter from people at the bar came right through the thin door.The room itself was basic, spacious,slightly outdated and had a damp smell. The lock on the balcony-door needed maintenance. TV worked fine, the airconditioning produced to match noise. Beds were not unconfortable, after the bar was closed we had a good night sleep.The bathroom was just ok; with a schower, no bathtub,two peaces of soap and enough warm water. At the restaurant around dinnertime we found some suitable food ;fried fish & chicken combined with yucca,vegetables and sweet potatoes,etc. Also for breakfast the choice was fairly acceptable: fried eggs, bacon, cheese, fruit juices & slices, etc. We especially liked the "mojito" at the lobby-bar, to our taste quite the best we had throughout this holiday.

Room Tip: If You like to go to sleep early-night ask for a room away from the bar.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kretenzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
55 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We spent one night here as part of our "overnight to Topes" tour. At first glance I was a bit freaked out but I did just leave a 5 star resort to take the tour. Everything seemed dark in the room when we entered and the lighting was not very good so there were many dark areas and I'm a bit freaked out about bugs etc so I was hesitant about staying there. Our rooms were all 2 double beds with a nightstand between them and the thought of sleeping in this room scared the heck out of me, didn't think I'd sleep a wink. Our tour guide was kind enough to allow us to push the beds together so my husband and I could sleep nearby each other and she even helped us do so.

The bathroom seemed so dark with its red tiles but once you looked close it was obvious that not only was it clean but it was also quite newly redone. The shower area is just slightly recessed from the floor and has a shower curtain. I thought for sure that the floor would be soaked but it actually worked very well. The walls seem to be made of concrete and there is a fair size closet in the room with a couple of commercial type benches inside. There is a wall safe that requires a key, I expect it is at an additional cost as we didn't get one. The furniture is mostly of a wicker type look and it does the job. The views were absolutely amazing, I had wished I could pack it up and take it back to our resort with us! The patio door did have a large space at the bottom but we just pushed a towel up against it to sleep. The most concerning thing for me was the fact that I couldn't locate a single smoke detector anywhere in the room.

So to sum things up I was a bit put off at first by the room but once I got past the dark corners I saw it for what it truly was, a decent room that was quite clean.

It wouldn't be my place to stay for a long vacation but one night was just fine. I think for backpackers it would be an ideal place to lay your head at night as the sights nearby are amazing.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tracey W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
68 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here before hiking the following day in Topes de Collantes. Food is not bad. The room was basic, clean, and everyone in our room had a great night's sleep. Be sure to bring your own shampoo as there is none.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank KimfromCanada2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2012

This place is simply awful...but it is the best of the few hotels in Topes.

Surly, uninterested staff in the hotel itself. Restaurant staff are better and do offer a smile.

Whilst the rooms are clean, the balcony doors do not lock and the curtains clings for dear life to the curtain pole. All very shabby, but if you into the hostel type experience then you will cope.

Be prepared for basic food if the flies that sit on the open food does not put you off. I can cope with a few inevitable flies, however breakfast which was laid out on the table before sitting down was so infested i didn't recognise the fruit.

When i next go to Cuba i will stay in Trinidad and visit Topes on a day trip.

The other hotels are even worst...i would even consider them if i were you.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Vespa4Life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Los Helechos

Property: Hotel Los Helechos
Address: Topes de Collantes, Sancti Spiritus, Cuba | Sancti Spíritus, Trinidad 62600, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Sancti Spiritus Province > Trinidad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Trinidad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 105
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

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