I was at the Blau July 28 - Aug 4 on a solo trip. This was my first trip ever to Cuba and overall it was a fantastic trip. I was looking for a peaceful getaway with a nice beach and snorkelling – someplace not too large and I was hoping to do a couple of interesting excursions. This resort fit the bill perfectly!
I arrived at 23:00 and I was processed immediately for check-in. Unfortunately the start of my vacation was my only complaint of my stay: I was told to give the bell boy my luggage and instead of leading me to my room, I was given some rather hard to understand directions. It would have been nice to have been escorted or at minimum been offered a map. I thought I'd be able to find my block fairly easily as I knew that the resort wasn't that big but I got completely confused in the dark. I asked one security person with limited English to direct me and he sent me the wrong way (I think it was a communication issue). I then happened upon some tourists who luckily were in the building adjacent to me and pointed me in the right direction. Upon arrival, I was absolutely delighted; I had been assigned to a room in a new block and let me tell you, they are very nice! Fairly large with great A/C and a flat screen tv with a good selection of channels. Lots of storage and a safety deposit box for no charge. There is a hair dryer with a 220v/110v low watt plug in (no ground). The mini fridge contained 2 sodas, 2 beer and 1L of water. My luggage did not arrive until 01:30 and only after three phone calls to the front desk - I was told that the bell boy "made a mistake." My advice: insist on being escorted unless you have printed off a map from this site beforehand. I did notice a framed map next to the reception desk the next day - wish someone would have pointed that out!
That was the only hiccup; the rest of my trip was absolute bliss. This is an excellent time of year to visit; occupancy was very low and consequently there were never any line-ups for anything. I booked my a la cartes the next day with no problem. The reservation clerk is there at 09:15 and I had no issue making my bookings. Seatings start at 18:30 and the restaurants are only open select days as it is low season. The next thing I did was to exchange my CDN cash for CUCs. The cashier is open at 08:00 until I believe 20:00 daily, you must bring your passport to make a transaction. Make sure that your bills are in good condition; they will not accept any bills with tears. I advise you to load up on 1 peso coins as you will likely want to tip generously; the staff here work really hard.
I didn't make use of the pools as I'm a beach gal. It seemed way too hot to stay on the concrete deck; the beach with the ocean breeze was much cooler. Getting a shady spot on the beach is not a problem; I managed to get one even if I arrived after 12pm and no one appears to use the towel on the chair reservation system! Blau's beach isn't that large but again, not an issue during low season. The beaches are all public so locals are present but I found it rather charming to see the families enjoying themselves. Being used to Mexico, I was blown away by the fact that not one single person asked me to buy anything. A few locals would fish using nets near the rockier parts - interesting to watch. Do bring surf shoes to protect your feet from the rocks - it can be uncomfortable in bare feet. Snorkelling is amazing - lots of fish to see and you don't need to venture out very far. I would wait until about 17:00 to go for a walk along the beach, it took me about 20 min to go from Blau to the far end. Because of rocks you divert to a path through some vegetation at the end. You will exit at a cove which is used by the locals, there's usually a party going on in the evening. I found out Gaviota built a community of residences here for their employees so this is where those hotel employees and families having 20 or more years of service live. Security is everywhere so don’t be apprehensive about taking a walk – I felt perfectly safe. That being said I wouldn’t walk at night. Other notes re the beach: I found the drinks at the beach bar were the lowest quality of all the bars and it had a very limited selection. Competitions/games were also held in this area, I didn’t participate but people looked like they were having fun. I really appreciated the fact that there was no aggressive recruiting to join in. Prizes weren’t awarded but they did hand out “diplomas” before the nightly shows to people that participated.
I was a bit apprehensive about dining in Cuba as I've heard so many negatives about it but I enjoyed my meals for the most part. I thought that there was plenty of variety. I do prefer spicy and Cuban food certainly isn’t but I found it tasty and well prepared. Repetitive perhaps but with booking two a la cartes and having meals during excursions I wasn’t bored at all. The gala night on Tuesday was amazing: lots of different choices not seen any other night. As well they had a whole roast pig on Friday which was excellent. The only food I didn’t like was at the 24 hr snack bar: hot dogs, hamburgers, fries etc. They don’t do American well and you shouldn’t expect them to. I never had any stomach upsets from the food or the water. (I used tap water to brush my teeth). Service was spotty at the buffets and one thing I would advise is to stop by the bar before going and bringing your own drink or bring something from your bar fridge. Beverage service took FOREVER and there are no self-serve beverage stations. The only exception is breakfast where pitchers of juice are available. Service was excellent at the a la cartes. There was supposedly a dress code for the a la cartes but no one was following it; tank tops and shorts were fine. Perhaps only allowed because of low season?
I watched most of the nightly shows and they were quite good. The kids show started 20:30 but I didn’t watch those. The participation diplomas I mentioned earlier were awarded at 21:30 and the shows started 21:45 and lasted about an hour. Lots of traditional dancing with some great live music. I have to mention that I loved the music at this resort. It was live for the shows and guests were also serenaded at the buffet and a la cartes. Mostly Cuban music but also some classical music.
One thing I was worried about was the weather as I’d been monitoring it before I left and it seemed to rain a lot. It did rain almost every day but it was usually no more than twice a day in 10 min bursts. There were a couple of times that we got torrential downpours but the longest was 30 min. This was mostly afternoon / evening. It was very refreshing afterwards so I would welcome my rain breaks. There was a lot of thunder and lightning as well but I enjoyed it.
There was a notice in my room advising that it would be sprayed. I spent the day on the beach and never noticed any smell when I returned, I also never saw any bugs in the room. The hotel does fog as well, I saw the truck only once one evening. I never wore any insect repellent and never saw a single mosquito. There were some small biting flies on the beach if it rained; I only noticed these in the evening. I did get bitten by fire ants once but only in one particular location, I avoided that one spot and never had a problem again.
The gift shop has very reasonable prices if you don’t intend on going outside of the resort. (Note: liquor and coffee prices were the same at the airport so you may as well buy there). There are also some vendors selling handmade crafts on site every day. Some prices were marked and they were pretty inexpensive.(Again absolutely no pressure to buy). You can take a shuttle to Guardalavaca which stops in front of the lobby. It costs 5 pesos round trip and departs 09:20 and 11:20 – you’ll get back to the resort at approximately 14:00. Great excursion and there’s a decent market which has all sorts of trinkets reasonably priced. Politest vendors ever! The beach here is beautiful and you may want to make a swim day out of it. Some interesting beach bar/restaurants as well. Nice walkway with fabulous vistas that runs along the beach for a long way. Just a note: if you use the beach bathrooms you’ll need to pay the attendant a peso (bring TP as well). This is the rule of thumb for any bathrooms outside the resort including the airport.
Checkout time at this hotel is 12pm but I went to the desk on the morning of my departure and asked to extend my checkout as I was leaving at 18:30. They extended me until 15:30 for no extra charge! There is a courtesy room available for your luggage.
This was a fabulous introduction to Cuba and I’ll definitely be back. As much as I enjoyed the Blau I don’t think I’ll return as I usually take my trips during high season. As others have mentioned, it’s hard to imagine how this resort can offer acceptable customer service at full capacity now that they have undergone expansion. It will have approximately 900 rooms: the beach will be extremely crowded, there won’t be enough seating area for the shows, the restaurants and bars will be packed (other hotels this size have 5-6 a la cartes and 2 buffets). Blau will have 2 a la cartes and 2 buffets as far as I can tell – it will be a disaster. If you travel during low season though it will be great. It’s a well located hotel and there are some interesting excursions to take. Its greatest asset is the staff, they made my stay very enjoyable and tried very hard to please. Contact me if you have any questions!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Blau Costa Verde Beach Resort is located on the seafront next to the fine white sandy beach of Playa Pesquero in eastern Cuba. Our Holguin resort is surrounded by luscious tropical vegetation. At Blau Costa Verde Beach Resort the natural environment is fully incorporated into the resort. Blau Costa Verde Beach Resort offers spectacular views from our rooms over 36 000 m2 of gardens and natural vegetation. Blau Costa Verde Beach Resort offers (with extra charge): Souvenir shops. Car and moped rental. Taxi service. Parking. Laundry service. Medical services: nursing service in the hotel and medical visits on request. Bureau de change in reception. Massage services. Hairdressers. Special dinner. Weddings. Blau Costa Verde Beach Resort ALL INCLUSIVE: Breakfast, lunch and buffet dinner. 2 á la carte restaurants per week, reservations are required. *Dress code long trousers. Local beverages and select international brands. Non-motor water sports. Sporting activities: volleyball, basketball, tennis, aerobics and snorkelling, daytime and evening entertainment programme including Spanish lessons, dance classes, and nightly shows. Minibar. Teatime. Discotheque. Fitness Center. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA and HotelsClick so you can book your Blau Costa Verde Beach Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Blau Costa Verde Beach Hotel Holguin
- Blau Costa Verde Cuba
- Blau Costa Verde Beach Resort Cuba/Holguin