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“It could be a set for a Stephen King Movie”

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Hotel Islazul Elguea
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Santa Clara
Reviewed May 7, 2014

We read the other reviews and went anyway.

Our trip started with finding the place on-line and then wondering whether the prices were a mistake, nope, it really was £18/night Bed and Breakfast.

We arrived and were pleasantly surprised by what greeted us until the check in clerk informed us that there was no hot water. Oh well, we couldn't really go anywhere else as the hotel is 11km from the nearest village and there is no public transport (we had arrived by private car from Trinidad). That said all the staff were really helpful going out of their way to assist.

Undeterred by the plumbing situation we dumped our bags and headed off to the Spa. This was generally clean and well presented and again the staff were delightful. We had a dip in the thermal pool (very nice, but very smelly) and then asked Carlo the masseur whether we needed to book for the morning. No, just turn up any time between 8:30 and 14:30 (Staff bus back to Coralillo leave at 15:30). How many people are staying? He looked at us quizzically: Two. Ah, that will be us then.

And so it proved. We were the sole guests for two nights, with a staff of about 20 to look after us. The room was OK but a bit down at heel, and the bathroom was a bit grubby.

The Spa was nice, the treatments good and spectacular value for money by European standards, although the spring water tends to corrode everything so some of the fixtures and fittings looked like geological specimens.

The normal swimming pool was open air and seemed clean apart from some leaves and stuff that had blown in. We were going to have a dip until my wife spotted a small dead snake floating in the surface. The plastic furniture around was a bit dilapidated but we managed OK.

On the third day we were joined by some more guests and all the loungers by the pool were replaced with brand new stuff.

The restaurant was OK. The menu was a bit uninspiring and limited, even by Cuban standards, and even then, at the beginning, some items were unavailable. I think they did their best with limited resources.

The place as a whole was a large soviet era hotel complex that has seen better days, given an additional air of surrealism by being almost deserted, hence the title of the review.

All that said, if you're prepared to put up with downsides it's an amusing experience. In a perverse way it was one of the highlights of our holiday.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank fizzygurple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4 - 10 of 23 reviews

Reviewed January 21, 2013

Traveling as a family with 2 teens on a road trip, we were so looking forward to our stay here. We love sulfur baths, thermal stations, massage, hot springs, etc. and always look for them when we travel. Knowing Cuba and the hardships, our expectations were low but this place disappointed on so many fronts...
#1 The rooms are dingy, with barely functioning showers, tepid water, a huge dead water bug on the floor when we arrived, skanky and dirty-seeming (a black hair on the pillow, e.g.).
#2 The mud treatment was cool and fun, but the rest of the "spa" is so forlorn and abandoned feeling. Not inviting. Many empty rooms with broken bathtub fixtures and a vaguely medical feel. Took a soak in the big sulfurous bathtub after our mud treatment, not realizing it was an additional $8 per person to get in this tub. I know, it's not a lot, but nothing was explained so we were surprised.
#3 The no-see-ums (tiny, biting, bugs) were unbelievable and I left Elguea with about 50 itchy red bumps on every part of my body. Bring strong bug repellent if you go!
#4 The food was terrible. A sad fried drumstick and rice for dinner. White bread toasted for breakfast. Just lackluster, made with not a drop of love.
We made the most of it. I don't regret going - the adventure's are always worth it on trips, and I don't like to complain. But boy, this place needs some serious attention. I hope it gets it, because it could be so good...

Room Tip: There are hundreds of rooms. We were 4 of the only 8 guests staying here, so had the pick of the pla...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank bklynchou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Tucked far away from the busy beaches of Varadero, Cuba is a wonderful spa where you will be treated as an honored guest and pampered at prices that will absolutely amaze you! We took our son to Cuba for sun and salt water to help heal his psoriasis and by chance, managed to find out about Elguea Spa about 100 km from Varadero. We stayed at the spa for two days where he was successfully treated with mud and thermal baths combined with massage from highly experienced and friendly staff including a highly skilled medical doctor and physiotherapist. The hotel is comfortable, has all the basics and for $28 a night including breakfast was an incredible deal. Spa treatments include a full massage for about $10! The best way to get to the hotel is to take a taxi as it is in a remote area of Santa Clara province, near Corralillo. Most of the staff at the hotel speak some English but it may be wise to learn basic Spanish. One of the desk staff, Hernand was an English major at university and is very knowledgeable and helpful.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank MICRASTERIAS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2012

On our Cuban driving Adventure- we happened on to this Gem that time seemed to have forgotten. we were driving from a 5 star in Cayo Santa Maria to a 5 star in Varadero (1 night in each) and this was the only hotel on the map in our direction- so off we head off- after being directed down the dead end road by the military police and following a convoy of green army trucks-{theres an army training station very nearby.} We arrived- cross over a cattle gate and as we pull up to the front door- A half dozen cattle go running by on the front lawn- Very cool!
As we walk in the lobby-it is virtually empty! it looks like we have stepped back to the turn of the century . As it turns out it is a famous world wide Spa with Healing Mud and 45* Hot springs found by a sugar plantation slave in the 1800's that was banned from the plantation because of his scorriosis. The water healed him and the plantation owner saw $ signs in his eyes, welcomed him back and started a business. The waters were so successful in healing skin afflictions that the Cuban goverment subsidized the cuban people for medicinal purposes.
So imagine our pleasant shock when we were told it was $28 pr night for us both including breakfast!! Our room was old/dated with only warm water to shower by and terribly flat pillows but these were our only complaints as it was clean, staff was more than great and the manage speaks better english than alot of North Americans . The next morning before heading off on our journey- We decided to get the royal treatment that the spa is known for and although we thought we were alone- a dozen people from Spain, Venezula and Cuba joined us and we were painted in Very Black and Cold Mud and sent off to walk around in the Hot Sun to dry . The language barrier transends as we all laughed at the sight of All us Black people walking like Zombies in the sun.Lol!
After that we washed off the sticky mud and were sent to the pool which is filled each morning with the healing 45* Salt water
Wow! It is an experience you will Never forget!
Floating in this massive 100 yr old indoor hot tub like a Turkish bath! I could see Hollywood stars paying Thousands of dollars for this 6 Star treatment. that we both paid $42. for including an hour and half massage.
With this Spa only a 2 hr drive from Varadero- I'm stunned no-one does a day trip there.
In fact the only way tourists go is if they happen along it like we did!
If you read the guest book - It is mainly Central,South American and Cubans that go there. Don't miss this trip to the country side. 2 hours in a rent a car taking you through so many villages where chickens rein supreme- don't hit any!
Drive slow to avoid cattle and horse grazing by the roadside and learn a little spanish for your driving adventure- as you will have to ask directions roads are not marked well if at all. Just ask for Hotel Eguea which is Spanish for water

Room Tip: All rooms are quiet ask for extra pillows
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Marie77777_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2011

A great place to stay when you really need to relax. The staff pampers you from the minute you get there till the minute you leave. The thermal pool really works for relaxing and for the first time my bones don't ache. The only heated swimming pool If I would have only known about this place earlier I would have it a place that I would put on my list as a home away from my home.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank davidadamsk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Google Translation

Room Tip: Puedes solicitar minibar de requerir del mismo, el que te facilitaran sin costo adicional
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Stayed: February 2018, traveled on business
Thank DENISDB55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: Las habitaciones hacia al norte son mas tranquilas
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  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled with family
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Thank Yohanda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Islazul Elguea

Address: Balneario Elguea. Corralillo, Santa Clara 50100, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Santa Clara
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Santa Clara
Price Range: $43 - $98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Islazul Elguea 2*
Number of rooms: 135
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