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Brisas Covarrubias Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Puerto Padre
Reviewed February 2, 2010

I was warned by my travel agent about the long bus ride, but being alone, it didn`t really matter to me.
Arriving at the Hotel at 12:30 AM, in the rain, the staff at the front desk was still very nice, and the rest of the night staff were all waiting to help take bags to the rooms, and cleaning up.
We were all hungry after the trip, and ended up at the 24 hour snack bar and pool bar.
I really liked the Hotel, it was clean and the staff, although really unable to fix some problems, were very empathetic!
The only problem I really saw, was the water going on and off. Not really serious unless you happen to be shampooing your hair at the time!!! Water at this end of Cuba is supplied by a desalination plant where the diesel engines that run the pumps need replacing!
The food in the restaurant, while lacking some variety and some quality, was quite good and certainly was nourishing! ( I didn`t lose any weight on this vacation!) Don't go expecting 5-star service and you will be very happy!
Yes, some people started lining up for dinner at 6, but if you wait until after 7:30, you get in and there is no rush to leave room for the next group.
Th extra 12 Convertible Pesos is worth it for the Langouste dinner! Eat it at the Beach restaurant, much nicer ambience!
The beach is absolutely gorgeous! No other Hotel to have to share it with! Miles of sand and warm water and waves!
The staff at the Watersport building were so helpful and accomodating, always happy and eager to help. There is lots to see just snorkeling, or going out on the boat to snorkel. The Scuba Diving is spectacular, with diviing off the underwater cliff into the abyss of the Carribbean!
Sailing the Hobie Cats is a great rush!
The rooms are well cleaned by a very pleasant staff. The rooms are spacious, the airconditioning is quiet and works well, TV stations are sparse, but who wants TV in a paradise like this! Every room has a nice view. ( There is a movie channel and CNN)
I only swam once in the clean salt-water pool, at 4 AM at the bar, after a party at the Disco!!
The Disco is set far off at the right side of the property, so the music doesn`t disturb the early sleepers! DJ Kendry pumps out the tunes and everyone does the Salsa after the lessons from Julian, Lucy and Elizabeth!
The Animation Staff are exceptional, and never stop, from the early morning stretching on the beach, to the last note at the Disco, they are always with the guests, helping, talking, and partying!
The evening shows at the stage are always fun, and the Bartenders are there to mix great drinks with a smile!
The hotel is barely a 3 star, sometimes a 2-1/2! But it is still a paradise! If you want to have food like at home, or can`t get into the slower rhythm of the Island, you won`t be happy. If you can understand that a Cuban 10 minutes is a lot longer than a Canadian 30 minutes, then you are at the right place!!
Bring lots of Dollarama stuff to give out as tips instead of money, bring some clothes that you can leave for them, they love baby clothes, bags of balloons for kids parties, books, toys and lots of toiletries that you leave after your trip.
The Coffee in the morning, with the hot milk is exceptionally good! Buy some to take home!
Don`t go here to do sightseeing or shopping, just to relax at the hotel. There is an excursion to the nearest town, Puerto Padre, but it isn`t much to see.
This place is great and I would definately go back again, hoping to go again one day and meet up with the group of friends that I met there!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled solo
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5  Thank MontrealCanajan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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558 - 564 of 1,084 reviews

Reviewed January 31, 2010

We traveled the last week of January -- having read some of the reviews posted, we were a bit concerned but figured we would take our chances (we paid 650 per person)

Overall, the resort was decent, but a few things would stop me from returning.

Firstly, the positives. The resort is a small, quiet place, with the prettiest beach you can imagine. Since this is a small resort and has no neighboring resorts, you can have the beach all to yourself if you walk just a little bit down from the main area. However, if you don't come early in the morning you will not be getting a sun umbrella -- there just weren't enough. The activities at the beach and resort were a lot of fun -- there was always something going on. The staff was also very friendly (as long as you gave them some small trinkets ;)

Now the negatives. While the rooms are large, there are obvious signs of age -- rust on the faucets/tub etc., The food was decent, average fare for Cuba -- but the comments regarding line up's forming for the buffet restaurant are true! If you wait too long you run the risk of some items running out. I've never seen this at any other resort.

With all the above said ... We could have easily done with those negatives and still fully enjoyed our stay, because we realize this is Cuba -- however the LACK OF WATER was just something we couldn't fathom. Apparently there is a water shortage in this area because there were days that there was NO WATER. During our 7 day stay we only had warm water on 2 days, and NEVER had water past 10pm period. Some days there was water and other days there was no water (and this is cold water, warm water was another matter). You come back from the beach covered in lotion/sand/etc and turn the tap only to have nothing... let alone flushing the toilet.

Secondly, this area seems to be located around some marsh's because there were mosquitoes everywhere! It was unreal, the amount of mosquitoes.

If they could only sort out the water situation, this could be a very nice resort for someone looking for a no frills, quiet and comfortable resort.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mw83krk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2010

This was my second trip to Cuba. The first being to Varadero, a 4* hotel in Dec 2008 and I hated it. This hotel was not that much different, but there were a few things that compensated for the flaws

First of all, I believe a trip to the Carribean depends mostly on weather. Should it be unwelcoming to you, no matter how fancy the hotel - you won't enjoy it. This time we were lucky and had a whole 5 days of amazing sun and almost no wind. It was cooler towards the nights, but that didn't matter

The good:
-there is a huge coral reef with amazing fish, including some lionfish (google it), spongez, sea urchins, and huge seashells about 50m from the shore. During low tide you could literally walk there. Snorkling gear is free, although I had my own mask and snorkle tube, so I was enjoying the fish for the entire week. They wouldn't eat from myhands (bread/bananas), but they would gather around as I was feeding them

-this is the only resort in that area, so you get a huge beach and no noisy neighbours

-the staff are generally very nice, and unlike Varadero staff, they actually thanked for the tips received

- the hotel is very clean, the rooms are large

-amazing lobsters (recommended) for 12CUC extra

The bad:
-this being the low season, the entertainment sucked
-there weren't enough people to form a group worth taking on an organized trip (10 people minimum)
-only 1 a la carte restaurant
-line up to the buffet during dinner
-towards the end of our stay one of the beach bar waiters did something I absolutely hated: i ordered a drink and he made the same 4 drinks for somebody else first, and only than served me. i was pissed. but that being the last day it didn't ruin the experience
-food variety is very poor, although what they do have is pretty good

We've only paid $575, so it was well worth it. And I enjoyed my unlimited snorkling. Other than the beach, there is not much to do, so keep that in mind.

THis hotel did change my perception of Cuba, I though I'd never be back after our first Cuban trip, but this time it was a lot better and I actually enjoyed it.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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18  Thank Zg08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2010

Brisas Covarrubias, Cuba - we went there in January, 2010, for one week.
Yes, the ride is really long with - beware! - no bathroom stops (2 hours 10 minutes one way, almost 3 hours back, due to the morning rush hour traffic - slow bycyclists ahead of the bus everywhere on a narrow road), but since it was during the day both times, we counted it as an unguided trip.

First few days it was cold and cloudy, than the weather improved, but windlessness came with a lot of moscitoes (really, really a lot!!)

The biggest dissapointment was lines outside of a buffet restaurant for the dinner - each and every evening. People were starting the line at 6 pm, while the restaurant opened the door at 6:30 pm. To spend 15-30 minutes every day standing in line trying to get to eat is not exactly my idea of great time. If you don't get to enter restaurant when it opens, you have to wait outside untill there is a table inside, which might be in an hour at least.

But the worst is that: people are kept waiting outside even when THERE ARE AVAILABLE TABLES inside! Few times there were minimum 3-5 unoccupied tables for 4 inside, and still, while leaving the restaurant, we saw a line of 12-16 people patiently waiting outside!

Apparently, to clean the table (to remove crambles and to put forks and napkins) is a very difficult, time consuming process, requiring - I don't know - couple of hours for each table?

Tells a lot about the attitude of workers towards the guests.

The beach is nice, and snorkelling spot is right close to the beach - you can walk there, no swimming required at low tide.

There are not enough beach chairs - and most of them where taken early in the morning. Don't know what is the problem to buy 50 more chairs - there is enought room on the long beach for them.

The choices of food are very limited (more limited than I expected), but the available food it more or less ok. There is no coffee or tea machine in the buffet, and waiters walk with thermoses with coffee around tables. One kind of cheese and ham, but cut in different shapes.

Overall - might be ok for a couple looking just to spend a week lying on the beach, except those unexplainable lines in the evening to enter buffet.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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4  Thank sun48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2010

My Husband and I went to Covarrubias Jan 2010.

Overall we had a great and relaxing vacation.

We flew in on Canjet (booked through Holasun). .. the flight was a little delayed leaving Toronto... not a big deal, had Champagne to justify.. all was good. Smooth flight there.
On our way home. Flight was good ... late night flight but with that price, it didnt matter. About a 2 hour bus ride to the resort... and yes it bumpy.

Resort... small resort. Very nice though. Beautiful beach. Water is crystal clear. Always something going on ... bingo, salsa lessons, golf, water sports available, and nightly entertainment was usually amusing. Rooms were spacious and clean. Staff always available to fix anything that wasnt working. Eg. Our light.

Food -- Cuban food, what do you expect. Saying that... I actually enjoyed this more that other Cuban food I had experienced. Always omlette for breakfast. Pasta for lunch/dinner. Always pork/fish available. Always chicken or something else as well. Lived off the Ham & Cheese Sandwiches at the 24 hour snack bar. I do recommend paying the 12 pesos for the lobster dinner ... BIGGEST LOBSTER I have ever seen!!

Unfortunately the weather was a bit chillier than we were hoping at that time. 3 of 7 days nice and sunny. Other days kind of cool and windy. With that being said it was also 5 degrees celcius in Flordia the same week. .. Cold front, couldnt be controlled. Dont think it is normally as cold as the week we were there.

Overall .. my husband and I went to relax and did. Drank too much, played cards and laid on the beach. I would recommend it to anyone not too high maintainance, looking to have a good holiday. It's not a five star, and it's cuba, but it's great!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank kk86Ontario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2010

I made my third trip to this resort in December of 2009. I am a well seasoned traveler that has been in hundreds of one to five star resorts and hotels. This resort is for the traveler who goes on a holiday and lives by the motto, no expectations no regrets. I paid a very cheap rate by Canadian standards and knew what to expect. It does have some problems with water pressure and and the odd mechanical difficulties. They were addressed fairly quickly when requested. This hotel does not have blow you to the back water pressure. I am not there for the water pressure. The hot water will arrive if you let it run long enough. A few minutes at best. AC worked perfectly. The food is good and plentiful. Not to everyone's liking but each to their own. It is not a gut bomber joint nor is it the Savoy. Similar meals that you would get from home cooking. I would rather eat the food at this hotel than at number of my friends homes. The beach and water sports are fairly good and the staff try to get people engaged in different types of activities. A number of the last reviews have hit it spot on. If you are fast paced person who seeks constant external stimulation, loves to set your credit card on fire with a shopping frenzy and loves to disco on, this may not be your place. I saw very few people who were truly bored. Take a walk, read a book, party down with your fellow travelers. I met a few people who were a lot of fun. Some not so much. That is their loss.

The reason I go there is because of the people who work there and the other people of the area. I want to go there and hang with the locals. Once you get to know the staff members, they are better than most of my neighbors. I rent a car or make my way into town. I see and participate in their daily life. I am taken to places that most tourists will never see. Traveled to cities and towns and received history 101 and if required 201. Met their friends. I was welcomed with open arms. They ask for so little but give so much in return. The last day I was there we had a pig roast at a friends house with a number of the resort staff and their families. About 24 of us. We drank rum, consumed beers, helped prepare the feast and just about everyone had to take a turn at turning the pig on its spit. I decided that it was right for me to be their waiter for the day. I have many pictures, memories that will last a lifetime and made a very large number of Cuban friends. I am there to be a Cuban for just one week. The more you give, the more you receive. It is not about money it is about people. I am confident that Covarrubias is a middle of the road resort to stay at and the staff make me feel welcome and appreciated. I am easy to please and I enjoy making them happy. I do this everywhere I go, that is why I have many friends in different places. Try Covarrubias, if you do not like it go somewhere else. Everyone is looking for something different. I have found what I am looking for. I am going their again at the end of April to celebrate a Cuban friends birthday. I can hardly wait. What new adventure awaits me. Life's a vacation if you want it to be.
Buenas Dias Amigo's

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled solo
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9  Thank Bertienumnum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2010

My husband and I went to Covarrubias December 19th to December 26th. We flew with Sunwing. The flight there and back was good and on time both ways. Landing, getting through customs, getting our luggage and exchanging money was a breeze and took all of 15 minutes. We found the Sunwing rep right outside the exit and we were directed to a small van as there was only us and one other couple. We landed around 9:50 pm and we left the airport about 10:20 pm. If you plan on staying at Cova, I suggest you try to find a flight that lands during the day. We had read all the previous reviews and were aware of the long, bumpy ride to the resort, we thought that people were exaggerating when complaining about the ride. Sadly, it is as bad as some have said, especially if you land later at night like we did. You won't see much on the way to the resort and good luck trying to sleep on the ride there. I am 4 months pregnant and it was not a comfortable ride for me. We arrived at the resort at 12:30 am.
Upon arrival at the resort, there were staff waiting for us. We were welcomed and check in was fast and easy. Omar (he is the tour rep for all the tour companies at Cova), was also there to greet us and told us what time and where to meet him the next day for our meeting. We were taken to our room right away, we were put on the second floor in room 1226. Our first impression of the room was not a good one. On the positive side, it was large, spacious and had a great view but the bathroom was....to put it nicely...gross. It is in dire need of renovations, all the fixtures are so rusted and corroded that they were green in color. We were tired and cranky and decided to get some sleep and everything would be better in the morning. The weather was not good the next morning, it was cloudy, overcast and windy. No big deal, we figured we would find something to do. My husband went to take a shower and the shower head literally just dripped cold water out. No pressure what so ever. We decided to go to the front desk and ask if it was possible to switch to a ground floor room (I had read from previous reviews that rooms on the ground floor had better pressure). The front desk said they would call maintenance to come and look at the shower. So, we went for breakfast. Again, not a good first impression. There was very little selection, unless you really like eggs. After breakfast we went back to the room and maintenance came and replaced the shower head. We had a little bit of pressure but still no hot water. The weather stayed the same all day so it was too cold to use the pool or go to the beach and we were limitied as to what to do as this resort is so secluded and is 45 minutes away from the nearest town. We participated in most of the activities that the entertainment team offered (bingo, spanish lessons, mini golf, etc), we also went to the games room and got a chess board and some cards to pass the time. Lunch and dinner were a little better as there was a bit more selection. There were probably only about 70-80 guests for the first part of the week,
The next day the weather was still the same so no beach or pool (we understand that weather is not the resorts fault and something no one can control) so it was becoming boring. We did pretty much the same as the day before. We were still not happy with the shower and I didn't want to take cold showers all week so we went back to the front desk and once again requested to change rooms. They told us that several other people on the second floor were complaining of the same issue so maintenance was going to try to fix the problem and if the next day we wanted to move we could.
Tuesday it rained all day. We went to the front desk and a very nice lady (can't remember her name) was kind enough to finally switch our room. We were moved to room 2213. It was basically the same room but on the ground floor (still with a great view) but had a way better shower. Lot's of pressure and always had hot water. We had booked a 1/2 day tour to Puerto Padre (45 minute drive from the resort). It was interesting but we didn't really see too much, some local shops and a church. Our tour guide was excellent and we talked to him a majority of the time. We tried the Italian a la carte which was held in the Ranchon restaurant on the beach. It was okay.
Wednesday...FINALLY some sunshine!!!! YAY! What a difference in the mood of everyone at the resort (us included). We were finally able to enjoy what we had come for, the best part of this resort...the beautiful beach! The beach really is amazing. We noticed that new groups of people were arriving and the resort was becoming busier.
Christmas eve the staff at the buffet went all out at dinner and it was nice. They were serving champagne upon entering the buffet. They had a way better selection of food and had turkey and roasted a pig. They had a band that came around to each table and would take a request to play for you. The entertainment that night was also very good. Christmas day was very similiar. The weather was great for the remainder of our trip!
With me being pregnant, I couldn't drink and all the bartenders were more than happy to make all my drinks virgin. We tried the Ranchon for lunch one day. It's a nice setting as it's right on the beach and it's a la carte so it's a nice change from the buffet. The pool bar and snack bar (located at the pool bar) are both 24 hours. The room has a mini fridge that comes with one large bottle of water, if the bartenders have water available you can refill your bottles, if not then you have to buy more. There are also safes in the room which you need to pay for. Also on the resort is a money exchange, gym, 2 computers with internet (which you have to pay for) a store, sovenier shop and there is always a doctor or nurse on site. Everyone that works at this resort was super nice and friendly. Always said hi and willing to help or answer any questions.
We are not picky travelers and do not expect luxury (you can see from my previous reviews of other resorts we have stayed at) but this resort was below our expectations. If we had paid anymore than we had, I would really feel it wasn't worth it. As I mentioned, the beach is really the best part of this resort. The food was too repetitive, bland and not enough selection and the resort is too far from anything else and could use some updating/renovations. Therefore, it wasn't the place for us nor would we return or recommend it to anyone else.
One highlight of our trip was at the airport on the way home. We met Mike Holmes (from HGTV, Holmes on Holmes) and talked to him and got our picture with him!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank cmbr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Brisas Covarrubias Hotel

Address: Playa Covarrubias, Puerto Padre 77200, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Las Tunas Province > Puerto Padre
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Puerto Padre
Price Range: $90 - $158 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Brisas Covarrubias Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 180
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Brisas Covarrubias is a cozy and intimate beachfront resort located on a long, secluded beach of the same name on the north coast of the province of Las Tunas in Cuba. The soft powdery sand combined with shades of turquoise and blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by a coral reef makes Covarrubias beach one of the most impressive beaches in Cuba. Ideal place for diving, located in zone of impressive marine fauna. It has in all its areas of service internet connection wifi. Its rooms are characterized by a high standard of size, very comfortable that will make you feel at home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Covarrubias Hotel Puerto Padre
Resort All Inclusive Covarrubias
Brisas Covarrubias Hotel Cuba/Puerto Padre

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