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“Excellent introduction to cuba”

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Cubanacan Hostal del Rijo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 20, 2010

We stayed at this hotel on night one of the classical cuba tour (thomas cook)

LOCATION
The town square is close by as beautifully painted pastel coloured buildings which surround this colonial style hotel. It is very close to restaurants, bank and market.

STAFF
Very friendly staff greeted us,we asked for the use of a safe which was $2CUC per night, as we had arrived straight from the airport we only had UK currency with us and the man who met us at the hotel said it was fine to pay for the safe on departure in the morning (monday) when the banks opened. He also allowed us to set up a tab in the bar which could be paid the next day also.

ACCOMODATION
Please see photographs attached to this review. The hotel has just installed a new plumbing system so please be patient when using the shower as it takes a minute to warm up. The rooms have high ceilings and are beautifully decorated. The beds are massive!! We were in room 12 on the 2nd floor which has a very steep staircase. The porter kindly hauled our 40KGs of luggage singlehandedly downstairs the next morning (dont forget to tip him - the average daily wage is $1CUC so think carefully how much you would be willing to haul someone elses luggage down two flights of stairs for and then tip accordingly!!!)
Although our room was fab, one thing to note is to take care with the little step down from the bedroom area and then up to the bathroom area as it doesnt half hurt when you fall over it!!

FOOD
For evening meal we ate at the nearby Plaza hotel - the food was great with a nice choice of chicken, pork or fish with salads and creme caramel (mmm!!)
For breakfast in the lovely courtyard of the hotel, there were fried eggs, toast, ham and tomatoes... lovely start to the day!!!

LOCAL INFO
The bank is 2 mins walk away. There is a security guard on the door who will show you where to wait. Make sure you have your passport with you to exchange your pounds/euros/dollars. They wont do debit card transactions or credit card transactions in this bank as there is no ATM. This bank opens at 8.30am.

There is a lovely colourful market in Sancti Spiritus but unfortunately only cuban pesos can be used at it not CUC. Its nice to wander through and do a bit of window shopping though.

CLASSICAL CUBA TOUR
If you are staying at this hotel as part of the Thomas Cook Classical Cuba tour you are in for a treat. Our fantastic tour guide Danys took us on a unique tour of Sancti Spiritus - we visited a cuban market where locals can use their ration books to get their daily loaf of bread, portion of meat, beans, rice etc. it gives you a real insight into the daily routine of many cubans (obviously bearing in mind that all tour guides work for the government department of culture so are limited in how open they can be about "real" cuba).

This tour will also leave you infuriated when you hear fellow britons, canadians and americans complaining about the food standards when you can see what an average cuban person has to survive on. Sancti Spiritus is interesting as it has "local heros" which are depicted in statues - you can actuallly see these modern day charactors wandering around the town and talk to them if you are lucky!! (farmers, painters etc)

On the tour after staying at the plaza hotel you will visit a pottery factory in Trinidad. The prices are great and you even get a free coffee. There are a lot of people outside asking for soap for their children or children asking for sweets - its up to you what you do. Some people said no and the people didnt request anything further, there was no bartering but if you do leave them a little something be it a few cents, pesos or some chocolate they are very grateful. Trinidad is great, we went back to the little cocktail bar (part of trip) in our free time as it was so nice.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Ash D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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114 - 120 of 200 reviews

Reviewed February 23, 2010

Arrived late after delayed Thomas Cook flight but the restaurant had stayed open to serve us. Charming patio and impressive big rooms but very steep staircase with no lift which could be problematic to less abled. Awaken by the sound of horses on the cobbled streets taking the locals to work. Non touristy town a good introduction to Cuban life.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank walterWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2009

Compared to other cities there is very little to see in Sancti Spiritus, but this hotel makes a visit worthwhile! If you go for a day/night just to stay at this hotel you will not regret it.

The hotel itself looks very colonial and is very nicely decorated. The lobby and hallways are furnished and decorated fantasticly and you feel as if you just did a step back in time to colonial times. They have an inside patio which during the evening feels a little neglected but during the daylight it is absolutely beautiful.

The room are large and clean. There are a few rooms though that are situated on the back which do not have any direct sunlight making them some what dark. But these rooms are at least quiet. When we first entered our room we were flabbergasted by the way it looked. The colonial style furnature and setting was just perfect. One little note of warning, if you cannot sleep with noise then make sure you do not get a street side room as the bar across the street plays music rather loud which travels right into the room. Personally it just added a bit to the sphere for me and it made it really Cuba.

This hotel has little in facilities but you don't really need them. They do have a restaurant for dinner and breakfast. The dinner is ok, but nothing special. The breakfast is good by cuban standards. They also have a bar but I would refrain from ordering cocktails here. They have not seemed to be able to get that right yet.

The staff is very pleasant and always willing to help. I found the people at this hotel extremely pleasent and would definetly recommend a stay here.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Traveler_Robert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2009

We stayed here one night as part of the Thomas Cook classical Cuba tour. Our room turned out to be a suite which was a wonderful surpise. It had fantastic air conditioning and an enormous bed - just what we needed for a good night's rest after a long flight!
Breakfast was simple but delicious - fruit and eggs cooked as you chose.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank marmosetpancake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2009

Stayed for just one night and I was a bit disappointed with my room as it had no window. Rooms arranged around a central courtyard (bit like a Riad). Beautiful building overlooking the local square. Staff very helpful and friendly and were happy to move a table laid for 20 from the verandah indoors when it started to pour with rain in the evening. Room very clean, bed comfortable, A/C effective, bathroom spacious. In fact everything you would need. Food was good and the cocktails lovely. Roof terrace with great views, but not in use.

  • Stayed: August 2009
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Thank MatildaExeter_Uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2009

Spent the first night of our Thomas Cook Tour here. The hotel was excellent with a pleasant evening meal served in the central open atrium area, as was the breakfast the following morning. Keep a peso or so to spare, you will be serenaded!

The hotel is very traditionally styled in high colonial manner, tall rooms round the atrium. Our room was old fashioned and clearly designed to be cool and dark in the days before air conditioning. The provided excellent air conditioning was, therefore, a bonus.

Back to the illumination, which was so restricted that the only place I could read was the wash-room! Once I had worked out how to get through the nets, the curtains and the blackout blinds to open the window there was a lovely view over one of the pretty town's squares.

The only access to the first floor where our room was located was by a long flight of very steep stairs, bear in mind if you are not as fit as you used to be.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Quintonian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2009

Don’t eat the spaghetti. Rooms not very good. Hotel perhaps the only one of tourist standard in the town. Hotel building nice, faded colonial splendour, but ill for 3 days after the meal - takes the edge off the memories!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank LincolnshireBilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cubanacan Hostal del Rijo

Address: Honorato del Castillo No 12 esq a Maximo Gomez, Sancti Spiritus, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Sancti Spiritus Province > Sancti Spiritus
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Sancti Spiritus
Price Range: $78 - $134 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Cubanacan Hostal del Rijo 3*
Number of rooms: 16
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Also Known As:
Cubanacan Hostal Del Rijo Hotel Sancti Spiritus
Cubanacan Hostal Del Rijo Cuba/Sancti Spiritus

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