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“Lovely holiday with only a couple of negatives”

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Hotel Playa Costa Verde
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Lovely holiday with only a couple of negatives”
Reviewed September 18, 2013

My boyfriend and I booked this hotel from 2nd Sept - 16th Sept 2013on the back of all the good reviews. Like everyone else we were very concerned with the horrific reviews dated from August. Fortunately our worries weren't realized upon arrival and we had a really enjoyable holiday on the whole. So to break it down:

Flights: We flew with Thomas Cook and both flights were on time and had a good in flight meal and a good film choice.

Transfers: the transfer to the hotel was well organised and the buses were lovely, had air con and very clean.

HOTEL:
*Check in: very smooth and quick and had a lovely cocktail upon arrival.

* Room: our room was lovely and spacious. In reply to some of the reviews about them being outdated in our opinion this really wasn't a problem. They are indeed basic rooms but were very clean with a maid cleaning them everyday. Also the TV had some English/Canadian channels which was good for a stormy evening if you didn't fancy the entertainment/jet-lagged. * The bathroom was also good - basic but again cleaned daily.
*There is also a good working fridge in the room and the maid provides a bottle of water daily. Though on some days we didn't get a bottle of water, however this was resolved upon telling reception.

*Food: The food was the main let down of the hotel in our opinion.
-There was normally plenty of choice but we grew bored of what was to offer after the first few days.
- The main problem for us was the lack of fresh vegetables and salad. The availability of salad was hit and miss when were there a rarity which was disappointing for me but this is more of a personal preference. However, the variety and availability of fresh fruit was very good.
-The fresh food stations were good. You have the choice of fresh meat, fish, pasta and pizza which caters to your taste if you don't fancy whats on at the buffet.

The al a carte restaurants:
*Japanese: We enjoyed this as an experience and went three times. Good food cooked in front of you and a nice change from the buffet with options including chicken, beef, prawns and fish served with fried rice.
*Cuban: We really liked the ambiance of this restaurant. They had a great cuban band that played throughout dinner. The food was OK. We had lobster for main which was nice. The only thing that we really didn't like was that you sit down and your starter is brought straight away then you order your main and that arrives immediately. If you wanted to your dinner could be done and dusted in 15 mins due tot he speed.
*El Bohio (steak restaurant): MAKE SURE YOU GO TO THIS. It was absolutely delicious and worth the ten peso supplement.
*Other: If you wanted to you could literally eat 24/7. We ate a few times at the Snack Bar which is always open and offers a lot of variety of fast food types of food which was nice on the whole.

Beach: Amazing, beautiful, cracking snorkeling. Beautiful clear waters and lots of fish to see. Good beach bar and never a problem getting sunbeds. if you wanted to have lunch there is also a beach snack bar with a few bits and pieces.

Pool: nice - we didn't spend much time here but the swim up bar is a really nice touch. One day there was algae in the pool but that was sorted out pretty quickly.

On the whole the hotel is well maintained, clean, good friendly staff on the whole whether you tip or not and also it had a really good variety of evening entertainment which we thoroughly enjoyed.

TIPS:
- Make sure you bring a big thermal travel cup. These were life savers to save from going to numerous trips to the bar
- I wish id have taken some marmite for breakfast
- Beach shoes were a must for us as there are quite a few urchins and rocks
- You don't have to bring your own snorkels as the beach shack has some and they also have flippers to!
- get a first floor room with a sea view. We had a view of the sea and also no problem with crabs or bugs creeping in
- Book the restaurants as much as you want - they don't seem to mind!
- Bring enough toiletries as hotel shop doesn't sell them
-Buy cigars and souvenirs from the airport as they are MUCH cheaper than hotel shop

This is my first review so sorry for the length! Hope you enjoy your trip as much as we did!

Room Tip: First floor sea view - quiet, peaceful and with beautiful views
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Tessa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pedro O, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Costa Verde, responded to this review, September 19, 2013
Dear Tessa K,
Thank you very much for your kind comments. We hope it could help other travelers. If you decide to return to Playa Costa Verde, it would be a pleasure to all our staff and Management Team to host you again
Hoping to see you soon
Pedro Otero
Quality and Guest Service Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Having just returned from a week long stay at the Playa Costa Verde, I must say that as in most cases - Your experience normally will depend upon your conduct and attitude.

I'm fairly used to Cuba at this point. Some things are great, others not, and then much that appears to fall in between. If you go with the flow and adopt a more latin outlook on life, things are much more positive and memorable.

All aspects at the Costa Verde met my needs well. Check in was quick, my room was large and clean. The buffet restaurant had great food, even avacado often which I love. I also ate at the Japanese and enjoyed it - despite quite slow initial service ( I began serving our area drinks after 20 minutes and service picked up quite quickly then). Drink selection seemed fine, I always had red wine, with most bartenders quite attentive whether tipped or not.

The staff as a whole were very friendly. I talked with many and they were helpful and in good spirits. I played alot of pool volleyball and even the crazy games which I rarely do anymore. The animation workers were quite energetic and motivated and that is not always the case in some resorts.

Each day I went snorkelling and saw a nice variety of fish. The beach is quite long and the water is very clear. Water shoes are still a good choice.

While I was there the majority of guest were from the UK - England, Scotland, Ireland and I had a great time meeting people from all over. Some fabulous folks that made my holiday much better. I often leave the hotels for long periods though actually stayed on much of the week due to this. Thank you Robert and Colin, as well as Lynda and Lisa - and the many others from far away.

As a frequent traveller to Cuba, and one who avoids resorts more so at this point, I would definitely book again at the Costa Verde. It is reasonably close to Holguin City, near Guardalavaca, and offers much to it's guests.

Room Tip: Be nice at the front desk.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank ElToroLoco75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pedro O, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Costa Verde, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
Dear StephenCYW,
On behalf of Playa Costa Verde staff and management we want to thank you for your comments that, be sure, will help other people to make their traveling decisions. We hope to have the opportunity to host you again in our resort.
Pedro Otero
Guest Service and Quality Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2013

My spouse and I loved this resort so much that we are going back for a 3rd time. We went last year in August, in July this year and going back on Sept 28th. I have been to many resorts in Cuba, Dominican Republic and Mexico but I find that this hotel is the one that gives you the most for your money. Rooms are large and clean, the beach and the sea are great, food is OK, better than some other resorts I have been to (Memories), service is perfect.

Looking forward to returning.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Nicole M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pedro O, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Costa Verde, responded to this review, September 17, 2013
Dear Nicole M,
On behalf of Playa Costa Verde staff and management we want to thank you for your comments. We are sure it will help other travelers to make their decisions. We hope to have the opportunity to host you again in our resort.
Pedro Otero
Guest Service and Quality Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterloo, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2013

This was our first time at PCV, but we accompanied three other couples, one couple having been there 7 years ago and suggested that it was good. The rooms were clean, however, ever night when I got up to go to the bathroom and turned on the light, I would find and have to kill a 2" cockroach! Two of the seven nights we were there, water came down the wall next to the vanity, soaked everthing on the vanity, ran across the floor and both times we slipped, but did not fall. Repair guys were sent and neither time was there a resolution to the problem, just a clean up. We had to ask for more toilet paper on a couple of occasions as did our travelling partners. There was a huge shortage of drinks, most times they didn't have the ingredients to make your drink. A mojito was next thing to impossible to get. The buffet often ran out of fruit and the hot food was not hot and the cold food was not cold. Our second nite to the Japanese restaurant one of our group had to ask for a different stool as his was infested with cockroaches. I did not say anything to our Sunwing rep until our last full day there, so some of the problems may have been solved earlier if I had spoke up. My problem was that none of this should have happened at all. On a positive note, the beach was to our liking as we enjoy 'amateur snorkelling' and we could do it right in front of the resort. We took bananas in with us and this brought schools of 'Doreys' to feed from them! It was awesome. I don't think we will ever return, though.

Room Tip: We were in a ground floor room and perhaps the second floor rooms would not have the cockroach issue...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ruth P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pedro O, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Costa Verde, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Dear Ruth P,
We are very concern about the issues you are pointing in your post. First of all we would like to apologize with you on behalf of Playa Costa Verde for all the inconveniences you might had had during your stay, and assure you we will bring this into our management staff attention in order to improve the service you deserve as guest in our Resort. We want to point that in our hotel there is a hygiene program supervised for the authorities that includes the proper pest control. Be sure we will be deeply analyzing what could happen in this case including the other incidents. We hope you give us the opportunity to restore your confidence in our resort visiting us again. If so, please fill free to contact me directly.
Pedro Otero
Guest Service and Quality Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013 via mobile

Just come back from the best 2 weeks ever!! There is not enough good things I can say about PCV!! When we got there, we did have a bit of a problem with our room, but reception sorted it out and we got transferred to another room straight away! The rooms where always kept lovely and clean! The buffet was nice but the a la cartes were amazing!!!! Some of the best food I have ever had! I also love the entertainment team!! Those guys were amazing! Love them to bits! If you get the chance take part in everything from aqua fitness to crazy games! The whole entertainment team were so lovely and really welcoming and for me it made my holiday! I have absolutely no idea what everyone else is going on about it being rubbish but it was for me my best ever holiday! Loved the people I met as well!! 1000000% going back to PCV!!!

Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
13 Thank Nicole C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pedro O, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Playa Costa Verde, responded to this review, September 14, 2013
Dear Nicole,
On behalf of Playa Costa Verde staff and management we want to thank you for your comments. We hope to have the opportunity to have you again in our resort, If so, please fill free to contact us and we´ll be very glad to host you in our resort.
Pedro Otero
Guest Service and Quality Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2013

this hotel is a gem! don't know why people are moaning because its a load of rubbish!
its what you pay for and its perfect in my eyes!
clean well looked after hotel and grinds with rooms plenty big enough and clean! yes the furniture is older by our standards but its practically a palace compared to how most of cuba is!
the hotel staff and thomas cook reps were brilliant and couldn't help us enough even if our flight was delayed 6 hours when we arrived. bell boys were prompt and helped greatly after a long flight.
never a flight for a sun bed at the pool or the gorgeous beach which is great but would recommend taking some travel cups with you otherwise you will backwards and forward to the bar all day with the small little plastic ones provided.
food again great! all well cooked and the 3 extra places (italian japanese and cuban) were all great! (make sure you take a camera to japanese).
the maids are brilliant and cleaned our room everyday changing the linen a few times a week!
at the beach the catamaran and boating facilities are brilliant and so much fun

at times there are problems with the fluses or water temperature at the hotels but thats because its a very poor island and these things happen but its normally fixed within the hour and if one flush aint working don't worry the rest aint either.

Omar from the bar, ricardo on reservations and our maid flora all need pay rises in my opinion because it was them that made our holiday! so hope the hotel listens and praises them!

we did the dolphins and the 2 cuban trips all were great value for money but most of all the dolphins its once in a lifetime and would recommend paying that little bit extra to go and for the lifts as its worth it.

will 100% be returning to this hotel in the future as it was a once in a lifetime place to visit

you will all enjoy a holiday here if you give it a chance

Room Tip: top floor rooms are best as crabs are everywhere but harmless!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Jade L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon
Level Contributor
81 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2013

We have just returned from a 2 week (26th August to 9th September) family holiday at the Costa Verde and had a great time and did not experience the same level of issues that some previous reviewers have mentioned regarding locals taking over the resort. True there were some instances in the 24hr snack bar where the staff seemed to show preference to Cuban holiday makers and there were a couple of occasions when we had to wait several minutes to be served in the lobby bar but this was mainly due to only one or two bar staff trying to serve lots of guests. These issues should be able to be resolved by the hotel management through ongoing training and ensuring more staff are on hand at busy times. The main swimming pools were also suffering from a "green" algae bloom for a few days in our first week and the staff were busy ensuring the pools were cleaned and treated and they were fine for the rest of our stay. This type of thing can occur when people do not shower off some of the suntan creams they have on prior to getting in the pool.
None of the above detracted from the overall enjoyment of our holiday. We also had the misfortune of a near 6 hour delay due to technical issues at Gatwick and our 3 year old grandson being taken ill on the outbound flight (many thanks to Jane and Rebecca the Thomas Cook stewardesses who came to assist us and a really big vote of thanks to Kieran Brookes and the two nurses who answered the call for a Medical Professional onboard.) Jane and Rebecca had a doctor standing by as soon as we landed at Holguin and we saw the doctor at the Costa Verde. After a few days on anti biotics he was back to his normal cheeky self. Thanks again to all those who assisted us.
Back to the holiday itself. Check in at reception was quick and easy. The rooms were quite large and clean. Ample storeage space in the main wardrobe and cupboard. Beds were very big and comfortable. A digital safe was also in the wardrobe which was free (we have had to pay for these in our previous holidays in Varadero). The rooms were cleaned every day and sheets etc changed regularly. The food in the main restaurant was quite good with a varied selection evey day. There were "grill" areas where you could have fish, pastas, meats and stir frys cooked while you waited.....all were very good. A great selection of fruits, cakes, cheeses and meats also available. We found the staff in this restaurant to be extremely helpful and efficient. Breakfast choices were also good. We also tried the Japanese restaurant and this was really good. The hotel layout was typical of what we have seen before in Cuba and the gardens were very well maintained.
Access to the beach was across a bridge spanning a "lagoon" type area with trees and shrubs. The beach was beautiful and there were plenty of sun loungers available ( as there were at the swimming pools)
There are literally hundreds of small crabs throughout the hotel complex and they can easily get under the gaps in ground floor rooms so it's adviseable to put a folded towel across the door at night. There are also some small lizards around.
Apart from a heavy thunderstorm one afternoon the weather was fantastic with temperatures in the mid to high 30's every day.
If you like walking the beach then a 15 minute stroll to the left side of the beach takes you to a river outlet. Don't be intimidated by any locals that may be in the area, they are only trying to be friendly and of course hoping you can give them some shampoo or items of clothing you may no longer need. A shorter walk to the right side of the beach takes you to a rocky area (old reef coral). If you are into fishing then this is the place to go. We saw several very big Baraccuda and other types of fish in this area. It's adviseable to take some type of footware on these rocks as they are very sharp. Also it's best to use them in the main beach area as there are some outcrops of coral here as well.
All in all a very enjoyable holiday experience.even though another heavy thunderstorm also delayed our homeward bound flight.

Room Tip: If you don't like crabs then ask for an upper floor room
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank BazzaSwindon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Playa Costa Verde

Property: Hotel Playa Costa Verde
Address: Playa Pesquero, Rafael Freyre 83300, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Rafael Freyre
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Playa Costa Verde 4*
Number of rooms: 480
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Accommodation, buffet meals, 3 a la carte restaurants and El bohío resturant with charge, 7 bars, 24-hour snacks and lobby, unlimited drinks, Mini Club, pools, Jacuzzis, day/night entertainment, water/land sports with equipment and instruction, gym, air-conditioned rooms with bathroom, hair drier, telephone, safe, satellite TV, iron and ironing board, tea/coffee maker, mini fridge with welcome drinks, terrace or balcony. All Inclusive! Plus ($): internet, tours, hairdresser, massage, car rental and shop. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Costa Verde Cuba
Playa Costa Verde Rafael Freyre
Playa Costa Verde Holguin
Costa Playa Verde
Hotel Playa Costa Verde Holguin Province, Cuba

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