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“ignore the bad reviews - my group had a fantastic time!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Playa Costa Verde

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Hotel Playa Costa Verde
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“ignore the bad reviews - my group had a fantastic time!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2009

This was a fantastic holiday and I really don't know what people have to complain about! Some of the people who complain need a reality check. They should either shut up or up their budget by thousands and check into some fancy boutique hotel in Miami for the level of quality and service they expect. Sure this hotel is a little rough around the edges, but remember this is a third world country where most people earn between 12 and 20 convertible pesos a month! That’s nothing - 20 convertible pesos is just £13.69 sterling!!! that’s such a small amount for working very very hard jobs, often, as in the hotels, 6 days a week - waking up at 6am and returning home at 6pm because public transport is so bad due to the lack of oil. (and when you think you can get around £180 a month on job seekers allowance in the UK - for doing nothing - you realise how easy we have it). When you take into consideration how poor the country as a whole is, and how expensive foreign imports are you can see why the Cuban people have a "make do and mend" attitude that us Brits and other westerners have long since forgotten, and find hard to understand. That’s why some things may look a little tired, but at the end of the day they always work, and work fine!

I think I’ll start by tackling some of the negativities people have brought up.

CLEANLINESS

Ok, I saw the odd bug in my room, and once saw a tiny lizard but what can be done about it? They come in from under the door... some of the grout in the bathroom was stained slightly - but you realise its only a bit of discolouring, and can see it is actually well cleaned. Juliette, our maid, was fantastic! We had two rooms for 5 people. The pillows on the additional bed in the room we had with three people in were a bit smelly so we asked Juliette for new ones. she got straight on to the task and was very apologetic, and when we got back to the room from breakfast we found that she had taken the time to write us a letter apologising for the pillow, explaining she had changed it, and went on to say all we had to do was ask if we needed anything else to make our trip more pleasant. My friend also came home after a few too many beers one night and accidently smashed a glass in the bathroom which she dealt with no complaints (she made sure all the glass was cleaned up properly, not just a quick once over like some people do). We had clean sheets, and there were no pubes to be seen anywhere (unlike other reviews I’ve read)! We tipped her 1 peso every other day and she was so grateful. She even took the time to write out a note on her last day telling us how she was going on vacation and how the tips we had given her were going to make her holiday so much better. Everything was definitely cleaned to a good standard. There were maids constantly cleaning the toilets and lobby so no complaints from me.


THE FOOD
The food was very good, especially the freshly grilled stuff. People have complained that the raw meat in this section was left out in the heat uncovered - that’s a lie. There was indeed stuff left out but if you actually bothered to check - that was for display only, so you knew what was on offer and could ask "can I have one of these please?” oh and it was covered. You would order what you wanted, and they would then take fresh meat from a fridge behind them and cook it. People have said they don’t cook it for long enough... well hello... all you have to do is ask them to keep it on the grill until it’s done to your liking. They didn’t mind at all when I asked for my chicken extra well done (I’m very fussy with chicken). All the other food was good - and I never once got I’ll (which I think is a first for me!)

THE STAFF

As I said earlier, they work very hard, 6 days a week for very little. I often found from asking them that they would work a double shift one day a week just so they could spend the weekend/ two days with their family. You would therefore see bar staff there in the day working none stop, and then again in the early hours in the lobby bar all the way through to 7am. I don’t know how they do it... and they are always so nice to the guests. My tip for people is to treat the staff with respect, and learn even the smallest amount of Spanish. They really seemed to like it when you asked them for lessons on how to say things like "how are you?" "One beer please" etc... And then actually use it with them. I also bought some of the staff a beer one night and they really appreciated the gesture. I also found that they are very understaffed at times which adds to the pressure for them, but still they do everything they can for you.

DRINK

I personally found the local stuff to be fine, but for those who like more well known brands I found a few international names. I was over the moon to find that Disaronno Amaretto was included in the all inclusive, as well as Frangelico and Malibu (the cigar lounge is best for finding the better brands). They also have a bottomless supply of sparkling Spanish Cava, and list of some (if i remember correctly) 26 alcoholic cocktails (as well as a list of non alcoholic).

ENTERTAINMENT

There was always something to do, but it was sometimes a bit mundane and i could see it get boring if staying for longer than two weeks. In saying that though, there were three shows I went to in which they had hired gymnast which were spectacular! Twice they did these shows in the lobby and one night they did it in the pool, the latter along with a Cuban bbq around the pool which was a nice change, with a wonderful hog roast. They were incredible at gymnastics.

Overall I felt this was a great resort, and the staff really make an effort to make your stay as good as it can be. I will defiantly recommend it to friends and I would go back!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank stvnwalsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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manchester
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2009

At this hotel from the 15th till the 30th of july 09 and let me tell u if you have booked this for your hoilday you will be happy u did .this holet as everything you need from the the lovely beach 2 the great food and 2 the big swimming pool which as a good swim up bar this hotel will do anything 4 u 2 make u happy thats y we r bookin it again 4 next july.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank michelle1980_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex, England.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2009

Just returned after our wedding at the PCV resort, and i can only say it was a dream come true. We were treated like royalty as soon as we got there with a champagne reception and a lovely cold flannel.
We were upgraded to a suit with a beach view, which was very large and with two balconies. The rooms were spotless, and this continued through our stay. We had drinking water and cans of cold drinks every day put in our fridge.
The air conditioning was not very good, but within 2 days of reporting this it was fixed and worked brilliantly. No other room problems, and our towels were changed every day and the sheets every other day by our maid Iliana.
We found the food to be of a good standard and lots of variety, especially the fish and meat counter, where it is freshly cooked in front of you with a smile. We enjoyed the al a carte restaurants, especially the japaneese, the veggy restaurant was closed throughout our stay, but this was not a problem, it would of been hard to have fit them all in anyway. We enjoyed the alfresco grill nights around the pool, the staff went to a great deal of effort to make sure everyone enjoyed it. We never had to ask for a drink, as the staff were always there ready to refill.
Tipping....We found that it did not make any difference wether you tipped or not, we still received the same quality of service, although we did tip on occassions.
Day trips were excellent value for money and Nancy the thomas cook rep bent over backwards to make sure you got what you wanted, and helped with any thing we needed to know.
We took the land train to Guardalaveca which cost 5 Cuban Peso's each return where there is a little crafts market where you can get your hats and wooden carvings etc, then we spent a couple of hours on the most beautiful beach.(snorkling not too good though). We found this 20 minute journey good fun, but very bumpy, so ladies wear a good bra!!!
We done a couple of scuba dive from the dive school at the end of this beach, this was very good value around £20 each dive including all equipment, the dive sites we visited were very good.
The dolphins is a must.
I went on the paradise island catamaran trip for my Hen day which was out of this world, you must do this trip. Our guide Ernie even brought us ladies cocktails on the beach carrying them through the water from the boat in a cool box. Great food in the restaurant on the island, listening to the cuban band SUPERB!!
The blokes hired a fishing boat and crew for the day hoping for a marlin or barracuda, but unfortunately did'nt catch anything, but they had a free bar on board so they were happy. If you do this trip try and get the morning session as it proved more successful.
The wedding....We met Vivian our wedding planner the day after our arrival, and she went through all of our paperwork (make sure you take ALL original copies and translated documents with you as this was not made clear to us, but lucky we took them all with us anyway). We chose to get married in the gazebo in the hotel grounds as it was very hot on the beach at the time of our stay and very little shade, as we were having 15 guests for the day. They decorated it with fresh flowers and drapes, it looked lovely. We had a horse and carriage which took around the resort on the way to the gazebo. I had a hair do and a manicure included in the package and a massage for my now husband. We had a 3 piece cuban band playing a very spanish wedding march, and pleasant music afterwards during the photos and endless champagne toasts. We asked if we could have some photo's taken on the beach, so we were taken down by the horse and carriage for more photo's with the photographer. This cost us a little extra but was well worth it, we ended up with around 60 photo's on a disc as well as 21 developed pics in an album. The night club was opened early for the wedding party as it is air conditioned and was alot more cooler and comfortable in all our wedding attire, while awaiting for our wedding meal in the Italian restaurant. The food was a special set menu that we chose, which was very good. We had a 3 tier wedding cake which was very sweet, but lovely. Still lots more champagne flowed. When my husband and i returned back to our room everything had been tidyed, a bottle of champagne and cake had been left and the cd playing with dimmed lights, we thought this was a lovely touch.
We had a full cooked breakfast brought to our room with more champagne the next morning.
We could not have asked for a better service from the hotel and staff, they really did look after us, i would recommend anyone to have their big day here.
The beach was beautiful and while we were there sun shades were made to replace the ones lost last year, so there is plenty of shade now. You will need beach shoes to go in the water, but the snorkling is really good here. It does get a bit windy and hot in the afternoon so we tended to return back to the pool, and have a drink around the swim up pool bar. We met alot of guests here in the afternoon, but they did need another bar person as it did get very busy at times. My son complained and within 10 mins they had 4 staff working.
The complex its self was well maintained, with beautiful gardens, but still needs a little work to bring it back to its full glory before it got damaged by hurricane ike, but you can see they are doing thier best.
This was our first trip to Cuba and We will be returning for 3 weeks next year as we have fell in love with the island with its friendly atmosphere and people. I have travelled to many caribean islands but this was by far the best of all. PCV had everything and more you could wish for in a holiday. We were sad to leave, but are counting the days for our return. Hope you found this review helpfull, and for anyone travelling in the near future you have nothing to worry about i promise.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
16 Thank BrownsEssex_England_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2009

Just came back from a week vacation at this resort. This was our first time in Cuba. We have been on many islands in the Caribeans and must say that the Cuban people are at the top when it comes to making you feel welcome. The staff at this resort works hard to please a wide variety of people and expectations. It is not perfect and there is a number of improvements that can be made. However if you have the right expectations, you will accept the imperfections. People attitude makes a big difference. We felt safe there contrarily to other islands we've been to and there is no vendors hustling you for business. Going by Caribean standards, this is an excellent value for what you pay.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Dnaud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotherham
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2009

This hotel is revolting and I don't like to complain! I'm not sure where to even start the holiday is a good price for the carribean but its not a good price to spend two weeks in bay route!

The location
This hotel is literally in the middle of no where with a few other hotels there is no entertainment or night life really.

The rooms
We first arrived at the hotel and had to wait to be checked in for around ten minutes we were allocated a room and a member of staff takes you to your room on a golf buggy. There are HUGE land crabs wondering around the complex which the member of staff who drove the buggy thought it would be amusing to see how many he could run over and squash. When we got to our room it was dirty, the bedding was stained there was a large red (looked like blood) mark on the headboard in the bathroom the walls and floor were crawling with bugs and the air conditioning wasn't working. My partner opened the window and a six inch dead lizard fell from the ledge with no eyes! I went to reception immediately and explained to the lady on reception who just replied by saying 'and what do you want me to do about it?'. Nancy the Thomas Cook rep is about as useful as a chocolate fire guard I told her about the problems I was having with the room and she rudely interupted and said ok il find you another room. After an hour we were given another room which wasn't good but it was better than the first room and the staff were really pushy and sarcastic saying 'is this one good enough for you?' this is in no way a 4 star hotel.

The pool
There are broken tiles in the pool which are sharp and people were cutting their feet left right and centre. There was an open man hole in the bottom of the pool. The swim up bar was ok but they let people smoke so whilst having a drink there was ash from peoples cigerettes floating around you!

The restaurant
The food was crawling with flies both me and my partner was ill, my partner had to see the doctor and have an injection and was in bed for 4 days. the grill bar food wasn't cooked properly and the chefs put the raw meat onto the grill and took it off with the same tongs. You can also get food from the pool bar which is as revolting we asked for a ham pizza and ended up ended up with a pizza base tomato and carrot and its not because they couldn't understand english.

overall, this was the worst hotel iv ever been to in my life and I am well travelled please don't pay your hard earned money to come here it is horrendous.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank annab1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lytham
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2009

My husband and I have just returned from our second trip to this resort. Although there was a hurricane last year you would never have known, other than the beach which was more sparse, however still beautiful. The main attraction is most definately the staff , who cannot do enough to make your stay as pleasant as possible. They always have a smile for you even though when you speak to them they have just finished a 16 hour or even 24 hour shift. These people put many of us to shame with their work ethic and for so little money! When you think of complaining, just think of comparisons in lfestyles! The Cubans make the most of what they have and it is amazing that they are able to produce such a huge variety of foods with their little resources. If they havent got something, they will do their utmost to get it. They knew my husband liked dark rum and the following evening, a bottle was waiting for him in the cigar bar. On my birthday, I received a bottle of champagne in the room, cards from the Thomas Cook rep and from the public relations staff and was sung to by all the staff in the Italian restaurant. The rep, Nancy, was extremely helpful at all times. The catamarran trip is a must and so much fun! We met some lovely poeple from the UK and lots of them were also return visitors.
The only thing I would advise, is not to pay Premium class on Thomas Cook. Total waste of money and when you are in Cuba you can pay 25 convertible pesos to be treated as a VIP at the airport, which is more than can be said of Thomas Cook Premium passengers! Please go and visit this place and you will not regret it!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank JoolsLytham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
staffordshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2009

I had been to Cuba before, but to the hotel next door to this one(blau costa verde)however, Playa Coste Verde is a much nicer hotel,bigger and better in everyway.Its a very relaxing place but does have entertainment each nite and also a nite club which is not just for the young ones, we are both 50 and danced the nite away with a mixture of ages. Daytime activities were limited and repetative although there were not many people at the hotel while we were there so it was understandable.The staff were all very helpful especially the Thomas Cook rep who was EXCELLENT nothing was too much trouble. She even organised private hire of a 38ft boat solely for me and my hubby complete with two skippers and a tour guide, and this wasnt a Thomas Cook trip!!! If you do take a trip, do take the catamaran "sun cruise" where you will have a wonderful cruise, snorkelling, speed boat, dolphin swim and also a threecourse meal all for about £80.00!This trip offered more than the other dolphin swim so be careful which one you purchase.
We liked the hotel and everything else including the beautiful white sandy beach which was fabulous we liked it SO much we have just booked for A WHOLE 4 WEEKS IN June 2010 and it ony cost us £200 more than two weeks!!!!!
Book with confidence.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank elvisandpriscilla
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, 4 a la carte restaurants, 6 bars, 24-hour snacks and Lobby, unlimited drinks, Mini Club, pools, Jacuzzis, day/night entertainment, water/land sports with equipment and instruction, gym, meeting facilities, 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, 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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