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.
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 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!)
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.
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).
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!
- 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