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Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 4, 2013

Brisas Guardalavaca Jan 23 to 30, 2013

We had a great vacation at Brisas. The resort was a nice size and was a very pretty short walk along the beach to the village. Even if the weather wasn't always great for swimming we were never bored.

Room 456 hotel section, had two ¾ beds, 2 chairs, coffee maker, fridge, safe ($2.00 per day), bathroom with tub and shower, like most in Cuba. The room was well cleaned daily; room temperature was great, lots of hot water, lovely large deck with two chairs and table overlooking pool and beach. We thought the room was one of the best we have had, for the most part because of the view. The rooms in the hotel are close to everything so it is easy and quick to get around.

Beach: The beach was quite shallow. There were sandy areas and areas where sea weed was growing. There were always chairs and we didn’t have any problem finding a tree to sit under. I enjoyed swimming and snorkeling at the beach. There were fish, sea urchins and the little spiky things in the water. It was easy to find something to see, especially if you followed the ridge where the sand met the rocky/weedy area. After seeing the spiky things I made sure I didn’t put my feet down unless I was in a sandy area though. We had fun riding a nice gentle current that would carry you with very little effort from the hotel side of the beach to the villa side of the beach in the shallow water.

Entertainment: There was a great variety of entertainment offered. One afternoon a band played traditional music by the beach bar using a huge old player organ. There were different musicians playing in the lobby bar each evening. The musicians were great, but I wasn’t a fan of the pre-recorded background music. There were wonderful younger bands playing traditional, rock and reggeton. One night magicians and gymnasts performed. An absolutely amazing show featured a young man singing (I didn’t recognize the language) an opera about the sugar cane workers, accompanied by 2 other singers, 3 drummers and dancers. Because of rain, many of the evening performance were held in the disco. This was a shame, since few people were there to see them. Perhaps extra announcements from the lobby bar and beach bar, with more information would have encouraged more people to go and see the shows.

Food: Brisas outshone so many other resorts with their food. There are plenty of a la carte options. We tried the Cuban, International, Zaguin (sp) and the Italian. They were all good. Some are open for lunch as well. The buffet was also good. The usual omelette station (the chef was amazing to watch flipping them) and pasta as well as carving stations were there. Brisas also had a lady who would make smoothies (located beside the omelet station). A few days she made flambéed bananas-yum. There was also stir fries. In the afternoons a lovely lady made donuts, again –yum. I think we both gained weight.

Staff: The staff members at Brisas were charming and gracious. We did not experience any rudeness or indifference. All were professional and friendly. We tipped for good service and had good service provided.

We will return.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank paulamac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 4, 2013

We travelled here with a number of extended family and it was a great holiday! The food was great, especially the pizza's made by the pool. The staff were all friendly and made sure any need was met. We enjoyed the short walk to the flea market and found some great little treasures to take home with us. We also took a horse and buggy to the market, and on the way home we asked the driver to show us around the local area and he was more than willing to. We tipped him 20 US for going out of his way and he was delighted. The entertainment wasn't the best we have seen, but was great none the less.

Room Tip: We had a mainfloor room with sliding doors out to the pool, but ended up swapping for a room on the...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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6  Thank CherB84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

We arrived after dark on Friday Jan 25 2013, Always sit at front of the bus so I was second in line to check in. Very quick and off to Villa room 5208 (thanks to my secret friend). Second floor was a bonus, nice corner room with wrap around porch, big room, clean bathroom, king bed and a single bed for my daughter. Restaurants were done serving so ate at 24hr bar that served burgers/hot dogs and fries. We stayed at Brisas Santa Lucia last year and this place is a step up. All areas (room, pool, buffet, alacartes, gym, club house) were nicer. Compared to next door at Club Amigo, Brisas is the Ritz! I would not stay at Club Amigo
FOOD: ate breakfast at Villa buffet fresh made eggs or omelets. usually had pizza at main pool for lunch-always enjoyed, the best part was dinner
Alacartes Cuban-good but last on my list since the rest were so good
Italian-as a tip had the beef filet with side spaghetti and it was amazing, don't miss
Seafood-pasta with shrimp and lobster very good, my wife had lobster
International- Brisas Hunter awesome, my wife had lobster
Buccanero- Mario and Judy were in charge over here and are 2 great people. Nice quiet place you gotta check out just for the staff. We ate there twice and all are meals were great. The shrimp appetizer is a must. We enjoyed the house red and white wine with all our meals. The house starter salads were a mix of cabbage/lettuce/beets and fresh veggies that are nice and recommended.
EXCURSIONS: we took a taxi to Holguin on an overcast day ($70). enjoyable and recommended. My wife and daughter did the catamaran/dolphin trip that they said was awesome, my wife had lobster lunch daughter had chicken. I went to a ball game in Holguin. $25 plus $3 admission.....a great trip I would do again in a heart beat, but limit washroom visits and avoid all together if you are not a guy.

spent lots of time enjoying the pool and ocean as the Cuba sun was out in full force for most days and once the wind died down it was down right hot! Good nite time entertainment. Lots of shopping at market. I would return again without any hesitation

Room Tip: second floor villa was excellent,
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Loftypines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

If you want ultimate luxury, the highest standards and top notch food then give Cuba a miss completely. But if you want a great holiday at a fantastic price, with staff and service that keeps people returning then this is the place for you.

Second time here, just got back from another dream holiday, great location, good food, beautiful beach and sensational staff. Many return guests cannot be wrong. Please ignore the bad reviews. The staff here will try and make all your requests happen.

You are treated so very well by these lovely people. The food especially in the lovely restaurants is good, even improved from last year. This resort is the only place I have never been sick world wide.

Any questions... please contact me about this destination.

Don't be afraid to venture off the resort, very safe and interesting country.

Thank you Staff and Management of the Brisas Guardalavaca

Room Tip: Villa for peace and quiet, hotel a little more lively. Depends on your preference
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank luckyme60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013 via mobile

Well after the negative reports about this hotel just need to clarify this is the Brisas guardalavaca!. We stayed in two inter connecting villas 4303 4304 in the villa section. My wife and i in one huge room with the biggest bed I've ever seen and my 14&10 year old staying in the other with again two huge beds. The rooms are huge with air con,tv,mini fridge,large bathroom with bath shower toilet. Plenty of hot water all times of day. Rooms had large balcony with chairs and table overlooking the pool and partial sea view. Maid service every day bedding and towels changed as often as required. Ok food 6 a la carte restaurants. I shall give scores for each 10 being excellent 1 being poor. Italian 8, International 7, Seafood 8, Bucanero 8, Cuban 7,El Zaguan 7. Plus the main buffet restaurant with it's great choice 9. Bars 10 dotted around between hotel and villas all serving beer spirits (local and international) cocktails in plastic or glass depending on location around pools, beach for obvious safety reasons. Havana club bar a must visit great cocktails served on the roof watching the sun set open 4-8 Cuban time. You can get busy with the activity team from early morning til late afternoon. Yoga in the tea garden with tea coffee and wine including sparkling 10 am a must. Staff are amazing always a smile and hola from managers to gardeners. Water ballet in hotel section pool worth seeing but didn't really see much more entertainment as this all took place in the hotel section And this was a much busier part of the resort with a more drinking type culture compared to to more sedate villa section. I and others said a bit like Benidorm and Belamedina, im not a snob but like my holidays to be a quiet affair. This in no way spoiled our stay if you wanted noise lights and lots of drink with other drinkers head to the hotel section but it was also nice to get away from it in the villa section? Our rep Enesto was great with all the info you ever needed. All in all this was the best family holiday we have ever been on. We ate fillet steak lobster drank cocktails and did lots if activities and never once said la quenta por favor (can i have the bill please) I wouldn't hesitate in returning to this hotel and would recommend it to others. Planning our return ;)

  • Stayed: January 2013
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5  Thank garyoldchestnut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

Spent 3 weeks here from 8th Jan, 2013 and wish we could have had more time there. From Check-in to Check-out, we were treated so well by the extremely friendly staff. The room accommodation falls into three categories, standard room in main building with countryside views, standard room in main building with sea views and villas which are individual rooms in small 2 and 3 storey blocks a little distance from the main building. I am sure there may be the odd suite or two but we never encountered any information on these. In the main building you are near the centre of activity and it is quite noisy at times around the main pool. In the villa section, it is much quieter and it also has its own large pool which is also available to those staying in the main building. At this pool there are no organised activities because there is so much going on at the main pool. It was certainly noticeable that the age range at the main pool was significantly lower than that at the villas pool.

There are 10 different bars on the complex, all serving a range of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks except the Tea Garden, which is by the beach and where you could have tea or champagne and a plate of biscuits. One of the bars by the main pool is open 24 hours as is the grill bar next to it where you can get pizzas and burgers with chips and similar. Apart from the main buffet restaurant, there are 6 a la carte restaurants where you can get table service. These can be pre-booked up to 4 times in any week and are completely free unless you purchase a special bottle of wine, and the hotel has an extensive wine cellar to choose from. Having said that, the house white, red, rose and champagne are very acceptable so we never found it necessary to purchase anything else. To anyone who says they do not like the food here, the we can only assume they are not trying. The range of food on offer in the main buffet is enormous, some of it cooked whilst you wait and if one cannot find something here to your taste, then you are finnicky eaters indeed. Of the 6 a la carte restaurants, we found the International, The Sea Food Patio, The Buccanero and La Trattoria the best. The lobster in pineapple sauce at the International and the filet mignon in the Trattoria were dishes to die for. A meal in the UK similar to the several course meals we had with those dishes, including wine and service second to none, would have probably cost in excess of £100 for two.

Already mentioned the excellent staff, but there were one or two that stood out. Delvis Guerra, (Chicho) in reception was especially helpful, as was Jorge who was in Bar El Balcon for most of our stay along with Aldo in the same bar for part of the time. In the lobby bar, Israel and Alfredo warrant a special mention, plus a delightful young work experience girl, Amaryla. All are good but these stood out. We found also that a few judicious one peso tips (65p) were very willingly accepted. We walked to a local school and had a chat with the English teacher who told us because we asked, that her wage was the equivalent of $15US per month, so to the hotel workers, a peso is a lot of money. She also told us that they are always short of pencils as those they are issued with are used up all too quickly. We found that children liked to receive small packets of sweets or toys we could buy for a few pence in the hotel, the school however would not allow us to give them out there but accepted them to use as prizes for good work by individual children.

We travelled with Thomsons and were well looked after by our rep., Waldemar. Although we did not book any trips ourselves, we got friendly with one or two who did and they spoke very highly of the swim with the dolphins trip. It is also possible to visit Havana from here but it does involve a 1.5 hour flight and an overnight stay, so is not cheap. Outside the hotel, an open top bus stops and will take you around to the other hotels in the area as well as a trip to an Indian Village which we found interesting. There is also a land train which visits a fishing village, and although we did not find that of much interest, it was good to have the opportunity of getting off the beaten track to see local Cuban life. The children living along the track down to the village know the train time and stand at the side of the track so we were able to throw them packets of sweets and the like, for which they were very grateful.

When looking at hotel buildings, one has to remember this is Cuba, and the building stucture is owned by Cubanacan, which so far as we are aware is a Government enterprise. The staff do not have a lot of involvement with that side of things, but they do have every involvement with the contents and grounds. These were excellent, especially the gardens, clearly expertly attended by a team of gardeners. The beach was superb with more than enough plastic sunbeds for everybody, in fact they looked new and still had the bar codes on them. There are also a good number of trees on the beach so it was not difficult to find shade if required. There are also more than enough sunbeds to go round at both pools, although shade is a little more difficult to find here. There is a nautical centre at the end of the beach, and although we did not use it, many did for catamaran sailings and para skiing - no paragliding here though. There are pedaloes and canoes for use, and we were led to believe free of charge, although again we did not try them ourselves. Outside the hotel there are several old American cars that can be used as taxis as this is now allowed by the Government who seem to be relaxing a little with small capital business ventures. We used an open topped white 1948 Buick driven by a guy called Hector and his prices seemed reasonable so we had a couple of days out with him, including a trip to Holguin City about 35 miles away which was very interesting. There are also several pony and trap combinations for more local trips, we used one for a trip to the local souvenir market about 1/2 mile away and this cost 3 Pesos.

In summing up, we thought it was a fantastic holiday and would return to this hotel any day. Thank you to all at The Brisas Guardalavaca, and please don't change the house wine, it's great!

Room Tip: Villas with sea views are the best in our opinion.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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21  Thank FreddyFBL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

This is our first time to Cuba and what a great holiday! The hotel was great the activities through the day were very good, there was something to do every hour of the day. The room decor was dated but your travelling to a country which is dated not to a state of the art country. The beach was beautiful too. You can take pedalos out for an hour at a time same with the kayaks. Snorkelling equipment is for hire too which is defiantly worth taking! the al a carte restaurants are great which some really nice tasting food! All the staff are very friendly and helpful even though some come across a bit ignorant but don't be offended!
People who are moaning about the petty things on here are just knit picking! We heard people complaining there was no wifi, no double bed, no sea view? I didn't know you spent your holiday in your room!
Safe to say it was only ENGLISH complaining!
For £1700 for two weeks was well worth the money and would defiantly definatly go back again!
Travelled as a young couple 22/23 years old
If you are going to the hotel try to take a travel mug/ flask to get filled up with what ever drink you like from rum and cola to beer. They only give you it in small plastic cups otherwise and your back and forward to the bar.

Room Tip: If you like a early night ie before 11 try not to get a room facing the sea as the music until then...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank jamieh1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel

Address: Calle 2, Playa, Guardalavaca 84170, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Guardalavaca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Price Range: $93 - $203 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 437
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Also Known As:
Brisas Hotel Guardalavaca
Guardalavaca Brisas Hotel
Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel Cuba - Holguin Province

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