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“Best holiday ever” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel

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Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Chorley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Best holiday ever”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2010

Where can we start. We have been to Cuba 3 times but Brisas was the best yet. The Hotel is in a wonderful setting right at the side of an idyllic white sandy beach with beautiful warm sea (there are a few rocks and grass coral sea beds in some part of the water and a few rocks in places but it is beautiful (sea shoes are adviseable in parts but not necessary everywhere).

Weather
Although we looked on the internet for our 2 weeks 5th June - 19th June it said heavy showers and thunderstorms every day. We had about 30 seconds rain in two whole weeks, the weather was stunning and so hot but with a beautiful breeze on the beach but be careful you can soon burn. It was approx 32 to 34 degrees every day but July and August it can reach 37 degrees to 40. In the towns it is much hotter

Here are a few tips which you might find helpful

MONEY
The local currency is the Cuba Convertible Peso and in the Reception area you will find an exchange bureau where you may change your GBP Sterling or Canadian Dollars, travellers cheques and also obtain an advance of funds on your credit cards. Any credit card transaction will incur an 11.24% charge on top of the amount being paid for. American affillated credit cards such as MBNA, Abbey National, Capital One, American Express, Maestro, Egg and Diners, Switch and interact cards are not acceptable either.
There is a safe in your room for which you have a key and costs 2 pesos a day - well worth it book on arrival at reception.
Also when leaving Cuba you will need to hand into immigration the remaining copy of your entry Visa so keep it in your safe together with your departure tax which is 25 pesos each and must be paid for in cash at the Airport on departure.

EXCURSIONS

We took a trip on the local red open top double decker bus (which is like new) and stops right outside the Hotel at 10.30 -10.45 (Cuban time!)which visits all the hotels around Guardalavaca picking up and then brings you back again to the "Flea Market" and back to Brisas then carries on to the Indian Village high up in the hills. This is a wonderful trip and only costs 5 pesos each return for the whole trip (admission 5 pesos also to the Indian Village). You see all the scenery around Guardalavaca if you take the long trip but if you only want to go to the Indian Village wait outside the Hotel and it will return approx 11.45 ish and just do the Indian Village. You will have an hour with a guide around the Indian Village and the bus arrives back at the Hotel about 1.30 in time for lunch - worth every penny (sorry peso!!!)

Pony & Trap
Again you can pick these up outside the Hotel either at main Reception or at the other small Reception further down which is the Villa Reception entrance. Only costs 15 pesos for 1 hour and he takes you on a trip just around the hotel and shows you the little fishing village near the complex.

COMBO TRIP WITH YOUR REP
This was a lovely day out with a ride on the steam train at Holguin, and the wonderful views at the Cross on the Hill then lunch at a hillside restaurant then free time in Holguin (but it was just too hot to do much there) 49 pesos each inclusive of lunch

STAFF
All the staff as has been stated here many times are so friendly. By the end of the holiday you feel like you have known them for ages. Carlos was on beach duty up at the Fish Restaurant when we were there bringing us drinks all day long on the beach. He is such a pleasant guy always happy and helpful- he never asks for a tip of course but he works so hard in that heat he deserved every peso we gave him and was much appreciated by him. (by the way take the insulated mugs you can get them from any of the "pound shops" here they are invaluable for keeping drinks cool) and Carlos will fill them for you and put ice in.
IVAN is a member of the Entertainment team and a nicer man you couldn't wish to meet. His wife is expecting a little boy in August we only wished we had known as we would have taken him some baby clothes - again he never asked but you feel like you want to help them as much as you can as clothes are exceptionally dear over there - so if anyone is going out soon on holiday we know Ivan would be eternally grateful for anything at all - tell him "Mister Ken" and Maureen send their best wishes. All the Entertainment team are wonderful and do their best to accommodate everybodys taste.

FOOD
We had no issue with the food at all and there was always something to suit everyones tastes no matter how fussy. The guy who does the omlettes is really good we christened him "Eggmond" and he thought that was so funny.
Breakfast can also be taken at the Fish Restaurant (waiter service) no need to book and they also serve a 3 course lunch (no need to book) and evening meals which needs to be booked opposite reception in a morning (If they are playing Frank Sinatra in the Restaurant it is my CD!!).
Lunch can also be taken in the Cuban Restaurant at the side of the "Beach Bar" try the steak it was really good and then there is the Italian for which you have to book your evening meal.

TIPS
Take plenty of sun cream (we used 7 (200 mls) in 2 weeks for the 2 of us.
Also an umbrella would come in handy - no not for the rain but to keep the sun off your head. The Cuban people use these all the time. (There are no canopies around the pool as they were all destroyed last year in the hurricane and have not been replaced).
There are a few straw sun shades on the beach but there are plenty of trees where shade can be found and sunbeds were always in abundance.
It is lovely to gaze up at the stars on the beach at night as you can see millions and millions (and shooting stars) and the sunsets are wonderful.
We never saw any mosquitos at all when we were there but then we never had any rain.
If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us we would be glad to help. There is so much we could say about this wonderful place it is truly amazing for the money. No one on our coach wanted to come home (one lady we met had been back 30 times) and a lot of holidaymakers have been many times before so that must say something for this Hotel. Just go and enjoy and see for yourself -just wish we were going again we like June as it is a fairly quiet time.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank sunsetgirl59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2010

For the money we paid, it was very pleasant, relaxing and a joyful vacation.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hovsep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheshire
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2010

Family of 5 just back.3 adults,1-13yr old + 1-10yr old. This is our 6th trip to Cuba + our best!!! The location is right on the beautifull beach,the pool + surrounding area are cleaned twice a day + are spottless.I've never seen so many cleaning staff 24hrs a day.Its the ONLY resort we've been to where a trip to the toilets (take your camera in) is a pleasure??? Fresh,stunning flower arrangements everywhere.If they look after the loo's like that then you have no worries about anywhere else in the resort.The staff couldnt do enough for you,nothings to much trouble.Your a short walk away from daily markets + a land train away from a great fishing village with local school (all welcome),museum,cafe ect. We've had such a fab time that two of us are going back in Aug + taking lots of deflated footballs,skipping ropes + ABCD posters-some for school + some for entertainments team!!!! The dolphin trip is a must....most amazing thing ive seen for a long time + the highlight of the kids holiday!!! If you decide to go you wont be dissapointed ENJOY!!!! x

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank tommywalshey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, Essex United Kingdom
Level Contributor
183 reviews
152 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2010

Stayed here for two nights whilst on a tour of Cuba, wishes we could have stayed for one more night.
The hotel is set in beautiful gardens that go right down to the beach.
We stayed in one of the Villas which were very spacious, clean and quiet.
The hotel is an all inclusive type and the only downside, I would say is the vast number of maurading Canadians, most of whom seemed very drunk most of the time having filled up these massive flask type cups with alcohol. I don't know why, it's all free! Laziness I guess.
The staff were charming, the cocktails and food delicious. We were out of season an a lot of the hotel was closed, I can imagine if it was full it might be a bit of a nightmare.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LFK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, ontario
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2010

This was my 4th time to Cuba and my first time to Brisas guardalavaca. It was a great resort! My husband and I stayed in the villas and they were clean and spacious, and very quiet. The villa pool is very quiet as well, so if you don't enjoy all the loud activities and crowds at the main pool, hang out at the villa pool.
Our family and friend stayed in the hotel area and they had no complaints.
All of the rooms are equipped with air conditioning which you will need! The food was plentiful and you will always find something to eat! Rabbit stew, roast pork for lunch by the pool, shrimp, ham and cheese sandwiches at the snack bar, fresh fruit!
I have been to Cuba 4 times, Africa twice, and to several other places around the world.
I have back packed, stayed in hostels, modest motels, luxury lodges and hotels, and I still don't get the complaints about the food and accomodations in Cuba. You are paying $500-$800 for a weeks vacation including flight, hotel, all you can eat and drink, including a 24 hour snack bar and you are still not happy? You don't go to Cuba for the food, you go for the beach and to get away for a while, and if you are not impressed with the food at the hotel, step out of the resort,
(and maybe out of your comfort zone) walk into the fishing village, and you will have several cuban families welcoming you into their homes for a fresh lobster dinner for $8 pesos each. We did that and it was amazing! There were 6 of us and we got 2 fresh lobster tails each, rice, fresh banana chips, salad and gravy for 8 pesos. We also brought the family clothing and toiletries as they do not have a lot in Cuba.

Back to Brisas, there are several activities.... we went horseback riding for an hour (for 8 pesos) took a day trip on a catamaran for $60, open bar included, went snorkeling, and enjoyed a lobster lunch at a restaurant along the beach, played horseshoes, target shooting, chess, ping pong, and walked out of the resort to a batting cage down the road. The Resort is well kept, staff is friendly, Mojitos delicious, and the beach is stunning! What more can you ask for for under $1000? Stop complaining!! If you want gourmet food, don't go to cuba!
Pay $2000-$3000 for 1 week in Fiji!
Cubans are warm people with a lot of spirit, We had a fantastic vacation!
Oh! And if you dig John Lennon then you will appreciate the John Lennon Statue by the villas!
I will return for my 5th visit sometime soon, but not before Grenada in september!! ;)

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank GiselleCorreia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jgolds3
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2010

I travelled to Brisas with a girlfriend of mine, and this was my frist all inclusive vacation so i did not know what to expect.

ROOM- the room was very clean, the bed was ok for comfort but you only got two really thin pillows, so i rolled up blankets and made make shift pillows. the chamber maid was great and always made sure that it was ok to clean the room

STAFF- all of the staff was very pleasant and helpful, however we had an issue with the front desk of the hotel, they were very rude, snobby and never seemed like they wanted to help us with anything. We had a lot of problems with our room keys, and although it was OUR inconvenience, they made us feel like we were incomveniencing them by making them work.

FOOD- the food is not the greatest, but you wioll never go hungry. there is an italian restaurant, seafood, buffet and grill. they are all ok, there is always going to be stuff that you like and stuff that you dont like. the late night hot dogs were good hehe

BEACH- beautiful white sand, lots of beach chairs.....gorgeous!!!

There are two different pools, one of the main part of the resort and one at the villas end. the pool at the villa end was kind of dirty so we only went in it once. pool temp was perfect and the swim up bar staff is great!

I brought 300 canadian with me and that was suitable for tips souveniers for about 6 ppl and to do one excursion. We went on a catamaran ride to snorkel and swim with dolphins. it was 99 convertible pesos. it was a pretty good deal, the boat ride was awesome....i didnt really enjoy the snorkeling but thats just because it freaked me out.....they take you out to the coral reef its cool........

there is a disco in the hotel, but not many people went to it, but its still fun to go to....there is also a disco abotu 10 min walk from the resort called la rocha.....

there is a gym in the hotel but its small with a couple bikes from 1970....i just opted for a run outside and swimming

there is nightly entertaining......the house band was awesome.....they did a dance show, fashiopn show....water ballet....so much stuff and lots of activities throughout the day

they have internet access....the internet is kind of slow 6 convertible pesos for 1hour and the computers are open 24 hours

there is a cuban beach off the resort where the locals hang out, we went there and it was nice....this is a beautiful area.....the beach is gorgeous.....

my only gripes with this hotel was the front desk staff.......and the fact that it was a lot of older people couples and families. but we made a lot of friends and i would definately go back!!!!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank jgolds3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St.Helens
Level Contributor
40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2010

Stayed at Brisas 1st-15th May & loved the place. Was great to be able to sit in the sun on the beach with a lovley constant breeze even though it was realy hot! The beaches are beautifull!!
It was only a short stroll to the little market along the beach or a horse & cart ride along the quiet road at the front of the hotel.
Our room was fine we stayed in the main hotel part & had no problems at all, we were facing the front of the hotel so there was no noise from the bar
The food also was ok & we always found something nice to eat! (loved the smoothies in a morning too)
We went on the Fantastica trip with Thomsons which includes a dolphin swim amongst other things & realy enjoyed the whole day!
We also took a cab with our friends to Holguin & Gibara stopping off at different places to see, that was a good day out too.
The entertainment was quite good, we didnt watch every night but the water ballet was excellent.
The people are sooo friendly & the staff go out of there way to help & assist .
We had a great time & would defo go back!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank RoamingKoalas
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 437
Also Known As:
Brisas Hotel Guardalavaca
Guardalavaca Brisas Hotel
Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel Cuba - Holguin Province

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