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).
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
- Also Known As:
- Brisas Hotel Guardalavaca
- Guardalavaca Brisas Hotel
- Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel Cuba - Holguin Province