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“Good and bad....” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca

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Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
niagara
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Good and bad....”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2012

To start off, let me say just months before we stayed at a 5 star (Ensenachos) in Cuba, but we KNEW this would be different. We wanted to go on a quick last minute cheap trip with our two girls and their boyfriends so in order to pay for all we knew we could not get the same quality. To that end I think we were pleasantly surprised to find much of our trip better than expected.

On arrival, we were a bit wary as the lobby was in great need of 'updating' and the staff seemed overwhelmed and slow. It WAS very late at night, but we waited patiently and finally got our rooms. But then - nothing.... where to go??They just gave us a general point 'that way'. No real signs easily found, the only guy to help was off with some others and there was no golf cart or anything to take us and our luggage. We started out in the direction and the man caught up to us - thank goodness, because we would have never found the rooms.

But here it gets good.... The rooms were nicer than our 5 star!!!! I mean, still not 5 star USA standards, but this is Cuba. We paid cheaply for the general price because all the cheap rooms were being renovated and we knew we had an automatic upgrade to the best... and for this 3 star they were pretty nice and very clean (I think they actually have these rooms - maybe called villas? rated at a four star?). The balcony was very private and had a lovely view of the pool and the ocean! The maid service was good, but learn some spanish to be able to say a few words to them. The only thing we didn't like was that you had to get your own drinking water. At Ensenachos they kept your room stocked with bottled water. Here, we had to keep getting it at the bar. They also accommodated our 3 rooms together nicely with one adjoining room.

The food was okay. We were fed, but gained no weight.... like most Cuban resorts. The snack bar kept the young ones happy between meals and late at night, but as usual, sick of fries by the end of the week. But I am good with tons of fruit, beans and rice... so that was good. As for Alcohol, if you want your free drinks when you are on the beach, you must go to the pool bar, as the beach is public and the bars ON the beach cost $. This wasn't really a concern for us as we knew to bring our big bubbas from Canada and usually one of the guys was in need of a walk or one of us had to use the washroom, so once an hour or so someone would make the trip (not that far- the pool is right on the beach). They also made better drinks at the lobby bar so take a few extra steps - they only had lemonlime slushy for margaritas at the lobby.

Now for the all important beach.... There are only a few palapas but there are a few trees too. We did get shade every day, but sometimes not together until someone else moved. It is, as I mentioned earlier, a public beach. This was a first for us and I wouldn't have cared except for the begging. Once we said no, we were left alone, but we did help a single woman out of a situation with a gentleman and we did feel 'watched' at times - especially on the weekend. We would have gone to the tiny 'private' beach, but it was FULL of people interestingly enough not wearing hotel bracelets???? Twice a band and dancers entertained us while we were sunbathing... some may not like this - but they were extremely good musicians so we didn't mind and gave them a five.

The real Bonus of this beach though was that the snorkeling was everywhere - which may not be good for those of you who want clean sand beach out as far as you can see....
At about shoulder level it becomes sea weedy and the snorkeling is fantastic - so its great for beginners and kids. Mine spent most of their time out there - even getting the free paddle boat to snorkel out farther - which is probably why they all burned their backs so bad!

Now for the shopping at the market. The last trip we did not get this and had to go into Santa Clara and there was really nothing to buy. Here, everyday the market is different as the venders only get one day a week, so it keeps changing. So, every morning after breakfast, on our way to the beach, we cut through the market and found great things to buy. Cubans are relatively poor and we chose this way to help, giving to those who are trying to make a living by making or selling goods. Often the seller is representing a group of people who make the products, so even though we didn't 'need' any of the trinkets we bought, we wanted to buy as much as we could afford to give back.

As for the grounds and pools they were very nice. During the day for people watching, pool bar and the ocean views, the main pool is best. For quieter times, the pool by the snack bar is lovely, as there is even some shade at one end. For small ones, there is a kids pool and a playground area that seemed to keep the kids I saw happy. I loved that there were random hammocks everywhere, Just grab a book and find a quiet shady spot and enjoy...

As for entertainment.... do you REALLY go there for that?? We enjoyed the leaf playing music one day - yes I said leaf - and there were various other things going on often through the day and night. Some of our kids saw some bands they said were pretty good, and we caught the end of the 'water ballet' which was pretty good for a hotel, but we didn't really participate in much. Oh and if you want a cheap massage, get your name in early or it fills up and your out of luck (like me).

As for tipping, we were not pressured and gave one or two at every meal and tried to stay in the same waiters area so at the end of the week if they were very helpful (which they all were) we gave them a bigger tip and goodbye gifts. We left the maid one everyday and the bartender often... if your at the spot for a time it doesn't have to be every drink. If you bring gifts, the hardest things for them to get are clothes and shoes - the dancers could use high heeled sandals. I've been to their shoe stores (I mean 4 shelves in the main store) and I understand. Just don't bring anything very American (no American flag, etc). But Canadian is good!

The tour operator representative was only there an hour a day - midday - so any questions and you had to leave the beach or where ever... and signing up for things was a bit unorganized, so we didn't bother. So if your just keeping with your group and making your own fun, all is good. This was very different than at a 5 star.... the representative lived on the site and was there to help most of the day with anything.


The gardens and views are wonderful and all in all if you are on a budget and can get one of the better rooms then I say go for it. We paid 600 Cdn including tax.... so for that price you can't go wrong. We went to spend time with our girls before they went on to Uni, we wanted a cheap all inclusive that was clean, where we could enjoy the beach and pools, where the drinks were free and good, and where the staff was friendly. We accomplished all the above. If you do not get in the good rooms though.... not sure if I would stay there unless you are just there to party.

Room Tip: get a villa. period. end of story.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jo-ianmckenzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,855 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (650)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Fernie, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2012

My family and I (Daughter 14, Son 12 and my wife) stayed for a week. Most of the reviews are pretty accurate but I would say that the travellers that complained were expecting to much to begin with. My last trip was to St Lucia, stayed at a 5 star Sandals and was more disappointed with it. I liked this resort. I will just touch on the things we were looking for before we went.

Rooms
The cheap rooms are ok. Imagine what the room might look like in the inexpensive local hotel in your town. The beds are firm like the mattresses on a bunk bed and only a little wider so if there are more then three people you will need another cot or a second room. The bathrooms were clean. Tile floors throughout the rooms. Air conditioners worked well in all our rooms. If you get a room that is humid smelling it is probably because the person before you never bothered to air out the room for the week they were there. Open the doors and let the wind blow through when in your rooms. We kept the rooms cool with the air conditioners and this also reduced humidity. I asked for the upgrade at check in and we had Villa rooms the next day.

Villa rooms.
The ocean view Villa rooms are great. Same beds, updated TV, Bathroom etc. They are about 50 yards from the ocean. Cost me $250 extra per room for 7 days not per night. Well worth the money. There were 3 or 4 english channels on the TV on the rainy days. Helped pass the time.

You will likely see some little ants. And when I say little I mean tiny. I never had any issues with them and they seemed to be found mostly in the bathroom. There were very few of them. No other bugs were a problem.

Food
This one is easy. I enjoyed the food. If you want to know what the food tastes like bake up some chicken without any spices and make up some plain white rice. They also have rice that is seasoned with burrito like spices and some other nice recipes. The ham was great. The hamburgers are pork burgers and my whole family enjoyed them. They have ketchup and mustard but the mustard is different in flavour. Pizza is good and the hotdogs were as well.
Stay away from pasta. It would seem that this was to be a common denominator for illness. My buddy went last year and was sick afterwards. He stayed at Breezes next door and had this issue. My daughter, wife and son this time. I ate a couple of small salads without any issue. I ate the fruit without issue. We were told that Club Amigo has their own water at the resort making it safer to use.
Al a Carte
There was one beef meal available at the Cuban Restaurant (Benny Mores I think) it was good as well. The pork meal there is somewhat dry. We liked this meal. We had the Italian the next night. I had the Chicken Cordon blue (sp?) It was Ok, My daughter the spagetti, my wife the other noodle option and my son the pizza. I already mentioned the pastas. They taste good but I wouldn't eat them. The pizza was great. My son enjoyed it. Ham and pine or just ham is available. The tirramasou (sp?) desert was fantastic, best one of the trip. Not a true version but the Cuban version and we all really liked it. The Grill (Vega Restaurant) A la carte was ok. Not great. We were late though and didn't really get to enjoy the whole night. We all had the shrimp. It is served whole so if you don't like little eyeballs staring up at you don't bother haha. My son had the chicken and it was ok.

Buffet was good. Lots of things to choose from. I was never bored. Breakfast was always good, I had lots of pancakes and french toast. They have nice syrup. The bread is great. Lots of fruit to choose from. lunch and dinner for me was usually chicken and rice. Or hamburgers etc. I imagine if I stayed there for more then a week I might eventually look to an outside choice.

Pools
Are cold haha. When you first get in they are cold. Once your body adjusts though they are great.

Beach.
Can't say enough about the beach. I wish the tourists would pick up their trash though. Terrible disrespect.

Water
As I mentioned before the resort apparently has its own water. Not sure what that means but for me I was ok to use it and didn't seem to have any issues with using it. I drank the bottled water (which has to be purchased at the little store) if I go again I may try my luck with the tap.

Tipping.
Ok. This actually was my only source of stress before I went. It seemed like for me to have a good trip I was forced to tip. Or at least that is what I gained from all the comments. Not true. Once I was there I realized that if I was home in Canada I would leave a tip regardless if I had good service. And not just a Peso. When I ate the A la Carte I considered how much this might have cost at home and left an appropriate tip. This was usually $5. When I drink here I typically tip the bartender a dollar when I have a drink if I am served quickly (this usually leads to quicker service in Canada as well) so I did the same there and low and behold I got my drinks faster. The girls working the snack shacks will come over and get your orders. I tipped them like I would normally. Somebody actually commented that I tipped to much money because I had already paid the resort fee. I responded asking if they tipped at the resorts that were not all inclusive back home? You still pay for the food there as well as the resort. I tipped for good service and recieved it. My wife left some nice gifts for the lady that cleaned the rooms. Our rooms were always very nice. Actually made me wonder if we would get better service from the low paid chamber maids in Canada if we left a little something for them? Anyway I didn't always tip and nobody that worked there seemed put off by it.

If I had anything to complain about it would be the food at the Toronto Airport. We flew Westjet and there was a place called "Toast" there. No prices (and they were ridiculously priced, no toasted anything(cold bagels with no butter and a couple lumps of cheese). Just there to take advantage of the travellers. The place should be closed.

Westjet was awesome (Although it would have been nice if the movies were still free) and our trip was a lot of fun. My pictures are much the same as the rest but if you like you can message me and I will send you some.

Room Tip: The Villa rooms are nice and are close to the snack shack. They are little ways away from the beach...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 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?
15 Thank Potyok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Englehart, Canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2012

Amigo hotel rooms are very noisey. After 2 days we moved to the villas at a cost of $96 for 4 nights and we had no complaints after that. 4 pools and 3 buffets.
Lovely staff and very clean rooms. A public beach and two other small beaches.
The beach at the next hotel the Brisas was beautiful and I think I would stay there next time just for the beach.

Room Tip: Pick villa rooms if you want to get any sleep
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 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?
Thank Kittyminky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trenton, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2012

To start, we are not picky, we usually book 3 stars for the price. When arrived check in was fairly painless 30 minute wait which is to be expected anywhere for a 3 star. We booked the Villas after reading all of the reviews. We had envisions of villa being fair size rooms. By were disappointed with the size. two - 3/4 beds in the room which made my wifes back hurt every morning, my back was fine and im usually the one with the back problems. The kids had an adjoning room. The food was so so but weve been to cuba before and expected it. We went to all the buffets, the BUNGALOW buffet is definately the best out of them all, the food in that buffet near the main stage is simialar to an ala carte. The kids were very disappointed in the entertainment. The mini golf has 2 clubs which were out most of the time. The ping pong had no balls, good thing we brought some for beer pong. No archery , no arrows. The night show is same thing over and over, a resort band which is good the first time, KokoJambo but thats what youll see every show. Disco was good but need more english music. This resort i would say was 20% english 70%- french and 10%-spanish. They seemed to caiter to french when explaining or singing things at the show since so many from Quebec. Watch out for sidewalks they are un-even and cracked in alot of spots. Although that makes me sound high class, im not. The reason why i say this is because we had a couple of spills from un-even or cracked sidewalks, so not good for older people or young children. Our daughter went to kids club and had a blast. The beach is great, our son went snorkelling, paddle boating. If going on excursions:::::: We went on Cateraman, snorkelling and dolphin swim, lunch which was $139 each. Was a great excursion however wife was sea sick on boat and very expensive for the 6 of us to go. Once we talked to cab driver:: Jorge Martinez who is AWESOME could have cabbed it to dolphin show and saved hundreds. Jorge took us to his place, showed us a Cuban house, his family invited us to his sons 14 birthday party. Really nice guy. There is an excursion to indian village $35 a person. Wife wanted to do this tour. So instead of paying $205 for the 6 of us to go, we called Jorge and went in his cab, paid $2 admission and the whole trip costed us $30. All in all was a great trip , however if going to this area again i would choose paradise oro, alot nicer, so instead of paying extra for villa id sink that into regular room at ORO. Been to Varadero last year and prefer that area better but both are Great. Cuban people are so friendly.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Frederick D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quebec City, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2012

A great 3 cuban star hotel
Second Time there
Location amasing (you can walk all around the 3 hotels complex near the beach)
Food is average / okay (don't Forget ... It's Cuba!)
Beach is wonderful and great spot for snorkling
Room services is okay ... Specialy if you're generous with your roomate!

Try to avoid room nearby the lobby too noisy until early morning !

Will get back only for the beach and the location !

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Hakim17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericton, Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2012

This is a huge resort with 4 pools and many chairs available for suntanning. The grounds are spectacular and there are many quaint beaches and areas to enjoy and not feel over powered by people. This is an any age resort but there's always the super drunk bunch that scream and hoop it up all night or day long.Lots of drinking going on here. The flooring is mostly marble and there's many steps and uneven surfaces so there's tons of people limping around with ankle braces, red knees or broken fingers or wrists from falling. I saw two people carted away from falls on stretchers. It's done very discreetly and you can tell they're used to scraping the tourists off the floor/gound. The food is okay but I was almost in a panic to get the h.. out. Everything is creamed or stewed. No teeth required to eat here.
It's an interesting cultural experience so take an excursion off site.
Our room was small and very clean. Same size as anything I'd get in Europe. We bought the cheapest room there. Leave your hairdyer and flat iron at home. Nothing will work there.
I won't go back. It's not for me although I met many who came here all the time and said this was a better one food wise than others they've been to. Yikes!

Room Tip: We had a cheap room in the area called the Russian Barracks. It was very small with zero amenities e...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Doris96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2012

This is a big sprawling resort devided into four sections which takes some exploring to get oriented, and to find the various pools, activities and restaurants.

I'll start with the 'misses',mostly minor annoyances
-the check-in desk could only find one of our two rooms initially, after a cuban version of "who's on first, what's on second" we were finally assigned our two gardenview rooms.
-the gardenview rooms are small,ancient,and in a state of decay, as a bonus one of our 2 rooms had a very unpleasant urine/moldy odour. We were allowed to move to an adjacent room on the second night which was similar minus the urine portion of the odour.
-after several requests our rooms were upgraded to the Tropical section of the hotel on the third night.
-I know I sound like a whiner but the endless waiting in line for the 'a la carte' restaurant reservations made me think there has to be a better way, booking on-line would be great.
-As a non-smoking family we dubbed the main bar adjacent to the tropical's reception area the "puff puff pit". The most direct route to the pools and beach was to pass through this second hand smoke hell hole, just saying!

OK now the hits,
-The tropical rooms were what I would expect from a 3 star cuban resort, a good size, clean, less ancient than the gardenview and pleasantly no odour, the small safe was available for an additional 1 CUC per day and a porter would bring you a small unstocked fridge for 2 CUC per day.
-The two a la cartes we ate at had good service, nice surroundings and basic food, a good time was had.
-The three buffet restaurants we ate at varied conciderablely in all aspects of the dining experience. The 'Bungalow's' buffet was heads and shoulders better than the other two.
-The beach/waterfront is beautiful, we enjoyed many walks up and down this pretty area.
-Many activities are available and the 'animation' staff are very good,
-The surrounding rural area is well worth exploring, we explored by foot, by bike, and horse.
-The locals are wonderful and are likely to invite you into their modest homes if you take the time to talk/gesture with them. Once you are out of resort area you will feel as if you have gone back in time, with free range goats, chickens, pigs and cows and small subsistance farms.

It very easy to find fault with this hotel but overall we had a great time and there is great bang for the buck at club amigo. We will however book else where on our next trip

Room Tip: Do not book the gardenview room
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank CubanNewbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca

Property: Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca
Address: Playa Guardalavaca, Guardalavaca 84170, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Guardalavaca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca 3*
Number of rooms: 747
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca Hotel Guardalavaca
Hotel Amigo Atlantico Guardalavaca
Amigo Guardalavaca Hotel Holguin
Amigo Guardalavaca Club
Club Amigo Guardalavaca
Club Amigo Atlantico - Guardalavaca Cuba - Holguin Province

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