The location was the main incentive to try this hotel on our first trip to Cuba early this June. We wanted the beautiful beaches of Varadero, but without the 3 hour bus trip to Havana(this hotel has a great 20min shuttle to the city that run multiple times a day). This is one of the very few hotels in Cuba that had both. Gorgeous white sandy beach just steps behind the hotel, crystal clear blue water, I've never seen a more beautiful beach! Beach staff were amazing as well, cleaned up every morning and were very attentive to get you a beach chair/umbrella if you needed one. Just be careful during any sunset/sunrise beach walks, as this is when the mosquitoes are in full-force. Other than that we weren't bothered by bugs at all.
The actual hotel itself is definitely nothing fancy, but after reading many reviews, this was not a surprise to us. It was the location we wanted after all. But it was very clean, our room was lovely, big bathroom, ac, balcony, quiet. The only thing I would do next time is bring our own pillows, the hotel ones are definitely on the lumpy side! We had no issues with running out of hot water, ac, or anything during our stay(except the bar would often run out of ice, mint, lime juice but I've heard that's common). Staff were friendly enough, especially if you took the time to chat with them, be polite, and tip occasionally. The food was surprisingly good, I was expecting much worse! There was always something to eat, lots of rice, potatoes, meats, and the fresh fruit and coffee was the best I've ever had. I'm not sure why, but none of the a la carte restaurants were open during our stay for us to try. The pool was not great, it was a little scummy at best, and by the end of our trip it was lime-green and completely cloudy, but with the ocean just steps away this wasn't a problem for us. I also heard that they are renovating it this summer.
Overall, this hotel is a quirky little gem that really grows on you. If you're looking to be pampered at a 5 star luxury resort packed with tourists, this is definitely not the place for you. But if you're looking to spend lots of your time in Havana, with the option of a gorgeous beach to relax on, this is perfect. It's small, low-key, and if you're not fussy and keep your expectations low, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. It could use a bit of TLC, but at the same time it's great value for the money. We will absolutely be back in the future.
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Caribe Club Atlantico Hotel Havana
- Gran Caribe Hotel Atlantico
- Gran Caribe Havana