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“shame on you brisas”

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Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Guardalavaca
Certificate of Excellence
Slough, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“shame on you brisas”
Reviewed 9 March 2012

PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF BAD REVIEWS ALL ARE JUSTIFIED !We are seasoned well travelled people who take at least 2 foreign hols per year and tend to ignore bad reviews but never will again.Arrived back 07/03/12 after spending 2 weeks at Brisas.We were put in room 222 of hotel,room was very dated/worn out,damp,rusty fittings,mould on ceilings,nicotine stained curtains,walls & lights etc,absolutely disgusting & not fit for human habitation,Brisas how dare you treat guests like this !.We complained to reception staff who are as previous reviews state the rudest most unhelpful i have ever encountered,no other rooms available was all we got from them.There were several other parties trying to get moved too but reception offered nothing,luckily for us a stern word with our Thomas Cook rep Daniel got us an apology from Brisas guest services and an immediate free upgrade to the villa section.
This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places we have visited shame about the staff and food though.
Most of the staff are rude and grumpy and expect tipping to provide service. The food is the poorest quality we have experienced on an all inclusive trip with sloppy mash potato served with just about every meal & unidentifiable cuts of meat & trays of slop i would not give to a dog.
A trip to the seafood restaurant for the lobster on offer which i assume was microwaved because it was so rubbery resulted in me getting violently ill 4 hours later vomiting all night eventually coughing up blood,Brisas i salute you !,my fiancee had diaorrhea for the next 3 days.
This resort is rotten to the core,Brisas management needs a kick up the rear this could with a few changes be a fantastic resort.
We spoke at length with many of Brisas returning guests some 20 times,a few had virtually adopted Brisas staff to their families,some very defensive of Brisas they have obviously never stayed in room 222 or not stayed in other resorts where you get treated properly.One lady who had visited approx 20 times and had staff as friends told us some staff were relatively wealthy for Cubans no doubt on the amount of tips provided by us guests.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Guest services & manager take on board & deal with all these bad reviews
All staff should at all times be courteous & attentive to guests
Brisas management should visit RUI or similar resorts and learn how to treat guests
Menus need a complete overhaul
Hotel reception staff should be replaced
Shabby hotel rooms should be closed immediately until refurbished
Managers need to take control show diners to tables & explain procedures etc
Security should wear uniforms identifying them as such & be guest friendly
Brisas staff dont jump queues in front of guests who pay your wages
Brisas staff dont push guests who are queueing at the bars because you are too lazy to take drink orders at the tables



There were some positives
Fantastic location
Villas good
Daniel Thomas Cook rep 1st class
Gardeners lovely chaps always smile & say hola
Lobby bar entertainment good but repeated every 3 days

I have photos to back up all my comments !
We will never visit Brisas again.

Room Tip: avoid hotel at all costs dont go unless you get in to villa section
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank tjhughes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Orangeville,Ontario
Level 4 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2012

Oh ya, can I ever pick em! Well thanks to TA and my own ideas of what would make a perfect family vacation for us, We're so glad we stayed at Brisas.
I've traveled to various area's of Cuba with and without my kids.
~This trip around they are ages 14 and 17 so I was looking for lots of things to do locally without having to take a tour bus everywhere and wouldn't cost a fortune for 4 people.CHECK.
~Wanted a clean comfortable room with the most spectacular view of the ocean. CHECK.
~Expected courteous service but they are the most gracious hosts I've ever had the pleasure of staying with.CHECK
~ A variety of delicious foods prepared fresh, CHECK

So you can count on one hand really what I was looking for in a vacation , but on the other hand,,,, we got so much more.So much that it would take pages and pages to list.
I know a vacation is what you make of it but what I saw even just strolling along the beach, around the pool or about the restaurants were many many families,all sorts of people,friends having a great time. The Vibe was so good I know it just reflects on how well this resort is operated.

I'm not going to review or give my opinion of which restaurant was best or so on because its all just personal taste.
I'll I will say is,,,"Once you go, you'll know"
I have always said I wouldn't book the same place twice as I like to experience new places but I can honestly say I would go back to Brisas given the chance.
We also had a wonderful experience dining at a private restaurant, I have its business card if anyone is interested you can message me. I highly recommend eating there.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms all the way!! Gorgeous view watched water ballet wed night from balcony really i...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank jcvixen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2012

There are 6 restaurants, each with a theme of food and we tried them all. Our favourite was the Italian restaurant and we went here three times.

Helpful?
1 Thank Lynn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2012

I have just returned from a holiday in paradise. My husband, daughter and son-in-law were on the trip with me to celebrate my 60th birthday and we had a truly magical time. The staff at the hotel were always friendly and polite and nothing was too much trouble for them. The maid that cleaned our room always left it sparkling and bed art was different every day. Our Thomas Cook rep, Daniel was very friendly and kept us well informed during our stay. We went on the Natural Farmer trip and it was amazing, well worth a bit of a sore back-side after horse riding and our guide was lovely, very patient and encouraging. I would recommend this hotel, it has 6 restaurants, very much and hopefully, maybe, one day, we will return. Thanks to all concerned in making my birthday one to remember. They even made me a fantastic birthday cake and made this leap year baby feel very special. Thanks.

Room Tip: We had a room overlooking the countryside and heard no noise from the hotel disco at all. The view...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
13 Thank Lynn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brockville, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2012

WOW - a complete 180 from our first visit to Cuba. Our previous visit was horrible - the 4* hotel (can't remember the name) on Veradaro Beach was a dump, the food was awful and the staff were the most repressed, unfriendly we've seen anywhere. Said we wouldn't go back but when I read the reviews on the Brisas Hotel Guardalavac we thought we'd take another chance, and boy were we amazed.

The hotel was better than any other 4*'s we've stayed at in the Caribbean - we had an ocean view room on the 5th floor (but really the 4th floor?).

The beach wasn't very big but it was great and we never had a problem finding loungers there or at the pool and it was constantly being cleaned. Also had alot of hammocks.

The people were extremely friendly no matter who you were talking to and they didn't pretend they didn't understand English like they did in Veradero. And they genuinely weren't looking for tips. I even saw some of the wait staff in the buffet restaurant hugging guests after dinner since they were leaving the next day and wouldn't be seeing them again - wow.

The food was as good as any we've tasted in the Caribbean with lots of variety and the 'expensive' menu items in the a la carte restaurants was amazing. I ordered the filet mignon one night in the Italian restaurant and when it came it only had a butter knive with it. Oh-oh - I thought we're in for a problem. The butter knive cut the filet perfectly and it basically melted in my mouth - the wine sauce on it was the best. In alot of Caribbean resorts, a meal like that, or lobster, would cost extra - but not at the Brisas Guaralavaca - it's all included along with 'top shelf' spirits. They even have a rum bar that only serves the best rum.

Pool was great - always clean with lots of loungers. There is an all-night bar as well as a grill that is open 22 hours per day with pretty good grilled food, sandwiches and pizza. Lobby Bar was a good place to hang out before or after dinner and they had some very impressive local talent performing every night.

There is a Villa section to the property that we had full access to but we were quite content to stay in the hotel section so I have no comment on that section.

A brief walk down the beach (20 minutes) - past other properties brings you to a market with very reasonably priced goods. And take the horse and buggy back to the hotel - it was only 3 pesos.

The hotel comes with all the other usual activites, equipment so you won't be short of things to do. Some of the night time entertainment was a little junvenile (but funny) and the Cuban music bands before each show was a little repetative but hey - at least they can boast they have a 'national' music. Canada is so watered down we can't say the same thing. They did have one night where the pre-show band played rock & roll from the 60's, 70's and 80's and they were really good. Skip the "Magic Show" (I think they meant Magical?) that takes place in the Disco - really, really, really bad. If you've ever seen the Famous People Players, it's the same type of show but the "developmentally challenged" performers in that show are amazing compared to the local Entertainment Team (but they're trying).

My overall rating should be 5*'s but everything can't be perfect so I'd say 4 1/2 *'s is accurate. Go - you won't be disappointed.

Feel free to forward any questions you may have about this resort or any other questions about Cuba in general.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank sauce53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meaford, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2012

We stayed for the first time at Brisas from Feb 17 to Mar 2. As other reviewers have reported, reception staff were efficient but somewhat subdued. Our room was not ready but after eating lunch at the buffet we were given another room. As it turned out it was closer to the other couple we were meeting at the resort.
Room: The room although not large was clean and functional. The twin beds were very comfortable to sleep on and the air conditioning kept the room cozy. The bathroom was adequate although water pressure was not what we are accustom to but was satisfactory. The maid that cleaned our room left a variety of creative towel creations using objects that were handy in the room (cigar, sunglasses, etc). Our room (473) faced out toward the garden but was located above a variety of roofs and therefore the view was not terribly exciting. One bonus is that it was always quiet in comparison to the oceanview which was pleasing to the eye but was sometimes noisey for their occupants.
Food: The food in our opinion was much better than our previous experience in Cuba. The buffet had a variety of special nights and the flavour and seasoning was not repetitive. When we were waiting for our room, we booked the 6 a la carte restaurants. Our favourites were the Italian, Seafood and the 'Kebob' restaurants. We returned to each a second time. Service in most restaurants was great.
Beach/Pool: There was always activities for patrons to take advantage of either at the pool or at the beach. We found staying at the beach avoided the loud music that is often on at the pool. This made the walk to get drinks a little longer but preferable. We found the beach had plenty of lounge chairs and shade for those that burn easily. The beach is wide and would take 15 min to walk from one end of the resort to the beginning of the next resort. The ocean was warm and refreshing and the snorkling was interesting. Each night there is musical entertainment in the bar closest to the buffet which many patrons enjoyed after supper. Later in evening there is a variety of musical entertainment and the very popular Water Ballet on Thursdays.
We found Brisas to be located in an ideal spot allowing for walks in a variety of directions and interesting things to look at especially the market and village down the beach. We took 2 different taxi rides into Holguin and into the country from the ever present taxi drivers. Just ask your rep to set you up. We also took advantage of the horse and buggy rides to check out other resorts. Bicycles are free to ride to the village or where ever. Internet is slow but available.
Staff at the resort were always friendly especially the servers, waiters and waitresses in the buffet. When you see them on a regular basis, you can't help but develop a positive relationship.

Room Tip: Although a villas sound preferable, we did not have a problem with our room except the view (473)
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Willymakeit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dundas
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2012

First trip to Cuba for myself and wife, with a group of 10 friends and most were first visits to Cuba, and we all have the same positive impressions about this hotel. We stayed in the villas section, away from the main hotel. It wasn't perfect, there were a few issues of missing items from rooms and inoperatable jacuzzis near the pools, the room fridge wasn't stocked with anything but bottled water, but any requests for room changes (to first floor) were accomodated when available, cleaning staff provided the missing items (usually from other rooms).
The food was great - exceeded our expectations, a 1 week stay included 6 ala carte resturant meals of various menus, the buffet was great and wait staff friendly and accomodating as were the rest of the hotel staff, even the grounds gardners.
There are 3 hotels along this beach, and the Brisas has the nicest beach, with snorkelling coral reefs starting off the east end of the beach about 100+ metres away, which I visited 3 times. There is a daily open air vendors market about 10 minute walk away past 2 other resorts along the beach walkway where the vendors are different each day over a 1 week period. Many of my friends got good deals on items they found there.
Book your ala carte restaurants early for the week to ensure space availablility, though the buffet in the main hotel is excellent and fresh foods changing daily. Breakfast and lunch buffets were also great.
Lots of bars, 2 swimming pools in the villa section and one in the hotel section. Nightly entertainment at the main hotel. Hotel is a easy walk from the Villas.
Cuban taxi drivers (in a 2 taxi convoy) took most of our group on a nice 7 hour tour into Holgiun, a native Indian village with traditional dance performance, to his parents home for a taste of the real Cuba life, and a family member restaurant for a delicious lunch. 20CUC per person was the cost + tips.
We brought with us a bag of Dollar Store items for tips to the cleaning staff... they were much appreciated and a personal note from our room cleaning lady - Eida Pupo (she was there for each day of our stay) showed her appreciation in writing on the final full day as well wished a nice final day and journey home. Items (all new) like shampoo, toothpaste, tooth brushes, ink pens, colouring markers for children, pony tail hair bands, celo tape, AA batteries are all items we passed on as tips. Maybe $25 worth of gift total for tips, and it is more easily appreciated than actual cash tips which they share with the government when converted to their own Peso. A living wage is low, and daily useful items like these are expensive and appreciated.

Our villa room was ground floor which we requested due to my wifes bad knee to avoid the stairs, but a upper floor villa would be nice to enjoy the breezes off your patio which a ground floor villa didn't feel right leaving a patio door open with people travelling the walkways nearby our room. Bed was fine for sleeping, bathroom plumbing and fixtures very functional, and the TV even carried a Canadian News station so news and weather from back home was available if that interested you.
Non powered water sports like paddle boats, Hobie Cat catamaran sail boats and snorkelling gear are all included at no cost at the beach.
The Havana Club bar on the 3rd floor of the hotel is an excellent place to watch a sunset and enjoy a beverage or two while doing so.
The hotel has a bank in the lobby for fair currency exchange as needed to CUC. I recommend cash currency conversion for the best rates of exchange. US cash currency is NOT the preferred currency to exchange. Certainally no American based credit cards can be used like American Express and MBNA and others.
Lobby Internet computers was terribly slow ... about 6 dollars for 1 hour, but expect almost 1/2 hour login time for sites like Facebook or email accounts.... if it would even connect for email sites. No WIFI available. I did not use the computers personally, but some tried and only were able to connect to Facebook.

Everyone in our group said we would return again to this hotel. It was clean, friendly, great beach and pool areas. It is about 17 years old I was told, and like many things in Cuba, shows it age in places, but I think good value compared to some 5 star resorts in other countries. The Brisas Guardalavaca is rated by Cuba Tourism as a 4 star.

Room Tip: Villa main floor to avoid stairs, Villa 2nd or 3rd floors to enjoy keeping patio door open for night...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank Warpdriv
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
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Guardalavaca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre 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
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Brisas Hotel Guardalavaca
Guardalavaca Brisas Hotel
Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel Holguin Province, Cuba

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