I booked a good all-inclusive deal to Brisas guardalavaca through firstchoice, staying 2 weeks. It was significantly cheaper than other package holidays in Cuba. Arrived at Holguin airport and the coach transfer took about 80-90minutes. Check-in was very slow but luckily I was 2nd in the queue so unlike others my wait was not too long. Porter took us to our room (and waited for a tip) and as I was expecting a 3star hotel I was not disappointed. The room was fine, the bathroom had the usual plumbing problems you get abroad (smelly drains at times). There was no kettle but you can go to the bar at any time and get a hot drink. There was a fridge which didn't work and the safe was 2 CUC a day (that's about £1.30 uk money). The resort was mostly Canadians, with British, German and a few other varieties of people. If you are familiar with the concept of the Chav then you will find a few of these at Brisas, up drinking 24hours throughout the night.
As far as value goes, I can't complain, there was always food&drink available, the variety being good, the standard certainly variable. The beach had the prettiest bluest seas i've seen but it's not a private beach so expect Cubans to approach you when you're sunbathing/reading/talking and there'll ask you for money/clothes/toiletries,etc. That said if you politely say no they will leave you alone (unlike other places I've been). There are a few stray dogs around the complex which didn't bother me but my friend hates dogs so I thought I'd mention it. Included in all-inclusive are pedal boats and canoes and I had great fun with these! There is a hut where you can borrow books free and Internet is available in the lobby (at 3 CUC per 30 minutes - that's £2 uk money). There's no wifi (in the hotel or in the area). The Entertainment is average, probably helps if you're a bit drunk, and the TV channels are variable with about 5 in English. The staff are mostly friendly particularly if you tip them, only a few were grumpy. I'd recommend trying the ala carte restaurants.
Parts of the resort could do with refurbishing, there are enough loungers but not alot of shaded areas (no problem for me-I love the sun, but I know some like to lie in the shade). The "gym" is a small room which a few bits of old equipment (1 bike, 1 treadmill, no crosstrainer).
There are lots of repeat guests so some people love it there but personally I wouldn't go back. There's nothing to do in the immediate area, it's literally just a beach strip in the countryside. I did an enjoyable trip to Havana but it's far away (a plane ride) so expensive (300 CUC for a 1night trip). Havana was the best part of the trip & I wished I'd stayed there instead.
For the price I paid though I can't complain!
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- Also Known As:
- Brisas Hotel Guardalavaca
- Guardalavaca Brisas Hotel
- Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel Holguin Province, Cuba