- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2013
- 4 stars or more
I don’t want to spoil anything, this is just my personal opinion… if you’re thinking of going to Cuba for a resort vacation I would honestly recommend going elsewhere in the Carribbean. On a purely superficial note, the food is terrible. But there are a lot of political reasons for this.
This is a blog I started reading when I came home from Cuba:
I would recommend it for perspective of living in a poor communist country, I was glad I went to see it for awareness, but its not a great place to live and I wouldn’t want to go and support a state that treats its people in this way again. Living there, unless you are a high ranking government official, it is very oppressive. I don’t want to give you a huge spiel if you don’t care about the ethics and politics of it all… if you want to chat just let me know 🙂
We stayed in Havana for 3 days and then went to a resort for 3 days and these hotels:
Hotel Saratoga (in the city) and Sandals Royal Hicacos
Saratoga was beautiful and the equivalent of any international excellent city-hotel, but the Sandals resort, though ranked high, seemed to be an adult daycare/Disneyland/fake type place and wasn’t that clean or nice. The beaches were amazing though.
I agree with bella128. I have been to Cuba twice, and spent a total of 5 weeks there, and love it, but it would not be my choice for a resort holiday. Both trips I went on there were multi-centre: the first covered the Pinar del Rio province (amazing countryside and forest), a tiny, and Havana, and the second, Trinidad, Camaguey, Santiago de Cuba, Guardalavaca (beach), and Havana. If I returned, I would do a split-centre again, with no more than a week at a beach resort, and the rest of the time in Havana.
The resorts are simply nowhere near the standard of those in, say, Mexico, or even the DR. Dining options tend to be fairly limited (most limit you to say 2 or 3 a la carte dinners per week, and require reservations; you can get a resort for the same price in Mexico that has unlimited a la carte dining, 24 hour room service, etc), the liquor will not be top-shelf, the rooms are not decorated or equipped to a very high standard, etc. For an all inclusive break, my top choices are Mexico and the Dominican Republic, as they offer way more ‘bang for your buck’.
If you are sure you want to go to Cuba, I would seriously advise spending some time in Havana, as IMO if you go and don’t experience Havana it’s pretty pointless going. As far as beach resorts go, the pick of the bunch would be the Paradisus resorts IMO as both offer several dining options, 24 hour room service, free internet, etc, and get consistently good reviews; there is one in Guardalavaca, and one (or possibly two) in Varadero.
If you want any more info on Cuba in general, give me a shout 🙂
@O.My.Heart: i’ve been travelling for over 25 years and have been to most of the carribean. i’ve been to cuba 10 or 11 times. there are definitely pros and cons as stated by pp. it is usually a bit cheaper than the comparable mexico, jamaica or dominican republic.
there are a lot of beautiful beaches and resorts in cuba but they are a bit more modest than the resorts in mexico and dr.
have you been to other resorts? where have you been? why do you want to go to cuba over other places? what do you prefer to do on vacation; beach? culture? adventure? i ask this to see what the best place for you is.
when do you plan to go? fyi, the north coast of cuba is not very warm in the winter months.
Wow thanks ladies!
I have a friend who says that the food is bad there, that all of her friends say that.
FI is the one who suggested it, but I was on the fence… He has never been down south but I have been to Mexico and the resort was AMAZING.
@mypinkshoes: We are going the 1st week of July. We want all inclusive on the beach but with the option of doing activities like maybe check out local attractions/ruins, water sports or a catamaran day trip….
@O.My.Heart: I went to Cuba last year – I stayed in the Iberostar Laguna Azul in Varadero. It was all inclusive, and it was a really beautiful hotel with lots of pools, with a gorgeous beach. I went to the town of Varadero several times on the tourist bus, did the catamaran tour and the Havana (minus Tropicana) day trip.
The catamaran trip was really fun. The Havana trip was….difficult. I’ve never seen anything like Havana. Old Havana is gorgeous architecturally, but a lot of Havana is just crumbling. People begging for money and food, or trying to sell things, were very aggressive. It was overwhelming.
The food was terrible at the resort, but off the resort it was awesome. I actually got food poisoning at the resort at the end of the trip 🙁
The Cuban people were wonderful, really nice people. There was music everywhere, and everyone was very laid back about time. I felt safe wherever I went.
Overall though, I wouldn’t go back to Cuba. It was very difficult knowing that most Cubans are not free in the same way that we are here in Canada. I tipped as much as possible and left gifts, but it was tough knowing that the Cuban people are oppressed.
I went for a friend’s wedding, and I’m not sorry I went.
Also, check out reviews on TripAdvisor – there are always some people who hate everything, but overall I find that the reviews there are pretty true.
@O.My.Heart: july will be hot in cuba or anywhere south. the resorts in cuba are much more modest than those in mexico. there’s always watersports, snorkling, scuba, etc anywhere you go in cuba. the nicest beach was in santa maria. picture perfect. it’s a newer developed area. your friend is right, the food is not the best.
i find that there’s a lot more activity and adventure in mexico as you know. we have a house 3 hours from cancun so i spend a great deal of time along the maya coast.
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