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Home > Destinations > Cuba > Trip Reports > Trip Report

Cuba - Trip Reports

Brisas Santa Lucia

Our family has never travelled anywhere but, on a suggestion from a travel agent we tried Brisas Santa Lucia, Cuba. It claimed to be a 4 star resort. Looked good we thought and we read a lot of on-line reviews. So this is what happened......

We arrived late at night after a one and a half hour bus ride. Then we were ushered into the dining room so that we could have a bite of dinner before it closed. That was ok. Check in wasn't too bad either. The bell boys were quick to help and the tip was not too bad. The rooms were clean, the bathrooms nice but, the beds were droopy. There was not enough drawer space to put the clothes and the voltage, we found out, is not 110 but 220 so bring your converters if you expect to use your hairdryers. Some fridges work, some don't. Not all the TV's have the same number of channels. We were lucky to have connecting rooms with the kids which made us sleep better. The locks on the sliding doors did not work properly but that was fixed nearly as soon as we reported it. The water pressure was great in the showers and the towels were always clean but not plentiful. You can fix that by talking to your maid and making an offering.

The next morning we found out that the pool was going to be closed for repair for three days. We were very disappointed especially since this is supposed to be high season. They gave us vouchers for the next resort that you could walk to but the children aged 12 and 14 were terribly disappointed. There was not much else to do for that age group either. Some of the other children because they were bored actually got destructive. Brisas needs a program for the intermediate age group to keep them busy.

The weather was inclement also for a few days and that added to the boredom factor. I know that the resort can't do anything about the weather.

We finally took a trip into Camaguey which was not too bad for $29 US each person. The tour guide was knowledgable and told us quite a few interesting facts. The few stops that were made were ok and it made for an interesting day. Again, the 1 and 1/2 hour bus ride there and back was a tough one. Although that allowed time for a snooze either way.

Finally, the weather improved and the pool was finally filled. The activity level improved as they did some pool games and dancing however, still not enough to keep the kids employed. How about some basketball or badminton. The tennis courts were a little old and the workout room/gym was a disaster. There was a big gaping hole in the floorboards that they covered up with gym mats and the equipment was pretty old and tired.

The Trip to the coral reef Included in the package was nice . The ride on the Catamaran was fun. The guides were good but they need to make sure that they have enough sizes of flippers. Size 12 is a rarity and so are the smaller sizes.

I tried the massage. Well, it needs a little improvement. First of all the room needs to be made a little nicer, no broken tiles or dirty floors. Also some music and dim lights for the massage would be nice. The lady did not leave the room when she asked me to undress, she just turned around. I got onto a table with a towel that looked like it had been used by a lot of people before me. She did not cover me at all while working on the other parts of the body so I was kind of naked/uncovered which is kind of weird for a massage. The massage room door was left open while she worked and some people actually came into the reception area and she talked to them while the door was open. A little unnerving. The lady herself was very nice and the massage oils were ok too, but after the massage, she didn't give me a towel to wipe down with. The bathroom in that area didn't have a toilet seat or towels or toilet paper. They need to work on this service if they want people to come back again.

The food was pretty bland although plentiful. You couldn't starve. They really need to serve more authentic cuban cuisine, for example, spicy/flavourful. We were looking for typical rice and beans and meat and plantains but, they served I guess what they thought the tourists would like. The serving stations were good. Breakfasts were eggs any way you like and fruit everyday. Lunch was pastas and meats and Dinners were pasta's and roasts or fish. You don't need to bring salt but it becomes part of your dinner routine pretty quick. The 24 hour burger/hot dog bar saved my son. The a la carte restaurants were ok although we only got to try one because they neglected to tell us that our reservations on Christmas eve were cancelled because of the big buffet night.

The service people were excellent. The maids, bartenders, cooks, waiters and waitresses were the nicest people. They bent over backwards to do anything for you. They were worth the tip that we gave at the end of the stay. We also brought with little presents of toiletries and candy to give to the people which seemed to be appreciated.

It was a nice quiet holiday and on the whole it would have been ok but I would definitely not call this place a four star. It is not even 3 1/2 as some brochures reported on the internet. It is definitely a three star. Nice and clean but needs something more to earn those stars.

I won't go back to Camaguey but I might try Cuba again at some other resort.

Thanks to Shira for this trip report ...
December 2003

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