Booking this hotel was nye-on impossible, Cubaism & CubaJunky were absolutely useless and told us to book it ourself when we arrived as they couldn't book it in time. Getting there was a chore as the roads were poor and hotel was little known in Cuba. Upon eventual arrival, our Casa friend/taxi driver wasn't allowed to drive us to the hotel and thus couldn't use the rest room or get a drink before his long drive back to Santiago de Cuba. Instead he was forced to leave and we had to sit in the open, midday sun, waiting. We were eventually picked up by a hotel staff member and driven to the hotel (seeing none of the game animals talked about on the website).
At the desk they still didn't have any booking for us and made out that us turning up was a real problem, despite them only having 3guests! Our bungalow was large but the bedding and towels, although they looked as if they had been washed, had old marks and stains on as well as holes in (this is a 4* hotel!). The safe had to be paid for separately.
We were asked to pay for the pickup from the gate despite having our own taxi and not being told about this cost . We were told that we were not allowed to walk around the grounds at any time. The beach (advertised as 12 pristine private beaches on the website) was actually only 2 - the walkable one being a disgusting area covered in rubbish and the other, the most amazing beach you could hope to visit, was 8km away and the only way to get there was for them to drive you there at a cost each way! The worst news however, was yet to come. Every day at about 11-12midday, btwn 40-80 tourists are shipped over form the all inclusive hotels on Guardalavacca, to your pristine, private and very small beach. We had gone out of our way to book this hotel and it's beaches with the explicit intention of avoiding the all inc crowds of Guardalavacca - needless to say we felt a wee bit sick and angry.
We thought dinner and sleep would help everything seem less gloomy. Having recommended the Impala (perhaps that's where the game animals had gone!) we were told that half the menu was not available. They had no ice cream and no still bottled water either. I had incredibly dry deep fried chicken and manky fries. When the waiter came over, instead of asking if everything was alright, he said in a very accusatory, angry tone 'what's wrong?' to which we automatically said 'nothing!'.
The 3 guests, a group that come here every year explained that they only stay for the room and the beach - they take their own food and drive themselves to the beach and back, avoiding the hours when the other tourists are there. They said that all the effort is put into the restaurant on the beach and not the hotel when it's low season (despite the prices being high season prices!). They also said that the staff just don't have the training or understanding of customer service as we understand it (which begs the question of where they got the 4* rating from). We were so annoyed with all the misrepresentations on the website and appalling conditions and food that the next morning we begged the 3guests to take us with them off the peninsular and back to Holguin as the one telephone in the hotel couldn't make outgoing calls (hmmm) and they had no taxi service despite being in the middle of nowhere...luckily we were saved by 3 wonderful people who we owe everything to. When we demanded to speak to the Manager before leaving, she really couldn't understand how anything could have been wrong and told us that we would have to seek recompense back in Habana where we booked. Whilst i don't really like to make negative reports, this experience is an exception - if i had read a review like this then we wouldn't have been put to so much cost and trouble for what was a terrible stressfull few days. Cayo Saetia is part of a chain which i will be writing to make a formal complaint.
I would however, highly recommend the casa's we stayed in during our time in Cuba - Casa Fabio y Eugenio in Habana Vieja (unbelievable!), Casa Arturo y Ezmerelda in Bayamo, Casa Miguel y Damaris in Santiago de Cuba and Casa Esther y Husband? in Vinales.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC