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“Incredible trip!”

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Brisas del Caribe Hotel
Ranked #25 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
St. Catharines, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Incredible trip!”
Reviewed 5 March 2012

I just got back from staying at Brisas del Caribe this morning and wanted to let readers know that my stay was amazing. I payed $905 taxes incl for 7 nights from Toronto and booked on my own off itravel (best rate at the time). Not sure if using an agent would help, might try that next time, but I know people that got it for $800 from Toronto and $650 from Ottawa. I also brought $400 in spending money.

After reading review after review about different hotels I opted for Brisas del Caribe as they were a fairly large hotel and it was only my boyfriend and I going (we are in our mid-twenties), they had 24 hr snacks and drinks, and it was a central location in Varadero . Everyone is very friendly and there was a good mix in the crowd of 20s, 30s, families and couples.

Having never been to Cuba before I expected the worst and could not have been more happier with my decision. I think the next time I go I will even down-grade from a 3.5-4* to a 2.5 or a B&B. The culture in Cuba is incredible and much better spent enjoying than living on the resort. If you want to do that I would say go to Mexico.

LOCATION
Just a 10-15 minute bus/moped/taxi will have you into downtown Varadero where you will find restaurants, bars, tourist markets, and other activities. A great day trip with lots to see. It is located about 30 minutes from Varadero airport.

FOOD
I was expecting the worst after the reviews I read but I was thoroughly impressed, the food was fantastic. Fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, rice, pasta, and overall healthy food. I consider myself a fairly picky eater and I always found something to eat. I also found the food at the buffet much better than the a la cartes.

ETIQUETTE
If you are planning a trip to Cuba, do your research on the history and be respectful while you are there. I brought a printed list of common words and tried to learn new words from the Cuban people when in conversation. All the staff and locals in Varadero and Havana could speak relatively good English. They learn it for us so being in their country we should try for them.

PATIENCE
You are not in North America, you are on vacation. Do not expect the level of service that you have at home in Cuba. What I mean by this is that you will not receive the timely service that they aim for at home (ie front desk). They will likely tell you this upon arrival. They are not stressed out people, they are happy people. If anything try and learn from them and respect them.

TIPPING
Housekeepers - 1-3 CUCs per day or gifts (childrens toys, gifts, makeup, nailpolish, electronics, etc)
Guides, drivers - 1-3 CUC
Wait staff, cooks - 1-3 CUC

-Pretty much just give a bit extra with purchases or services, they truly appreciate them but be respectful.

LOCALS
Take the time to get to know people and learn from them. We made friends with a couple of the locals who have invited us back to stay with them and their families. Their warmth is genuine and a real experience unlike Canada and especially the US.

TO DO
For the party-ers there are places to go at night (although you will be paying extra), the nightly entertainment, and the disco. Although I never went to the disco, the friends I made there went nearly every night and had a great time - a good way to make friends at the resort.

Havana

Scuba diving

Catamaran

Caves

BEACHES
Absolutely beautiful.

SAFETY
Very safe. Use the same amount of caution you'd use at home and you'll be fine.

MONEY
Being unable to convert money prior to visiting Cuba, you are able to at the airport (be prepared for a long line), banks, and the hotel.
I exchanged my Canadian money at the hotel and if you do be prepared for a charge. While the rate changes every day, expect to lose a decent amount - I exchanged $100 and got $88.
However, I took money off my VISA card (make sure yours has no US affiliation and that you bring your passport) and there was barely any charge - I asked for $70 thinking I would get $60 and I got $70. My receipt said I paid $72.50 - MUCH less of a charge than what the hotel exchanges for.
Our rep at the hotel had also said there was no difference at local banks versus the bank at the hotel, but there is. In town we could exchange money for nearly no charge as well - just make sure you bring your passport, and also, prepare for a line.
The bank at the hotel is convenient, but i'd recommend taking $ off your credit card.

ELECTRICITY
Rooms are not equipped with converters for 220V but the front desk will charge your cameras, cell phones, etc for you.

Overall it was an incredible trip, I would definitely go again.

Room Tip: Oceanview is also pool view in some sections, 24 hr bar is in the South Section so if you want to st...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
13 Thank Meg C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Petawawa, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2012

We just returned from Cuba and stayed at the Brisas Del Caribe. This was our first time to cuba and I can tell you I would go back in a heartbeat!!
Lets start with the hotel. This is a 4 star hotel by cuban standards, it was very clean and very spacious. There are two sections to the hotel, a south side and a north side. The north side is the main building and the south is away from it a little ways. We stayed in room 425 in the north side. The room itself was spacious and very clean but the view was something to be desired. Our view was the roof over the main lobby. We were hoping for a beach view but I guess beggers cant be choosers and for the amount of time we actually spent in the room it really didnt matter. Our maids name was Joselin and she was very friendly. Everyday we found the wonderful towel designs on our bed and the room was always clean.
There was plenty to do on the resort if you planned you day. They had dancing lessons by the pool side, aqua fitness in the ocean, sports, and night life right at the resort. The beach was beautiful!! Very clean and always had chairs available. There were a lot of vendors on the beach but they were not pushy with their items. I can not say enough about the friendliness of the people at this resort!! They love canadians and will go out of thier way to ensure you have a good vacation. They are not pushy at all and are very appreciative if you leave a small tip for them. Our average tip was one peso either on the table for the waitress or at the bars for your drinks. Of course you are not obligated to leave a tip but you get to know the staff and it just seems right.
We took two excursions while we were there. We did the all day trip into Havana that included the tropicana show. It was a very long day but it was worth it. We learned alot about the history of Cuba and saw some magnificent buildings in Havana. The tropicana show was amazing, the costumes and music was fantastice plus we came out of there with a mickey of rum free to take home.(tip: if you dont plan on drinking the rum there ask for a mickey to split between two people as apposed to a bottle to split between 4). The other excursion we took was the catamaran dolphin swim. That was fantastic. The dolphins were amazing and very gentle. We went snorkling and then went to a small island where we enjoyed lobster and had a few hours just to relax on the beach. I would highly recommend ths excursion.
Now, the food. Well it was ok at best but that is what we expected going there. Remember to bring imodium with you as travellers diahrerea is common and ths will help a lot. Their main staple there is rice, cabbage and beans. This was found on the buffet everyday. I found the buffet was very repetative. We did enjoy shrimp a few nights a week but they cook it on a grill with the heads and everything. If you dont mind peeling your shrimp then you have to try it. They had other things on the grilling station such as fish, hamburgers, hot dogs and pasta that were good. Breakfast you have to try the fruit filled crepes....delicious and the omlettes are fantastic too. There is a section where you can always get fresh fruit and fruit smoothies. We didnt starve but just remember that this is not Canada and the food is going to be different from what you are used to.
Rum flows like water in Cuba so if you enjoy rum it is fantastic. Bring a large insulted cup with you ( bubba cups found at Canadian Tire work best but remember you have to carry it around with you so i would recommend nothing bigger than the 32-34 oz ones) you can get them filled at any bar on the resort and it saves you from having to go back every 10 mins.
Overall we had a wonderful time and would go back for sure. Oh, if you want to go into Varadero for shopping I would highly recommend taking the double decker bus as it is a whole lot cheaper. You can get on the bus for 5 pesos each and ride the bus all day, getting off and on it when and where you want. The taxis are neat but they can get very expensive running between 5-10 pesos one way.
Cuba is a very friendly country and for it being our first time it was fantastic..just go!!!!!

Room Tip: If you want to be close to the beach then choose a room in the main building. If you are a family an...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank jsltce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kitchener, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2012

This was our first time in Cuba and I have to say that was the best holiday in years! My wife and I were very pleased that we choose Brisas Del Caribe for our destination.
For the whole week the weather was hot, too hot for me (!) but my wife enjoy it! The beach with the white sand is very nice; the water was clean and warm and was my favorite place to go at sunset.
The personal from the resort was very nice and friendly, and I would like to mention three names in particular: Maylen, Juan Carlos and Michael. Those people became our friends for the period we stayed there. They are very professional but they have a very good personality and heart and that is why they are very close to us.
Maylen kept our room spotless and every day she surprised us with a new figurine made from the bath towels. She is an artist in doing that!
Juan Carlos from the snack bar was making sure that we have coffee and enough liquids on our table during the hot days in Varadero. Thank you, Juan!
Michael one of the security people has always something nice to say and is eager to help you if you have a problem. Keep it that way young man!
All the best to Sarah and William from the snack bar and to all the people who are working hard at Brisas, to make us the tourists feeling good on our holiday in Varadero !
See you next year guys ! Room 549 will be ours next year also !

Room Tip: The rooms in the south block are bigger, nicer and quieter during the night. Snack bar was my favor...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank George D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alliston
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2012

We started in not such a great room, but were promptly moved the following day to a great pool view room, and had Douglas help us move all our stuff. Thanks Douglas you were amazing, with my father and the wheelchair also. The staff were great! The bar staff at the pool, and at the lobby bar were always happy, and made the stay an enjoyable one. Yes the food! It is Cuba, but we were there for 2 weeks, and never did any one of us go without being stuffed. We got a great deal for 2 weeks, and it was an amazing holiday. All in the attitude, I think.

Room Tip: We were in 324 and 329, both great rooms in the main building
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank lovecuballiston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

We just got back from a week long stay in Cuba staying at the Brisas del Caribe. We chose Cuba as a warm winter holiday getaway with our 2 young adult sons. We went to Cuba because of it's overall price and the opportunity to see Havana and it's unique architecture.
Before leaving, we heard that Cuba had its limitations with accomodation, quality of food, etc. The resort exceeded our pre-trip expectations. Our rooms were in the south tower - nice and quiet, rooms very clean (did not see 1 bug in the room), nice and cool with A/C. Maintenance of some minor aspects were lacking but essentials were fixed on request (ie plugged sink drain). Food was plentiful. Yes, it did lack in flavorings and was relatively basic dishes and lack of variety day to day. However, you need to keep in mind that this is a developing country with limited imported goods. The food exceeded our pre-trip expectations. Tips are greatly appreciated by the serving staff and the housekeeping staff. Yuniel , who worked in the restaurant, was exceptional and always made us feel welcome as soon as we walked in. Remember that 1-2 CUC tip is very much appreciated. Don't forget to tip others in the resort - such as the security guards, gardeners, lifeguards. They are often forgotten but equally add to the overall holiday experience. The resort is spacious - always able to get a beach or poolside chair. Beautiful landscaping. Only complaint was the public toilets within the resort were not well maintained. Entertainment was provided during the day and evening but did get repetitive. Not enough night life for the younger generation however, no noise late into the evening! Beach was beautiful although we were disappointed that there weren't the snorkeling opportunities that we wanted. Resort is a ways out from Varadero but you can access it by the double decker public bus. Well worth your money to do a guided tour into Havana. We also did the day trip on the Catamaran to Cayo Blanco. Loved the boat ride and the lunch and time on the island - the snorkeling was rushed and disappointing however. Overall, we had a very enjoyable trip.

Room Tip: If you want quiet, then avoid rooms that are located close to the 24 hr. snack bar.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Christina V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Brisas del Caribe Hotel

Property: Brisas del Caribe Hotel
Address: Carretera Las Morlas, km 12 1/2, Varadero, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Best Value Hotel in Varadero
#17 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#20 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price range (per night): ₹ 5,818 - ₹ 12,218
Hotel Class:4 star — Brisas del Caribe Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 440
Also Known As:
Brisas Del Caribe Cuba
Cuba Brisas Del Caribe
Brisas Del Caribe Varadero Cuba

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