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“Great-value Family Vacation”

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Hotel Playa Costa Verde
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
Ontario
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great-value Family Vacation”
Reviewed 29 April 2012

Sorry for the late review - I thought I'd already submitted a review. Based on current reviews, not much has changed since we were there in 2008.

My husband and I took our then 7-year old daughter to the Playa Costa Verde for a week's vacation, and found this property to be good value for money.

The check-in and check-out process were fairly quick. We were gievn our room as soon as we checked in. The room was spacious and sufficient for our needs. I loved that the property was made up of low-rise villas - gave a community feel to the grounds.

This is a nice-sized property with easy access to everything. My daughter loved crossing the mangrove boardwalk over to the beach...we saw lots of nature and waterfowl everyday. The beach was fairly nice, but not miles and miles of soft, unspoiled sand; it was rocky in the shallow area. But once you got passed that, it was lovely. And the peddle boats were lots of fun - we snorkeled off one and saw some beautiful fish!

The buffet was average with lots of choices - we're not picky and found lots to choose from.
Tip: although they make pancakes and waffles, they don't have maple syrup so bring your own and leave it there when you leave. The food by our standards was fairly bland, so we brought some HP Sauce, hot sauce and Mrs. Dash spices to "spice things up" - worked like a charm! My daughter enjoyed watching them cook food in front of us at the Japanese restaurant. We also enjoyed the Cuban restaurant.

The entertainment left much to be desired, so we usually had a later dinner, went for a walk and then turned in early...it's amazing how tiring a day at the beach can be!

Our villa was right beside the pool-side grill. We really enjoyed that food! And it was nice and handy of we needed a late-night snack when returning to our room.

We did the Dolphin Swim experience, which we really enjoyed (even though my daughter was slightly terrified). My parents have visited Cuba 20 times and a friend of theirs who is a carriage driver picked us up one day and took us to his home: a brick structure he made with his own hands with a dirt floor, and chickens running in and out. He made us some food of cooked fish and coffee - AMAZING! And we took a little walk around his property. My daughter thought it was so funny to see someone walking their pig!

All-in-all, this was a great family vacation and very good value for money. I would definately recommend this hotel for anyone looking for that combination.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
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5 Thank Elaine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Montreal
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2012

I've travelled a fair amount all over the Caribbean, Mexico and Costa Rica.
I wanted an inexpensive all-inclusive vacation, with good snorkelling, descent food .
This place exceeded my expectations in every way possible.
I had gone to Cayo Coco, Cuba about 10 years ago, and swore I would never return to Cuba again..bad food, boring hotel, over-crowded .....

This place is gorgeous. The grounds are landscaped and clean. The rooms are clean...the beds are hard , in a good comfortable way. There's a free safe in every room...I could charge up my camera easily in the bathroom everyday,via the electric socket.
The staff are all friendly, and sociable.
My gf and I explored a few other hotels nearby, and found Costa Verde had the best beach area, best rooms, etc etc.

What I really liked about this place - in order of preference
1) the beach - fine sand, gorgeous blues ...warm water. The walk to the beach , over the swamp was really nice.
2) snorkelling _ I brought my own gear for that...highly recommend using your own gear. A lot of people complained about masks that leaked, faulty equipment etc etc.
To the extreme left and right of the beach, there are loads of fish, squid, everything. Very rich in marine life, despite the fact that locals do fish off the coral heads.
3) the tours offered by Sunwing were excellent and very inexpensive. Did a day trip on a catamaran , snorkelling on a reef, a cuban lunch, then a jungle safari in an old russian jeep...fabulous, saw lots of animals . All for only 60 $ a person !! crazy cheap and fun
4) renting a scooter was a blast - Cuba felt very safe, compared to Mexico and Jamaica to me.
People drive courteously...beware of crossing animals....cows, goats ...dogs..whatever.
Cubans are poor, but seem happy and proud of their country. Get off the resort and see the country if you can...it's going to change very soon.
5) the food - much better then expected. I found a lot of interesting things to eat...fresh grilled fish daily...I ate salads and never got sick. North americans need to realize this country doesnt have the same resources we do. They make do with what they have, and that's remarkable.
Dont expect our standards.
I loved the fresh fruit. The shrimp taste better than ours. The fish is excellent.
Ice cream - coconut , mango, vanilla. yummy !
There's a BBQ at lunch, by the pool, that makes great Paella. No one seems to notice it....
I grabbed a big plate of saffron rice, shrimp, clams and took it into the lunch room. Delicious !
6) the booze - if you dont tip, dont expect much. The drinking cups are tiny, by Canadian standards. Thats why I went to the dollar store and bought a 2L cup. No more cold drinks.
Pina colads are excellent. Rum is dirt cheap and tasty.

tips -

1) bring a giant drinking cup...a lot of other people did that.
2) everyone scrambles to reserve the a la carte restos. I ate at the Cuban resto twice...had lobster both times, which was out-standing. The japanese place was fun, but the "sushi" was canned tuna and rice. Whatever...the sake was good and the chefs were very entertaining.
It amazes me how Cubans on the resort speak fluent french, english and spanish.
3) dont go to breakfast during peak times. It gets over-crowded and chaotic. A harsh way to start the day. I went either before or after peak times. During peak times, we wandered around for 10 mins, looking for free seats. Not the resort's fault..they always tried their best to accommodate everyone.
4) if you have a room on ground level, dont leave your door wide open at night. We had no screen, and had to deal with giant spiders, big land crabs, and other bugs. I didnt mind it, but some of you reading this will not be cool with it.
There's nothing like being woken up at midnight, by 2 land-crabs having a showdown at your door !
4) Head out to the beach early and grab a plastic beach chair, set up your stuff, stake out your spot. Everyone does it, because there arent quite enough beach chairs on sunny days.
Again, not the hotel's fault per say. It's a pretty big resort, with a lot of people.

what I didnt really like -

- the poolside entertainment - hotel staff trying to get people to do aerobics or vollyball. loud music is fine an' all, but really...everyone at the pool wanted to rest, read or get drunk in peace.
no one was into the activities at all.

In summary, I really loved my time at this resort, and will most likely return. I never got tired or bored of anything. 9.5/10

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank dimmy32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2012

My family and I went to Playa Costa Verde from April 2nd to April 9, 2012 we had a fabulous time and we are already planning to go back next year. This is my second time to this hotel and I am absolutely impressed with the way this hotel treats returning clients. I have been to Holguin Cuba well over 15 times now and I have stayed at a few other hotels but this hotel seems to be winning me over. We had beautiful weather (very hot for April) and we found that the hotel is very very clean! You are never without toilet paper ladies no matter where you are on this resort. The beach is amazing, very breath taking and endless. The food is great, lots of variety and you can find something for everyone. The al cartes are worth visiting we went to the Cuban, Italian, and the Steak House (you pay 15 pesos for this restuarant but well worth the money). We are very excited to eat at each place again. Our rooms were huge and very clean, well taken care of. The staff is very friendly and they help make your experience. There is tons to do on this resort or you can sit back and relax and watch the activities. There are lots of sun beds both by the ocean and the pools. Not a fan of how clients put stuff on chairs and then are NEVER seen again throughout the day meanwhile some other client could have used those chairs and spots. Overall vacation 10 out of 10! I would highly recommend this resort to anyone who is looking for a fun active resort with an endless beach.

Room Tip: I would recommend the "3" section it keeps you central and in the middle of the grounds.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank sexysmidge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakville
Level 5 Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2012

Hi, my husband and I visited Playa Costa Verde March 9th to the 17th this year. Before we arrived I contacted the hotel by email and informed them that I had an artificial hip and need to be close to the pool and everything else. They were very nice and I was right next the pool -- beside the beer garden, next the ice cream parlour and right by the 24 hour snack bar. We were also very close to the outdoor theatre and the lobby and buffet restaurant. I had no problems getting to all the locations. The beach was a little further but I was still able to manage. I chose Playa Costa Verde because it was a little cheaper than Pesquero next door. I stayed at Pesquero 4 1/2 years ago and it was fantastic. Costa Verde was also good. Check in was fast and they shuttled us to our room. When I got to the room I was not happy. The decor was awful -- I had seen picture and knew it was outdated. I won't have minded if we had the bright green and yellows from 11 years ago, but we had a mixture of the bright colours with the ugly brown comforter. Not attractive! I was also upset because the backdoor won't lock. I called the front desk immediately and told them I hated the room and that I wanted a new room with a door that worked. They informed me that they were completely booked and there were no rooms available. In less than ten minutes they had a repair man at the door and he fixed the lock on the sliding door. I still wasn't too happy but because the room was so clean I said okay. When we got back to the room after going for lunch and swimming he had a bottle of sparkling wine on our dresser. It was a very nice gesture.
The resort is very nice. Beautiful palm trees by the pool and beautiful flower bushes throughout the resort that are nicely maintained. There are a few tiles missing in the pool -- but it would be too difficult to replace them without shutting the pool down for several days -- this would mean no swim up bar and the larger section of the pool would be out of commission. The tiles that are missing didn't really bother me.
The food was okay -- the first day we weren't impressed with the buffet. A lot of the items were recycled from previous meals. The buffet did improve on the second day we were there. There was more shrimp and other food we like on the buffet. We learned quickly to choose meals from the freshly grilled sections. You could have all type of meat and fish grilled for you; you could also have fresh stir fries along with fresh pasta and great freshly made pizza and even crepes. There was enough selection and there always something to eat. Breakfast was good -- lots of eggs, bacon, etc. The bacon however was not cooked well so if you gave it to the grilling ladies they would crisp it up for you. There was great fresh papaya and other fruit on the buffet daily. I forgot to mention that there were nice dessert and pastries in the evening and nice biscuits and cookies in the morning.
The staff was very friendly overall even if you didn't tip them. Of course they really appreciated tips and we tips as often as we could. The al-carte restaurants -- the Cuban and Italian were very good. I had lobster twice -- and it was great!!
The beach is nice -- there are quite a few large rocks in the ocean. I didn't remember the large rocks being there 4 1/2 years ago. It could have been that the hurricane changed the appearance of the beach -- not sure. Having an artificial hip I had to be careful when entering the water. I wore my crocs and would recommend doing so or wearing water shoes. There are some openings where there are no rocks and that is how I entered the water. The water was very nice and there were always enough lounge chairs. There was a bar right on the beach and when the resort was not too busy they would serve fries, hot dogs and chicken sandwiches there. Some days there were no food at the bar which was fine because the beach restaurant which became the Cuban restaurant at night was just on the other side of the bridge that took you to the beach -- not very far at all. My husband used the paddle boats and really enjoyed himself. He also loved walking along the coral reef that is next door at Blau Costa Verde. He picked sea shells and other sea creatures and had the time of his life. The water is just beautiful They are building a new hotel on the other side of Blau but there is no beach there just rocks. I don’t understand who would want to stay there. Costa Verde’s beach is the second best one on the strip next to Pesquero’s.
The resorts entertainment was overall not bad. The nightly shows were okay -- there was a cute fashion show and a good magician -- rest of the week mostly dancing shows that were okay. Best show is the water ballet show that travels from hotel to hotel. The resort also had great musicians that played in the lobby after dinner. There were great classic violinist, some piano players, and electric a guitar player that performed in the lobby.
We really enjoyed our trip to Playa Costa Verde – we only left the resort to go to the local flea market in Guardalavaca. We took the double-decker bus and it cost only $5 for the round trip. You only need an hour or so at the flea market.
We ended up loving Playa Costa Verde – Yes it is a little out dated but so what. The beautiful grounds made up for it. You really don’t spend that much time in your rooms. The rooms were very clean. No bugs and we were on the main floor. The bathrooms were very clean. Our maid did a fantastic job and always left little gifts for her. Each day we had a theme. Some days I left her chocolates, some days it was towels and body lotions, other days it was make up. They really appreciate the gifts because things are expensive for them.
If you’re thinking of visiting Playa Costa Verde remember it is good value for your money.
I forgot to mention that there is a nice gift shop in the lobby which sells the booze for the same prize as the flea market. You can also get nice Cuban cigars there if you have any friends that smoke them. You can also get snacks at the 24 hour restaurant that is by the pool. Also every day during lunch you could get great Spanish rice with vegetables or seafood and shrimp/bacon skewers by the pool. Local venders also sell there gift wears along the path to the beach. They change every day so if you see something you like you should buy it because the vender may not be back.
I was sad to leave at the end of the week. I would recommend the resort for those you want a good time, good drinks, good food, and do not want to send a lot of money. If you have a little more money and don’t mind a lot of walking, Playa Pesquero next door is nicer. It is worth the extra money if you have it. We enjoyed Playa Costa Verde – we met a lot of people who keep coming back. I however, like to visit different places so maybe next time I will try Coyo Santa Maria or some where else if Cuba. I love Cuba and it people and did enjoy our stay at Costa Verde.

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms near pool -- 5504 I believe was ours.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank OakvilleCubalover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2012

and for all the right reasons!!!

Sorry this review is a bit late as we got married last july, but we were so taken with the hotel that as soon as we got home from our honeymoon, we booked to come back this year,

Where do we begin....;

We were met at Holguin airport by the best rep we have ever come across. Nancy was absolutely superb. On arrival at the hotel, we were given a glass of champagne and nibbles while we was allocated our room. Our room turned out to be a ground floor suite and down by the beach. The suite was fantastic! our maid tatiana was fantastic during our stay, and nothing was too much trouble for her. We were well stocked with beer and champagne.

Our gardener, Juan Ramón was a lovely man who regularly brought me a little posy of flowers to brighten our room.

My husband is a very fussy eater, and yet never complained once about the food on offer in the buffet. We can also highly recommend the steak house and the japanese. We weren't impresssed with the italian and didn't eat in the cuban, but can highly recommend a trip to the Romantica restaurant at the hotel next door.

The lobby bar was great, with a huge selection of drinks and nibbles throughout the day. We would like to thank Ricardo for looking after us so well here and at the beer corner which was a great way to spend an evening.

The pool was lovely and suitable for all. It was a bit noisy with the animation team doing their games but was bearable. Jesus at the pool bar was a real character!

The beach was absolutely fantastic, the sand was white and the water was warm, a little disappointed with the beach bar which was just basically like a shed.

This is the kind of resort where you can do as much or as little as you wanted and still have a fantastic time, and we can't wait to go back in 8 weeks time to see all our friends.

While we were there we did a few excursions. We can highly rate the swimming with the dolphins which was an incredible experience and well worth the money, but we didn't enjoy the inside cuba trip. We found the cigar factory very interesting but didn't enjoy the train ride around the sugar plantation or the stop in Holguin City. The trip to Paradise Island we found it didn't give us sufficient time on the island which was absolutely stunning. The meal we had on the island was fantastic. We also took a taxi down to Guardalavaca beach, and the market which is well worth a visit.

One thing we would suggest is to book into the lounge at the airport for the return flight home as it was very relaxing, and the food and drink was plentiful and enjoyable.

We look forward to seeing you all very soon.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Shazza_030711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Playa Costa Verde

Property: Hotel Playa Costa Verde
Address: Playa Pesquero, Rafael Freyre 83300, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Rafael Freyre
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Rafael Freyre
Price range (per night): ₹ 6,100 - ₹ 14,577
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Playa Costa Verde 4*
Number of rooms: 480
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Accommodation, buffet meals, 3 a la carte restaurants and El bohío resturant with charge, 7 bars, 24-hour snacks and lobby, unlimited drinks, Mini Club, pools, Jacuzzis, day/night entertainment, water/land sports with equipment and instruction, gym, air-conditioned rooms with bathroom, hair drier, telephone, safe, satellite TV, iron and ironing board, tea/coffee maker, mini fridge with welcome drinks, terrace or balcony. All Inclusive! Plus ($): internet, tours, hairdresser, massage, car rental and shop. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Costa Verde Cuba
Playa Costa Verde Rafael Freyre
Playa Costa Verde Holguin
Costa Playa Verde
Hotel Playa Costa Verde Cuba/Rafael Freyre, Holguin Province

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