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Playa Costa Verde Hotel

5 of 8 hotels in Guardalavaca

4 out of 5 from 17 reviews
4 stars
Playa Pesquero, Rafael Freyre, Cuba

17 Reviews

Traveller Rating

  • Excellent
    1
  • Very Good
    9
  • Good
    5
  • Average
    2
  • Poor
    0

Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Service
  • Location
Jeremy Hards
Fantastic Holiday, Appalling Travel Agent
5 years 5 months ago
The rooms are large and kept clean. The room maids are friendly if you get to know them. I didn't see much of my cleaner this year, but in previous visits I have got to know them and felt like I was leaving a friend by the end of the holiday.

The shower is in the bath and it is very easy to end up with lots of water on the floor, even with the shower curtain drawn.

Coffee and tea making facilities are in the room but no milk. A large bottle of water is left in the fridge every day. If you have visited before you will find a bottle of Havana Club in the room as a thank you.

Some of the rooms are due to be redecorated. I suspect the room I was in wouldn't normally have been used but due to damage to other accommodation blocks by Hurricane Sandy they had no choice.

The travel agent should have told us that there was a lot of damage and given us the option to cancel, rebook for a later date or travel to an alternate destination (with the appropriate additional cost if appropriate). However, on enquiry about hurricane damage I was reassured that there hadn't been any and not to take too much notice of what I had read on the internet. They have a rep at the hotel and therefore were able to confirm that there was no damage. Unfortunately this was not the case.
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Recommended
Just fair for the money
6 years 8 months ago
Hotel grounds are very attractive and well maintained. The hotel public areas are clean, attractive, and well maintained.

Pool area is large with plenty of sunbeds available and a swim up bar. There are two Jacuzzis at opposite ends of the hotel, which can be good, except when occasionally drunken, noisy guests decide to go use them at 2am with no consideration for folk in rooms around them.

The beach, while not large, is pleasant and attractive with plenty of sunbeds and equipment.
There’s an Internet area in the lobby with four fairly modern computers (cost 6CUC per hour), though as almost everywhere in Cuba, internet is very slow, and WIFI doesn’t yet exist.

Rooms are large, clean, bright and well furnished, but bathrooms are a little tired and need refurbishment. Its best to request upper floor rooms, a few folk on lower floors had problems with insects, ants, and even crabs.

Hotel staff are almost all very friendly and very helpful. And they work very hard.
Possibly one area which might need attention is the main bar which seems poorly managed, staff disappear regularly into the back room to collect ice, glasses, juice (and sometimes for no apparent reason), leaving customers waiting a long time. And coffee from this bar seems to be a dreadfully slow process.

The main bar doesn’t really have sufficient seating area for evenings, and folk often seem to be looking for seats after dinner.

The ‘Beer Corner’ is quite a nice idea which works well. Lots of people gather there at the end of hot sunny days for an excellent cold beer and a chat before going to get ready for dinner.

Food in this hotel is only average - maybe even poor. OK if you are happy with dried, fried eggs cooked an hour before breakfast time and left out to collect flies, and if you like black, burned bacon cooked and left out the same way.

Lunch and evenings you need to be lucky to avoid contaminated chicken stir fry where the lady (trying for speedy service) has raw, partially cooked, and ready to serve, chicken on her griddle, all at the same time, all being stirred with the same tools.

There are lots of flies in the restaurant and far too much food left open for them. And because the restaurant is completely open on three sides, there are lots of birds swooping in to try for food on tables.
The 24 hour snack bar serves poor quality, extremely greasy burgers and pizza made with ketchup and tables are often left dirty.
The beach bar is probably the scruffiest and ugliest I’ve ever seen anywhere.

Most evenings there’s a pianist in the lobby area, later followed by a trio of classical musicians. Which I personally enjoyed a lot but the enjoyment was spoilt somewhat by the large numbers of uncontrolled hyperactive children running around the area screaming and yelling.
This was also at times an issue in the main buffet restaurant where screaming babies around don’t really help one enjoy ones meal.

And around the pool area, again lots and lots of young children. I don’t think it’s good to witness parents, too lazy to return to their rooms, changing soiled nappies on sunbeds by the pool, and then washing off the soiled naked baby in the pool showers.

And I almost forgot the crabs. One day there was a big storm with heavy rain overnight. The next day the hotel was infested with tens of thousands of crabs, some only one inch across, others at large as five inches. They were in the grass, on the paths, climbing walls, in the pool, and even in ground floor rooms. Some guests were very upset to awaken to find large spiderlike crabs around their beds. The hotel is maybe 300 yards from the beach so it’s hard to understand where these thousands of creatures suddenly arrived from.

Overall, since this hotel is not expensive, I’d say its fair value for money, especially for families with lots of children, and people who simply want a beach hotel with nothing else around.
The buffet restaurant does need improvement both in terms of management and food hygiene.
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Richard Kendall-Tobias
8 years 7 months ago
This was our first visit to this hotel and it was great. During our first week the hotel was practically empty but it got busier and busier during the secind week. There was still plenty of room around the pool and at the beach. There was a lack of shade available though but there were guys building more shades around the beach area.
The food was great and after 2 weeks there was still things we had not tried! Fresh fish and meat all cooked to order in front of you, lobster, fruits all wonderful!
The entertainment was poor during the first week but got better as the hotel got fuller, and in the end there were some really good shows, bear in mind you have to book a table for the shows around the pool!
The staff were great, as always in Cuba, please tip them 1/2 pesos every other day or so, it is appreciated but not expected.
We would definatly visit here again and in fact there were families there for the third year running so a good recomendation. Out son, 12, enjoyed himself and there were other children his age there for him to make friends with and play with.
The rooms are a little tired but you spend so little time in them it does not matter, they are kept immaculatly clean though.
We went on Green and Blue trip which was good, The Holquin combo tour which was not so good but the cigar factory was interesting. We went sports fishing but only managed 2 1m+ Barraccuda - Marlin next time!!

Take mossie repellant, our son did not get one bite but we did and also take a can of fly/insect killer and spray the room before you go out in the evening and as long as you keep all doors and windows closed you should be OK. The local after bite spray was OK as was plain vineger, we brought savlon after bite which did not work but the Eurax cream was great and we also took some anti-histamine tablets which stop the itching!! (check with your GP if you can safely take them though!!!)

All in all a great holiday, we fley Premier Class and booked the seats at the very front of ther plane - LOADS of room!!!, we are looking forward to going back.
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Travel operator: First Choice

Recommended
Mrs Gill Smith
9 years 8 months ago
On arrival in our room (2827) the shower bracket fell off the wall. The toilet did not flush , called out the technicion who mended them the toilet so well that when we flushed it again it would not stop flushing.

Technicion called out 4 times in total to the toilet. Sheets not changed for a week, we slept with sand in the bed for nearly a week. When sheets were changed (because I put them on the floor) the sheets did not fit the bed and half of the mattress was showing and you could either have your feet or your chest covered!

Maid should replenish the water daily, we did not get it daily and one morning I had no water to take my essential tablets.

Diet drinks in resort bvery difficult to come by, problem for myself who is diabetic and likes to take care of my condition.

Dressing table very dusty and never cleaned.
As with many other people mosquito/sand flys were a big problem and I had the runs for all but the first day of the holiday. The birds eating the food was disgusting and made the already horrible food even worse.

I have travelled twice a year for many years and this is the worst food I have encountered. We had a bowl of soup for our tea most days and I have lost 10lbs in weight over the 2 weeks there.

On the middle of the 2 weeks I was woken by something trying to drink out of my glass of water on my bedside cabinet. I screamed and it scurried off rather fast. All the toiletries in the bathroom had been knocked over so it had had a good rummage round while we were asleep.

You can make your own conculusions as to what it was as I never actually saw it but I know what think it was!! We were moved to a suite for the rest of your holiday but I had great trouble sleeping even in the new room and it did ruin our holiday along with everything else.

We spent most evenings in the cigar bar although it did smell of cigars it was cool and we had a select group who met there and had some nice evenings with the help of the lovely bar lady called Patrica.

Hotel staff basically overworked and under paid but tried hard to please. If you want to tip anybody give a thought to the gardeners who work hard and keep the ground really nice.

Do not expect to go for a walk anywhere other than round the grounds as there is nowhere to go unless you get a taxi, when you come out of the hotel on a night it is dark and there is nothing there.

Would I return to this hotel - NO WAY -
Return journey to manchester - screens on our row not working so no entertainment for us!

Eventually got to Manchester and the walkway would not connect so waiting on the runway for nearly an hour!! This holiday was a disaster from start to finish and is the worst I have ever had.

I am looking at the lake district for our next holiday!!!!
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Travel operator: Thomas Cook

9 years 9 months ago
Just got back from a lovely holiday at the Playa Costa Verde. We flew with Thomas Cook Airlines on 5th May 2008 and arrived back 20th May. The hotel is lovely as already mentioned in previous reviews. The flight from Gatwick took 9 and a half hours plus the time we sat on the runway for 1 and a half hours waiting for flight plan! The flight was pleasant with the extra 3 inches of legroom that TC have now added, the flight entertainment helped make the journey pass more quickly although some passengers screens did not work and they were offere a complemaentary free drink and a pack of crisps, why they couldnt put the main film on the large screen above is beyond me.
Anyway arrived at Holguin airport very hot and humid and took about 45mins to get through passport control and collect bags. Nice coach to hotel airconditioned with toilet and this took about 1 hour to get to hotel. We got checked in fairly quickly, They have these golf buggy type vehicles to take you and your luggage to your allocated room.
We were in a room on the first floor near to the Cuban Restaurant and walkway to the beach, this had a large balcony two double beds (effective aircon thank god) a nice size bathroom which if i wanted to be picky could have done with a coat of paint but it was functional and always had hot water. Towels were changed daily (most days) and the maids made some creative shapes with them, my wife particularly liked the elephant.
We tried all three of the al a carte restaurants and like most people the Japanese was the most popular choice. My wife has never eaten chinese or Japanese food but was able to eat most of the main course apart from the fish. We were not too keen on the Italian restaurant as the pasta on the lasagne was thick and the cheese was not nice at all. The general ambience of the place was ok but avoid the lasagne. Loved the Cuban restaurant i had the Pork which was lean and tender and my wfe had the chicken this was a chicken leg but it was cooked nice. The drinks in all the restaurants were fine. The Buffet Restaurant i thought was very good compared to the All inclusive restaurants we have experienced several times in 5star hotels in Turkey. Try not to book your al a carte restaurants on a Thurday if you like Fish because you can have as much grilled lobster as you like i found it a bit tough but i am no expert.The waiters are freindly but can sometimes be stretched too thinly as there are not enough of them if there are a sudden surge of people so do try to be patient or if your relly thirsty go to the bar where they get the drinks and get your own its no big deal.
The pool is huge but there are a few damaged tiles and i did cut my fot on on occasion only slightly. The bar is nice and can be accessed in the pool and round the back. I would say the the Canadian contingent have got this worked out as most of them had thermos beakers but not to be outdone my wife bought 2 500ml plasic tumblers from Sainsburys which hols about 3 times the liquid they normally give you. They dont mind rinsing these out for you at the pool or the beach and it just saves you burning your feet on the hot sand or concrete when you need a refill.
The beach is great we went on the Hobie cats a few times see Roger or John ( Before i forget Roger can organise fishing from a hobie cat for 3 hrs for 80 pesos all in with fishing gear and live bait etc). If you want a sunbed ask the guys next to the beds to place them whre you want and they clean them down for you and say enjoy your day whether you tip them or not. Do take sand shoes i got mine from Sport and Ski for
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Travel operator: thomas cook

Recommended
Lynsey
10 years 7 months ago
hello stayed in this hotel with my boyfriend on our first holiday together and had a fantastic holiday. when i read previous reviews i was quite worried, but had a fantastic stay.
the hotel is not a 4*plus. however everything in cuba is government owned, so i think the star rating was set by the authorities-not first choice. our room was shabby and needed a paint. however it was spotless clean and thats all that mattered. towels and bed lined got changed daily. however there was 3 cushions on bed that looked like they hadnt been washed in 4 years. these got hidden in the wardrobe until departure!! a litre of water was left in room every day, if you tip the maid well she leaves you two!
the staff here are very friendly, though i found that other holiday makers who tipped more were favoured. you cannot get diet coke in this hotel, they only have local coke that is disgusting and is not diet. we found out that if you tipped the bar staff 40 pesos (20 pound), that you got diet coke. i dont really think this should be allowed. the cubans are definately not the friendliest bunch iv seen. been to other countried that are far more welcoming and friendly. shop staff were ignorant, and if they didnt understand what you say they just shake their head.
take mosquito spray and my boyfriend got bitten about 30 times, i didnt get bit once though, so i guess it depends on your luck!
entertainment at night was shockingly bad. thats all i have to say on that!
pool area was very clean, and pool is huge. plenty of sunloungers available.
beach is stunning and very clean, crystal clear water.
food at hotel was edible but poor. variety was rubbish. buffet consisted of rice, chicken. at lunch you could have a nice salad. pasta made to your specification was available, i survived on this for two weeks. i can eat anything, but hot dishes were cold and did not want to risk food poisoning. lunch time you could get pizzas etc, and breakfast was good.
A lA Carte restaurants - japanese fantastic. italian disgusting. cuban good, veggie restaurant are pre delivered on trays to the hotel daily.
i would recommend the two day trip to havana. around 400 for two people. we had a crap tour guide though and were delayed for 5hrs at havana airport. all in all very good value for money as you stay in 5* hotel. again, the food not great, but you have to remember you are in a third world country.
the stories about huge spiders being in rooms is rubbish. however giant crabs wander around hotel lobby and outside your room door. one couple we spoke to saw a giant trantula on their last night in hotel grounds, but this is only one.
we had a great holiday, but i wouldnt go back. purely because of the hotel star rating. it was more like a 3*, and for the money we paid, could have got better in another caribbean country.
we went to an air conditioned lounge every night after dinner, as it was too hot to sit in lobby!
as i said earlier, fantastic holiday, but dont go to this hotel expecting a 4*plus experience, as when we got shown to our room we were quite disheartened, and a lot of others who checked in same day complained.


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Travel operator: firstchoice

Jenny
10 years 9 months ago
Arrival/check-in/room - We arrived into Cuba with a major thunderstorm and torrential rain. Upon check-in (which was quick) we were told that our room had been changed to an upstairs one as the ground floor rooms were flooded! Were driven to room (4229) by golf buggy in pouring rain and then had to wade through ankle deep water to the room dragging our suitcases which got soaked through - no assistance offered by bell boy. The room was spacious, however in need of major updating. The bathroom towels were old, discoloured and stained and the pillow cases and bed covers were also stained, torn and frayed. Not what you would expect from a so-called 4 star plus! There was a fridge which was stocked with bottle of water and 2 cans of fizzy drink. Not replenished through 2 week stay. From the time of checking-in to arriving at our room we were already covered in mosquito bites. Mosquitos proved to be a major problem for the entire duration of holiday. Room also had a safe, hairdryer, tv, iron and ironing board.

Food - horrible! I have stayed at many all inclusive resorts in the carribean (including Cuba before) and the Playa Costa Verde, in my opinion, offered the worst food. Apart from the lack of variation (which I can live with), the food was never hot and was constantly attacked by flies and birds. The tables in the buffet restaurant and snack bar were covered in bird droppings and both restaurants were frequented by gangs of cats, the toms wandering around begging food and spraying over table/chair legs and anything else on their level! There are a la carte restaurants (Cuban, Italian, Japanese) each time we tried to make reservations we couldn't get in or were offered 9pm bookings which is way too late to eat with an 8 year old. I guess you need to try and make your reservations upon the first day at the resort, otherwise you could be out of luck.

Swimming pool/beach - The pool was large and clean and the sunbeds were aplenty. No problems there. The sunbeds were a little dirty but towards the end of our stay the dirty sunbeds had been taken away to be cleaned. Pool bar was very good. The beach was lovely.

Entertainment - Daytime activities a bit hit and miss but this could have been due to the weather. We only had 2 days free of rain during the 2 weeks. The evening entertainment was the usual dance shows etc.

Hotel grounds - Very nice. Lots of plants, shrubs, flowers. All gardens well tended and grounds kept very clean.

Hotel staff - On the whole very helpful and friendly and the ground staff constantly working very hard.

Pluses - staff and grounds
Minuses - weather, insects (not hotel's fault, of course), food and shabby rooms

I probably would not visit this hotel again as the food/hygiene was a huge problem for me. We also felt very uncomfortable with the stained bedlinen and towels. This is not a 4 star plus resort by any stretch of the imagination.
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Travel operator: First Choice

Garin
10 years 10 months ago
Garin and swmbo Playa Costa Verde April 2007


Flight First Choice Flight left the UK on time there was a 2 hour delay leaving Cuba, flight time out was just over 91/2 hours coming back was just under 81/2 hours. The extra legroom as standard and seat back TV is a vast improvement, it took about 2 hours to get through Holquin airport and transfer to the hotel.

On arrival at the hotel we were greeted with a welcome drink, check in was hassle free and we received a welcome pack with safe and room key, towel vouchers and resort information, our room was on the second floor near the beach area which we had requested in advance via e-mail, the rooms are are quite large and very clean and tidy an equipped with a TV, coffee maker, CD player, hairdryer and iron and ironing board. The hotel grounds are kept very clean and tidy and the blocks are we spaced out.

There was a good range of food available in the buffet, fresh grilled fish and meat as well as omelets and pizzas were available, the snack bar near the pool served burgers, hot dogs fried chicken and a range of sandwiches, the lobby bar also serves snacks in the afternoon and there is a burger bar at night next to the disco. The three Ala carte's are excellent the Japanese really kicks in when the cooking starts, the chef in the Italian knows how to cook steak rare, we enjoyed the turkey and pork at the Cuban.

The animation team are always on hand there are the usual activities through out the day volleyball water polo etc, there are nightly shows followed by live music in the disco for around a hour before the disco starts, one night a week there is a beach party weather permitting.

The standard of service in the bars and restaurants is excellent, the managers are always knocking about to make sure things run smoothly, we did have a problem with the safe key, a technician sorted this problem within 15 minuets.


Getting out and about we did our own thing we took a taxi to Gibara and Bannes, the only official trip we booked was the the overnight to Santiago through the First Choice (signature vacations) rep. This trip was excellent value for money it included lunch on both days with the first drink included and one night at the Sol Melia Santiago with evening meal and breakfast alcoholic drinks were not included. We visited several places of interest including Santiago castle and Saturday night was rounded off with a trip to the Tropicana show.
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Travel operator: First Choice

Recommended
10 years 10 months ago
Garin and swmbo Playa Costa Verde April 2007


Flight First Choice Flight left the UK on time there was a 2 hour delay leaving Cuba, flight time out was just over 91/2 hours coming back was just under 81/2 hours.The extra legroom as standard and seat back TV is a vast improvement, it took about 2 hours to get through Holquin airport and transfer to the hotel.

On arrival at the hotel we were greeted with a welcome drink, check in was hassle free and we received a welcome pack with safe and room key, towel vouchers and resort information, our room was on the second floor near the beach area which we had requested in advance via e-mail, the rooms are are quite large and very clean and tidy an equipped with a TV, coffee maker, CD player, hairdryer and iron and ironing board. The hotel grounds are kept very clean and tidy and the blocks are we spaced out.

There was a good range of food available in the buffet, fresh grilled fish and meat as well as omelets and pizzas were available, the snack bar near the pool served burgers, hot dogs fried chicken and a range of sandwiches, the lobby bar also serves snacks in the afternoon and there is a burger bar at night next to the disco.The three Ala carte's are excellent the Japanese really kicks in when the cooking starts, the chef in the Italian knows how to cook steak rare, we enjoyed the turkey and pork at the Cuban.

The animation team are always on hand there are the usual activities through out the day volleyball water polo etc, there are nightly shows followed by live music in the disco for around a hour before the disco starts, one night a week there is a beach party weather permitting.

The standard of service in the bars and restaurants is excellent, the managers are always knocking about to make sure things run smoothly, we did have a problem with the safe key, a technician sorted this problem within 15 minuets.


Getting out and about we did our own thing we took a taxi to Gibara and Bannes, the only official trip we booked was the the overnight to Santiago through the First Choice (siganurture vacations) rep. This trip was excellent value for money it included lunch on both days with the first drink included and one night at the Sol Melia Santiago with evening meal and breakfast alcoholic drinks were not included. We visited several places of interest including Santiago castle and Saturday night was rounded off with a trip to the Tropicana show.
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Travel operator: First Choice

Recommended
Nick
11 years 3 months ago
THE FLIGHT

The flight from Manchester with First Choice was an improvement on our previous trip a couple of years ago with Thomas Cook, the extra legroom on the first choice planes makes a big difference on long haul.
As usual he customs check in was a bit of a pain as you are all scrutinised individually in the little booth before the door opens and you are in Cuba. If you are one of the first through it is a good idea to change some currency at the bureau de change before boarding your coach to the resort.


FIRST IMPRESIONS

First of all I have to say there were 3 big factors that influenced my view of this holiday:

1 THE WEATHER
We travelled the late November early December 06. The first week was terrible after half a day of sun on the first day it rained continually for 3 days and not just rain it was torrential causing flooding of parts of the hotel facilities and there were a number of ground floor rooms flooded resulting in guest s having to be moved, some more than once. There was also a dramatic temperature drop and on one night we were told it was colder in Havana than it was in London.
Apparently this was the worst weather they had had for 10 years (lets hope it is not another sign of global warming changing the climate) After the rain it was overcast for another 4 days. The second week things did improve and we did get some sun.

2 THE SQUITS
We were in a party of 6 and the majority suffered stomach upsets my wife in particular suffered badly and was affected for most of the holiday and for a week on our return. As we didn
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Travel operator: Eclipse

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