Hotel Playa Costa Verde

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Aug, 2014

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Firstly I have to say that we that we really enjoyed our 2 weeks at the Playa Costa Verde. It was our first trip to Cuba and it was every bit as good as we had hoped it would be. All of the staff at the hotel were hard-working, smartly turned out and very friendly – a real credit to the hotel. The food is plentiful and varied and given the amount of guests they had to cater for we thought it was pretty good. They do seem to like things well cooked although that maybe to make sure there’s no chance of food poisoning so I guess it’s a sensible precaution. And there is always somewhere where you can have meat products (chicken, steak, pork chops etc) cooked fresh and to your liking. Others have already mentioned the variety of food options so I won’t reiterate but I would definitely recommend the fresh fruit smoothies at breakfast – you can choose what you want in it and they will make one up for you individually. My favourite was mango and banana but there was usually papaya, guava, pineapple, and grapefruit as well to choose from. The drinks really are totally all inclusive so you can have whatever you want whenever you want. We’re not big drinkers but the cocktails were delicious so we usually had a couple with our evening meal. But you can also have fruit juice, water, fizzy pop too throughout the day to keep you hydrated. And there were 3 places (lobby bar, pool bar and snack bar) where you could have ‘Slushies’ – cool and refreshing on their own and even nicer with a slosh of white rum in! The pools are lovely – not too deep and lovely and warm. My only slight criticism is that there was only one set of steps (proper built-in type) for each pool which meant if you were at the other side of the pool you had to walk all the way round to get out. There were lots of us middle-aged ladies struggling to get out and eventually being hauled out by our other halves like beached whales! A couple of sets of metal steps in the main pool would be a really good idea I would suggest. There are hundreds of sun loungers and there were always plenty to choose from at any time of the day so there was never any need to be at the pool early to get a space (although there will still some people putting out towels to stake their claim – Numpties!) The daytime Entertainment staff work hard trying to encourage the guests to join in with various activities – aqua aerobics, yoga, pool volleyball, and kids ‘Crazy Game’ time. Unfortunately they are flogging a dead horse as most of us just wanted to sit and chill by the pool although the children did sometimes get up and play the ‘crazy games’. Personally I would have preferred to enjoy more peace and quiet (or my choice of music on my Ipod) rather than constant Cuban music and tannoy announcements to join in with something or other but I could be in a minority. The beach is lovely and although there are a few rocky bits a little way out you can pick your way through so don’t really need beach shoes. There is also a little food hut where you can get a limited variety of food and drink if you don’t want to walk back up to the main restaurant for lunch. Look out for the orange and brown crabs which usually make an appearance in the evenings. You will see them scuttling around but they are quite harmless (at least I’ve not heard of anyone being dragged off by one and savagely mauled!) We booked a suite and it was HUGE! Two main rooms – one enormous bedroom (complete with enormous bed!) with its own bathroom, and one enormous living room with another bathroom (well, toilet, bidet and sink in the second bathroom). Our suite was nicely decorated, very clean and lovely and cool (thanks to efficient A/C) Our rep, Ernesto, was very helpful and friendly and was able to suggest trips we might like, without being pushy. We thought the trips were good value and well worth doing. We did the Swimming with Dolphins (probably the highlight of my holiday), the Paradise Island catamaran trip (lovely but make sure you take insect repellent if you go – we got well and truly bitten!) and finally the Cuba Inside trip when you are taken through the countryside on an old train, go to Holguin City, a cigar factory and finally a little fishing village where you watch a small show (which was surprisingly good) with singers and dancers. One tip- if you sit too close to the front you will get dragged out to dance at the end as I found to my cost!! Cuba seems to be such a country of contrasts – the countryside was beautiful with beautiful trees and flowers but the vast majority of people are very poor and have very little but seem to be an exuberant, loud and friendly people. The average wage (if you are lucky enough to have a paid job) seems to be around 20 Pesos per month – around £12.40!! So the staff in the hotel do rely on tips. There are just too many to tip everyone but we picked about 10 and gave them 4 or 5 Pesos each at the end of the holiday and also gave the maid 10 Pesos plus a few little gifts of toiletries and other stuff – she worked incredibly hard keeping everything spotlessly clean for the guests. Finally I would just add that it’s really important that you take everything you need (or might need) with you as its virtually impossible to buy anything over there. There is a small shop at the hotel but it only sells things like cigars, booze and a few T-shirts. You won’t be able to buy toiletries, pain-killers, sunscreen etc so if you don’t take it, you will have to do without. There are a few craft stalls on the hotel site where different people sell their wares. They are actually quite good value and there are some nice things to buy as souvenirs – we saw similar items in a market in Holguin which were more expensive so if you see something you like I would buy it in the Hotel site stalls. Happy to answer any questions you might have btw!


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