Camaguey, Brisas Santa Lucia Hotel Reviews

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Camaguey, Brisas Santa Lucia Hotel
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“wonderful resort , entertainment was great , food was good”


written by Lucas112 on 26/01/2014

trip to Cuba at the Brisas in Santa Lucia was more then expecting, it was a little paradise , spend week of Jan 16 to the 23, 2014 , the first couples of days was unfortunatly cold and rain, but the rest of the week was sunny and warm , the bedroom are nice and confortable, the staff are just amazing , food at the buffet is great good quality and a large selection, i will go back asap. I just loved it

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“We stayed at Brisas Santa Lucia for a week, and had a...”


written by on 28/11/2010

We stayed at Brisas Santa Lucia for a week, and had a great time! We loved mostly everything about the resort and our vacation, had a great experience - cannot wait to go back!
Please view my blog post (with pictures and video) about our stay in Brisas Santa Lucia, and feel free to ask me any questions you may have:

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“Our travel agent did not tell us that there was so...”


written by jsperlicH on 09/12/2008

Our travel agent did not tell us that there was so much damage on the site after repeatedly asking if all was o.k. We were told by Hola sun in Richmond Hill that everything was fine. The entertainment center is too close to the rooms, very noisy till late into the night. We will not recommend this resort to anyone. The worst Cuban holiday that we ever had.

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“Good points, hmmm....the smoothies at breakfast :)...”


written by TravelJunkie83 on 30/08/2008

Good points, hmmm....the smoothies at breakfast :) until the blender broke on the second day and that was the end of them. Bad points, terrible service. Lack of alcohol (no havana club rum?!?!?). Bad food (I LOST weight). Many services were not available (disco, jazz club, piano bar, tennis, mini golf, etc). Dirty pool (and other areas of the resort)
Coffee bar closed earlier than scheduled and often had NO MILK for the coffee. Very slow response to security threat in my room. Breakfast, the only option was bread with no jam, undercooked eggs, and meatballs. In my experience it is a 2 star not a 4 star (and I have been to Cuba many times)

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“Brisas Santa-Lucia was for my boyfriend & I, an...”


written by AnaBananaMtl on 27/03/2008

Brisas Santa-Lucia was for my boyfriend & I, an economical choice. The low-priced package (about 1500$ tx inc) for the week is what made us choose the hotel/flight carrier. And you get what you pay for! We stayed at the Brisas Santa Lucia from March 13th to March 20th.
- About the flight We arrived at the airport around 3:30 am Thursday morning (for our 6:00 flight, we hadn't pre-booked our seats). So we thought there would be no one at the air transat check-in. We were cruelly wrong Our flight was leaving an hour later (7:00am), and there was a mega line up at the air transat counters. There were 5-6 flights leaving around the same time, and we were all in the same line. When we finally got to the counter we were lucky to get a seat together (the window seats were all already taken, please note that 4 days before the flight I checked the online seats availability and half the seats were still available). It was 6:12 am by the time we finally got to the gates.
The takeoff & flight was very smooth, the landing was shakier because of all the wind. On the way back, the ride was a bit bumpier (mostly in the beginning), again because of the wind. The food was okay, they gave us a bagel some philly, and an orange juice. On the way back we had a cheese pizza.
- About the airport-hotel transfer, It's a 1h30 bus ride. Passes by rather quickly. Funny anecdote; our bus after making a stop, lost its 2nd and 3rd gear, the driver had to push it in 1st to then get it into 4th.
Other than that you just get disoriented by the scenery =)
- Regarding the overall aspect of the Hotel, It is undergoing renovations. Probably to try to regain its ancient glory (this used to be a very beautiful 4 star resort), and to satisfy to the myriad of four stars signs all over the resort.
Nonetheless, the public/general areas are surprisingly gorgeous and well-kept. Though you should not expect it to be the Garden of Eden (since the grass was more yellow and dried out than green) it still was a nice walk from the lobby to the room. The pool was very clean except for the last few days because of the wind. The resort has 3 bars; the lobby bar (4 Vientos), the pool bar, and the beach bar (El Caribe). They all offer very good service and pretty much the same drinks. However; the lobby bar has a blender and offers better drinks. In my opinion the Pina Colada (crushed ice, pina colada mix) of the lobby was amazing compared to the juice you get at the pool/beach bar. The Mojito seemed to be a difficult drink to get, the excuse we were given, the herb is not good enough to make a decent mojito. So if you want a Mojito, get it early because there will be no more good herbs come night time guaranteed (unless things have changed in the last few weeks).
Overall; it's not quite yet a 4 star hotel. But, from what we have seen of the other hotels (we saw the Gran Club, the Caracol, the Mayanabo), it looks like our hotel was the nicest, cleanest, and the generally well maintained one. At some point during our stay we met an intriguing personage who previously stayed at the Gran club. Apparently it used to have the nicest rooms, but when he came back this march he changed hotels, it seems Brisas now has the nicest rooms. Who knows we all have different tastes, expectations, and experiences.

- About the Room: Unfortunately we did not have the chance to get a newly renovated room, we had asked for a king bed in our package, instead we got an air-condition lacking two beds small room. It really does get small when you have two suitcases on the floor. Even though the building was old, and the furniture had signs of wear (it was screaming to get replaced, especially for a 4 star hotel want-to-be), the room was kept very clean by the maid. As far as the beds go, they were not comfortable at all; it seemed as tough the mattress was non existent. On top of that there was no mini-bar, and the safe in the room was not functional (the box was on the wall, but it had no lock). So we had to get a safe next to the reception, no problems there.
At first it didnt really bother us because we were just so happy to be in Cuba, we basically threw our stuff in the room and ran to the beach!
It was later in the day that we went at the reception desk and we asked for a room change, alas they said it was not possible, but they would send a staff member to fix our air conditioning problem. From what the manager at the reception told us there are only 11 rooms with a king bed. Don't know if it is true but anyways they don't seem to have caught the drift about king beds yet as the intriguing personage we met during our stay pointed out, to which we all (us + a couple we met) seemed to agree. Anyways, to come back to the air conditioning it effectively got fixed; except it was fixed in reverse! The low flow was high flow and vice-versa. Well at least we had air conditioning!
The next day, we saw people leaving so we decided to try our luck again and ask for a room change. Finally! Success!! We moved from block 12 (1215) to block 11 (1113)! Big change? Right. Well the room was more spacious, we had a huge bed (which consisted basically of 2 single bed mattresses stacked together), a mini fridge (old, but working), a safe (it was too late we had already paid for the one near the reception), air conditioning (functioning with the same strange problem as the previous one with everything in reverse).
The bathroom was the same from a room to another; there was one small sink (practically no counter space), a small & narrow bathtub, and a toilet. By the way if you want to take a bath, bring a bath plug!
During our stay we meet a bunch of people; the resort seemed to be running at full capacity. We met another couple who changed rooms from block 25 to block 2! Apparently the room they got was renovated, nice, comfortable, and had 2 sinks ;)! Maybe you'll get lucky!
Anyways we were trying to spend the least time possible in our rooms there was not much to do except to sleep. Plus we were having a blast at the beach & at the pool. With time we even got used to our room =)
Yes, there was the TV but there wasn't much to see I think there was one French channel (TV5Monde Amrique Latine), HBO (in English, with Spanish subtitles, it was quite distracting to read the subtitles when you speak Spanish), CNN (in English, and a Spanish version), another Spanish news channel, and some other educational channels in Spanish (one with an English course!).
- Regarding the restaurants :
They are 3 a la carte, the Italian (The Venetian), The Sea Food (Bohio Del Mar), The Cuban, a Buffet (Tubaquey), and a Snack Bar.
The Buffet; average, eatable and I think there is an effort to vary the menu (lunch & dinner time). The breakfast buffet is open from 8:00 am to 10 am (except some days when people leave early thus opening at 7:00am). It's always the same thing, eggs, pancakes, cereals
Lunch time; from 12:00 to 2:00 pm, Dinner; from 6:00 to never found out ! The snack bar is next to the pool, and the beach bar (Caribe). Even tough people say its 24hours, its not true !! It closes at 5pm. From 5pm to 11:00pm it becomes the sea food restaurant (Bohio del mar). We never had the munchies after dinner so I don't know if it re-opens after being the sea food restaurant. The Italian seems to be the one easiest to get reservation to. We got reservation to ours on the same night. The Food is average, but it's okay. Note : Side dishes all come together, and what is written is what you get. The Sea food; the pineapple/shrimp skewer was delicious!!! The rest was not that great, but at least they have chicken in their menu (which was average) for those who do not wish to take a chance.
The Cuban; we had the lamb; it was also delicious, very tender. The side dishes not that great. By the way; the Reservation desk for the restaurants is open from 10:00 am to 12:00, and is located in the lobby in front of the reception desk, right where you can see the red/white stained-glass windows. In our case, at 9:30 there was already a line up and at 10:00 it was even worse. Be sure to make reservations rapidly; the sooner the better. Especially if you wish to try the 3 restaurants as places are limited (funny thing is when you go, you'll find that half the restaurant are empty, shortage of staff maybe ?).
- Concerning the Beach :
Playa Santa Lucia is very beautiful, even with the sea weeds. The water is rather shallow, you will have to walk quite a bit to get to deeper waters (but this seems to be the case with all the beaches in Cuba). The sand is not as fine as you would want it to be mainly because of all the branches and shells (especially after seeing the fine sand of playa Bonita, see below), but it is overall a 4/5 in my opinion.
- About the Activities : The entertainment Staff was awesome; there was a variety of activities near the beach or near the pool such as; water football, volleyball on the beach, to water polo, to bingo, to dance lessons near the pool.
We only saw one night show; it was pleasant; most of it was dancing. The dancers were talented, the choreography was interesting, and the music was enjoyable. You should also snorkel near the beach, What excursions you should do while there? Here is my top 3;
- PLAYA BONITA (a catamaran excursion), a full day excursion costing 55 CUC / person. It's totally worth it. The excursion includes a one hour snorkeling experience near the coral reef. The variety of sea species and corals you can see is amazing! It was a unique experience. By the way they provide everything; including a brand new, never used snorkel it's a basic one but if you don't want to buy/bring one, it works just fine ! After the snorkeling the catamaran drops you to Playa Bonita one of the 3 beaches of the Cayo Sabinal (a cay, on the eastern coast of Cuba, a natural habitat, apparently protected). Bonita beach is a breath taking, pristine stretch of beach. A must to see! Most of all the only people you will see there are the people you took the catamaran with and a few locals (at the bar playing cards), so you will have the beach nearly to yourself! You can take a long walk alongside the water, it's very romantic! Differing with the water of Playa Santa Lucia the water of Bonita beach is not shallow, thus a few meters in and the water is already belly high. A few meters further and the water is up to your shoulders while it still remains crystal clear, you can see still see your toes! The sand is so white & fine, the water is so crystal clear, it's as if you were looking at one of those post-card perfect beach pictures!
- The CORAL TOUR (another catamaran excursion). It's basically the same as the first part of the Playa Bonita excursion; you have the opportunity to snorkel for an hour at the coral reef. It's a 3hr ride (1hr to get there, 1 to snorkel, 1 to come back). Since we were with Nolitours (Cameleon Club), it was included in our package. You know if it's included might as well do it. If not included it was 25CUC/person. Unfortunately, the catamaran (for the coral tour, which is not the same one used for the playa Bonita excursion) was broken in the beginning of our stay, and the wind of the last 3 days made it impossible for us to do it.
- LOBSTER DINNER; be it at a locals house (cheaper and a much more authentic), or at coco beach.
You can also do the day in Camaguey excursion, which we did not do, but from what we heard it was a very interesting and inspiring experience.
-->N.B. If there are no more places for the playa Bonita activity, you can access Cayo Sabinal by car (by paying a toll of course, plus the 70 CUC for the car rental) Make sure you get the right directions (and bring your passports). There was a lot of wind the last days we were there; as a consequence all of the aquatic activities were canceled (catamarans rides, even water polo. Renting a car is an interesting solution as long as you go with more than 2 people (it splits the costs!).
Some last tips :
--> The convertible peso aka CUC is a local currency, it only has value in Cuba, and it doesn't have any value back in Canada! You can only change your Canadian dollar into CUC once in Cuba. You can change it at the Bank, the Cadecas, etc. We did not have time to change it at the airport. They are taking their sweet time even if there are only 2-3 people in front of you, you end up waiting 20mins, we experienced it when it was time to go back and we wanted to change CUC's back into Canadian dollars. Anyways there's a Cadeca at the Hotel. And by the way if you're thinking of bringing US dollars there is a 10% charge to change them into CUCs, so don't !
-->Credit cards are accepted and work as long as they are not issued by an American bank (ex: amex, etc). You can even withdraw money on your credit card even if you don't have a PIN at the Cadeca (but the 10% charge applies, since they can't charge your card in CUC they convert to US dollars). At the end our stay we wanted to take out money that way but there was no signal that day. We returned the next morning; it took the cashier 5-6 tries to get it to work! The moral is: bring cash, less hassle!
-->You can bring gifts for the maid (I went and bought a ton of stuff for less than 20$ at Dollarama, including 6 little gift bags).
-->Bring your old shorts, t-shirts, caps or any type of clothing that just stacks up in your closet and you don't want to wear anymore, a lot of vendors asked us for clothes instead of money as payment for what we wanted to buy. Staff, maids, locals also appreciate the gesture.
-->Be careful on buying cigars or rum other than from the shops. As someone there told us; the banana leaf cigar scam is quite popular. The rum may look like rum, but may not be rum when you get home or it's not the 7 year old rum you expected.
-->At the Camaguey airport there is a duty free shop + 2 gift shops + 1 refreshment stand. So if you want to buy a carton of cigarettes wait to get to the airport! They were 22.50 CUC (we had bought one from Shop Caracol for 37 CUC, we bought a 2nd one for that price!). The rum is a bit cheaper at the airport for example a 7 year old rum bottle was 11.90CUC at the shops, and was 11.75 CUC at the airport. Not that great of a saving. You will also find there some artifacts (same as some of the hotel ones) for cheaper, ex : I bought a really nice snail type of thing for 8 CUC and found the exact same thing at the duty free shop for 5 CUC . The 2 other gift shops also have interesting objects/artifacts. Chiefly one of them has huge collection of shot glasses (way better than the ones you can find at the hotel, in my opinion).
--> The day we arrived (Thursday) there was a nice collection of chokers (hematite ones, and shell ones) we did not bother to buy it thinking that we would have plenty of time during the week. Only some days there were no vendors at all, and we never saw the chokers / necklaces again after that. There were other style of necklace but no more hematite / shell ones. So gift shopping wise; you will easily find the outside market (local artifacts), the hotel shop, and the cigar shop (all near the lobby bar). You can also go to the Shop Caracol a 10 minute walk from the hotel (you can take a horse-taxi if ur lazy =P). Don't bother following the signs that indicated Centro Commercial, it closed down (I don't know if it's temporary for repairs, renovations, or for good, anyways when we were there (13-20 march 2008), it was empty, there was nothing left but the credit cards stickers on the glass doors).
Oh, one last thing ; you can either bring your own beach towels or pay a 10 CUC deposit at the Beach club that you get back at the end of your stay.
A little anecdote on the towels; we brought ours; alas we forgot both of them on one of the lounge chairs near the pool on our last night. We only remembered it the morning of our departure while packing. So as soon as we remembered we went back to the chair we had left our towels on. But no luck there. They were gone. Sadness came, rushing into our hearts. We then decided to check at the reception desk, where the lost & found is supposed to be. No luck either. The woman at the desk quite rudely told us that everything that was lost & found always ended up there, so we could kiss goodbye our towels. (That we had from a previous Las Vegas trip). Anyways, we returned to the pool to say our goodbyes, when we stumbled on a man who was doing the morning pool maintenance. We asked him if he had found 2 towels the previous night ; Yes he answered , he went down a set of steps next to the pool, disappeared for a few seconds and came back up with our towels neatly folded ! The joy! The happiness! Ah so a word of advice; if you loose something ask around!
In conclusion; we had a great time, we met some incredible people (locals & tourists).
I hope this helps & I hope you have a better knowledge of what to expect!

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“The whole thing was absolutely amazing. I can not...”


written by soniabonia on 01/08/2006

The whole thing was absolutely amazing. I can not describe how much fun we had at the Brisas Santa Lucia Hotel in Cuba. The staff were incredible. We made so many friends and just had the greatest time of our lives. I would absolutely recommend this resort to anyone who wants to head out to Cuba. You will not be disappointed! I promise.

When you get there you have to make sure you see the nightly shows. They are filled with some very talented musicians and dancers, so don't miss out on it. Say hello to everyone for me. They are fantastic people, and you will certainly enjoy their company.

I haven't got a bad word to say about this place. It was simply incredible!

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“The staff at the Brisas Santa Lucia Hotel in Camaguey,...”


written by Raija on 22/04/2006

The staff at the Brisas Santa Lucia Hotel in Camaguey, Cuba, were warm and friendly, and always willing to help. The resort is beautiful and offers something for everyone. Great beach, lovely pools, with bars at both. We enjoyed the meals in the buffet restaurant, as well as in the international restaurant. And of course, the cafe restaurant was popular at any time. Food was plentiful and fresh with lots of choice. It was a delight to eat three meals a day, where tables awaited us appealingly set, and the service was attentive. Our rooms were spacious and clean. And outside, the grounds were kept attractive throughout the resort. Lots of tours are offered here as well. I went on the snorkeling experience and it was great. We loved our stay and would go back.

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“Staying at the Brisas, Santa Lucia was by far the best...”


written by Analee on 10/01/2006

Staying at the Brisas, Santa Lucia was by far the best experience I have ever had in my life so far. I have absolutely no complaints. I was overwhelmed at how nice the Cuban people are. They truly are very genuine. The group of us who all went together made friends with a couple of the people who were working on the resort. Jury, we miss you so much.. you ROCK!! Thanks for making our experience so awesome/amazing!! I also loved Ramone, the bartender at the main bar(he was so awesome.. always smiling!). Also the beautiful blonde cocktail waitress, Addis.. she was just a doll.. she remembered our names after the 2nd day. That was nice.
The 3rd day there we went horseback riding(my first time on a horse), and I just loved it. We were taken through this little village, and then stopped at a local little store where we had a coupel beers(Crystal is an awesome beer). The beach was beautiful, the sand was white.. the water was turquoise, and warm..perfect! There were always plenty of chairs on the beach to sit on, and you could also paddle boat at any time which was nice and relaxing, and also good exercise..;) One thing is that the sun is very strong there, so I would advise anyone to wear a lot of sunscreen when you are there.. I was the only one however out of all of us, who got a really bad sun rash on my chest and upper arms.. it was itchy as hell but I didn't let it ruin my fun. I just wore a tshirt and kept applying aloe. :) And once I had a few drinks I was feeling no pain.
The drinks were awesome.. very tropical and colourful. The Brisas was my fave!! Definitely try it.
Brisas, Santa Lucia is definitely a family resort, but that didnt' bother us.. I went with 4 girlfriends and we met a group of 7 awesome guys, so we hung out the whole time, and we had the most amazing time. We still partied hard, and mingled with everyone, no matter what age they were.. We met a lot of good, fun people. I would request this resort to anyone going to Cuba. I did come back with bug bites, but I mean, it could have been worse.
The food was good.. I have no complaints there. A lot of the reviews complain about the food, but what do you expect? For what you are paying, its good food, and they have a lot of variety. Their pasta and bread are awesome though..:) And to eat at the A La Carte I would advise you book and reserve as soon as you get there.. they have the best food.. both a la cartes on the resorts were delicious and the service was great!! :)
The disco was a little quiet at night, but like I said, its mostly a family/couples resort so what do you expect? But we still stuck around the disco and had a great time.
All I have to say about everyone who is or has been writing bad reviews is you make your own fun.. people tend to think that when you go on holiday people are going to make your fun for you and do everything for you.. if that is what you wanted, then you shouldn't be going to Cuba.. go somewhere and spend the big bucks!! I was very pleased with everyone at Brisas, Santa Lucia. The entertainment was great at night.. I didn't miss one show, even if my friends did. Every night was different. The dancers/entertainers were always hanging out with different people, trying to get everyone dancing, which was fun. I was too shy, cause I am not a good dancer..:) But boy, can they move!! It's fun to watch.
We are all planning to go back in a year, the exact same time. That is how much fun we had. Yes, I would like to experience other resorts and place in Cuba or even down South, but I will totally go one more time before I do that. :)

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Vdimarco's Response to Analee's Review

Written on: 21/02/2006

its Yuri.. and yeah he is so awesome!

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Analee's Response to Analee's Review

Written on: 23/02/2006

Actually I'm pretty positive that while we were there I asked him how to spell his name and he said it was spelt with a J, but it was a silent J.. but yes, you are right it is pronounced Yuri. Thanks. :)

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“The Brisas Santa Lucia Hotel in Cuba is not bad for...”


written by iberob on 11/11/2005

The Brisas Santa Lucia Hotel in Cuba is not bad for the buck, but it's no 4 star resort, I would say 3 tops.

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“Brisas Santa Lucia Hotel has a lot to offer families -...”


written by JaniceH on 26/03/2005

Brisas Santa Lucia Hotel has a lot to offer families - activities daily and nightly for kids. The nightly shows were "hit and miss", with some excellent performances (a Cuban rock group) and bad (Cuban version of Romeo & Juliet that was incomprehensible unless you spoke fluent Spanish) But we would go back, in spite of the plain fare offered at the buffet restaurant because it's not as hectic or over-run with mobs of tourists like other areas in Cuba (Varadero) The excursions were good and not too pricey. No real shopping available except for some local crafts and souvenirs. Internet access was available at a low rate.

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“Brisas Santa Lucia Hotel is in a lovely resort, spoilt...”


written by Andy44 on 13/03/2004

Brisas Santa Lucia Hotel is in a lovely resort, spoilt by very poor food. The accomodation is in small thatched building dotted around attratctive gardens. It has a very nice reception area with small stores selling typical tourist stuff at very reasonable prices (cheaper than in Camaguey usually. The pool is nice with pleanty of room for sun loungers and the beach is great, especialy for kids as it is shallow and protected by the reef.
BUT the food is definatly the weak point of this resort. Poorly cooked and often cold. The better dishes disappear fast and there are usualy line-ups just to get into the buffet dining room.
BEWARE of buying cigars from beach vendors, you could end up having them confiscated on departure.
BEWARE asking to many questions about Cuba, you could end up being interogated on departure. It happened to us!!

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Sedwards's Response to 147449_Andy44's Review

Written on: 13/04/2005

I have been to Cuba 11 times. I have had many hours discussing Cuba with Cubans at the resorts, on the street, in bars and in their homes. I have never heard of anyone ever being interogated on leaving Cuba. I think that the review is possibly written by someone for the US and it is propaganda.

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Jodepen's Response to 147449_Andy44's Review

Written on: 09/05/2006

I too, have been to Cuba several times, (different locations) and in my opinion if you were interrogated - then they had reason to interrogate you, perhaps it was because you bought illegal merchandise (cigars) from someone on the beach. If you'd gone to your welcome meeting they would have explained that you do not buy cigars, shells, coral etc. from locals on the beach, (buyer beware!!). To each his own, I just hope that when others read your comments they take them with a grain of salt. Cuba is a lovely country with lovely people. If you give respect, you get respect. Cheers.

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