We stayed at Brisas from 14th July 2012 to 28th July 2012 and to be honest,, after reading some of the comments on Trip Advisor I honestly wondered had I made a big mistake. As a single parent with a teenage daughter it's difficult enough without everyone saying "Why are you going to Cuba, of all places??"
Afterthe most dreadful flight imaginable (but that's another story) we arrived at our hotel. We had a bit of a problem checking in, but that was soon sorted out and we were shown to our room on the 5th floor (for 5 read 4) with a fabulous ocean view and made extremely welcome by our housekeeper who came along to welcome us and see if there was anything else we needed. OK so the rooms were a bit basic but spotlessly clean and well appointed.
We arrived late afternoon, so just had a walk round the hotel,the pool and wandered down to the beach-WOW!! absolutely what a Carribbean island should look like, white sands, blue seas and just along we found the wedding gazebo ( near the towel exchange) and OMG someone was getting married!! only been there half hour and we gatecrashed a wedding,lol! The first night we just sort of mooched about, had a few drinks in the bar and got an earlyish night.
Next morning we were up bright and early, checked the entertainment programme, yess Aquafit in the main pool 11am. I am disabled with arthritis and I try to exercise when I can as it helps. By the time we'd finished the class, my daughter and I had made friends with half the Animacion team and most of the guests who were in the pool! And we kept those friends and made many more in the next 2 weeks, Cuban people, some working there others like us holidaying, Canadians, French, Spanish and of course some fellow Brits!
Some people objected to the fact that the hotel was not exclusively English, why? if they wanted to be surrounded by English people they should have stayed in England!! I have travelled all over Europe and N Africa over the years and have picked up bits of a few languages, most fluent (haha) being Spanish and I do find when I try to explain what I want in their language, people respect you more for trying. Most English people expect the whole world to speak English to accomodate them, whereas by greeting the people in Spanish you are immediately welcomed. OK so there were a couple of "stroppy" waiters but by the end of our 2 weeks we were friends with most of them, and the maids, the chefs, the gardeners,-yes, I had my own liitle daisy patch left for me near my sunbeds!
The hotel has 6 x A La Carte restaurants and we tried most of them the first week, I have to say The International had the most fabulous garlic king prawns and the fish yummee! The Italian didn't do very good pasta but the fish and steak again was excellent. Overall there is something for everyone in the choices of food, it was always freshly cooked and plentiful and available at all hors to suit. If you wanted burger and chips for 20 people at 2 am, just ask and it was happily cooked for you there and then. The people who complain about the food would not be happy anywhere they go, like I say if you want fish 'n chips and pie 'n gravy go to Blackpool or perhaps Benidorm!!
Cuba is a communist country and they don't have luxuries which we take for granted, like chocolate and sweets. I'd read this on T.A. before we went and took a big freezer bag filled with mini chocolate bars and chokki biscuits and gave these away to our Cuban friends. Want to travel in style? 1960's caddy convertableto market just a few pesos, how much for the driver to wait an hour while we did our shopping? that's right a bar of chocolate for his children.
The Cuban people are some of the friendliest, happiest people you could wish to meet and have for your friends, too many to mention all by name, but I have to say to Juan Carlos on the burger bar, Roberto "No 1 Pizza Man", Julio, Roger, Victor, Marika, my friend Johnny and all the other barstaff on the main bar, as Rosie, Eddie,and the rest of the team would say "We Love Cuba,We Love Brisas".
Hasta la vista, mi amores, see you next year.
Higher rooms are happy rooms!!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC