Just arrived back from CUBA after staying at Playa del Este, Havana in the Club Atlantico Hotel. Had a great trip with my wife and three kids. Here are the facts from our viewpoint.
1. Hotel is NOT a Sandals type 5 Star Hotel filled with only upper-middle class Canadians or Americans and their spoiled kids. YES...local Cubans stay at the Hotel, and YES there are many, many Cubans on the beach. It's Cuba right? Previous posts complaining about this fact seem ridiculous and very narrow-mined to me. If you like to travel in less touristy places, practicing your Spanish, meeting locals, enjoy seeing the local culture, and don't mind a 3 star hotel...then this is the place for you.
2. Club Atlantico Hotel:
Pool is nice, clean, small but never crowded. Pool bar always kept me well watered with choice of Rum, Mojitos, beer or wine and also serves hamburgers and hot-dogs in the the afternoons.
Beach is right there and is a 10 second walk from the pool. Sand is white, water is warm, life-guards are right there (and pretty cute according to the wife), catamaran rides are free, and the scenery (of all kinds) is pretty nice.
Rooms: first impression of the room was not impressive, but quickly grows on you. Rooms are out-dated in style and appearance, but are always clean and the mattresses are quite comfortable. Two twin beds push together to make a king size and the rooms all have small balcony with chairs and a great breeze.
Food: dishes range from average to quite good at times and the supper main course always is different. There is always something for everyone to eat and don't be afraid to try things that look "different" from what we eat at restaurants in North America. One Saturday night, we even had freshly grilled prawns and the cook told me that we were fortunate to get them as in Cuba rationing is a way of life. Since I tipped the staff well, the cook ensured I had as many prawns as I desired. Breakfasts always had tasty fresh grilled omelettes with ham or sometimes bacon. Again, take some time at the buffet, try some new things and you may be surprised. All in all, pretty good.
Staff were mostly quite helpful and sometimes, really sweet and wonderful. I like to tip each of them since the average monthly wage in Cuba is $10-$20...yes per month. That being said, good service deserves good tipping, so some got tipped better than others and is reciprocated with very good service and appreciation.
Location: 20 min cab ride to Havana. 30 min on the free shuttle at 9:30, 14:30, or 18:30. And hotel is directly on the beach. Veradero is 2 hours from Havana, thus a pretty big outing. The great thing about this location is that one can spend a few hours in the morning touring Havana, then spend the afternoons at the beach. A great choice for the family, or so we found.
Day trips: Talk to the Guys working at the Catamaran located at the beach for Scuba Trips, Snorkelling trips, Fishing, personal cab drivers,, or traditional Cuban dinners outside the resort. We took a great all day outing in a 1950 Chevy to the Bay of Pigs with our own personal driver & snorkelling guide for snorkelling, traditional Cuban food, and Crocodile viewing.
All in all...a great time, remember it's not Canada, so don't expect that. If you want something less touristy with great access to Havana. This is a good choice.
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Caribe Club Atlantico Hotel Havana
- Gran Caribe Hotel Atlantico
- Gran Caribe Havana