Spent 2 weeks at Villa Gaviotta; much prefer over an all-inclusive resort. This hotel is actually large homes once owned by rich American's in the past, divided into a couple of very large rooms in there centre of the nicest, most quiet neighbourhood in Santiago.
There is security at this resort, they are not in your face at all but are watching from a distance for your safety. Cuba is a very safe country to visit yet these gentlemen are on stand-by 24-7.
Rooms very well cared for, housekeepers are so kind and very thorough. No noises can be heard from other people sharing the house.
Pool is wonderful, often times my husband and I were the only people at the pool for days. I should comment that 8 or 10 new loungers would be of benifit on the off chance others choose to have a day at the pool as well.
You are very central to the city so you can walk it (20 min) or take a taxi for 2 or 3 CUC. I would reccomend using Cubataxi and the Taxi Particulars (private taxis) will charge you much more and it is more likely the car will be held together with duct tape :).
The reception, check in and out was a breeze as this is not the same as waiting in a huge line up at an all-inclusive resort.
I can say that all but one of the women who work in reception are really just terrible. My husband and I went to reception (please keep in mind he is a Cuban living in Canada and I speak spanish also) to have a call placed for a taxi. The first two days she called someone she knew that drives a Taxi Particular rather than Cubataxi as we had requested; inturn, increasing the cost. On the third day when we asked for Cubataxi she had us in reception for more than 1 hour stating Cubataxi dispatch is not answering the phone; wanting to call yet again, Taxi Pyarticular. We decided to leave the reception area and use a payphone where Cubataxi was easily reached. Day 4 we called reception from our room requesting Cubataxi; this day she told us that if we want reception to call for a taxi there is a new fee of $1.40 cuc to do so. Can you imagine, this is a hotel....is this not the job of a hotel receptionist??? assisting the clients who have paid to stay in your hotel?? Stay away from the tall, slender woman with a mole on the end of her nose, a rude woman who will try and increase costs or become frustrated with you over something as simple as a call for taxi.
Store, this was another bone of contention with me! You will wait and wait and wait as a paying customer as store clerk has a personal conversation on the phone, an argument with her daughter on the phone (they didnt count on the white Canadian girl understanding thier language ;)), smoking a cigarette, reviewing the meat shipment order, talking to a friend or i am sure anything else they choose rather than tending to thier customers. Like I said, I am married to a Cuban and know how it all works, understand thier culture, speed, work ethic in a socialist society....this was over the top.
So, would I say again, yes of course??!! I will complete my hotel survey honestly as they truly want to improve and are aware the world market has taken a financial hit; they see it in thier numbers. When asked why tourism is not what it was...I simply reply " there is a financial crisis along with the fact that people who do have money to vacation will spend a little more for good service...often choosing another country as thier destination."
- Also Known As:
- Villa Gaviota Santiago De Cuba Hotel Santiago De Cuba