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“friendly but with no pool”

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Villa Gaviota Santiago de Cuba
Ranked #8 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“friendly but with no pool”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

The proparty is good, room was big and cleaned every day. Staff is verry friendly and try to help you in all their ways. Only when we arrived they told us there is no swimmingpool this summer, we were really disappointed. We choose this hotel to stay specially for the swimming pool. We called the organization but unfortunately they didden`t called us back. This information is not posted on the website and so we feel the information is misleading, specially for the price we payed.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank Laura S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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38 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
St. Catharines, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2014

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."

Room Tip: rooms in the 900's.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
9 Thank slimbabz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2013

First of all, you need to put things in perspective. You are in Cuba. The locals do the best they can, with what they have. You can't expect 5 Star quality at One Star prices. That being said...my personal experience during my visit 18-25 Nov13 was amazing. I have visited Santiago de Cuba several times now over the past two years, trying different hotels each time. This is the first time staying @ Villa Gaviota. The hotel is spread out amongst several buildings in a quiet and beautiful area of the city. My room was dated but very large and clean. Pool was large, warm and empty most of the time. It is a great place to chill with a Cristal (beer). Staff were helpful and friendly. Security was on the ball, denying access to all that did not have a room booked @ that hotel. My buddy Steve D (who was booked elsewhere) was made aware of this by Security Staff, several times. LOL. Cleaning lady went above and beyond what was expected, turning the bed into a work of art with Swans and Flowers. Front desk staff were very helpful and most of the staff spoke English which made things easier. Breakfast was included and was a great start to the day. Dining area was clean, staff were very nice and the food was well done. I loved the ham and cheese omelet with coffee and fresh juice. If you are able to walk, within 1 km is everything you need to get by for the time you are there. I will definitely return to this hotel. Remember....you should be leaving Cuba with a lot less stuff (quality stuff) than what you came with. These people deserve all you can offer. Also..... If you are the type of person who requires constant service......flowers at your feet as you walk.....and are considered High Maintenance and a complete pain in the @$$ !!!....then Cuba is not the place for you.....you should be going elsewhere at a cost of 5 times as much $$$.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Bernard D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2013

My freind stayed here it was nice but the gaurds are pushy.i was staying down the street and they would not let me go to his room and have a drink im am canadian.i did how ever sneak on and there is nice pool great bathroom and the maid is super nice and does her job above and beyond.main staff where nice.but nice hotel down the street half the price and they let my freinds in no problem.im not saying go some where else but if you like to party and not harassed then you might want to stay at another place.nothing wrong with this hotel.just the gaurds little pushy and dont speak english(my fault should know spanish) but there should be little nicer to no-locals.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Steve D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cuba
Level Contributor
52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2013

Located at the top of a hill in Vista Alegre here you will have great views of the city, the beautiful and quiet neighborhood merits to bring your camera, and do not be afraid to go out at night because very it is close to where the nightlife is more active, we decided to walk to the disco at Hotel Melia Santiago, and did no regret it!!.
The rooms are located in several houses, but each room has its private bathroom, with bath-tub, the rest of the room was fine for the standard, with TV, closet and a table, the lights are well located (something difficult to find in some hotels nowadays). The air conditioning was a bit noisy but it worked ok. Other tips: Parking is free and very safe, food is well cooked, and the staff is friendly an helpful. Ahh the Villa has its own swimming pool. We enjoyed it very much after the heat of the city.

Room Tip: If your luggage is heavy ask for rooms in the first floor, but if you prefer to enjoy the views 2nd...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank HHunting1260
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
93 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2013

After arriving during the middle of Carnival, we quickly learned that we were staying a very safe neighbourhood, and that Raul Castro was staying in a compound near us. There were military and police everywhere.

The problem was, we had paid online, up-front for 5 nights, and at check-in were told there were no rooms. And no rooms in the city, because of Carnival. We sat, waited for them to figure it out, while our taxi drove my boyfriends around, scrambling for a Casa Particular. After 2 hours, they finally tell us that miraculously, a room is available. What a freaking dump!!! The glass was broken on the windows, the fridge was broken, shower head was broken, and the door handle fell off in my hand as I closed the door. Thank god for Leonardo, the resident repair man who tried to fix everything he could for us. But by now, we had wasted nearly half the day because the hotel didn't hold our reservation for us. The room was smoking, wreaked and was seriously just horrible!!

After 2 nights Carnival ended and so I asked for a different room. This was like heaven compared to the dump we were forced to sleep in. It was huge, bright, airy, and everything worked, except the safe. It's Cuba, so this was par for the course. The people working at the hotel tried so hard to be accommodating, we're nothing but fantastic, and I don't blame them for the mix up. I understand it's their busiest time if year, but we had paid in full through the only website online that I could find, to book the hotel. In the future, call ahead if you stay here just to make sure.

Beautiful colonial style neighbourhood, decent breakfast, nice pool (could use more chairs), but note that it's far to downtown, like 20 minutes hoofing it, but still safe late at night. You are very far from the hustle and noise of downtown, which to some, could be important.

Had my room been ready, and they not stuck us in the dump that they did, then my review would have been much much better, but starting my stay off that way, left a bad taste in my mouth. Literally....I could, smell smoke from the adjoining room, and it was disgusting.

Remember to call ahead to confirm your reservation!!! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention... We weren't the only ones that this happened to, from our same flight was another European couple with no room. Not sure what ended up happening to them, but we didn't see them around after that.

Room Tip: Avoid building 5
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sichy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Santiago de Cuba hotels

Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
139 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2013

Having been low-season, I was quite content with the package-price paid to stay here. There were not many other guests here other than some flight crews, which was fine by me.

The room, which was one of the better ones from what I gathered, was more favourable than what I expected. TV, toilet, bath-tub, closet, comfy bed, daily house-keeping and a small fridge were included. The in-room safe was 2 CUC per night though. The hotel rooms are spread out and in a few different buildings. Some more modern than others. The reception is a small area that was re-located because of the October hurricane.

The on-site hotel restaurant was surprisingly good and downstairs to it, there is a bar with pool table, computer, and public phones. The pool was decently deep but no great shakes really. If there once was a pool-bar there, it wasn't while I was there. Cubans not staying in the hotel overnight are not allowed to use the pool which can be a plus or bummer depending on how you look at it.

The staff were mostly great and friendly and maybe a couple were a bit too fren-ly but the real plus for us is the location in a quiet section at the back end of the beautiful Vista Alegre neighborhood. A great area for a stroll night or day with drink or camera in hand.

Would definitely stay again if the price were right. Quieter than most of the Santiago city hotels.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank CubanWaters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Gaviota Santiago de Cuba

Property: Villa Gaviota Santiago de Cuba
Address: 502 Ave. Manduley, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Santiago de Cuba Province > Santiago de Cuba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:5 star — Villa Gaviota Santiago de Cuba 5*
Number of rooms: 47
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Also Known As:
Villa Gaviota Santiago De Cuba Hotel Santiago De Cuba

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