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“Excellent casa”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Casa "Don Carlos"

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Casa "Don Carlos"
Certificate of Excellence
St. Petersburg, Russia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent casa”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2014

Great location in Santiago. Very easy walking distance of the main attractions. Delicious meal. Very clean and comfortable room. Attеntive hospitable hosts. We had everything we needed. Carlos is the best host we have ever met - kind, responsive, with a great sense of humor. We would stay at this casa again. Definitely recommend this casa. We really enjoyed staying at Casa "Don Carlos".
Nastya and Andrey

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Anastasiia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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93 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
58 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2014

We stayed at Don Carlos casa for 2 nights, and found the casa to be a poor choice in Santiago de Cuba.

Negatives:

1. Don Carlos offered to do washing for us for a price. We gave him a bag then 2 hours later it was folded and back in our room. We couldn't understand how it could be washed and dried so quickly, and it didn't smell clean. We had to re-wash it later.

2. Don Carlos initially offered us use of the internet, however when we asked if we could email our casa in Trinidad to reconfirm our booking, he insisted on writing the email himself when we were not around. Later he said that the casa had called for us and put us on the phone with someone who gave us a message that due to some vague "plumbing problems" we would have to stay at an alternative casa. Not convinced we contacted the original Trinidad casa directly, who informed us that this was not them calling us, and that there were no plumbing problems, and our booking was fine.

3. Don Carlos offered to buy us a bus ticket, but returned saying that there were none available for the day we wanted. The next day we went to the bus station and were able to buy tickets in about 5 minutes.

4. We found the mattress to be particularly uncomfortable.

5. The bathroom was dirty.

6. The windows had no glass, and opened to the common area, so the room was noisy throughout the day.

Positives:
Don Carlos wife is very friendly, and the casa could be a good place to stay if it were run more professionally.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sam_www
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cadoeljaiek, Propietario at Casa "Don Carlos", responded to this review, 18 March 2014
Dear costumers:
It's Carlos from Casa "Don Carlos", in Santiago de Cuba.
You have the right to have your own opinion, I respect that, but people should speak their minds in front of the affected one, instead of reserving their opinion to affect them internationally, you shouldn't have shut your mouth when I asked about some things, such as the mattress, and you should also know some things about Cuba, which I'll try to explain and reply.
1. Laundry: We have a drier, and you spent more than 2 hours on the street, so you don't know how long it was hanged up, and Santiago de Cuba's sun is the strongest in the island. Anyway we have now taken every measure in our hands to avoid it to happen again, and recriminated the responsible for that day's washing.
2. Next stay booking: I sent an e-mail to an address you provided, they replied by phone and you talked to them directly, quote: "and put us on the phone" How am I responsible for that? I have internet at home but it's not free, and also very slow, so I offered FREE e-mail service. *See Cuba and internet, at the end of the message*. The person who talked to you I don't know who it was, but he/she received the message I sent, to the address you provided, and called back. After that, I don't know what else happened, or what they told you.
This is the original e-mail to the address you provided:
Hola Sr: Elio Ramos. Tengo unos clientes en Casa "Don Carlos" en Santiago de Cuba, que tienen reservación en su casa, pero no tienen la dirección de su casa, y desean saberla, así como el teléfono, para poder llamarle, me puede contactar por aquí o con los datos a final del mensaje. Un saludo
Sr. Carlos Domínguez. Casa "Don Carlos".

3. Bus ticket: I offered myself to go to the bus station, so you could enjoy your stay in Santiago and not to worry about buying tickets. In fact, I went there to buy 8 tickets, and came back with 4 of them, why do you doubt? Do you think I didn't go? At the bus station they said they had no tickets, but the same day of departure they can sell the reserved but unpaid seats, maybe that's why you could get your owns next day (some seats are reserved to authorities, or others, but they should advise with 24 hours, so if they don't, they can sell the seats with a 24H time frame). Remember Cuba is different in many aspects, and that kind of things are all done with paperwork, instead of automatized system, not my fault. Besides, you're only seeing that I couldn't get the tickets instead of seeing that I went there charging NOTHING, to help you and my other costumers to enjoy your holydays without worrying about buying bus tickets in this old-fashioned island. The tickets selling system is not automated, even the tickets you buy through internet, they know about them when costumers show the printed paper. I know it's really hard to understand for an European but Cuba works that way. Also, it's not a service we usually give, and I did it as a favor, charging nothing, I don't know how it affects your opinion about me or the services I DO provide, or how you can call unprofessional to somebody doing that for free.
4. Uncomfortable Mattress: We had changed the mattress the same day of your arrival, and after your first night we asked you both: "How did you sleep", thinking mainly about the mattress, because it's our business to know, and to provide the best service. You replied: "perfectly fine" looking at me in the eyes..., so everything was OK, no worries. In that point, you lost your chance for a good sleep and your chance to give a different opinion about it. The next clients, spoke the truth and we changed the mattress, still on guarantee. I repeat, you said you slept "perfectly fine" looking at me in the eyes...
5. Dirty bathroom: MY bad. It can have an explanation but not justification, we should look more carefully into that aspect. Sometimes water from the city service comes dirty, and it stains a little bit mainly white bathrooms. Because of that it's always recommendable to buy the water you drink. But we should look better for it won't happen again.
6. Room: It's true it has no glass, but will probably never have, because that's the essence of the Caribbean, fresh air and sun coming into your room, that's what most of the people are looking for. The room you used is open to the patio (yard), which is an important part of the house, many clients love that area (as well as the roof terrace), to seat there and enjoy some drinks, or chat or read. You may have heard some conversations but thanks God we DON'T have any dogs barking around or cocks singing, which are also part of the Caribbean.
Thank you very much for (at least) recognize my wife's efforts to make you feel good, and mention the position and quality of the house, even though is not reflected in the ranking you gave to your opinion. How unprofessional could be a person who can manage in 5 languages? How unprofessional is someone who goes to the bus station for you for free so you can enjoy your holidays? How unprofessional could be a person who walked with you for 3 blocks carrying your bags to find a taxi who charged the same rate of the one I proposed, and could pick you up directly at home, but you refused to accept? How unprofessional is somebody who picked you up at the airport late at night, and had your dinner prepared at your arrival? By the way, you mentioned the meal was excellent, does that also deserves a 0 stars in service? In some points I think you've been unfair. But still, my "unprofessionalism" makes me accept your opinion and make an effort to improve harder.

*Cuba and internet*In this point I must explain some things about the Cuban reality. Cubans are not allowed to have internet, except in specific cases. I'm not one of them. So I must re-contract internet service to a third party, which is very expensive for the Cubans standards, yet I can afford it and sometimes I offer it to costumers, at the same rate I pay. The connection is made through MODEM, so the highest speed doesn't overpass 56kbps (typically 52kbps), a speed that doesn't meet the nowadays international standards, so many costumers quit before they can reach their first page. Still, I must pay, because it has a connection time limit, monthly, typically 15 hours, depending on the contract could extend to 30H per month. Here, due to my wife's profession (she's a Doctor) we have an international e-mail account, which doesn't require internet connection, that's the reason why we can offer e-mail for free, even though it's not free, but very cheap, so we assume the costs for it with the phone bill, and offer it for free if requested.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belgrade, Serbia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014

We stayed at casa "Don Carlos" for 3 nights and had a very pleasant stay.
After arriving to Viazul station, a friend of Carlos` picked us up even though it was 7 am and took us to the casa.
Carlos was very helpful in telling us where to go and what to see. Also, he prepared very good breakfast every morning for a very good price. In addition, Carlos organized taxi rides for us to visit different beaches close to Santiago and always had a good advice for us.
His wife is also very nice and helpful. After a night at the beach I had some thorns stuck in my foot and she got them out, almost painless :) We were amazed when she told us that she is a doctor with two specializations having in mind that she is very young.
The atmosphere in the house is very relaxed, and although you are sharing the house with other members of the family, you still have your privacy.
We really had an amazing time there and if we were to come back, we will definitely stay at his place again :)

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mimi_fluffy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belgrade, Serbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014

First of all, if you are traveling around Cuba, you must visit Santiago de Cuba. It is second largest city, after Habana, and it is the city of high importance. Castro proclaimed the victory of the Cuban Revolution from a balcony on Santiago de Cuba's city hall which is located in a very nice square in the city center. Nearby, there is also Balcony of Diego Velázquez, Spanish conquistador who founded Santiago de Cuba.

To continue, staying with Don Carlos and his family is a must. The owners Carlos and Isabel are very nice people. Always helpful with tips and recommendations. Carlos also helped us find the taxi to drive us to different beaches, Castillo del Morro, and the last day, he even offered to take us to the Viazul, the bus station, himself.

As for the accommodation, the house is situated in Heredia Street, which is one of the main streets in Santiago. The most lively street in Santiago, situated in the center of the city and just 2 min away from all the attractions. This is the place where street music never stops.

The house is very spacious and it has 4 rooms for rent, which is great for bigger groups, as we were. (5 of us in total). Rooms are comfortable, although our bathroom was pretty small, the most important thing is that it was super clean. The house offers big outdoor area were we could relax and hang out all together in the evenings. Also, there is a beautiful roof top, perfect for having your first coffee in the morning.

I highly recommend having a breakfast in Casa de don Carlos. It is perfect and it brings you back to life after crazy party nights in Santiago. People here are amazing, very cheerful, ongoing and friendly like in no other city of Cuba.

All in all, I highly recommend Casa De Carlos during your stay in Santiago.

Room Tip: Room at the top, was recently renovated and more spacious than the first room at the ground floor.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nina_la_mariposa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2014

If you going to visit Santiago de Cuba you have to stay with Don Carlos. The host is the best, the most helpful and the funniest one off all. Most important speaks English which was a great asset for me, as my Spanish was just basics. I spent 2 nights there but wished I stayed more. Food they prepare was amazing (first time had Merlin and it was first class), also breakfasts were very good. The whole family of Carlos (Isabel and little Marta) were super kind and we had lots of laughter together. Carlos helped us finding out all information we needed to get to next destination, called our next casa for us and helped with arranging transport. The stay was the most entertaining of all- we learned how to play domino's proper rules, which started being much of interesting than just matching the dots!
Our room was quite cozy, one bed was cool, the other a bit uneven - still sleep was very good and we had separate bathroom for us, which was clean and nice. House was quite cool, had stairs for roof top, which we did not have time to use due to rain, but looked amazing and would definitely be an asset during sunny day. Anyway house has plenty of space in the leaving room- which is big and has plenty of chairs to rest, sofas and dining part for lovely meals. Go and stay with Casa don Carlos! you won't regret it

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ewelina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 February 2014

Booking with Carlos is probably anyone's best bet when staying in Santiago! Do not get discouraged by any negative reviews!
We spent couple of nights at Casa Don Carlos when travelling around Cuba and Carlos was by far the most helpful host we've met! We arrived very late at night and there was no problem for him to cook dinner for us at midnight (and even fetch water from somewhere in town at that time!).

Don Carlos casa is probably in the best location in Santiago, in a very famous and entertaining Heredia Street, city centre location!

We've had there most amazing food (like merlin) and breakfasts were great as well!

Carlos speaks excellent English, which may be quite unusual among casa owners, but is extremely helpful, particularly when trying to teach a bunch of tourists how to play domino properly!

He explained us domino rules and played with us one evening which was great fun!

Carlos was also trying to help us arrange transport to our next destination after it'd turned out the buses were full!

Our stay in Santiago was extremely memorable and this was to a big extend thanks to hospitality of Carlos and Isabel!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AggieWoj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ljubljana
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2014

I spent several days at Casa Don Carlos in July 2013, backpacking through Cuba with a friend of mine. I can just say that Carlos is a great host, always there to help you. He arranged a private ride for us back up north because all the buses were booked because of the local festival. And even if he doesn't have a free room for you in his house, he can find you another casa particular where you can stay. So, on the way back from Baracoa he arranged for us to stay in a very nice casa in a very upscale part of Santiago (the owner was a former doctor). Carlos is also an amazing cook, oh, and most importantly, his English is EXCELLENT! I'd say Carlo's phone number is a must if you're staying in Santiago because he can practically arrange anything for you!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank SimSimSim48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa "Don Carlos"

Property: Casa "Don Carlos"
Address: Heredia 416 entre Reloj y Clarin, Santiago de Cuba 90100, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Santiago de Cuba Province > Santiago de Cuba
Amenities:
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 82 B&Bs / Inns in Santiago de Cuba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa "Don Carlos" offers up to 3 rooms, with great comfort and the best hosts in the city. Casa "Don Carlos", more than a house, a HOME. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa "Don Carlos" Santiago De Cuba

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