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Club Amigo Carisol Los Corales
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Reviewed 31 July 2009

This resort is incredible - good service, amazing rooms, pools and beach! Went with my boyfriend and had a great time. Weather in April was perfect and activities on site were all-around good. Suggestion: Take a day trip - We went with the boat, snorkling, lunch and into the city and was worth it for sure!

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank lovesworldtravel88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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565 - 571 of 890 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2009

I could write a novel about my trip to Santiago de Cuba, and more specifically, my stay at this place. Let me first state that for a last minute deal of less than $700, taxes included, it was more tropical and more affordable than spending a week in Toronto at Aunt Betty's house.

Now that the positives are out of the way, let me say what you really need to hear, from absolute worst to bad. I heard the food was bad in Cuba, even from people going to 5 star hotels. This food was like eating dog food. I had sliced cabbage every day for lunch and dinner, and the cabbage had no dressing on it.

The staff are unhappy, ask you for belongings from the day you arrive, to the day you leave. I can handle peddlers on my last day of my trip, but from day one - forget about it! One bartender , with a lifeguard t-shirt, served me a beverage. He asked me for a tip until another staff, the real bartender showed up, in the appropriate red vest attire. You usually fee invisible at the bar. Each bar has a menu posted on the wall. You ask for a Daiquiri, you got a dixie cup of sugar and lemon juice!

Wild horses, goats and dogs were constantly on the premises, and very often, staff including security guards would do nothing. The horse "patties" made for an unpleasant tie-in with the palm trees and burnt grass.

I know I told you the food was unedible, but one time at dinner I made a verbal remark about the ubundance of birds flying inside of the "Italian A la carte" Restaurant (the food is the exact same as at the main buffet). Low and behold, a bird dropped a gift in my food! I nice finish to the gigantic shrimps served with big eyeballs and excrement sack still entact.

My recommendation....go to Dominican Republic. Been twice, both times I thought I was in paradise - the way trip should be. Friendly staff, great food, nice pools and clean rooms. I am very optimistic and do not need a white glove treatment to enjoy my accommodations, but this place was the pits.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank Honest_Storyteller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2009

For the price this is probably the best bet for Santiago beach hotels. I have been to this hotel more than once.

THE FAT - this complex was once divided into 2 separate hotels. A major plus for going there now is that you have access to both hotels meaning use of both pool areas, all restaurants (5), all bars (7), lobby lounges and nightly entertainment shows. Not all the bars and restaurants are open at the same time though. The beach although not comparable to Varadero, Trinidad or Holguin is very good for Santiago beach standards. There is also a local beach right beside the Los Corales section where you can swim, sunbathe and mix with Cubans. The nightly shows feature dancing, fashion, comedy, magic or aqua ballet depending on what is scheduled. In high season there usually is a separate show at each hotel. This hotel seems to have a lot of repeat customers, There is one computer for internet access at each hotel plus the usual daily excursions (water, mountain, horseback etc.) offered at most good Cuban resorts. The staff usually do their best to accommodate the many tourists mainly from Canada & Europe. A large resort where you won't feel confined at all. Car rentals are available here but sometimes at a days notice.

the skinny - It's just my opinion but I find this resort somewhat on the remote side. Other than the hotel complex itself, there is nowhere close by to go to at night. It is in a beautiful mountainous area but at least 1 hour by bus or 45 minutes by taxi to Santiago. At 30 cuc one way, the taxi bills can add up. As far as I know there is only one tour shuttle going to the city during the week which you can pay for the tour or just for them to let you off in the city and take you back later in the day. Other options are the workers bus (3 times daily) or the sporadic local bus that goes by. Another disappointment is that there are no scooter or bike rentals here. For the past couple of years at least, one of the hotels usually closes down after high season (beginning of april). This can make the hotel seem
even more remote with less people there in the low season.

Closing remarks - A great place to go for a relaxing vacation without paying a steep price. Not too fancy but not too shabby either.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank CubanWaters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2009

my 1 week stay went from bad to worse! upon arrival we met another couple who said they were very disappointed & were leaving the resort to eat & drink.nothing was open so we thought it would be better the next day.all inclusive meant be there at opening, because when its gone, youre out of luck.rum is my drink of choice,but i couldnt drink their rot gut rum, had to settle for their beer flavoured water. staff was ok considering what they had to work with,maids were great but security were terrible.having said all this, i believe the main reason for the splotchy amenities, was, we found out on day 3 of our trip,that the resort was closing for the season on the day we left which explained why supplies & fun dwindled as the week progressed.I WOULD URGE ANY FELLOW TRAVELLERS TO FIND OUT IF POSSIBLE RESORT CLOSING DATE

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank VERYLAZY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2009

FOOD: i stayed away from the buffet and never went to the seafood restaurant. i also never went to breakfast but i heard the omelettes are great. every day for lunch i ate a hotdog and fries at the beach restaurant. really good fries. for dinner every night i ate pasta and pizza at los corales. my friend would get pizza and i would get pasta and we would split. it was good and its made personally for you. no food is 24/7. i believe there is no more food after 8 pm (or some time around there).

NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT: there is a show every night with the dancers. except for 2 nights, 1 where they had water ballet in the pool and then another night it was a magician. i only saw the entertainment on the corales side. it was fun to watch and the dancers were good. some nights are better than others but it was always a good time to drink and laugh with friends. at 11 the disco opens up, which is what the beach restaurant turns into. they play a mix of cuban music as well as north american popular music. the only problem is that it is basically the same songs every night. it was fun to go and dance though, good time to meet people. we went every night, except for one.

BAR/DRINKS: until 5 pm, the only bars that serve alcohol are the pool bars and the beach bar. after 5 pm, those bars close, and the lobby bar and bar by the pool open up. at 11 pm, those bars close and the disco bar opens. i believe the disco bar closes at 2 am. service is okay, although a couple of the bartenders are rude at the bar by the pool. the drinks are strong! and some drinks are not always available. the beer is tasty though as is the banana daquiri. bring your own mug if you remember. the staff also loves the really big mugs, so you can always bring one to give away at the end of your trip.

BEACH: the water was really warm and the beach is nice. always a lot of chairs. some areas of the water have a lot of seaweed at the bottom, so you might want to bring water shoes. i didn't have any so i just went in the smaller area that is sandy. i went snorkeling and it was amazing, i strongly recommend it. there was a boat trip you could pay to go out on, but i did not. i just went in the water with the free snorkeling stuff. lots and lots of gorgeous colorful fish to see. my friend found a lot of conch shells too. there was a man on the beach that cleaned the shells and emptied the creature from inside for us. he would also clean up the thing inside so you could eat it. i tried a little bite, just to say i did. it didn't really taste like anything but the texture is awful - chewy but hard and crunchy. we also went out on the swan paddle boat (free) which was fun. we missed the catamaran (free) because we didn't know you had to make an appt. lots of fun lounging in the sun with drinks on the beach with everyone. there were also dance lessons on the beach. we went to learn the merigue. it was a lot of fun!

PEOPLE: there was a lot of older people there. only a few of us younger ones. a lot of people were there from quebec, canada. made some really amazing friends. most of the staff is friendly. security is always around patrolling as well. security is friendly too. staff will ask for clothes and stuff though, which can be kind of awkward. we got harrassed at the airport as well. people will just take your bags for you without you asking and then demand a tip.

ROOMS: not luxurious but they were clean and comfortable. the bathroom is a nice size. the shower has great hot water but the pressure sucks. the beds were comfortable. ceilings are really high. we were on the second floor, facing the pool, on the corales size. i laid on a bed in carisol and it was really hard. apparently they had crappy hot water there as well. i would highly recommend corales side. we got a few channels, so we could usually find a movie or something to watch. balcony was nice. a/c worked very well. cleaning staff was good. we left a little gift for them each day. make sure you put the sign out on your door! we kept forgetting or we'd put it on the wrong side, and they'd walk in on us in the morning sleeping lol.

POOL: pools and pool bars on both sides of the resort are very nice. the water is cool but not too cold. plenty of chairs and a few tables around the pool area. had fun lounging there as well.

FUN: for 2 days we rented scooters from the city. one of our friends we met there arranged it for us. my friend drove and i rode behind, so we only rented one scooter. i believe it was 35 CUC each for the 2 days. my friend had to take the bus into town with a couple of other people we met there to get the scooters. we paid 10 CUC (inc. in the 35 CUC) for them to pick it up. it was absolutely amazing. the first day we went for a ride towards the city and went to car museum. its small and outdoors but fun. the cars are cool and they let you inside. our tour guy didn't speak english but we were able to understand anyway. me and my friend went with a couple we met. they understood a small amount of spanish. that cost about 2 CUC (it was 1 CUC for a camera). we also went to the dinosaur park which we didn't even get through 1/3 of. its free and its HUGE!!! it was fun to wonder around. the second day we went to the art community, which was really neat to see. you can actually go inside their homes and view their art and working spaces. it was an amazing experience to hear their stories and see the way they live. some of the art is for sale. after that we just drove around a bit and saw the landscape. drove around paths in the mountain. we went off the main road which was fun. got into a minor accident but survived with only a few scrapes. banged up the scooter a bit though. driving on the scooter, looking at the mountains and the water, feeling the wind through your hair, it was awesome. i'd recommend getting scooters for sure.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled with friends
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7  Thank tiffler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2009

This was a fantastic vacation for the down to earth typed person. I can see why Posh uptight people complain. If you want a Hilton or a Riu go there. This Resort is not very fancy but is beautiful.

I travelled there with two friends for one week. It is low season for them so there were not very many guests and the age groups were 15-18 and 40 plus. Us being mid-twenties we were a little out of place.

The Corales side was closed which was disappointing but when we walked over there and saw the damage from hurricane season we were glad were not on that side.

THE ROOMS are big and kept very clean. Our chambermaid was very nice and we left items out for her everyday. Just leave wahat you want to give on pillows. There were very few mosquitos or any insect.

THE GROUNDS are kept clean by maintenance staff which is good because there are wild horses, goats and the odd stray cat that pass through the area. The grass is burned. There is no garbage or debris laying on the groud.

THE BEACH is nice. It is a little rocky but is also kept clean. If you ask the gardeners they will get you fresh coconuts. There is some excellent snorkelling available. The catamaran is fun and if you are nice the staff will lend you a fishing rod.

THE FOOD is repetitive and bland but is reflective of Cuban cuisine. I suggest you bring hot sauce. If you get a long with the staff they will find you tabasco sauce. there is a definite concern with the refridgeration of food and the birds that fly around in the buffet. basically get there at the start of lunch for the best quality. If you are not there early so to the beach and the will make you a fresh burger, hot dog or chicken with really good fries. The a la carte restaurant is very good. We ate there twice....they do not serve spaghetti without sauce! You have a choice of sauce. The fish is very good and so is the pizza.

THE ENTERTAINMENT is basic. the dance show was ok at first but the second time we saw they same show it was boring. The comedy show was hilarious. Santiago is about an hour away and well worth the drive. Great nightlife but DO NOT do the nightlife tour with the hotel. They will take you to some upscale place that is boring. Make friends with the staff and have them take you out.

THE ACTIVITIES are good. Scuba is really good and probably the best price in the Caribbean. Catamaran is fun. The always have something like dance lessons or game going on. The masseus is really good and you get 30 mins for only 10 CUC!!!

THE STAFF really make or break this resort. If you were nice and respectful you will make friends with them and they will get you anything you want. I never waited for a drink or had any problems with them. They are the most humble and caring people I have met in all my travels. I made some friends for life. If you really want to help these people out bring clothes and shoes. They like hygiene products but it is hard for them to afford new clothes and cosmetics.

If you want to experience Cuban culture and lifestyle go to this resort and take a trip into Santiago. I will definetly go back.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with friends
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6  Thank jam1king
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2009

This was our fourth time visiting Santiago de Cuba with Sunwing and staying at the Club Amigo resort, although the first time at the Carisol side. We always thought the Carisol side was where some Canadian groups (not to be mentioned) were put due to their major complaining and locust-like behaviour at the buffets but this was the side that was open this visit so we had no choice but to stay here. To our surprise, it was quite acceptable. The rooms were larger in size, although balconies were smaller and the overall appearance of the property was more updated than the Los Corales side. The bathrooms were updated and our shower had a massaging showerhead; there was a screen on the bathroom slatted window (Los Corales side did not) to prevent mosquitoes from coming in. The rooms were always clean, no bugs at all. Beds are very firm. I prefer to bring my own travel size pillow (personal preference). The maids made a point of putting personal messages on the beds after making various designs out of the towels and putting flowers out.

We found the evening entertainment too loud from our room. It wasn't necessary to have the master of ceremonies have the volume up so high. If you're a light sleeper and wish to get to bed by 10:00 p.m. ask for a room as far away from the entertainment as possible.

The pools are very nice. Larger on the Carisol side than Los Corales side. The kiddie pool is no deeper than 14" so it's perfect for little ones. It is deeper on Los Corales side - maybe 24". The pools warm up by the afternoon and are like a warm bath. There are a lot of activities available if one wishes to partake.

For those doing the major complaining about food, alcohol and the staff taking food before getting a chance to get to it, c'mon, give them a break. Have you actually taken the time to speak to them about their monthly food allowance? No wonder they take the time to eat at the restaurant. There has always been plenty of food available. It is the greed of the guests that causes the food issue. Why is it that a buffet brings out the worst in people? This incredible need to pile a plate over the top with food or return to the buffet many, many times is quite unnecessary. Is this how people eat at home? We were at Los Corales in February and could not believe the ignorance of some of the guests. My three year old was nearly trampled by the guests at the buffet table. Tell me, is that really necessary?

The staff is, for the most part, very accommodating. Sunwing rep, Pablo, has been our rep for all the trips and he ensures our time at this hotel meets our expectations. Perhaps those of you flying Hola Sun with all the complaints may wish to try Sunwing next time. We found the staff very friendly and willing to do all they could. Treat them the way you'd like to be treated and watch what happens!

The beach is fine but has decreased in size from first trip in 2006 due to the hurricanes but it is large enough and has many trees to provide a fair amount of shade. There are also thatched palm permanent umbrellas at the beach. There is also a "Cuban" beach further down from the Los Corales side that is open to the public and can be used too. Snorkelling can be done in the swimming ‘hole’ which allows easy viewing of some 30-40 varieties of fish right off the shore. Bring bread or egg with you and watch the fish go crazy.

Another treat is enjoying fresh coconut milk and meat. There is the gardener we have come to call "Hombre de Coco" who is full of character. He always makes sure to give us a bouquet of flowers he's created when he first sees us. He talks extremely fast so it was hard to understand. He continued speaking Spanish and we spoke English with some Spanish and somehow we understood each other with the help of hand speak.

We've taken the time to get to know some Cuban families along the road to Baconao Village. It's perfectly safe to walk along the road in either direction. Just watch for the traffic. The lagoon in Baconao Park, about 4km, has many interesting birds and other wildlife to watch. Swimming with the dolphins at the Aquarium was quite a treat. The city trip to Santiago was okay...the best part of that trip was the fort along the way. The city itself is similar to many South American cities - dirty, smelly. Horse back riding in the mountains near the resort was well worth it for adults who are comfortable on a horse for a couple of hours - not recommended for children due to the steepness of some hills and the length of time the trip takes. We used a local horseman for this trip and did not go through the hotel.

The locals were very inviting and interested in having us in for coffee to show us how they live. It certainly is a different life to ours and if you're so inclined, anything, absolutely anything you wish to bring to give away will be appreciated. At times we put our give-aways in plastic bags, walked to the Cuban beach and gave it to people there. It really doesn't matter who it’s given to as everyone needs something.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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8  Thank Slender1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Amigo Carisol Los Corales

Address: Carretera de Baconao Km 31, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Santiago de Cuba Province > Santiago de Cuba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Price Range: £42 - £100 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Amigo Carisol Los Corales 3*
Number of rooms: 310
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Resort consisting of two hotels (Carisol and Corales) with a total of 310 rooms, 4 swimming pools (2 for adults and 2 for children, beach, 2 lobby bar, 2 pool bar, one beach bar, pizzeria, 2 restaurants a la carte (Cuban and sailor), 2 buffet restaurants, serving food and drinks 24 hours, day and night entertainment ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Amigo Carisol Los Corales Hotel Santiago De Cuba
Hotel Amigo Carisol Los Corales
Amigo Carisol Los Corales Hotel
Club Amigo Carisol Los Corales Santiago De Cuba

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