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Gran Caribe Villa Tortuga
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Reviews (1,112)
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Reviewed 10 April 2007

i am a single 32 yr old female who travelled by myself apr 1-8/07 so i read many of the reviews beforehand to get an idea of what to expect..

i was a bit nervous but bottom line: i loved it..

the staff were so friendly and i was actually able to visit the home of my maid..i had brought alot of dollar store items and purses and shoes and gave them to her and she really appreciated it.. a tip to any future visitors: i was advised that it is hard to come across talcum powder/baby powder so maybe bring a small bottle as a gift..

the reviews about the food are absolutely correct..i mean you won't starve but 7 days of eatin the same thing, ugh..
included in my package was a free meal at the neptune restaurant so you should have your tour guide make the reservation and go eat there..it's a nice break and the food was pretty decent.

the pool was clean and the beach was breathtaking

my room had 2 twin beds and a shower only which was fine..the water pressure was great and it had both hot and cold water at all times..the water was drinkable too..
i didn't see any roaches but i did have a little tiny lizard for my companion for the whole week..but he stayed at the top of the wall the whole time :-)
there were a few cracks in the wall but its a 2 1/2 star (3 star resort depending which site you view) so u get what you pay for

i would definitely recommend this resort to anybody but especially if you are travellin on a budget..it's walkin distance to many things but if you prefer to stay on the resort they do have daily activities

all the previous reviews that mention bring your own travel mugs for drinks i absolutely agree with..the ice melts fast and the plastic cups are small..

as long as you are openminded there is no reason why you can't enjoy yourself at this resort..i would go back to this resort

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank ricks32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2007

villa Tortuga is more like a 2.5 for us
We are a family of 4 ,the kids are 12 and 14 , please note that if one kid is over 12 , you need to book an extra room. Since our kid are quite young we would had prefer to be all in the same room but we had no choice. On the other hand the room were clean and the resort is very secure. We purchase an all inclusive package , when we got there we found out that you have to pay $2/day for the safety box, $3/hour for the pool table , one hour bicycle is include if you go over you have to pay extra, and you also have to pay for the towel. Except for the dancing lesson at the end of the day not much was going on , it's a boring place for kids. At the cafeteria the personnel were very nice , if you don't mind eating almost the samething for 8 days in a row that's the place to go . If you like good wine I suggest you bring your own, the drinks at the bar are made with the cheapest Rum they have, so stick with the beer. The tennis court , the pool and the beach are great.The hotel is quite close to the varadero village you can even walk there if you want. In conclusion , the all inclusive package of Villa Tortuga is not very expensive in comparaison to other hotels but just keep in mind that there is a reason for that.

Stayed: March 2007
2  Thank denisMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2007

My son(10),mom and dad just got back from our two week annual Cuba vacation. I have been going to Cuba since 1985 and would rate this as the best hotel so far. Originally I was booked at Quatro Palmas but my travel agent called and said this hotel was available and I would like it better for my son and parents. I was expecting the worst and what a pleasant surprise. My sister and her family joined us the second week and we both talked about how great the hotel. I have not downloaded my pictures but will post some when I do. If you have any questions don't hesitate to email me at pmastro@golden.net. Cuba is like home after 20 years so feel free to ask away. This is the first time I can say that things are so professional at the hotel. The chef is from Montreal so the food was a lot better and tasty considering the ingredients are the same. The beach was great and anyone with little kids would love the pool area and will get a chance to actually have a vacation.

    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank PMIToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2007

This hotel is amazing and I would go back in a second.

So I did read all the other reviews before I went to this resort so I had an open mind about everything. Plus through the travel agent we booked with I knew it was only rated 2.5 stars. Go there with a open mind that you ARE NOT IN Canada or Europe anymore and you will be fine.

Check in: Bring extra money for checking in as there are expensive down deposits for things. If you want to use the room safe it is 2 CUC a day plus 10CUC deposit (i totally recommend the safe although I felt TOTALLY safe every second I was there) Check in was smooth and fast, no problems at all.

The Resort: The resort itself is really nice. It is small but we loved that because we were able to meet the people and the staff and see the same ones everyday. The grounds are easy to get around and everything is close by, no mile hike to the beach. There are three bars (lobby,pool and beach) and they are good. The lobby bar has the most drink selection so go there to try all the drinks and get the names for them. The drinks are stong and come in SMALL plastic cups so I would recmomend bringing your own mug and they will just make your drink in that (with a lid to keep out the sand). There is also two gift shops, one with gifts, one with cigars and booze. All the staff are really nice and friendly and the resort is kept very clean. Note to the ladies there is often no more toilet paper in the bathrooms around the resort after lunch time so pack a little in your bag. Also avoid bathroom in town as you often have to pay for them, there is often no toilet paper and even more often no toilet seat. One club I went to ever had no doors. it was interesting......

Room: Our room was in the villa that overlooked the pool and it was a little noisy during the day but nothing to complain over. The big thing is dont let the small things bother you. We asked for a double bed but got two twins but loved our room so we just pushed the beds together. The maid was nice and made pictures on the bed with our towels or blankets everyday. The room was always cleaned, new towels when we wanted. No problems at all. bathroom was basic but no trouble with hot water, toilet worked perfect and shower pressure was always good. There is a smell of sulfer in the morning when most ppl are showering just keep your bathroom door closed and it doesnt come into your room.

Beach: BEAUTIFUL!!!! There is nothing else to say. the view was amazing, the water was perfect. It is calmer in the morning and more waves in the afternoon. You do have to go early (8ish) to get chairs but we were fine with the sand til some opened up by lunch. People do go topless lots so be ready for that and bring more than enough sunscreen you go through it fast. we used our two bottles in a week for two people. Also if you walk up the beach (away from town) about 10 mins you come to Al's Restaurant and right in front of there is a great little reef for snorkeling if you are into that. We saw some amazing fish there.

Food: Ok so the food was not amazing but we got by just fine. Breakfast is a breeze. Outside at the BBQ there is a guy who makes you eggs or omlettes any way you want. He is super nice and there is lots of bread and fruit and their version of french toast and pancakes. try the hot chocolate! YUMM It was my favourite meal of the day. Lunch was fine. Always there was BBQ chicken so it was repedative but safe and yummmy. They dont have much for salad and love cabbage for stuff.. There was always fresh made bread and it is soooooo good but they only put out butter at breakfast so if you want it for lunch or dinner take it at breakfast for later. Dinner was ok. Always three main dishes and both lunch and dinner had pasta and sauce and some kind of potato and veggie. There was always cake for dessert and AMAZING icecream at dinner. All meals came with tons of fresh fruit. Overall food better than I though and not so bad. There is a pizza/italian restaurant. you can order as much as your want and it is really good. you make reservations the day before you want to go there only between 10-12 so dont miss the time.

Entertainment: The entertainment staff at this hotel work so hard. They are there all day doing different activites. At night there is a show that starts at 9:30 and lasts for about an hour. I have never been to another resort so have nothing to judge off but the shows were good. The magic show is a must. The other nights the shows have traditional singing and dancing and a couple doing tricks. It was well worth going to. You get to relax in the pool chairs and watch. They are entertaining enough to keep me happy for a few hours before bed.

Location: This resort had a perfect location. It is about a ten min walk from town's biggest market. We went there a few times during our stay. We didnt haggle much for prices but you can. We also took the tour bus around for a day. it is a hop on hop off kinda thing and costs 5CUC per person. it was worth it to us to see all of the city and go out to see the other resorts. Town is very safe day or night and we had no problems. The locals are really friendly and we sat and watched some guys fish for half an hour and tried to chat with them. if you can try to learn a little spanish before you go. Just the basics. Ppl in town dont speak much english. Also girls aviod getting your hair braided in town, do it throught the resort as locals use cut up condoms, not elastics in your hair and they will over charge you.

trips: We went on one day trip, the seafari. We went out and swam with dolphins, snorkelling and then went to a island and had lunch and relaxed there for a few hours. It was a full day trip and it was worth it for us. Other ppl went to Havana and said it was beautiful and totally worth the money and also everyone who went on the Jeef safari had an awsome time.

Overall amazing trip and when i next go to cuba I would stay at this hotel again in a heartbeat..worth every cent and more.

Stayed: February 2007
22  Thank sweetieincuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2007

Stayed at "Villa Tortuga" for third time Oct. 13th-27th 2006 and already counting the days to go back. It is our "Home away from Home!!! "

I stayed at a 4 1/2 star Resort in May of 2006 in Varadero for two weeks and it was lovely, huge resort but for me not ideally located and so busy all the time. Line up for bars, restaurants, pool chairs, beach chairs and the resort was nice but not any nicer than Villa Tortuga when it came to accomadations.

I choose Villa Tortuga for so many reasons:

THE STAFF...I mean our Friends...From the Front Desk to the beach we could not have been more welcomed and to be remembered each time we visit is so nice...we are treated like family.

Villa Tortuga is so ideally located on the Varadero Beach and once the nightly entertainment show ends you know you can easily walk to another venue and if not a cheap taxi ride will be available all the time. The animation staff(- Love you guys!!!-You're the best!) will meet in the lobby each night after the show to go to other clubs, disco's, and you are guaranteeed a most excellent time. If you want to see Cuba at night...this is your time to go. It also a great time to meet other people who are staying at your resort too. Kirsten ,Sonja and many friends we met from Germany...Masimo from Italy...Manuel and from Mexico you guys all know how to party...Friends for Life!!
See you in May 2007-SI!!!

The Beach....Fine white sugary sand. However, I was suprised at how much it had changed , it was not so groomed and flat to walk to the ocean but I imagine the weather had a lot to do with that . The beach guys told me a hurricane had destroyed the old beach bar and a new one was already in the process of being built. When you are in such a Tropical Paradise you can easily forget how severe weather such as hurricanes and tropical storms can be a huge factor at times and the damage it can do.

If you go to Cuba to eat ...really really great food then you can at times be disppointed. I did not find the food bad, actually quite good....different preparation, maybe differnt spices but always found something there that was just fine. The buffett restaurant does have selection maybe not what we always wanted but there is variety.

The pIzzeria restaurant is now by reservation and this is where we ate mostly. Your Choice of Pizza, pasta dishes for lunch. Dinner at night consisted of soup, pizza, pasta, chicken, beef, pork, rice, fried potato, salad and vegeatables and of course Yummy Cuban Ice-cream.

By day at the pool bar there was ham and cheese sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers .Available not always the three choices but usually one for sure.

In past visits I always stay in the superior rooms closest to the beach and this time we stayed in the rooms closer to the main lobby . The beach side was under renovation. Our room was clean and comfortable and well air conditioned. The pillows are small and long ,not fluffy just ask for another.

Over all if you want a nice resort that is not too busy , Clean has most ammenities and the BEST STAFF, Perfectly located on Varadero Beach for a walk or cab ride to markets, resaurants, clubs etc. Stay at Villa Tortuga!!

Special mention to Our AMIGA'S , Raul, Chapelin,Jolyene, Leticia, Haidley, Robertico( Baby Boy), Alain,Lasero, Michel, Freddie, Alexis, Hermanes, Roberto, Robert, Alexander,Isarel, Eduardo , Dennis, Pedro and so many more who we wish we knew all your names...All of you who help to make each visit a memory to treasure and more to look forward when we return..See you soon!
Your Friends Suzan And Tina
Ps....Thanks "Cuba Buddy" for the BEST Birthday EVER!!! xxo

If I can answer any inquires you might have email me and I will certainly reply. suzan_tucker@hotmail.com
Where ever you go in CUBA...enjoy every minute...time goes much to fast--:0)

Stayed: October 2006
26  Thank QUBA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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