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“Best time ever!!!!”

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Hotel Roc Santa Lucia (Ex Gran Club)
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 April 2014

Ok, it is a 3 star resort and you don't get all the bells and whistles associated with a 5 star resort (ie. coffee maker in room and waiters tending to your every whim, stocked mini fridge blah blah blah)

The things people get stressed over I really don't understand! The food is fine and yes things are often repeated, but there is at least one new thing to try every meal period.

The drinks are fine and the usual assortment of selections, like rum punch, piña coladas, cuba libres etc

A lot of people on trip adviser recommended getting a junior suite, but we had room 233, one row back from the beach and it was a standard room and more than big enough! The bathroom was small but the rest of the room was quite big. Junior suites must be huge. We had a couch, with a coffee table, and a small 2 seat dining set . There is no dressers per se to unpack but we just kept it all in our suitcases. The room is clean and beds very comfortable.

Pool is great! No complaints at all there. We never had any trouble getting a lounge chair and had no trouble with our towels. We exchanged our towels for clean ones every day and just make sure you get your ticket back from towel guy since you need it for check out.

A la cartes are decent. We tried the seafood and the cuban, nothing negative to say.

We walked to the commercial centre , not much there but a convenience type store , souvenir shop, one restaurant and a bank.

We checked out caracal and brisas, gran club appeared to have the nicest pool. Just from walking around the resorts brisas is probably of a slightly higher caliber but not enough to justify a much bigger price tag.

Mirtha , the Sunwing rep at gran club great at her job and very knowledgable. We booked the lobster dinner with dance lessons, bonfire, drinks at coco beach and a day excursion called last day in cameguey. The coco beach dinner was fun but understand that the lobster that you expect and what you get are different. You don't get garlic butter (which we didn't expect), and food in cuba is generally quite overcooked. This was no exception.

The "last day in Cameguey "was a great idea . When you have to leave the resort at 3:30 to be at the airport at 5pm, you are sitting around all day waiting to leave. This tour you leave at 9am and you are busy all day enjoying the culture, sites, and food. A great use of the last day. We went to a local food market, a local artists who created pottery and painting, a description of a lot of sites while travelling in the bus and also got out to walk around revolution square, shopping, and a real cuban lunch, and listen to a wonderful cuban music group.

The staff is friendly , no issues, didn't have to wait a long time for drinks and service was the same no matter if you tipped or not . Once they get to know you they remember what you drink etc.
in the buffet restaurant the senior staff are slower to give basic service and hang around service areas...younger staff seem more eager to please.

We didn't see much of the shows at night but heard they work hard to put on a good show. During the day the animation team try hard to keep kids and adults busy and have fun. No pressure if you are not interested.
Can't think of much else to say but that we are taking our kids next year. As another reviewer said, a diamond in the rough. Excellent value for your money.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Carol D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 April 2014

First off, this was my first time to a resort that was lower than 4 star and my first time to Cuba as well. I must say, I was VERY impressed. The staff is friendly, the food is good and they provide lots of excursion options. The resort is well kept. The gardeners are out every morning raking out the gardens and cleaning up trash.
*This resort is definitely geared towards FAMILIES and COUPLES.*

We stayed in a Junior Suite *room 1222* (no upgrade) with two double beds and we were happy (I was traveling with my mother). (*Note: We did hear from other travelers that if you wanted a "King Size" bed, you would have to push the two double beds together.) The only thing I could suggest for the rooms is bring a pillow if you are fussy. The pillows provided are quite firm. Hot water, room service everyday and the TV had HBO. (not that we spent a lot of time watching it.)

The Food
Buffet breakfast - Egg station where there were fresh cracked omelets or eggs to your liking. As for the buffet, fresh fruit, bacon, ham scrambled eggs, toast etc.

Buffet lunch - It was usually the same everyday. Cuban rice, plain rice, veg, different type of pork, fresh fruit, salads etc. At the carving station there was always something new. There was also a pasta station with a choice of tomato sauce (NOT spaghetti sauce) and a white sauce.

Buffet dinner - Same as above with some variation during the week. One night there was shepherds pie. Another night there was roast beef (which was AMAZING). Seafood options as well as the carving station where one night there was turkey.
-If you are not fussy, you will not be disappointed with the food.-
The only time I had trouble eating was at the snack bar, but there are french fries which are good. The hamburger was not to my liking.

We ate at all the a la cartes that week and we were not disappointed.
Italian, seafood, and Cuban lunch. All were very tasty. We did not make it to the Brisas for dinner but the other guests said it was good.

The pool area is nice. Lots of loungers, swim up bar with friendly staff and coffee bar. The only time we found it busy was on the weekends when the locals come for a visit. You will have no trouble finding a spot on the beach.
As for the quality of the beach, I am not a beach person but it was fairly clean. Watch out for sand spurs.

I highly recommend going on the Coco Beach excursion. It is $35CUC and well worth it. Unlimited drinks with a seafood dinner. Choice of lobster, shrimp, fish or all of the above. Very generous portions.

If you are looking for a good spot to buy souvenirs/shop, I suggest that you not stay at this resort. Since you are so far away from the Airport/main village (2 hour drive) there is not a lot of shopping. You can still buy your rum or cigars from the Gift Shoppe on the resort or a short walk to the "Commercial Center" where there is a bank, and a few gift shops/cigar shops.

There are so many good things to say about this resort but all and all, I had a great time at Gran Club. If I am ever on a tight budget again, I will definitely be returning!

Room Tip: Room 1222 is not on the main part of the resort. Close to the Disco but still very quiet. Choose a s...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Ashlyn V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2014

We just returned yesterday from our one week vacation from Gran Club Santa Lucia and we had a wonderful time. After reading many reviews and finally going there myself I see why so many people fall in love with this place...and the answer is the staff. They are all helpful, friendly and willing to help whenever they can. Prior to going I emailed Yurina and sent in our room requests (as we have 4 children) and all of my requests were granted. We stayed in the 200 series of rooms and were glad we did. They are the junior suites which was located close to the pool and the stage. They are definately worth the upgrade as they not only have a sitting area, but a huge room with either one or two beds and a good size bathroom as well. The rooms are a little dated but super clean and you don't go on vacation to spend much time in your room anyway.

As for food both myself and the kids thought that it was good. There was a variety of things to choose from such a rice, potatoes, fish, beef, pork, hamburgers, fries, fruit and of course deserts and found that everything we had was flavorful. In the mornings you can have your eggs made to specifications and during lunch and dinner there is a made to order pasta station which also had great pizza. And the bread was also to die for. We tried all 3 a-la-cartes (seafood, italian and the Cuban which is at lunch and found all to be good). We did also dine off resort at a local Cuban house for the lobster and it is definately something you don't want to miss.

We did the horse and carriage ride not through the tour rep but through a local Cuban by the name of John Wayne who will approach you at the beach. They ask for $15.00 per person for a horse and carriage ride around town, to a nicer beach (Cocoa Beach) and a lobster dinner at their house. We did this and was very glad that we did. We ended up leaving the resort at 10:00am and returned at 3:00ish and of course asked for a deal since there was 6 of us and he did.

The beach for us was one of the downfalls. We love Cuba for their beaches however did not really like this one. The sand is white and soft , however there are a lot of seaweeds (the paper thin time, not the slimey stuff) but the kids were not too fond of that. There were some spots in the ocean that were turquoise blue without the weeds and we stuck to those areas.

Bonbon part of the animation team is the one that keeps the kids on their toes and the kids loved her. She did everything from morning to daytime activites and was also in charge of the kids show. 2 of my kids ages 5 and 8 had a great time with her and was very sad to leave. Thanks again Bonbon.

The grounds were beautiful and you can see that they are trying to upgrade, repaint and fix whatever they can to make this place more beautiful than it already is.

As tor the activites I found that they were lacking compared to other resorts that we have been to. They were usually late when it came to times set on the board for activites and also found that they didn't have too much going on. Could be that the resort seemed quite empty so not sure if it was just slow time. Also the evening shows were just ok as well. Had read many reviews about great shows but out of the 6 we seen they were only 2 choreographed shows (which were great) a fashion show and then 3 audience participation shows. So think that needs to be improved. However the choreographed shows that were put on were amazing. These people really are talented and should be commended for all the hard work that they do.

All in all liked the resort, food was good, kids had a great time.. which is always a plus, pool was great, beach could have been better and better entertainment throughout the day would have been nice

Room Tip: Definately upgrade to junior suites....200 and 300 block close to pool and beach
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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7  Thank Debandtheboys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2014

Thomas, Jose, Yurina, Maricella, Rene, Miguel ... I owe them and so many others a huge hug of appreciation and gratitude. Indeed, most important and not to be forgotten are Dr. Beatrice Perez and Nurse Haydi, for it is very possible they saved my life. Here's the short version:

I returned to Canada on April 6th 2014 after spending 2 weeks with my fiance once again at Gran Club. During the course of the 4th day in Cuba it became very apparent that I was sick and growing sicker by the hour. I purchased over-the-counter antibiotics, which are available in low doses, hoping that if it were bacterial, that should treat it. Within 2 hours I was in Dr. Perez's office, high dose antibiotics being administered intravenously by hand. My fever had soared to over 104F. I was given pain killer and sedative injections, sent back to my room and told to return in a few hours. Dr. Perez stayed on the resort throughout the night to care for me and in the early morning determined that my situation was growing critical. One phone call to a friend and colleague and I was on my way by taxi, also arranged by the doctor, to see a specialist in Camaguey.

I underwent a small but important surgical procedure immediately upon my arrival in the city. It was this procedure that stopped the highly toxic bacteria in my system from spreading and becoming life threatening. I was strongly advised by the specialist to go to the hospital, probably for several days, so that I could continue with the intravenous medications and remain under observation. I chose instead to return to the resort, where I had become comfortable and developed a relationship of trust and respect with the medical staff there.

In total I spent the remaining 10 days of my vacation either in my room or laying on a lounger on my balcony,shaded and quiet, under doctor's orders. Dr. Beatrice, as I came to call her, checked on me every 8 hours and continued to administer the medications I needed. Dr. Beatrice did not make the final call as to whether I was stable enough to travel home until only hours before departure time. She and her nurse cared for me like I were their own family. They were amazing and I can't thank them enough.

As for the rest of the staff, each in their own way contributed to my comfort and well being while I was sick. They bent the rules and allowed my fiance to borrow cutlery etc. for our room because I could not eat in the dining room. Jose was adamant that if I asked for a drink on my way to or from the doctor's office that it was alcohol free because "alcohol would not mix very well with the sedatives and pain killers". lol Of course I already knew that but I know it made him feel good to know he was helping to take care of me so I played along.

Every staff member my fiance encountered each day as he moved about the resort would enquire after me and send their regards. They would ask of him if there was anything we needed or anything they could do to help us.Their care and concern was genuine and much appreciated. It made me feel good to know so many people cared about my well being.

A special thank you to our housekeeper, Edina, for constantly having to clean the room around me as I either lay sleeping or just lounging, unable to leave the room long enough for her to work in peace. She deserves a special thank you for changing my sheets even if it was not a "clean sheet day" when my fever was high and my sheets were damp from the effects.

While yes, it was the trip from hell, it was the staff and the care and concern they all showed for me, that made my sick days bearable. THE ONE THING MOST IMPORTANT TO NOTE HERE IS THE BACTERIAL INFECTION I WAS FIGHTING HAD BEEN CONTRACTED HERE IN CANADA, long before I departed for Cuba. Indeed, during the surgical procedure in Camaguey it was found that the cause of the infection was due to a dental procedure done here in Canada, incorrectly, and left to fester and absess over time.

Will I return??? You betcha!!! In fact I have a date with Dr. Beatrice for coffee and I don't like to stand a date up! :)

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Sandi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2014

The value for your dollar was good. The staff were really wonderful. Although you don't go to Cuba for the food, my friends and I agreed there is such a thing as "decent" food in Cuba and we really didn't have that. We went next door to Brisas for a dinner one night and it was 5 times better than Gran Club - way more variety and more fresh veggies, etc.
The beach was very nice, although it was a little tough on the feet getting into the water. We made sure one of us always had a role of toilet paper on hand, because you would often find yourself in a bathroom, with none. I would recommend you carry one, just so you're always prepared. The only bad thing I would say about this resort, is the fact that my swimsuit was stolen off my balcony the night before we left and I was not the only victim. Was it a staff member? Was it another vacationer? Was it someone who should not have been on the resort? I don't know. Just be sure NOT to leave your personal belongings outside unattended and then you'll be fine.

All-in-all, great vacation, great staff. Be sure to go offsite for the lobster dinner - it was amazing. Good value for the dollar

Room Tip: We stayed in row 200's. Close to everything. Upgrade to the junior suite, it doesn't cost mu...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Chery K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2014 via mobile

Just returned from Gran Club and my reviews are mostly similar to others. I'm rating a three based on the following things: most of the washrooms on site have little to no soap or toilet paper. The a la carte had no soap or toilet paper both nights we were there and the pool bar washroom had soap one out of the seven days. I guess just go in the pool like everyone else? A lot of things are broken around the resort and have been for quite some time. A number of lights were either broken, tilted or just missing on the walking paths, benches busted for obviously a long time. Half of the sun huts at the beach had no palm tree leaf cover so couldn't be used. However, the week we were here they painted - and painted a lot throughout. On to the rest...the food was very much the same everyday, except the last day which was a special meal. Careful of the ham looking stuff that makes up a majority of the breakfast. It read "preserved meat". I read "spam". I have stayed at worse for food but definitely better as well. The room was a junior suite. All in working order, sort of. The A/C tried all week but struggled. Bring your own shampoo and shower gel. They provided one small sampler of each and was not replaced after it ran out day 2. The internet at the lobby was slow but worked at $6/hr. No complaints. The staff we found very friendly and efficient. The best we have seen in Cuba. The resort towels are a catastrophe. People stealing towels left right and center, especially on Tuesdays before everyone goes home. If you get resort beach towels and lose them its $25 CUCs each. Go and complain to the sunwing rep and their advice is to just pay the $25. Seems fishy. But on Tuesday there were a lot of upset guests. We brought our own towels thank goodness. Bring a large mug for your drinks. The small plastic cups they use are two big gulps of beer and done. Tip them and tip them all. Its only a few bucks but makes a big difference. Don't think it does? Walk into town on foot and look around. Its safe but a good reminder of life outside the pool and buffet. Would I go back? Likely. Would I recommend? Sure, but hold your towel tightly and bring your own cup, soap and toilet paper, everywhere.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Motorbragg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

We stayed at the Gran Club Santa Lucia from March 26 - April 2, 2014. We traveled as two couples from Montreal (drove there from Ottawa, since it's cheaper than flying out of YOW). Awesome flight times (1030am out of Montreal, and landed back in Montreal at 9pm on our return).

We've been to Cuba 7 times before, never to this resort though, so here are our thoughts:

PRO's
- Huge rooms, renovated bungalows on the beach side of the resort (we stayed in rooms 208 and 2011). One room was ground floor which was what they asked for, and ours was second floor which has a lovely view of the ocean... didn't pay more for upgraded rooms, they just gave us standard rooms and they rocked. Not sure about other side of resort- we heard they weren't as nice...
- Lots of activities, amazing staff and beautiful grounds (very well maintained)
- Bars make fancier drinks than other resorts I've been to, wider selection
- NO BUGS AT ALL! YAY!
- Best food we've had... always a pasta bar (standard most places), but also a grill that had roast beef, pork chops, turkey, etc. It was so yummy!
- A la carte restaurants were all delicious
- Several day trip options, although we chose not to do any sine we've done them all before
- Faster internet than other resorts and only 6 CUC/hour which is less than I've paid elsewhere
- Free bikes you can use whenever you want to ride into town or around the area
- POOL was super clean and perfect temperature, not loads of shade but it's so nice
- AMAZING nightly entertainment and shows, never seen so many people come to watch the shows before

CON's
- Towel service was not open for very long (more inconvenient, but not a deal breaker)
- Leaving the resort to go to airport was a bit stressful because there was only one crowd that arrived and left together (plus a few small groups who showed up during the week but mostly Wed-Wed travelers) so it was very pushy getting a spot on the first of two buses to go to airport --> not resorts fault, just a comment
- Beach bar was a bit disappointing but the buffet made up for it
- Beach itself was pretty seaweed filled when it was windy (but again, that's just the way it is on the Atlantic side of Cuba vs Carribean) so it'll be that way most places along this side

Hope this helps! I've added some photos, we were really happy and are already planning our trip back! I've never returned to a resort before, but this place rocked.

Room Tip: Totally worth the money- try to get rooms close to the ocean side VS road side!
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank mellw00d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Roc Santa Lucia (Ex Gran Club)

Address: Ave. Turistica Tararaco, Playa Santa Lucia 74250, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Camaguey Province > Playa Santa Lucia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Playa Santa Lucia
Price Range: £80 - £182 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Roc Santa Lucia (Ex Gran Club) 3.5*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This all-inclusive hotel is located right on Santa Lucia Beach, Camaguey Province, Cuba, just a few feet from the coral reef. Its well kept tropical gardens, professional and friendly staff, make this resort the perfect vacation choice for families, couples and honeymooners. Accommodation 252 air conditioned rooms: 12 coral suites, 8 superior junior suites, 86 junior suites & 2 junior suites with special facilities for guests with disabilities and 144 standard rooms. Every room has private bath, mini - fridge, telephone, satellite TV, hair dryer, 110V & 220V. Each junior suite has a living room and balcony or terrace. Included Services For food and beverage services there is a buffet restaurant, specialized in international cuisine; three "A la Carte" restaurants specialized in Cuban, Italian and seafood cuisine. There are 5 bars: lobby bar, beach bar, pool bar, coffee bar and a discotheque. A snack bar is available. The hotel has a swimming pool with separate area for children; day and night entertainment with shows and live music; Mini club with varied daily and night activities for children from 4 to 12 years old. Dance lessons, Spanish lessons, table games, billiard, ping pong, bicycles, non motorized water sports and tennis courts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Club Santa Lucia Hotel Playa Santa Lucia
Gran Hotel Camaguey
Gran Hotel Santa Lucia
Santa Lucia Camaguey

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