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“Diving holiday”

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Hotel Maria La Gorda
Dunstable, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Diving holiday”
Reviewed 25 April 2013

This is my second visit to this resort. I came here in 2011.
This resort is not for holiday makers unless they are there for the diving.
The diving is excellent and well run by dedicated staff. The dive boats run three trips, two in the morning and one mid afternoon.
Deeper dives are done in the morning and a shallow scenic dive in the afternoon.
Accommodation is basic but very comfortable and the air conditioning works well. Water supply was a problem with no supply between midnight and 0700 and on two days there was no water available during the morning.
We had an all in package including breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food is simple but varied and is okay. However coffee is only available after breakfast as you are expected to buy this at the cafe at other times.
Remember this is Cuba.
The surrounding scenery is beautiful with white sandy beach and palm trees and the colour of the sea is truly stunning.
This holiday is a divers paradise.

Room Tip: For an additional 5 CUC per night the beach properties are worth it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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318 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
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English first
Hamburg, Germany
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2013

We wanted to take some relaxed days at the beach and thus we choose this far-out location in the very west of Cuba. The beach here is beautiful and it's very quite. Unfortunately the hotel disappointed us so badly that we had to cancel or stay earlier than planned and head to another - more friendly - location.

In Cuba state-run hotels can be either great or terrible. There's nothing in-between. This one is unfortunately on the terrible side. Staff is unfriendly, uninterested and bored. We tried to approach them with smiles and a positive attitude but after two days we couldn't keep this good vibe anymore and gave up. We assumed Maria la Gorda is mainly visited by tourists that get booked in here through travel agencies and not so much visited by individual tourists. This might include that many tourists don't speak spanish and thus the stuff may have communicational problems (especially when both staff and tourists speak bad english). Furthermore there are no cuban tourists here. Cuban state-run-resort-personal earns very little money, especially when you compare this to the prices in the restaurants here which are basically europe-prices. All of this can broaden the distance between staff and tourists and lead to this situation.

Besides of the unfriendly staff the rooms are more or less ok (we choose the wooden huts laid back from the beach) while the restaurants are just bad, basic and overpriced.

The cherry on the cake was when a cruise boat landed one evening. Suddenly the staff organized a barbecue on the beach with tables and food and music right on the beach. Everything looked very nice but this was just exclusive for the cruise visitors. Obviously good things are possible if the staff wants to...

Conclusion: Don't go here! Your holiday-time does deserve better!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank chaisam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Pinar del Rio Province hotels

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
51 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2013

The diving here is excellent! As a diver I really enjoyed Maria La Gorda, but that's about all. Again I booked through Cubaism and found that it was a big mark up on the prices charged at the hotel.
The food is variable at best. Stay away from the buffet restaurant - the better food is at the other one. Some of the dishes like the calamari were really good, but others were horrible. Very typical of a government run place.
The newer rooms back from the beach seem to be a lot better than the beach front ones. I had no trouble with hot water, toilets or anything.
Tips for some of the staff go a long way to improving things - remember as government employees they will only be earning between around USD 25-30 a month so a tip of even 1 CUC (USD) is a lot of money.
Bring insect repellant - the midgies are real little vampires.
Dive gear is ok but basic. A good idea to bring your own mask and a dive computer as a minimum diving.
All said - the diving was excellent - as a diver I would be happy to go back again, but not for any other reason.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank NettieNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2013

I rarely leave reviews, but feel like this time I certainly must. We got to this part of Cuba because of our guidebook and although the location itself is nice, hotel is the worst experience we have ever had. Rooms are very rundown and we had problems including broken toilet, broken shower, ac was making horrible sounds and top things up - BED BUGS! My legs are covered knees down and looks likes somebody played darts on my lefts. Horrible. Looks like also developed allergic reaction, as itch & redness are still present, if not gone worse.
Hungry skinny cats will literally steal food from your table.
Do not get fooled into buying buffet - waste of money! There is poor selection, quality of food is well below average and highly likely you will have an upset stomach.
Also heard diving equipment is old and was dangerous to use.
I really really hope this will help and people will avoid coming to Maria La Gorda until management sorts out the hotel problem. You will get your holiday ruined.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank StazeL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bordentown, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2013

This hotel is primarily for divers but others will find it appealing. It is located in a national park of extraordinary and varied beauty. We stayed in one of the cabins. It had a great rustic feel but, unfortunately, there was no working hot water. The breakfasts were unappetizing. The dinners were slightly better but, on the whole, the food is below average for Cuba. The staff was wonderful - extremely hard-working and gracious. Let me add my voice to the others - the mosquitoes in this part of Cuba are voracious. I was eaten alive. Bring the strongest insect repellent you can find and pray that it works. It's worth it - the national park is a rare treat. The bird life alone is enough of a draw but there are crocodiles, topical fish, iguanas, etc.

Room Tip: Get one of the cabins. Sitting on the porch, listening to the sea and watching the birds is an unfo...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
3 Thank NewJerseyGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Uppsala, Sweden
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2013

We booked the hotel via cubaism.com (DON'T do that!) which made the double room incl breakfast cost 86.5$ instead of 58$. We wanted to solve this over charging with the help of the receptionist of the hotel. That was easier said than done. I don't know if it was ignorance or if th receptionist really lied to us about what they had charged cubaism for the room.

The beach was kind of small and not very appealing. The snorkel trip we took was ok, nothing special. The person responsible for dives was not service minded at all. The food was really bad (however that was the case on most of Cuba...) and only two restaurants available so not much to choose from. It was very hard to get warm water in the shower. There were "wild" cows that made noise during the night so difficult to sleep. And the cows were pretty aggressive and intrusive at the beach.

The room, except for the cold shower, was nice and clean.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank tjofen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2013

I stayed in a cabin near the entrance to the property and while there the maintenance staff were sealing the walls with a varnish-like product. The smell was obnoxious but there was nothing I could do about it after discovering it once the office was closed and I kept the patio door and windows open all night. Management with any sense would not schedule that type of project near occupied rooms.
The bed and the bathroom were adequate. The water pressure was good and there was hot water (unlike another beach hotel I stayed at in Cuba). There were frogs and bugs in the bathroom but not the sleeping area - the cabins are surrounded by native plants.
The bar was fine and the food was decent, typical of Cuban hotel buffets.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank drillisj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Maria La Gorda

Property: Hotel Maria La Gorda
Address: Peninsula de Guanahacabibes | Sandino, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Pinar del Rio Province
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 14 Hotels in Pinar del Rio Province
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 55
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Also Known As:
Maria La Gorda Hotel
Hotel Maria La Gorda Cuba/Pinar Del Rio Province

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