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“Dishonest management and subpar food...”
Review of La Colonial

La Colonial
Ranked #64 of 70 Restaurants in Vinales
Restaurant details
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Dishonest management and subpar food...”
Reviewed 13 August 2012

Ate here with my Cuban wife and Cuban friends of ours a few days after we got married. I was treating to dinner. The place is on the main drag and was really a last resort option since it was late. The food was unremarkable and nothing special at all... your average Cuban fare... chicken or pork with rice and beans.

The staff and the owner though (who knew my wife and all the friends I was with) after extensively congratulating us on getting married later proceeded to ask my wife if she needed a commission for the meal... i.e. let's stick 30-40% more on the check and make you pay extra.

When called out on this, it never crossed the owner's mind that this was dishonest, crooked, and simply outrageously disrespectful to me and my wife. No... he simply proceeded with various excuses and defenses as to why he thought he was still in the right - even though he was just being a thief. I proceeded to knock down all his flimsy arguments to the point that he simply ended up saying that this was a private restaurant and he basically chooses to do whatever he wants.

The sad story of commissions in Cuba though is really nothing new. I would have expected this behavior in a regular paladar in Old Havana where the ownership didn't know us and our group was just another foreigner and some Cuban friends... but not somewhere where we were very known quantities.

Bottom line... you are much better off eating in numerous other places in Viñales. The management here are flat out dishonest scoundrels. Beware and stay away.

(General word to the wise... If ever you dine in state or even private restaurants in Cuba, be sure to ask for a menu (the real menu, there are sometimes 2) and check the prices ahead of time. If they don't have a menu - walk away and don't encourage or enable bad business.)

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank technorealist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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36 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Burnaby, BC
Level 6 Contributor
72 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Great paladar and friendly host”
Reviewed 10 December 2011

We enjoyed a great meat at Paladar La Colonial, which is on the main street in Vinales. My husband had a lobster en salsa that was one of his favourite meals in Cuba. It was so delicious he ordered the same thing at La Casa de Don Tomas—a much fancier venue—but the quality wasn’t as good as at La Colonial. My grilled pork was certainly fine, but not as memorable as my husband's meal. The owner of the paladar served us and he was very friendly and attentive. At the end of our meal he even gave my husband a nice Trinidad cigar! If you’re in Vinales, don’t hesitate to try this restaurant.
By the way, if you eat outdoors at any of the restaurants in downtown Vinales, be prepared to have a hopeful doggy face staring at you from the sidewalk in anticipation of your leftovers!

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank thrumpin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Banff National Park, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great cuban private restaurant - great people”
Reviewed 16 November 2011

When we arrived in Vinales we stopped at the La Colonial for lunch and a mojito. We ended up staying all afternoon. The host is really great and speaks fluent german. The food is fresh and the portions are very good. We went back there 4 more times during our stay in Vinales. Upon request he even serves you breakfast, a royal breakfast with more food than you can possibly eat and most important - fresh bread. He organized a tour guide for a trip to the valley and even got us a better casa. From the patio you can watch the daily life of Vinales. A must stop when in Vinales.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank SabineBanff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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