lti Costa Caribe Beach Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Margarita Island
... was a hilly curvy one, which delighted Maja and
every curve ...
... one story of being held up at gunpoint, and stories of murders were prevalent. We made the mistake of being on El Agua for the afternoon, and when our restaurant started cleaning down at 6pm and we left, we walked out onto a deserted street, all the bars had closed, that all of a sudden became pretty shady.
Running the restaurant was fun, but trying. Staff just don't turn up. We had a huge launch party for the restaurant, with local ...
We arrived on Margarita island after a short 40min flight from Caracas. It was hot. Really hot. We took a taxi to our first, of 3 hostels we would eventually stay in , called Patricks, in Juan Griego. Juan Griego is a slow sleepy fishing town in the west of the island. With great huge mountains, green and eveloping, surronding the serene, palm tree flustered carribean ocean beaches, it was beautiful.
Heute gönnen wir uns eine kleine Pause. Direkt neben dem Pier gibt es einen kleinen aber schönen Sandstrand. Für 12 US$ zwei Liegen mit Sonnenschutz. Zum ersten mal baden wir in der karibischen See. Auf Sight seeing haben wir verzichtet.
Der Abend endet heute für uns Früh (so gegen 21.15 Uhr). Wir sind beide vom Nichts tun müde und schlafen wie die ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews lti Costa Caribe Beach Hotel Margarita Island
A+ Staff, Wonderful vacation
Returned from a wonderful two week stay at the LTI Costa Caribe in Margarita (Jan.19th-Feb.2nd) Our standard room was roomy enough for two, and the maids kept it spotless! The staff were always pleasant, polite and extremely helpful. Although some staff did not speak a lot of English they appreciated our attempts at Spanish and we got along well with hand gestures and smiles. The security at the hotel is excellent. The food was different every night at the buffet restaurant, a spectacular feat for two weeks! We made reservations at the Italian a la carte restaurant twice and the food was wonderful both times. The beach restaurant is great for grilled cheese sandwiches at lunch. There were many types of alcoholic drinks to choose from and the bartenders used tongs to place lime slices in our glass. The beach is spectacular, absolutely no complaints! The nightly shows are worth seeing! And the hotel's close proximity to the village of Juan Griego makes shopping very convenient. We certainly appreciated the staff's efforts to make our vacation so memorable. We hope the hotel management continues its high level of customer service in the future, because we definately will visit again next winter.
Not all it was cracked up to be,
I just returned from the LTI Costa Caribe Beach Hotel, and I must say it is a very nice structure, however I did have som problems. My trip was booked 5months in advance, standard room, assurity of ocean front balcony.... Never happened. we were given an economy room which is far too small for 2 people, even if you don't spend alot of time in the room. even after repeated request to be given what we paid for and arrangements were made to be change to another, cancelled day trips because of being told we would be accomedated after 1:00, we were then told " not possible" Hotel is full.
the Mexican ala carte restuarant was very good, however could only book 2 times, and the buffet was unsatisfactory( although everyone taste is different) it was always the same fare except for the meat dishes.
We never were able to book a reservation at the Italian ala carte always full.
The beach is beautiful beware of the undertow, even the strongest swimmer will be intimidated. Security is excellent, bar staff very good as well as the cleaning staff. Guest services was very poor.
I will return to Margarita island , but never again an LTI hotel.
Clean and friendly
A group of us just returned from a week's holidays. I have to rave about the weather.. it was raining slightly when we arrived but turned sunny later that afternoon and rained one evening only during our stay. We had truly exceptional sunny skies, cool breezes off of the ocean and absolutley no complaints about the weather.
I found the rooms to be pretty basic but spotlessly clean. I really enjoyed the extra time and effort that the chambermaids took in artfully arraging the bedding and toweling.. it was a nice warm welcome as you let yourself back into your room. I found all of the staff extremely friendly and although there were language barriers at some points, you did not have to wait long for assistance.
The food was abundant and I couldn't believe the variety. The staff seemed to make an effort to try and offer something for everyone even if we weren't quite sure what it was so we all tried a little bit of everything. I would caution others however to avoid the seafood and pork as some fellow travelers fell slightly ill and were told that those items may have been a cause.
All in all, I would have to say that I enjoyed my visit very much. My impression is of a fairly poor country trying to increase it's standards and encourage tourism and in doing so, treating it's visitors with open arms and wonderful service. While others on the trip home had some complaints about food, language, service, etc., to them I would have to say if you expect Canadian standards on vacation, then vacation within Canada. Otherwise learn to adapt, enjoy the culture and experience and overlook the little flaws.
We had a very disappointing holiday, for a 4 star hotel we would rate it 2 star. The rooms very small with no other seating available other than bed. Towels were thin and tatty, sometimes there was a flannel, sometimes there was soap, most times there was neither ! No bottled water provided, just a jug which you had to take to the bars or restaurants to fill. Hotel reception for the most times could not change travellers cheques or dollars for the local currency (Bolivars). Food was mediocre.
You had to be a breakfast around 7am to 7.30 to be able to get a seat all tables seating 6 people so you were forced to share. The food was cold and poor quality, maybe they should invest in a good toaster, scrambled eggs freezing etc etc . If you like cold breakfast you are ok. Evening meals were of a poor quality most times and nearly always cold. Staff were very friendy and happy. The beach was a big disappointment with oil residue on the sand, and the sea dangerous to swim in for the most time, in fact one of our party had to go in to rescue a man who was in difficulties. Overall the hotel was far too crowded and so was the beach, we always had to queue for everything. A big dissapointment and we will never go to Margarita again. To add insult to injury we had to pay an exorbitant departure tax of 43 dollars each and we were warned if your cases were over weight they would charge you 12 dollars per kilo over.
Fantastic Holiday at Costra Caribe
HOTEL COSTA CARIBE, MARGARITA
22nd December 2004 to 5th January 2005
We have just returned from a fantastic Christmas/New Year in Margarita. It was the first time we had gone away for Christmas and, despite the Hotel being full, all the staff were very friendly and helpful. The gala dinner arrangements for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve were first class and included fresh lobster with free champagne flowing liberally at midnight. The spectacular firework display was something to behold and we were all given sparklers and party hats!
We were unsure what to expect from our holiday. We obviously knew that it wouldn't be to high American standards but were pleasantly surprised by what we found. The junior suite was really spacious (although perhaps more hangers could have been available!) and the air conditioning was very effective, together with ceiling fans in the bedroom and lounge. There was a good-sized balcony which opened on to the gardens, complete with two sun loungers, two chairs and a table. There were plenty of sunbeds around the pool, complete with sunshade canopies, and on the beach there were sunbeds and some thatched cover and shade from trees. Despite the Hotel being full, we never had any trouble finding a place to laze away the day. However, for the best spots you had to get up early!
The beach was very clean but we would mention the strong currents and large waves. It looked tempting to go wave-jumping/body-surfing but there were some nasty surprises hidden in the shallows, namely some spiteful rocks and coral. So, be warned. Although the Hotel made sure the flags were flying (green/yellow/red), some of the guests ignored the warning and came off slightly the worse for it!
We never had a problem getting drinks. However, Oscar's Special had a mighty kick which was disguised by its creamy/fruity flavour. Don't have too many or too often! The drinks were definitely NOT watered down and we even had to request "small gin with large tonic" as even we struggled! The wine served at dinner was excellent Chilean Chardonnay and Merlot - definitely to be recommended. Purified water was always available, suitably chilled, and the ice was made from the same purified water. Freshly made fruit milk shakes were concocted in front of you at breakfast - very healthy!
We only went on two excursions, which were both excellent. A one-day trip to the Canaima National Park in Venezuela, which included walking behind the thunderous cascade of El Sapo Falls. Unfortunately the weather did not permit us to fly past Angela Falls although the clouds did break enough for us to have a tantalising glimpse of this phenomenon. A day out on the Yemaya Catamaran to the beautiful Island of Coche. The captain and crew were very friendly, the lunch they cooked for us was excellent and there was an abundance of shells of all different shapes, colours and sizes on the Island.
Although all the staff at the Hotel were helpful, we would specifically mention the following people:-
Andreas Haller, the Front Desk Manager. When we originally booked in July 2003, we requested an ocean fronted junior suite, together with all the relevant supplements. Despite confirmation of this by invoice and payment, we learned 2 days before departure that we would not be having the ocean front as Hayes & Jarvis had not requested this from the Hotel. Since the Hotel was fully booked, there was nothing Andreas could do to rectify Hayes & Jarvis' mistake, despite his very best efforts. However, this should not reflect on the Hotel because the room Andreas allocated to us was on the ground floor in a quieter area of the complex. We had a slight problem with the ceiling fan in the lounge but this was rectified within 3 hours of reporting it. We are sure that most other Hotels aren't that efficient.
Angela, Guest Relations Manager. Angela had the thankless task of booking guests into the various speciality restaurants as obviously only so many people could be catered for in these. Despite the pressures, she always greeted us with a friendly smile and we were very appreciative of her actions on our behalf. The Don Alfredo restaurant was superb as it was air-conditioned, the choice of menu was excellent and the staff almost knew us by our first names! We ate there on 8 occasions, including the Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve gala dinners.
Anna Maria Loprete, First Choice/Hayes & Jarvis representative. Anna Maria was so helpful and friendly. There was no "hard sell" of tours and she enjoyed people stopping by for a chat. She was very efficient and easily resolved any problems that occurred, including arranging for us to get to our Catamaran Cruise by taxi when the minibus failed to collect us, despite us calling her at 7 a.m.! She made it clear that any of her clients could contact her 24/7. Again, this is not a situation we have found with other holiday reps. Unfortunately, our return flight was slightly delayed and Anna Maria made sure that there were notices put up advising her clients that the pick-up time would be delayed by one hour, which obviously meant slightly less time wasted at the Airport.
Although Margarita is still developing and there are some down points, it is definitely well worth visiting. Obviously it does not have the price tag of the more salubrious Caribbean Islands but it does have a charm all of its own. What it lacks in quality it more than makes up for in friendliness and character. As long as you don't expect The Ritz, you won't be disappointed.
We will definitely be going back to this Hotel again, most probably in April 2007. Let's hope that Andreas, Angela and Anna Maria will still be there!
Lookie Lookie! You've got to see it to believe it!
We stayed at the LTI costa caribe over the christmas holidays. The resort looks like the perfect filming set for a flintstones movie! It is comprised of several little three floor buildings. The set up is kind of nice, but the rooms are small. We had the standard room (which was the upgrade from the economy) and there was enough room for two TWIN beds and that was it. The bugs were unreal! We used deep woods and it didn't help at all. Everyone was getting bitten like crazy! I have never seen so many senior citizens topless and in speedos. GEEZ! The resort provided lots of entertainment during the day and at night. If you won an event, they would give you a bottle of alcohol, but everything was free there, anyway. Their hospitality was very good and the staff was polite for the most part. Venezuela is a very poor country and the workers were definitely trying to make your stay enjoyable. The resort is only 4 years old, i think someone there told me and it was in need of some renovations. In the room next to ours, the balcony fell apart and they were putting it back together. There was a good selection for food and no shortage of bars. At night, there were bars everywhere. One day we went to return our towels from the pool and the towel hut by day was now a bar by night. I think that if Ontario sent their health inspectors to view their kitchens, they would only need the forms that say FAIL on them. On the second last day, I ate at the mexican restaurant and got some food poisoning something severe. My stomach felt like there was a fist on the inside and it was punching all night. I tossed and turned and sweated the night through. First thing in the morning, i sat on the throne and let out what i though was the problem. Then I got up and felt even more sick. Moments later I vomited it all up and then felt great (norwalk? food poisoning?) who knows. who cares. I was talking to other people around the pool and we all seemed to get this relatively short lasting bug. The following day we were heading home. I ate all kinds of things in the airport and on the plane and was fine! The resort is on its own on the north part of the Island so it is just people staying there that are on the beach there. Very few kids there. They offer a shuttle to Porlamar in the moring and it comes back in the late afternoon. It drops you off at a really nice mall. We exchanged our money and took a cab to the local market. That was a neat experience to see. Then we took this taxi back that looked like it would take a miracle for it to move. The dash controls were non existent, the windows were permanently down. The ceiling was all bare metal/rust and so were the sides. There were no controls which means no A/C. It cost $5 for a 32km ride, which is more than reasonable! If you have four people in the car, you can't ride a bus at home for that price. The taxi brought us back to the resort. The weather was amazing! I think that if you want to avoid the big crowds, the screaming kids and mobs of people, this is a great choice! On the other hand, if you are into luxurious accomodations and bugs/insects greatly bother you, I would think about booking somewhere else. There are three foot lizards that like to roam around the pool. At one point, there was one under this girls chair, eating a canteloupe. She looked scared, but it was funny to watch. They also have nice parrots that like to eat coconuts. All in all, if you are going to this place, make sure to pack an alarm clock (they don't have one in the room), bring shampoo (they didn't supply that either) and some imodium wouldn't hurt either. Oh yes and don't forget, you are very close to the equator. Bring lots of suncreen or you WILL burn fast!
I booked this resort in October 2004 to travel from December 23 to Dec 30, 2004. The tour operator had listed it as a 4 star so because of this I went ahead and reserved. Here are my thoughts and experiences:
The rooms: the package deal gives the Economy room which is literally large enough only to put two small single beds in, and so small that one bed is actually against the closet door, so one would have to move the bed to get access to the closet. When I pulled back the sheets the first night to sleep there were two bugs in the bed. I immediately ran to reception and asked to be moved but I was told that I would have to wait until the next day. The next day I decided to upgrade to the Standard room, only a bit larger, but access to a closet at the cost of ten dollars US per day. This room though had no hot water and it took four days and repeated visits to reception to get this fixed. A couple I ran into had a hole in their room where they could look into the next room and too it took them several days to have this patched. One night we had a heave rain and when I came back my room was flooded--I was thinking because I was on the second floor I could avoid this, but there was not adequate drainage from the balcony so the water flowed into the room.
Food: Most times I ate only portions of the meat because it was undercooked and I would have to take it back to the grill to have them cook it some more. There are no fly nets covering the food so you will have many flies landing on the food at breakfast, lunch and dinner. As far as resort food goes, it was average. The two other restaurants on site were Italian and Mexican. I did make it to the Mexican one, the night of the rain, and after we managed to position our tables as to not get soaked from the water falls coming through the roof, enjoyed that one. The food there was good, but, take note that there is a section on the menu that is not a part of the all inclusive, and if you order these items under that section you will have the charges billed to your room.
Entertainment: the staff worked very hard but the shows were not exciting. The children's show, from 8-9:30 was far too long and often the children looked bored themselves. I was in bed each night by 11 so I cannot comment on the disco.
Tours: All the tour boards were in German and I could not read them. When I found my reprsentative and asked her about it she said that the English ones should go up in a few weeks, but what good did that do to us there at the time? She told me to make an inquiry at guest services, but, this put me off so much I decided to just sit on the beach and tan.
If you plan to go anywhere outside the resort they encourage you to take a tour or use the taxis. I am a bike rider and hiking buff so whenever I tried to walk off the resort the security guards stopped me and asked me not to go because of "banditos". So, essentially, if you are active and enjoy taking long walks you are confined to the resort area unless you are on a tour or taking a taxi. The resort locks all gates to the beach at midnight so no romantic beach walks are in store if you want them. If you are going to take a taxi they will tell you to negotiate the rate first and not pay the rate until you get to your destination and back--it appears they will wait for you. After three days of being stuck in the resort, I hitched a ride with a staff member to a small town and took a taxi back--my driver was very nice and gave me Spanish lessons.
If you are going to convert any money, do so only in little quantities. If you exchange a large sum into their currency, Bolivares [ spelling may be off] they will not change it back to dollars at the end.
Two final areas of major concern with me: one-- most nearly everyone on the resort got sick at one point. My sick day came on the day before I left but I did come prepared with a lot of medication to help me. I would not be stretching the truth to say that 80% of the guests were sick at one point with different intensities of sickness from a one day diarrhea like mine, to vomiting, chills and fever. I encourage anyone who may be pregnant or with any other compromising health issue to reconsider this place because it may only increase your chances of becoming ill. As a side note, there were so many of us ill that we collected names and phone numbers on the plane have been in contact since to start the process of filing a group complaint.
The second major concern is the fact that the German guests are given preferential treatment over all others. At first I thought it was just me, that the staff did not like me, but after talking to others on the resort it was quite clear. Examples: at the lobby bar one could be waiting in line for a drink and when a German speaking person came up from behind, that person was served first; at the buffet dinner, the German guests had bottles, not glasses, of wine brought to their table for enjoyment while the rest of us had to wave down staff to get a glass of wine. Not once at dinner when I was there did I ever get a refill of the wine. Again, I brought this subject up to the tour representative and she thought I was being crude. She added that perhaps these tourists arranged the wine before the dinner. My question to her was: if this service is allowed then why are the rest of us not informed so we too can partake?
Overall, I would give this resort a 2+ rating and this is what I am asking the tour operator to do. When one pays for a four star and ends up with a two star quality it puts a large damper on the entire vacation. If you wonder if I had stayed at 4 stars before, yes, several and it is because I have these as a comparison I feel compelled to post my experiences here and to write the tour operator, the internet company that I reserved on and the hotel head office in Germany.
The lesson I learned is that I will fully research any other resort that I may attend in the future, and I travel south three times each winter. I do hope that my posting may help someone who wants a detailed description of the resort and please feel free to email me if you like.
I had a great holiday in this hotel, however it does not escape some criticism.
Please accept this as a true and accurate reflection of my holiday.
I was allocated a room on the ground floor of block 23 and found it to be dark and dismal due to overgrown bushes etc in the gardens which blocked the light coming into my room and patio.
I requested a new room and was accomodated the next day and this room was bright and airy.
Staff are great and very cheery and most do not play up to the tourists, although all are very helpful.
The food is of reasonable quality but a bit too cool for my liking. A microwave would not go amiss.
The a la carte restaurants are much better and worth booking.
The pool was of a brilliant design and very enjoyable, but when I was there (Oct/Nov 04) it was a bit dirty and had bugs in it. We complained and were advised that it was going to be closed down in the first week in December 2004 for a deep clean, so maybe it's not an issue now.
The rooms are basic, but spotlessly clean.
The entertainment is by the Hotel Animacion team and is of a very high standard (by Animacion team standards)
The weather was great but it rained every night. (not a problem in the slightest)
Juan Griego village is close by and definitely worth visiting. Very friendly people who ignore you and let you enjoy your shopping/browsing experience. There are restaurants etc at the far right of the resort, on the shoreline, which you need to look for, but are worth visiting. Very cheap and friendly.
If you visit Porlamar, be wary of the street husslers who want to change your money. We were given 150,000 Bolivars for 50 Dollars, but hassled by sunglasses salesmen who tried to distract you while their mates were changing your money. We were careful and got our money but my friend "lost" 100,000 Bolivars during a transaction and he doesn't know how.
I was lucky. He was unlucky, because when you look at the rate it doesn't really work out.
The hotels/ Banks gave you 96,000 Bolivars for $50.
A clothing shop in Juan Griego gave you 117,000 Bolivars for $50 (no hassle whatsoever) (4 shops down from the liquor shop to the far right of the square junction)
Angel Falls/Canaima trip is expensive but worth it as long as you like small aircraft and don't have walking difficulties. (not too bad but just a friendly warning, because several (older/unfit) people on our trip struggled a wee bit.
Kavak/Canaima trip is apparently the better trip but due to it being energetic, few people book it.
Overall a good holiday, great weather and very friendly people.
This is a reasonably poor country which is trying very hard to make your stay enjoyable, so let the small problems pass you bye and enjoy yourself.
You're on holiday afterall.
Won't be disappointed
Should be a higher star value than in the brochures. The resort is a large resort that is beautifully set up. The beach is a secluded and surrounded by mountains, a bit rocky (but may be because of Hurricane Ivan sucked some sand away). The food is the best selling point of this hotel. I would classify it as similiar to many 4plus hotels in Cuba and Dominican. Beautiful Lobby***
Only drawbacks, economy rooms are a bit small, would pay the extra for a room upgrade. Make sure you leave you hotel to go to some of the other beaches Playa El Agua (georgous white sand beach, 20 mins away) La Auscuncion is a beatuful old spanish town located in the heart of Margarita.
Loved the entire experience...
Stayed there in december 2001. It was my first all-inclusive resort and i went with 2 girl friends. The resort itself was very clean, the staff was very friendly (a little to friendly at times). The show's that they put on were pretty good, and the drink we're strong and very tasty. The only bad thing i could say about the place was the food. It was bland and by day three I had decided that only the fresh fruits we're woth eating. My 2 girl friends didn't seem to mind the food. The waves will we were there were very big and most days we couldn't swim in the ocean but the pool kept us happy.
All in all it was a very nice trip, we had lot's of fun and we were sad to leave.