Gran Club Santa Lucia
Travel Blogs from Playa Santa Lucia
... us fourteen days, with seven days of driving between these two cities.
The countryside varies between lush green mountains to vast level plains with varied agriculture. We drive on four-lane expressways to narrow winding two-lane country roads. Traffic is sparse.
You’ll see scenery, beaches, villages and rural homes as seen from through the windows of our motor coach.
Enjoy your journey through ...
Camagüey is the third largest city in Cuba. It mainly relies of agriculture; sugar and cattle. It's a quiet town but we spend three days here visiting artists, ballet companies, the local produce market and a cattle farm.
It is unusual in that the old city layout resembles a real maze, ...
... salary of a state employee is the equivalent of US$ 20 a month. Some professionals may earn US$ 30, or even US$ 40 a month. Can you live on this? Yes, but barely. This encourages some more entrepreneurial individuals to become beggars around tourist attractions. For example, when we arrive at the shrine of El Cobre, we are surrounded by young men offering small pieces of copper ore as symbols of ...
Today we have another long drive, but worse than yesterday's as the roads are much worse. Breakfast at the Gran Hotel is indescribable so I'll skip it. We drive past endless fields of sugar cane and bananas. The Latvians take pictures of everything. We are sure they are spies. Either that or they work for the Latvian tourist bureau and are doing a comparison report! We have to stop to take pictures of a sugarcane harvester. It doesn't look too bad actually, I've seen similar ...
... and the toilet does flush, so we are fine. Only problem is again the cigar shop is closed so Ian can't sit on the rooftop bar and puff away. There is still no wifi (to be expected) but somehow my iPad knows we are in Camaguey, so something is picking up my location. Very mysterious. Also I discovered today 2 of the Latvians names (snuck a peak when they registered), Janina and Algimentas. Would never have guessed that. Loretta was calling them Svetlana and ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Continental Breakfast
- Swimming pool
- Wheelchair accessibility
Historical Traveler Reviews Gran Club Santa Lucia Playa Santa Lucia
A good spot...but....
As we write this, we are at the Gran CLub. At first it was a pretty scary place - the rooms from 1100 and up are not renovated and are very small and ill-equipped (brutal showers and no bidet). After a day of drinking they started to look better!! A lot of ants - requiring spraying but this is mostly due to the big gaps under the doors (big deal).
The food at first was really bad - loose meat and hotdogs all around and dessert consisting of the same cake cut in different shapes. Anyway, the place is growing on us. The people are great! The pizzeria is awesome for bruschetta, pizza and eggplant - it rocks - the food at the buffet seems to be getting better as we progress - not sure if we are just more desperate now!!
We would recommend the resort if you are on a budget - but go to Holguin or Cayo Largo for a much more enjoyable - 3.5-4* vacation. We've been drunk the whole week - who cares?
Loved the site, the people and the ambiance!
We travelled as a family, and a couple of friends (7 of us in all)! We were there from Dec 31st to Jan 7th, would have stayed for 6 or 7 more weeks. The place is great, the animation is great, the food is great, BomBon (one of the animators) was such a blast, she deserves a raise by the way. I've travelled to Cuba many times in my life and this place takes the cake, REALLY... The only negative point is that we were three in one of the rooms and the standard rooms are really small, CLEAN but small. When I go back (cause I am for sure) I will reserve a junior suite, about 120.00$ cdn more for one week...THe chef is Italian, the menu varied alot, nobody got sick, everybody loved the food. The seafood restaurant out on the 150' ft pier, fantastic, the horse back riding, WOW 5$ cdn for an hour, I mean you can gallop for almost the whole hour on the beach, it was wonderful. Unfortunately mother nature was in a bad mood that week and brought us very heavy winds, so all our outings were cancelled. The reefs snorkeling, the deep sea fishing. The sun was nice and hot and the water was really warm... The beach is beautiful and stretches out for 21 miles, the lounge chairs are comfy and FREE, the activities were great and various... I would class it as a 4 star instead of 3 for sure. If you book this vacation through a brochure, don't judge by the photos inside the brochures, cause they really don't do justice to the place. This is why I have added a couple of photos of my own, the place is beautiful, secluded (but not too much) there is plenty to do and places to go. They have bicycles (free of charge) you can rent mopeds, cars at acceptable rates. There is a daily train every morning around 10h00, it will take you across the village and to Los Cocos Beach for about 3 pesos per person. Also, horse and buggy rides for 3 pesos per person will bring you anywhere you want to go, just walk out to the main road at the front of the hotel and flag them down...it's a wonderful place, believe me!
Have fun during your stay!
Noise Noise Noise
Bonjour a vous tous et bien nous arrivons du gran club santa lucia, sa fait environs 12 heures qu'on est arrivé moi et mon épouse bon par ou commencé débutons par le début loll..
Et bien moi avant lorsque je lisais les commentaires des gens je passais toujours les commentaires sur le vol je croyais que c'étais une perte de temps de lire ça et s'arrive seulement qu'au autres les mésaventure et bien croyez moi vous devez lire la notre mais sa veux pas dire que sa va vous arriver, nous avons réservé notre voyage via go travel direct avec le transporteur ZOOM, un vol de nuit qui DEVAIS partir de DORVAL a 10 :40, nous avons arrivé a l'aéroport DORVAL 3 hrs avant le départ quelle bonne idée car au comptoir s'étais le cao total,, des file partout au comptoir aucune organisation aucun représentant de la compagnie le BORDEL woww sa commence bien,, tout d'un coup 1 hrs avant le départ le représentant nous disque qu'il y a une fil pour Plata en république et un autre pour Camaguay,, he république Puerto Plata, et bien oui arriva ce qui arriva l'avion de ZOOM étais en pane a Halifax et la compagnie zoom avais nolisé une trop petite avions pour les passagers qui devais partir le matin pour Puerto Plata donc UN ESCALE a la magnifique République,, et deux heurs de retard,, donc pour faire un histoire courte on a quitté l'aéroport de Camaguay a 08 :00 et nous avons arrivé au grand club a 09 :30 so 12 hrs d'enfer mais les représentant de go travel on un la bonne idée de nous donné nos chambre et bracelet a l'aéroport donc aucune attente pour avoir nos chambre au Grand Club.
Le Grand Club
Le site est très beau nous avons voyagé beaucoup a Cuba et je peut vous dire que vous avez choisi un très belle hôtel pour un 3 ½ sa mérite un 4, voilà nos commentaires
L`hotel est situé directement sur la plage et très vaste mais tout est proche, le bar de la piscine est l'un des plus beau et plus bien placé selon moi, la seine de spectacle et situé en plain centre du site,, ses se que nous n'avons pas aimer si vous voulez avoir un endroit tranquille il en existe pas mais vraiment pas a part le loby de l'hôtel qui na rien a offrir mais qui est quand même pas loin du bar de la piscine,
WOWWWW tres bonne pour un 3 ½ étoiles je donne un quatre pour la bouffe, ses vraiment extra le buffet ouvre à 07 :30 pour le déjeuner et à 12 :30 pour le diner et 18 :30 pour le souper mais ses vraiment le meilleur 3 ½ que nous avons été moi et ma femme, le buffet reste un buffet mais ses très bon nous avons mangé très bien et on trouve de tous mais il faut quand même arriver tôt, presque à l'ouverture si non les Italien mange tout,, loll.. le restaurant sur la plage serve de très bone hamburger et des hot dog sur l'heure du diner, nous avons essayer les restos à la carte la pizzerias et le cubain, les deux son vraiment super bon au cubain le poisson red snaper est excellent je le recommande à tout le monde, pour la pizzeria elle est vraiment très bonne,, je vous dit que vous aller très très bien mangé,, à cette hôtel,, juste à regardé ce que les cubains on si vous sorté du site et vous aller voir que vous vous plaignez pour rien si vous vous plaignez,,
Nous sommes moi et ma femme des grand grand grand amateur de plage nous avons été très décus de la plage beaucoup d'algues et le sable n'es pas ce qu'ont s'attendais, mais quand même elle est très large.
L'ANNIMATION,, NON NON NON PAS ENCORE DE L'ANNIMATION
ses la plus pire partie de notre voyage JE VOUS DIT PLUS PIRE nous avions la chambre 335 une suite,, mais elle étais situé juste en arrière du stage,, et pour de l'animation et bien sa arrête jamais jamais toujours toujours du bruit et du bruit et encore de l'animation,, un moment donner sa viens que sa tombe sur les nervvvvv impossible de faire une sieste dans l'après midi toujours de la musique BOMMM BOOMMM sur le bord de la piscine toujours des animateur qui queule dans le micro jusqu'à 18 :00 et il reprenne la boommm bommm à 20 :00 et le spectacle fini à 24 :00 et oui vous avez bien lus 24 :00 on n'en pouvais plus moi et ma femme on voulais avoir une place pour RELAXER,,, IMPOSIBLE,, sur la plage aussi du BOOMM BOOMM partout,, partout,, partout,, ma femme est aller dire de baisser la musique ce qu'ils on fait sur la plage un peut mais sa repris avec du boomm boomm nous aimons la musique cubain nous et relax surtout sur le bord de la plage mais impossible de relaxer partout même sur le bord de la piscine,, toujours de queullage, nous avons demandé pour être changer de chambre impossible avant vendredi mais on partais samedi, donc nous avons laisser faire, quelque chambre entendre la disco jusqu'à 03 :00 du matin,, donc on ce consolais, mais si vous allez la pour avoir la PAIX et RELAXER changer de destination svp...mais si vous aller la pour faire la fête et bien ses la place,, nous avons été plusieurs à faire des plaintes pour que le spectacle de soirée finisse au moins à 11 :00 donc nous savons pas si sa va être changé,, mais je peut vous dire que ses sa qui à vraiment mais vraiment gacé nos vacance,,
Nous aimons beaucoup les cubains moi et mon épouse et je peut vous dire que ses vraiment un peuple extra, si vous les traité comme vous voulez être traité, nous avons eu aucun problème aucun,, nous demandions nos drink en espagnole avec un por favor et gracias,, et étions extrêmes polie avec eux et nous avons donné des cadeaux ou tip et plusieurs bar man ou serveur serveuse nous on donné des cadeaux a nous aussi, nous avons été même invité à manger chez un serveur, donc SVP traité les donc comme des personne avant tout,, je sais que plusieurs personne dise ON A PAYER POUR CE VOYAGE LA,, mais respecter les cubains qui y travail et prenner le temps de les écoutés ils ont tellement à nous apprendre ses le seule peuple dans le monde qui on réussi à faire face au américain et ils en son fière il payent peut-être le prix mais dite vous qu'ils ont le meilleur système de santé, et d'éducation dans tout l'Amérique du sud et dans les caraïbe,, ses pas n'importe quoi ca,, donc RESPECT svp..
Si vous voulez avoir d'autre information ou des photos svp écrivé moi il me feras extraiment plaisir de vous donné les informations..
We returned from this resort on Feb. 04, 2005. It was our first trip to Cuba and we chose that hotel because it was the best deal. We just LIKED it !! Everything went well. Staff, animation, food were more than we expected. The most important thing is that it is not situated in a tourist area. Very quiet and very nice when you take a bicycle ride in the little village of Santa Lucia. It makes it even more charming. People of Santa Lucia were very polite and were always smiling. The rooms of the resort were very clean and nice too. Major renovation took place few months ago. Another important thing is that the beach chairs are very comfortable as well as the pool chairs which have cushion. The beach was cleaned every morning and it was safe since there were always 2 or 3 security guards on the premise. For us, it worth more than 3.5 stars. It's more like a 4.
Gran Club Santa Lucia - some travel tips if you are going here
Just returned from a week at the Gran Club Santa Lucia (Dec 27 to Jan 3/05)
Initially we booked with Brisas which is next door, but due to overbooking (no room in the INN for 2 of us) we moved to the Gran Club so we could all be together...There are pros and cons to both hotels but I think we got the better deal by moving to the Gran...See review under Brias for more info..
I hope this review will be informative for you..as there are not many reviews on this hotel...it is lengthly as I wanted to capture everything but I have provided TIPS for each topic.
My husband and I (in our late 30s) and our 2 kids age 10 and 13, as well as my mom and my aunt vacationed here.
We have all travelled throughout the Carribean including Cuba, however this is the first time we have taken the kids.
We were lucky enough to have beachfront villas ( # 219 and 347) with an excellent view of the ocean. The Jr suite has 2 3/4 beds and a pull out sofa bed with a separate sitting area with a table and 2 chairs, TV, coffee table, make up mirror and table/chair. The room was very roomy and clean. The bathroom had a bidet, toilet and newer shower (we had problems with being out hot water ..no hot water after the 2nd shower)
The room in general was very clean. Maids came daily to bring fresh towels and make up the beds. Every day there was a new animal made out of the towel.
The rooms that are not beach front are very basic and located across the small road. These are very basic and not as nice.
There is a safe available for a deposit of $25.00 that you will get back when you check out.
Towels are available for a deposit of $15.00 refundable when you check out.
They have a gift shop where you can buy trinkets/rum/t-shirts however they do not have some of the basics ie tylonel, sanitary napkins so make sure you stockup on these before you leave home
TIP# 1 - bring extra role of toilet paper....they are skimpy on it
TIP# 2 - ask for extra room key so you can leave it in the slot that keeps the AC and lights running.
The pool was very clean and well situated. The pictures in the brochure do not do it justice. There is a swim up bar. My only complaint about the pool was that it was only 24 degrees which was very cold on overcast days.
The Bars - Here is where there is room for improvement. The Swim up bar was the ONLY bar open every day....There was a beach bar that was only open 2 days wwe were there due to windy beach conditions. the bar at the snack bar was only open sometimes for beer.
They really need to have more bars open, as sometimes there was line ups.
They had vodka, whiskey, gin and lots of rum. They do not have diet or light pop.
The drinks were OK but if you are looking for nice blender drinks, you will not find them here. They do have fancy cuban type coctails, but no blender drinks. The beer is Crysal or Buccaneer and was Ok. There is no wine at the bar and it closes at 11:00 most nights.
On the second last day I noticed some real bananas at the bar and asked for a banana blender drink and after some coaxing I got a great tasting daquary. I gave him $2.00 and after that he said if I bring him bananas fromt he buffet that I could get more...
TIP # 3 - Make friends with the bartenders and you will have GREAT service..do not wait until the last day to tip!!!! $1.00 is alot of $$ to them.
Cuban Peso and tipping
We converted out Can $$ to Cuban Convertible Peso (CCP) at the airport. You can also do this at the resort. 1 CCP is abut the same as an ammerican $$. This is what they are using instead of the american $$. Cubans do not use this to buy things. They need to convert it to their peco which is worth much more than the CCP.(1 CCP = 27 of the normal Cuban Peso)
We did tip where we thought we got good service. We left the maid shampoo, nail polish, etc..which we left on the pillow. I tipped the bar tender for the banana drink and also another bar tender who looked after the kids and us very well
TIP # 4 - If you want to buy something at the airport ie. beer or t-shirt they only take CCP, Mastercard or American $$. They DO NOT take Canadian $$ at the airport.
Internet Services - available for $5.00 hr. There are 2 computers that are fairly slow.
The Beach - this is one of the great features. It is beautiful white sand and the water is crystal clear. There is sea grass that washes up but is cleaned up many times throughout the day.
There are 2 vballnets, 2 catamarans, a couple paddle boats and even on paddle boat with a slide. there is a beachh bar and grill that is only open when the weather permits. It was only open 2 days we were there!!!There is snorkel equipment available.
We snorkelled with the kids by the pier and we saw blow fish, angel fish and sword fish that were very cool!!
You can book a snorkel trip but they go weather permitting.
Horseback riding on the Beach
This was the highlight of our trip. My daughter and I went every day with the fellow on the far side of the Brias - not the one of the far side of the Gran. His horses were well taken care of and he spoke English. Every day we went to see different sights ie the beach, the woods, the town and the flamingo islands.
My daughter and I are experienced riders and he let us canter and run as much as we wanted. My son (who does not ride ) also came with us one day and he tied the small horse to the guide so he would be safe. Most days it was just myself, my daughter and the guide. We took the horses bananas every day and they loved them. I tipped the guide becasue he was wonderful an very hard working. I trusted him to take my daughter when I did not go.
We only ate in the buffet restaurant and the snack bar. You could book in the Cuban ala carte in the AM, but we never went there. The Pizzaria was not open when we were there. The snack bar was open for lunch but only from 12 til 4 and served frenchfries, hamburgers and hotdogs. They also had sandwiches and fruit there.
The buffet restuart was excellent and always had a great variety.
Breakfast - Great variety, omlet grill, my son says they had the best tasting OJ and banana smoothies ever!!!
Lunch - Excellent variety including a pasta bar, fish, cheicken and every day pizza. You have to eat in here and can not take food out and you must wear shoes and cover up or shirt.
Dinner - Again excellent variety and great tasting food. pizza every night , about 3 - 4 choices of meat on the grill, pasta bar, salades and desserts..something for everyone.
You could get wine and beer during lunch and dinner in the buffet .
You can also book the ala carte seafood restaurant that is at the end of the pier. We did not go there but heard it was excellent for lobster and seafood.
TIP # 5 - Watch the hamburgs from the grill..sometimes they are under cooked
TIP # 6 - Banana smoothies and freshly squeezed OJ is the best for breakfast.
TIP # 7 - Take some ends of the loaves of bread and feed the flamingos, ducks , peacocks and fish at the pier.
TIP # 8 - If you go riding take some bananas to feed the horses. I also took the guide some food and a soda. He was very thankful.
Very well kept with beautiful flowering shrubs. Gardeners are always raking and watering to keep think nice. There are peacocks, flamingos, and ducks wandering the grounds. There are also small flowing ponds that add a nice touch to the grounds.
1) Kids Club - my son participatd in this some days but there really was not alot going on for the kids. One day there was an artist there and the kids drew pictures and he helped them. One day they went on the train/bus to the town for a tour and at the end of the day they play games and have a party.
2) Train/Bus that goes to Santa Lucia - 1 hr
this is an hr tour into Santa Lucia...there is no guide or anyone talking so you have no idea what you are seeing etc..but it does give you an idea of what the town looks like ie. goes past the school but no one tels you this is the school. It does not stop anywhere in town and cost $2.00.
3) Carriage ride
For $20.00 the 4 of us toured the town and surrounding area of Santa Lucia by horse drawn carriage. The driver spoke some English and showed us around.
4) Coco Beach - is about 15 minutes away and a beautiful secluded beach. You can go by taxi, carriage or scooter here. We did not go but heard it was lovely.
5) Bikes - we attempted to go for a bike ride and did make it into the small town, however, the bikes are not in the best shape so if you attempt this, be prepared for a very slow and painful ride!! there do not have helmets but do have bikes of all sizes. These are free
6) Scooter rental - $7.00 hr
We did not do this but you could rent a scooter for $7.00. I heard of scooters breaking down and getting flats.
7) Animation team
The animation team works very hard form morning to night. They start in the AM at 8:00 and work until after midnight teaching dance lessons, playing vball, organizing games and entertaining at night. Most of the young kids are very genuine, however, some have a hidden agenda....so if you have teenage daughters or are a woman travelling alone, be very careful as they tend to gravitate to the single and young women....
New Years Eve Dinner and show - was Excellent!! The dining room was transformed into a 5 star dining room with special entrees, desserts, roast pig and sculptures for the occasion.
The New Years Eve show in the evening was spectacular with some of the best dancing I have ever seen in the carribean. At midnight they launched a huge fireworks show. It made the night very special.
8) Evening entertainment
This was pretty much the same night after night..if you are not a dancer you will find this very repetative, however the live band is very talented and provides excellent cuban music. The animation team dances with all the young girls and single women from about 9:00 - 10:00. At 10:00 the show stars and goes until 11:00. This part is different every night and ranges from fashion show to to Mr. Santa Lucia to the best couples (if you hear these words head for the bar!!)
Most shows were very funny but some were a little cheezy. The dancers are very talented and work very hard. The MCs speak 4 different languages so things tend to drag on and on...
TIP # 9 - The evenings got very cool and I did not take enough long sleeves of sweaters. There seems to be a cool breeze in the evening so be prepared to dress warm if you stay for the show.
Out of the 7 days we were there we had 2 days with no or little sun. the rest of the days were party sunny. It rained every day but not for long and evey day it was VERY windy!!! and the wind carried on until the evening.
I would say that 50% of the people vacationing at the resort were french speaking Canadians, 30% were German and the other were Spanish. The resort is Italian owned and has just switched owners which may be why it seems to be not running at capacity.
Hope this helps..pls email me at NHEckert@AOL.Com if you would like to see pictures or have any other questions.
We went to Santa Lucia Cuba and stayed at Gran Club Santa Lucia. We were pleasantly surprised at the value for the money. This resort is beautiful and not too pricy. Would recommend to anyone even families.
We loved Club Santa Lucia!
My husband and I stayed at Club Santa Lucia from January 8 - 15 , 2004.
We have vacationed at several resorts in Cuba over the years and we must say that this one ranks with the best of them.We have also stayed at many other resorts in the caribbean and Mexico. We have only GOOD things to report about his particular hotel complex. We both agree that the ambiance of the hotels grounds/gardens was superb , the dining room was very tastefully decorated and the food was plentyfull and the selection was great.Because this resort offers other nice restaurants to eat at,it is not likely that any one would become boared with the food choices. The office staff and reps were congenial as well as knowledgable and the annimation team was energetic and friendly.The beach (and the loungers)were well kept. The entertainment was creative.
Generally speaking , this resort offers a truly great valu for the money and in our opinion,Club Santa Lucia ranks as a top of the line vacation destination in CUBA!! Thank you - from a couple of winter weary Canadians!!!
Club Santa Lucia Misrepresented
Having travelled pretty extensively throughout Mexico and the carribean, and in an extremely varied level of acommodation, I pretty much know what to expect and am fine with all variety of arrangements.
My wife and 3 kids Visited Club Santa Lucia the last couple of weeks in September and at that time It was very cheap. We chose it through our tour company because it was also rated as a 4 star.
Despite it being the tail end of hurricane season the weather was fabulous...if a little hot.
The area around Santa Lucia (Camaguay) is the first reason this is not a great destination. Simply put, there is just not alot to see and do outside of the resort. The terrain is flat and agricultural and the beaches extremly shallow and weedy due to the reef 1 k from shore. At a distance of 100 m from shore you are standing with the water at your chest in short, grassy seaweed with nothing to see in terms of snorkelling. The actual beach is nice and the sand a fine white powder.
Simply gorgeous. The nearest city is Camaguay, and while we declined the trip in ourselves, everybody we talked to described the locals as rather unfreindly and the town pretty dull. I found this surprising in a country renowned for the friendliness and dignity of its people.
Without getting into all the details of my experiences there, I will say this. It is one of the places I have visited where I felt that my presence was valued only in American dollars. Both the area and the hotel were rife with attemps to separate us from our money. Do not leave things Lying around at the hotel, and get a safe if you have valuables. While most of the staff were, as you would expect, most wonderful, we did have some of the standard scams attempted on us while staying there.
The Hotel itself Seems to be under some sort of slow renovation and is actually in a state of disrepair that even a little paint would help.
The rooms are ok but illogically furnished. We didn't spend much time there.
Food there was, at best, satisfactory, usually bland, repetetive and pretty limited selection, but you could always find something good to eat.
The pool bar menu consisted of only deep fried stuff and grilled cheese. Better not to miss meal times.
In the end, we actually enjoyed our stay there quite a bit. As I said, it was very cheap and being a local resort as well, there were plenty of interesting people there. We felt, and everybody else we talked to there who was familiar with Cuba travel, that this was at best a 3 or 3 plus resort...not even close to some of the 4 stars we've been to.
Could recommend it if it was VERY cheap.
Hotel for friends
it's a good hôtel. We 'll come back because we've friends there
i was recently in camaguey cuba and i think that club santa lucia and hotel cuatrovientos is the same place , by the way , excelent place , if you want to relax enjoy the caribean beaches and have a really good time !!go there!! the food was excelent as the cuba libres drinks , and that great smell of cuban cofee in the mornings !that will never live your memory.