On May 3rd, my birthday, I decided that I wanted to go on holiday for the long weekend, with the only criterion being that it was all inclusive, 2 nights and less than £250 each. As I was booking the day before I was due to leave, you would think that the prices would be cheap, this was totally incorrect and the prices increased the longer I left it. I decided to leave it and look for a summer holiday. I ended up finding a decent price for Jamaica, so decided to go into Thomson to check it out. Long story short, the agent sold me on Blau Costa Verde in Cuba, which was such a good decision and I will explain why below.
The flight to Cuba from Manchester takes between 8 and 9 hours, but for two weeks, or even a week, it is totally worth it.
I travelled with my partner at the time, we were both 25 and from the north-west (England), we stayed in room 2306, which was very close to all of the action, but far enough away to get to sleep during the day or at night during the entertainment. The balcony overlooked one swimming pool, the gym, the games area, the pool bar and you could clearly see the sea which was stunning as you will see in the photos. The beach is the kind of beach you see on TV and think, wow, I want to be on that beach.
There is a bar on the beach (included in the all inclusive package), along with a volleyball court, pétanque area, archery and shooting area which are all included and totally free. There are members of staff down on the beach who help you with anything you need, sun loungers, drinks, advice, pedalo, kayak and catamaran rentals.
Everyday the animation team grab people on the beach, which is less than a minute walk from the hotel, in the morning to play volleyball, shoot arrows, play pétanque and the insane “crazy games” – which you will have to see for yourself, but they are very funny.
The animation teams were brilliant, they enhanced the holiday experience from being very good, to being excellent. A special mention to Yoan, Daniel and Michel who made every day a lot of fun, a really nice group of staff.
I’m going to quickly mention a few more pro’s:
- Free minibar in room
- Crystal clear sea
- Clean pools (one deep, one shallow, both had bar’s built into the pool)
- 24 hour bar with snacks
- 24 hour security
- Games area (Pool & Table Tennis)
- Free fully equipped gym
- A decent selection of TV channels (all languages)
- Very hot
A few cons:
- Gym opening times are not early enough
- Gym air con isn’t cold enough, making it too hot to use the gym
- The cabaret dancing was monotonous
- Crabs everywhere if there was a bit of rain
- Very humid
There was some building work going on during our stay, but it didn’t hinder the holiday at all, the work was quiet and was obviously for enhancement to the hotel. The old blocks were being painted to look nicer, which didn’t make any noise and in fact, the painters were very pleasant and always said hola.
This may cause some controversy but there was a lack of kids there, which was very nice for me and most of the people we met there. No screaming, no running, nothing. All of the kids who I saw there were pleasant and calm. There were lots of Canadians, Brits and Germans, all very nice.
Now the food. The buffet restaurant for the first week was in the main building, it was clean, cool, well staffed and there was a variety of food. The restaurant was then moved closer to the beach in an open building, which had flies and crabs roaming. The move was due to work being done on the kitchen in the other place. Unfortunately, the drinks service was a lot slower, a few visits we weren’t offered a drink, the food seemed to be worse with less variety and it was very humid.
Also, on the weekend, a lot of Cuban locals arrived, who plated up too much food, then poured it into plastic bags to take home. With absolutely no thoughts regarding the other guests, which was very disappointing. They would take all of the chicken, not even leaving pieces and then again when the kitchen staff refilled.
During the stay, there were lots of local singing groups which was very nice and really made you realise that you were in a paradise like place. (A link to a quick video of a band singing “La Cucaracha” in the restaurant – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5ixKv9M4oY)
At night there were two different acts, different every night. There were opera singers, black light shows, cabaret dancers, swimming pool synchronised swimming dancers, children’s mini disco, singing groups and the best one in my opinion, which was the magician. I will provide a link to a video of the part where he pulled a lad from Barnsley on stage, pulled a blazer over his head and put his own arms through the sleeves and did tricks so it looked like the lad was doing the tricks, when in fact he did them himself, without looking. Catching the card was excellent. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQTQpaD_pnA)
My favourite part of the holiday was the animation entertainment, such as the pool volley ball (A link to a quick video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3Q9MHqGCcc) In this game, there were Germans, English, Welsh, Canadian, French Canadian and Cubans. They really brought everybody together and it was excellent.
Overall I would rate the hotel as excellent, especially as it provided more than I had read on here and on their website. You could go here and only take the 25 peso airport tax. You don’t actually need any more money if you take enough sun lotion!
We took a trip out of the resort one day to a place called Guardalavaca, which was a tiny market village. It was exactly as you would expect in a Cuban market. There were artists, people selling fruit, wallets, ornaments and other decorative items. It was safe, although I think if you went outside of the main part of the village, it wouldn’t be so safe. Remember that Cuba is an extremely poor country, no matter how nice the beaches are, be careful.
I would definitely return again and I very rarely return to a place as I like to travel and try out different places.