More about Club Amigo Caracol
What an Awesome Time
We just returned back from Club Amigo Caracol in Camaguay(March 12-19) and all we can say is it was amazing. First off we met a great group of people ( Cory, Holly, Nat, John, Jacky and Sarah...we miss you already). The hotel was clean, our maid service was great. The entertainment staff was AMAZING....
The beach was clean and less then 20 steps from the rooms. The pool area was clean and always had chairs. We never had to line up for our food, the staff were great. We did go on 1 trip, Catamarin Bonita and it is well worth the money. We will be going back to the same place again next year without a doubt. Go there for a vacation to relax, enjoy the people, the culture, the surroundings and to make sure endless friendships.
See you goes next year.
Dave, Emma and Jarrod.
I loved it, but it is not for everyone
Hi everyone. We just got back from Club Amigo Caracol 2 weeks ago. What can I say. Do not expect something extraordinary for 800$, but remember that you paid ONLY 800. We had a choice to pay double and go to the luxury hotel or pay not too much and go to Caracol. I have no regrets we went to Caracol. Rooms were clean, food was ok, but I got tired of the same selection. I did not like the ocean because I love big waves. But if you like snorkling or have small kids it is a perfect place to go. If you are planning to travel and see different places it is not a good place for you. It is in the middle of nowhere.
My opinion is if you are looking for luxury, dont go there. You are going to be dissapointed.
But if you are looking for fun, enterteinment and just a great time it is deffenetly the right place to go. People there are amaizing. They made our vacation. Would I go there again? Deffenetly! But again I dont care too much about the food or exterior.
Important!!! Take canadian dollars with you. After they introduced convertable peso the exchange rate for US dol is not as good anymore ( 1 us = 0.8 peso). It is better rate for canadian dollars (1 can = 0.75 peso). And now you can use only pesos to pay. If you need more information you can e-mail me at email@example.com. And if you are going there and you have a small spase in your lugguge please e-mail me too. My 5 years old girl wants to send a plush toy for her cuban friend (her mom works at the resort), and we lost their adress.
Good luck everyone and have a great vacation.
Had an AMAZING time!
On Feb.17, 2006, my boyfriend and I left for Club Amigo Caracol from Toronto, Ontario. We had the best time ever! We weren't expecting a lot because the hotel is only rated a 3-3.5 star. Boy, were we pleasantly surprised!
Our room was absolutely gorgeous! It was super clean, it had huge windows with wonderful views and everything worked perfectly fine.
The beach is absolutely gorgeous, despite people on here whining about the crushed seashells and so on, its a beach! There's going to be seashells and rocks and whatever else you find in the ocean. The water is gorgeous and the sand is soft and white! The best thing was that no matter what time of day it was, there was ALWAYS chairs available at both the beach and the pool! It wasn't busy at all.
The food was OK. I consider myself a picky eater and I never went hungry. The variety is limited but you have to remember you're in CUBA. In Cuba, cows are property of the government and it is a serious offence to kill a cow without governmental approval, in other words, don't expect a big juicy steak or roast beef dinner. Don't go to Cuba for the food. However, the pizza is to die for! We also brought some snacks for in our room from home which came in handy.
The Animacion staff were really good! Everynight they put on a great show and they are very friendly and happy people! You'll get to know them no-doubt! The dancers are amazing, we loved watching them! A couple nights they did a comedy show that was pretty funny!Everyone in the resort comes together at night to watch the show, its awesome! 3/4 of the people there were Canadians. The other 1/4 were from Italy or Germany. It was great!
We went on two excursions during our week in Cuba. We went on a snorkeling trip for 25 cuban convertible pesos (approx. $30-35 CDN) and we went on the tour into the city of Camaguey which was 45 cuban convertible pesos (approx. $50-60 CDN not sure of the exact exchange rate). Be sure not to take U.S. dollars. They do not accept American money or else you have to pay an expensive surcharge. Take CDN money. Both trips were absolutely worth the money and I highly recommend both of them! We learned a lot about the Cuban culture and how the people live their lives compared to ours. The snorkeling was gorgeous. We also borrowed some bikes from the resort and we rode out to Coco Beach. If you are going to do ANYTHING while in Cuba you MUST go to Coco Beach. You will be speechless. It is the most amazing thing you will ever see. I suggest taking a cab or the motorbikes... the ride on bicycles lasts about an hour one way and your butt gets real sore... trust me.
The service varied day-to-day. One day the staff would be a bit grumpy and the next they would be the most helpful people in the world! I find that if you speak to the staff in Spanish they are much more lively and friendly. Even if you just learn a sentence or two to help you ask for things and say hello and goodbye. The cleaning ladies were really good, we left them some toiletries when we left. We also took some gifts with us to give away. The people were really appreciative. They really need razors, toiletries, things for children and they told us they like sunglasses! Take a couple t-shirts or hats or take a trip to the dollar store to pick up a couple things to give away, the people will love you. It's really hard for them to get the things we have so easily available to us.
Overall, our trip was absolutely amazing! We met a bunch of other tourists that were great, the resort was way above our expectations, and the Cuban people are very friendly. I highly recommend this resort, its perfect as long as you dont go there expecting the Ritz Carlton. You dont get the cheap toiletries in the room and the mini-fridge isn't stocked with all the goodies but you really save the money. (We paid $658 before taxes and it was worth every penny) There's a sun, a beach, a pool and friendly people at Club Amigo Caracol. Isn't that all that matters?
Carlos and Helena "Best friendly staff!"
We’ve been 8 times in Cuba my wife and I and was the first time we went to the same place on january the 21 to feb. the 4, Why? Because last year we found a little place of paradise for an amazing price at Hotel Club Amigo Caracol.
Last year we noticed a lot of repeating guests, a by the end of our stay we understood why. But by going back there the staff and the management of the Hotel, really pamper you they really, really, really make you feel special. We even had a special sea food diner with other repeating guest at the restaurant a la carte on the beach.
Because they are open only 6 months, they really trying hard to please you, and always value your opinion and your constructive criticism. Alexis the quality manager even sat with us a couple of times asking for our opinion and what things could improve. It’s always a good sign when the management don’t take things for granted. Thank you to director Mr. Redondo, the public relations Mr. Telman and special thanks to my good friend Alexis who took good care of us.
Following the example of the management all the staff is very friendly and give you the best service possible. At times they see you coming and they know exactly what you want, pampering you, making you feel like at home. Special thanks to Odalys, Elia Rosa (who never stop to smile, She’s the one who works at the restaurant a la carte), Jorge and Jorge, José, Edelsy and all the ones that I don’t remember the names.
Nothing spectacular with the exception of the pasta, even if I am not a pasta guy (amazing sauce and the pesto, miam miam out of this world). Never the less, there is always good food and good choices to choose. In the 2 times I’ve been there I never got sick or saw anyone sick because of the food. I actually put on 7 pounds in 2 weeks.
Excellent rooming. They are all mini suites, a little living room with a 3 place sofa, a chair and a mini fridge. A little patio on the first floor or a balcony in the second floor with 2 plastic chairs and a little table. The bedroom is pretty specious with a double bed or 2 twin beds that you can put together. The bathroom is very nice all tiled the counter top is marble there is a bath tub with a shower. You’ll find also a hair dryer.
Even though the rooms are nice, the hotel is renovating all of them. They even go to repaint the outside with vivid colors. My wife does cleaning for a living and she gives them a 10 on 10 on the cleanness. Every day when we returned from the beach our room was smelling so good. Thank you Adis (our cleaning lady).
Santa Lucia is a stretch of about 20 kilometres of white sandy beach. When you are at the Hotel Caracol you can go 10 kilometres left or 10 kilometres right by the shore. The beach at Hotel Caracol, my opinion is the nicest, very clean, large, while at the other hotels the sandy part is very narrow with people in top of each other. The water is about 6 feet deep after 100 meter, while at the other hotels after 100 meters the water reaches your knees. Best place for snorkelling in the all beach is in front of the nautical center of Hotel Caracol, about 150 meters from the shore. There is a lot of chairs and shade umbrellas, no need for getting up at 7 am. to reserve one, like I had to do in other hotels.
These are people woe never look to be tire. They really seem to enjoy what they do, and I believe its because Edelsy the animation manager, take pride in what is doing always coaching them not taking nothing for granted. There is an amazing DJ Omar, talented dancers and friendly entertainment crew. Thank you Sehelma, Ramon, Jorje, Yuce and all the other ones for taken good care of us wile we were there.
Like I said in the beginning of this review we found a little place of paradise. We will go back there because at Club Amigo Caracol in Santa Lucia, we really feel at home. Compare prices with other destinations in Cuba you’ll see, price quality, you’ll get your moneys worth. We’ll go back that’s For shure.
This was our 6th trip to Cuba, our 2nd trip to Camaguey. Two years ago we spent 2 weeks at Brisas Santa Lucia.
Club Amigo Caracol is a great resort.
We arrived around 11:00pm and the animacion staff was there awaiting our arrival.
Check-in was s..l..o..w! you will be lucky if the people at the front desk speak english. We had a few problems because its was two teenagers(16/17) travelling with two parents, we had booked 2 separate rooms that they said they didn't have at time of check in, and they wanted to put us in a room that fit 4 people. That was something we didn't look forward too. They checked the hotel again and found that the problem could be fixed and we were fine from then on in. When you get to your room make sure everything works, if it doesn't make sure thats the first thing you take care of. We had a tv that hummed louder then the sound coming out of it. We complained and needless to say we were there for 2 weeks and they never gave us a new tv (good thing we are teens and didn't come in until 4am)
Rooms: awesome rooms! clean, very spacious, very clean. The maids are great
Bars: great drinks! bartenders tend to be moving at a very slow pace, but what do you want, you have nothing but time to kill.
Pool: The pool was always very clean, water colder then the ocean but great for cooling off, very refreshing. There were always chairs around the pool except on windy days. DONT BE AFRAID TO LEAVE YOUR STUFF LYING AROUND THE POOL! We came in the morning grabbed 2 chairs, left our towels, my ipod, our camera and it was never touched.
Food: its Cuba, you dont come here for the cuisine, Although for a 3-3.5 star place I thought it was pretty great food at times. the pasta bar was awesome, i'm italian and i even agreed that the sauce is pretty tastey. Also you always had fresh vegetables and fruit, and icecream with dinner. And make sure you go to the beach grill, Sanchez is the "McDonald's Chef" He will make you an awesome burger(hotdog/ fries).
Entertainment: Well we have been places with much better staff, though they were still very friendly and kind. If you have problems talk to them, make friends with them as soon as you get there, and get involved! play the games during the day, do the dance lessons, and why not learn some spanish while you are there.
NIGHT LIFE: ok, at the resort its pretty dead after 11pm. You have to buy drinks, only 1 peso. but follow the entertainment crew to the next resort!! "La Jungla" 5 pesos, all-inclusive drinking. awesome music(american, reggaeton, dance, techno-not just spanish) its open 12-2am, best time of our trip. If you are still in the partying mood, dont worry there are another 2 clubs on your way back to the resort. "MarVerde" is 1 peso to get in 1.50peso drinks, or 3peso for a bottle of rum(best idea) and have a great time dancing the night away. also if you are still awake there is always "La Rumba" and thats the last club, free to get in, pay for drinks and its open until whenever the DJ gets tired. ITS A GOOD TIME! That kept us going through-out the 2 weeks. ITS ALL SAFE!
ok, so I bored you with this but I hope it helps. We had an amazing time, and i hope you go see what this is all about.
p.s. Yusel, Dennis, Jose, Sanchez, Schelma, Ramone, Dago, and LEO* WE WILL BE BACK NEXT YEAR, NO WORRIES!
A Real Gem!
On January 8th my husband and I left Toronto on Skyservice for two weeks at the Club Amigo Caracol in Santa Lucia, Cuba. The flight was a little late but otherwise we had no complaints.
Arrival On arrival in Camaguey we filed through immigration quickly to find our luggage already off the belt, all lined up waiting for us. The porters were also waiting inside the airport to take the suitcases to the buses. This is the fastest we have ever made it out of the airport to the bus! The ride to the hotel took 11/2 hours but seemed to take forever!
Check-in We were given check-in cards to fill out on the bus so when we arrived at the hotel check-in was fast and painless. There were cold drinks and sandwiches waiting for us as well as dancing and music. The porters were lined up to show us to our rooms and help with the luggage.
Rooms Our room was down near the ocean. You could see the beach from the windows. We were on the ground level with a small patio off the sitting room with two chairs to sit and people watch. The bedroom had two beds, we pushed them together for a Hollywood king! The furniture was dated but everything was clean and well looked after. We don’t spend a lot of time in our room so as long as its clean, we are happy. The bathroom was quite large with a bathtub and shower. The water pressure was great and the hot water was HOT. The air conditioner worked really well but as the evenings were cool you didn’t need it that much. There was a small fridge in the room to keep you water cold.
Food Like everyone says…you don’t go to Cuba for the food. This is true here too. There wasn’t a lot of selection but what was there was good. The pasta bar was great with a few different sauces every night. In the morning there was a chef at the grill to cook your eggs the way you like them or your omelette with all the trimmings. The beach bar serves hamburgers, hot dogs and fries all day, a good choice if you don’t want to leave the beach. The beach grill turns into the ala carte restaurant at night. You can have lobster or shrimp at an additional cost. The lobster was large and cooked very well but the shrimp was not worth the money, 5 shrimp on a skewer for 6 pesos. There is an espresso bar off of the lobby but it doesn’t open until 9:30. This was too bad, as it would be nice to have an early morning cup of java to start the day.
Beach The beach is beautiful, great for early morning walks to get the perfect sunrise picture! There is coral just off shore that is a little hard on the feet but after that it is sand again. There is some sea grass further out, I’m a bit of a baby, as I like to have the nice soft sand, no grass. The water doesn’t get deep fast so it is good for kids and those of us who like to bob. The beach is raked everyday by a tractor to get rid of the sea weed that has washed up on the beach over night. Goggles, fins, masks, windsurfers and catamarans are all available on the beach. We took the catamaran out to the reef where the driver dove in to bring up a star fish for us to see. There are plenty of shade huts and chairs.
Bikes The hotel had just gotten new bikes so the guys took a bike trip to Coco Beach about 8km from the hotel…mostly dirt roads. They said the bikes worked well and really enjoyed their day.
Pool The pool is very small but it was never a problem as I seemed to be the only one ever in it. Most use it to go to swim to the bar! There were a few volley ball and water polo games and the aqua gym was fun. The kids pool is off the main pool. It is a square shallow pool more suited for toddlers, I could see how the older ones would get bored.
Staff The staff at this hotel are what makes it so special. They go out of their way to include everyone. They are there early in the morning to late at night and never seem to lag. We never met a cranky one in the whole two weeks. The evening shows were not Broadway shows but we all enjoyed their efforts.
Trips We took a cab into Camaguey..what a great day! Our cab driver’s name was Rene. He came to the hotel the day before to go over what we wanted to do and see on our trip. First stop was the violin/guitar workshop. The workers said they finish one instrument a day. There are 6 or 8 of them working there with very old..tried and true, tools. Not an electric one in the place! They pointed out that the main wood they use was maple imported from Canada. Next stop was a terra cotta pottery place. This was a family run business where they make the distinctive pots you see all over Camaguey. Every tour has to have a church! We were introduced to our guide who took us all through the church even to the catacombs and tunnels under it. The thing we couldn’t get over was the antiques. We were handed alter pieces and other articles to look at that were dated 1902 etc. History in your hands not roped off! Lunch was at a private home…incredible meal! No city tour is complete without a bicycle cab ride. For one hour we rode around the small streets and alleys looking at the houses, theatres and markets. Got a beautiful woven beach bag for 2 pesos. Had to stop at a rum factory! No automation at this one…someone fills the bottle, someone puts the cork in, someone bangs the cork in with a rubber mallet and someone glues the label on. Hey, it works! After a long day we headed back to the hotel. If you want a great Camagauey tour call Rene or ask his son Sanchez..chef at the beach grill. You are on the meter with his cab so this is a legitimate tour. The van holds 6 people comfortably .
Conclusion Yes this is finally coming to an end! The weather wasn’t the greatest and the hotel wasn’t the fanciest but this was one of the best vacations we’ve had. We would go back to the Club Amigo Caracol in a second! Photos at http://community.webshots.com/user/cubagary
A Slice of Heaven
A friend and I traveled to this hotel Feb 2nd to the 9th. Skyservice flight to Camaguey went well as did clearing customs in Cuba. The bus trip to the property gives you a great chance to see this agricultural province and the homes of rural Cubans.
When we arrived there was some confusion over rooms which I stress was NOT the hotel’s fault but rather the failure to inform on the tour operators part. All was handled with the greatest of concern to getting everyone’s holiday off to a great start.
The rooms are more like a mini suite with separate bathroom, bedroom and sitting room. Every thing was spotless and comfortable. We had a unit on the beach side with a balcony. We had a great view of the ocean and the reef in the distance.
There is a wide expanse of sand that leads to the water. The first few feet into the water is a bit rocky but you are within sight of the world's second largest barrier reef. There are lots of chairs and shade and activities on the beach. You can either be active or laze, your choice.
There is a bar within yards of the beach that serves drinks and has a mean grill for hot dogs, hamburgers, there's also fruit etc.
The pool is a good size with a swim up bar. Well maintained and clean
The Amigo Bar mixes some smooth drinks. My favorite drink was the Havana Special. Bartender Jorge certainly has it down to an art.
I heard some complaints about the food and have reached the conclusion that Canadians tend to forget that our country is very self-sufficient in producing our food supplies. We forget that not every country is so lucky. The chefs and restaurant staff go out of their way to provide great meals. The best omelets and pastas are created to order. Even fussy eaters can find plenty of flavorful, fresh, well prepared items.
The coffee bar next door makes the best java in Cuba.
The animacion staff provides the best entertainment on the island. Long live Pichea!!
Be sure to get a buggy ride with Pepe, he'll show you the real Santa Lucia. The strongest impression that I have brought home with me is that Camaguey and Santa Lucia have the best people in all of Cuba. Every one treats you like family. Olive with Sunquest was great. Every staff member (and I do mean all staff) does their utmost to ensure a memorable vacation for their guests. I made some great new friends and plans are in the works for 2 weeks together next year.
Caracol may be 3 stars in the hotel listings but it is more like a 6 star resort in every way that counts.
Best beach trip ever!
A friend and I came back from Caracol on February 5th after a wonderful week away. When we booked our holiday we had a few stipulations: must be on the beach, must be clean and must have access to dancing! We were booked at the Brisas and got 'bumped' to Caracol three days before our departure date. Turns out that was a gift!
When we arrived at the hotel at midnight, the dancers and entertainment staff were still hard at work, catering to travel weary tourists. We were greeted with juice and big smiles, and it only took about 20 minutes for our entire busload to get checked in. We had a reality check (as in 'yippee, we are on vacation!!') when the first words out of one of the staff, Dago, was 'relax'. A porter showed us to our rooms, which were compact and very clean. So far, so great!
The food was simple, but plentiful and good. I had visited Cuba in 1993 and my friend in 1999, so we came with little expectations and were very pleasantly surprised. We are pretty easy going. The rum was flowing, Crystal was refreshing and the fun juices made for good drinks, although different from what we get in Canada.
If I was disappointed in anything, it was some of the other tourists. Some appeared determined to complain about everything. If things are so much better at home, don't bother travelling to a country like Cuba...spend triple and then some and go to a Club Med...
Even when the resort was at capacity closer to the end of our trip, the pool was never crowded, there were always beach chairs available and wait times at the bars were reasonable. What are you in a hurry for anyways?...relax, you're on vacation!
It has been said in other reviews, what makes Caracol special is the staff. From Omar the dj, to the talented dancers (Yusel, Denis and company) and the rest of the entertainement staff Sehelma, Jaelen, Leo, Ramon, Dago, Jorje and Yuse, the bartenders and so on, you will be well taken care of! The evening shows are sometimes interactive and you can get as involved as you like. Much to our surprise, we were up learning the moves to 'pichea' with the best of them just about every night.
After the 10 pm shows, the staff would go to the Coco Loco bar/pool table area until midnight...sometimes for dancing, sometimes kareoke, sometimes just to sit. Then, the staff would take the tourists off site to some of the clubs that cater to tourists. A good time was had by all as long as one remembered common sense. Be aware that gentlemen will likely be approached by ladies of the night at some point. And yes, we Canadian girls heard many times "what's your name, do you have a boyfriend?" by the locals. When we heard the lines "you have beautiful eyes" it was easy to be cynical and think what was mostly meant was "you have a beautiful Canadian passport". A firm 'no' went a long way and we found plenty of wonderful dance partners. We always felt very safe. The staff stayed with us the whole time, many times until 4-5am, still can't figure out when they managed to sleep, but they always had a cheery hello the following morning.
We did the playa Bonita catamaran tour and the Camaguey city tour. Edouardo gave us a very balanced view of real Cuba and we loved both tours we went on! My friend did the hour horse back ride on the beach (for $5 CUC!!!) and at another time had a poolside massage. Excellent value!
Well, I came wanting to lounge on the beach, read and dance a little.... we danced every night and I only had time to read on the flight!
A couple of recommendations: bring cash and exchange into small denominations at the airport(credit card transactions are charged an extra 11%, they only accept crisp bills, no change) tip your bartender well at the beginning of your trip, try to learn a few Spanish words, bring water shoes if you have tender tootsie, an insulated cup/mug and don't forget to smile. Relax....you're on vacation!
loved the entertainment
This was my second time in Cuba, a few years back I stayed in El Senador. To tell you the truth I did not stay at Caracol this time around. My friend and I were staying two resorts down at Brisas. However we made friends at Caracol and never wanted to leave. So other than sleeping and eating at Brisas, the rest of the time we spent at Carcol. The Entertainment group were the best, including the great dj's Omar and Huber! They always made us feel welcomed. We already have plans to return in January.
It was all the small things that drove me nuts!
Well for beginners if you want a beer after 11 pm you must pay. The service at the bar was BRUTAL! They will have you wait until you flash money. Some entertainers (2 of the boys) are rude and they want to hook up with the ladies.... So if you want some T.L.C ladies you will have no problem.
Breakfast : If you don't mind french fries, baby carrots and string beans (And I am serious) you will enjoy it.
Beach : Lots of rocks as you are walking into the ocean, tons of seaweed in the ocean, you will be walking in it for miles.
I have been to alot of resorts but this one was sad.
Staff : Yose, Lester and Omar rule!
Me : There is no way I would go back, so good luck
We stayed at the old Club Guardalavaca four times back in the 80's, when it was the only hotel there. Have been wintering in México for the last 14 years but would like to go back to Guardalavaca again this year.
From the pictures it looks like this area has changed a lot since then, is it now part of the Club Amigo complex?
Also, has anyone stayed for longer periods, say 3 or 4 weeks? Are accomodations available in private homes, such as a bed & breakfast type of a deal?
Not many Casa Particulares in Guardelavaca area, but in Holguin there are, check this out:
paradisus rio de oro /cuba
Hi i wonder if anyone can help me i am planning to go to the paradisus rio de oro / Guardalavaca cuba could anyone give me any information regarding this hotel and what it is like, i have never been to cuba before and getting a few mixed reviews about the hotel and cuba, and what the weather will be like in april may time. thank you
Re: paradisus rio de oro /cuba
Yes, I/ve been there by accident. would not go back. It's a 5 star if that's what you're looking for. No locals on the beach..all tourists from Canada. Go to Guadalavaca- Club Amigo...local bars, restaurants, disco and an amazing beach.