More about Gran Club Santa Lucia
Best entertainment staffs I ever had !!!
I've been to many all inclusive resorts but have never seen such friendly entertainment staffs.
They made you feel at home, as if you are part of the family.
When the bus came to the hotel, they all went to the front desk to welcome us with the music and cocktail drinks. When we were leaving the hotel at the end of our stay, they also went to the front desk to chat and kept us company.
They're full of energy, they are everywhere during the day and are always ready to keep you company.
I can literally recommend Gran Club Santa Lucia just because of the entertainment staffs alone, specially Tiko, El Mundo, JC (Juan Carlos) and Yarita, my favorite girl. They're all friendly and lovely.
Btw, I'd like pretty much to have the email address of either Juan Carlos or Yarita. If anyone has it, please email me at: email@example.com
LIving it up at the Gran Club
My husband, three children aged 9, 12 and 15,and I went to Gran Club Santa Lucia December 13, 2005. It was our first family vacation to the Carribean. We had originally booked for only one week but three days into our trip, we were having such a wonderful time with such beautiful people, we decided to extend our trip for another week.
It was my husband's and mine 3rd time to Cuba and also our most enjoyable. There was never a dull moment for the children. From morning until night the entertainment staff went out of their way to ensure a good time was had by all, there was something for everyone. From Stretching classes & aquafit to volleyball & waterpolo to darts & poolside games to dance, spanish & archery, you couldn't help but jump in and have some fun & laughs.
In the evenings the quiet place to hang and talk with friends was around the coffee bar open all night long (liquor and snacks provided). The disco was fun but should be a place considered only for adults (If you look old enough they will let you in but parent's should be cautious).
Our room was beautiful,clean & spacious(Erlinda our housekeeper was an absolute gem). The grounds were gorgeous boasting their local botanics and flowers, always well groomed and cared for.
The entertainment in the evening was also great with a wide variety of dances, & music, variety shows and a very fun talent show where the guests get very involved!
The food was exceptionally good. All four inclusive restaurants gave an array of different flavours and wide variety of foods, once again something for everyone. Wonderful strolling bands to entertain you during your meal (Leo has promised to learn Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, ask him to play it for you!)
Christmas Eve they made a spread I will never forget. They made a very special effort for the tourists to feel the Christmas spirit. Champagne, a beautiful meal, and a beautiful performance from the dancers that brought tears to my eyes.(The dancers & entertainers worked tirelessly practising for months ahead of time)
Thank you to all of the entertainers Juan Carlos, O'neil,Tiko,Yudi,Ramon,Alex,Felix,Jesus,Damien,Chino, Yarrita,Bonbon,Julio,Edmundo(Monte Cristo)Karelia,Chupa, Judy, little Carolina (and her dog) and other staff members such as the bands and managers, groundkeepers and bartenders (Roberto we miss you!).
And a very special thanks to Leo for giving us the honour of experiencing "his" Camaguey. We will never forget you.
I traveled to Gran Club Santa Lucia with a girlfriend November 15th for 1 week. We work in very high stress jobs so our goal was to spend a week just relaxing. The initial lure was obviously the very reasonable price. I had been to Cuba twice before so I was looking forward to visiting again. My friend and I took very different impressions home of our vacation. We both enjoyed the down time and (because the resort is small) the opportunity to meet a number of really nice people. I would love to go back again, the Cubans are really for the most part so content. We had a number of political discussions with the locals and were always amazed at their acceptance of the way they live. My friend however found the poverty difficult and is not interested in going back to Cuba. So here goes the review.
Hotel room: Pay the extra money to upgrade to a junior suite, ($69 per week per person) you're closer to the beach and your room is much more comfortable.
The rooms are clean, there's the odd ant.
Food: The food is ok. This is Cuba, they are not renowned for their cooking.
Pool: The pool area is nice, the animation team is fantastic, they work night and day and deserve accolades for all the work that they do.
Beach: The beach area is very nice, the sea grass is annoying, however I understand this improves as the season progresses. Bring water shoes to avoid the "grass" under your feet when you go in the water.
The water team will take you snorkelling for 15 pesos out to the coral reef. I have snorkelled all over the Carribean and Mexico, this was so impressive.
I would recommend this hotel to everyone, because at the end of the day you make your own vacation what it is.
Bring a coffee mug for your cold drinks and leave it along with other gifts you bring, school supplies, hygiene items etc.
We stayed at the Gran Club Santa Lucia during the Christmas week, 2005. At first, I was a little concerned that it was located in such a remote area (approximately 90 minutes from Cameguay), but once I saw the hotel, I was reassured. It is a cozy, small resort and the staff makes every effort to make sure everyone has an excellent time.
The beach and the pool are both nice, the rooms are clean and spacious (we stayed in a junior suite) and the food is quite good for a buffet, as are the other included restaurants.
We usually like to explore off the resort, but this destination is more condusive to relaxing and enjoying your time at the hotel. The countryside is not as interesting as some other parts of Cuba, although there is a small village nearby.
Mostly, we enjoyed the horse-back riding ($5. convertable pesos) per hour, the trolley ($2. for an hour- tours the local area) and my husband rented a motor-bike for the day and also enjoyed the free (new) bicycles available. Kayaks and pedal-boats were fun on the beach. I recommend getting involved in the activities- dance lessons, Spanish classes, tournaments, aquacize in the ocean, etc. My teen-ager had a fabulous time and we felt it was very safe.
The animation staff were amazing- very enthusiastic, friendly and talented. The evening shows were fun and entertaining.
I would recommend this hotel to families with young children or teens, and also for couples or even singles. You will feel very "at home".
There were a few mosquitoes at dusk, but the hotel sprayed every day (I don't know which is worse- the mosquitoes or the spraying!), but it was very effective and as long as you stayed clear of the sprayer- it was fine.
Bring "give-aways" (ie- dollar store gifts, toiletries, clothing and school supplies) and distribute them freely. Although nobody asks for these- they are extremely appreciated- more so than money in most cases, as many items are difficult for Cubans to buy or afford. There is a small market at the hotel where the vendors change daily. We bought some beautiful pottery, which seems to be what the area produces the most, at very affordable prices. Great gifts and souvenirs.
If you want luxury, go somewhere else- if you want a pleasant, inexpensive holiday with a real taste of Cuba, you'll be very satisfied here.
The stay was AMAZING!!!
My friend and I stayed at Gran Club Santa-Lucia from Dec.20 to 27 and I must say both of us fell in love with that place. Every minute spend there was great, there were no disappointments or bad experiences.
Everything was good:
-THE WEATHER was nice most of the time. It rained only once for maybe 2 hours non-stop. The rest of the time it was either sunny and hot, or not as sunny but still hot. At night, it would get a bit colder, and you might need a couple of long-sleeved shirts. We didnt need them, because there was a lot of dancing at night, and we were always moving. In general the temperature was maybe around 27-30 degress during the day and around 23-25 at night.
- THE FOOD was very good as well. At the buffet, which was opened 2 times a day for breakfast, lunch and suppper i belive, there were a lot of choices of everything, and everyday the food was different. There were also 3 resto a la carte, for which you have to wake up to make reservations. My advice, make friends with stuff, and they will do it for you ;). And what makes the restos a la carte even better, is that there is a live band (4 musicians) who will play during your meal typical spanish songs. They will even come to your table and ask which song you would like to hear. Very cute. :)
- As well, the beach, pool and resort were clean. The staff at the hotel was friendly. But most importantly, the best part of the trip was the ANIMATION TEAM!!! without them this trip would have been totally different. Those guys were always in a good mood with big smiles on their faces. They were entertaining us the whole day, and at night they would put up great shows. They are great performers, and as well very good people. My special thanks to O'neil, Karelia, BonBon, Alex, Chino, Juan Carlos, Edmundo, Yarita, Felix, Jesus, Damian and others i forgot.... YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING.
whoever is going to Santa Lucia, don't hesitate to chose Gran Club as your hotel. You will have the best time of your life. And if you have any questions, email me.
P.S. Maria and Olga will be back ;)
Enamorado de Santa Lucia!
Regardless the excellent weather, beautiful nature of Cuba, great Food, very good Service, many different activities, great Shows and fun dancing, our vacation was UNFORGETABLE BECAUSE OF THE ENTERTAINMENT TEAM! JC, Edmundo, Tico, Neal, Carelia, Felix, Alex, Jesus, Damian, Chino, Bonbon....you will stay in our hearts forever! Thank you for alll the great feelings that you brought us! It was the most amazing week!!
I stayed at the gran club dec13-20 2005 and it was simply amazing. The weather, the beach, the room, the staff...everything was perfect. And the food and drinks were average. I strongly recommend this resort.
My first visit down south, and not my last. This place rocked
Here’s the scenario, there was myself (male, 38), my two friends, both female in their mid 30’s, and two children, 20 months and one almost 4 years old. It was my first time down south.
We’ve just returned from Gran Club where we had a great time and now it’s my turn to tell you what I thought.
We arrived to the sound of Cuban music and a welcome from the Animation team. That’s a pretty good start. The one thing that did lack was a map of the facilities; it would have been so much easier to find the rooms and would have given us a good way to find what we needed, however, it’s not that big, so it’s relatively easy to find your way.
We had basic rooms, which consisted of two small beds each, and a cubicle for the shower. Frankly this would have been ok with me but during the week, we had quite the storm and the girls room began leaking, so they moved us to rooms that had a bigger shower and a door between the rooms. We were quite impressed as to how fast the staff were at correcting the problems we had, which were minimal. They were quick to provide us with extra pillows, and extra keys to keep the A/C running when we weren’t in the rooms. Don’t forget the extra key.
2 of us went on one of the excursions, which for 65 pesos provided us with a full day of amazing scenery. We sailed off on a catamaran past a star fish colony to the coral reef where we spent some time snorkelling and enjoying the fish and the coral. Then we moved on to Bonita Beach for lunch. Here we were provided with a langoustine (Lobster) lunch and treated to 3 hours of sitting on a private beach and swimming in the ocean. The beach here was much better than the one at the resort but I’ll go into those details later. The food, drink and snorkelling were included in the price and the crew were friendly and helpful. I’d recommend at least taking this excursion of the several that are offered.
Back to the resort, yes the beach is lovely, but the first 20 feet or so as you go into the water can be uncomfortable on the feet. The grass isn’t the problem; it’s the pieces of dead coral that can be a little painful on the feet. It doesn’t last long before you get to the sand though. The water was a little rough when we were there, but the temperature was fine and it was just great being able to swim or float in the water away from the pressures of home.
While the food does leave a little to be desired, it’s edible, but maybe a little bland, but when you are cooking for so many people, you can’t have everything. We did make reservations at other restaurants, which we enjoyed. The pizzeria (Inclusive) was quite tasty, especially the assortment of Cured meats and the rice cakes. The Cuban restaurant (Inclusive) had a great Chicken dish that was extremely tasty (the chops, not so tasty). Then we tried the sea food at the restaurant at the end of the Pier, which is not included in the price, but for 25 pesos you get an excellent meal. The special was a starter of Sea Food Spaghetti, then the Langoustine dish followed by Ice Cream. Let me go into detail of the ice cream. I don’t think I’ve tasted better. The buffet where you will have most of your meals serves it with the dinner; however, I could have eaten if for lunch and breakfast given the opportunity. Several different flavours, with a choice of toppings.
As I mentioned, the buffet can be bland after a while. You pretty much have the same on offer every day, however the Grill does a good line in Ham, Chicken and fish, while the pasta bar had much to offer. So, don’t forget these. Just outside the Buffet restaurant, there is a desk which is manned from 8:30 till 9am to make reservations at the other restaurants, but get there early as they are small and don’t hold too many people. The restaurant at the end of the pier though, you have to go there and book as it’s not just for Gran Club patrons.
As for the amenities, I was quite impressed. The public bathrooms were extremely clean and the pool was in excellent shape. The water in pools within the resort was cleaned out twice when we were there. There is a pool with Pink Flamingos, there’s a family of Peacocks and a large iguana. Also, there are some cats which I believe to be wild, but not 100% sure on that. They just seem to think that the resort is theirs. Don’t worry, they won’t come near you. There is also a couple of extremely white ducks, so plenty to keep the kids amused. We took some bread from the buffet and fed the flamingos in the morning. They’ll eat from your hand, but be careful, there beaks look pretty unforgiving.
Someone mentioned in an earlier review that the resort was cheap with there toilet paper, I did not find that, as after a couple of days, another one left for me just in case, I guess. The maids kept the rooms nice and some even made the towels look like hearts and or Swans. Make sure you bring some goodies for them. I won’t go into details about what as that’s covered in a few reviews, but consumable goods are always welcome, and maybe even something for their children.
We met up with another couple on the plane and between us, there were 4 children. I read here that the Animation team were looking out for children, but when we were there, the animation team, while entertaining, didn’t spend much time entertaining the children other than the dance at night. So, don’t expect to drop your child of with one of them in the morning and forget about them. While there is a child’s club on the beach, it wasn’t open very often, but hey, if you are there with your children, enjoy it with them.
The animation team seem to be working 18hr days with all they do on the beach and by the pool, but in the evening, they put on shows and provide entertainment by the stage area. There was a 5 piece all girl band providing music for an hour, go girl power while the animation team picked people from the audience to dance, then there is a different theme every night on the stage. Boy can they dance. Obviously they are professionally trained. Good stuff.
There are vendors also on site selling souvenirs; you have to go see them. Some are there every day, some only once or twice, so if you see something you like, go for it. They are reasonably priced and of good quality. I picked up a nice bongo drum, not to play, just to look at. The quality was excellent.
There is always someone from GoTravel on site to help out, so I would recommend using Go Travel. Don’t forget your large mug for drinks, cut down on the trips to the bar, but don’t forget to tip the bar tenders. The drinks are varied version of anything with rum, oh and beer. There is also and Nurse and Dr. on site which we needed to make use off. You could also bring them goodies also, like polisporan, I’m sure they’ll make good use of it. There is a store on site that sells bottled water, snacks and souvenirs including Rum, also you can purchase postcards and stamps at the little shack just outside the store.
This was my first time “down south”, so I wasn’t too adventurous, but they do have bikes and mopeds for rent. I’d probably give them a try the next time, as I’m sure there will be a next time.
Hope this helps. While Gran Club might not be perfect, it was a great introduction for me into the Canadian habit of flying down south in the winter.
Not a 3-1/2 star. should be a 4 star
I'm a little late in writing this review. I wasn't aware that a site like this existed. We stayed at the Grand Club: 28 Jan. 2005 to 04 Feb. 2005.
1st thing: this hotel is a class above most of the others on the same strip. It definetly should be rated as a 4 star!! But that's OK by me, you pay the 3-1/2 star price. We found the gounds to be immaculate. The rooms were extremely clean & well furnished.
The beach: Not as nice as Varadero, but just as refreshing. My g/f & me vegged-out here all day long. We snorkeled, kayaked and sailed the catamarans all day long. Lunch at the beach was mostly burgers & you can get to feed the local cats!!
The bars: The pool bar can get kind of crowded during the day & afternoon. The Germans tend to hang-out there all day long. Even though it has a better selection of mixed drinks, we still preferred the beach bar!!
The Disco: We only went twice during our stay. It's Ok for the young crowd (we're in our late forties) however, they do play some 70's disco, not just salsa all night long!!
The Food: They have an Italian chef on staff, so the pasta is just exquisite. I found the cuisine here better than some 4 stars we stayed at in Varadero.
The Entertainment: The band is quite hot & the guitarist tends to play some Santana tunes!! The stage shows are mainly Cuban folklore, but the last night is the Miss Santa Lucia contest. You are in for a treat here. The female contestants must seduce a young "mango." That's Cuban for "a hot stud." My g/f actually won the contest, beating out some young hot québecoise beauties!!
The Excursions: We only went on the catamaran tour to Playa Bonita. It's well worth the 69 CUC. The lobster they serve you, would make a maritimer blush!!! The snorkeling at the 2 reef stop-overs was very relaxing. The captain (William) was a riot to talk with!!
Other recommendations: Take a tour from one of the caleche's, just outside the main entrance. For 10 CUC the guy took us on a grand tour of the village of Santa Lucia. The same tour in Montréal would cost $70-$100.
All in all, we will likely return again in 2007 to the Grand Club. Maybe we'll take other excursions. For your money, you can't find a better resort. We went last minute booking, with GoTravel. It cost us $799 each, with a junior suite (Room 309) right by the beach.
As with a lot of other reviews I read, I totally agree, this place is a great resort!!!
We stayed many times at the Grand Club and was amazed at the service and how beautiful it was we also have friends down there that we visit..we are going down again in April of this year again...we keep wanting to try a new place, but keep going back over and over again...truly an amazing place to vacation.....
Hello to everyone.
First off... this is a really informative site. I've already learned tonnes.
A couple of friends and I are leaving for Cuba June 20th, and although I know it's the rainy season, we are not worried we'll be washed out as everyone just says it drops a crap load of rain and then clears up.
No worries there.
We are staying at Gran Club Santa Lucia and I was just wondering if anyone has any tips, suggestions, advice on all aspects of our travels.
We are all in our early twenties and if you know, would love to find out the best diving spots, towns to go too, shopping, restaurants, etc, etc, etc...
Any suggestions would be fantastic.
Thanks in advance,
We are really appreciating the help we have been getting. Thank you.
We would like to fly from Havana to one of the beach cities (and back). Two problems.
1. Which beach? We'll be there in February and we want to go SCUBA diving and have beautiful quiet beaches (to ourselves hopefully) and
2. The bigger problem, we can't find where to book internal flights online. Does anyone know how to book an internal airline flight from outside of Cuba?
Thanks again for your help.
Re: Internal Flights
Santa Lucia Beach, about 30 miles from the city of Nuevitas on your map, has the second largest coral reef in the world. Flights go to Camaguey, a 90 minute drive from the airport to the beach.There are 4 AI resorts ( you can book Gran Club Santa Lucia through the "Gran Caribe Hotels" web site< or get an all-inclusive deal from any Cdn. agent.)on the white powder sand beach, and a dive operation called "Shark's Friends"(located right on Santa Lucia Beach, not in Camaguey). You can go in groups or rent a catamaran or dive boat to go to the reef. Lots of beautiful, deserted beaches a short drive or boat tour away. Many well- qualified divers in the area to take you(just went snorkelling to Playa Bonita on Cayo Sabinal, a former pirate island, last week.). Sorry, I don't know about internal flights, have only seen the charters into and out of Cuba. Does Cubana fly internally???What about renting a car and driver??? Hope this helps!
Re: Internal Flights
problems converting canadian dollars ?????
I am leaving next week for Santa Lucia, Cuba and read somewhere that the hotels sometimes run out of money for exchange purposes and also that the Cubans are very careful to choose untorn (etc) bills. Any comments or experiences ????
RE: problems converting canadian dollars ?????
Hi from Cuba.
Like cuban I suggest you to change your money in oficial places like Banks or CADECAS(Casas de Cambios)when you arrive...because we have 2 kinds of national currencys and if you change your money on street, I mean with any cuban people...you could lost a lot...maybe this will be your first time in Cuba and it will be the first questions that any cuban could make to you, to know how knodledge you have about currency in Cuba. So, so I suggest you once again to change your money at Airport(a little bit) and after in any Bank(always inside) or CADECA...this gonna be safe for you.
My better wishes...enjoy your trip.
If you need to know something more just let me know.
RE: RE: problems converting canadian dollars ?????
Try to change as little as possible at the airport becasue the rate will be shocking! As for Cubans being fussy about the condition of notes this is something I witnessed while queueing to change travellers cheques - thankfully not my note in question but - since it was the main branch pf the nak in Havana - every member of staff (that is, loads of them) plus about fifteen Cubans who were in the queue examined the note in question and finally the cashier accepted it!
RE: RE: problems converting canadian dollars ?????
Santa Lucia is off the beaten path and you are far from a bank. I suggest you change as much as you think you'll need at the airport, (The airport has the best rate, don't change money on the street)while waiting for the bags to come out. Then if you have a lot left over, keep 25 pesos aside for the exit fee, and change the rest back at the airport when you leave (or spend it in the Camaguey airport shop). You are right, the hotels and stores often run out of money,(and the exchange rate at the hotels is worse) you may get candy or be asked to pick something else in addition to get your change for a purchase.