More about Playa Pesquero Hotel
Taste of Cuba Tour
The Taste of Cuba tour, offered during our stay at the Hotel Playa Pesquero, was a delightful day spent touring the fishing village Gibera, the city of Holguin, and made stops at a cigar factory, museum, and had free time as well as lunch in a small restaurant.
We greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn a bit more about Cuban life & culture, and mingle off the resort.
One note about this tour, however, keep in mind that while it is exciting to buy product at the cigar factory, there is plenty to choose from at the resort, and from what my partner & I saw, some of the prices at the resort were better (we bought at both locations).
Ocean Paradise Catamaran Snorkeling Tour
The Ocean Paradise catamaran snorkeling trip offered via the excursions desk at Hotel Playa Pesquero was a refreshing day out on the ocean. Our guide, Jose, was an excellent guide and dive master. He was in tune with where all the neat ocean life was, so we got to see some life that we hadn’t seen before – moray eels, and a very large puffer fish.
Probably the best part of this tour was how conscientious this company was about the marine environment. Both Jose and the staff on the catamaran were very thoughtful. I noticed everyone taking extreme caution while deciding where to drop anchor in one of the snorkeling spots. Additionally, Jose taught us a lot about Cuba’s reefs, marine life, and also mentioned some of the practices that he will not engage in. For example, I witnessed a tour guide from another company collecting ~a lot~ of white sea urchins. Jose explained that some tour guides will collect sea urchins and crack them open on the spot to draw fish for the people snorkeling to see. He said that unfortunately, Cuba’s population of white sea urchins is being depleted, affecting the balance of the reef environment.
Great place, a few flaws, but nothing serious
I just returned from Playa Pesquero in Holguin, Cuba 2 days ago. I was absolutely thrilled with the quick service and the wonderful selection of international liqours. Basically, nowhere in Cuba can you find food that compares to Canadian restuarants, but Playa Pesquero was definately one of the best. The downsides were reservations for the a la carte restaurants but I didn't have to worry about any of that. My blue bracelet only entitled me to 2 restaurants all week but my friends and I ate at them evey single day . We simply went whenever we were hungry and slipped the staff a couple of dollars and there was never any problems. The food portions and pretty weak but nothing can be done about that. The beach and activities are really great. The resort has tennis, badminton and basketball courts available as well volleyball and archery and the list goes on. The scooter rentals are an absolute must when you visit, but I greatly recommend you use a helmet because during my stay several people took some tumbles. In the week that stayed in Playa Pesquero, not once did we use the any of the watercrafts because the staff suggested that it was far too windy to be safe. The wind also goes for the scooters, which are easily pushed around at high speeds. When people complain about the speed of services around resorts, its usually because they tip badly or don't tip at all.
If ever you require a drink or some food or anything at all, a dollar bill makes the service extremely quick. If you're standing at the bar without a dollar in your hand, nobody will respond right away, but as soon as you pull the bill out, they'll be right there waiting to take your order. Essentially, to get 100% out of this resort, use a bit of cash to beat the system, especially concerning dinner reservations, which are always completly full.
I had the pleasure of visiting PlayaPesquero in September 2003. I had the most fantastic time ever and would highly reccomend this hotel.It certainly was 5*. Even when we arrived and it was Thunder and Lightening, I was still so so impressed! Lucky for us the weather for the rest of the week was brilliant.The rooms are amazing and so clean, the beach is wonderful, the grounds are great, the restaurants are great, the only thing I would change would be the evening entertainment. We actually had a nice time and chilled in the evening but it would be nice to have a bit more to do. The Disco/Karaoke bar only ever had about 5 people max in it and I only saw a karaoke one night but with more people I think it could be a great place.Overall, I think Playa Pesquero is totally brilliant and I would not hesitate in going back, well worth the money!!!!
A wonderful holiday
My boyfriend and I stayed at Playa Pesquero from February 11th-25th 2004. We researched all the hotels in the area on the Trip Advisor website before finally deciding on Playa Pesquero so were aware of both the pro's and con's before we arrived. The holiday turned out to be everything we hoped it would be and more! The Resort: Was huge! There are over 900 rooms and at capacity (which it was) just over 2000 guests. The pool was lovely and went on forever though never more than about 5' deep, the gardens were well maintained and everywhere was always clean. The beach was stunning - white sand, turquoise blue calm sea and secluded coves. Due to the amount of people at the resort you had to put towels on a sun lounger by 7:30 for the pool (if you wanted a parasol) and 8:30-9:00 for the beach. This wasn't a problem for us as it it meant we made the most out of every day instead of spending the most part of the morning in bed!
Accomodation: Our room was huge, well decorated and furnished, and our shower nice and powerful. It was kept immaculate by our maid who arranged our towels in the shape of swans, flowers and hearts every day which was a lovely touch.
Food: Breakfast - Was a bit of a hassle depending on the time you arrived! From about 8:15 onwards finding a table was a challenge and queues for omlettes, fried eggs etc were longish. We tried to get to breakfast by about 7:45 - 8:00 as it was a much calmer experience at that time!
Lunch - You have a choice of about 5 places to eat lunch, we found the buffet by the pool the nicest due to it's large selection of salads.
The seafood resaurant was also good for days spent on the beach. Queues did build up but we just came back when there wasn't any!
Dinner - Food was nice at the a la carte restaurants, especially Romantico, but be prepared for a long wait - don't go to dinner starving! We were quite happy relaxing at our table drinking wine and champagne while we waited for our food - relax you're on holiday!
Portions were fine for me but a little on the small side for my boyfriend, and you don't get anything other than what is stated on the menu ie if you order lobster that's all you get! - Hence us stocking up on salad at lunchtime. On the nights we ate at the buffet restaurant, the food just as nice with a wide selection to choose from.
Bars: The Lobby Bar was nice, very spacious with comfy seats. There was never any trouble getting a table if you wanted one. Service was sometimes slow and made no difference if you tipped the staff. We just tried not to go up to the bar when it was busy and made use of those offering table service.
We tended to go to the 24hr bar about 5pm for a late afternoon beer and some food. I'd recommend the vegetable rolls, and shrimp and bacon!
There was always a lot of people in there which made for a good atmosphere.
Excursions:We went on the Dolphin & Lobster tour which was an experience of a lifetime ($99) and went out on a catamaran for the day and snorkelled off the boat.($69) We had a great ime, and it was good to get out of the resort for a couple of days I'd definitely recommend going on both!
Our holiday in Cuba was without a doubt one of the best we've ever had, and would definitely go back to Playa Pesquero.
Good time was had by all, but...
My fiancee and I just returned from a week long holiday in Cuba (Feb 21st to Feb 28th, 2004). We had booked at the Gran Playa Turquesa. After a long day of driving in snow, long airport lines, a crammed flight and a 2 hour wait for luggage at the Holguin airport, when the tour representative told us our hotel was overbooked and the we were being sent to another comparable resort (The Playa Pesquero), we were too tired and numb to react and went with the flow. Being our first holiday, we weren't quite sure what to expect, so we were bound and determined to make the best of it. We arrived at the Playa Pesquero around 1:00 am. After waiting in line another half hour or so, we finally got our room. Since there was another line-up for the golf cart to take your luggage, we decided to have a drink in the lobby bar instead. About half an hour later the line-up was almost gone and we got on the next "train".While being sold as a 4 1/2 or a 5 star hotel, you will see the luxury. The many ponds, tropical floral arrangements, marble floors, etc. It is a clean complex. One small complaint was the lack of bathrooms. The hotel can accommodate up to 3000 guests. The bottom line for this resort is that it is HUGE. So expect line-ups almost everywhere you go. Tipping is a big thing down there. Contrary to popular belief, tipping does not get you better service, nor does it improve much either. Some people tipped the Hobie Cats drivers to get on, only to deprive the ones who had reserved it the good 'ol conventional way. If you are not lining up at 08:00 to reserve paddle boats, kayaks and catamarans, forget it, unless you drop a few dead presidents at the beach... Be prepared to walk a lot. For instance, forgetting your sunblock at the room, will result in about a 20 minute excursion! (Depending where your room is). Beach chairs... What a screwed up system that is. First I must say that this probably has nothing to do with the resort, other than they simply do not have enough chairs to accomodate the guests they receive. Bottom line is this, get up early (08:00 may be too late some days), walk to the beach, get your chairs, hang a t-shirt or leave an old pair of sandals on your chairs and you are set. I don't agree with this system, but you have to go along. People are now even reserving their "spots" on the beach and pool. We saw people secure chairs on the beach AND at the pool and not even going there all day, while some poor souls laid on their towels with sand in their bathing suits all day! The beach is nice. Lots of shaded areas for those who want to stay out of the beating sun. The water is crystal blue. Most days the water is calm and snorkelling near the beach can be fun. I suggest you bring your own gear for that though. The hotel has maybe 30 sets and they are gone quickly. The masks we managed to get leaked badly. We could never get fins either (only sizes 11-12 men were ever available).There are not very many bars for a complex that big. Only one at the beach. You may walk a good 10 minutes to get a drink, wait in line 10 or so minutes and 10 minutes back. So my advice is bring your own cups (Tim Hortons style thermo cups). The disco (called Karaoke Bar, although no karaoke ever takes place there) played urban music (AC-DC, Britney Spears, Christina, J-Lo, etc) and not a lot of typical Latino music we came to the Caribbean to indulge in.No complaints about the food. You will not eat the same food you have at home. You are in a 3rd world country, where people make about $13 a month, so typically expect slow, but honest service but remember that you are on holidays and that you should relax! You will find something you will like and some things you won't at most buffets. The a la carte restaurants were good and the portions were adequate. After playing the "musical chair" for over an hour to get your reservations (when you first arrive at the resort), all we managed to get were 8:30 and 9:00 reservations. Diners will take around 2 hours, you will eat late. After a few days you will learn the ropes and get better at understanding how the place works. Despite being full, the hotel complex does not feel overcrowded and there seems to be plenty of room for everyone.The rooms were clean, big and beautiful. WARNING: WATCH YOUR STEP WHEN STEPPING IN OR OUT OF THE TUB! Both my fiancee and I slipped and hurt ourselves. The culprit seems to be the slippery anti-slip rubber mat! We spoke to about at least another dozen people who also slipped. One had a fractured jaw and another threw his back out and was basically gimped up for a week.Overall, however, I must say we had a wonderful time. The weather was awesome with the exception of about 3 hours of rain one day. The excursions are a good time too. We did the catamaran tour (sunset trip). It was truly a lot of fun. The scooters are also a good investment ($18 for 3 hours). We took them out twice and saw the beautiful country side. They are new and safe to ride. We didn't waste much time watching the evening shows. One was good (the one with the beautiful costumes). Bring old clothes, ball caps, perfume samples, jewellery, etc as small gifts for the maids and other workers around the complex. Money's OK, but these gifts seem to really be appreciated. A quick trip to the dollar store will make many happy Cubans!The following has nothing to do with the hotel, just nice to know stuff. Getting out of Cuba was a nightmare. The airport at Holguin is not set up to accommodate a large number of tourists. We waited in line to have our passports stamped for about 3 hours. 2 Toronto flights and 1 Montreal flight were all leaving at around the same time. Our flight left over an hour late because of it. Beware the attendants at the book-in counters. Your luggage will likely be over the allotted weight (20 kg each bag). The amount of money you will have to pay will vary on the attendant. Be advised that that money should be paid in CANADIAN dollars, not US as you will be asked to pay. Don't get ripped off like hundreds did that night!Overall, we had a wonderful holiday. I hope the info I provided helps you out in choosing the right hotel for you. You can e-mail me for more info if you want.
Horrible Experience Adieu Cuba
This February, we went for a week vacation in Holguin, Cuba in order to get away from the bitter Canadian cold. Upon arrival, we and a dozen other tourists were informed that our resort, the Grand Playa Turquesa, was overbooked and that we had to go to the Playa Pesquero. The Cuban representative of our travel agent assured all of us that the problem would be investigated and that during the week we would be transferred back to the Turquesa if possible. I did not believe him and I was right: he never mentioned it again. The Pesquero is very nice but it has about 940 rooms, so there were a lot of people and frequent lineups. We could not get reservation to one of the restaurants even if we tried to book it on our first day. At the beach, there were lots of flies that bite like mosquitos. However, the worst part happened at the end, at the airport. After having checked in and paid the departure fee of US$25 per person, my wife and I were asked to go to a small room, hidden from the view of the general waiting area. The three suitcases we had checked in at the counter were at the door of the room. Thinking that it was a routine luggage check, we were not concerned at first. A male officer asked me to go in the room and my wife to wait for me outside, and then closed the door. The room is small and windowless with two tables, one of which was used to search the suitcase. It is an interrogation room. I was asked to sit down at the other table, behind which sat a female officer. She started asking me about my country of origin, my profession and my work, and noted my answers on a form. I realized quickly that it was an interrogation. She then asked what languages do I speak, where did I go in Cuba and whether I had seen Cuban friends. Despite my truthful answers, she repeated and reworded these questions many times as if she wanted me to say that I could speak Spanish, that I had not gone to the Pesquero but elsewhere, that I had met Cuban friends and that I was bringing something back to my friends in Canada. I kept replying by telling the truth: that I dont speak Spanish, I did stay at the Pesquero, have no Cuban friends and was bringing back souvenirs for my children and other members of my family. She also asked how many children do I have and where they were.
She noted my answers on the form. During that time, the man proceeded to search my luggage. He searched very methodically every item, opened all the gifts that we had carefully wrapped to avoid damage, and even checked whether my suitcase has double lining or bottom. He seemed to be looking for documents rather than objects. Of course, he did not find anything illegal. He paused to try to think of new ideas. He then called in the sniffing dog, which had already sniffed our suitcases when we were lining up to check in. The dog sniffed quickly my luggage and me and then went away, not interested. The man made her come back and repeat the job again, with the same result. The man then searched my jacket: nothing. He then body-searched me: again nothing. He went through my wallet thoroughly: nothing. He asked me to remove my shoes, checked them and tried to open the soles: nothing. They seemed to run out of ideas. Then, the woman viewed the video tape that I had taken of our vacation. From her questions to the man, I guessed that she was asking him whether the places that I had filmed were the Pesquero.
After more than 45 minutes, which seemed like an eternity, they let me go and the woman explained to me that the whole thing was done for security reason. The man then asked my wife to go into the room, told me to wait for her outside and closed the door. 15 minutes went by. 30 minutes went by. During that time, two couples who are friends of ours arrived at the waiting area. They were surprised to see me standing by myself and asked me about my wife. I told them about the situation.
After more than 45 minutes went by, I started to worry and was thinking about informing the other passengers of the situation. Then, my wife reappeared, extremely upset. After getting into the waiting area, she started shouting out loud in French about what had happened to us. I asked her to calm down and reminded her that we were still in Cuba. She told me she had gone through the same interrogation, the detailed search but not the body and shoe search, the dog search, and questions about almost every item in the luggage, including a ridiculous question like what is this? about a gift that we had bought in Cuba. One would have thought that he should know his countrys product much better than a tourist. The male officer also searched almost every page of a magazine in her suitcase. Her cell phone was tampered with and had to be reprogrammed. After more than 90 minutes of interrogation and search, which fell far below the acceptable human decency norms, the Cubans did not find anything since we had not done anything wrong. They dragged out the search as if they had to find something but there was nothing to be found. When I was waiting for my wife, there were also two other passengers who were subject to a thorough search of their luggage but the search was done in the public area, probably since the room was being used for us. They were spared the interrogation and the wallet, dog and body searches. Soon after, boarding started, only at the rear entrance of the plane. While waiting to board, we noticed two men, one on each side of the boarding stairs, one videotaping the passengers and the other taking pictures of them. When I looked the other way to try avoid the picture taker, I turned towards the video recorder, so no escape. On the plane, the pilot announced that we would leave 30 minutes early since there was another plane leaving at our planes originally scheduled departure time of 3:05 AM. At 2:30 AM, our plane was preparing to leave and then everything was halted and we sat waiting inside the plane. After a while, the pilot got off the plane and went to the terminal. When he returned, he informed the passengers that for unknown reasons, clearance from Havana control tower had yet to be given. Finally, clearance was given after 3 AM. I breathed a sigh of relief when the plane took off shortly after 3:15 AM. That was Jetsgo flight 837 to Montreal on February 29, 2004. Back to Montreal, we learned that two couples we know who left in a preceding flight were also searched for one hour. They were luckier than us since their search was done in the public area and was sped up at the pressure of the flight crew since that flight was three hour late. That day, we were very upset since we had not done anything that warranted the treatment that we received. Now, we are very concerned with what Cuba may do with our personal information and they may even have pictures of us. We went to Cuba as tourists and were treated as criminals or spies.
Playa Pesquero and Guardalavaca
Playa Pesquero (beach of fish) is a fantastic place. A natural beach, with coral and fish just a short paddle from the shore. Close to many of the "tourist" sites, it is an ideal place to have as a base for a holiday. What more could you want than the picturesque scenery on the beach that the hotels of the area occupy?
A farm in Holguin, Cuba
Pesquero beach lunch
November Weather in Playa Pesquero
My wife and I are going to the Playa Pesquero on the 4th November for two weeks. We have had conflicting reports from websites on the weather for this region. Can anyone confirm how much rain we are likely to get and the approximate temperatures? Also, would appreciate anyones views on the Playa Pesquero hotel.