great time at villa tortuga
I took my family to villa tortuga in mid January, I have 3 kids.7-12-and 17, we had a great time, the hotel is nice and relaxing, the staff are
very friendly and aim to please, the night shows are fun that the hotel
offers each night, the local rum and beer are better than any Ive had
in mexico or south america. the food in cuba in general is not great but
you won't starve, thos goes for most hotels not just the villa tortuga. In
cuba I would stay away from any mayonaise salads at room temp. beef
or chicken that isint well done, the villa tortuga does a great job on pork, rice, pasta and roast suckling pig if you get sick of hotel food just
go for a walk up the street and eat a a cafe they are really cheap and
thr food is good. For a treat on night there is a little restaurant to the right of the villa tortuga facing the ocean it has 3 little tables and a patio,stop by and make reservations to have lobster there for the next night they do a wonderful job on it I can taste it now! ony $15. the trip
to Havana is well worth it, you will appreciate cuba more if you try to get to know the people and there culture. you will have a cheap, fun and relaxing vacation, unless you are a nurotic picky stressed out person, then pay 4 times the price spare the rest of the guest's trying
to relax your presence and go somewhere else.
Villa Tortuga a pleasant surprise
My boyfriend and I have just recently arrived back home from our one-week vacation in Veredero, Cuba. We stayed at Villa Tortuga, a 3-star resort. Villa Tortuga is set up like a little community; instead of having one great big building housing all of it's guests, the resort was structure by a bunch of little 3 story buildings. This made for a better environment and a more community-type atmosphere. The beach is gorgeous, however littered with cigarette butts (like all the beaches in veredero). The sand is white, and the water is crystal clear. The rooms are well-maintained and cleaned--> however, do not ptu used toilet paper in the toilet...use the garbage....Our toilet got blocked 3 times during our trip becuase the plumbing in cuba is not like ours. The reason I give the resort a 4 and not a 5, is the food. The bread is really very good. All I ate was pasta and salad. I went to the italian restuarant and had some pizza a few times. I wasn't excpecting much from the food--> it filled my stomach, it didn't make me sick, so i was satisfied. However, I advise you to bring some snacks to munch on between meals becuase their snacks are not good at all...they are hot dogs, hamburgers, and ham & chesse sandwhiches (all of which are microwaved and not up to our north american standard what so ever) The staff are all very friendly, but to me, I found that the men were friendlier than the women. The nightly entertainment is a good time, and Rolando, part of the animation team, is a great guy. He's interesting and can tell you more about the politics of Cuba..he is the guy who runs the spanish lessons and the dancing lessons. Our housekeeper was very nice..she spoke no english but we were still able to communicate with her...we left her little presents each day ( i bought them at the dolar store before going to cuba). I highly recommend Villa Tortuga; expecially for those who are on tight budgets (students like me).
Villa Tortuga Not So Bad
I wouldn't rave about this hotel, but I wouldn't tell anyone not to go either. It is a very much make your own vacation fun kind of a place. You might be best off to go there if you are either french or spanish. It really seemed like we were definately the minority as english speakers at this hotel. We met some great people from Ottawa thankfully. The animation staff is not great at this hotel, but if you are looking to spend a lot of time on the beach tanning and playing in the water, then this is a great location. Food is very bland, but no one got sick as far as I could tell.
Overall had a great holiday. Only problem....one week just doesn't seem long enough.
Villa Tortuga was perfect for what we expected, will go back!
I just got back on February 1st after one week. I had such a good time; I would go back in a minute and would still stay at the same hotel. The food what exactly what you would expect from Cuba which is a bit bland but good. The animation team was good and if you got to know them as I did; you had a blast!!! The rooms were clean and nice. The staff was helpful! Ok, we had to call 3 nights in a row because the breaker would break if we used our hairdryer at the highest but hey... That was part of the fun. The water in the shower was also cold for most of our week but we still had so much fun. I am saving to go back as soon as I can to the exact same hotel...
My boyfriend and I spent our last two nights of a two week vacation at Villa Tortuga and were initially pleased. Then the first night he got food poisoning and was back and forth all night in extreme pain with vomiting and diarrea. The following day the nurse was four hours late and was rude. Then a doctor poked his stomach and proceeded to charge him 15 dollars for the ridiculous assessment and 40 dollars for a prescription. They refused to aknowledge our travel insurance. Then that night I got what ever he had and spent the entire night of torture back and forth from the bathroom. The next morning our bus didnt pick us up for the airport, and we asked for help for getting a taxi and no one cared or tried. We barely made our flight, and we were soooo happy to be back on our way home to Canada.
Best Relaxation Ever
My husband and I just returned from a very short 1 week stay at this resort. We have travelled many places but we have found Cuba a very enjoyable place to visit. This trip was a last minute decision and we got it very cheap. We found this resort very nice, for the price that we had paid. It was very clean and relaxing. The maids, bartenders, hostess and front desk personal very friendly. We were assign a room in block 4 (Rm 4203) which was on the second floor right across from the main lobby. Our view was one huge Rubber tree which spread across our balcony. It stopped any views and sun, but was sure private..lol (nice reading place). The room itself was small. Our first instinct was to upgrade, but once you got use to the decor, it was doable. The beds do need to be upgraded and bigger pillows would be a bonus, but we made do by using the extra blankets that they had in the closets as pillows. By the way, to upgrade to a larger room with a ocean view was additioanl $20.00 per night.
We never had any problems with hot water for the shower. We also never had any unwanted guests in our room, ie: cockroaches, ants, lizards, spiders..etc. Which is this first time ever, compare to all the other islands that we have been to in the caribbean. This hotel is the first that I have walked barefoot in..lol (i hate bugs..)
I have read other reviews before we went to this resort, so I was kinda leary at first, but I really think that this resort has been reading some of these reviews, and has improve it's standards. We have never been without toilet paper (either our room or the public bathrooms around the resort!!) The maid that we had we fabulous!! They made swans, heart and birds out of our towels every day, plus left flowers on our beds.
About the food..... hmmm.. I think it total depends on you. There is alot of variety. You will not starve. Each meal has choices... pork, chicken, beef, fish, rabbit, sheep (not all at the same time, usually a choice of 2, sometimes 3 at dinner). They always had spagetti, rice and potatoes when we were there and their salad consisted of lettuce, cucumber and shredded carrots. Only choice for dressing was oil. Unless for lunch when they had shredded cabbage, then you can find mayo. But I highly recommend the Ice Cream... it's to die for... it's soooooo good. But I personally thought the meat was seasoned with just enough spices to accomodate everyones taste bud. I mean it wasn't blah, but you could taste the little spices that they put in it.
The beach... we didn't spend too much time there ourselves. I personally found the beach not as well maintained as it could of been. Very hard to walk around without shoes. But then, I don't like hard or sharp things under my feet. But visually, it was gorgeous. Either way you look down the beach it was beautiful. We walked down both ways and it was very nice. We never were bother by peddlers or locals. The beach wasn't as nice as some of the places that we have been, but it wasn't the worst either. First time travellers would have a different opion, but I would give the beach a 3+. The resort is always playing cuban music on the loud speakers, so you better like it...lol, Note: The bar doesn't have a mixer, so your pina colada is rum with pineapple juice (no real fruit blended) I personally didn't think that they watered down the drinks.... when you go for a couple hours without food, you start to feel the effects...lol
Varadero.... hmm.. within walking distance. There is a flea market about 5 blocks away. Very nice stuff, but not the cheapest. We found the market downtown had better selection and you can barder better. To walk it, about 45 mins. But you can catch the double decker bus for $5.00 converitable peso. Get a transfer so you can board the bus again without paying, as long as it the same day. We took the bus all the way down to the end and back again. We were sitting on the top and both got sunburn. With the wind you don't realize the sun burning you...lol. The whole trip is about 2 hours, but you get to see all the resort that you were thinking about staying at.... We took one day to do this, and spent another 2 days walking. The walk to downtown Varadero is educational. You get to see the yards with all the chickens, school grounds and pass many restaurants for a pit stop for beer...lol. Our first walking trip was on a Tuesday, we stop for a beer and a coke, this cost $1.80. Our 2nd trip to town was Saturday, and we stop at the same spot an ordered the same, beer and a coke, but this time it cost us $2.95.. so I'm thinking if you want to go shopping, the best time is during the week. Also there is a little store at the end of the street to this resort. We check out the prices of cigars and rum when we first arrived. Cigars were cheap on Tuesday, but come Sat. the price jumped...The same with the rum.. a 40oz was $5.30 on Tuesday, but when we returned on Saturday the price was $13.40. So we walked downtown. We were able to buy the same bottle for $5.30 at a dept. store along the main drive.
The only tour we took was the Havana and Tropican tour. Cost was apprx. $155. per person (Cuban Convertible Peso).This was a long day, since the bus picked up at 8:50 (was to be 7:45...cuban time..lol) Anyways, the tour guide was excellent. He didn't stop talking until after we tour both the old and new havana. So he made the 2 hour journey to Havana enjoyable. I must say that this is a must tour....
We got the history of all the villages that we travelled though, plus a in depth tour of Havana. Havana is a blast from the past... this city has soooo much history and it is very interesting. This country has alot of the old 1950's type of cars that are in excellent shape and run. Crossing a street in Havana is like playing "Frogger". I stood and watched for approx. 1 hour after supper before we boarded the bus to the Tropicaian Show. I couldn't believe how the people just cross the road against the light. A whole family (2 parents and 3 little kids) crossed against the light and just stood between the lanes which traffic was going both ways. When one lane was clear, they moved up, but then waited for the traffic. Cars was passing them in the front and the back, and they just stood in a single line and moved across another lane when the coast was clear. I'm not very good at frogger, so I personally would not try this....LOL. Anyways, this tour consisted of an all day tour of the old Havana and the new Havana, the rum factory (where you get a tour on how to make rum... yum) then you get put in a hotel where you can shower and change for the Tropicana Show. The hotel where we stayed at was the old Hilton Hotel, before Castrol took over. Note: Drinks at this bar was $3.40 per drink!!!) But then we ate at a buffet at one of the restaurant in the hotel. The food here was excellent. Much better then we have been eating at our resort. The tropican show was excellent. They give every table of 4 a bottle of rum and 1 can of coke per person. When you first arrive all the girls are given a carnation flower while the guys are giving a cigar. The show is a must to see, very entertainable. We didn't get back to our resort until 2:00 am. Villa Tortuga is the last to be pick up, but the first to be let off.
To sum up, we booked this holiday for relaxation, and that's what we got. Good weather, peace and quiet and fun. This resort also had cats and dogs roaming aroung. Very Friendly..... (I really wanted to take them all home)
I would definately come back to this resort, in fact we are getting our friends and family to come back with us in November of this year, and we will be booking 2 weeks.
FYI: I am 35 and my husband is 44... this was our opion on this resort.
We travelled from Edmonton to Cuba via Calgary, on our airline (Air Transat) the best seats were row 13, seats A & B or J & K, these seats were with the exit doors, so they had plenty of leg room. (Thank god that I didn't pre-book my seat on row 26 as the other review has given from NewFoundland)
Note: You can order a plain ham and cheese sandwich, hot dog or a nuke hamburger at the snack bar which is located at the main bar area by the pool during and after lunch at the main restaurant.
I highly recommend that you take your own thermo travel cup. The drinks last longer (ie bigger) and stays colder longer. I bought mine at WalMart for $5.00.
PS: To convert your money was cheaper at the airport or at a bank. Not the Hotel.... For $1.00 Cuban Convertable Peso was $1.25 Canadian.
P.S.S.: Hotel Safety Deposit Box was $10.00 deposit and $2.00 per day. Beach towel was $10.00 deposit and $2.00. (if you wanted it washed and cleaned, it will cost you another $2.00 to get another towel.)
P.S.S.S.: You will need $25.00/person Convertible Peso to leave the county, due at time of departure. Note: pay this BEFORE you go through customs at the boarding gate. No place to pay once you pass, and you can not board the plane unless you pay this
P.S.S.S.S: You cannot buy Beer at the Airport. Buy the Beer before you go to the airport, if you wanted to take some home. But you can buy Rum and Coffee for the same price as any shop in Vardero (cheap). (Cheaper than a weedend price) Cigars are definately cheaper in town then the airport, but you can buy at the airport.
P.S.S.S..S.: You have to pay for toilet paper at the airport...lol. I suggest that you buy a couple pack of kleenxe at Walmart for this. Cost you $1.00 for 4 squares....lol (heaven's forbid if you need more then 4 squares, cause you can not find the women in the bathroom to buy more... she's outside trying to get people to go to the bathroom....LOL)
P.S.S.S.S.S.S.: When you leave this resort, you are the last one's pick up, so seating on the bus is the back, but your luggage is one of the last on, but first one's off. I totally recommend that one person gets the luggage while the other person (me) runs to the check in counter and stands in line. Also the hotel does give you a packed lunch (sandwich and a fruit drink) when you check out. But you DO HAVE TO ASK FOR IT. Alot of people didn't get one, cause then didn't ask for it..... Catching the Edmonton Flight, we had to check out by 5:45 a.m. and the restaurant doesn't open until 7:30am, so you will be hungry when you are sitting in the airport. There is no place to convert money once you pass the boarding gates.
Note: This is just my beef about French Canadians.... My husband and I have travelled to many desinations within the Carribean to base our opion on, (Barbados, Jamica, St. Lucia, Gernida, Mexico, Aruba, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Bonaire, Florida, etc..... we have travelled someplace every year for the past 15 years)
But I must say that during our stay at the Dominican Republic and Cuba we have found the French Canadians (Quebec) to be as rude as the Americans in ONLY these two countries. In the Dominican we found that all Quebec residents stated that thier home country was Quebec (not Canada). Which I took a offence to (your home country is Canada). And they were very unsociable outside their group. In Cuba we found that the French Canadians were very unsociable. They tend to stick together, and they seem to travel in packs...lol Both incidents were within a year. I speak French, since I was born and rainsed in Eastern Ontario, but my husband didn't. So I would speak english while I was with him. But I found that the French Canadaian would not speak english even though they could of. And I personally found that totally offensive, not only to my husband but to also the people that we had met and introduce them to. My husband and I are very friendly people and socialize very well, but we find it funny that we could not connect with the French Canadians, it doesn't matter where we go...lol
So this is my beef. If any French Canadians read this message, I don't want to offend anyone, but I am being frank about the attitudes from people who I have met during our travels. So to the French Canadians........ Be Sociable....Speak English to your fellow Canadians!!!
Excellent, Spectacular, Clean, Friendly Service etc
we just came back february 2nd,2005 from tortuga, and we are so happy, this was our 3rd time at varadero, but first time at this resort.
our 2.5 years old son just loved it-had a blast, food was excellent, there was tables of food always available, and one can always fnd something yummee. if you can not then you got a problem.
feel free to ask for more details, but we are gonna go there again for sure!
TORTUGA two thumbs up!!
Worth the money
Just got back and was good value for the money, very friendly staff, clean, close to the beach in fact it would be hard to find a better location and we walked for more than five miles, would recomend World of Vacations and their representative in Cuba. Not five star but have stayed at worse hotels in Canada. Tips, got to the buffet at least ten minutes before they open, better to be ten minutes early than five minutes late, don't expect the food to be what you are use to.
have a great trip, we did, the Cuban's are great.
villa tortuga -varadero
am going there for xmas with 13 old, for 2 weeks,what to do there,how is hotel and is possibility that hotel offers free bike etc...
Re: villa tortuga -varadero
To do in Varadero:
Re: villa tortuga -varadero
Lots of reviews of this hotel on www.tripadvisor.com, also caribline.com. You can make a day trip to Habana, it's very close to the town of Varadero. Bring a small set of wrenches if you want to bike, and a small portable pump for the tires, as the bikes are often in terrible condition, and the people at the hotel don't even have wrenches to adjust the seat. Lots of free kayaks, pedal boats, etc and beach to die for. Bring sweater, can be cold at night, but you should have lots of sun. All hotels have some sort of activity "team" for sports during day and entertainment at night. Do go to the Tropicana in Habana for one night, it's out of this world.