I have been going to Cuba for well over 10 years and visited many places and stayed at various resorts. Santiago was one of the few places that I’ve never visited, so it was a first, but definitely the last. They say it’s a 4 star!! NOT TRUE at all!! I would graciously give it a 2 star. I have always known Cuba to be a very safe and trusting place, but this time around we experienced quite a few things that were stolen from not only the safe, but also the drawers. Some of the staff are like beggars Always asking you to give them something that they may like as a gift. Their famous expression is "Is this or that a gift from you Amigos?" Please know…. That there are some wonderful people there but it seems like the more you tip, the better the service will be. Looking for a cell phone signal? Forget it!! With all the rocks around…. It is almost impossible to get a signal to call out. The Sunwing rep. Do not trust him. He will try to promise you all sorts of things for a fair price, later to find out…… Nothing happens!! But it is too late as you are now ready to leave. If you decide to go into the town of Santiago, which is a beautiful town….. Be very careful. If you meet up with a young Cuban guy by the name of Raoul….. He truly is a professional crook and one of the towns pimps. His English is excellent and the first impressions are great. But at the end of the night, you will be robbed. The town does have 2 great clubs and quite a few restaurants which are very affordable. Watch out for those young and only too attractive Cuban girls. (Prostitution is quite the happening thing in that town) Once again, you have some great people working there and when or if you decide to tip them, they are truly grateful. But most of them try and sweet talk you into all sorts of things. So!! I guess I will NOT be going back there and will definitely NOT recommend that resort. Cuba is famous for their fabulous beaches. Bucanero in Santiago does NOT have a beach and what they call a beach is a slight ways away from the resort. If you do end up there. go to the public beaches. They are definitely a whole lot better. I consider Cuba to be my second home. I have been to many, many different places and always stayed at 4+ star resorts. I remember once, I stayed at a 3 star in Varadero and it was DEFINITELY a whole lot better and safer than Club Bucanero.
So dear people, if you have already booked your vacation there….. I wish thee a whole lot of luck and make sure you put all your valuable in a bag with a lock. I repeat!! We had quite a few things stolen from our room. So, if you have booked and going there, be careful and make sure you have a few boxes of granola bars. That may keep you going. lol Marcos
As usual, there is a wait but I have no complaints about the reception. Rum punch was offered to all and the reception with the dancers were a beautiful treat.
Rooms: They are okay!! Definitely not what you would expect for a 4 star hotel. Watch out!! Things will get stolen. The safe is our room ended up in breaking, and if you need anything fixed…. Forget it!! I suggest you put all your valuables in a bag with a strong lock and make sure you have the key with you at ALL times.
Restaurants and Bars: Strangely enough…. The main bar, which to me is the only bar, is allowed only 1 bottle of scotch and 1 bottle of tequila for the entire day. Go figure!! And if you tip well, you will be served well. I have no complaints about the breakfast. If you arrive after 8 am there is almost nothing left and they will not replace it. We all know that Cuba is known for their poor quality for foods but this place was pathetic. There was never any orange juice, the machine was broken, not enough staff in the buffet area, so unless you tip big…. You will just have to wait. They definitely DO NOT respect the times when the buffet is open. It’s basically, first come, first serve. There was ALWAYS a limited amount of food and most of the time, what you got for lunch, will be there for supper. There was almost no variety of choices and whatever was served was pathetic. Oh!! I hope you don’t mind fies with your meal. They were no extra charge. Seriously!!!
A La Carte Restaurants. You have to pay a pretty price if you want the good stuff. Never have I ever experienced that anywhere else in Cuba.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: WHAT BEACH??? Cuba is well known for their beautiful beaches. Not sure what happened to Club Bucanero but what they call a beach, I call crap. Firstly, it’s full of Coral. Great if you like snorkeling but try and get into the ocean without getting hurt…. It’s almost impossible. It’s not only full of Coral, but it’s also full of rocks and broken shells. The area they call a beach is a garbage dump. It’s sides are full of garbage. Literally!! There are NOT enough beach chairs, and most of them are cracked, if not broken. There is a beach bar, one never knows when it’s going to be open and if it is, you better tip well if you want service. They also have a beach grill which never has enough food and the main guy that runs it is an arrogant SOB. Once again, no tip!! NO SERVICE!! If you want to lay by the ocean….. FORGET IT!! There are just too many rocks. If you want to walk around the beach….. FORGET IT!! You have to watch every step, as there are huge rocks, which come out of the ground and is not easily visible, so you can get hurt. Don’t be looking to get served while you are at the beach, as there is none of that over there.
Those are the good points!!