Horizontes Sea Club Arenal – Santa Maria Del Mar – Cuba Hotels – Debbie's Caribbean Travel & Resort Reviews

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Horizontes Sea Club Arenal – Santa Maria Del Mar  ~  Reviews Posted – 5
Horizontes Sea Club Arenal Jeff — Toronto, Ontario

January 2004

We were at Sea Club Arenal for two weeks in March 2002 and had a wonderful time. We thought the food was quite varied (four entres per dinner were available) and the power never failed. It sounds like the hotel has been taken over by another company and has gone downhill…We found the staff friendly and the service to downtown very dependable.

We only went to one of their entertainment nights – and it was a lark – clearly the staff were having a fun time – but it would be best described as amateurish.

Our tour guide was always available and set up a number of tours for us – including taking us to a baseball game himself.

The guided tour of Havana was excellent – giving us a good idea of what is where – so we could enjoy exploring more ourselves on subsequent visits.

The pool was quite large and clean – the only thing missing were palapas on the beach (hence, no shade)…but there were palm trees around the pool.

The rooms were very large – with a separate sitting area – and the a/c worked well when we were there.

We certainly would have returned – but now may need to give it second thoughts.

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Horizontes Sea Club Arenal VT — ST. Catharines

December 2003

We just returned from Horizontes Sea Club Arenal. The flight on Cubana Air was much more comfortable than charter flights. The hotel areas was nice and clean and we were pleasantly surprised by the room. It was huge and included a safe and a fridge. The service was friendly and good.

If you want to see Havana, this location is close enough for this purpose. That was our reason for selecting this resort. Sea Club Arenal looks much better than other resorts in the same area, Atlantico, or Tropicoco, which are also owned by Horizontes. If you are not interested in Havana, maybe you’ll do better somewhere else.

The hotel is not on the beach, as advertised, it is at least 200 meter walk to the beach. A can live with that. The water is very shallow and you have to wade very far from the shore if you want to swim.

The food is, well, it is edible. Nothing that inspires second helping. If you like American beer, you will like the Cristal beer in this resort. I am a Canadian and my taste buds are used to "real" beer 🙂

More serious I consider the fact, that after 2 days they ran out of pina colada. Mojito was also rare, as they were out of mint. >From the third day on, for the rest of our stay, there was no ice most of the time. I wish somebody could explain this to me. If you don’t like American beer and if you don’t drink wine, what is left in this all inclusive resort? Cuba Libre without ice?

Entertainment is high school humour and sometime worse, supplied by local staff. I am mentioning this only because somebody might be interested, I myself don’t consider this as unusual.

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Horizontes Sea Club Arenal Sandra Santos

May 2003

Hi I am writing to you today to advise any travellers staying at the Sea Club Arenal to cancel or change their accomodations. The resort is depicted as a four star resort and it does not even come close.

We stayed there from April 25th to April 28th and were relocated by our travel carrier Majestic Tours to Varadero.

The place is a joke, no hot water, insufficent food, no toilet paper, no entertainment, bad service.

The list goes on and on but what I find amazing is that they call themselves a four star resort when in fact if you are looking for a discount resort this is the place but be prepared because it is more of a 2-star or less.

As a matter of fact any resort associated with the name Horizontes, stay clear.

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Horizontes Sea Club Arenal Angela Ring
January 2003

After reading the last review of the hotel, I figured I would give another perspective. I was there in May 2002 with a friend, and we loved it so much we are going back this January. I think going to Cuba with expectations that it is like other carribean islands is the biggest mistake any traveller can make…it is a Communist country after all. We arrived and had no trouble finding our bus to the hotel…a representative from our tour company was waiting for us with a sign for the tour company so that he could easily be identified. There was an orientation the next morning, and he told us when he would be at the hotel for any other information we wanted. Perhaps the last poster just got unlucky with his tour company. We were there in low season, so the Hotel was quiet…but that was great since a beach vacation is usually meant for R&R. We knew the hotel was only classified as a 3 star, and the food and service was fine…not faboulos, but once again, when you consider what Cubans have to eat, we were eating like kings. There was also nightly entertainiment in the dinning hall by way a a Cuban band playing traditional music. We did loose hot water for a few days, but considering the heat, we didn’t mind…never ice cold, just luke warm. The staff was always friendly and outgoing, and went out of there way to get to know each guest and make us as happy as possible. There was nightly entertainment, although it wasn’t the rehearsed predictable sterile stuff you see in many hotels…just the staff getting on stage with improve skits and making fools of themselves with little to no props…we never laughed so hard in our life. As for the shuttle to Havana, we often opted for a taxi as the schedule wasn’t convenient for us, but we never paid more than $12 USD….I’m afraid the last poster probably didn’t ask at the front desk, or inform himself how much the average cost was. The beach was beautiful, and there were always staff members around making sure guests had what they wanted, and organizing activities. There was even free catamaran rides. No bar at the beach, but the staff was there with a cooller so refreshments were available. Considering the cost of other hotels, we did not find we had paid too much…if anything, we got more than our money’s worth for a 2 week stay. The rooms and hotel were always spotless, we always had what we asked for.


Horizontes Sea Club Arenal Evelyn and Rafael Toronto
December 2002

HI debbie,
I just recently came back from a 4 day vacation in cuba (dec 18-dec 22). I went to a small resort near Havanna called Horizontes Sea club arenal. I visit your website quite frequently but since we decided to go last minute i chose a resort that i did not know much about. My fiancee and i love travelling and are very easy going but for safety and comfort we always request a hotel that is four star or better. This trip was a disaster from beginning to end.

Upon arrival at the airport we were searching for our shuttle bus that was to bring us to our hotel. We found a man holding a sign with my name who explained that we will be escorted there in a taxi that he will pay for. So we weren’t able to see any other hotel guests. We don’t know if there was a shuttle bus and it left or if we were the only couple going to that hotel. It was after 12:oo when we arrived at the hotel and when we arrived we noticed how desolate and quiet everything was. The hotel clerk explained that its late and all the bars are closed except for the one in the disco.

We were very hungry and asked if there was a snack bar for us to feast at. However everything was shut down but was able to offer us bologne and cheese sandwiches to take up to our room. We also asked if there was a morning orientation that our tour representative was offering but at that time they knew nothing about it. A hotel staff member brought us to our room and gave us a small tour of our room which was reasonable clean. We asked were the mini bar was however he explained that none of the rooms have a mini bar only a mini fridge with a bottle of water. If we wanted anything else other than water we had to go to the disco which was closing in the next twenty minutes and was completely empty. Having nothing to do and nowhere to go we turned into bed.

We aked for an early wake up call of 830 am and went to the front desk to look for our tour representative. Please keep in mind that my fiancee is latin and speaks fluent spanish so there is no language barrier. The lady at the front desk said she hadn’t seen her and does not know when she will be coming. We went for breakfast instead and were disgusted by the food. It was inedible. Absolutely no variety not even in fruit. The only fruit they served was rotten banana’s, grapefruit and watermelon. 3 types of fruit for the whole display. This is a caribean island for heavans sake. Endless trays of bologne and cheese platters to fill the holes in the displays. The table clothes in the displays were all dirty and when we sat down to eat and had already started we were asked to move because the tables were assinged to us and we were lucky enough to have a table right beside the bologne displays.

The weather was kind of rainy so they shut down most facilities by the pool. They had no frozen drinks or cocktails. I went for an espresso but when i tried to take it off the bar premise a woman yelled and flagged me down apparently i had to drink it right there.

We gave up trying to entertain ourselves at the resort and tried to book a shuttle into havanna but it was full for that day. WE booked it for the next day instead and took a taxi into town. We came back to the hotel at around 10:00pm and gave the disco another shot. It was completely empty. There was about 5 other unsatisfied guests grumbling about the service. Everybodies mood was dampered. There was no shows or nightly entertainment. We went back to our rooms and agian there was no airconditioning. They sent someone to fix it. I wanted to make a phonecall but all calls had to be made from the reception desk unless i gave a $100 dollar u.s deposit. We gave up agian and turned in early. The air conditioned went off agian in the middle of that night.

We had an early breakfast same as the day before. We tried to watch some tv but there was problems with the cable. We called the front desk to ask why and they said they will send someone to repair it. We wanted to take showers however they did not restock our towels and the water was ice cold. They explained they had electrical trouble that day which meant NO HOT WATER, NO AIR

CONDITIONING, NO CABLE, NO DRYING HAIR, NO HOT SHOWERS. They were hoping it would be restored by 2.00pm which didn’t help us. Because of this delay we were five minutes late for the shuttle bus that was booked the day before so the bus left without us. The next one for that day was full. We desperatly searched once agian for a tour representative but no knew anything of her. We once agian had to pay for a taxi into town which cost us thirty dollars US.

On our last day there seemed to be more people probabley newcomers. For the first time were heard christmas music and salsa at the resort right by the pool. Our whole stay at the resort was isolated and quiet and it felt sooo good to hear music. We went to the lobby early so that we would not miss the shuttle taking us back to the airport. But once agian there was no representative and no cubatour bus anywhere in sight. AFter an hour of waiting the hotel clerk advised us to just take a taxi and ask for a reimbursement from the travel agency.

We do quiet a bit of travelling and are not demanding customers. But this was the worst travelling experience that we’ve had. We could not wait to get back home. It really was that bad. We once agian went through the brochures upon arrival back in toronto and this was false advertising. The web site advertises a mini bar inside the room (horizontes.cu). It was definatley not a fours star resort. We paid a fortune for those four days and this is just not fair. We paid for an all inclusive package and none of it was available to us. Overall the hotel was poorly maintained including the displays the lawns and the maintenance of the rooms.


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Last updated: January 12, 2004

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