|Hotel Tropicoco||Vern, known as fishfanatic_1-2-3 on Debbie’s forums|
My primary reason for booking this hotel was its proximity to Havana. It is 25 minutes away by bus, It is also located on the beach of Playa del Este. I though it would be nice to visit Havana all day and spend a bit of time on the beach. On hindsight I should have just stayed in Havana itself.
The Hotel Tropicoco is a two star resort. I knew that when I booked it, and had planned to spend very little time there. You get what you pay for. Anyone expecting beach towels, porters to carry luggage, remote controls for your TV, room fridges and all the other extras that a hotel offers, forget it. But as I said I was prepared for less glitz.
The hotel offers a free bus ride into Havana twice a day, at 9:30 am and at 2:30 pm. Return trips back to the hotel are at 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm. I availed myself of this service everyday except for the two days when hurricane Ike forced the hotel to cancel these trips. Being stuck in that hotel for two days straight was not pretty. Experiencing a hurricane was interesting, but got a bit long after a while. The bus service is a big plus for this hotel. It cost 15 dollars by taxi to return if you didn’t fell like following the bus schedule.
The food is okay at lunch and supper. Occasionally pretty good. Breakfast bordered on awful. Service in the buffet is ok to non existant. Many time I would sit down eat my meal and leave without anyone asking if I wanted something to drink. Don’t expect fancy drinks at the bar, but they do have basic rum drinks and beer. Most staff are quite pleasant.
The beach could be nice but it is filthy: garbage, broken glass, cans, old food, you name it. The beach is quite lively on the weekends as the locals from nearby towns and Havana come down to enjoy the sea. The beach is quite a few kilometers long and makes for an interesting walk. Near Guanabo, quite a few people fish with nets from the shore. There are some funky places on the beach to have a beer.
None of this bothered me though because I knew what to expect. On the other hand: the bad side. I couldn’t walk outside the hotel at night without being manhandled by prostitutes, very persistent and had a hard time taking no for an answer. Even just sitting on the steps became impossible with them moving in for the kill.
There were prostitutes on the inside of the hotel waiting in the lobby for prospective clients. I was approached by their pimp who told me I could have a women whenever I wanted brought up to my room. There were many much older men 65 to 80 yrs)(and some older women) staying at the hotel with their 16 to 18 yr old girls as their guests. Other groups of old men use the Tropicoco as their base and also rent Casas in nearby Guanabo where they bring women that they pick up at the town’s disco every night. A Tropicoco hotel staff member organized bus ride for all the old men to the disco one night as their were no taxis due to the storm. These same men sit around the lobby bars in the morning sipping coffee and showing each other porno images on their digital cameras that they had taken the night before of their human purchases.. This border line pedophilia.
Should I go on? Entertainers offered themselves to me if I would pay for a room at the hotel for them.
I’m not a prude by no means. But why are reputable tour companies such as Sunwing, and Tours Mont Royal offering this place to normal people on their web sites and brochures. If they want to offer this place up as a tourism sex destination, let them. At least be honest about it. But I saw too many unsuspecting normal tourists arriving and going into a state of shock at the circus around them. Calling this place a budget hotel is one thing, but it leaves one wanting a hot shower.
By the way, if you do go watch the money exchange at the reception desk. The amount that you should receive differs with whoever is working there. 5 to 10 percent difference within hours. No receipts are given they say!!!"
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