I was there from February 19 – 26 2010 I don’t want to be negative about Playa Giron but Remember this is a 2 star and it’s not worth more , but that being said , It is really Ok if you know what to expect. Don’t pay more than $650 / week or $1150 for 2 weeks. I recommend 1 week. I’m guessing 75% of most people would not like this hotel but for the other 25% it can me a nice opportunity. For a week of sun , this all inclusive hotel at $590 is worth the money as long as you expect "basic" in everything. I went there to scuba dive and do snorkeling ; for that it is good and I would go back eventually. To scuba dive you are transported in a blue scuba bus to different beaches (the closest is 10 mins , the farthest beach about 50 mins) You swim out about 100 feet in the ocean to a beautiful coral wall which goes many km long and down very deep. Its enough to keep you occupied a long time. I’d recommend this place mainly for scuba divers and snorkelers or to couples or older folks who wish to relax on the beach in a basic all inclusive but don’t expect much service or any luxury at all. Its as basic as you can get. Warning to the younger crowd : This is not a party place ; I promise, you will be bored here. It takes 1h40 from Cienfuegos airport to Playa Giron its about 100km on not so great roads at times. Some buses have bathrooms ; ours did not and people stopped on the side of the road to go … I’ve been told the hotel is at least 30 yrs old and used to be military barracks later converted into a tourist hotel. I spoke with people who had been there a few times before and this hotel has been going downhill ever year … -Caleta Buena is about 12km left . No longer free , It costs 3CUC to go and come back by bus (9am/16h30). 6 CUC one way by taxis. Negotiate fare before leaving and have the exact change because they try to rip you off. The Resto buffet there is free if you go get a voucher at the hotel lobby. It is pretty here. It’s a jagged volcanic rock shore with a small natural pool and a small bay in the ocean where you can swim and snorkel. There are colourful fishes here but because there is fresh water and salt water mixing , it creates a haze in the water which makes it difficult to see. The white sand beach beside our hotel is better in my opinion to see fish.
I wrote this lengthy review to do my share and inform people. I hope I have painted an accurate portrait of Hotel Playa Giron. I tried to be as objective as possible. I encourage you to post your own views of this place regularly because things can change a lot in a few months.
-The rooms are fine. We had Air conditioning and a small fridge. unfortunately only single beds and no mosquito screens on the windows and there are a few mosquitoes.
Restaurants and Bars: -There is only one buffet and no more resto even though they advertise one. There is a schedule for the buffet and not much to eat besides that so take note. The food is simple and edible and has very little variety. Its Ok occasionally good , sometimes not so good. There is only milk in the morning so good luck trying to get some for your tea at supper. No other alcohol than white wine at supper. 1 week of this food is enough for me and I’m not very difficult. -There is a grill place that serve frozen fries and fried plantain (good) and hot dogs in wonder bread type. The problem with this place is it’s either not open half the time or out of fries so not very practical. There are 2 bars very close to each other (none on or close to the beach). I didn’t come here to drink but it is the worst bars I’ve ever seen.
Only one serves beer. Both only have the cheapest white rum and 3 or 4 liquors like banana, mint, coffee liquor… all alcohol is served in tiny plastic throw away glasses (so bring a thermos). The few drinks they do make aren’t very good.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: -The pool is nice but there was too much sediment at the bottom and the water wasn’t too clear but it was ok ; Not many people used it. -There are two beaches. There is the beach in back of the hotel in a small ½ km bay. The bay is fenced in with a grey cement wall sticking out 8 feet out of the ocean. I was told it was to prevent waves. Its not a pretty view and the water is a bit greenish and stagnate in some places. It has beige medium sand probably trucked in because most of this area is jagged volcanic rock shore. The second beach is 10 minutes to your left (facing the ocean) It is part of the hotel. There are many abandoned rooms there. The sand is whitish medium fine sand .Its a pretty enough beach with palm trees. The problem is you must have sandals or thick water shoes because it is full of 4-6 inches rocks and there are urchins but once in the water about 100 feet out to the left there is a beautiful coral garden with many fish here enough to please the most avid snorkeler. *** The beach at Elmoro (you have to go with the divers or by taxis) is the nicest for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
virtually non existent ! except snorkeling and Scuba diving …
There are 2 tour operators TMR (Tour Mont Royal) and Caribesol. Be warned I’ve been twice already with Caribesol and have not had a good experience their service is not good. This time it was non existent ! There was simply no Caribesol Rep ! My spouse lost her luggage with Canjet. The Hotel did nothing. "Lydia" the nice Cuban Rep for TMR took care of us even though we were not her customers. She said the Caribesol Rep stays at another Hotel because it pays more ! We never got the suitcase , so always remember to mix clothes in both suitcases. Anything you can’t afford to loose bring on your carry on and ALWAYS tag your baggage’s with name , phone # , address and add an extra tag with the hotel name and the dates you’ll be staying there.
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