Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Reviews

Home page > Cuba > Cuba Hotel Index > Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones reviews

loading...

Find and Compare Deals

Santiago de Cuba Hotels with Similar Ranking

Casa Granda

3.7 based on 6 reviews
Last reviewed Jun 3, 2014

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones  

Chivirico km 60, Guama, Santiago de Cuba

"peaceful stay"
Posted by: june  on Sep 11, 2014
see all reviews

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Reviews
Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Pictures and Information
Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Santiago de Cuba Cuba

#2
of 13 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba

User rating 3.8

Based on 16 reviews

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Information


The hotel will be closed due to maintenance and renovation until further notice.

The blue waters of the Caribbean and the renowned Sierra Maestra mountains surround Hotel Brisas Sierra Mar and Los Galeones. The Brisas Sierra Mar Hotel combines the benefits of a beach resort with all inclusive services and spectacular views of this mountainous region, which can be enjoyed almost anywhere around the hotel.

Share your experiences with others. Don't forget to send your review to Debbie by using an easy form.


loading...

Best Deals

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Reviews

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 3.8 of 5 16 reviews
Excellent
  1
Very good
  11
Average
  3
Poor
  1
Terrible
  0
By Occasion...
Leisure (10)
Business
Party
Wedding
By Traveler Type...
Family and Kids (3)
Solo Traveller (2)
With friend (1)
With Group (1)
With Spouse/Partner (3)
Solo
1 - 10 of 16

"peaceful stay"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  june  on Sep 11, 2014  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2014 | Leisure | Solo
0 people found this review helpful

What you should know about this place is that there are lots of mosquitoes here so you should come prepared by bring insecticides and spray so that you can enjoy your stay peacefully without the rude interruptions of insects. The little problem I had was with the a/c as it was leaking but it was fixed almost immediately. The food at the restaurant really was great, they all tasted nice, they had fresh fruits, meat and different varieties of dishes that were alright. The location of the hotel is in a picturesque zone which made it very beautiful, the location was close to everything and from there, and you could explore the town. The beach is very clean with white sand and shallow waters but it’s not calm. The staff at this resort seems really nice and helpful, it doesn’t matter what you ask of them, and they will do it for you. The reception staff was very nice and receptive, when I arrived with smiles I was welcomed and I felt at home. If you want more fun while visiting this resort, you should join the travel company rep and take part in some excursions and tours around the city. I met people from different countries here not like most restaurant that is usually just a particular people from a particular country. The hotel is quiet and doesn’t have any problems I couldn’t deal with, it was like home away from home for me and I highly recommend it.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Great 2nd Visit"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Art  on Jun 30, 2014  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2014 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
11 people found this review helpful

While our return to the Brisas Sierra Mar didn’t have the greatest weather (rain the 2nd day and overcast for much of the first week) it was still a good 14 days. The food, service and general ambience of the resort makes this a nice resort to visit. For context we are retired empty nesters who have enjoyed many trips to various AI’s in Cuba.

One thing you need to be aware of is there are a lot of stairs which can be challenging if you have mobility issues. There are elevators though. The one on the Caribbean side has been repaired however the one close to the entertainment stage was under repair and I understand the elevator for the upper levels (into the hill) was also out of commission while we were there.


Arrival:
Check in was easy as most of it was done on the bus coming in, which by the way was a lot faster (and smoother) than last year as much of the road has been repaired. You still need to go the front desk for your Safety Deposit Box. You also have to go to the front desk to exchange the cash now too.

Rooms:
The rooms are dated but clean and any issues that did arise were dealt with promptly. I would recommend something on the 400 level; however these are quickly taken up by returning guests of which there are many. We ended up on the second level so maybe we need to return a few more times to make it up to the 4th.

Restaurants and Bars:
The Ecological restaurant this year had live music which we really enjoyed. The beach restaurant “the Ranchon” was closed (at it was last year while we were there) as it was under reconstruction, to be completed by March so it’s probably done by now.

The Cuban a la cart was great this year but the International a la cart (“the Mariposa”) was disappointing as the squid rings we ordered turned out to be those small squids which we did not enjoy. So we finished our supper at the buffet which usually served a nice variety of food. We also went off resort once to “The Oceana” restaurant and enjoyed a great lobster dinner at a very reasonable price.

There are 3 bars at this resort and what impressed us was they never ran out of mint. You could also get a mojito or a properly blended Pina Colada at the beach bar. There used to be a bar above the pool which was a great place to enjoy the sunset however it was closed as the roof was under repair. We missed it as it was also a nice quiet place to get away to.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
If snorkel is your thing, there is a nearby reef with a nice variety of fish. However the water was never still so visibility varied daily. This resort has a dark sand beach with a lot of rocks and coral in the water close to the shore. I would still recommend beach shoes but I didn’t find it quite as rocky as last year so a lot of work has obviously been done on the beach. Also while we were there work was underway to further improve it.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
This year there was more local entertainment in the main lobby, at the two a la carts and at the pool bar. All were a joy to listen to. The evening shows varied, from audience participation, dance, water ballet, or local bands. On another note, I don’t think the resort sprayed much while we were there so remember to bring your mosquitoes spray, you’ll probably need it.

Other Comments:
The staff really made you feel welcome, as did a lot of the regulars. It has a nice relaxed atmosphere that grows on you. Most people there were around our age so I wouldn’t call this a party place. Not many kids either, but there was a “Kids Club” so maybe it’s more active at other times. If you look up my channel on YouTube (MrJarArt) I’ve posted a few videos of this resort and some of the tours we’ve taken while in Santiago de Cuba as well as other Cuban resorts we’ve been to.

Videos: http://youtu.be/LDXobXJmiDk

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Amazing, relaxing vacation again!"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Danika  on Apr 11, 2014  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2014 | Leisure | With friend
75 people found this review helpful

This was my second time to Brisas Sierra Mar and I was so happy I went back and I will continue returning again and again!The view is spectacular...the ocean, the mountains and the top notch staff and the scenery combined with delicious food made my vacation simply splendid. This time I went in January which is high season and there was never any huge line ups of packs of wolves like at other resort buffets. I must say that the large majority of the other guests were very civil and relaxed. This resort has a lot of live music playing which is just awesome...the talent is incredible and a wonderful way to wind down after supper enjoying a Spanish coffee while being serenaded.

The elevators are fixed! this is bonus.. was so happy they gave me ocean view room 124 right off the nautical hut! not far at all from the nautical hut..my second home. Catamaran is daily and so is scuba diving. Manolito and Edgar are fantastic divers. There are so many shipwrecks to see it is worth the trip alone.

They have been working on the beach. it is looking so much better and I didn't need any water shoes at all which was nice. There is plenty of shade at the beach and there is a beach bar. The ranchon is under repairs so if you wanted to eat at the beach it's at the ecological restaurant.

The rooms are nice. We never ran out of hot water and had 110V in the bathroom so we could charge our cameras/cellphones. 14CUC for the week to have use of the safe. We had a fridge in our room.

The food was fantastic, delicious and recognizable...bonus! We had a pork roast during the week as well as turkeys and lots of seafood and pasta and fresh vegetables. The desserts were tasty as well.

There are many tours available at the hotel. The go to guy for that is Anthony who is head of Animacion. He is a wealth of knowledge and fluent in at least 4 languages. There is a walking tour to the village, eco tour through the jungle, bird watching tour as well and these are usually in the early morning and we meet at the lobby. Other tours consist of batcave and red sand and waterfalls and baseball game in Chivirico. Daily exercises and activities as well are available at the pool.

There is a wonderful little restaurant across the street of the entrance of the resort. Oceano, delicious!! a must try!

All in all this is my favorite resort in Santiago and I will continue going back again and again.

Room Number:
124

Room Block:
100

Arrival:
Arrival was Brilliant!! at the airport we were met by our rep who checked us in right there and then...we got our bracelets, our room key and our little package. This way avoids long line-ups at reception after a long bus ride.

Rooms:
Nice and cleaned daily. Airconditioning worked perfectly. Always had hot water. Beds are comfy. perfect.

Restaurants and Bars:
3 bars...lobby, pool and beach. All are good. Restaurants are good i prefer the Cuban one.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Pool always clean and fresh. Beach is groomed daily. Lots of chairs around the pool but not lots of shade.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
go to Chivirico! go to Vlad's casa...Bahia Tropicale. See Anthony for tour information.

Other Comments:
my favorite resort in the area. The view is spectacular and the people are just so friendly. My home away from home.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Great 3 and half star would go back "

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Michelle  on Aug 19, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Aug, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
229 people found this review helpful

The room was clean and well located on the 4th floor closest to the main floor where everything is. one elevator worked to go down to a very small beach. The food was fine for cuba better than some 4 star ressorts but the buffet was small. It rained a lot one night so we did not have electricity and the staff did not come in to work because a big chunk of the road to get to the hotel was washed away...We saw the damage on our way back to the airport. The pool is a bit small ans shallow but there is always a volley ball game to join in and a great pool bar. on site, there is a bank, a store so you can buy water beverages and snacks. To do tours brings cash they don't take credit cards. The staff where all nice. We did not have a fridge in our room but asked for one. there is a 2.00 a day charge for safety deposit box. this was a great place to rest. its not a party all night kind of place so you can actually rest and sleep. they have bird watching, kayacks, mopeds rentals 24 a day (but better know mechanics cause they break often. tours to Santiago 75, to daulphin 80, bat cave ect..bring moskito stuff with deet for the sand flys, a flashlight watershoes...floors get very slippery when wet especially when it rains water accumulates in the hallway (2inches). show every night, piano and musicians in lobby after supper, I did not go to the disco...don't think it was opened cause it was low season. locals go there for vacation with familly. the beach has been washed away..you have what is left of it with weeds but it ressembles a bad camping beach but can enjoyable there is lots of shade, paddleboats, horses. Too bad they can't fix all the stuff at this hotel..it must of been a beautifull 5 star ressort but now for what is left of it it's a great 3 and a half and I would go back cause it's clean, I did not starve, had a good time, met nice people and had a great price.

Room Number:
422

Room Block:
4th floor

Arrival:
fast check in...we where the first one at the counter lol bell boy help us to our room, first the key did not work but they got that fixed

Rooms:
pink and mint green but very very clean, great shower...smells a little just plug the shower at night with a towel and bring some room deoderizer. air cond worked well, tv was fine.

Restaurants and Bars:
1 buffet, clean, no bugs, no birds just food perfect but often the same things. This is not a chinesse all you can eat buffet...think one kind of food a day and you won,t get fed up by the end of your stay.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
there is a beach...just not white and perfect like in youre dreams. the pool is ok but a little small...the spa is brand new and works well.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
not much in the summer bing some cash go on a tour.

Other Comments:
my only complaint about this hotel but I think it is going on everywhere now in cuba is that there are many tourist that invite cuban girls and sometimes the age differences makes me wonder

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Fabulous stay at Brisas Sierra Mar...we are returning for sure!!"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Danika  on Jun 16, 2011  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
261 people found this review helpful

This was my second time in Santiago de Cuba and my fourth in Cuba. We know what to expect but were really blown away by this resort! Coral Queen had told me that I would love the spectacular view and she was so right! she knows Santiago like the back of her hand. Due to the fact that this was low season and we were flying in from Montreal - we were landing in Holguin so the drive was long and bumpy! I was warned about the drive but I never thought it would be that bad! haha... but really it was so worth it. The biggest surprise to us was the delicious food! there was nothing that was a mystery dish lol it looked like what it was supposed to and was all incredibly tasty! I just wished they had a grill like Los Corales...that would of been awesome. I did miss not having langosta.

The grounds are just gorgeous....it's a postcard scenery where ever you look. The majestic mountains reflected on the ocean, the palm trees and the flora is breathtaking.

The staff were top notch! I find the people of Santiago de Cuba and Chivirico to be so warm and inviting. Anthony and Ernesto, the two heads of Animacion were just amazing! perfect English and French and Anthony had a repertoire of 5 other languages. Very professional and they really knew how to engage the crowd. Our tour rep was non existent....but wait we did see him at the airport in Holguin, he gave us a paper that had his phone number, he pointed to the bus we were suppose to get on and when i glanced back he was gone...i don't even remember what he looked like! Thank Goodness for Pedro, the Hola Sun rep. He went above and beyond the call of duty. Kudos to him.! He should get a commission for helping all of us Tour Mont Royal people.

We knew going in that the weather would be iffy and it was. We had rain on and off Sunday, Monday and Tuesday but the sun still peaked through and we got some nice sun time in. Wednesday I witnessed my first Tropical Storm. WOW! trees were bending over, the pool was over flowing and turning the stair case into a mini waterfall. one guest did fall and ended up with a huge bruise but no broken bones thankfully. The staff was very cool headed and tried the best they could to calm down some extremely anxious and over reacting tourists.

Over all, this was a fabulous vacation, I have no qualms in recommending this resort as I am so returning to it in February! One week there and one week at Carisol/Los Corales...the best of both worlds!

Room Number:
324

Room Block:
300

Arrival:
Arrival at the hotel was non eventful - we checked in quickly, paid for our safe and was escorted to our room where they showed us how to work the aircon and how to open the patio door...it was tricky so pay attention lol. We never saw hide or hair of our tour guide. We had a phone number listed if we needed him. Luckily Pedro the holasun rep was there and extremely helpful. TMR pay attention.

Rooms:

There's a lot of stairs....be prepared to walk and climb all the time. that was perfectly fine with me as I love to walk 3-5km a day but for someone with arthritis issues it would get long on the tooth and of course the elevators didn't work but i did find a path which brings you up to the lobby so it's an extra 5 minutes to the trek but no stairs and it's scenic. If you want to have a less stairs to climb and descend as possible, ask for a room in the 400 block.

The rooms are very nice and comfortable with an updated bathroom with great water pressure and we always had hot water. The Air con worked perfectly and was needed every night. Too bad there wasn't a fridge in the room but Coral Queen said that there are rooms that have them I would just have to ask for one. Next time I will.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet , pool and lobby bar staff were just beautiful. Gladys, Wilcer, Jose and Ana need special mention in this review. They made our stay fabulous. Gracias mi amigas y amigos!

There is one buffet and two a la cartes, the Mariposa and the Bogagetia (spelling is totally off) only the Mariposa was open. The Beffet was fabulous! They were telling us that during high season the selection is quadruple the amount they offered now during low season...I can't wait to see that! Apparently there is a restaurant less than 5 minutes from the hotel which offers langostas at super prices...unfortunately the owner was absent due to a death in his family.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:

The pool is cleaned every morning...thankfully, some of those people just never seen to leave the pool bar! There are a lot of loungers, too bad the pool is not as big as one of pools at Carisol/Los Corales...as I love to swim lengths.
The beach was a bit of a disappointment but you can't fight Mother Nature. Apparently it was crab mating season and if i wanted to go in I had to fling myself over 1-2 feet deep of crabs..... no thank you...I'll pass that! haha. The beach needs cleaning but it was murky due to the storms so again nothing they can do for that. I will be returning in February during high season and there should be no storms or rain...hopefully so I will see if the beach is nicer than it was last week.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
due to the fact that we were only 48 guests - as one client said newlywed or nearly dead they were limited so a couple of us had private aqua fitness and private Spanish lessons and semi private Bingo! Due to the raining and subsequent tropical storm the electricity and speaker wiring in the disco were soaked and not working...and only one or two nightly shows that week again due to weather.

Other Comments:
I loved it. It was a fabulous stay. Very very nice and friendly and professional staff that made my cousin and me feel right at home. we really didn't want to leave.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Try Los Galeones before this gem is lost due to lack of tourists."

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Ella  on Apr 15, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
293 people found this review helpful

My husband and I have been going to Los Galeones since 1998 and have never missed a year yet. The hotel is an adults only establishment and it suits us to a "T". The guests are mostly repeaters so that says a lot. We have always booked for a 2 week period.
There is a free shuttle bus that runs between Los Galeones and Sierra Mar so at least once during our stay we try to make it to Sierra Mar for a drink at the pool bar and a look to see what the artisans are selling.
The rooms at Los Galeones are all on one floor so there is no waiting for elevators. Each room has it's own entrance and balcony and the views are great. The only stairs are the ones going down the hill to the private beach. 297 stairs down but the stairs are spread out a bit and it is shady so you can go at your leasure. There is a nice beach bar that serves fish, ribs, chicken, burger and salads. It's a good way to spend a relaxing day without a lot of booming music.
Over the years there have not been many new guests staying at the hotel so we are becoming fearful that it is going to get lost to tourists.
It is a real gem.
If you stay at Sierra Mar you should ask to come over and look at Los Galeones. Sierra Mar does bring people over on tours during the week.

Arrival:
Check in very very quick and the staff is there to help take tour bags to your room.

Rooms:
Rooms are clean and quiet.

Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurant food is by menu. Maybe once a week they will have a Cuba buffet lunch and dinner - VERY good.
Drinks are domestic beer, wine, rum and some liquers

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
No problems with having to get out early to get your lounge chair either at the beach or the pool. The beach offers a nice shaded area if you find that you have had enough sun.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The small town of Chiverico is at the bottom of the hill and is a nice place to go for a visit. No one in the town bothers you want to talk to them. It is very friendly.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Nice place for rum & sun"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  John- Tiverton  on Feb 4, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | Solo
271 people found this review helpful

This was my 4th time to Cuba and this resort was the best one so far. Santiago weather is always great and we had no rain and almost no clouds in my 7 day stay. The road from Santiago has been repaired quite a bit and it does not hurt your bones over the 1 hr 30 min trip (as opposed to 2 hours before last fall's repairs).

Room Block:
3rd floor on 2nd level (=7th)

Arrival:
Check-in was at the airport and worked well.

Rooms:
Clean, large, and almost all have a great view of the ocean.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet was so good, I didn't try one of the a-la-carte restaurants. Beach bar was OK. Lobby bar is open 24 hrs and serves coffee.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
As other said, the water is quite shallow at the beach. You can find deeper areas to swim and I even found a 50ft long coral reef to snorkel in, but it takes work to find it.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Lots, but no easy access to a town or village.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Hotel Brisas Sierra Mar - This place is good value for what you pay"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Stephen  on Feb 14, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | With Group
326 people found this review helpful

This is our second visit to this hotel spending the time around Christmas and the New Year.
It is a place to relax and yes it is only a 3+ Hotel so don't go their expecting a 4 star rating. Having said that I would certainly go back as it provides a condition to relax and to enjoy .

Your Arrival:
Bus Trip to the Hotel is the worst . However, once you arrive at the hotel you forget about it until the day of departure back on the same road.

Rooms:
Nothing special but who cares. I go on holiday to be outside of my room.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food was very good for what we paid. The bars are ok but I did not find too much international drinks. When they did come out, it was for a short time and you were back to the local stuff.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
This is a problem. Due to bad weather in the past the beach has been lost. You can still find space to be on the beach and we enjoyed spending the days on the beach.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activities was good most nights. New Years we were the last to close the Disco down. We were dancing with some locals and guest and found it to be ok.
They need to dress this up more and a live band playing all night might work.
The food was good but it was better a few years before.

Other Comments:
Enjoyed going into the village on Christmas Eve with "Stephen" the Mayor of Brisas (Canadians) he was the village Santa. Took our gifts and hand outs and it was the most enjoyable afternoon as all the kids about 200 received something from Santa and the other guest who took part.
Tip: contact your travel agent and request some free luggage to take down for the kids in Cuba. They will most likely allow you some free weight.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"A super holiday"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Stephen  on Feb 5, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
310 people found this review helpful

We just returned from two weeks at Sierra and over all had a great holiday

Your Arrival:
Arrival was smoooth and efficient .As in previous reviews the road getting there is in horrible shape and thank goodness we travellled it in daylight which helped make it a little enjoyable

Rooms:
Clean .freshly painted and everything worked including hot water

Restaurants and Bars:
The Italian was superb as was the ecological .We were disappointed in the cuban as it was not worth going to .The buffet was welll stocked and a good variety .The pig roast was super first week but second week they needed a bigger pig !The Saturday night special buffet was over the top !Yjere were always lots of staff at bars and the ones at the lobby bar were exceptioal .Quick and friendly staff altho i wish they had the 7 year Havana Club Tosie is a princess and the bl0pnd would pour my drink before i got to the bar!!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The pool was good but beach is a wash out from last hurricane .grfounds were clean and well kept

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The stage entertainmentwas especially comedy night not as good as expected .The skits were not funny !
The lobby bar entertainers were quite enjoyable but should be adverised more .The day trip to Bacardi Island isn't worth half the price but the two hour horse ride to waterfall which we bookied directly at the security gate (which is dry this time of the year) was quite enjoyable .

Other Comments:
The staff in all areas were helpful,friendly,and hard working.The Hola Sun rep could have pointed out a few of the sites of interest on the bus trip to help get over the rough ride .The CanJet attendents that looked after a medical emergency on return flight went above and beyond the call of duty !

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Nice Place, but a few glitches."

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Wendy  on Jan 18, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | Family and Kids
332 people found this review helpful

Our family of 4 adults traveled to Brisas Sierra Mar for the week of Dec. 27-Jan 3. We had read many reports on the condition of the road to the resort, but were shocked at how bad it really was! Two people on our bus had to move to the front due to motion sickness, and one member of our group was just about ready to join them. We were told that repairs were to start in March, but they didn't say what year!!

Your Arrival:
Bracelets, room keys and check in forms are done on the bus. Once we arrived, all we had to do was grab our luggage and head to our rooms. The resort is built on a hillside, and is very compact. The lobby, pool, and restaurants are all on one level, with two blocks of rooms cascading down the hill below. There is an additional block of rooms opposite the lobby that moves up the hill.

Rooms:
We were in Block A, rooms 402 & 403. We had a partial ocean view, but mostly we had a lovely view of the mountains. The room had been freshly painted, and was very clean. The draperies and bedspreads appeared to be new. The furnishings and bathroom were in need of an update, but they were perfectly functional. There was a 12 inch TV on the dresser with a remote that actually worked! We had two ¾ beds which we pushed together. The beds were a little soft, but not so much that they were sagging. The pillows were better than we have had on other vacations. Our balcony had brand new reclining chairs and a table. The evening entertainment could be heard quite loud in our room. Evidence of renovations are everywhere around the resort. The bottom floor of Block A was closed for updating, the bathrooms at the lobby and pool area look to be completely new, and they received 20 new bicycles on New Years Eve.

Restaurants and Bars:
Brisas has one buffet, a beach grill for lunch, and 3 a la cartes. Selection at the buffet was very limited while we were there, and vegetables were scarce, with yams and squash being the main offering at all 3 meals. There seemed to be a shortage of onions, even for the omelet station. Other than pre-peeled clementines, there was no fresh fruit at all. No bacon was available all week. That being said, they worked wonders with what they had. Every meat on the buffet table and carving station was tender and flavorful. I can't recall any dish that was a let down. The beach grill offered the standard burgers, fries, hotdogs, pizza, and fish. We had a meal at the Ecological a la carte, and it was amazing. The atmosphere was wonderful, and the food was fantastic. The bruschetta was served cold, but that was the only disappointment. House wine is included at this restaurant, and we feel it was probably the best meal of the week. We also were able to eat at the Cuban a la carte. The food here was o.k., but a little disappointing after the Ecological. There is no house wine available here. You could purchase a bottle starting at 5 CUC, up to 60 CUC. We bought a 7 CUC Chilean Merlot, and were quite happy with it. Some guests brought their own wine from the bar to avoid purchasing a bottle. They also had a massive New Years Eve Gala Dinner set up around the stage and swimming pool, with delicious turkey, pork, beef and lobster. The dessert table that night was to die for!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The weather was absolutely amazing. It averaged 30C every day, and would dip to about 25C in the evenings. We didn’t have any rain at all. We usually travel in January, and the weather and water temperature can be hit or miss. Here we were able to enjoy the ocean every day, and never needed a jacket in the evening.

The beach has been badly eroded in the last year. There is a 3 foot drop from the lounger level to the actual beach. It starts to level out as you move further to the west. There were plenty of loungers available, and never a need to be up at 6.30 to reserve one. The beach bar was never very busy and served a good selection of tasty drinks. The pool area also seemed to have plenty of loungers, but we are beach people and never ventured up there. Most of the daily activities took place at the pool. We were not bothered by sand fleas or mosquitoes, but we did notice that the resort sprayed the wooded area every evening around 6.00 pm.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did one excursion, a Catamaran/snorkeling/Santiago tour, at a cost of 58 CUC per person. When the "catamaran" showed up, it turned out to be a fishing boat that reeked of diesel fumes. The snorkeling was at a sunken ship, and was interesting, but not as pretty as a reef. The ladder to get back on the boat was broken and I was unable to hoist myself onto the platform after snorkeling. The tour guide and captain had to haul me up by the arms. I still have the bruises to show for it. After a wonderful included lunch, we were to have a walking tour of Santiago de Cuba. Unfortunately, a half dozen people on the tour did not come prepared, and needed to find a bank. We were instructed to wait in the square in front of the Cathedral while these people ran to the bank for cash. While we waited (and waited and waited) some people decided to go to a local store and buy some rum and cigars. Then the people who had gone to the bank started rum and cigar shopping. We spent over 45 minutes of our 1½ hour tour time waiting for people to make their purchases, before heading off to the "flea market". It was then we realized that 3 people had never returned from the bank. We spent the next ½ hour re-tracing our steps, then heading to the bus, while our tour guide frantically searched for the missing people (whom he found). We ended up spending 2 hours in Santiago with not one word of info on the history, culture, etc. This was in no way the tour guides fault. He was visibly agitated at what was happening. We ended up not getting back to the resort until 7.00 pm, when we were supposed to have returned at 4.00. It was a long and disappointing day. Be warned, the Hola Sun tour desk does not accept credit cards. Luckily I had tucked some extra cash aside, as I am not comfortable getting a cash advance in Cuba.

Other Comments:
For the most part the holiday was great, but there were a few glitches and disappointments.
-Beyond the resort boundary is a beautiful beach for walking. The only problem is the relentless beggars. We were hounded constantly for soap, shampoo, clothes etc. We tried asking them to leave us alone, we tried ignoring them, we even tried telling them we would come back on our last day, and not to bother us in the mean time. It made no difference. They would not back off.
-The New Years Gala was extremely disorganized. None of the food on the New Years buffet was labeled, and it was too dark to really see what was on the platters. Many of the dishes had no serving utensils. They could not keep up with the volume of people and ran out of plates before everyone was served. Line ups were long for everything. The show that night was very disappointing. There were some singers, an hour and a half of canned music, and then a mediocre magician followed by some ballet dancers. It was dismal. We didn't talk to one person who seemed to enjoy it.
-Although we found the lobby entertainment every evening to be top notch, the repeat guests we spoke to said it was sadly inferior to previous years. They had noticed a significant change for the worse in the entertainment, service and atmosphere. They told us that staffing levels are way down, which would explain only one bartender during the peak before/after dinner hours, as well as the problems with the New Years Gala. Several people mentioned that the house wine was of extremely inferior quality to past years.
-Also disappointing was the lack of information on activities. There was a festival on one day, with a parade which was never advertised on the activities board. We heard the festival music from the beach, but thought it was some sort of pool game going on. A printout of what is happening for the week would be a great addition to the envelope you get when you board the bus.
-The New years Dinner required people to make table reservations for the number of people in their party. Unfortunately, many people did not know this, and showed up to find they had no table. We were lucky that someone on the beach mentioned it to us, or we would have been among the many people wandering around looking for an un-reserved table. None of this was mentioned in the orientation, or on the activities board.
-Also while we were there, due to a broken washing machine, there were no beach towels available for the first 3 days of our vacation. We wasted so much time walking up and down the stairs from the beach to the towel exchange by the pool only to be told “come back in two hours”. Why they did not explain at that time that the washer was broken is a mystery.
-A simple note regarding sandwiches being served for our early morning checkout would have avoided two bus loads of people trying desperately to eat from the small continental buffet in the lobby.

Aside from these minor glitches, we had a wonderful time at Brisas Sierra Mar. The resort is a solid 3 star, with pleasant staff, and I would recommend it to anyone, but would probably not return. I understand that these issues are beyond the control of the resort, but the condition of the road and the beggars on the beach are a huge deterrent to going back. However, the amazing January weather may call me. There are so many places to see, we generally prefer to try a different place every time.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

Home Hotels Vacation Packages Destinations Forums Write a Review
About Debbie | Contact Debbie | Advertise | Site Map | More Links | Disclaimer
Facebook Twitter Youtube