Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Reviews

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Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Reviews
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Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Santiago de Cuba Cuba

#2
of 13 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba

User rating 3.8

Based on 19 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.

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Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Reviews

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 3.8 of 5 19 reviews
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"No water"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 2.50 of 5

Posted by:  Isabel from Oshawa  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Dec, 2008
248 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Dec 28 to Jan 4, 2009
Upon arrival, we got on this bus that had no air condtioning because it was broken, the roads were terrible and the bus driver was swerving to miss the pot holes

Rooms:
we were promised ocean view rooms and we ended up having room 218 we had no air conditioning and no hot water for the first 2 days and they said it would be fixed within 2 hours, 2 days later we NO water at all, the room had mold, the room was a disaster. No big towels had 2 small towels, could flush toliet because no water.

Restaurants and Bars:
food was good, had no coffee for 2 days because we had no water

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
beach was great, the pool was green because people were releaving themselves in the pool because no water, the washrooms were disgusting because we could flush.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
activities were cancelled if there was 1 person, the tennis courts were there but no rackets,

Other Comments:
This was a 4 star but it should have been a 2 1/2 star hotel real bad experience with this hotel, our rep was nowhere to be seen when you asked for him. This would have been a great hotel because the view was breathe taking, but the hotel it's self was a disaster.

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"We found the service to be excellent"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Marg from Toronto  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
228 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Jan 4 - 11 2009
We were at this Hotel Jan 4-11, travel with Canjet uneventful. Plane was 1/3 empty so had lots of room. Food was fine, we were originally booked at Los Corales but were shipped here due to a broken water pump, we found out only apon boarding our bus. The mountain scenery at the resort is gorgeous, worth the 1hour 10 min bumpy bus ride to this hotel.

Rooms:
The check in was bit of a long wait as four buses arrived at the same time. Two were for this resort and two that should have gone to Corales. Our room was in the building just off the reception, room 515, we had a nice view of the ocean. We had two single beds that we pushed together, the next day the maid made them up as one, they are a little soft but we slept well as we were tired each day. Clean towels were provided everyday, room cleaned well, didn't spend much time in it. There was no fridge but we didn't need it. Others asked to be moved and they were accommodated.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food was good, as always we found something to eat and never went hungry. We didnt get sick however we really missed the Ice cream. Never made it to al la carts so can't comment. Beach restaurant has usualy fast food, pizza, burgers, hot dog, fish, french fries. You can pretty much get something to eat and drink at all times, 24 hour bar in lobby made great cappuccinos. We don't drink blender drinks but they seemed popular, bars well stocked and we found service to be good at all bars.

There was always nice entertainment in the evening at the lobby bar. We never saw any shows as we were up early and never could manage to stay up that late or were meeting friends for drinks elsewhere.
Beach/Pools/Grounds:

Beach was nice, the dark sand does get hot and you should bring water shoes. We went into the water just past the old pier posts where there was no grass and rocks, we didn't need water shoes here and the water was warm. Yes, there are sand fleas, they are not as bad between 10am and 3pm, just make sure you take Deet. They seem to like some people more than others, I had no bites but my hubby had a lot. If you go for walks on the beach the locals asking for or trying to sell you stuff will leave you alone if you tell them you are not interested. We never made it to the pool as we are beach people but it seemed busy with a lot of stuff going on to keep people amused.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did not go on any tours and did not do any activites at the resort. They do have a organized beach walk that people say is very good.

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"Small resort, beautiful. I love it!"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Neil from Mid Western Ontario  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2008
231 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Dec 11 - 18, 2008
Flew Sunwing. Left 30 minutes late. Stopover in Manzanillo de Cuba for about 30 minutes. Arrived at SCU airport. Lots of immigration booths open. Luggage was already out by the time I got through immigration. Someone had written a couple of number on my luggage with a laundry marker, so I though I was going to be targeted for an inspection, but not the case.

Bus to resort left 1 hour after plane touched down. Warning, if you have a queasy stomach, take a gravol or two and don;t sit at the back of the bus. Bus ride was 2 hours, some of which was on newly black-topped asphalt, but most of which was on the same bumpy road.

Staff greeted us warmly with a cold punch drink.

Check in was quick. New for me was the bracelet. Last time down 4 yrs ago we didn't have to wear a bracelet. Also, we were charged 2 CUC/day for the room safe, which I think is new. Luggage was quickly ported to room.

Rooms:
King size bed. Standard sized room. There is a suite avialable at a cost of 20CUC/ day additional. Bathroom had shower only. Bath gel, shampoo and moisturizer provided and restocked throughout the week. Very clean. Maids left the ususal towel art daily.

Breathtaking view from balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea and Sierra Maestre mountains. Two comfortable recliner chairs and table on the balcony.

32 rooms in total at Los Galeones.

Restaurants and Bars:
Main restaurant is a la carte for all meals and opens at 7AM. At breakfast there is a selection of juices (not fresh to my disappointment) and sliced fruits, cereals and bread. Waitress will take your order for eggs any style. Great crispy bacon by the way. The adjacent bar is only a few steps from the restaurant and espresso, cafe con leche or cappuccino etc always good and available. There are tables outside the restaurant and it is nice to sit there early in the morning right beside the pool and enjoy a quiet java or two.

Main restaurant serves lunch at 12:30 - 2:30 and supper from 6 - 8:30. Each meal as I said earlier is a la carte. Always several choices of entrees from the kitchen. Chichen, beef, and pork as well as potatos, rice, fresh cooked veggies, and garden or Greek salads. Deserts usually included a variety of cakes and always included ice cream...mango my favorite.

I'd have to rate the food the best tasting and presented of any resort I have been to in Cuba. I must qualify that by saying that I have never been to a 5* resort.

Repeaters seafood dinner served. Entertainment every night. Truthfully, I've heard better singers. Instrumentally they were superb however.

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"The view was amazing"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Lisa from Ontario  on Feb 1, 2009  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
387 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Feb 19/09 - Feb 26/09
We were pleased to receive our wrist bands, room key and information about the resort once we boarded the bus to the hotel. It meant one less line up that we would have to stand in. And once we actually arrived at the hotel (about 1 hour and 10 minutes) there were bell boys every where ready to take you and you luggage to your room. Has to have been the most painless arrival and check in that I have ever gone though!

Rooms
Yes the rooms are a bit dated. And yes, our ceiling was pretty gross to look at. However, they were kept clean and the view was amazing. The air conditioner worked fine. The shower only had luke warm water all week, but we got used to it. We had two double beds shoved together that the maid made up as one bed.

Restaurants and Bars
The food at the buffet was a bit repetative. It did seem to be the same things day after day. There was a pasta bar that was great and they did have a turkey one night, roast beef another and pig from the pig roast on another. There was lots of fresh bread, however we did not have butter until the 5th day. The salad bar was not too bad and there was a small selection of deserts. The snack bar was OK, hot dogs, hamburgs and french fries.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The beach was black sand and very hot to walk on. It was kept clean by the workers. We did some snorkelling and as long as you went out to the reef, there were fish to see. We actually saw a moray eel and a lion fish among other things. We did not use the pool but it looked clean. Always lots of chairs available at both the beach and the pool. The grounds were amazing for walking around. The view is just amazing from where ever you are.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We did the horseback riding tour to the water fall with Noel. It was 2 hours long and an enjoyable trip. If you have things that you want to hand out, it would be good to take them with you as you pass quite a few homes that are off the "beaten track".
We also did the scooter tour which was fun.

Other Comments
If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me through the forum - I am LisaW.

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"I did a shore dive to a wreck"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Kathy from Toronto  on Mar 1, 2009  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
399 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 19 to 26
It was a small group, check in was effortless.

Rooms
OK nothing fancy. Ask for an ocean view. They might upgrade you for free.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach is ok...a little steep and rocky. Dependent on the weather that has gone through. There is one pool, nice, not very deep. It has a swim up pool bar.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Went horse back riding. Enjoyed it. Went to dive, wasn't disappointed.

Other Comments
Brisas Sierra Mar, Santiago de Cuba area. March 19 to the 26. I was looking for a cheap/cheerful dive vacation. I paid $745, all in. Booked approx. 4 weeks in advance through the Flight Centre. The attraction for me was that this hotel has a fully operational dive shop. The hotel was operating at approx. 25% occupancy, approx. 100 people were there during my stay, the hotel accommodates 400+. The smaller number suited me. I heard stories of people having to line up to get into the dining room in times past. Crowd tended to be a little older but generally interesting and friendly people. Note to man who worked at nuclear power plant...you really shouldn't get drunk and talk in a loud voice about the security measures in place at a nuclear power plant...sort of defeats the purpose.

I loved the music at this hotel. Various artists performed nightly in the lobby bar and the show was generally well done. A syncro swimming group performed one night too, what a treat. Tip the artists, they deserve it. Go horseback riding to the falls. It is a good way to spend 2 hours. Take used tack if you have it, one guest did and made a friend for life. I got an ocean view room upgrade, nice. Ask, all they can do is say no. Book a dinner at the Ecological al la carte restaurant. Nice setting. We took the Catamaran tour over to an island and did a dive followed by a nice lobster/seafood lunch. Another nice way to spend a day. My friend got a massage and enjoyed it. I would have but massages get booked up quickly and only seem to happen Mon. Wed. and Fri.

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"Freshly Painted"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.50 of 5

Posted by:  Barb from Toronto  on Nov 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2009
415 people found this review helpful

Arrival: November 12-19
Road has been repaired from the airport somewhat, but it's still a 1.5 hr drive - and at the end of the road is paradise!

Rooms:
Freshly painted and the furniture has been stripped and revarnished.

Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet was the best it has ever been in about 7 visits - they had avocados for the first time, as well as the usual buffet and 3 restaurants: ecologico, la bodeguita, and la mariposa. I prefer buffet style, not fine dining! Bars always had mint and mojito mixin's... one night there was no Disco Cream for the Spanish Coffee so we said "surprise me" and it was still pretty awesome. For the repeaters' dinner, we had lobster and the tenderest beef, as well as a live band and dancing.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach has eroded in front of the dive shop area but they are going to rebuild it. Now the catamaran and kayaks are kept at the far end of the beach, where the bar and dock are.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
I needed a serious week of vegging out, and it was wonderful to do nothing at all. No tours, but participated in bingo, aquafit and the music trivia contest, as well as lots of floating in the pool and ocean.

Other Comments:
You can see that they are really working to improve the resort with painting and repairs - the road and the beach are beyond the control of hotel management. And I could see that the economic crisis has affected tourism - hopefully people will still come to Cuba - and don't forget to tip for good service!

Arrival::
Dec 11 - 18, 2008
Flew Sunwing. Left 30 minutes late. Stopover in Manzanillo de Cuba for about 30 minutes. Arrived at SCU airport. Lots of immigration booths open. Luggage was already out by the time I got through immigration. Someone had written a couple of number on my luggage with a laundry marker, so I though I was going to be targeted for an inspection, but not the case.

Bus to resort left 1 hour after plane touched down. Warning, if you have a queasy stomach, take a gravol or two and don;t sit at the back of the bus. Bus ride was 2 hours, some of which was on newly black-topped asphalt, but most of which was on the same bumpy road.

Staff greeted us warmly with a cold punch drink.

Check in was quick. New for me was the bracelet. Last time down 4 yrs ago we didn't have to wear a bracelet. Also, we were charged 2 CUC/day for the room safe, which I think is new. Luggage was quickly ported to room.

Rooms::
King size bed. Standard sized room. There is a suite avialable at a cost of 20CUC/ day additional. Bathroom had shower only. Bath gel, shampoo and moisturizer provided and restocked throughout the week. Very clean. Maids left the ususal towel art daily.

Breathtaking view from balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea and Sierra Maestre mountains. Two comfortable recliner chairs and table on the balcony.

32 rooms in total at Los Galeones.

Restaurants and Bars:
Main restaurant is a la carte for all meals and opens at 7AM. At breakfast there is a selection of juices (not fresh to my disappointment) and sliced fruits, cereals and bread. Waitress will take your order for eggs any style. Great crispy bacon by the way. The adjacent bar is only a few steps from the restaurant and espresso, cafe con leche or cappuccino etc always good and available. There are tables outside the restaurant and it is nice to sit there early in the morning right beside the pool and enjoy a quiet java or two.

Main restaurant serves lunch at 12:30 - 2:30 and supper from 6 - 8:30. Each meal as I said earlier is a la carte. Always several choices of entrees from the kitchen. Chichen, beef, and pork as well as potatos, rice, fresh cooked veggies, and garden or Greek salads. Deserts usually included a variety of cakes and always included ice cream...mango my favorite.

I'd have to rate the food the best tasting and presented of any resort I have been to in Cuba. I must qualify that by saying that I have never been to a 5* resort.

Repeaters seafood dinner served. Entertainment every night. Truthfully, I've heard better singers. Instrumentally they were superb however.

The beach bar/restaurant is at the bottom of the dreaded steps. Most beverages avaialble including mojitos (all the time, never ran out of mint). There was always a BBQ lunch which included salad, grilled potatoes usually with garlic butter, chicken legs, melt in your mouth pork ribs and often fresh fish. The lifeguard would go out in the morning and spear a few fish and presto...fresh fish for the BBQ. There is a small seating area in front of the bar.

Washrooms were clean, but take a roll of TP down to the beach with you. Might want to take hand sanitizer too as no soap in the washrooms.

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
When you go to the beach, because of the 296 stairs down and up, you only want to do it once per day, so I'd advise taking a back pack or similar luggage with you. Take everything you will need for the day..books, TB, medicines, sunscreen, etc.

Beach is smallish, but appropriate in size for the number of guests. Lots of sun beds, of the hard plastic variety. Lots of natural shade under the trees lining the beach. View of Caribbean and mountains very surreal.

Absolutely no Cubans on the beach except for staff. They often visit with their familes on their days off.

One pool, small but deep, circular in shape, located just steps from the main restaurant. Pool is surrounded on three other sides by guest rooms (which are townhouse style buildings). Hot tub overlooks mountains and Town of Chivirico and a small port. Never busy.

Grounds well kept.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
Sunwing rep arrived in afternoon on second day. Many trips available but I wasn't up to doing anything but lie on the beach. You could go to Santiago for 1/2 day or full day or for baseball game.

Shuttle avaialble to Sierra Mar in morning, after lunch and in evening (if you wanted to see the show there).

Other Comments:
Virtually everyone who visits Los Galeones is a repeat visiter. Average age is definitely 50+.

Staff will remeber you. For example, I hadn't been there in 4 years, yet the head chef remembered that I had given his daughters a gift of green T-shirts a while back. He didn't remember how long it was, but he approached me to ask if I was the one who had done so.

On departure day, we had to leave the resort at 7AM. This wonderful resort opens their kitchen at 6AM so you can have a full breakfast before you leave.

A desireable feature of Los Galeones is the proximity to the town of Chivirico which is located at the bottom of the hill. Not much to do there for tourists, but there is a party on Saturday evenings.

I ventured into Chivirico to look for peso cigars and did locate an outlet. Beware though, once word gets out that a tourist is looking for cigars, everyone becomes your fren and knows someone etc. etc.

Unusual thing though is the absolute absence of matches or lighters. I couldn't find them anywhere in Chivirico. Other tourists at LG said the same. Even the store that sold cigarettes did not have any matches or lighters to sell.

Overall, I would rate Los Galeones the ultimate for those who want to do nothing and not be bothered by anyone. Good food, good booze (International brands like Disaronno, Martini & Rossi, Kahlua, imported Scotch, and others), good conversation with new friends. Small resort, beautiful. I love it!....I know I have broken the code of silence but I couldn't help myself....but BEWARE OF THE STAIRS.

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"Nice Place, but a few glitches."

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Wendy  on Jan 18, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | Family and Kids
433 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.

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"A super holiday"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Stephen  on Feb 5, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
410 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 !

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"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: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Stephen  on Feb 14, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | With Group
429 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.

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"Nice place for rum & sun"

Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones
User Rating:  Brisas Sierra Mar & Los Galeones Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  John- Tiverton  on Feb 4, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | Solo
515 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.

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