Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Reviews

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Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)  

Calle Guardalavaca, Playa Yuraguanal, Rafael Freyre, Holguín, Cuba
(Holguin Maps)

"List of things to bring to the Playa Turquesa..."
Posted by: Jon on Mar 2, 2012
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Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Reviews
Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Pictures and Information
Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Playa Yuraguanal Cuba

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of 1 Hotels in Playa Yuraguanal

User rating 4.2

Based on 38 reviews

Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Information


This all inclusive resort is located on a stunning, natural beach in the resort area of Holguin.

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Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Reviews

Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 4.2 of 5 38 reviews
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"List of things to bring to the Playa Turquesa..."

Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Jon  on Mar 2, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
211 people found this review helpful

We arrived in February, 2010 via Air Canada Vacations. This was our first visit to Cuba. The room was large and clean, with excellent housekeeping during our 2 week stay. Staff throughout the resort were very friendly and warm, much more so than in any other Mexican or Caribbean resort. Outings like the catamarans, snorkeling, and dolphins were terrific. Since we know people who had travelled in Cuba in the past our expectations of the train excursion and the Holguin tours were met. Cuba's economy is definitely not like Hawaii's nor Mexico's, so be realistic and you will love it.

Here's a list of things to bring to the Playa Turquesa resort:

* hot & spicy sauces like HP, A1, Tabasco, Maggi, Dijon, etc. (be nice and bring extra bottles to leave behind for other diners in the Buffet section before you go home since they are unavailable in Cuba - no need to bring ketchup or mustard)
* mini salt and pepper grinders (pepper in the eating areas is quite weak)
* steak knives and teaspoons (these are not to be found anywhere on the resort so bring your own but mark them - all other utensils are provided)
* toothpicks (not to be found on the resort)
* insulated travel mugs for poolside (the poolside plastic drink cups are flimsy and have no handles - the coffee cups in eating areas are proper porcelain with saucers)
* corkscrew (if you buy wine from the store or preferably from the dinner reservations office)
* closet hangers (there were only a few provided)
* coffee whitener for the in-room coffee maker (coffee and sugar was provided)
* scissors to open the in-room coffee bags (they don't tear open)
* tissues like kleenex
* a 220VAC-to-110VAC electrical transformer if you bring any 110VAC gear (there is only one 110V socket in the entire room and it is on the hair dryer and may not even work in the first place as ours didn't)
* mosquito spray (fishing gear stores have 30% Deet spray) although we were not bitten much
* a music player of some sort (there were no music-only channels on the room's TV)

We found a cicada in one of our bathroom towels one night - they look like giant cockroaches but they are harmless so I trapped it in a glass and set the poor thing free outside. Remember folks, this is a tropical resort so if you don't like seeing the occasional big bug then don't go in the first place.

Will we return to the Playa Turquesa resort? We certainly hope so! :) BTW, as we were leaving to go home we were told that Sirenis has sold the resort to Cuba's Gaviota Tours so hopefully there will be some confirmation of that soon.

Room Block:
500

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"A holiday of a lifetime"

Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  sharon  on Nov 19, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Nov, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
251 people found this review helpful

i went on holiday with my 2 daughters,from the moment we arrived we were treated very well. we had a bit of que at the airport when we arrived but we did at gatwick nothing to complain about.on arrival at the hotel we were greeted by the staff all very friendly and taken to our rooms by the little carts they use. the restaurants were very good with a range of food. pools excellent,rooms clean and made everyday. staff were very nice and friendly.i would definately go again. the only problem we found was that some of the people who were on holiday there were very rude to the staff. just because they have money and the cubans dont doesnt give them the right to treat them horribly. i would definatley reccomend this hotel to my family and friends and anyone else.






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"Hotel which needs a bit of tlc"

Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  rebecca  on Nov 2, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Sep, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
275 people found this review helpful

My husband and i visited this hotel for the second time, first time was 2010.Felt it had gone downhill slightly. Small niggly things not right like mould in wardrobes, patio doors not locking, air conditioning breaking down, doors sticking etc. However some staff very helpful, especially in dining areas, and well maintained pools and gardens. beach very seaweedy but this was cleared by staff. Food adequate but bit boring. overall good value for
money the people make up for any shortfalls in accommodation, although this was very clean and maid service very good. not good for people with any walking problems as very hilly and loads of steps even though they have a golf
wagon service for getting you around.

Room Number:
various

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"Very Nice"

Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Sharron  on Apr 22, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
326 people found this review helpful

We were travelling with another couple, best friends of ours. We had all been to Cuba 10 years ago and loved it but was not impressed with the food. This time, we were impressed and were very pleased. Cuban people are the friendliest and happiest people we have met in the Caribbean. They really do want you to enjoy their country and they make the effort to make sure that happens even without tipping. Our baloncy door would not lock but we felt safe and were not afraid of being robbed by the Cuban people, unlike the Dominion Republic were both ourselves and our friends have had things stolen from our rooms. I have to say I love the Cuban people, they may have very little material things but they are the richest people I know, kind, friendly and happy. We could all learn from them.

Arrival:
We arrived at Holguin airport at 6:15am and within minutes we were through customs and on our bus heading to the resort. That day there were three buses all going to the same resort. Check-in was fast and we were taken by carts to our rooms.

Rooms:
The rooms are simple but clean. All you meet for a week or two stay. No water pressure problems at all. We always had hot water.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food was good and a very good selection. Sometimes it was a bit on the cold side but it might of been sitting for a bit longer when we got to it. Always lots to eat and never felt sick. The water is okay to drink in Cuba. We tried all the a la carte restaurants and liked them all. My favourite was the Italian. I found the a la carte restaurants in Cuba just as good, if not better then at the resort we stayed at in Punta Cana. I would not of said that 10 years ago.
The pool bar was well used....my husband and the bartender, Wilbur became good friends...hahaha.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The pools were gorgeous, tiered and at the top of the tiers you could see the ocean. I was a little disappointed with the beach. Lots of seaweed but still the white sands. I'm not a ocean swimmer but I do like to walk along the beach with my feet in the water.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went on this vacation just to relax, therefore we didn't do any activities except walk around the resort and didn't do an excurions although we did think about going on the excurion into Holguin but decided against it.

Other Comments:
All in all we had a great vacation. I would definitely go back to Holguin again. The only problem with this resort is all the stairs. We counted 67 stairs from our unit to the main dining areas. I would not recommend this resort to anyone with limited mobility, including arthritis or any lung problems. They do have carts that will take you back and forth but they aren't always available when you need them. Probably if you called the front lobby they would have them there when you needed them. Other then the stairs, I would highly recommend this resort.

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"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"

Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  robert  on Mar 16, 2011  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
362 people found this review helpful

The most disappointing aspect of the resort was the beach. Even though the sand was white and soft, the ocean itself was not a pleasant place for swimming or simply hanging out – the water was cold, and one had to negotiate raised kelp beds to swim 25 – 30 feet from the shore. Compared to Punta Cana’s or even Puerto Plata’s beaches, I found it very inadequate. And, since I generally spend more time at the beach than at the pools, I was not impressed. However the terraced pools with cascading waterfalls were excellent, clean and refreshing. As a result, I spent most of my time by the large bottom pools. My one criticism of the pool area is that it lacks enough shaded areas for those who needed a break from the sun.

I found the service and the helpfulness of all the staff to be outstanding. Tips do help grease the path, but that’s not exclusive to Cuba. I tipped often and generously. Actually, much of the money I had with me was given in tips. Cuban’s are poor and very poorly paid, even those in the tourist industry, and the extra pesos they earn allow them to make ends meet. The formula is simple, if you want to be very well taken care of, tip well.

There are several bars on site and the Don Bartolo (Grill Bar) is open 24/7. My favourite bartender was Geovanis, the juggler, who makes the Tom Cruise character in Cocktail seem like an amateur. He is recognized as one of the best in the world – amazing.

The rooms are basic but clean and adequate – always had hot water. The grounds are well maintained and clean.

Entertainment was really quiet lame and very amateur. More fun was had at the reception or the 24 hour bar.

The food was actually good, but the selection, particularly fresh vegetables and fruits was limited. We ate at two a la cartes,the Italian and the Mediterranean. The food was not very different from what was available at the buffet, but the presentation and ambiance were a nice change.

My biggest complaint is reserved for the toilets in the common areas. All of them, excepting the ones at the reception were disgusting. They were rarely mopped during the day, some were without toilet seats and the doors had no locks. All of this is easily remediated, but the management was either oblivious or apathetic. Too bad because it leaves a bad impression.
As stated above, the STP is a good value for the money and a good introduction to Cuba, but if you live for the beach, I couldn’t recommend it. However, if pools are your thing go for it. Just remember, wear your flip-flops when going to the can!

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"Fantastic"

Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  beverly  on Mar 5, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
329 people found this review helpful

This is a wonderful place. Reading the reviews before I went I was a bit concerned.But no concerns once I arrived.We were treated like royality all while we were there.The maid even left us a note and wished us a safe trip home.The food was excellent the beaches pools, lots of chairs, always a man there to get a chair for you and put it whever you like.The food ,entertainment weather every thing was perfect.We really enjoyed our stay.Thank you to all the staff and the nolitours people ,Excellent.

Room Number:
128

Arrival:
February 22, 2011

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"Disappointed"

Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Lori  on Mar 1, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | With Group
354 people found this review helpful

Our group of fourteen visited Sirenis Playa Turquesa from Feb. 19-26th, 2011. Beautiful scenery. At first the workers did not appear to be very friendly but seemed to warm up to us after a few days and after receiving our generous tips/gifts. We had no view from our room at all. The view from the balconies of Rooms 642, 643, 644, the three above us, plus one in the other building was just woods. However, the worst of all was the food, especially the buffet. We all got sick. It was the same food over and over and we found it to be very unsanitary. The food they brought from the kitchen was cold and the food they cooked for you at the side bar was sitting out in the heat for long periods of time. Birds flying around the tables, tablecloths and placemats did not appear to get replaced at all from breakfast, lunch and dinner, food left out for long periods of time with no heat lamps or ice. We did not go to this resort expecting five star, but cleanliness in the dining areas is definitely lacking. I would not go back and would not recommend. If you're already booked for this vacation, I suggest take less clothes and more of your own food. For seven nights you only need a couple of bathing suits and a couple of outfits. It was very hot and we enjoyed the beach and the catamaran excursion. But again the food served to us on that excursion was not fit. Honestly, we're not finicking eaters and we ate but we suffered for it. And it is true that there is only tuna and ham and cheese sandwiches available when the buffett is not open. The hot dogs and fries at the beach bar are edible when you're hungry.

Room Number:
642

Arrival:
Feb. 19, 2011

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"beautiful scenery- everything else-blah !!"

Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Judy and David  on Feb 21, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Business | With Spouse/Partner
347 people found this review helpful

very disappointed in this resort. the beach was small with a lot of seaweed. the animation group didn't seem to have much of an agenda- the only ones they wanted for their games etc. were the young ones at the pool bar. extreme amount of walking, food was just so-so and very repititious, a la cartes were fair except the Italian - which was very good. we arrived on Saturday and asked if we could have a mirror in our bathroom. it was a wee bit hard trying to dry my hair and for my husband to shave with no mirror. we left the following Saturday and still no mirror. our shower ceiling leaked and we told them about this on the first day also- finally on the Wednesday night the water was pouring out of the ceiling as much as it was coming out of the shower head -so after two more phone calls and the latter quite insistent on my part did they send someone to drain the water out of the ceiling so we could shower. we left on Saturday at 730a.m.-buffet does not open until 730a.m. so nothing to eat unless you got a tuna or ham and cheese sandwich at the grill. we asked our Air Canada rep twice if he could arrange a continental breakfast for the 3 bus loads who were leaving at the same time as us or arrange with the grill to provide toast and muffins-just anything . we were assured everything would be taken care of. of course he forgot to tell us what day !!!! we left with nothing-some had fries at 6 a.m.-yuk.

Room Number:
268

Arrival:
arrival was fine -rooms were not ready until after 4p.m. we went for lunch -got our beach towels and went to beach.

Rooms:
nothing fancy-two twin beds,closet,no bathroom mirror or place to hang towels.

Restaurants and Bars:
1 buffet, 5 a la cartes- Italian, Cuban, Mediterranean, Grill,Oriental,

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
pools were nice. swim up bar pool-music very loud.
beach was poor-a lot of seaweed.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
tried to play bingo one day and was told NO-we have enough players.
night shows were poor-too much ballet in them so seemed to be the samae thing every night.
we took the double decker bus- 5 CUCs round trip to Guardalavaca market.
we hired a taxi for 80 pesos round trip for 4 to Holguin. he gave us a tour around the city and we shopped at Central Square with local people-enjoyed this very much.

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"Great place, well worth it"

Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Kelley  on Feb 10, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
338 people found this review helpful

My husband,myself and a girlfriend with her husband went to Hoguin at stayed at the Sirenis Playa Turquesa. Absolutely loved it even though the first two days were rain. Food was very good even the buffet as they always changed it up a bit. The best a la cart was the Italian restaurant. Tours were awesome, people were awesome only draw back that we could only stay one week. Two would be ideal. Very clean and service was good. Would highly recommend staying there.

Room Number:
316

Arrival:
January 21/11 and left January 28/11

Restaurants and Bars:
Bar service was fantastic

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Excellent and very clean

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Great tours and would do more but ran out of time

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"Good vacation, they do their best"

Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Sirenis Playa Turquesa (formerly Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Ronald  on Feb 2, 2011  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
292 people found this review helpful

Guests at The Sirenis Playa Turquesa were in a good mood, enjoying all of the resort, complaining only about the swimming. And the airport... but this is Cuba. Here are some comments, mostly on things other people have not mentioned. It includes the drawbacks of Sirenis, which other surprisingly high-praise reviews seem to have missed. It is not a better place than many other good resorts; other reviewers must have been shocked that it is good at all.

Room Number:
716

Rooms:
Ours was fine (700s, for Nolitours), everything worked, hot water always, very good aircon. Big enough, and quiet balcony. It is true the walls seem thin... we were beside an incessant cougher. Medium-sized buildings set nicely in greenery; you get a nice forest view from the balconies.

Restaurants and Bars:
People did not complain about the food. There are grilling stations with great choice (not big line-ups), quite a few salad mixtures (didn't get sick), many cheeses and cold meats, even smoked salmon ... they try to make the food classy. There is always an excellent large baked fish and a meat hidden behind the middle of the line-up for the pasta station. Always several cooked vegetables (canned, but this is Cuba), several fruits, and mushy cakey desserts.... Pre-prepared foods were okay, kept in regular warmers. No foods ran out. We enjoyed the Italian a la carte, a quality meal. Serving staff was friendly and quick enough (coffee or tea water sometimes cool). The buffet has a knockout view... we usually sat at the edge to enjoy it.

Bars seemed fine, although drinks could vary. Service was good, without tipping. The lobby bar is filled with lobby noise, buses pulling up, not too nice. Three evenings a pianist plays forlornly amidst the din. The bar by the upper pool has a nicer atmosphere; and there is a bar in one pool for those who wish to soak and drink.

One notices slightly the focus on tips, some staff being unnaturally friendly, etc. We accept that as their life, on a dollar a day under their repressive system. So no complaint here about the pressure for tipping -- we ignore the hints (which are minor), and don't try to solve Cuba's problems by sympathy tipping. Others were tipping, feeding this lop-sided system where people can earn ten times as much from tips as from their salary... and more than a teacher or medical worker. Anyway, we have already paid a healthy labour fee to the hotel; but instead of the staff getting it, most goes to the government.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach is long enough, with sailboats and kayaks available at one end. But walking further, in either direction, is painful coral rock. So no long seaside walks. The coral rock has interesting fossil shapes in it, but no shells. At the right end there is a track that curves inland for a pleasant kilometer walk up to the road. At the left end also a path going inland. The road out toward the highway is okay for walking; bush both sides. There is a tourist attraction park (Rocazul) 1 km. away. Sirenis is really isolated.

The beach itself is nice sand, good swimming at high tide, but bad for swimming at low tide. It becomes a huge wading pool, 2-3 feet deep. Hence the pleasant turquesa colour. Enough nice sandy parts underwater, but there are also coral rock parts. For our week, high tide was 8 a.m. and swimming was perfect... but lonely. Lots of loungers. Very basic snacks and drinks cabin. Good bathrooms nearby at the Cuban restaurant and the gym. There is medium seaweed, but they clean it up (very slowly). Surprisingly, the beach has no palms, just basic low trees. So it is not as pretty as it could be. (Only five little palm trees in total at Sirenis, at the swimming pools. Lots of mini palm type plants around the pools)

The pools are impressive, ranged down the slope with nice ocean views. Seemed very clean; and never really lacked in loungers. The whole large central area is neat and open and well landscaped. From the beach towel house at the bottom by the beach to the top pool is four storeys of stairs. One guest was heard groaning ohmigod. The whole huge resort is neat, good for walks. From our average room to eat and back totaled 1.5 km. It is well enough lit at night.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
No comment, not our interest. The so-called animation at the pool seemed to be blessedly minor. The kids club seemed unused.

Other Comments:
The airport is small and basic. They tortured our planeload on entry by scanning each bag (for what?), only two scanners: a 45 minute sardine line-up at 1 a.m.. And the government wants to have happy tourists? The equal line-up for check-in on departure is, alas, more normal. No mention at the airport of the nasty new law requiring everyone to have health insurance. The tour package operators use this new law to try to scare us into expensive health insurance, but nothing said at the airport. (One rumour is that the provincial insurance card is enough to satisfy the law anyway, so it may be good to take it.)

Overall, a very good holiday for us. This resort does try to make everything enjoyable.

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