Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Reviews

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Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)  

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

"Relaxing week at the Memories Holguin Beach"
Posted by: Claire on Dec 10, 2015
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Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Reviews
Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Pictures and Information
Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Playa Yuraguanal Cuba

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of 1 Hotels in Playa Yuraguanal

User rating 4.2

Based on 39 reviews

Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and 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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Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Reviews

Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 4.2 of 5 39 reviews
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"Relaxing week at the Memories Holguin Beach"

Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa) Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Claire  on Dec 10, 2015  >  7 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2015 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
102 people found this review helpful

Beautiful hotel, grounds, pools. Large rooms, so-so playa, excellent service, alacarte restaurants very good, buffet to be improved. Weather in mid 30s and muggy, but perfecto all week!


All of these comments were made directly (with appropriate constructive suggestions) to the PTBe at the Memories.

Room Number:
418

Arrival:
CHECK-IN: fast and efficient, even for a large group at almost midnight. The hotel was less than a third full, mostly Canadians/Quebekers, many Pols, all nice people, a few families with young children. We changed room the next morning because we had requested a Qbed (anniversary trip)and had gotten 3 singles... All repairs during the week were done rapidly, efficiently, and with a smile (i.e. no hot water in shower, safe kaput).

Rooms:
Rm 418, near pool and playa, very clean, small shower, no beer or colas in fridge (am assuming it's just for vip clients?) but was no problemo for us. Water bottles delivered promptly each morning. No bugs of any kind in the room. Good beds, nice linens. No housecoats but lots of towels, facecloths, t.paper. Nice balcony surrounded by shaded trees...and huge Poinsettia bushes in full bloom, wunnerful!

Restaurants and Bars:
RESTAURANTS: The Romantico and Cuban alacartes were very good, compared to the fare offered at the Buffet each day. The lack of variety --and HOT food-- at the Buffet is our only major peeve (and we're not fussy eaters when in Cuba!). The staff told us they were restricted by the supplier. The Buffet DID offer a spectacular view of the pools and sea, to die for! The 24-hr snack bar had good pizza and chicken wings for lunch, and the beachbar lunch grill offered pizzas, hamburgers and humungous hot dogs, all good. Note: The Romantico is the only enclosed restaurant with A/C onsite.

BARS: Beach bar had mojitos, tried the Sunshine (white rum + naranja), no coco locos, no Sberry daiquiris. Pool bar bartender Giovanni puts on a spectacular show, won best international bartender. Lobby Bar great coffee, pink champagne para MOI and Santiagos para LUI, sweet! Snack Bar also has a bar, good coffees and cold ones. Good service with a smile.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
POOL AND PLAYA: The site is vast, with spectacular vegetation around the 4-tiered pool, as the hotel in on a slope with many stairs (of course stone walkways are an option). We did not use the pools but they were beautiful; we were told they were very clean, well stocked with chairs, palapas, and service.
PLAYA was of course small (we knew going in; it was slightly longer than that at the PPesquero but much smaller than playa Esmeralda) and unfortunately the water was cloudy most of the week, despite calm seas. A bit of seaweed on the beach was rapidly picked up each morning before 9-ish. Some seaweed underfoot in the water, which apparently bothered some people, not us. Snorkeling could be done a few meters from shore and there were mangroves and coral on either end of the bay for this purpose. Saw some beautiful coral samples on one such excursion. No seashells to speak of, probably because of the reef off shore. The catamaran staff can easily paddleboat u out for some snorkeling.
The site is almost spotless at all times. Cleaning staff very discrete.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
ENTERTAINMENT: The Animation staff (with over a dozen new trainees) did their best to keep us occupied and were all very sweet and cheerful. There was soft live music in the lobby each night. One tourist, a retired concert pianist from Germany, honoured us with a few classical pieces, for which he received an ovation, twas impressive! No entertainment in the restaurants. Each night we enjoyed the live bands near the Snackbar who played for a good hour before the nightly shows. These bands were FANTASTIC! One such band, called CLAIM, played 80s-90s rock favourites, Clapton, RHCPeppers, ACDC, something I had never seen in Cuba, a huge ovation! We saw only snippets of a couple of shows (we turn in early).
The hotel presented an Aquatic Show one night, and although the troupe was fantastic, the inadequate lighting made it hard to see/fully appreciate their performance, costumes and even faces...
One noontime there was a Cuban Party with roast pig (looked like a baby pig) but it took so long for it to cook that many people just gave up waiting and went to lunch elsewhere... Others who did wait did not get any food because they ran out...
Paddleboats are available for snorkeling as well as catamarans.

Other Comments:
LOS GATOS: Several cats onsite (report made to Radar for SP). Cat lovers here, so fed them when we could, especially the kittens!

BUG REPELLANT necessary as soon as sun begins to set (in November that's around 4:30 at the pool) so bring Watkins or stuff of choice. Noticed no sand flea bites on people but lots of no-see-um bites on many. With Watkins, no problemo para nosotros.

There is a huge fountain in the front lobby which did not work all week but would have been welcomed in this quiet area which fills ups quite a bit in the evenings and could add to the warm welcome of the hotel as patrons arrive/leave (pictures to post on FB and other media, for example).

Kudos to this hotel for its recycling bins all over the site (paper/plastic/metal) and for the cards in the rooms asking us to save water (i.e. reuse towels).

MUCHAS GRACIAS Raquel (Community Mgr), Adel and Mayelin (Reception), Big Alexis(Bellboy), Linett and Ana (Lobby Bar), Ivonne (rm lady), Hanley (charming Maitre D), Annie, Claudia and Peachy (animation), Juan and Ariel (catamarans)

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"List of things to bring to the Playa Turquesa..."

Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and 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
377 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"

Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and 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
434 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"

Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and 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
437 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"

Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and 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
490 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"

Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and 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
530 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"

Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and 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
497 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"

Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and 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
520 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 !!"

Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and 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
508 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"

Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and Occidental Grand Playa Turquesa)
User Rating:  Memories Holguín Beach Resort (formerly Sirenis Playa Turquesa and 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
512 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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