Hotels in Sancti Spiritus
Hotel Brisas Trinidad Del Mar
Purpose-built for the packaged tour group trade, this all-inclusive resort at Playa Anc?n opened in 2004. Designed in a quasi colonial fashion (architectural elements imitate the nearby city of Trinidad\'s famous landmarks), it is far superior to the lackluster Hotel Anc?n next door, despite its garish color schemes. It makes a big play for families kid\'s club, children\'s swimming pool, and special programs for children. But there\'s plenty of appeal for everyone thanks to a wide range of recreational attractions such as tennis, beach volleyball, and watersports that include aqua-bikes, Hobi-Cats, kayaks, and windsurfing.
The buildings envelope a long, sinuous swimming pool surrounded by spacious sundecks and palm-shaded lawns. Guests get a choice of three restaurants. However, even this relatively upscale resort isn\'t free of the two bugbears that afflict the Hotel Anc?n: namely, desultory service and bland food. But the evening cabaret shows are good, and the lively nightlife of Trinidad is a 20-minute taxi ride away.
Hotel Club Amigo Ancon
Guests should be prepared for poor service and relatively Spartan decor, despite having been refurbished as an all-inclusive for the tourist trade. It is used primarily by package tour groups from Europe and Canada. The lobby ? spacious and airy ? sets a good initial tone and has a small gift store, games room, and tour desks. A high point, the huge swimming pool to one side is flanked by spacious sundecks, although the beach offers more appeal. Alas, the buffet restaurant and specialty Italian restaurant both offer ho-hum fare at best, and food here is one of the most consistent weak links.
Nor do bedrooms shine. In fact, the decor seems a carry over from Soviet days, with frumpy fabrics, second-rate mattresses and utilitarian furniture. At least guests get satellite TV. Overall this is one of the least appealing beach hotels in the country. The best that can be said for this hotel is that it offers scuba certification and runs superb dive trips.
Hotel Encanto del Rijo
This is one of our favorite provincial hotels. The lovely neo-classical building dating from 1818 sits on tiny Plazuela Honorato del Castillo and looks out directly toward the 17th-century Parroquial Mayor del Esp?ritu Santo church ? a great setting. However, traffic noise echoing through the streets can be a problem for late sleepers.
A thoughtful restoration around the Millennium reinvigorated this former dilapidated mansion, which metamorphosed as a hotel in the Islazul chain in 2001. In 2007, it was elevated to the Cubanacan chain, for better or worse. You feel like you\'re stepping back in time as you pass through the tall nail-studded carriage doors to a lobby with wrought-iron chandeliers beneath a sturdy beamed ceiling. No worries, as directly across the street, the Mes?n de la Plaza replicates a Spanish bodega and delivers excellent Iberian dishes (such as garbanzo with bason and sausage), plus a delicious baked chicken in orange sauce. We\'ve always thought the inflatable plunge pool on the rooftop to be a disaster just waiting to happen. There have been reports of major spillage!
Hotel Encanto Plaza
Overlooking the main square in Sancti Sp?ritus, this mid-19th-century hotel was recently added to Cubanac?n\'s Encanto brand, for small city hotel with exceptional character. However, the Hotel E Plaza falls far short of being such a boutique hotel. OK, it\'s steps-to-everywhere locale is a plus. The lobby is welcoming, with its arches and slender columns, its potted plants, contemporary clay murals, and tinkling fountain in an atrium courtyard to the rear. A small mahogany lobby bar exudes charm, and there\'s a rooftop terrace with views over the city.
The lobby also doubles as TV lounge ? a noisy distraction to guests seeking to relax or using the adjoining computer with Internet access. Our experience in the hotel\'s handsome restaurant, graced by a black-and-white checkered tile floor, has always been disappointing. \"No hay!\" (there is none) seems to be a mantra. And we would really like to see the tableclothes washed more than once a year.
Hotel Gaviota Kurhotel Escambray
Run by Cuba\'s Gaviota hotel chain, this monstrosity is totally at odds with its surrounds. The forested mountain setting at 800 meters elevation, deep in the Sierra Escambray, is lovely. And therein lies the problem: this great concrete hulk rising seven-stories above the treetops is a carbuncle on the landscape. To call this Soviet-scale ziggurat austere is an understatement. Although it looks Stalinist, it originated in 1936 as a sanatorium. In the 1970s it was converted to serve as a health tourism facility ? the \"Cure-hotel\" ? a function it still serves, while also accepting independent travelers.
A stay here is quite surreal. Start with the massive stone staircase. And the tiny (and dysfunctional) elevators. And the guests walking around in identical track suits. And the fact that the hotel even has its own TV station. Still, there are pleasant moments. The restaurant is modestly elegant, although the menu (no surprises here!) is limited to criolla staples. The heated Olympic-size indoor pool is a treat for serious swimmers. You can get physical in the gym and squash courts, then sooth your muscles in the spa.
Hotel Gaviota Los Helechos
The yin to the Kurhotel\'s yang, this hotel lies literally in the latter\'s shadow and offers a much smaller, intimate and ? at first sight ? more appealing alternative. Surrounded by woodland at Topes de Collantes, in the heart of the Sierra Escambray, it\'s a perfect base for exploring the mountains. Several hiking trails begin within a stone\'s throw of the hotel.
Weeds pushing up through the driveway and car park are a sign of things to come. Things begin well enough in the rather plain lobby, with its simple wicker reed furnishings. After hiking or horseback rides, you can do some laps in the swimming pool in a huge solarium, or realx in a steam room. But that\'s pretty much where the good news ends.This hotel is long overdue for refurbishing and is literally falling apart at the seams. And the basic meals in the restaurant will have you sighing in exasperation.
Hotel Cubanacan La Ronda
This small hotel opens onto Parque C?spedes and offers a value-priced budget alternative to the deluxe Iberostar a stone\'s throw away, while having the advantage of a heart-of-affairs location compared to the similarly priced Hotel Horizontes Las Cuevas up the hill. The concept is fairly simple: take a 19th-century townhouse, fix up the plumbing and install modern bathrooms, give the rest of the building a sprucing and open up to foreign tourists.
The 17 air-conditioned bedrooms are on two levels opening to an atrium patio with palms and potted plants. Furnishings are somewhat meager, and the mattresses and pillows are second rate. Nonetheless, the rooms are the equal of most private room rentals (the most popular options in Trinidad) in town. The high ceilings and colonial tile floors help keep rooms cool, and those facing south have tall French doors opening to balconies overlooking the lively plaza. Satellite TVs, telephones, small refrigerators, and in-room safes are standard.
Hotel Iberostar Grand Trinidad
This could well be Cuba\'s finest provincial hotel. Offering a much-needed deluxe option for visitors to this most popular of Cuban colonial cities, the Iberostar opened in 2006 and has justifiably earned plaudits as a true five-star hotel. The hotel is a conversion of an unassuming, two-story, mint-green 19th-century mansion on the north side of Parque C?spedes. Beyond the front doors, however, and... wow! The lobby, supported by columns, gleams with marble, travertine, and polished hardwoods. Halogens inset in the ceiling bespeak a contemporary styling reflected in the sumptuous furnishings of the atrium lobby lounge graced by wrought-iron railings and a Moorish-style fountain.
Guest rooms recreate the gracious ambiance of yesteryear with their mahogany colonial reproduction furnishings, including four-poster beds and gold, red, and cream color schemes. And the quality mattresses here guarantee a good night\'s sleep. Bathrooms are clad in gray local marble and have bidets, large walk-in showers and separate marble-topped tubs, marble countertops, and embossed fluffy towels.
Hotel Villa Islazul San Jose del Lago
Lush flora and varied fauna species found in the Guamuhaya mountain range, central Cuba, an area full of natural treasures, an exceptional climate and many endemic species, are the basis of the region?s tourist potential.
Considered one of the main tourist offers of the Sancti Spiritus region, Yaguajay possesses Villa San Jose del Lago, providing thermal water treatments to patients suffering from chronic diseases -with or without systemic repercussions- among them osteomioarticular, dermatological and nervous-system diseases, with extraordinary effectiveness in the case of patients with psoriasis. The natural resources of the area are an indispensable component in the treatments.
Add to that the personalized and specialized services offered by competent Cuban professionals; the enjoyment of exquisite Cuban and international cuisine; thermal swimming pool and traditional medicine treatments.
Hotel Islazul Zaza
It has a huge swimming pool and large sundeck with thatched umbrellas and lounge chairs. There\'s a small games room, and a desultory disco. The small lobby bar lounge tries to recreate a tropical mood with its bamboo furnishings and surfeit of potted plants. You guessed it?mosquitoes abound here!
Alas, not all the 124 air-conditioned rooms have water views, not least due to the inexplicable use of frosted glass in the windows. But all rooms do have balconies, plus satellite TV, phones, mini-refigerators and recently remodeled bathrooms with modern fixtures.