Marea Del Portillo
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
I read all the reviews I could before deciding to book this resort. I have been to Cuba many times and know what I usually receive in a three star resort, so I did not go with unrealistic expectations. A few of the previous reviews said that this resort is a diamond in the rough and a hidden gem. My visit was very rough, but could see the gem and diamond that was possible. The pros of this resort.... Scenery was beautiful, rooms were basic but very clean, grounds and pool area well kept. The cons..... Food, was very challenging to find edible food. We took butter, peanut butter, jam and spices and this saved us. No butter in the resort entire time we were there, lots of mystery meat if you dared to try it. Staff emptied the buffet and ate well themselves. Soup was usually good. Pasta with tomatoe soup sauce was edible but not much else.sometime bread was good others stale. Went off the resort four times to eat and local restaurants Farillon and Danny's were excellent. However should not have to go outside resort to eat. Staff were very unfriendly, this is the first time I have not fallen in love with the Cuban people. They did not want to serve you, but did want your tips...should say expected tips and made it known if they were unhappy with the amount given. Met other guests that had been there 20+ times and even they found this trip challenging. Will I return probably not! Would I recomend it to someone? Not unless they were an enemy.
First off, we love going to Cuba, we will be going back many times in the future, just not to this resort. The views are spectacular, be it your room view over the bay or the balcony in the restaurant where you can watch the sun set over the mountains. Just phenomenal no matter where you go the views are beautiful. Take a hike up the coast, see lots of local wildlife, lizards, birds, goats, pigs, cows roam somewhat wild around the resort. This resort has a lot of potential and we would have enjoyed our 2 weeks.Except... and I really don't want to be this negative, this is the worst resort we have ever been to. Our standards are not exceptionally high, we know there is only a limited amount of funds that get to the resort. We don't expect 5 stars in Cuba and anyone going shouldn't. With very few exceptions the staff was miserable, unhelpful, and lazy. After landing there is about an hour and a half bus ride, no big deal, It's dark, my wife and I just watched a movie on my tablet. The roads are rough, but the drivers were excellent and were avoiding the major holes in the road. I was last in line to do some currency exchange so we were one of the last people to board the bus. Our luggage was put onto another bus, mostly because so many people brought bikes that took up all the storage and some of the seats on the bus. We arrived at the resort, which is actually 2 resorts Maria and The Farallon, we stayed at the Farallon. Half of our luggage was dropped off at Marea. Once again not a big deal. I asked the front desk what we should do. The response was "It might show up tomorrow." No help at all, finally I found the guy who ran the shuttle cart and got him to take us down to collect my luggage, easy fix and we were ready to enjoy our vacation.I do have to warn you, potential traveller, there are some things going on in this resort that you see bits of at other places. The resort seems a hot spot for prostitution and a lot of it. The resort was full of elderly men young Cuban women. It was all over the place, there is no way the staff or management is unaware of this. I wouldn't recommend anyone bringing a family to this resort. Water, when you arrive there are 2 bottles of water waiting for you in your room, this is usually the standard. Every other place we have been water was replenished on a regular basis. Not here, I ended up dehydrated on our second or third night we didn't have any water left. My fault I was dehydrated, we had a great day at Cayo Blanco, followed by meeting a bunch of new friends in the pool afterwards. My wife left the room around 12 to find water. She went to front desk, she was rudely treated and yelled at. Even though there was a bar fridge 20 meters away that had bottles of water in it, the staff wouldn't help at all. My wife had to walk down to the beach bar, the only place open, about 500-750m away, down 2 flights of stairs that had broken steps, broken railings, and no lighting on the stairs or path. After getting some water I felt much better and wanted to find out for myself what was going on with the water. I was met with a very poor attitude at front desk. It was here we realised most of the staff didn't really care about the guests at all.We hardly ever encountered any entertainment staff they spent most of their time sitting by the lobby playing on their phones. Not once did we see any effort to start events for the guests, or effort to engage conversations with guests unless the guest were giving them money, gifts, or alcohol. We found this very strange especially for a Club Amigo resort where in other locations we have had some of the best entertainment staff. We, after 2 weeks, couldn't tell you the name of a single entertainment staff member.As for the food, There is a reason there are a number of restaurants located off the resort, the food there was dismal. Pasta station routinely ran out of meat, sauce, and a couple times even cheese. Same goes for the breakfast omelette station The buffet food was on the cold side, repetitive and surprisingly bland. No food at the beach bar, supposedly they will be building a food station there in the future. That being said the ala carte at Maria did have the best shrimp I have ever had, if you know the recipe contact me. Highlights of the buffet food were the rabbit in a wine sauce (only was there once so get it if you can), the pig roast available on Fridays was also good. The upkeep of the resort was poor, I mentioned the steps to the beach earlier, but these steps are a danger even in the middle of the day. Grass, flowers, and bushes were well kept around the resort and the beach was cleaned regularly. They could put some more effort to paths and grounds closer to the beach. If going hiking along the coast be aware that the first 200 meters are covered in garbage, but still worth the trip once you are past that. The pool did not seem to be treated chemically the entire trip, the handwritten pool PH/temp report wasn't updated the entire 2 weeks.Finally, our day of departure arrived. We packed up left "gifts" for our maid. Went down to the pool. Our maid, came down to the pool area where we were sitting, not to thank us (not that we expected or wanted thanks) but to accuse us of stealing towels. Anyways we boarded the bus for a pleasant ride back to the airport. The scenery was nice, riding through the mountains, seeing the local towns, lots of excellent photo opportunities. We booked a few days prior to departure the VIP airport lounge from Sunwing for a 25CUC per person fee. We were told there would be lounge chairs and a buffet. We skipped lunch at the hotel because we were expecting food to be provided. Save your money. We were led down to the VIP room to find no place to sit, the 20-year-old couches were already occupied, only 1 TV worked, and the buffet... was crackers, cut up raw hotdogs, with cheese on top. Also provided were a bowl of olives and some pickles. I personally would have skipped this and stayed in the actual non-VIP section where you could get sandwiches, fries, plus multiple other options for far less than the 25CUC.When we read the reviews of this resort and seeing how many repeat customers they get, we couldn't wait to go. But since we have got back it seems many of the repeaters are now looking for other options. TLDR: Views Great, Cayo Blanco Great, Staff Horrid, Food Bad, Prostitution Blatant, Don't Bring your Kids.
This hotel i have visited many times over 20 years unfortunately the place has gone down hill from a three star to now less than 1 star. The food was cold every night for a week until I complained. Then like magic it was hot and although repetitious it was edible. Less than 4 days later again absolutely stone cold food, no butter for 3 days. No bacon for 2 weeks. Bar had poor selection of drinks. The room I was in had boarded up windows. Was told i was lucky I had A/c that worked intermittently. It appears Marea only considers its Cuban guests not we Canadians. Shame it used to be so beautiful.
After going to Marea probably around 20 times over the last years I doubt we'll be back. Don't get me wrong, my wife and I love the place but enough is enough. We love the scenery, the people, and even though the resort is old, it is very clean. We mostly love visiting the people in the area. They are fixing up the place. New paint, new doors, new locks on the doors, new loungers. You can put lip-stick on a pig, but it's still a pig. That's harsh but the fact that Sunwing has hiked the prices significantly doesn't make it viable to return. The food we have learned to accept but this time it just seemed to be the same old food over and over everyday day all week. We know they have trouble with getting supplies, but no butter for the last few days to put on your toast seems a little ridiculous. Our room had a new door with new lock and key. The only problem is I leave at 6:30 a.m. to meet some friends for coffee and if I lock the door after me my wife can't get out of the room so I either have to wake her up to lock the door after me or leave the door unlocked. It's a big nuisance and only one key to a room has always been a problem. Twice we reserved taxis to go into Marea for dinner and twice our cabs ended up taking someone else as they had made arrangements with the cab driver earlier but the cab driver doesn't notify the front desk who take the reservations for the cabs. And the cabs are very limited in supply this time of year. Lots of little niggling things but my wife says I'm just getting old and cranky but next year I'm going to be old and cranky at another resort. I hated to post this but I think it needs to be said.
Sad to see such potential go down the drain. Many people that have been going for years treated with such Distain. This hotel has such a gorgeous setting. Many of the staff grounds keepers maids do such a good job and keep the place clean.Entertainment is basically non existent Bar tenders work hard to satisfy. Bar is however poorly stocked. No limes peppermint real lime juice all which are readily available locally. Snack bar poorly run with much of the food going out the back door to locals. The cafeteria is a sad joke. Little to no food warmers don't work half the time.I believe some food to be recycled. No pig roast the two weeks we stayed. No butter many days. Some days no bread. Good place for a diet. Many people where sick. We have gone for 3 years every year a little worse. My wife and her friend tried several times to book massage with a big hassle. The sand fleas mosquitos and parrasit in the ocean makes it hard for those susceptible to bug bites. The pool was not very refreshing like a Luke warm bath. This is such a very nice part of the island. This hotel has so much going for it if good and STRICT management serves the client. At one time it was good value for your dollar not anymore. Sunwing should be embarrassed to have this hotel on its list. Prostitution is also evident. If your thinking of going here think twice. Give it a couple of years hopefully they will crack down on internal theft and corruption and this little diamond in the rough will return to its former glory. To the good staff at the hotel that work so hard I wish you luck.To the lazy crooked staff I hope you are gone soon.
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- 3 Meals daily plus snacks
- All drinks (domestic beer & cocktails daily from 10am-11pm)
- Daily activities
- Nightly entertainment
- SCUBA lesson
- Non-motorized water sports
- 1 Buffet & 1¬†a la carte restaurant
- 1 Snack bar
- 2 Bars Pool (with kids area)
- Beauty salon (fee)
- Day time tennis
- SCUBA Diving
- Shops (fee)
- Medical service (fee)
- Tour desk
- Two 3/4 beds
- Bathroom with shower only
- Satellite TV
- Safety deposit box (fee)
- Balcony or Terrace
- 110v or 220v (adaptors/transformers required) available
- Max occupancy 3 persons
For the Kids - Kids' area of pool.
Resort Location Map
Marea Del PortilloManzanillo De Cuba,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Carretera Granma, km. 12 1/2 Marea del Portillo, Pilon 87900 Cuba
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.
Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
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