Marea Del Portillo
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
Hotel really ok for a 3 stars in Cuba! Maybe need some repair and new furnitures, but we just need to not be picky for the price (I got it really cheap and it seems to be really afordable most of the time.The hotel is a little bit far for the airport (2h) and in the middle of nowhere... but it's really in a nice spot between mountains and sea. It's really on the country side, so more horses, cows, goats, pigs,... than cars.Beach is ok, but not the turquoise water and white sand from other places in Cuba, but still nice.Food and drinks are minimal, but not bad and have a lack of multiple things, just like most 3-stars hotels in Cuba (no lime juice, ketchup, spicy sauce,...). But taking to account that the food and drinks are really cheap at the restaurants outside the resort or at the store at the hotel, I didn't care paying to get a good meal (lobster at 10 pesos, beer at 1 peso,...).Service was really good, employees are really nice and want to help us all the time with a smile.Last thing, don't go there for party, it's mainly over 70 year old guests... it's also far from bars and city, so for a relaxing time, it's perfect.Overall, a nice budget hotel, that I would return if price is still good, but I'll bring some spices, spicy sauce, ketchup,...
The trip: The check in by Sunwing was excellent. Very quick, helpful, and efficient. The cabin crew was OK. This was 2 stops flight; in Manzanillo the 1st people to leave the plane were people going to Varadero. They had to go briefly via customs and next to the waiting room. Their carry on was checked there as well. Manzanillo airport does not have good setup for this. Going through customs in Manzanillo was quick and painless. The check in bags were ready when all the checks were done. Getting into the bus was quick and efficient. They had rooms ready for everyone, all got envelope with room number and quick form to fill out. The bus trip took 1.5 hrs. The check in into hotel was quick as well. There were people ready to help anyone who wanted any help. There was grill/buffet ready by the pool for the snacks and drinks â€“ we arrived around midnight. The trip back was good as well.Accommodation: I stayed in the room 221. A bit noisy A/C, average bathroom, the rest was quite all right. The maid service was excellent. Good TV reception â€“ for some channels needed to enter the channel since just channel up or down was skipping over some channels. Basic room. 221 was so, so. 223 and 224 were good.Food: The food was good. Again, I will suggest going early to get good selection; 7:00 am breakfast, 12:00 pm for lunch, 6:00 pm for dinner. A la carte restaurant is very nice. There is a grill by the pool side with hamburgers, sandwiches, and fries. They had great beef patties. Good wine, beer at restaurants and more choices at the bars. The beach bar has limited selection of drinks now; rum, pop, wine, and no beer. At 11 pm they are getting beer at the beach bar and they move music over there too.Entertainment: The entertainment was good. I find dance shows a bit over ambitious. I like Cuban shows dynamic and hot. There was water aqua show, quite nice. Misc.: It was very hot week. The beach bar has a nice breeze. It was much busier hotel then it used to be at that time. The water in the bay was very warm. There was a lots of Cuban tourists during weekends. They are not refilling big bubbas at the bar, what makes me happy and limiting the quantity to 2 burgers or sandwiches per person at the grill. No problem to get it again if you are still hungryThe store is still there. Still check if you are not overcharged. There is a good ice cream at the store. Also, if you buy for Cubans a gift from the store, give them receipt too with the gift. It will save them a trouble. The road to Pilon is much worse.It was good trip and I again had good time. This time I stayed mostly at the resort. The staff is really great. Suggestions: read reviews before going there and do not be surprised that this is not a party place. It could be though, all depends if you can make it.Cheers,Chris
We have been at Marea del Portillo 4 times during the kids spring vacations. Nice place, warm water and hot weather. I've been to both hotels. The view from Farraillon is amazing, but Marea is closer to the beach. Probably I will return, but I didn't like when the hotel management put a 3 person in room rule. I have 2 small kids and a room with 2-3 beds, was enough. Last time I took 2 rooms and we didn't use one.
This review is not just about the hotel, it's so much more....It's about the place of Marea Del Portillo itself, it's people, it's gorgeous scenery, etc.....absolutely amazing experience and I get emotional just reflecting on our trip because I appreciated and loved everything so much! ! Truly! This was our first trip to Marea Del Portillo, Manzanillo. But not our first trip to Cuba so we can compare. The experiences we had here far exceeded anything anywhere else thus far. Far superior! Our "Sunwing" representative was always available to offer friendly and helpful service and advice!Firstly, if you are fair like me, (Irish, so my color is white or burnt lol), you need strong sunscreen because the sun is hot. Very easy to get burned, I did. Bring a light long sleeved shirt to cover up, and a wide brimmed hat for shade. I found this helpful. The only reason I gave this resort a 4 star and not 5, is because there are areas where some basic maintenance like paint or cement repair is needed. That's it. All part of the experience.This is a small resort, which we loved because everything was easy to get to. We had upgraded to the VIP Cabana when we booked, and we were right on the beach, which was awesome. It was nice sitting on the balcony hearing the waves crash upon the shore. Our room number was 7, and the air conditioning worked very, very well. In fact we had to actually shut it off at times. The pillows are thin and so are the blankets, so you may want to think about bringing your own as well if that's important. The room was basic, tv with a few channels, phone, small fridge that had juice, pop, beer, and the bathroom looked brand new, all nicely tiled. Hair dryer and room safe is provided. You also get 2 bottles of rum, and two bottles of wine, and two bottles of water, pop and juice. All the resort's water is filtered, so you can drink it at the restaurant no problem. This is the FIRST time I have visited a Caribbean island and NOT got sick! However, when you suddenly change your normal diet, you can expect some some looseness, just like when I change my dog's food. It has nothing to do with poor food quality! Everything here is fresh and hot, if it's not, don't eat it. We had brought some medicine for "traveller's diarrhea" just in case. It makes sense, just like antibiotic creams, tylenol etc. The grounds are beautiful, the hotel lobby and floors all gleeming clean, beautiful ceramic! Lots of flowers, palm trees and trees, shrubs on the grounds.Food- We went here to experience CUBA not Canada! Remember this, and you will love the island experience! The more you are out and about, the more you will experience! We were humble, and appreciative and open minded, and boy, what a great time we had!! There is always food available. The buffet in the main restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When they are closed, the pool area has a hut you can sit in that has food bar all the time, even late night. They had fried bananas here, that were just like chips, and were very good we loved them. The buffet in the restaurant always has a variety of fruits like bananas, coconut, mango, grapefruit, star fruit, guava etc. Rice dishes, a variety of meat dishes, pasta, yucca (which is like our potato and was delicious), cooked and raw vegetables, lovely soups soooo good, bread varieties and yes, never ran out of butter, beans, even some game like rabbit, fish, chicken, pork. You can go to the other side and get food made right to your liking cooked right in front of you also, hamburgers which were very good, and yes they had mustard and ketchup. Every morning we went there and got omelettes and bacon made for us, it was very good. They also had plates of lunch meats and cheeses. Salads are mostly raw cut up veggies, and that's how they eat it on the island! The cheese here is flavorful, almost has a sour taste, I loved it, especially on my spaghetti! I have zero complaints about the food, it was hot and fresh, I didn't see repeat and reused dishes on the buffet like I have at other resorts. Always fresh. And desserts- fruits, ice creams, cakes, custards-----they use cane sugar which we are not used to eating, so I made sure I did not over eat sweets :) that is a trip advisor tip I read! We had brought ketchup but didn't need it, but if you want jam or maple syrup, bring those because they do have very nice toast and hotcakes. I personally didn't like the coffee in the restaurant, maybe because they use milk and not cream, but the bar at the pool has amazing cappuccino you can sit and sip, and you can put a shot of cocoa liquor in it :) very good and it satisfied my coffee need :) I had it every morning. The "a la carte" restaurant, is not a typical menu service and is a small restaurant, but the service was great, the tables were dressed nice and the air was cool. The food was typical buffet food, but you are served instead of having to get your plate. We loved it and we got to go twice :) Very friendly servers, terrific wines.There was always Cuban island music playing, daily and nightly entertainment both on the stage and in the pool. Every day they played bingo at 3pm at the pool. The kids win pop, and the adults win rum, or banana liquor. One day some Cuban dancers came with a band on the beach of the hotel as we sat under some grape trees, and sang, played music and danced with us. They then served us strong Cuban coffee, and soup right on the beach! Wow! They even had a couple pigs on a spit and were cooking them! There is also a pool table available by the pool at the bar, but they only have one cue, if you have spare ones they would love you to bring them to donate, fishing poles also because they can't get them. Massage service available in air conditioned room for 8 pesos for 45 mins, which was great. The beach is a natural beach, dark sand just like here in Canada, and has lots of small and large stones and pebbles, and shells and also crabs. We loved searching for treasures on this beach and found many. We had brought lake shoes so this was zero problem for us and we gave them away when we were done with them. I have never swam in the sea before, but this is a safe place, being an inlet, shallow, with always rolling waves and motion. I absolutely loved swimming there and you are also protected by the watch of the friendly lifeguards. One of them, Pedro, went and cut us coconut right from the tree, cut the end off and we drank the coconut water through a straw, (add a shot of rum even from the bar that is right on the beach), then he cut it up and made a scoop to get the coconut meat and we ate it all. It was an experience! The weather was very nice the entire week! There are friendly, small dogs, pigs, and horses roaming the beach on their own sometimes! We got a pic with one horse that was just grazing at the edge of the beach! wow! And one night, while on the beach bar patio, a big pig came right up beside us, and a huge crab just walked across the patio :) So nice sitting there and catching a glimpse of a shooting star in the star filled night sky! On the roads there are goats, pigs, dogs, chickens, all roaming loose and the bus driver had to honk to get them off the road. They seemed pretty smart too I didn't ever see any road kill. I even saw a dog on a roof in the town! The roads are not very good there, so take some gravol for motion sickness, it really came in handy for me while on the bus and plane.This is their "low season", (during fall and winter months it is even more activity), and in this season they DO allow locals who can afford it, to come vacation at the resort also. There were many Cuban families here also having a holiday. Very well dressed, happy people. The pool, is small, and was mostly filled with the children, very understandable. No problem for us, as we preferred the beach, I'm not a fan of pools anyway. And, there was so much interaction with Cuban people, being mostly employees of the hotel, who actually sat with us and told us some Cuban history, explained their way of life, drew drawings of us (very talented artists there), picked and cut up fruit for us, danced with us, laughed with us, befriended us! And NOBODY ever asked for any money, although we did tip for many things as we saw appropriate because we wanted to, both with money and gifts of clothing, soaps and things like this, and it was appreciated by them. Upon arrival at the airport, we exchanged some of our money to Cuban convertible pesos right there, which is the tourist currency we use there. The bus will wait for everyone to do this. We converted only as much as I figured I needed. $150.00 Canadian dollars got me $114.00 and change in CUC. There is a small store at the resort that you can buy ice cream, water, pop, alcohol, cigars and a few items that say Cuba on them. Not really any opportunity for souvenirs unless you go to the area out front, where there was a local guy selling home made jewelry from a table etc. which we did.Bar......there is a pool side bar, and a beach bar. The beach bar was cooler as there was always an awesome sea breeze. We brought our own drink thermos (bubba brand), it keeps your beverage both cold, and sand free and reduces waste.Excursions.....there were a few excursions that were included with our upgraded VIP Cabana. Also, kayaks and the catamaran rides are included for free, but we did tip and bring their kids some candy. Unfortunately, my nice wide brimmed hat, now sits at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea because it blew off, lol! So maybe bring two hats :) A couple of them unfortunately, were not what we expected because of one thing or another that had posed a problem for them for one reason or another, but they improvised with alternate plans. For instance, the "sunset cruise" was changed and not a cruise per se, at all. We ended up getting into this little beat up truck (some of us in the back lol), to get to the dock. When we got there, we had to get into a small boat, not the bigger cruiser, and we could not stand or use any washroom so I didn't drink anything. There was however, alcohol and pop, and ham and cheese snack available, so this was not in any sense a "cruise", but nice experience none the less. They brought us and showed us how they harvest oysters, and some people ate some right off the stick. And of course, very friendly guides. The trip to Cayo Blanco white sand beach was also cancelled one day, and instead we went to a river to swim and then had lunch of lobster, fries, chicken, hot dogs, fruit etc. Alcohol and pop were also available the whole time. A family provided this for us, and appreciated a tip just like anywhere else. If you go here, they also have a few children so bring them something. Now, while we were disappointed the Cayo Blanco trip was cancelled, this tour proved to be an amazing experience also. The views of the sea, while driving high on the mountain road was simply breathtaking! Unbelievable! Really, if you go here bring your camera. The bus even stopped and we could get out for pictures, unfortunately we were out of batteries so we don't have any. Lesson learned for next time! We had to walk through some river to get to the swimming area, all the while passing loose pigs and piglets, dogs, goats and chickens in this bush. Again, the lake shoes we brought were a great idea! There was also a Cuban family having a picnic too, and they had killed a pig and were roasting it on a spit over open fire! They could not speak English, nor we, Spanish, but smiles and handshakes go a long way in human understanding!! Very friendly group, and they let us have a turn rotating the pig and even took our picture :) We swam with them in the river. The next day, they did have the Cayo Blanco trip as planned, but we did not go so I can't comment other than to say we were told it is very hot, but nice so bring your hats and sunscreen.We went on a horse and buggy ride that was available at the hotel front, with a local man named "Roberto". What an experience. The ride is 4 CUC each an hour, we went for two hours, and worth every bit of it! He took us to a waterfall, to his small village of Marea Del Portillo, where I did buy some hand made jewelry from the woman who made it, and we had a beer with his neighbour that cost us one CUC. We saw their humble fishing boats,and homes. Good and cold beer too! Crystal is the brand and it is good beer. I had brought some candy and pencils, clothes and things for kids and I'm glad I did because there were many children here who loved those items there. They also appreciate any and mostly clothes, shoes, backpacks for kids, toothpastes, soaps, books to write, pencils, cosmetics, etc, as it is hard to get there they don't have department stores like we do. They have an entirely different way of life on the island, and excursions like this really give you an idea of how they live and it was great. The people are very happy and friendly and very laid back. Bicycles and horses and buses that are really big trucks that people stand in the open back of and hold onto are ways of transportation for many people there, and I was amazed to see the magnitude of seniors doing this and they are able and healthy! Cuba has an amazing health care system I was told by them. They also do not allow pesticides on the island so you can freely eat the fruit right off the tree! And that is exactly what we did when Roberto picked us some ripe mango right off the tree for us! Huge fruits compared to what we get in Canada! That goes for their avacados and bananas and coconuts too! Delicious! We ate them all week. We were shown many banana plantations also. Some people from the resort went into the town of Pilon via cab and went to a street dance, and to eat at a restaurant. We didn't go, but opportunities like this exist. This is a generally safe country to visit, they appreciate the tourist economy, and you are free to explore it. Even the sea air that constantly blew nice breeze had a "spa" effect on my skin! My skin feels wonderful! There is hotel security staff out and about the grounds as well, but of course, never saw any problems, but nice to know they are there for us.I am getting emotional reflecting on our experience there. Everything was so amazing and completely unlike anything I have experienced. We went to Marea Del Portillo to experience Cuba, and that is exactly what we got! We will definitely return, in fact many tourists were returnees and had lots of advice and stories for us!THANK YOU...... to all the local people and hotel staff including our Sunwing representative, of Marea Del Portillo, who really made this experience simply unforgettable for us! See you again!Dan and Kim Bilodeau, Canada
Aug 2 - Aug 9, 2017 - This is my third trip to this bay side resort since 7 years ago. Why repeat? My dive shop goes there on a regular basis, and I just go again to meet my fellow divers and the staffs. I had been to Cuba about 6 times before...Compare to my first trip there in 2010, there are visible improvements on the resort. They really keep the beach in good shape, nice& clean. However, the dark sand is not as appealing. Staffs are as before, some friendly, some stone-faced, but generally helpful. Food is the same, a lot of re-cooked items... but Beef there taste much better after re-cooking(s)! Ample Chicken, Pork & Beef served everyday; along with fresh Papaya, Pineapple, Water Melon, Guava, & Grapefruit. They do serve Tilapia Fillets and fresh Snappers, but somehow, they don't cook very well as far as taste is concerned.My room at the Cabana side is cleaned daily, and I am quite happy with the maid. Furniture is old and not in good shape, but given, this is Cuba. Resort ground is kept clean and tidy. Despite the low season with low number of guests, they manage to provide entertainment during days and nights.Tips: bringing extra personal toiletry items with you if you are fussy; if you get the Cabana side, take 2nd level to avoid little pests that come through the door on beach level; after bite is always a help since you will be bitten.Recommend: Visit Marea village, a mere 15 minute horse buggy ride; Meet the locals on Friday at Pilon by Taxi; Horseback riding up the hill and into the local areas.Overall: This part of Cuba is still very original, you can experience the real Cuban living. For the money, it is very good as long as you lower your expectation, after all, it is still Cuba!
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:
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- 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 & 1Â 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
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