Marea Del Portillo

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Our Opinion
Please note that hotel standards in Cuba tend to be lower than in other Sun Destinations. Unless travelers are familiar with the resort or Cuban hotels, we typically recommend that travelers book a minimum 4 star resort when traveling to Cuba.

Overview
Exclusive to Sunwing and located on the foothills of the Sierra Maestra mountains, this hotel is excellent for those who want to enjoy the sea and surrounding mountains. A long-time Canadian favourite!
 
Location: Beachfront, 90 minutes from the Manzanillo International Airport.

tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • conchesdojump : Toronto, Canada
A two star property with four star service and five star views

We just returned from Marea and perhaps we can offer a few insights from our experience. We booked a Cabana room which was spacious and clean with a very private second floor- balcony that gave us a partial ocean view through the sea grape trees. One drawback to the cabana rooms is that you only get one key (the maid has the other one) and you cannot close or lock the door from the inside without it. So if you want to go on your separate ways it is a bit of a problem and best to leave the key at the front desk. We were not provided with any bottled water on our arrival – so we don’t know if this is normal or not. The store did not have any water the first couple of days either (1 cuc for a large bottle), but a returning guest saw our dilemma and offered us an empty water bottle that we were able to have filled at the bar. The in-room digital safe worked well and costs 2 cucs per day if you are not on the VIP program. Our bathroom had a shower and little amenities such as shampoo, shower gel, soap, etc. Good water pressure but it took a while for the shower to warm up – the water was never hot but warm enough to enjoy with the very soft water. We had a small leak from our sink and maintenance arrived the same day to repair it. Our ac worked well, almost too well, so the first couple of nights we slept with our balcony door open and it was a good sleep being lulled to the sound of the waves. No bugs but then things changed with the coming of the rains and the no see-ums (jejenes) were brutal. No repellant that we have seemed to work so antihistamines are important as is Benadryl if you get a reaction from these bites as many people did including me. One evening, we had a bat fly into our room picking up the little bugs but it left without any damage to itself. The little fireflies that we saw that same night saw brought back memories from younger days in cottage country so that was a bonus. The walkways to the cabanas are tiled as are the stairs going up and with the rains they became extremely dangerous. Lighting in the evening is not very good as well, so be very, very careful and do bring a flashlight. An umbrella is recommended as well. Do take out travel insurance. Even though travel insurance is mandatory in Cuba, many people choose not to buy it since one is never asked for the documentation. There were two incidents at the resort which required major medical attention. This is not our story so we won’t go into the details. The pool was refilled the day after our arrival and the area provides minimal shade when the sun is shining so a good sunscreen is essential. The pool bathroom looks like it was recently redone but the women’s was out of order so the ladies had to use the men’s bathroom. It actually worked out ok as both genders were very considerate of each other and the cleaning ladies did keep the bathroom spotless. During the rains, the bathroom became flooded, so again caution is needed. A new bar is being built at the pool area and should be ready within a few weeks. The pool bar has excellent coffee, friendly service and offers a variety of drinks and liquors. Snacks are also offered there but we found the French fries to be very greasy and the pork burger dry and unappetizing since there were no garnishes available. In fact, the burgers were so bad that guests were feeding them to the dogs. The beach bar is open from 10 am to 5 pm with Oswaldo at the helm. It is a nice spot to relax with a beautiful view of the bay. We also liked to go there after closing to enjoy the sunset because it was so tranquillo. Sadly, we forgot our knapsack there one evening since it was so dark and when we went to pick it up it was gone. So do take care of your things. In that regard, we also take our own beach towels so if one is misplaced it is not a big deal since the hotel does charge you for theirs if it is lost. The food – very repetitive and bland. Breakfast was the best meal of the day with fresh bread, churned butter and eggs made to order. Unfortunately there seemed to be a feeding frenzy once meal time approached and if you didn’t get there within half an hour of the buffet opening you were out of luck for any selections since they were not replenished. We like to eat when we are hungry not when the dinner bell goes off and there is a line-up to get to the trough. LOL. The restaurant was extremely noisy and certainly wasn’t a place where one wanted to linger over a leisurely meal especially with the annoying musicians. The red and white wine was undrinkable and there was none for purchase at the store but the water was certainly good and cold! The a la carte dinner was a nice change and reservations can be made through the public relations department. There were numerous excursions to choose from. For example: a trip to the waterfall by horse and buggy is 4 cucs per person return. The trip to Cayo Blanco is 45 cucs per person and is well worth it. The sunset cruise is 20 cucs. So you have to decide if the VIP program makes sense for you. Unfortunately there was no catamaran during our stay so we don’t know if you had to pay extra for that or if it was included. One thing we found annoying is that the lifeguards are very aggressive in asking for things but they do not drink on the job, alcohol that is. That is a good thing. Conversely we found the outside vendors asking us to bring them beer which was totally unacceptable. Check out was a little earlier than expected at 11 am but we found our maid to be quite accommodating so we were able to check out at noon with bus pick up at 1 pm. As others have mentioned the duty free at the airport is very limited whereas the selection at the hotel store offers a greater variety of goods and the prices are very reasonable. The duty fee at the airport does not accept Canadian cash or credit cards so one has to go to the little cadeca in the departures lounge to convert Canadian cash into cucs. Just something to be aware of.If you want to relax and recharge your batteries with beautiful vistas and you do not have great expectations Marea may well suit you. With the opening of the Farallon for high season there will be additional options that we were not able to experience during our stay. Even though the food wasn’t enjoyable there were no tummy issues. There’s something to be said for that.

  • KarenGeterdone : Toronto, Canada
Great Setting, Loved the Excursions

We booked this resort so we could climb Pico Turquino and stay near the Sierra Maestra mountain range. Booked resort through SunWing at a great rate and highly recommend purchasing the VIP option. 4 bottles of alcohol in room that you can bring home, full mini fridge, several great excursions included and a room safe. We were at the Marea in the villas with a private walk out to the beach. Could hear the waves from our room. The Beach is such a wonderful and private setting completely unlike anything in Varadero. This cove area of the beach with mountain view is really spectacular. The sand is black with some gravel but you can easily walk into the ocean with bare feet to pure sand and walk out quite far. The resort really needs attention to update and modernize, simple things could be improved cheaply and easily like the restaurant which seemed so dated. The pool was empty the 1st 2 days due to renovations but filled by time we came back from our trek. The food initially had me thinking I would live on bread and butter for the week BUT the homemade omelettes on the outside patio were great in the morning and the food got significantly better each day to the point that lunch the last day rocked! It was not the same food everyday, there was meat, fish and chicken each meal but served differently. No mojitos or pina colados for the whole week!!! No mint with all those gardens? Their blender is broken and no pineapple juice. I would have totally brought a blender with me. Honestly, it's not a caribbean vacation without mojitos! The Cuban beer is great and served extra cold and there were other drink options. The bartenders do their best. It's amazing how climbing for 3 days with minimal food and water can turn the resort into a true God send. Everything seemed better when we got back. No hot water in the shower? Who cares! You have an ocean bath warm outside your room and go get a morning cappuccino with liquor before you head there! The excursions you must do. It rained for both of ours; sunset cruise and the Playa Blanco island and we had a blast on both!! There was an option to go to Playa Blanco twice as a VIP and we totally would've if not climbing. Lobster was served, we snorkeled in the ocean and had lots of laughs and drinks with new friends. You don't spend a Cuban vacation in your room, the room was fine, clean and even had Canadian news and some cable channels shockingly. The air conditioning works greats! Take some treats with you if you have a sweet tooth or crave chips. Enjoy! and remember the great deal that got you away from the cold. PS - the resort on the hill is just opening today. I still would've stayed on the beach with a walk out from my room. You can WALK to the water falls and it's approx a 2 hour back and forth and enjoy the animals and Cuban villages as you hike. Take the horse and buggy to Dany's or another lovely restaurant in the town one night. We had a lovely meal with wine for 2 under $20 and the ride was only $10 for both of us. Do not forget to take back up toilet paper! Also, any clothing, running shoes or toiletries will be so appreciated by anyone in the area. Take what you don't need anymore and use as tips. The small market of locals out front will also trade trinkets for stuff from Canada they can share with their community. I swear half our plane was regulars, many over 10 yrs. It is what you make of it, leave any snobiness at home and you'll have a great time. ENJOY!

  • Maria L :
Beautiful Setting

My husband and I, along with friends who visit more often than we do, agreed that this resort is a hidden gem. My husband and I are in our mid to late thirties and we were a bit out of place as most of the guests (our friends included) were 20 - 30 years older. We found the rooms to be clean and the water pressure was good. The food was a bit repetitive but they do the best they can with what they have. We don't go to Cuba for the food. Some staff are friendly and helpful where others will let you wait for thirty minutes while they chit chat with other staff. All in all, we thought it was worth the money we paid (not that much). The best part of our trip was the natural beach with mountains in the back drop. Really gorgeous. The worst part was our experience on a couple of evenings where our table was invaded by a singer (we called him dead shark eyes) who tried to be too familiar with us, getting drunk on vodka that we were supposed to keep getting for him!?! Watch out for this guy because he will proposition you when your husband is right there! Our friends told us he hustles the tourists better than he sings. It was very uncomfortable. I complained to management and sunwing so maybe something will be done. We are hoping to go back as a group again in January but not if we have to put up with anymore arrogant disrespect from staff.

  • Christine M : Gananoque, Canada
GREAT TRIP

So, we booked this resort for October 2017, and did not know what to expect. The bus ride is very long from the airport to the Hotel, but when you get their you are pleasantly surprised. This resort is very clean, and the people are amazing. We loved everything about it. You are surrounded by mountains. You can walk up the beach, about 10 minutes, and see the most awesome iguanas. You can take a sunset cruise, go to Cayo Blanco Island to snorkel. This was by far the best trip to Cuba yet. The food was very good for a 3 star. I would rate this resort a 4 star myself. We enjoyed it so much, that we are planning another trip there next year for 2 weeks.

  • Tim R :
Marea del portillo

No hot water to shower for entire stay, Nov 1 - Nov 8, no satellite in my room, no a/c had to switch rooms, it rained 4 times flooded my room with an inch of water every time. Same food for breakfast lunch and dinner, with a few slight changes here and there to mix it up. You need to be careful around the pool as tiles are lifting sharp edges, exposed cement they shut pool down the day we left to do some lacking maintenance. Overall people are very nice, this place is a 1.5 - 2 star dump not 3 star, these sunwing reps need to visit these places unannounced, to get a better perspective of what they are advising on for a vacation

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
  • Resort fees (if applicable) must be paid directly to the hotel
  • Hotel transfers for packages to USA
  • 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
Hotel room with:
  • Two 3/4 beds
  • Air-conditioning
  • Bathroom with shower only
  • Satellite TV
  • Safety deposit box (fee)
  • Balcony or Terrace
  • 110v or 220v (adaptors/transformers required) available
  • Max occupancy 3 persons
Kids Deal - Kids 2-12 stay, play & eat free. Teens 13-14 pay a special price. Separate kids room is available at a special price.

For the Kids - Kids' area of pool.
Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.

Resort Location Map


  • Marea Del Portillo
    Manzanillo De Cuba,Cuba

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
Club Amigo Farallon del Caribe - Marea del Portillo
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.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.

Hotels do not condone unruly behavior, parties in rooms, excessive noise or any other actions that violate the hotels terms of use. Guests may be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff. Escapes.ca cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules.

Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.