Club Amigo Carisol Los Corales
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- All Inclusive Features
OverviewThis resort is comprised of two hotels, Carisol and Los Corales which are perched on the edge of Cazonel, one of the most beautiful beaches in the region.
Location: Beachfront, 60 minutes from the airport.
We were shipped to this resort as our hotel reservation in Santiago was cancelled due to Fidel Castros burial on the next day. The staff at reception was overrun by busloads of tourists so it was very slow (over two hours before check in)Our room was basic but we had everything we needed. The cleaning could have been done more thoroughly. The kitchen staff did not really manage to serve fast enough for that many "unexpected" guests. Overall this is a good resort and I would give it 3 1/2 stars
We were at Los Corales Dec 7 - 14, just after the 9 day period of mourning for Castro had passed. This was our 4th trip to Cuba, although the first to the Santiago area. We got a very good price on this resort, so decided to chance it for a quick break before Christmas. I'll break down the review into segments:RESORT - On the small side and quiet. Things are well-cared for here, but not fancy. The pool is beautiful and well-maintained; enough lounge chairs to go around and all of them look new. The grounds are a bit tired-looking, but this is very arid countryside. We got an oceanview bungalow which I would recommend although I didn't see the layout of the basic rooms. The bungalow room is spacious with a balcony. Again, utilitarian, but we were comfortable. Any issues were dealt with promptly by housekeeping or front desk. The three stars I gave this only means it is not a dazzling, impressive place, but adequate for our needs.Many return customers at this resort. An older clientele as well. So not a place with loud nightlife at all. Be warned. Most of us appreciate this, though. I did see male tourists with Cuban women - this was very much out in the open.This resort is in Baconao Park, nestled between the ocean and the Sierra Maestra Mountains. The terrain is desert-like. It is pretty isolated, too. My favourite memories are of sitting out with my morning coffee watching the groundskeepers - a small herd of horses grazing on the grasses a few feet away from me. Also, the herd of long-horned cattle sauntering by in the evening. Why not? Remember where you are, what this resort appears to be to the local people and you should be fine.BEACH - Not fine sand, so take care walking - most reviews say to have water shoes and I agree. There is only a small area to enter the water that has a sandy bottom, the rest is turtle grass and shallow. The strip of shore is narrow as well. Again, plenty of new beach loungers, lots of choice for either shade or sun and a close-by bar, whimsically shaped like a coconut, for drinks. This beach, I would say, would be good if you just wanted to cool off in the water in between tanning sessions. You can certainly swim here, but you have to not mind the grass. Long walks on the beach are dicey here, too. Much of the shoreline is not kept up and more natural. Walking towards the east one quickly runs into people who ask for things, so either avoid that or bring things to give away; toiletries, pens, etc. This is the only beach in Cuba where I got bitten up by sand fleas. I found I got more when crossing the natural area, so when I stuck to the more maintained sand I was okay.SNORKELING/ WATERSPORTS - We are avid snorkelers and some have recommended this resort for this. I would have to say I would not. Although we did see a good amount of marine life, it was all small juveniles as befits a turtle grass area. There are a few stands of dead or dying coral straight out from where you wade out, but it looks to have been damaged by Hurricane Matthew. NOTE: There are fireworms and toadfish here, so you get what you deserve if you step on what small coral heads there are. We did see people march right out and stand on the major coral head - I assume they were ignorant of the fact that they were contributing to the death of it. There were paddle boats, kayaks and a hobie cat to take out and many made use of these. The issue is that there is a small barrier reef surrounding the calmer waters close to shore and only one channel to get in and out. There can be a significant rip current here which might endanger the more inexperienced swimmers. I did see staff with Red Cross shirts, but no actual life guard station, so take care.The dive shop here is wonderful. Many experienced divers return to this resort again and again. Ernesto is a true professional (he must have gills by now!). One of the shallow dive sites is within the view of the resort and just outside the barrier reef. Impossibly blue waters and visibility 50+ft. No huge fish - I'm thinking they get fished out. 2012's Hurricane Sandy really wrecked the reef here, along with Matthew just recently. I was encouraged to see recovering hard & soft corals, sponges and fish populations.FOOD - Not the best feature of Los Corales, to be sure. The presentation is creative, however the selection is meagre. They didn't have prepared fruit, but a fruit station where a server sliced out what you requested primarily to keep down flies. So this was a slower way to get your fruit, but ultimately more sanitary. Selection was pineapple, papaya and oranges with occasional starfruit. Yes, we have no bananas!You quickly learn to stagger your mealtime at the buffet - most go in for dinner when it opens at 6:30 and you'll find you might not get a table. We made use of the specialty restaurant (Cuban & Seafood) just to have a more relaxing dinner. They do need a few more servers to attend to everyone a bit more promptly. Also, they need more soup bowls - this got to be a running joke with us. During the buffet hours food is constantly being brought out and replenished. It is just not the best food I've ever had.STAFF - Everyone who works here strives to assist you the best ways that they can. I can't say enough about their kindness. Kenia, our Sunwing rep; Marleidis, Nathalie, one of the servers who was helpful; and our superb housekeeper Yunis. There are others whose names I cannot recall, which is only a compliment to the bartenders - LOL.TOUR OF SANTIAGO - Unforgettable day in this city with Leah, our tour guide. We were able to witness the changing of the guards at the tomb of Jose Marti and now the simple grave of Castro, an unworked boulder sitting in the midst of the ornate white marble statues of the other significant tenants of St. Ifegenia Cemetery. I recommend this tour highly.SUNWING - Efficient and on-time. I thought I'd mention that as they tend to get dissed a bit. However one does feel jammed in between the seats on the plane.In summary - we got a cheap deal and were happy with what we got, snorkeling aside. If you want luxury pay much more and go elsewhere.
Sorry this will be a long review but when I searched for details there were not many in the reviews. I will try to highlight a few very important points in capital letters so if you are skimming you will find them. We were a group of 4 in our 60's. Got exactly what we expected to get. Research, research, research and there will be no surprises!OVERVIEW: basic price = basic resort. This is why it got only 3 stars; the 3 does not reflect satisfaction. Our trip was Dec.7-14. The property is a quiet, well laid out Cuban run resort, isolated from a lot of activity as it is in Baconao Nature Park surrounded by the Sierra Maestre Mountains. If you are young and want to party this resort is not for you. If you want deluxe 5 star, this is not for you. If you want to feel Cuba and you want to relax, this is it.DEPARTURE: Sunwing, on time,all went well, 1 hr. bus ride through mountain scenery, got keys on bus, so no check in necessary. Live band and welcome drink! Porters immediately took bags to room. Real quick and very much appreciated.ROOM: Corales side (Carisol not open yet) Bungalow B, oceanview. Great! Huge balcony, sat out there every night under the stars. Room was a good size, clean, toilet and shower worked well. Yes, it was an old room with some renovation done, but we did not spend time except to sleep. When I sat on the bed the first time I heard the springs and thought oh dear; well, I slept very well on that mattress! New air conditioner worked well. Good TV reception. Sliding door did not lock but there was a wooden stick provided to keep it from being opened from outside. Maid was excellent and friendly. Toiletries for our room included shower gel and bar soap but nothing else. BRING OWN TOILETRIES like shampoo and conditioner to be sure you have everything you need. SAFE COSTS 2CUC PER DAY. Did not year anyone in any of the other rooms--thick walls.FOOD: You will not go hungry with the choices. The buffet is small for a resort but dishes were constantly replenished. We tired of the buffet so often ate lunch just outside beside the buffet where we had pizza and pasta, also the ranchon located between Corales and Carisol. There were 3 a la cartes. We did the Cuban twice and enjoyed it. I recommend the Creole soup and the pork done the Santiago way. Seafood was O.K. and did not try Italian as we did that at lunch. The buffet now is enclosed and air conditioned; The birds and flies still got in! Must be magic. Take some IMODIUM. I seem to need it at every resort; I think I don't eat and drink like this at home and it is the change of habit, was not a problem and fixed quickly. A note to the resort--hard to eat your fabulous soups when there are often no soup bowls replaced.BEACH; Lots of shade, did not have to fight for it! There are palapas and trees, enough for everyone. Loungers were all new, comfortable blue material, enough for everyone; Carisol was not yet open, so this might change in a week or so. The beach is mixed with broken coral and small stones, so you might want to wear WATER SHOES. I managed without; there is a small entry area; if you walk carefully it is doable; the sandy swimming area is small and then grasses and rocks take over. I would not step in that; there are small corals starting to grow and if you touch them in any way they die; there are also sea urchins on some of them. Snorkelling in these areas was O.K. You really have to look for the interesting stuff; I spotted a toadfish, flounder, small eel, a school of larger fish and lots of little fish. You can always swim in the ocean as the reef protects and keeps it calmer. BEWARE OF THE CURRENT AND SOMETIMES RIPTIDE! Between the red markers and in front of Carisol these currents can be strong even if it looks calm.POOL: Fabulous, clean sparking water, great swimup bar. Also a kids pool.CURRENCY: Take Canadian $ if you are Canadian; you get the best exchange rate. NO CREDIT CARDS are used at the Santiago resorts. CASH, CASH, CASH. That includes any tours you want to do with Sunwing; they must all be paid in cash. There are no cash advances on credit cards. Sunwing does however have an advance online booking for tours and you can also do it on the plane with a credit card. TOURS: We only did one--Santiago, was excellent, lots of historical knowledge given by our Sunwing tour guide. If booked at the resort, minimum of 8 people or the tour is cancelled; because of credit card uncertainty and not wanting to carry that much cash we booked directly with Nexus in Cuba the day before we left (9 days of mourning for Fidel caused the online booking to be closed and then slow to be on line again.) We were only 4 people, but because we booked direct, the tour was guaranteed!! Yes! This was a personal tour! You could also get the same feel by booking one of the classic cars outside the resort; just make sure that English is good and they will talk about the history. Take a big water bottle as it is very hot in Santiago.ENTERTAINMENT: Music by the pool, bingo in the afternoon, dance lessons, shows in the evening.NOTE: Bring a FLASHLIGHT. The paths are uneven and have some steps, not always well lit at night in some spots.LAUGH FOR THE WEEK; The resort was putting the finishing touches on fencing the whole property. Just before they finished a herd of long horn cattle/cows entered the property along the beach area and the beach chair guy valiantly chased them out. So funny and unexpected! A horse snuck in one evening to munch grass. Yes, the Cubans let their animals roam free and apparently they like the resort too. Now the fencing is going to keep them out. Ha, ha! I also saw the resident dogs chase the animals off.In summary, we did our research, knew what to expect and had a great holiday. The staff was very friendly; we felt safe. If you see the bigger picture and don't sweat the small stuff it is a very nice resort. Would I go back? Yes, someday, after I have seen some of the other places on my list.
Went to this resort many times.Every time i go back i notes improvement.I was there in February 2016 for a month,November 2016 two weeks. Visit it many other places Barbados,Europe,Panama,Dominican republic,Hawaii,Mexico,and many more so i have something to compere.Reason i keep going back to this resort it is a beautiful weather,nice and friendly staff,clean resort,food not bad,always something to eat,fresh juice and eggs in the morning,cheese,pancake,french toast,good coffee.For lunch next to everyday restaurant ,pasta and pizza restaurant is open,very friendly lady works there. you can tell that kitchen staff and chef trying hard to please people,but you are always going to find guest that like to complain.I specially like bread.Guest in this resort are from all ages.Some seniors go 3-4 months at winter time. Met lots of young families with children. Entertainment staff is very friendly,specially i like night entertainment outside,under the stars, Hotel is making many improvements in the lobby,also chainlink fence around resort so no animals can coming ,new windows on the restaurant with AC, inside so no birds can go in.Some room are getting renovated and new AC,less noisy.# 4 building main floor renovated. Beach is nice and clean good for snorkeling and swimming. Also some rooms in Carisol getting renovation.Hotel has a new beach restaurant,also offers many excursion,compliments of sunwing you get free bus on Saturday to Santiago.Also hotel offers weddings.
The trip: After 2 years later, I travelled from Montreal to this place, the check in by Sunwing was excellent. Very quick, helpful, and efficient. The cabin crew was excellent too. This was 2 stops flight. There was a bit waiting to be checked by their security guys due to one machine working, but on the positive side, the check in bags were ready when all the checks were done. Getting into the bus was quick and efficient. They had envelopes ready with the keys to room, bracelet, and the registration card. The bus trip took 1 hrs. and it is great scenic route. The check in into hotel was quick as well.Accommodation: I stayed in the cabana A3. Good A/C, good bathroom, and larger than regular room. The maid service was excellent. Good TV reception. In the cabanas the new A/C units were installed. The main compressor units are outside, hence the A/C was nice and quiet. Additionally the temperature was controlled by the remote control, very nice.Food: The food was good. Nothing fancy, but was OK. At any meal there was a rush from older folks and by the end was much quieter and to my surprise a lot of times even better choice than at the beginning. Did not go to any a la carte.Entertainment: The entertainment was good until Fidel passed away. After that no music and no shows. The water sports were still there with Skidoo for 30 CUC/half hour. The weather was great, so the beach was busy.Misc: Some Cubans in the hotel and some guys and gals with their Cuban better half’s, but nothing too bad. For Canadians $ was between 70 and 71 CUC, not good. There is nice store on the resort and bunch of trips are offered. Outside of the resort there are 3 local restaurants. Fish or chicken around 7-8 CUC, langusta 15 CUC. I was going to the last one, with the sigh OPEN. Since the last trip 2 years ago they also put good A/C in the restaurant/buffet area. The staff is excellent. I was missing these people a lot and they are still great.
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 activities
- Nightly entertainment
- 310 rooms
- 2 Buffet restaurants
- Snack bar
- 6 Bars
- Disco (fee)
- 4 Pools (includes children's area)
- Tennis courts (fee)
- Dive center (fee)
- Massage (fee)
- Bicycles (fee)
- 2 Twin beds
- Internet access (fee)
- Satellite TV
- Safety deposit box (fee)
- Bathroom with shower only
- Max occupants 3 persons
Honeymoon Bonus - Upgrade to Sea view room, a bottle of sparkling wine, flowers and an invitation to an a la carte restaurant. Based on availability and subject to change. Request at time of booking.
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
Club Amigo Carisol Los CoralesSantiago De Cuba,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Carretera de Baconao Km 31, Santiago de Cuba 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.
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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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