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Gran Caribe Villa Tortuga
Ranked #41 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed 6 May 2017

We went during June of 2016, we had to change rooms the first night because of a cockroach, but keep in mind , its the tropics, this can happen at any hotel. The staff were helpful and kind, especially the staff at the bars.The resort itself was quite beautiful with gorgeous orange-flowered trees everywhere. The ocean was lovely and had a nice little beach bar. It is a small hotel and so not many papayas but we always managed to stay in the shade regardless. Food was not great but in most places I've been to, Cuban food is Cuban food, you make due with what you have and can still eat well if you keep an open mind (I am a vegetarian and still ate decently). It is a very quiet hotel with not a lot to do so if that's not your thing, don't go, however if you are like me and enjoy a nice relaxing trip, this place is quiet a nice spot. The rooms were nothing too fancy but they were still quite nice, I suggest requesting for a room higher up however because they seem to have less bugs. Our key card did not work twice but go to the reception and they will help you out no problem. The hotel is appropriate named as they have a small turtle pond in the lobby that was quite nice. Overall a good trip however we went during the beginning of Cuba s rainy season. The bank is also not far from the hotel, easy walking distance just down the street

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the second floor and closer to the lobby, it is much better access to the pools, a...
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  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank traveling_raptor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Directora G, Director General at Gran Caribe Villa Tortuga, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2017

Dear guest:
First of all, I would like to thank you for chosen us to enjoy your holidays and the kindness of transmitting us your impressions related to the resort.
It is very pleasant to know you have a good criteria about our hotel, and that you considered us to spend your holidays in Cuba. We assure you that your arguments, opinions and recommendations were respectfully held by the staff in charge. We will keep working hard for improving our services and providing clients with the best assistance. We are very glad that you appreciated our quietness and the relaxing environment, as well as the gardening and the good people who works at the hotel.
It is important to remember that Cuba is a tropical island, so we have cockroaches. Thankfully our country has developed campaigns to control them in touristic and nearby areas.

All your suggestions will be taken with acknowledgement, and we will be very glad if you decide to come back to Cuba and visit our hotel, for sure you will receive the best services and treatment from us.

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10 - 14 of 1,030 reviews

Reviewed 20 April 2017

My husband and I stayed at Villa Tortuga from March 26 to April 2. There were many good things about this resort and some not so good, but overall it was a great stay and we would return. Best tip I can give: READ THE REVIEWS!!! There is truth in all of them!

Location:
One of the best things about this resort is it’s location on the Varadero peninsula. You are not stuck in the middle of nowhere on a resort. There are lots of places to go and many ways to get there. Walk, hop on hop off bus, taxi or my favourite, the COCO taxi!! The resort is right at the bridge that crosses to the peninsula, which means it was the first stop for the bus from the airport. Since the peninsula is some 24 kms long, it can take over an hour if you are staying at the opposite end from the bridge to get to your hotel. While we were dropped off first after a long day’s excursion, some folks had an extra hour or more of stops before getting to their hotels. It is also only a few blocks from the Arts and Crafts market at Calle 16, so it’s an easy walk. The hop on hop off bus idles just across the street from the entrance to Tortuga, so there is always a double decker bus waiting there. The hop on hop off bus is only 5 CUCs per person per day, which is great. The first time we rode, we stayed on for the whole ride just to see where everything was. There is an ATM at Calle 32 and you can get CUCs anytime.

Beach:
The beach is amazing!!! The white sand goes on forever and the water is gorgeous! You can move the beach chairs around, but we did find that before 3pm the selection was slim and it was hard to get a chair that was in good shape. They do a good job of keeping the beach clean, but despite having ashtrays every few feet, there are always those people who think cigarette butts are made of sand! The resort will give you one very large bright orange beach towel per person and they can be exchanged if they get dirty. Don’t lose it though; it will cost you 20 CUCs!

Rooms:
We stayed in a standard room in a building right beside the reception hall. The resort is made up of small three storey buildings scattered throughout the property. There are no elevators. Our building 6 was central to everything, but the resort is small so walking anywhere is quick. The room was old, but everything worked. The air conditioning worked well, but inside the unit was very dirty and full of mold which made the room smell funky. We had to keep it on for two reasons. First, I could not for the life of me figure out how to turn it off and there are no screens on the patio doors (I didn’t see one screen anywhere we went) so unless you want the room full of bugs, you keep the patio door closed. One thing about some rooms on the resort…some have wooden shutters on the windows that don’t close completely. If mosquitos are a concern, I wouldn’t want one of those rooms. There are 3 new buildings now opened right beside the beach and they are superior rooms, buildings A, B and C. They look nice and they are brand new (finished in Feb 2017). If you have paid for a superior room, definitely send an email in advance to reservas@villatortuga.gca.tur.cu and ask for one. Some face the beach and some don’t. I emailed the resort a couple times before my trip and always got a prompt reply. Don’t wait until you get there to ask for one of those rooms, you may be disappointed. Also, superior rooms have hair dryers, standard rooms do not. Our standard room had two 110V plugs, one in the bathroom and one in the room, so I had no problem using my travel hair dryer and cell phone charger. The plugs are clearly marker with red stickers. No adapters needed. Take a shower early in the morning, one day around 10am we had no water in the room. It only lasted about ½ hour and only once. Our room had a small fridge that worked well. The TV gets about 15 very fuzzy channels and two were English. The rest were various other languages and about 3 were music.

Food:
The food was not very good. Breakfast always consisted of bread and rolls (no toaster) and various other items on the buffet that didn’t looking appealing. The butter looks like big gobs in a bowl that were scraped together from leftovers. And it was rancid from sitting out in the heat. There is a grill in the buffet hall where they make eggs or omelets to order in the morning and various meats at lunch and dinner. There was never anything that resembled a burger or hotdog like at home. The line is long. The large room is hot. There is always fruit, but surprisingly, the selection is limited and the taste isn’t great. You would think that being Cuba, they could grow some amazing fruit, but this stuff lacks taste. Lunch was the best meal most days, but every day is the same selection. Dinner was made of lunch leftovers. Some days it was terribly hot in the buffet hall, and by Wednesday I had had enough rice and beans to last the rest of my life. I have read however, that the food in Cuba isn’t that great anyways. We never got to go to the ala carte restaurant because we missed signing up. Apparently there is only a one hour window in the morning when you can sign up. Don’t go here for the food. I completely agree with what Elmo1989_03 says about the food! Oh, and they don’t open the doors to the buffet one minute early!

Restaurants:
We found two restaurants very close by that were very good. One was right on the corner of the entrance to the resort and one just beside the bridge (Italian). Both had very good pizza! There are lots of restaurants close by, and the prices are good.

Variety Store:
There is also a variety store right at the corner of the resort where you can buy bottled water, chips, wine (you only get wine at dinner in the buffet hall, not at any of the resort bars), some basic toiletry items including sunscreen, snacks, coffee, rum and cigars. We found the price for rum is the same everywhere. Opened 9am to 9pm.

Bars:
There are a few bars on the resort where you can get drinks. A couple disappointments that happened everyday and are worth mentioning: The snack bar at the pool bar makes the saddest pizzas ever. They are basically a very flat piece of pita bread with something that resembles cheese (and not much of it) sprinkled on top. Problem is, they run out. And they run out early in the day, and sometimes for a couple days in a row. And since you can’t get dinner until 7pm, people get hungry. Bring snacks, pringles, granola bars, nuts etc. The other thing they ran out of daily is mint for mojitos. I would think that they could order enough based on the number of rooms that are booked. Another tip, bring a sippy cup for your drinks. The bartenders will fill anything and a cup with a lid and a handle is priceless there! The plastic cups they use are small plastic ones that hold 6 oz if you are lucky!

Buffet:
Note the hours of the buffet. Dinner starts at 7pm, so if you are hungry before then, you are out of luck, especially because the chances of getting a pizza at the pool bar are slim. Also, if you wait too long, you may not get a clean table or clean plates.

WIFI:
Wifi is only available in the lobby and you have to pay for a card for one hour. I only tried once. It worked but was slow. The lady at the front desk told me that it hasn’t worked at all the day before. I really didn’t miss it for the week anyway!
Public bathrooms on the resort: There are public bathrooms by the pool and by the buffet and they are NASTY!!! It’s not just the fact that there is no toilet paper, but they are filthy because people are pigs! I always made sure I had time to get back to my room.
All in all, it was a very affordable trip. The grounds are immaculate. Kudos to all the groundskeepers! Another tip, if you are a cat lover like me, bring cat treats!! There are cats all over the resort and they love treats. I carried cat treats all the time and always made a friend.
Take some time to learn about the way Cubans live. They are proud and work hard for their money. Their salaries are paid by the government, not the resort. Their food is rationed. The average monthly wage is $25! They have to pay the government part of what they earn in tips. If nothing else, I really learned how lucky I am to live in Canada, despite the winters! Also, if you go somewhere, make sure you have some toilet paper in your pocket. Public bathrooms are nasty. Most have no toilet paper or an attendant that wants a tip for some. And toilet seats are few and far between too! Enjoy your trip!

Room Tip: Superior rooms in buildings A,B and C are new in Feb 2017 and right on the beach. Email to request...
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  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank HeatherPerron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2017

I just came back from Villa Tortuga yesterday,and all I can say is go with an open mind!! The resort has about 9 buildings,and while most of them have been or are being renovated, there are a couple still to be worked on, and we were in one of those.
The grounds were clean, the pool cleaned every morning, and the beach, AWESOME.
The food was repetitive, that's why you would go explore Varadero and eat out a couple of times. You won't starve, that's for sure.
We found the staff amazing and friendly, all of them. and the nightly shows were different. The magic show, amazing, and the rock band, not bad!!
We had a very enjoyable vacation there,and I would definitely go back!!
Again, you have to go with an open mind, and make the most of it, you can't rely on the staff to make your fun for you.

Room Tip: Don't be afraid to ask for an upgrade if you don't like your room
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  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Elly S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Directora G, Director General at Gran Caribe Villa Tortuga, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2017

Dear guest:

It is our pleasure to thank you for having chosen us to enjoy your vacation. We appreciate your kindness for stating on this site your comments regarding our resort.
We assure you that your opinions and recommendations will be respectfully welcome by our staff.
Your opinion is our most important and encouraging tool in the improvement of our work to achieve the total satisfaction of our client, which is as a matter of fact our greatest concern.

Kind regards


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2017 via mobile

We changed 3 rooms because they had problems with water or there was broken bed. Also food was old and bad because 9 days there have not climatisation. We was there by Neckermann and they dont want to help us with this problems. Neckermann guy was so rude!! Vety bad experience. It is not 3* but - 1*. Only one good thing is there. Beautifull beach but other things are horrible. Old, dirty ..no good personal..manager of hotel do not speak english..
Varadero and Cuba is beautifull place but please do not go to this hotel if you do not want to be angry, sick and dissapointed.

Stayed: May 2016, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Alena G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Directora G, Director General at Gran Caribe Villa Tortuga, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2017

Dear guest:

It is our pleasure to thank you for having chosen us to enjoy your vacation. We appreciate your kindness for stating on this site your comments regarding our resort.
We are very sorry for the inconvenience during your stay and We assure you that your opinions and recommendations will be respectfully welcome by our staff.
Your opinion is our most important and encouraging tool in the improvement of our work to achieve the total satisfaction of our client, which is as a matter of fact our greatest concern.

Kind regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2017

There was a group of 12 who visited here from March 25th to April 1st. The resort was clean and most of the staff was friendly. The food was just okay but there was always something that was good. The pool and the beach were clean. We never had a problem getting a chair at the pool. If you didn't get to the beach by sunrise then you had difficulty finding an empty chair but later in the afternoon was no problem.
The rooms need some work. Four out of six rooms had to be changed due to the condition or smell of fuel. Before you accept your room ask to see it first. People in the 6, 7 or 3rd blocks seemed to be the happiest.
This is the first hotel on the double-decker bus route. For 5 CUC you can get off and on as many times as you would like. Your ticket is good from 9 AM to 9 PM. Treat yourself to a tour of Varadero. The full tour takes about 2 hours.
You are right across the street from the canal.You can fish or just enjoy a nice walk.
You are within walking distance from the markets and some good restaurants.
A personal thanks to all the great new friends who made this trip a wonderful vacation and birthday.

Room Tip: you may have to change rooms so ask to see it first
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  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank tripaholic57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Directora G, Director General at Gran Caribe Villa Tortuga, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2017

Dear guest:

It is our pleasure to thank you for having chosen us to enjoy your vacation. We appreciate your kindness for stating on this site your comments regarding our resort.
We assure you that your opinions and recommendations will be respectfully welcome by our staff.
Your opinion is our most important and encouraging tool in the improvement of our work to achieve the total satisfaction of our client, which is as a matter of fact our greatest concern.

Kind regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gran Caribe Villa Tortuga

Address: Calle 9 e/ Boulevard y Ave. Kawama | Matanza, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#28 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#35 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: $114 - $261 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Gran Caribe Villa Tortuga 5*
Number of rooms: 292
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Accepts VISA, Mastercard, and AmEx from non-US banks only ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Caribe Villa Tortuga Hotel Varadero
Tortuga Hotel Varadero

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