"Authentic" accommodation in Cayo Largo
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 10, 2012 4:56 PM Last Post By: johnabbotsford
Oct 8, 2012 8:58 AM
"Authentic" accommodation in Cayo LargoHey there,
I'm planning a trip to Cuba, and I would like to spend a few days in Cayo Largo.
However I only find very touristy big hotels or villages with animation, Italian cousin, etc.
Anyone knows if it's possible to find a more authentic accommodation in Cayo Largo? Something like Cabanas, casas particulares or, at least more authentic hotels?
In case this is out of question, anyone has suggestions on alternatives amazing sea places with a more cuban flavour?
Many thanks in advance,
Oct 8, 2012 10:52 AM
1You won't find it in Cayo Largo. Other than major hotels, the only other habitation is a small town strictly for the employees of the hotels to stay at during their work period.
As to "authentic accommodation" well sorry, but what on earth does that mean to you? Staying somewhere where no tourist has gone before? Because that also doesn't exist in Cuba per se. Once a family starts hosting tourists, as a Casa Particular, their life changes due to both the interaction with tourists, plus the higher income tourist business brings them.
But you know... I do know of this amazing tropical beachfront location with an truly Cuban flavour. But sadly, I can't tell you about it because then it wouldn't be an authentic Cuban accommodation any more. A tourist would have been there!!! LOL!!!
Oct 8, 2012 11:21 AM
2Really authentic Cuba is a place with no toilet seats, no air conditioning and running water every other day.
I guess you don't want that.
Do you want a casa particular - a private house ? There are many of those in various parts of Cuba.
Oct 8, 2012 12:09 PM
3There is one quite nice place to stay on Cayo Largo that is NOT a big hotel. VILLA MARINERA, consisting of 7 cottages. It has a pool, restaurant, and table tennis, but no spa, internet, or organized entertainment. It is in the small town (El Pueblo) mentioned by Poster #1, and consists of very nice cottages. I did not stay there when I went to Cayo Largo but would have if I had known about it. Unfortunately, I discovered it only after I got there and went exploring the island. Villa Marina is the VERY CLOSEST place to the marina and the best beach, Playa Sirena, where all the water toys (wind surfers, kayaks, etc) are parked. To get to that beach or the marina from all the big hotels, you have to schlep several kilometres on a tootle-train that runs only a couple of times a day, or else have a rental scooter or car. Also near the villa is the only non-hotel restaurant on the island, and a turtle breeding facility. However, if you want to dive or do a deep-sea fishing trip while staying at the villa, you have to arrange for that before you arrive because there's no way to book them at the villa after you get there. At least, that's how it was last year. Not sure about now.
Oct 8, 2012 12:19 PM
4Posters #1 and #2, come on, guys. Don't be snarky. The OP didn't say he wanted a place where no tourists had been before, he just said "more authentic." And I ask both of you: why exactly are "villas", located all over Cuba and built specifically for CUBAN TOURISTS who have the resources and/or connections to vacation somewhere nicer than a campismo? And yes, believe it or not there are those.
Among my favourites would be Villa Laguna Grande, at the far western end of the island, Batey Don Pedro, at the turnoff from the autopista to Playa Giron, Villa Colibri, at the far eastern end of the island in Parque Bacanoa, and, most especially, Villa Saieta, on Cayo Saieta, on the north coast not far from Mayari. The first two are popular with Cuban (and foreign) sport fishers, and the second two were built as a hunting lodges for Cuban military brass--although it is said they don't do that there anymore, and from the zebra, buffalo, and antelope roaming around the island, it looks like they probably don't (except for, maybe a bit of very unpublicized culling from time to time.)
Oct 8, 2012 12:22 PM
5What I meant to ask was, why are these very nice villa accomodations less "authenticly Cuban" than a campismo or Islazul hotel? Because the majority of Cubans can't afford them? Well, okay. So does that mean that every nice hotel in North America that I can't afford isn't "authentically North American?" (Tell that to the Hilton chain.)
Oct 8, 2012 5:11 PM
Oct 9, 2012 5:37 AM
7For the last while, the workers are flown in from Isla de la Juventud.
Oct 9, 2012 11:14 AM
8Some are also flown from the mainland, although it seems more from Isla de la Juventud than from the mainland. I met some of both when I was there. The apartment building where they live in El Pueblo looks pretty nice, but I didn't go inside, so couldn't say whether they live in dorm-type accomodations or have private or semi-private rooms. Also wondered about their families back home. Although considering how young and attractive most of the resort employees are, maybe they have enough of a social live (despite long work hours) that they don't miss "back home" all that much.
Oct 9, 2012 3:26 PM
Oct 10, 2012 3:47 AM
10They work 20 days in, then 10 days out. (Similar to some mine workers in Northern Canada) Violeta has family working in many capacities there. Social worker, electrical worker, some room cleaners, and other office workers. She has consistant contact with her nephew while he is there. As I recall, the plane that delivers the workers, comes from Havana, (at that time it has a few on board), loads up the rest in Isla, then heads to the resort. It returns the same way. Workers come from various parts of the mainland to catch the plane in Havana--but still, most workers are from Isla.
The ones I know DO miss home. To them, it is just a job--a relatively good paying job for Cuba--but still a job. Their families are at home, and if they could make as much working in Gerona, they wouldn't be going---no matter what they tell the tourists they encounter at the resort.
Oct 10, 2012 4:56 PM
(3 star Hotel)
From US$169.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$179.00 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$11.59 per night