Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More Salmonella Cases

More Salmonella Cases


Traveler rating:
Varadero Beach: Hotel Villa Cuba: "Anywhere but here!"
raider415, Burlington, Ontario Sep 19, 2006

My experience with this property took place in:

August, 2006
Would I recommend this hotel to my best friend? no way!

My ratings for this hotel are:
Value 1
Rooms 1
Location 1
Cleanliness 1
Check in / front desk 1
Service 1
Business service 1
I recommend this hotel for:

I do not recommend this hotel for: Young singles, An amazing honeymoon, A romantic getaway, Girlfriend getaway, People with disabilities, Older travelers, Great pool scene, Pet owners, Families with young children, Families with teenagers, Tourists.

I selected this hotel because ... Beach / Sun, Museums / Cultural / Historical sites
My age: 25-34
Traveling group: Spouse / significant other
My visit was for: Quality time with family
stayed at Villa Cuba in 2002 with some friends. Had I written a review then, I would've given it five stars. I enjoyed it so much, that when my family planned a trip to Cuba for this year, I recommended it immediately and without hesitation. That was a costly mistake.

Villa Cuba is a beautiful resort. The ocean is breath-taking. If you are lucky enough to remain healthy, it could be a wonderful vacation. Unfortunately, the week that I went, the food was contaminated with the Salmonella bacteria. My family, as well as several other guests in the hotel (the doctor told us) became violently ill. Sadly, when the going gets bad, so does Villa Cuba. The staff ignored us and showed no concern for our well-being. Although they knew that we were terribly sick (the manager came to the rooms with the doctor), they offered no comfort. We were still required to buy our own water and fight the maids for toilet paper (I was tipping 10CUC for every roll we got). The foods the doctor recommended -- apple juice, grilled chicken, etc, were not available in the resort. As a result, we essentially starved for 7 days.

Upon returning to Canada, I was treated in the hospital. At first, the doctors had a hard time believing that it was food poisoning, because the symptoms were so bad and lasted so long. However, the test results confirmed Salmonella. The symptoms were likely exacerbated because we were starved and severely dehydrated.

I'm not writing this review to be nasty -- as I said, I went to Villa Cuba in 2002 and had a good enough time that I opted to return. However, the mark of a good resort should be the way it responds when things do not go well, and in this case Villa Cuba failed miserably. It's possible to go, stay healthy, drink lots and have a great time; but in my opinion, it is not worth the risk of facing the horrible consequences if things do not go well.

Please, choose another resort.


This TripAdvisor Member:
Liked: Nothing
Disliked: Salmonella
Tips/Secrets: Don't eat!


_________________________________________________
And Still More Salmonella Cases


Traveler rating:
Varadero Beach: Hotel Villa Cuba: "Run from this place!!!"
novillacuba, Canada Aug 25, 2006




My experience with this property took place in:
August, 2006
Would I recommend this hotel to my best friend? no way!
My ratings for this hotel are:
Value 1
Rooms 1
Location 1
Cleanliness 1
Check in / front desk 1
Service 1
Business service 1

Contracted very severe food poisoning on the first day. The staff was far from helpful -- we were left to fend for ourselves, buying bottled water and crackers from the hotel store, even had to buy our own toilet paper (after using the 10 rolls we had brought from home).

I wouldn't go back here if I won a free ticket. 12 days later, the toxins are still in our bodies. I will think of Villa Cuba with nothing but regret.

If you insist on going, don't eat the food. The eggs are raw.

______________________________________________
Sickness at this hotel


Rating
1
Submission date: 2006-11-10 - Date of Stay: October 2006
Submitted by: Mike - From: United Kingdom
Type of Traveller: Young Couple - Age Group: 26 - 30
Sickness at this hotel
We have stayed at the Ledra beach before but we will not be returning. The first two days were ok, then there was an outbreak of sickness. My partner was hospitalised and was very ill. the rest of our holiday was ruined. Health inspectors were brought in from the UK and parts of the hotel closed, kitchen staff were fired and supplies thrown away. Do not go to this hotel, you will have the worst holiday possible.
Was this review helpful? Yes - No

_______________________________________________
Pillows Smelled Like Vomit


January 2007

We got a cheap deal and flew from Vancouver to Varadero.

First impression of the hotel was it wasn't nearly as nice as the other ones we passed on the way to our hotel. Our room was not very nice at all. We had two small beds that we pushed together to form one decent sized bed. The linen, pillows and blankets all smelled like vomit (no, I'm not kidding!) it was awful.

The staff were incredibly rude and completely unhelpful. We were tipping at the bars and restaurants and still received the worst service we've ever experienced.

The food was terrible and I survived on rice, pasta and mango for most of the vacation. I got a little sick while I was there (food? water?) and when I asked the maid for another roll of toilet paper, I was told "No" and that she "would bring some later". She did come back about 3 or 4 hours later with one roll for us.

The only things that saved this vacation were the excursions that we booked, the awesome beach and the fact that we had our travel agent switch us to a better hotel after 3 nights at this dump.

I would never recommend the Club Amigo to anyone.

_____________________________________

Melia Varadero Rachel
March 2007

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Cuba for our honeymoon. We spent 10 nights at Melia Varadero.

THE ROOM: We stayed on the fifth floor which was OK except that at least one elevator was down at any given time so it could take us a while to get up to our room or down to the lobby. The room had a king bed. The mattress was on it's last leg and hurt my husband's back. He would wake up in the morning and say that he had slept but not rested. Also, the sheets were constantly coming untucked and we would wake up in the morning in a nest of sheets. Our room was facing the tennis courts and golf course, away from the beach but since the peninsula is quite narrow, you have a water view looking either way. The water pressure in the shower was great.

THE DRINKS: It was nearly impossible to get ice in a drink at the resort. I guess that Europeans don't like ice in their drinks but even when I would ask for ice water I would generally get only one cube of ice. The water tasted horrible and was never cold enough. The Cuban beer (Cristal) was pretty good, a light beer, also never served very cold. We really liked the lemon and strawberry frappe which is essentially a slurpee, you could get it in the Cafe Guantanamera (open 24 hours) or at the pool bar. We ordered several mojitos and they were never made exactly the same, some tasted like turpintine, others tasted like a good drink. We did like the Coctel Las Palmas which you can get from the Piano Bar (Las Palmas). The bartender there (watch for the sideburns) was pretty good. However, there was A LOT of cigarette smoke in all of the public areas so we didn't spend much time there.

THE FOOD: The food was horrible. There was a huge variety of food, but it nearly all disgusting. My husband and I lived on bad french fries, scrambled eggs and ice cream. The buffet was the WORST! The hot food was not kept hot and the cold food was not kept cold. They served brussel sprouts, peas and other weird vegetables at breakfast time. Sometimes there were black beans in the buffet - sometimes they were tasty, sometimes they were horrible. The food was really quite bland. Our travel agent had told us to take some spices but there is nothing that could have saved this food. There was always something labeled bacon in the buffet line but it was never actually bacon. Once it was a veal cutlet and the next day it was a weird white sausage and the next day it was sweaty ham lunch meat. The worst part of the Cafe Guantanamera was the service. You had to practically jump on the waiters to get a fresh drink and they all congregated up by the bar and ignored people's needs. I ordered the salad in the Cafe Guantanamera 5 times, every time it came out differently. The desserts were questionable, either not cooked enough or cooked too much. The Paella Shack was good a few times but we got tired of our hands getting all dirty from cleaning the shrimp and clams. Also, the guy in the Paella Shack tried to sell us lobster for our paella (12 pesos). He told us it was fresh, that his friend the fisherman had brought it in that day. We declined his offer but later found out that it was not lobster season and there is no way there could have been fresh lobster. It was insulting to be asked to pay for food after paying for an all inclusive hotel. Obviously this was one of those black market deals. The international restaurant was pretty good (Fuerteventura). We ate their twice and they probably had the best food in the place. The steak house steaks were very tough with nearly no flavor. The service wasn't good in there either. The seafood restaurant (Trinidad) had very good garlic shrimp the first night we went there, the next time we went it seemed they had forgotten the garlic in the garlic shrimp. The Chinese restaurant (Oshin) was probably the worst Chinese food I have ever had but it tasted delicious because it was a break from the monotony. When we got back to the room after eating the Chinese food I had to spend most of the evening in the bathroom. We went next door to the mall and bought a can of Mr. Potatoes (Think Pringles but made in Malaysia). They cost 5 Canadian dollars but were pretty tasty compared to the hotel food. The airplane food that we had on the way back to Vancouver BC was the best food that I had on the entire trip. My husband and I were actually dreaming (like starving people) about food the whole time we were there.

EXCURSIONS: We went on the Catamaran trip to Cayo Blanco. They took us out into the midst of some 2-3 foot high waves to snorkel. There wan't anything to see and the current/waves were too much for most of the group. The food at the island was really bad. They veggies were out of a can and totally over cooked/mushy. The lobster had been stewed in something that was red but had no flavor. Our crew was supposed to get us out of Cayo Blanco by 4:30 but we didn't leave until 5:30 (despite the fact that all of the passengers were standing, waiting to go) because our crew was too busy drinking. Our crew got drunk and stopped swabbing the deck which caused 4 different women on the boat to fall on their behinds. For over 200 Canadian you should be able to get a trip where the crew will at least look out for the safety of passengers.

We also attempted a trip on Jet Skis - what is called Boat Adventure. This trip was 38 pesos per person (about 50 canadian). They put my husband and I on a "jet ski" (bathtub with an outboard motor) that had no steering. It also had no power. My husband said the motor was 25 ccs. We decided not to go on the trip after the guide told us he expected a five peso tip per person. We found that anything we went on that was tourist geared was generally a let down and very expensive.

The best parts of Varadero were the tennis courts and the beach. If you want to ride a motor scooter while you are there be sure to bring your driver's license because otherwise they won't rent to you. Don't miss the DuPont Mansion on the other side of Melia Las Americas. The third floor bar is lovely with great service and good drinks and the views are fabulous. Watch out with the horse drawn buggies. They told us it was 10 pesos for the ride but once we got to our destination found out that it was 10 pesos per person.

1 Comments:

Blogger Jose Aguirre said...

These tourist exploiters of enslaved Cubans, apartheid supporters, are just getting a little bit of what they truly deserve! You could publish a book with all these "great" tourist experiences!

10:34 AM  

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