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Santa Lucia vs Manzanillo

Still can’t decide between Marea del Portillo or the Brisas in Santa Lucia. Does anyone have any insight in these resorts and why they would prefer one over the other? I guess if one gets sold out then that makes my choice easy ! Love planning vacation to somewhere new. Haven’t been to these areas yet and look forward to either resort.

I guess it comes down to what’s important in a resort for you.
Although I’ve never been to Sanata Lucia, I have been to Mare Del Portillo.
What do you look for or need in a resort?

We were at the Amigo Caracol a few years ago.
Nice quiet area, nice beach, decent snorkeling.
The entertainment staff are among the best and friendliest we’ve encountered.
We are now booked for the Marea at the end of Feb.
This is probably too late to give you comparison notes.
For what it’s worth, the Marea is rated #14 of all resorts in Cuba @ TripAdvisor, and supposedly has the highest return rate.

Thanks folks. I’ve seen the Amigo Caracol reviews and looks promising also. We don’t have particular needs, as long as the beach is good and for snorkelling…food doesn’t have to be anything elaborate…rooms clean…very simple needs actually.

If the beach and snorkling are important you may want to head to Santa Lucia. The dark sand and darker waters at Marea Del Portillo make snorkling not very good.

I have been to both and have only been back to Marea del Portillo.

Brisas Santa Lucia is a 4* rated property while the Marea is rated 3*. Both are a stretch, but the only reason Brisas gets the extra star is because it is larger and has more restaurants (I’m not saying better restaurants) and bars and has a fitness centre that Marea doen not have.

Both have tennis courts. Both have horseback riding available on the beach.

Brisas has scooter and car rental. MdP does not.

Brisas is bigger and has line ups…MdP is smaller and does not…

The basic requirements for most of us are food and room conditions and they are very similar.

Brisas may be a bit closer to the destination airport than is MdP so the bus ride is a bit longer to MdP.

MdP has a much more interesting geographical location with the Sierra Maestre mountains as a backdrop.

Both have tennis courts.

MdP has buggy carts at the main entrance. I can’t remember is Brisas has same.

Both are fairly close to a Cuban village, but Santa Lucia is bigger than Marea, but neither has much to offer average tourist.

All rooms at MdP have a view of and are close to the sea. Most rooms at Brisas don;t have view of ocean. Brisas is larger so depending on your room, more walking is necessary at Brisas (not saying that is a bad thing).

Both resorts have cell phone service. MdP had INTERNET last time down. Brisas did not but that was 4 years ago.

Bar service: when busy at Brisas, it was understaffed in my opinion, and money talked.

Beach: OK, Brisas wins this. Beautiful white sand. LArge coral reef within swimming distance for good swimmers. Beach at MdP is darker sand.

Activities: Similar at both, but Brisas doesn’t offer horseback or jeep excursions in to the mountains.

Entertainment: same…virtually cut and paste for any resort in my opinion.

Lots of shade and sun beds on beach at MdP. Towel wars galore at Brisas. Shortage of sun beds at Brisas.

Walk to beach shorter at MdP except for Farallon where is a quite a hike down to the beach.

BEST REASON OF ALL TO GO TO MAREA: The Marea is on the Caribbean Sea. It is ALWAYS warmer there, especially so in winter. Brisas is on the Atlantic Ocean and if temperatures are not in the 80’s it may be cool, especially when there is an on-shore breeze.

BEST REASON TO GO TO BRISAS; If the main purpose is snorkelling, Brisas wins.

Price: You’ll have to do your homework on this as prices change frequently. Best bargain is the VIP package at Marea. you’ll most likely get a sea front Cabana, with lots of activities thrown in.

wow ! thanks so much cubaisgreat…quite an extensive comparison and I’m pretty sure we’ll book it

Hi Selectivedi1. Thanks for posting this thread. We have booked at Brisas Santa Lucia for the end of February and Cubaisgreats detailed description of the Brisas versus the Marea del Portillo sure comes in handy for us (Thanks Cubaisgreat). We got a really good price from Nolitours for what we would consider high season for the Brisas Santa Lucia so we couldn’t resist. It looks like a place we would enjoy. We see you are also going to the Cameleon in April. I hope we can meet up for a drink there .

Joe and Karen.

Yes, we will see you April 2nd Joe & Karen. Not sure what the flight times are yet on that date, but you’ll recognize hubby who wears those obnoxious hawaiian shirts - the louder the better ! See you then

I went to both Club Amigo Caracol and Marea, and your comparison is excellent.

If you can get your hands on a VIP package at Marea, I say go for it. All the free stuff thrown in are worth it (bungalow with sea view, lobster dinner, sunset cruise, etc). The mountains are a big big plus. (makes for really great pictures)

If you prefer white sand and snorkelling, go to Santa Lucia.

Food/bar/entertainment wise, I found it similar at both places.

Also, depening on your age…Marea is much older (i’d say 45-50 age average) whereas Santa Lucia is a good mix (depending on which hotel, but they are all close and there are discos nearby)